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. Nick

    looks like barry is setting the stage for another power grab by the federal government. 2012 can't get here fast enough.

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

    That Arizona bill is a hallmark of bigotry and ignorance. Good for Obama speaking against it!

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

    Leave Arizona alone...I just hope Texas, California, New Mexico, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi will hurry and pass simular laws. If Obama gets his way, America will legalize the ones that are here illegally, and their families, and do nothing to secure the border. All the elected officials in Washington care about is votes...they could care less about the American people who sent them to Washington.

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

    If they are here legally, then they don't have to worry. Really, I don't care if their feelings are hurt if they are here illegally. No other country in the world puts up with this, why do we??!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chris Kirkpatrick

    If we had dealt with this illegal immigration problem decades ago when it was much smaller then today this would be a non-issue; instead, we have benefitted from cheap labor and tolerated their second class status until it inconveniences us. Now with 20 million + (there are more because they do not let themselves be counted) such actions as the one in Arizona are not just immoral (can you possibly imagine what 20 million deportations would look like?) it is also dangerous. If this were introduced nation-wide we'd have civil war on our hands...and who could blame them with so much at stake? No. It is time for us to finally grant these people amnesty, forgive them, make them legitimate tax-paying citizens like the rest of us. Second, we need to shore up our borders so that this type of influx does not continue.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dreading

    I'm already dreading the immigration proposal, if it's anything like healthcare, cap & trade etc. that this Adm. pushes. It'll cost money, it'll favor those who enable us to buy cheasp tomatoes and cause an uproar as the middle class once again gets screwed.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bern

    You are mistaken the only reason why they are stealing your jobs under cutting yout unions and taking services is becauseu have greedy companies who will hire them to perform these tasks. It the people in Arizona and elsewhere to blame not the ilegal immigrant. As long as there is a supply there will always be a demand

    April 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Victoria

    Open Letter to the President:

    Dear President:

    For the past several years – if not the several decade you will notice that although the population is growing people really don't want to come here anymore – unless they have to. This is why we have very little tourism, Why? Because (putting it simply quoted by another nations leader(s) – America has become known as a "swill pot." Myself and others believe this can be fixed, but the first step in doing so is by securing ourselves. And, with the deaths of many people (American and non-American citizens alike) in surrounding boarder states we should be taking action. Have you ever heard of the string theory? And, hey – doing this could lead to more jobs.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. tom hayes

    It is you who is misguyded obama. you care nothing about the people of this country. you are doing everything in your power to bring down the country. we do not trust your judgement anymore mr. obama.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. JerrynColorado

    Mr. President, would you be kind enough to provide a coordinated defense against murder, drug war violence and theft at the grandest level. That is a healthy reality in our history as well; i.e. respect for ALL not just the criminal mentality disguised as a poverty stricken human being!!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lance

    So typical of this president to criticize aimlessly without every offering any solutions. The only misguided efforts are coming from Capitol Hill and the White House, I hear they are celebrating the fourth of july by burning the Declaration of independence.

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

    I am an obama supporter...i am familiar with the arizona immigration bill and it is about time that some branch of the govt put america first... this bill doesn't what it is supposed to do. it hold law breakers accountable for their action.... i am tired of the overbearing liberal theologies compromising real issues... it seems that obama isn't thinking of america or americans, but of illegals and their relatives.

    he needs to stand up for america

    April 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Marrk

    Did I read Obama correctly and state the Feds are failures when it comes to immigration? What a eye opener. Go get them Arizonia.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. DLJ

    How can you blame an individual for efforts that could improve the life of their families. Those that are responsible are the ones that hire individuals without the proper documentation. The new law in AZ is frightening. It is a violation of civil rights it depends on the mood of the officer at that time. This will bring major problems to the court system and many voilations against police officers.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jon Livingston

    "But if we continue to fail to act at the federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country."

    Enough said. This administration is so arrogant. What would we do without their control? We don't need you as much as you think we do.

    "As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future – a future that keeps faith with our history,..."

    Ok. If that's the case lets start following the Constitution instead of looking at it as an old document.

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