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. Jim Overall

    This is an American problem that is decades old. Don't blame your current President. If Arizona feels that this is the right way to go why wasn't it done when the problem wasn't so acute ???

    April 23, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. SUE

    GO ARIZONA!!!!!!! Maybe if we had more states willing to take this stand, then possibly we can steer America and all Her glory down the right path

    April 23, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. djh

    Is it fair to see single mothers and fathers trying to get a job but can't because the company hires only mexicans, here in Indiana this is a fact not fiction. Many of the entry jobs are filled with aliens and if they quit or get terminated, another will be there in an hour to claim the job. This is the USA and many of us have fought for our country so it will be here. Clinton gave away our jobs with Nafta, Bush stood by and let companies run amok. Who can blame the people, we have had enough. If the president was even capable of leading, our congress would be doing its job. Since we have the inept leading the inept, it is about time the people tried to make changes. But watch, the feds will find a way to make the special interest groups happy and intervene in the states affairs.......

    April 23, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Marie

    It is scary when a bill that attempts to enforce a law is referred to by the President of the United States as "misguided". If you can pick and choose which laws to enforce, why even have laws, they are not worth the paper they are written on. If we do not enforce ALL laws we will end up like Mexico, run by violence and drug-cartels. Also, why do Mexican-American people think it is okay for these people to break our laws and bankrupt our system?? If any American illegally crossed into any country there would be harsh punishment, why should it be any different here?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. jim

    The standard Obama comment, he regrets the lack of responsible action at the federal level, then says nothing about rectifying the situation. He is the consummate "empty suit"

    April 23, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. Wayne Davis

    The only people to fear immigrants are those who didn't get an education and now fear they can't keep a job. If this is used against brown people only there will be problems.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. LG

    "Stealing our jobs and undercutting our unions"????? These people do jobs that most american's think are beneath them, most would rather collect unemployment then do hard manual labor. As far as the unions are concerned, haven't we just witnessed how much the unions "helped" the automakers?? All these people want is a better life, YOU try going and living in Mexico and see how you like it. The real Mexico is not a five star resort on the beach. I agree that something needs to be done, but this is not the answer.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. ACB

    I cannot believe the responses to President Obama's rightful charactarization of the Arizona anti-immigration bill. It is a direct invitation for the cops do do racial profiling. How are policemen going to tell legal immigrants from illegal ones?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sherwood

    Maybe OBAMA NEEDS A CLUE...while over sixteen million Americans are OUT OF WORK, 7.5 million scum illegal aliens are working in our economy. We need more laws like the one pending in Arizona. Illegal Immigration is not a RACE ISSUE, it is a LAW AND ORDER issue, and we want ILLEGAL ALIENS DEPORTED, not granted Amnesty by a socially ignorant socialist moron like Barack Obama.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    Another fine example of our screwed up our government is. Our immigration policy and enforcement shames the entire country. Our leaders, local, state and federal have utterly failed the American people on reforming OUR immigration policy. Politics, politics, politics. All of them need to get off their lazy butts and pass legislation that is in the best interest of the AMERICAN people. That policy should provide a detailed manner in which some, but not all, persons here illegally can apply for legal status, however, the majority that are here illegally should be required to leave the U.S. and then go through the new process to enter the country legally. Otherwise, we will be rewarding those who came and stayed, knowing they were breaking the law. Our country should not reward criminals. We don't do it with any other category of criminals, (drug dealers, pimps, terrorists, etc., etc.)

    April 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    This is always going to be a tricky one for the Democrats. Immigrants of most ethnic groups who eventually become legal overwhelmingly vote Democrat. The legal immigrants in the same ethnic groups sympathize with the Illegals and also overwhelmingly vote Democrat.

    The creates a dilemma for the Dems: Enforce the immigration laws vs. Hunger to gain and then keep political power. If they enforce the immigration laws they piss off a lot of their core voters so they veer towards making a few noises about controlling and reforming immigration without actually doing anything.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rich

    Papers! Papers!
    We don't want that in the U.S.
    Hopefully Obama will stop Arizona.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Justen Watkins

    I am sick and tired of this guy's condescention toward americans!!! Who is pissed off with me?!? He has NO right to act like a dictator!!! I want him out of office and reprimanded for his lack of respect for the Constitution, the Military, and WE THE PEOPLE!!! LETS GET HIM OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. fred smythson

    We're talking about ILLEGAL immigration... Once you've said ILLEGAL, you've said everything that needs to be said.

    A robust guest worker process would solve most of this, but folks have to follow the rules first. Arizona did what was necessary to protect its people.

    Crack down on illegals and those that take advantage of them.

    It is not racist to expect people to follow the rules.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. OneAM

    I'm an American citizen of Asian descent and I can easily be mistaken for a native of Mexico. I'm not in the habit of carrying around my birth certificate and I don't really want to be stopped in AZ and be mistaken for an illegal and thrown in jail. Hey but it's ok, everyone who is white will be safe. The rest of us who isn't will just have to take our chances.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
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