April 23rd, 2010
10:56 AM ET

Obama slams Arizona immigration bill

President Obama criticized a controversial new immigration bill in Arizona on Friday, calling it "misguided."

"Our failure to act responsible at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," the president said at a naturalization ceremony for members of the military.

"In fact, I've instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation. But if we continue to fail to act at the federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country."

He added, "As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future - a future that keeps faith with our history, with our heritage, and with the hope that America has always inspired in the hearts of people all over the world."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Immigration
soundoff (410 Responses)
  1. javier

    I am tired of this ridiculous argument that illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Americans. I don't see any americans standing in line outside home depot, I don't see them working in kitchen, fields or doing clean up in office buildings. My parents came here legally from Mexico and have given me a great life but this country is one that is made of immigrants and I do not say that we should blindly allow them all in our countries but quit acting like they are Al Qaeda trying to move next door to you, these are honest, TAX PAYING people trying to make a better life for themselves doing the jobs that NO other american wants to do, and thats a fact! The US is the greatest nation in the world and we are what we are because of the differences that make us up and the fact that nowhere else in this world do you have so many nationalities coexisting within the same borders in relative peace.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Aster

    "Our failure to act responsible at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others” REALLY??
    Yes Arizona’s frustration and actions to the never ending illegal immigration problem will have consequences but what is your solution here? Should every state sit and wait in vain for the federal government’s empty promises? ??
    “I've instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation.” Well that is good Mr. President-but it is also a waste of time and resources. Come up with real solution on how to SECURE OUR BORDERS and PENALIZE THOSE HARBOR AND EMPLOY ILLIGAL IMMIGRANTS – that is the real issue here…come up with a fair legislation that will free America of illegal immigrants. Crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.
    I guess that would compromise the upcoming election ?……….then just look away …. That is what the ones before you did!

    April 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Deb

    I agree with most of the posts against illegal immigration. However,
    we are forgetting one thing. All of the illegal immigrants are not from Mexico. There are many from Central/South America and many from the former USSR. They have come on visitor visas and never leave. We need to enforce all of the immigration laws equally. When traveling in Europe I had to show my passport at every border. Maybe that is a solution for us.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Enough!!

    The key word is ILLEGAL, but we keep allowing ILLEGALS to enter our country and drain our LEGAL'S resources. How many medical facilities close the doors as a result of giving out FREE medical to the ILLEGALS? If the answer is more than 0, then there is an issue which must be addressed. Could that be part of the reason for healthcare reform? If the federal government wants to drag its feet because they are afraid of votes, well hats off to Arizona for taking a stand where the federals are timid. It is too bad that us LEGALS cannot become ILLEGALS as we could also reap free medical, free food stamps, free housing, and the list goes on until us LEGALS are taxed until we cannot afford it... (Opps we are there now!!)

    April 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sickup and Fed

    What we have hyeah is a failure to communicate. What we need is a basic cleansing like happened in the 50's with Operation Wetback. Google it. But this time add Operation Camel Jocky to it. Either come in legally and mingle positively like the rest of our forefathers or get the hell out.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paula Bruton

    I can't believe anyone would compare this situation to what Hitler did, it makes me sick to read these comments. Hitler murdered millions of people there is nothing that can come close to that horror certinally not immigration law enforcement. States can no longer support the illegal population no matter where they come from. Something has to be done so Obama start enforcing the law or keep your opinions to yourself.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CS

    It's really interesting to hear americans play the BLAME GAME! Oh it's the illegal's fault for what's going on in this country, Blame them for crippling the economy and all the other bad things this country is facing right now. Just because some illegals here are criminals doesn't mean they are all the same. Most of them are hard workers who are here to better them selves . You seem to forget who picks your fruits and vegetables you put in your mouth everyday, Who does all those low paying jobs that AMERICANS don't want to do. Those who claim that they take our jobs are totally wrong. Also how are they here illegally? Everyone seems to forget who Arizona, California, Texas to name a few were part of????? Who gave them those names like San Antonio? or Los Angeles? was it the founding fathers??

    April 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. map

    Let me add to my previous statement.

    People who come to this country LEGALLY and and get an education, have a career, pay taxes, live a responsible life are welcome, but those who do not............well they should not be welcomed with open arms and given everything to survive. Everyone else has worked too hard to allow that to be acceptable, just because the leading party thinks everyone should be equal. This country was built on hard work, honesty and taking care of business, not hand outs.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tomini

    Is Obama really that clueless? Try doing your job and secure our borders and protect American citizens and maybe then states would not have to take matters into their own hands. Who voted for this empty suit? He stands for everyone else except the legal citizens of this once great country. It is corrupt self serving politicians like this idiot in chief that have made 80% of the American people to lose faith in their government. It is time to take out the trash and clean house.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Concerned

    According to the constitution wording that ALL presidents SWEAR to uphold, the states have all rights NOT given to the federal gov. Isn't this a state's right? Why is the federal administration leader believing he has this power?

    April 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sickup and Fed

    Yea, biglio. Go ahead and get in line for your welfare check that the REPUBLICAN tax dollars provided for you! Your heathen breathren democratic lovin handout taken who is my daddy fools sure aren't providing that for you while you're badmouthing those of us who are...

    April 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joel

    Margarette said "this country should quit giving citizenship to anybody born here. a baby should carry the citizenship of its mother. that would stop a lot of the people who show up just to have a baby, then cry and complain if they are deported because they have to be separated from their citizen child."

    Then change the Constitution, which guarantees that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. "

    April 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. romanfirst

    Be careful what you ask for...today's great idea is tomorrow's nightmare. The tail is wagging and everyone is watching it. Look away from the people that make the dogs tail wag and see the train coming at you!

    April 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RinMaine

    The issue this time is not the legality of immigration, but rather a law that not only permits but demands that law enforcement stop and demand "papers" from anyone that is even slightly ethnic in appearance. These days that might include such minorities as British or Irish, but it is particularly aimed at Hispanics because the rich folks in Arizona want to have illegal immigrant available to do their lawns. I do not want the police demanding identification whenever they want to hassle you. It is a personal freedoms issue.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JoseWells

    It's about time & Something had to be done. It's easy for people who dont live in Arizona or any of the border states to see this bill as racial profiling because they dont know what's its like to actually live there and experience it. Im a minority, and would not be bothered if L.E officers asked to see my papers. One thing's for sure, the federal government HAS TO CHANGE THE IMMIGRATION POLICY FOR AUTOMATICALLY GRANTING CITIZENSHIP TO ANYBODY BORN HERE ! And how does a laid-off/unemployed immigrant worker qualify for umemployment benefits ??? I thought that they had to leave the country once they were out of work ??? Our tax dollars are definitely keeping them in America. So glad Arizona took the initiative as all the other states should do if they want to survive these hard economic times.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
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