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.