July 28th, 2010
03:15 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama briefed on Arizona ruling, W.H. expresses cautious optimism

 The White House is expressing cautious optimism about a federal judge’s injunction against parts of Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
The White House is expressing cautious optimism about a federal judge’s injunction against parts of Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

Washington (CNN) - In a telephone call with White House Counsel Bob Bauer, President Obama was briefed aboard Air Force One about a federal judge's decision to block key parts of Arizona's new immigration law from going into effect as he headed to New Jersey for remarks on the economy, according to a senior administration official.

The official told CNN that while the administration views the ruling as a positive step but is stopping short of celebrations because officials are still "sorting out what it all means" as the Justice Department anticipates a quick legal appeal by the state of Arizona.

Two White House advisers added the President is likely to stay out of the fray and not comment publicly on the ruling in order to defer to the Justice Department as he talks up the economy in New Jersey and then holds two fundraisers in New York this evening.

But inside the White House there is a feeling that the administration has at least temporarily headed off a major confrontation that would have further distracted from Obama's attempt to focus the upcoming midterm elections on jobs and the economy.

"They're happy as clams," one White House adviser told CNN about the reaction to the ruling that knocked out the provisions that would have required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

A second White House adviser cautioned that administration officials are not quite that elated because they want to make sure they carefully review the 36-page ruling before assuming that the case has gone their way.

But this second White House adviser acknowledged that the feeling inside the administration is that the partial injunction "does quell the craziness for now" by lowering the temperature on the often-volatile and emotional immigration debate.

Sources tell CNN that at a White House meeting on Tuesday night before the partial injunction, administration officials were game-planning scenarios ahead of U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton's ruling and were concerned that she might not block the key provisions from going into law.

Under that scenario, the sources said, there was a concern inside the White House that there could be chaos in Arizona if the law moved forward on Thursday because of reports that protesters would start chaining themselves to federal buildings and trying to wreak other havoc.

While the feeling inside the Obama administration is that the President has dodged a major fracas for now, the White House advisers stressed that officials are trying to be very careful not to get ahead of themselves as the Justice Department sorts out this complex legal issue.


Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • issues • President Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. jellymon

    So Barry is cautiously optimistic about continuing to ruin this country. Glad he isn't overly optimistic..................

    July 28, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Dean

    republicantool July 28th, 2010 4:03 pm ET

    I think its time that travelling Americans should be required to obtain a visa to a country they want to visit.. American who don't have a Visa should be deemed illegal too. And should be deported back to their country. If this is how they play it then the world can play by this rules.

    Let's see what happens to you if you get caught in Germany without proper papers.....Or France, or Mexico, or Italy, or Turkey.
    You just can't hide stupid.

    July 28, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Naqib

    Follow the constitution...

    I agree... so Arizona should sue the whitehouse for discrimination... Rhode Island has the same law (found in court to be constitutional)and aren't being confronted by this admin...

    July 28, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Marcus

    To all the IDIOTS who are claiming that ILLEGALS can vote (now or in 2012)... THEY CAN'T.
    They are ILLEGAL ALIENS, therefore not US AMERICAN CITIZENS!!!

    Please, just please, stop talking before thinking!
    THINK before typing such silly arguments!

    Oh, and 'YEAH!!!'... 'pot' (or marijuana as it is its more common name) has a proven good effect on people who's undergoing chemoterapy or CANCER treatment (therefore with people who are really 'sick'). The DEA hates this fact and tries to diminish it, but it's a well proven fact.

    July 28, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Michael, Phoenix AZ

    Hey, I know plenty of Hispanics out here, and two of them happen to work for my girl friend, one is her administrative assistant and the other is one of her supervisors....and guess what? They both say that the illegals must go, but that this SB1070 is not the way to do it. This bill has caused an awful lot of hard feelings and true colors are begining to show among Arizonans, both native Arizonans and transplants from other states.

    July 28, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Marcus

    Hugo – 'Really, blatantly unconstitutional? Please enlighten us as it mirrors the Federal law ALMOST verbatim'...
    There, you have it. 'ALMOST', which means that you agree that there are parts that does NOT mirror the Federal laws...
    Which parts?
    Racial profiling, for starters, since there's hardly any chance of a white and blonde dude be stopped for (say) jaywalking and then has his documents checked under the suspicion of being an illegal alien, BUT if its a Latin Ancestry white man caught jaywalking... AND considering that most of the illegals in Arizona are of Latin-American Ancestry... then even American citizens of Latin-American Ancestry will have to get out of their homes with documentation that proves that they are not illegal aliens or else.
    To force a group of AMERICAN citizens to endure any obligation because of their Ancestry is against the law man...

    July 28, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Agnes

    From CNN "They're happy as clams," one White House adviser told CNN about the reaction to the ruling that knocked out the provisions that would have required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
    ...
    But this second White House adviser acknowledged that the feeling inside the administration is that the partial injunction "does quell the craziness for now" by lowering the temperature on the often-volatile and emotional immigration debate."

    Well, the administration and our President has just shown their intent to not support the will of the american people. "Happy as clams" that ILLEGALS are allowed to thumb their noses at the law? "All this craziness" that the american populous simply wants to have the illegal boarder crosser returned to where they came from. Illegal is illegal – a criminal act. No amnesty, no hand outs period. November is a coming....

    July 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Michael, Phoenix AZ

    To add to my other comment....in one of the other articles someone said that "Arizona is only trying to do Obama's job" about illegal immigration.....Well guess what pal.....not only Obama's but also George W's, Clinton's, GHW's, Reagan's and more.....Just because the law reads there will be NO racial profiling....what will stop it? Nothing when you read and hear about all the anger being stirred up.

    July 28, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. hypocricnnation

    HypocriCNN Not Trying To Declare Winners And Losers This Time? You've Only Seemed To Willing To Before. Well Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (Brewery!) Is Certainly Not One Right Now, Is She?

    July 28, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Ran

    Then Mr president have the federal government do their damn job. NO AMNESITY this time only enforce our laws and find/deport all illegals, arrest anyone who hires/rents or provides a service to any illegals. We are either a Nation of laws or we are not. And being here illegally,hiring, renting or providing any service to an illegal is a CRIME.

    July 28, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Agnes

    ... And during his run for the presidential bid Obama's slogan- America is a great country, vote for me and I will change it....

    July 28, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. NC

    So much hate, anger and bitterness. I say we keep the illegal immigrants and deport you miserable people. At least illegal immigrants work and don't blog, spew hate and complain all the time.

    July 28, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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