April 23rd, 2010
11:13 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama calls Arizona immigration bill 'misguided'

Washington (CNN) – At a Rose Garden ceremony swearing in 24 immigrant members of the U.S. military as citizens, President Obama made his first direct comments on Arizona's controversial immigration bill.

Obama said, "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 undermined 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 bill would make it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and allow police to stop anyone they suspected of being in the country illegally to demand they produce an alien registration document, a driver's license or other documents proving their legal status.

The president said he has instructed his 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," he said, "we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Poetic Justice

    I'm in favor of this bill, as long is effective and convenient. Though I agree that generalizations is likely to occur and categorizations will take place but I think the local and state will do what is right. Being responsible and cautious on who might be one or not.

    April 23, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Obama himself is severely misguided and sees everything through the warped perspective of his delusions.

    April 23, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. Darko

    Of course he does... he's seeing his future voting block being sent back over the boarder.

    Illegal immigrants need to be removed as they are directly and indirectly causing harm to rightful citizens. Every resource that is used on an illegal immigrant is a resource that is stolen from the very citizens that provide the resources.

    ...and here come the liberals blurring the lines of immigration and ILLEGAL immigration.

    April 23, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. Aaron

    A novel approach may be to enforce the laws that are already on the books. The feds haven't tried that one before.

    April 23, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Flipper

    Obama's reaction is predictable and, sadly, pathetic. Obama has no real clue about the massive problems that illegal immigration has caused Arizona, and the billions of dollars that AZ taxpayers are shelling out to provide basic services to those who are here illegally, take jobs away from Americans, and don't pay any state (or federal) income taxes.

    Arizona has been forced to act b/c the federal government has failed to police the border and to remove those who shouldn't be here in the first place. At least Obama has recognized that.

    April 23, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Mike in NYC

    The fed gov is already failing to act responsibly, by failing to enforce its own immigration laws. But then, it never intended to.

    BTW, is there a "civil right" not to be invaded? I guess not.

    April 23, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    Misguided? Talk about an understatment in terms. How is it not illegal?

    April 23, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. USN

    How terrible to expect people to follow the law ! And to expect the feds to enforce the law ! What is this world comming to ?

    April 23, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Not only is the bill misguided, it's flat out racist.

    April 23, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. Anonymous

    obama is probably the most misguided person in this country next to pelosi and reid. Also why did the white house kick out the dog from the white house meeting? Heck the dog was probably the smartest life form in the room.

    April 23, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. kyle from ohio

    My fellow Americans are not ready to talk in sensible terms to each other on this subject. Even if it is about our National Security. the Old words of yesterday will show up and delute the conversation. But as the slogan from the 2008 Republican National Convention said Country First. here is a time to show that motto, for a long term solution to immigration for our country, children and well being.

    April 23, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Gil

    It is more than misguided it is Unconstitutuional. Soon the extremists will be stopping all of us to check our credentials. Talk about the conservative right wing religious nuts, maybe the next step will be to see if we are all Christians. I hope the extreme Robert's Court would even find this violates out Constitutional rights!

    April 23, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. JFK

    I love my home state but unfortunately its ran by a bunch backwards hillbillies!

    And if we were serious at all levels of government, build a wall and protect our border. If we can afford two wars then we can afford to protect our homeland. This isnt the full answer to the problem, but its a start. Its also a symbol that no can just walk on in to the U.S. and expect red carpet treatment. Next, turn off all programs of benefits to future applicants with anchor babies. Not legal, no papers, no help and spread the word!

    Otherwise, please come over legally and the door is wide open with a welcome basket. We are a nation of immigrants but we are broke and cant afford to carry the world. Only serious applicants apply!

    April 23, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Marc

    Did you guys out there ever saw that Cheech movie 'Born in East LA'?
    In the movie he is an American born citizen of obvious Mexican ancestry who is mistakenly deported to Mexico because 'La Migra' does a raid on a factory full of illegal aliens workers and he happens to have no document with him that proves that he is American...
    And now the authorities in Arizona wants to make fiction turns into reality... Because each and every 'non-American-born-looking' (aka WHITE) man or woman in Arizona that dares to forget his/her documents at home and is stopped by the police will face the same distress of Rudy (Cheech role in the movie)...

    April 23, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Jim,Virginia

    The only thing misguided is O'bama.For all his time as president he has done nothing at all with the illegal immigration and issues surrounding it. Now,a state actually wants to take on the problem and O'bama is ready to blow a gasket !!!

    April 23, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Dar

    Odumbo just cant stand it if it isnt his idea or he cant control something. This guy is a freak and he show's it ever day and still people flock to him like sheep.
    He wants goverment to run everything, just keep listening to what he says. WAKE UP FOOLS.

    April 23, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. J. Keller

    Sooooooo, let me get this straight – it's ALREADY illegal to sneak into the country, AZ put provisions in place that allow them to enforce that law, so if I understand our POTUS, it's irresponsible to enforce the law and civil rights include the right to flout the law without consequence? Brilliant.

    April 23, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. gt

    obama needs to wake up ...its a mess,, and no one is doing anything about it... no wonder the states are protecting there citizens..

    April 23, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Sniffit

    This is easily understood. AZ legislature had a choice:

    Anger the business-owning, campaign-donating community by making state laws that more severely punish and deter hiring of illegal immigrants and effectively supplement and gap-fill for federal enforcement...i.e., laws that would actually work if vigorously enforced...OR

    Screw the latino community by pandering to angry white conservative racist birther Teahadists who can't stand that they're quickly becoming a minority, enacting laws that institutionalize systemic profiling and really do nothing to supplement federal enforcement...i.e., laws that will easily result in widespread civil rights abuses if zealously enforced. The added benefit of this option, to their thinking, is that the law will most certainly be challeneged on Constitutional grounds and, they hope, be upheld by the conservative majority on the SCOTUS based on "states' rights"...which we all know is a lingering sore spot for the people who babble about revolt and secession every single time the Dems win the WH or Congress.

    See? Simple. Now you understand the choice they made.

    April 23, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. stevegee

    Yes, our country was founded by immigrants who wanted a better life. BUT, now there are laws against entering our country without permission. So if you're here illegally, you should be deported.

    Furthermore, how can we count on illegal aliens to be good citizens if they don't respect our laws from the start?

    April 23, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. file it under Liar

    anything that liar says or does is wrong and should be ignored. I am in favor of Arizona and what they are doing. In fact, lets send ovomit to Mexico, preferably Cuidad–and then text them he's coming.

    April 23, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Tom

    This is only a few steps away from having a totalitarian government ... why does the GOP want us to surrender more freedoms? Are they making up for ones they missed in the Patriot Act? Would they like to start stopping pregnant women, tag them, and then monitor to ensure they refrain from abortions? Or putting cameras up aimed at our windows?

    April 23, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. MAD IN TEXAS

    More of his demonic plans are coming to a head. He intends to legalize all illegals so he can have more votes in 2012. Therefore continuing with his plans of destruction of the world. He is the Anti-Christ. Why can not you people see it.

    April 23, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Anonymous

    can the state of Arizona please define Habeas corpus to me. This goes to show that some politicians are not smart people.Its very scary what if the GOP decided all Hispanics must leave by law.

    April 23, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. C.K. Darwin

    McCain needs to retire.

    April 23, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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