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. J DOG

    Hey... I hate Mexicans as much as the next guy. In Brooklyn; the clog up the subway as they dont understand personal space nor do they understand the concept of a queue at the market. However... with out such vast quantities of their menial slave labor... NYC would grind to a halt. All food in NYC is technically Mexican food. Even at 150$/ plate. Arizona is a hill-jack shitthole. Who cares what they do? You expect different?

    April 27, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Blanca

    This bill and and the lawmakers behind it are PATHETIC. I understand that immigration needs to be under control but must we start harrassing those that are legal? There has been many incidents of police brutality and racism and now this? Find another way...this is ridiculous and unfair to hispanics like myself who were born and raised an American Citizen. If I get stopped, I will sue.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Amee

    I think they should let the people of Arizona handle their business as they need too. People from other states should take care of the business in their own state and leave others to theirs. The people in Arizona are going through something I have never been through and I would never try to tell them what to do. This truly is States Rights.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. TJ

    Obama mentioned failure at the federal level multiple times. Maybe i was asleep when he wasn't the president anymore. Or maybe he says things like this to make it seem like someone else is responsible. He is the leader of the Federal Government, he is criticizing the job that HE is doing, and all the liberals go "I think Obama is so right, those arizonian's are mean! Obama is right, he's always right." What are these people on a pull string? He criticizes his own efforts, or complete and utter lack there of. Stop agreeing with Obama just because you cant keep your pants on when he talks. Actually listen to what he says, then you'll realize how much trouble we are actually in.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. trythe truth

    The president continues to show his ignorance and this time the blame should be put on his administration. Napatano just stopped the building of more fences . . . where has all of the ignorance come from since he is in office????

    April 27, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. jessica

    president obama,he needs to do somthing about imanation. they are family being apart. the people don't care .. the people say go bsck. just think about it if no imantion who do the work?????????????? huh i think imantion should NOT leve the u.s . they work hard. the people won't do the job............. LEVE ALONE..............

    April 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PeteH

    Obama is such a joke and a hypocrat..."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"...Since when was Socialism part of our history...? How about allowing illegals to walk freely about the US, dodging INS without worry of prosecution...? And since when exactly have the American people been cool about paying the medical & legal costs of people who have no respect for our system of goverment, are not required to pay taxes, could care less about our laws and law enforcement as well as the heritage of our country...? Barrack Obama you sir are our President, at least "try" to act like you give a damn about our country!!!

    April 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aaron

    Well what are they supposed to do? I, for one, am tired of all these illegals coming into the country. Racial profiling? lol Tell me another race that is crossing into America from Mexico. People want the problem solved, but they dont want to do the dirty work. I applaud you Arizona. Keep us proud!!!!

    April 27, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. beaderlady

    I say if you are here legally you have nothing to worry about. Have your papers ready to show if you are stopped for any reason. What is the big deal if you are legal? If you aren't then you can protest.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. j.p.drabier


    April 27, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jorgen

    Wise words Mr. President. Many years ago, I applied for a US permanent residence, but it was denied on the basis of my Student Visa which had a minimun two years foreign residence requirement. Although I was married to a legal allien who was suffering from a rare sickness, I complied with the law and returned to USA only after I received my visa. I was lucky to return to my native country with a job and with a health insurance for my wife. I cannot even imagine all the hardships that all those illegal immigrants must be going through in the land where they expected to achieve the American Dream, but fair is fair, they should obey and sustain the law of the land. What I don't agree is with the new AZ law which targets indiscriminatorily all latinos, making legal residents feel as second class citizens. I agree that more control is needed but definitely the new law is not the answer. Very soon, it would be like walking in the streets of Moscow where citizens or not citizens are required to carry their papers in order to avoid paying fines to corrupt policemen.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DK

    Watch the movie Red Dawn, and think about. You would think 9/11 would of been enough to educate all of us. I have no problem with carrying my ID & birth certificate. We did when we went through Canada and back. I learn young to carry my ID with me at all times because if you don't have ID most states have a holding law until they can check you out. 24-72hrs)Yea I know I am just a dumb white person. But if it done to any others but white they can & do cry racism, profiling.
    And I am getting tire of being blame for everthing because my of ancestor actions, oh that is right they were brought here against their will. There are time I wish I had another home country to go to, but I don't.
    If they don't like our laws they are more thank welcome to leave. They can always go back to their oun Country and use all this energy to impove life styles there. 12,000,000 could be a force to recond with reckon with.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. DK

    No disrespect toward President Obama, but I really believe the main item is illegal immagrants. I know the majority are here working and trying not just to improve their life style but the family they leave behind. However, at this time we have so many US citizen out of work, and not all of us are fortunate to even be concider as middle class and if we are not concider a minority in our own country so we have less rights than illegal.
    Example, an person who speaks openly about beinging illegal and makes more money than most walks into a Welfare office and get medical, food stamps etc, and brags about it.My son who started working at the age of 14 and ended up on disability goes down to get medical for his son and was denied because my son didn't have the of the child's legal state stamped copy birth certificate even though the could bring the info up on the computer.When he stated then why did the guy before have any problems, he was told he had documents but they couldn't even ask as him if the documention were true or false.
    Employer are knowingly hiring illegals and nothing is being done.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. DK

    And for the President's birth certificate, get over and move on. This should have all been checked before he was allowed to run, not after he won. A lot of sore losers out there.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Scott Anderson

    I have defended you many many times Mr. President. I know you care I can see it and I feel it greatly. It seems you roll like I always imagined anyone lucky enough to go to Washingto to represent the People would be Humbled and excited to do the peoples bidding and always doing the right thing. In Spikes way! Man you really have blown me away. Your so on it with everything. So I know you think you are making the right decision by alowing 20 million (thats what I see) people to gain legal access by skirting the system. Your wrong on this one. You think there integrated and it will be absorbed. Your right about that. My children will be competing with the children of the Illegals for the few jobs left in a new economy that will never come close to having half the jobs than there are people searching. On a resource standpoint its a catastophe. The clock is ticking on waste and we certainly don't need to add to it. YOU may think that you are right in your conclusions about this Mexican Invasian. BUT AMERICANS WANT THEM GONE. You see you have been flying high since you first started in state govnmnt but down here on the GROUND we can feel how bad the senario of committing 20 million soon to be 100 million COMPETING HUMANS into what we have to deal with down here. I don't know wether you think you should do what you think is right or what all of your constituents DEMAND. Please don't change the dynamic of our society we are still learning to be color blind and you want to put this onto us? Look, if Mexico wants to talk about joining our union FINE Lets talk. But if they want to keep there BORDERS and stature then FINE but that means keeping our BORDERS!!!!!!! MAN YOUR A MONDERN DAY MASIAH TO ME. But if you give all these JOB STEALING RESOURCE STEALING COMMUNITY CRUSHING TRESPASSERS AMNESTY, Then your not with americans your with Illegals. We don't want Hispanics out. Hell if I was in there possition I would sneak in too. Thats the problem we cannot handle this INVASIAN any longer. And in the new economy we would all like any of the JOBS these ILLEGALS are doing. The statistics that are being thrown around about jobs is wrong. THERE are NO JOBS and its only going to get worse. PLEASE PLEASE WAKE UP!!!!!!!! You see your health care bill was like 50 50 but if you read anywhere on this topic 90% of AMERICA is SAYING PLEASE DON'T DO THIS TO US. We need those JOBS and RESOURCES and COMMUNITY SPACE for Americans and those who will come in the future. Please if you want to help america then help AMERICANS. NOT ILLEGAL COMPETING TRESPASSERS. kodiakgrizzly911@hotmail.com

    April 28, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
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