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. Charles W. Skinner

    You have got to be kidding me. Pres. Obama is lecturing Arizona on fairness of legislation for the police to be able to do their jobs properly? The efforts of the citizens of Arizona are far from misguided. In fact, they are in perfect keeping with our history, heritage and hope that America has inspired in the world. This is EXACTLY what States should be doing in order to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and the crime, violence and drugs that they have been bringing with them.

    If Pres. Obama REALLY wants to help, here's a message: DEPLOY THE ARMY TO THE MEXICAN BORDER AND SHOOT ANYONE CROSSING ILLEGALLY ON SIGHT. They'll get the message to enter via legal channels really quick.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel Garrison

    Are you kidding me!! The federal government has turned its back on the American people! This country has been invaded by Mexico without firing one shot! This country is overwhelmed by ILLEGAL ALIENS, Our schools, prisons, hosptals cant take it anymore!! Look at California, there going broke! I live in Austin, Texas and the whole state is headed the same way as California! Everyone in the world cant simply come here, we will be a third world nation also! I know its not fair, but the line has to be drawn! Since 911, the feds have done NOTHING to stop the flow of ILLEGAL ALIENS!! They are crossing over by yhe thousands everyday, undocumented, we have no idea who these people are or what they believe in. But i cant fly to see my Grandma in Dallas without practicallt getting strip searched!

    God Help US!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. RE from AZ

    Hey Obama...come live near the border for awhile and see how misguided the legislation is. When you've seen the trash left behind by immigrants, read about crime perpetrated by illegals (from something simple like leaving someone's hose on after they filled up on water to assaults and murders), and heard about run-ins with illegals (who may or may not be with an armed coyote or be armed themselves) out in the mountain trails then maybe you might change your mind.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you don't though. Being soft on immigration and ignoring the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Arizona is THE premier corridor for illegals right now. Since you obviously can't do anything about it I think our state should.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. 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 afluent folks who don't want to give anything up-the soul of money..........

    April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    Obama lost major points with me with his statement on this.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brent

    Um as far as i am concerned the Arizona law is just going further to do what the federal government can't do... and thats close the boarder with Mexico. I have no problem with Mexicans coming over here legally just like my ancestors did some 60 years ago. But do it legally... And a side note this speech by Obama is purely to help secure his Latino vote for his Democratic counterparts.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mark Buxman

    Again I have to disagree with the president, surprise surprise. He wants to slam a bill with a little bit of bite to it because it may offend the mexican people. Paleeeese. no I am not a racist but I am an American, yes I was fortunate to be born here but in the same light my ancestors came here LEGALLY, learned the language, worked hard for everything they had and didn't expect this country to learn thier language or coddle to them. Until the federal govt. develops a policy that actually works the states have to take it upon themselves to protect themselves and our country. Someone needs to explain to me why if you try to cross the border into Iran, Iraq, China, North Korea and so on, why you are considered a criminal and imprisoned or killed as a spy, but our country you can ILLEGALLY cross our border, and get a job, and state and federal benifits and all sorts of nice little gifts for being a CRIMINAL.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Aminal

    Civil rights are meant for the people who have rights in America and that is the American born people. But then again maybe the president doesn't know about that???

    April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Diamond Dee

    We might cherish things as Americans but illegals are not Americans. This guy is a joke.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. David

    Is the "weak-kneed" in-chief upset that the State of Arizona is doing what the federal government should be doing? My goodness, someone actually enforcing the laws of the land? How could this happen?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jona

    He is right, Arizona is acting irresponsable, this bill is a awful, awful to the ordinary and legal American. I hope the governor rejects it and it helps to have an immigration reform. No politics, just common sense.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Phil Barbalace

    Obama is absolutely right! If the feds are not going to do anything about the illegal immigration invasion, the states WILL, and SHOULD. Good job Arizona! Let's get the rest of the country together and stop this travesty of neglect if our federal government will not.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. capnmike

    Sorry, but I for one do not believe that our "basic notions of fairness" should include just letting peiople break our laws and sneak into the country. That is certainly NOT fair to Americans. Cutting out the buzzwords like "heritage" "hope" and "inspiration," the bottom line is that these people are criminals...they have broken our laws and should be treated a propos of that.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jason Pierce

    obama is for opening borders, hence his response. way to go az! we dont need fences we need tougher laws on businesses that hire ILLEGAL aliens. thats been proven to work in the past. being soft of them is what allows them to get away with things and makes them keep coming over. the word ILLEGAL means illegal. its not about RACE. profiling is a copout.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sandra

    If Obama isnt going to do anything about illegal immirgates why not allow states to set up their own laws?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
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