News / USA

Obama, Calderon Blast Arizona Immigration Law

With Mexico's leader at his side, President Barack Obama called Arizona's tough new law "misdirected," and warned that it could violate civil rights.

"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," he said.

Arizona's law makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

Mr. Obama has directed the U.S. Justice Department to review the law for potential civil rights violations, and he said he expects a report soon.

Mr. Calderon's government has warned Mexicans that they could face an adverse political environment if they travel to Arizona.

The Mexican president carried out his pledge to discuss the Arizona law in his Oval Office meeting with Mr. Obama.

View related video report by Dan Robinson


Through an interpreter, Mr. Calderon said he agreed that the border state's law could be discriminatory.

"We will retain our firm rejection to criminalize migration, so that people that work and provide things to this nation will (not) be treated as criminals," said President. Calderon.

President Calderon said he and his U.S. counterpart will work together on immigration issues.

Mr. Obama also said Arizona's law shows the need for federal immigration reform.

"The Arizona law, I think, expresses some of the frustrations that the American people have had in not fixing a broken immigration system, and frankly, the failures of the federal government to get this done.  I am sympathetic to those frustrations.  I share those frustrations," said the president.

Mr. Obama said Congress needs to pass legislation to reform U.S. immigration laws, and that support from opposition Republicans will be needed to do it.  

The president has promised to work on an immigration overhaul, but has admitted that lawmakers may be reluctant to address the issue in an election year.

The U.S. and Mexican presidents discussed other issues as well, including the economy and efforts to stem the drug violence along their border.  Battles involving drug cartels in the past decade have killed tens of thousands of people in Mexico, and threatened public safety on the U.S. side.

Mr. Obama said the drug problem needs to be fought through both supply and demand.

"U.S. demand for drugs helps to drive this public safety crisis within Mexico, and so we have got an obligation not to drive the demand side of the equation," he said.

The president said his administration has put forward a new strategy that emphasizes enforcement, prevention and treatment to reduce U.S. demand for drugs from Mexico and elsewhere.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid