April 22nd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

What is Arizona thinking?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What is up with Arizona? Within a matter of days, state lawmakers have passed two controversial measures that are sparking a national debate.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/22/art.mccain.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)"]
First - there's the so-called birther bill, which passed the Arizona house. It's meant to clarify the birthplace of a potential president - and would require Pres. Obama to show his birth certificate in order to be on Arizona's ballot if he runs for re-election in 2012. The same would go for any candidate who hopes to be on the state's ballot.

This all goes back to the "birther" movement... and those conspiracy theories about the Hawaiian-born Mr. Obama. There were also questions during the 2008 presidential campaign about Arizona's own Sen. John McCain - he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, which was considered a U.S. territory in 1936, at the time of his birth.

Democrats in Arizona are blasting the birther bill... along with a tough immigration measure that's now sitting on the governor's desk - and is likely to wind up in court if she signs it into law.

As we reported in the Cafferty File - the Arizona Senate passed the immigration bill earlier this week. It would allow police to arrest people who can't prove they're in the country legally. Police in this country traditionally don't stop people for no reason and ask "to see their papers."

Critics say these two measures taken together are turning Arizona into "the laughingstock of the nation." It's a title that used to belong to Florida.

Even a former Bush press secretary is critical... Dana Perino says although stronger enforcement is needed when it comes to illegal immigration, this measure goes too far... and she says the so-called birther measure should be rescinded.

Here’s my question to you: What is Arizona thinking?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Earl writes:
Arizona politicians are bending over backward to satisfy the fringe. John McCain has been a leader in this, if nothing else.

Perry in Iowa writes:
It seems that they are tired of the federal government not protecting our borders and allowing illegals to run this nation into the poor house.

Cammie writes:
What are they thinking? The same thing when they thought that Arizona should not honor Martin Luther King Day as a Federal National Holiday. You do the math.

Aughra in Phoenix writes:
Please don't paint us all with this brush. This is the work of a few (rabid) representatives from the most conservative communities in the state. And apparently everyone else has gone on vacation, because my representative is strangely silent. Immigration must be a federal priority…. Heaven only knows what desert rat spawned the birther bill.

John writes:
They're simply losers who can't stand to have a black president, and also are really angry with the increasing Hispanic population, which tends to vote Democratic.

Cynthia writes:
We've never had this bad a situation in our country before. Let Arizona take a stand.

John writes:
Come on, Jack. Haven't you seen the bumper sticker: "Vote Republican. It's easier than thinking." To answer your question: They weren't thinking at all; they seldom do.

Ed in California writes:
Arizona is thinking of its legal and law-abiding citizens.

Gord in New Jersey writes:
I didn't think it was possible to make Texas look sophisticated.

Evian in Austin writes:
What is Arizona thinking? That if Portland wins tonight, the Suns are toast.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    I don't know what they they were thinking. But the 12th Amendments of the Constitution does mention that a person running for President has to be a natural born citizen. In other words both of his or her parents have to be American citizens. President Obam's mother is an American citizen but not his father, he is Kenyan. So it doesn't qualify him to become President. So I don't see what the birth certificate has anything to do with it. The man could have been born in the basement of the White House, if it wasn't from two American parents, he is not a natural born citizen, and that doesn't qualify him to become President. I don't know who investigated President Obama, but they should have caught then.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  2. mike

    When do law maker say "its enough!" This far, no further, this has gone too far.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  3. Mike

    What is wrong with proving you're a legal U.S. citizen and/or here legally? Sounds pretty like common sense to me.
    Why not ask that a Presidential candidate show his/her birth certificate in order to be on a ballot? Sounds like a simple request and one that should be more than easy to accommodate.
    What are they hiding?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  4. Karoli Cvicek

    I'm not from Arizona and I don't have a stake in the outcome. If Arizona wants to require nominees to provide a birth cirtificate, that's cool. Heck, my kids had to provide a birth certificate to play little league baseball. I guess I never saw what the big deal was with the thing in the first place. Somebody wants to see my birth certificate I'll show it to them.

