4/27 – USA Today (Video) – Obama slams Georgia bill on immigration – The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency


Apr 27, 2011

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

President Obama has weighed in with his opposition to a bill in Georgia that would allow law enforcement to investigate the immigration status of criminal suspects.

The Georgia measure, which GOP Gov. Nathan Deal has said he intends to sign into law, is similar to a controversial Arizona law that the Obama administration opposes.

“It is a mistake for states to try to do this piecemeal. We can’t have 50 different immigration laws around the country. Arizona tried this and a federal court already struck them down,” Obama told WSB-TV in an interview taped Tuesday.


By J. Scott Applewhite, AP

The Justice Department sued in federal court to block Arizona from implementing its law, which requires law enforcement to question the immigration status of suspects when there is “reasonable suspicion” they are in the country illegally. A federal appeals court recently upheld a lower court ruling blocking the most controversial parts of the Arizona law from taking effect.

Georgia Rep. Matt Ramsey, a Republican, told USA TODAY recently that his bill is necessary because the federal government has failed to do its job in securing the border and reducing illegal immigration. It is a similar argument to one used by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, also a Republican, and state officials there.

In the TV interview — one in a series Obama has done with local news reporters across the country to discuss the economy — the president strongly defended his administration’s actions to protect the border and control illegal immigration.

“The truth of the matter is that we’ve done more on enforcement than any previous administration. We have more border patrols. We have been engaging in serious crackdowns on employers who are hiring undocumented workers,” Obama said.

To help the Georgia measure withstand legal challenges, Ramsey said he removed the “reasonable suspicion” aspect of his measure. In its place, Georgia police can perform an immigration check if the criminal suspect cannot produce any form of identification or give basic details that could help an officer verify their identity.

(Contributing: Alan Gomez)

See photos of: Barack Obama

via Obama slams Georgia bill on immigration – The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency.


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