With Arizona’s new immigration law less than 30 days away from being enacted, President Obama called out Republicans last week, pressuring them to help congressional Democrats develop a comprehensive immigration reform strategy.
"Reform that brings accountability to our immigration system cannot pass without Republican votes," Obama said during his speech at American University. "That is the political and mathematical reality."
The president noted that any further delay in Congressional action would result in a "patchwork" system where individual states create their own laws. Obama again condemned Arizona’s recently passed immigration bill, which he described as an "ill-conceived" measure that has the potential to violate "the rights of innocent American citizens and legal residents."
He added that the law—scheduled to be enacted at the end July—will drive a wedge between law enforcement personnel and the Hispanic community, creating more dangerous communities.
In response to Obama’s speech, Republican leaders said the administration needs to properly secure the border before calling on Congress to pass a Federal reform bill.
"In calling for a massive overhaul of immigration law, the administration is putting the cart before the horse," said Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "When the house is on fire, you don’t try to fix the plumbing."
"Rather than playing politics with the issue, the administration should listen to the American people and secure the border," he added.
Obama was recently criticized by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Texas Governor Rick Perry for only deploying 1,200 National Guard troops to help improve border security. Brewer and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked for a minimum of 6,000 troops.