    And I don't think the police will stop people for "no reason" but if someone is stopped for a reason, and they are not citizens, then they should have documentation on them at all times.

    I don't think either of these makes the stat a laughing stock. It just shows that at least one state is willing to pass laws that reflect the view of those who elect them.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  5. JJ

    Well, in a state that keeps on electing McInsane, what do you expect???

    April 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  6. right on

    Right on Arizona, lead the way baby!!!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  7. Gerald Biggs

    I can tell you, here in Arizona – anyone I know is writing letters, making calls, or protesting. It's not so much about what Arizona is thinking, it's much more, "Arizona needs to start thinking."

    On paper, SB1070 looks like a tough measure aimed at taking care of a hot topic problem.

    At the street level, a police force already given too much leeway for its practices – is granted an additional level of power.

    It's ridiculous to on one hand, ask for less government involvement in our lives. On the other hand, grant overbearing use of power to the police.

    It states that investigative agents are able to use a ruse or conceal their identities to discover illegal aliens in your place of work. This is not considered entrapment.

    No warrants are needed at anytime.

    Just being white doesn't make this enforcement "ok," because it won't affect you. Why give any police force the ability to arrest anyone at any given time based on their level of judgement?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  8. Brian S

    God Bless Arizona. The man needs to prove he is a US citizen which he has not. He is the only President to seal his files. As for immagration again the federal government has failed us. We have a right to be protected. 1 out of 3 prisoners in US is an illegal. Enough is enough. God Bless Arizona and their real leadership. No more will the us be panzies to special intersests. I pray NJ takes these laws as well.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  9. John P.

    They are thinking about what is best for Arizona, Jack. I carry ID on me at all times, and so should they. If they are legal, than they have no worries. As the gentlenan from Arizona who championed the ILLEGAL immigration law says: Illegal is not a race, it's a crime.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  10. right on

    Right On Arizona, lead the way baby!!!!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  11. Eddie

    The "birther bill", while somewhat idiotic, at least applies to all candidates wanting to run in the state. If a candidate has nothing to hide, it’s no big deal.

    The immigration bill is needed. The country is over-run with illegal aliens and we honest, hard working, tax paying citizens are paying for them. Illegal means against the law. If the US is going to look the other way when people are in this country illegally, what other laws will no longer apply.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  12. r

    People are fed up with the government and politicians that promise one thing and deliver only what suits their selfish interests.
    People are so mad at government they are willing to believe the idiots who are pushing the birther issue. That attracts the lowest instincts of a empty headed politician.
    Immigration is out of control and no Arizona politician wants to alienate the voting cousins of an illegal.
    If politicians would do the job they were elected to, instead of self promotion, greed and graft the real issues would be addressed and the silly season stuff would be forgotten.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  13. John P.

    They are thinking about what is best for Arizona, Jack. I carry ID on me at all times, and so should they. If they are legal, than they have no worries. As the gentleman from Arizona who championed the ILLEGAL immigration law says: Illegal is not a race, it's a crime.

    Dallas, TX

    April 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  14. Jennifer

    Arizona doesn't believe Hawaii's Republican governor, who certified President Obama's birth certificate in 2008. Get over it, people. You're making fools of yourselves.

    Jennifer, Austin, Texas

    April 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    Anderson Cooper patiently interviewed a “birther” clown last night, AZ Rep Ash, and I wondered: How do such ignorant morons wind up in public office? Are we this stupid? And profiling at will, if adopted, is frightening. How many of us can prove we belong here if stopped? Should we carry our birth certificates? Will they believe it’s real? This is real ugly.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  16. kate(topeka, kansas)

    How many times does Pres. Obama have to show his birth certificate that he was indeed born in Hawaii? This is totally unfair and our lawmakers should get on with business of helping the country get back on the course.
    The birthers, tea baggers, and groups such as these are going to hurt our country and further divide it. As far as the immigration bill in Arizona, I agree something has to be done about the illegal immigration and the drug trafficking etc. but I am not sure this is the way to do it. However, legal is legal and illegal is illegal.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  17. Tony in Phoneix


    I live in AZ. The ultra-right wing, birther tea-bagging nut jobs are running the legislature. They are aided and abetted by a GOP governor (succeeded Janet Napolitano) who coddles them.

