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. Robert Adam

    Either you like it or not this is racial profiling (If the people supporting this law were dark skin they would not support it.)

    Illegal Immigrants only get jobs that "citizens" do not wish to have

    If there were no jobs (that American don’t want or are not skill enough to do them) they would not be here.

    "Americans? How is the real Americans? " White people came to this land as immigrants mainly from Europe a total different continent. What are you doing here?

    Isn’t for the same reason (get a better life for you and your family)

    I have a question for those Americans complaining about Obama’s actions and points of view. Couldn’t this be because he is black?
    This is not a new issue in this country.

    People that support this type of actions and mentality are for the most part OLD white people (They would love to see America going back to slavery).

    Fortunately new generations of white citizens are getting more open minded and tolerant. Thanks God.

    Lets stop the hate we are all humans (lets focus on the real criminals (drug dealers and gang members of all colors))

    Let’s do something to help this people (only those who could prove good behavior) to get integrated to the American system.

    Just remember, “There are good guys and bad guys in all cultures, nationalities and colors”.

    Stop the hate.

    Good bless America
    America = immigrants (for the most part illegal when they first came to this continent from somewhere else).

    April 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Patricia Ernest

    Texas has the same problem. I agree with the House Bill. We have been too soft on immagration laws and we (hard working legal Americans) are paying the price for it. I also agree with the Sheriff and the way he operates the jail in Tuscon. Other states, including Texas could learn by Arizon's example to stand up and do something. Go Arizona.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lamont

    I find it amusing that all these comments assume that people that are for the new Arizona law are "whiteys". I'm a black man, and I think that anyone that immigrates to this country should do it legally; I guess I'm a racist too.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Martin

    This has NOTHING to do with Hitler, the Third Reich, or an invasion of privacy rights.

    In MANY countries around the world you are required to carry ID at all times and can be asked to produce this by law enforcement authorities without probable cause other than to simply find out who you are.

    I am NOT a resident of Arizona, but support their efforts to curb illegal immigration.

    Why do many Americans seem to have such a problem with being asked to provide ID? If you're just going about your every day, legal business, then this shouldn't matter to you. I don't care if a cop stops me and asks to see ID – who cares if they want to know who I am? I get asked for ID all the time when I use a credit card – why is this any different?

    However, if you have something to hide, then I can see why people are so upset about being asked to produce ID.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Travis

    Several of you have made post stating that this law is much like the enforcement of anti-jew laws during the days of Hitler. Where do you get such nonsense? Where in this law does it state that only people of Latino descent may have their paperwork checked, or that only Latinos can be held or that only latinos are the only ones that can be arrested. YOU are setting the standard, not the law. YOU are setting the parameters, not the law. It si giving the local authorities the opportunity to insure that anyone they do stop is in fact identifiable and if not, the ability to positively identify them, no matter what the race, creed or color. Seems pretty broad to me. Now that the LEFT has set the parameters and has insisted that this is directed at Latinos, I guess it is then true. In addition, some have stated that we must take our time and do this right and not rush into this situation half baked. Exactly how long shall we wait on the Federal Government to do something. 25 years or more they made all the illegals in this country citizens with the promise to fix the situation immediately after they made them legal. WE are still waiting for that to happen. WE are still waiting for the Federal Government to stand by us and enforce OUR laws. The main duties of the Federal Government is to protect its' citizens and it boundaries, neither of which this government has done in a LONG time. So yes, it IS time for the states to do something and it IS time for the people to stand and deliver. Deliver these fools from office and replace them with representatives that will take care of its' citizens and our borders...

    April 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Martin

    "Either you like it or not this is racial profiling (If the people supporting this law were dark skin they would not support it.)"
    Actually, LEGAL immigrants are the strongest supporter of this bill.

    I am a LEGAL immigrant and am a very strong supporter of whatever needs to be done to stop illegals.

