Politics

Obama Greets Ruling With Praise, Concern

Both Obama and Romney say the ruling underscores the need for comprehensive federal reform.

Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
June 25, 2012, 12:30 p.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama on Monday ap­plauded the Su­preme Court’s de­cision to strike down most of Ari­zona’s im­mig­ra­tion law but said he was con­cerned about the con­tro­ver­sial “show me your pa­pers” pro­vi­sion that was up­held.

“I re­main con­cerned about the prac­tic­al im­pact of the re­main­ing pro­vi­sion of the Ari­zona law that re­quires loc­al law en­force­ment of­fi­cials to check the im­mig­ra­tion status of any­one they even sus­pect to be here il­leg­ally,” he said in a state­ment.

“What this de­cision makes un­mis­tak­ably clear is that Con­gress must act on com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion re­form,” Obama ad­ded. “A patch­work of thate laws is not a solu­tion to our broken im­mig­ra­tion sys­tem— it’s part of the prob­lem.”

Obama’s all-but-as­sured GOP rival this fall, Mitt Rom­ney, drew a sim­il­ar con­clu­sion from the rul­ing. But while Rom­ney cri­ti­cized Obama for fail­ing to lead on the is­sue, Obama stressed the need for Con­gress to act. The pres­id­ent, who has en­countered sol­id GOP op­pos­i­tion, de­clared him­self ready to work with any­one in Con­gress­in­ter­ested in com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion re­form.

White House press sec­ret­ary Jay Car­ney cri­ti­cized Rom­ney for be­ing sup­port­ive of SB 1070, the law the court largely struck down. “Rom­ney has em­braced the Ari­zona law as a mod­el for the na­tion — which does not sug­gest a de­sire for com­pre­hens­ive bi­par­tis­an im­mig­ra­tion re­form,” he said.

Rom­ney did cite an Ari­zona im­mig­ra­tion law as a mod­el for the na­tion, but it wasn’t SB 1070; it was an earli­er law re­quir­ing em­ploy­ers to check the im­mig­ra­tion status of po­ten­tial work­ers through a fed­er­al on­line data­base called E-Veri­fy.

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