    Many are using illegals as a scapegoat for all things that have gone badly in AZ in recent years. They feel that the Congress has dragged their feet on immigration for too long. They may be right about that. But they are so frustrated they are willing to ignore the US Constitution and demand that the state and local authorities take matters into their own hands. Political expediency is more important than the rule of law.

    We are strapped for cash in AZ. The legislature chooses not to focus on the budget but other hot button issues to appeal to the extreme right for votes. When the law suits for unlawful arrests of American citizens and legal residents start rolling in where will the money come from?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  18. Frank

    No idea.

    If you want to complain about how tax dollars are spent, this is a perfect example. Arizona invests the least amount of funds on education than EVERY other state in the US. Jobs are becoming more scarce and these bills aren't going to attract LEGAL immigrants to AZ. Which means businesses will have less of an incentive to AZ due to stagnant population growth and a smaller talent pool.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  19. JR

    That's the problem, they aren't thinking, they're letting their fears grow out of control and overwhelm their common sense. It's sad really.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  20. Andres Saenz(ABQ, NM)

    There has recently been a lot of controversy over President Obama's birthplace. According to Title 8, section 1401 the President must be:
    1. a natural-born US citizen
    2. both of his parents must be natural-born US citizens

    However, we know that Obama's father is from Kenya. And recently, Michelle Obama said that his home country is in Kenya. Why does our own American President call a foreign country his home country? Isn't that disturbing to anyone?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  21. Sylvain

    Climate change Jack, the weather went up a few degrees in Arizona. It's burning brain cells...

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  22. Megan

    I think both bills are a great idea. Obama needs to verify proof that he was born here, and if we want to crack down on all the illegals who are bankrupting this country, we need to take whatever measures are necessary to do so. I wish everyone would stop being "politically correct" and worrying about hurting someones feelings. The immigration issue is huge, has been huge, and is getting ridiculous. Carry your papers people....... what's the big deal?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  23. stephen

    What does it matter if the candidates have to prove their citizenship? Why the outcry? They should already have done so, it shouldn't be too awkward to produce the same document again.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  24. Beth Whiting

    Well duh...AZ is a red state. They AREN'T thinking at all.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  25. SSDWCC

    Makes me embarrassed to be residing in Arizona !!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  26. CS

    Arizona is probably thinking they are tired of government officials that do what they want instead of listening to their constituents. They are probably also tired of all the drugs and guns coming across their border. They are probably tired of the burden that all of these illegal aliens have put on their health care and school systems. They are probably tired of their tax money being spent to accommodate people that are here illegally. They are probably tired of the US government doing nothing and the local police department saying it's not there job either. Last but not least they are probably tired of reporters questioning there sense when they are so far removed from the situation. Get a clue!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  27. Overby from Melbourne

    It's not like they're trying to find out what religion they are, they're trying to find the ILLEGAL people, of which there are millions. What's wrong with weeding out the ILLEGAL's and sending them back to wherever they came from?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  28. ed in ri

    Arizona has the right idea. The illegals are murdering the local hospitals and socialized services, everywhere they deposit their problems. Why should american taxpayers pay for their defiencies?
    They have had over 1000 years to assemble their indpendance,in spite of our country only being 234 years old. Why have they not progressed in all their additional years?
    Regarding the birth ideas- I agree that we have a problem.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  29. Todd Morgan

    The state of Arizona is thinking that it's their responsibility to lead us back into the 1880s and the Old West. It's their thinking that a Gestapo state is the best way to treat people. I mean, you left out the biggest boneheaded law of the bunch: that you no longer need a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

    It's unbelievable to me the citizens of this state will continue to let this go on. Meanwhile, they allow possible 17% budget cuts from education. Maybe if the populace of this state was better educated, they would know what century we're living in and how to treat human beings.