    I bet you'd find way more support for this bill within the legally immigrant society than from natural born Americans.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. WHYEE

    The new war has just started in AZ. From now on all of you nut cases should carry your biometric card everywhere in the United States. If you don't, guess what you will be thrown in jail becasue 90% of American do not carry their birt certificate, driver license,etc. Thank you President barak Obama, you are doing a great job for america.They just do not know it yet,maybe after two years from now.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. a1beachguy

    If the federal goverment had not abdicated its responsiblilty to protect and secure our borders this would not be happening. Why not legislate a more viable "guest worker" program and provide real border security to allow the workers our economy needs while eliminating unauthorized border crossings? Stop the drug smuggling and human trafficking. American citizens have a right to expect our federal officials to fulfill their sworn duty. When the first brave souls immigrated there were federal hand outs to be had. They only survived from the fruits of their labor. Many today seek only to leech off of our great country while giving nothing in return.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Magoo

    I've read the Arizona bill. It certainly doesn't look bad to me at all. I'm actually an Obama supporter but disagree with him a lot on this. Illegal immagration is hurting us all not to further mention the legal outsourcing of even menial jobs. America is supposed to be home to tax-paying Americans. We've already got more people living here than we need, OK, there will be some racial profiling problems but we should be able to live with that as long as there's no abuse of a person. I like Mexico and Mexicans and respect that most of them cross illegally to help their families but there are entirly too many criminals coming through too. And it's time to stop the war on drugs and make them legal, that would help take some of the wind out of the cirminal sails. Prosecute the employers for real, not a slap. All the various lawn care companies bring in illegal day-workers, take all their equipmwent, shut 'em down. This goes for illegally employeed home care/maid type service. Take the homes of those employing illegals. MAKE IT HURT AND IT WILL STOP.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ed

    "There is no true national identity card in the United States, in the sense that there is no federal agency with nationwide jurisdiction that directly issues such cards to all American citizens. However, permanent resident aliens of the US ("green card holders") are required to carry their Permanent Resident Cards at all times."
    So in reality all that the new law in AZ is doing is making sure that the "Legal" aliens carry the paperwork that they are supposed to carry by law now. I have no problem with the idea of asking everyone to produce proper ID no matter who they are. I know that if I am not carrying my ID and am stopped by the police I can be picked up.. but like American Express I don't leave home without it.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tina

    Seems so easy for obama to now say that Arizona's action to deal with ILLEGAL immigration is "misguided". The federal government has again and again refused to enforce the laws already in place because of political reasons. I applaud the Arizona citizens that have finally had enough and have decided to do something about it. All those clowns living in the east coast that try to tell people in other states how to live should just shut up! I have lived in border states and can tell you from experience that it is a daily struggle to maintain law and order. These ILLEGALS come here and have the audacity to demand rights they are not entitled to. Just by being here illegally they are breaking our law, yet the federal government seems unwilling to do any thing about it. I am mexican myself, my parents came to this country legally with humble gratitude for being allowed to come here. They taught us to obey the laws, be productive, give and not take from this great country. Shame on all these ILLEGALS!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Melba

    I find it funny that everyone is up in arms about illegal immigrants. You might want to ask who takes care of your Republican leader's households or cuts their lawns.....

    Seriously... take a look.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bilbo

    Obama has taken the appropriate stance and set the correct tone which is consistent with federal responsibilities vs states. I live in AZ and we do have some legitimate issues relative to immigration violations which need to be addressed. Erecting fences and introducing policies which promote racial profiling violate the very core values that this country was founded upon and which defines us as a "melting pot" free nation. AZ has done what it thinks is necessary as an individual state and looks like the federal government is prepared to do what is necessary if required. It's the way our government is set up people.

    Here is one solution:
    Require everyone in the US to have citizenship proof. Whenever children register for school, or people submit a job app, people are stopped by the police for any reason then they must provide that proof. Those that fail are sent to a local processing center for up to three days. Afterward, they are sent to "Ellis Island" for processing of deportation by INS. Oh yeah the people who come to pick them up from local centers must also provide proof of citizenship. Ridiculous system but fair, AZ system is ridiculous and not fair.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jubie

    We are so fortunate to have President Obama during these times of struggle. It is letting go of the past way of thinking, living and caring for one another that needs to change! One world IS enough for all of us! Thank you Pres. Obama for having the courage to take tackle atrocities and mustering up the support of the American people to put a stop to this hate and insidious behavior from those who hide behind the distraction. Call them out! Let's get this done! We need to move on and this kind of stuff needs to stop. It's just a ploy and distraction from the real problem, corporations and affluent folks who don't want to give anything up-the soul of money..........

    April 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Reason

    X-AZ-resident, your history of Texas is blatantly wrong. Texas fought for, and won it's independence from Mexico and was a Republic for years before joining the United States. Read up on how Santa Ana treated the white people.....

    April 23, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
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