Friday, April 23, 2010

"By the time I get to Arizona..." (VIDEO)

No, the President did not quote Public Enemy during his speech today.

This is from a Naturalization Ceremony for American Soldiers on the White House lawn. It was a nice ceremony, but the President took a moment (about 16:00 minutes in) to blast Arizona and their (at the time) about-to-be-signed racist-ass law.

From the White House website:

...people who are in America illegally have a responsibility -- to pay their back taxes and admit responsibility for breaking the law, pay a penalty, learn English, pass criminal background checks, and get right with the law -- or face removal -- before they can get in line and eventually earn their citizenship.

So responsibility. Accountability. Common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. I thank Secretary Napolitano for helping to lead our efforts, both on and off Capitol Hill. And I thank Senators Schumer and Graham for working with us to forge a bipartisan consensus on a framework for moving forward, and I welcome the commitment of House and Senate Democratic leaders to take action.

I’ll continue to consult with Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and I would note that 11 current Republican Senators voted to pass immigration reform four years ago. I’m hopeful that they will join with Democrats in doing so again so we can make the progress the American people deserve.

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.

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.

As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future -- a future that keeps faith with our history, with our heritage, and with the hope that America has always inspired in the hearts of people all over the world. For just as each of these 24 new citizens once cast their eyes upon our country from afar, so too, somewhere in the world today is a young boy or a young girl wondering if they, too, might someday share in America’s promise.