    Todd Morgan
    Mesa, AZ

    April 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  30. Marco in Arizona

    Do Arizonans think???

    April 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  31. Evelyn Mills

    I support Arizona 100 percent on the immigration bill and wish all state lawmakers would do the same, since the federal government seems willing to turn a blind eye to this and other problems..The birth thing ,I could care less about.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  32. Boyd

    The problem is that too many people in Arizona–and elsewhere–AREN'T thinking. They are reacting emotionally to a miasma of fears–of foreigners, of bad economic times in a hard hit state, of a sometimes threatening broader world represented by an activist, cerebral, youthful man of color in the White House with an odd sounding name. Children of the 60's and 70's, with the icing of the short attention span Twittering present, they are doing what makes them feel good, viscerally, in the short term rather than what is reasonable and truly in the best interest of their constituents in the long term. They would do well to remember these words of General George Patton: "The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty."

    April 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  33. Robert Dayton

    I am moving to Arizona!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  34. Michael Stout

    Birthers are idiots. Morons. But much worse, they're racists. Because we elected a black man, they have to claim he's 'unAmerican'. These Birthers just can't think of anyone of color as really being part of 'their America'. Shame on them, and on Arizona.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  35. E. W.

    Maybe both Arizona House and Senate members should take a trip out of Arizona, and out of the U.S. for that matter. Open your minds, see the World.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  36. Stew

    Extremely embarrassing to say the least. Maybe we should think about renaming our State: ARIBAMA!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  37. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    Arizona is getting out there a little too far. This is where the Federal government should have addressed the border problem before Arizona decided to take matters into their own hands. Wouldn't surprise me if the next news is that Arizona wants to leave the Union.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  38. John C

    The right will continue to agitate each other and ramp up the retoric like this unitl someone gets hurt. Then they will pretend they had no idea their hate would not have a positive results. Extremists have taken over the GOP at a time when we need a rational conservative voice the most.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  39. Mari, Utah

    Those who despise the undocumented immigrants and who blame them for every crime, every problem, think the Arizona law is fair.

    Those of us, who believe that we are a nation of Justice and Freedom, are offended and deeply concerned about the Arizona law.

    I am concerned that those who despise undocumented immigrants will lead our nation down the dangerous road of profiling, rounding-up, breaking down doors to 'get-them'. When I read or hear people who claim to be Christian using the term "illegals" I am reminded of WWII Germany, Italy & Spain, with its fascists governments whom spread fear and lies, telling people that the reason for the Great Depression was due to the greedy Jews! And we all know what happened there.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  40. Joe Fox

    What Arizona is thinking is just what all honest Americans should be thinking, at least as far as Obmal's birth goes. No one has ever seen his birth certificate, only some affidavit of birth that has no doctor's signatures among other glaring omissions. Would it be so hard to ask the Messiah for an actual copy of his birth certificate? And is is such a crazy thing to requre that from everyone who runs for President on the Arizona ballot. It seems like something every state should require for everyone.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  41. SAdame

    I think this is more telling of the struggle with immigration in this state and how it has come to this because of the culture of denial and procrastination that EXISt in CONGRESS and the SENATE. These government officials are being paid to do a job for the people and they should all be FIRED for incompetence. In all these years the same issues have existed and OUR government does NOTHING they are worthless bunch of RATS! FIRE them all and start over! WAy to go Arizona!!!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  42. frank stoddard

    You are assuming that they are thinking.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  43. Kathy

    Are you kidding? We are going to ask people to provide citizenship documentation based on their 'looks'. Wow -we have gone way to far. For a country that is already in economic shambles, taking the time to pass stupid legislation (i.e. birthers) should be a crime.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  44. Paul

    Why is that many other countries require proof of residency, yet Arizona is now considered a "laughingstock" for doing something that is covered by the 10th Amendment? If you are in the country illegally, then you should be deported, plain and simple. I guess the issue is that they would be deporting potential liberal voters....

