Barack Obama minced no words when Antonieta Cadiz of La Opinion asked his opinion of Alabama's Beason-Hammon Immigration Law (HB56) at a Wednesday briefing with Hispanic media:
Asked by Impremedia for his opinion on Alabama’s controversial law, HB 56, Obama was emphatic. “It’s a bad law. The idea that we have children afraid to go to school, because they feel afraid that their immigration status will lead to being detained…It’s wrong. We’re already seeing the impact in some school districts and high schools, where 20 or 25 percent of children aren’t going to class,” he said.
“The notion that if a Catholic priest drives an undocumented worker to the hospital, he could be criminally charged; that people can be stopped in the streets and harassed or checked (for status)…All this makes the law, not just anti-immigrant, but I believe it doesn’t match our essential values as a country,” he affirmed.
I'm glad President Obama is speaking frankly about Alabama's immigration law and doubly glad he pointed out Alabama's “papers please,” intrusive law is not reflective of traditional American values.
Let's just say it: The law Scott Beason and Mickey Hammon wrote is un-American.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said: “We thank President Obama for weighing in strongly and clearly on Alabama. It is tragic and unconscionable that here in the United States, in 2011, Alabama seems intent on nothing less than an ethnic purge aimed at ridding the state of its Hispanic population. This amoral and unconstitutional law deserves to be condemned and we are grateful the President stepped up and did so.”
Obama also told media representatives he would continue working to pass the DREAM Act, vowing to make it part of his campaign. He was also asked about his administration's enforcement of current immigration laws which have resulted in record deportations.
“We’re examining detention policy, so that we can execute it in the most humane way possible. I think there’s a wide range of administrative measures we can take, not all of which are in progress now. We’ve organized working groups, trying to make sure that everything we can do administratively, we make happen,” he said.
With reference to deportations and separation of families, the president acknowledged errors. “It’s a real problem, I’ve instructed the Department of Homeland Security and all the agencies that as a basic principle, if parents are being deported, they have access to their kids. They have to be able to make arrangements, so that the children can go with them or be left with relatives. I don’t think this is functioning perfectly now,” he commented.
The original article (linked above) is in Spanish. Translation courtesy of America's Voice Online, via email.