Obama slams Arizona immigration law at press conference with Mexico's president
Video of the first part of Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon of Mexico speaking earlier today at the White House is at peekURL.com/vogmji4 and the second part is at peekURL.com/vcwo6we
"We also discussed the new law in Arizona, which is a misdirected effort, a misdirected expression of frustration over our broken immigration system which has raised concerns in both our countries. Today, I want every American to know, my administration has devoted unprecedented resource in personnel and technology to securing our border. Illegal immigration is down, not up. And, we will continue to do what is necessary to secure our shared border. And, I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law. We're examining any implications, especially for civil rights. Because, in the United States of American no law-abiding person, be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like."
See the system is broken page; if border crossings are down that might be due more to the economy rather than what the Obama administration is doing; they could greatly reduce it by taking various steps that they won't take; illegal aliens are not, by definition, law-abiding; and, the Arizona law won't have police running around simply suspecting people because of what "they look like". At least he didn't use his ice cream example this time.
But, there's more. Around 5:40 of the second, he says:
"I think the Arizona law has the potential of being applied in a discriminatory fashion. Now after it was initially passed the Arizona legislature amended it and said this should not be carried out in a discriminatory way... I think a fair reading of the language of the statute indicates it gives the possibility of individuals who are deemed suspicious of being illegal immigrants from being harassed or arrested and the judgments that are going to be made in applying this law are troublesome. What I've directed my Justice Department to do is to look very carefully at the language of this law to see whether it comports both with our core values and existing legal standards as well as the fact the federal government is ultimately the one charged with immigration policy."
He then said he'll decide what to do when the DOJ completes their review. And, of course, the "fair reading" is questionable considering that many of those commenting on the law seem not to have read it. And, of course, the federal government already has agreements with local police allowing the latter to make those "judgments" that Obama finds troublesome. And, whether the Arizona law makes new policy or simply seeks to enforce existing policy is an open question.
UPDATE: Drudge is linking to the video ( peekURL.com/vllgzsq ) containing this Obama quote: "In the 21st century, we are defined not by our borders, but by our bonds." I think of that more just globalist small talk than anything very remarkable, but your mileage may vary. Bush has probably said similar things (if not the same thing).