    April 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  45. Julie

    Clearly, the current immigration laws are not working, especially in places like Arizona that are so close to borders. While I don't necessarily support goverment more in our business, for places with persistent immigration issues, this might just be the stand that has to be taken.

    On the birther measure; why not? If one wants to run the country, one should have absolutely nothing to hide. There is no reason that if I have to present my birth certificate for a passport or enhanced identification, that the president of the United States should, for any reason, be exempt from presenting his to be elected into office.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  46. Richard-Missouri

    I agree that the birther bill is ridiculous. The illegal immigration bill, far from going to far, is exactly what we need. Every state in the nation should jump on the bandwagon. What's the issue? If you are legal, you have nothing to worry about. Stopping illegal immigration is truly so simple, but politicians have made it a hot potato, and most everyone in Congress is afraid to touch it. I think Arizona deserves praise. You want to stop illegal immigration dead in it's tracks? (1) make workers show proof of citizenship / residency in order to get a job, (2) make businesses pay heavy fines, and execs of such serve jail time, for violating #1, (3) no automatic citizenship for a child born here, and (4) not one penny of government money to go to pay for anything for illegals (e.g. – show up at the hospital, and you are no t legal, no services). China and other countries kill those who cross their borders illegally. What do we do? Ignore the violation of law, let them go to work and school here, pay for various services, make the children they bear here citizens, and allow the parents to apply for citizenship, and now, entertain giving them amnesty. There is something wrong with this picture. I say Arizona's bill does not go far enough, but it's an excellent start.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  47. Ray

    Yeah the birther bill is a little to much but the imigration law...well it is about time someone did something. You afaird you can't produce your papers!!!!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  48. Tom

    What is Arizona thinking? That's a trick question considering there's substantial evidence that "thinking" wasn't even part of the process.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  49. JM

    That about sums it up: these two measures taken together are turning Arizona into "the laughingstock of the nation."

    These people probably think that they are so brilliant; instead, this just makes them look like redneck yokels.

    I say everyone with a brain should get out of dodge (AZ) and take their money with them.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  50. Tom Conroy

    Since it's a law that the POUS must be born here, what's the problem with proving it? I had to give my birth certificate at the DMV to get a driver's license. The law about proving your citizenship is good or bad depending upon how it is exercised. If, once arrested for a different violation, you are asked to prove citizenship, what's the harm. If anyone is indiscriminately stopped, then that is not right. The problem with most laws is that they are not properly thought out and accurately written by the bodies that make them.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  51. glenn bailey

    I am presently a resident of NC but spent much of my 68 yrs in texas and colorado.Im very pleased to see someone finally enforce our immigration laws since the federal goverment dosn,t seem to care about laws already on the books.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  52. Jeff from Van Meter, Iowa

    What is Arizona thinking? Let's see. The Arizona legislature is controlled by Republicans. Republicans don't think. So the answer to the question would be: nothing.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  53. Al Gill

    Any time an officer stops any of us, even if it's just because he's having a bad day, we have to show ID (driver's license, registration, proof of insurance). It seems odd to me that illegals don't have to produce any documentation, nor are they subject to any meaningful penalty for not having documentation. I agree with the statement (paraphrased) that "Illegal is a crime, not an ethnic designation.".

