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. HernandeUSA

    The Mr. Prez

    Then start enforcing the laws and removing the illegals from our country and crack down on the employers who hire them. No more free education, social programs, instant birth citizenship for illegals and finally make English the NATIONAL language of this NATION!

    The American Citizens know they have no voice at the Federal level, but we have one at the state level and the AZ is making it LOUD and CLEAR!!!

    NO to Amnesty!

    Yes to Enforcement!

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

    Really we just need to turn them into Tax Payers.. Not Criminals. Then its a win win.. The bill is misguided.. amnesty now.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dave G

    I couldnt agree more. Obama is not what was intended.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. John in NY

    How does even the President of our nation not understand that this bill will only affect ILLEGAL immigrants, and that we are not targeting EVERY Latino, or black, or Canadian or what have you? Our own President has admittedly 'failed at the federal level' to penalize ILLEGALS. When the federal government fails to address a situation, how else can it be handled, if not by states themselves?

    Here's to hoping the other 49 states fall in line and do the RIGHT thing, make ILLEGAL immigrants ILLEGAL once more.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ben

    Listen here you bunch of Neanderthals, you CANNOT in ths United States of America DEMAND PAPERS from people.

    By what criteria are police going to ask for papers? Clothing? Behavior? Skin color? NONE of these are indicators of suspicion of illegality. The bill allows police officers to check people who haven't yet been arrested.

    What if you're a latino citizen who is WALKING without ID (since you need none as a CITIZEN) and gets harassed and arrested by the cops on suspicion of being illegal? Oh yeah, that is an illegal arrest and a violation of civil rights under color of authority which is a SEVERE crime.

    Yes, the illegal immigration problem needs to be handled. But this way is LUDICROUS and if you support it you are NOT in line with the values of this country.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. I am offended at this invasion

    It is Obama who is misguided. He is acting stupidly. Polls show that 70% of Arizonans support the bill, because we have been completely invaded by foreign nationals, many with prior criminal records, either here in the U.S., or in their home country.

    The border must be closed down tight, and then we can deal with finding out exactly who is here who shouldn't be, and where they are.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joel

    OK, let me understand this. In the 1930's in Germany, a policeman could stop someone and ask for their ID because of the way they looked. In Arizona in 2010, a policeman can stop someone and ask for their ID because of the way they look. I'm finding it hard to see the difference......

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tin Nguyen

    Barack Obama, Please keep doing your job and leave the states alone. The states have their own problems to take care of whenever they see it fit. You need to focus on economy, by the way, you don't have enough trushworthy for the investors to put their money to invest which will creat jobs. You think you are a good talker, but people start walking away from you. Being honest and be straight forward and keep this nation safe even you loose the support from the illegal immigrants would perfectly be fine. Why would you care for the criminals that keep breaking the laws and put our economy down into the drain.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. maverick

    I suppose that you want a job as a busboy or the late night drive in window at wendy's? Please inform us of the jobs that they are stealing that Americans so desperately want. I cannot remember the last time I ate at a restaurant and had a white or black american clear off the table and I am going back to the early 90's. As for the president – his legacy remains to be seen. I cannot judge a man after barely a year and a half.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Martin

    I am a strong supporter of Obama, but he is completely wrong here.

    If the Federal Government were to get their butts in gear and actually enforce Federal immigration laws, then there would be no need for the states to do it alone.

    The Federal Administrations (and all of them, not just Obama or Bush, we need to include Clinton, Bush Sr, Raegan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, et all) have long ignored the issue of illegal immigration, and now the individual states are putting matters into their own hands.

    Obama – SHUT UP, or pony up the funds and Federal troops to stop the immigration problem once and for all.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. barry g

    Seems like all the comments come from Arizona residents.
    They seem to fail to recognize that what Arizona is doing is the same that Hitler did during WWII. "May I see you papers!!"

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. George Van Etten, Houston Texas

    Perhaps, President Obama is more interested in gathering Latino votes, than in the protection of our borders. I would like to know if there is another country in the world who would allow 9 million Americans to cross into their country illegally (after we have already given amnesty to millions of illegal aliens previously).
    We are a country of immigrants and should continue to accept people openly to our country who are willing to follow our laws.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ed

    If Obama would enforce immigration law as he is constitutionally charged to do none of this would have happen. Step up or step aside Mr. President.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. She..

    we are all immigrants.. remember?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. CA

    MYOB, Obama. It's a state issue resulting in inaction by the Feds. CA gets little help in supporting the illegal situation. Either put up, or let the states do what you won't.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
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