Obama strongly opposes an Arizona bill that would allow police officers
to stop anyone they suspect is an illegal alien. Obama said the Arizona
legislation demonstrates a need to pass comprehensive immigration
reform in Washington.
“Indeed, our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will
only open the door to irresponsibility by others. And that includes,
for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threatened 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,” Obama said at a ceremony where military
veterans became naturalized citizens.
“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
a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up
around the country,” Obama added.
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Opponents of the pending Arizona law say it gives cops a license for
ethnic profiling and will not tackle the larger immigration problem.
Ultimately courts will likely have to decide whether the law is
The bill, which awaits Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature, would
allow cops with “reasonable suspicion” to demand documentation from
people they think are illegal aliens.