    Yeah Arizona on this one. I also don't have a problem with the birther bill. While it's genesis might be a subject for discussion, it should be no problem for any candidate to provide documentation of birth.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  54. Kirk Neuman (Apple Valley, MN

    I used to think Texas was the weird state in the Union, but I guess Arizona want's the title pretty badly. I'm not sure I disagree too much with the immigration thing, but the birther thing is absolutely ridiculous.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  55. Jason

    Well the state DID elect an idiot like John McCain so I can't same I'm surprised by any of this.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  56. Hannah

    I live in Arizona but I've always known that this state is red neck to the core, primarily republican, some libertarian. I was heartened during the presidential election when I was out campaigning for president obama that there were a lot of Republicans for Obama right here in McCain's back yard. And then I was dismayed when he chose Palin for his VP. But the bottom line this is a weird state, didn't recognize MLK day until it started costing them convention revenue. We also had a new gun law passed where people do not need a permit or background check for a concealed weapon. We are almost last in education and I guess that is obvious. I am getting ready to move out, needless to say.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  57. Nikolas

    It's not thinking.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  58. Scott Stodden

    I don't agree at all Jack with the birther law that is just out of this world and I can't believe the state of Arizona would go through with this law being passed and sent to the Governor's desk! Now regarding the immigration bill Jack we do in my opinion and in alot of other people's opinions have a real big immigration crises on our hands and we must do something to stop immigration, Arizona is only trying to protect there state from illegal immigrants working in Arizona! I feel that immigration will go down drastically in the state of Arizona if this law is enacted! Regarding the birther law that's being passed in Arizona I say if it goes for one state then it should go for every state and that would just take to much time for someone to do, Im sure the United States is not going to let someone be President without showing there birth certificate as proof that there an American citizen, Give me a break Arizona, what do you think your more important than other states?

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  59. Kathleen

    It means Arizona is no longer "free". For a long time America has been the only country where a citizen didn't have to carry their "papers" with them. Arizona has aligned itself with Russia on this.
    Kathleen, Helena, Montana

    April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  60. Raul Ramirez

    These people are prejudiced, biased, racist individual who are afraid of their own shadows and more specifically afraid of becoming the minority in the state.

    Tucson, Arizona

    April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  61. Caren, Honolulu, Hawaii

    This Bill screams racism!!

    Birther or tea bagger, it is all the same, a front for the deep seated racism in within the GOP. How sad!!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  62. usualone

    One would think that as the years go forward, Americans would be more in the know than in the past. Obviously they haven't concentrated on anything they learned in history. It is also to find facts on the Internet. One is that if a person has Americans for parents, he/she is an American. Also, one item stated that if one resides in the USA for 16 years his or her children are Americans. Also, Hawaii was a state for 2 years before President Obama was born in that state. What a waste of the taxpayers monies.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  63. Bob Davidson

    What is the matter with my state of Arizona? From legally being able to take a firearm into a bar to making future presidential candidates prove they are not too legit to quit, my state is the true definition of dysfunction. Ranking 49th in education is only the beginning. Now you must prove you are a citizen even if you cannot read the certificate.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  64. Karl from SF, CA

    Arizona is becoming the wing-nut capital of the world. Will they be seceding from the Union next? They don’t go on daylight savings time, as it is. Can it be because they aren’t capable of resetting their clocks? That alone might explain a lot of their recent legislation. Like any American citizen going to Canada or Mexico, I would advise all remotely Latin-looking American citizens to get a passport before going to Arizona or just don’t go there at all.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  65. Marie

    To my knowledge, Arizona has difficulty recognizing and arresting all of the illegal immigrants that cross into their state now. I mean no offense to the Arizona law enforcement/border patrol, they do a great job with the budget and resources they are given. But for McCain & Co. to propose laws that already exist for all intents and purposes, is a waste of time and money, as well as a pathetic attempt for McCain to strike back at Obama. I'm sorry Mr. McCain, I respect you and your military career, as well as your many accomplishments throughout your life in service to this country, but you lost the election, it's time to move on. As for your legislation, trash what you passed and increase the budgets for your border patrol, police, and other first responders. I've never heard of one of them being overpaid, and they put their lives on the lines everyday to keep their communities safe. Quit wasting time and money passing legislation for attention and headlines actually DO something for the state you were elected to serve. – Bountiful, UT (and no, I don't like our senators either)

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  66. texaslady2

    Arizona is thinking what a lot of Americans are thinking, at least in reference to illegal aliens. The US government has failed in its responsibility to secure our borders and shows no sign of making any serious effort to do so. They are unwilling, for political reasons, to strictly enforce the laws against hiring illegal aliens and are weak-kneed and unwilling to deport illegal aliens and their families. I wish Texas would enact the same laws!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  67. Gretchen Horst

    Denver, CO

    It would seem to me, and most of the people I have talked to, that unless you have blonde hair and blue eyes, you should stay the hell away from Arizona. I don't understand how Republicans can call Obama "hitler" and a socialist and then seriously look people in the eye and pass this kind of legislation with a straight face. They cry about Obama taking away their "freedom" (although they have yet to define which freedom he is trying to take), and then they actually pass a law that does just that. McCain should be appalled that he made the comment on live TV that the illegal immigrants are responisble for the "drive by's" and "most of the accidents on the highway". If I were a resident of Arizona I would be packing my bags to leave in case the Gov signs this insipid piece of legislation – but I wouldn't take the highway for fear of an illigeal crashing into me.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  68. Tom

    That's the problem, Arizona isn't thinking. As far as the "Birther" bill, that is just rediculous..... and a waste of taxpayer funds. as far as the Immigration bill, the law suits which will start pouring will eventually bankrupt the state of Arizona. Again, there is no real thought process input into the system. Some people say it is done in Europe etc, but public healthcare is done in Europe as well, but you don't see us jumping into it.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  69. Rick

    Jack, what is the problem? If people are here LEGALLY there is no problem. If you look at Arizona's crime it is mostly from illegal aliens. This is not a race or immigrant issue but an illegal issue. If a person needed money and robbed a bank, would you arrest them, or give them a free pass because they needed the money? Its not about race, religion or nationality, it is about being here illegally.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  70. Fred

    I am a Democrat and certainly not a right winger. But, I do believe that Arizona is going in the right direction regarding immigration.

    We have got to be tough on these illegals, both the companies that hire them as well as the illegal immigrants themselves. If you don't have anything to hide, it should be no problem in showing proper ID. Shut down companies that hire them and tattoo the forehead of the illegals and ship them back to their country.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  71. michelle

    as an AZ resident, I'm as shocked as the rest of the nation.
    It's blatant racism; plain and simple.
    I am of latino ancestry..so does this law mean if I'm brown they can take me down? Do I have to carry my passport and birth certificate everywhere I go ? I'm speechless that it's gotten to the Govenors desk and if she doesn't sign off, it automatically becomes a law?? How is that possible?! WHY?!
    I'm shocked, SHOCKED that something like this is happening in this day and age. Disgusted!
    What's next, legal lynching?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  72. A Reader

    If the FBI can be given the right to tap phones by the government, why cant the police be allowed to stop and ask for papers. Atleast with the latter there less invasion of privacy

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  73. Bill Walsh

    What isn't Arizona thinking?

    Bill Walsh
    – Arizona

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  74. gc3333

    I say bravo for Arizona! Finally at least one of our governmental bodies is taking the word "illegal" seriously, and actually trying to do something about it instead of simply paying lip service at best, and rewarding scofflaws at worst. Think about it will you please... It is illegal for us otherwise law abiding and taxpaying citizens to park our cars in a handicap space, and we get ticketed and pay a fine when we do. Yet someone enters the country illegally, uses our tax dollars illegally, but is defended by the very government that was elected to uphold the law. What part of "illegal" can't our government understand? Same holds true for presidential candidates. They need to provide a legitimate US birth certificate if they want to hold the office.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  75. Diane

    Arizona is not thinking.

    "'Police in this country traditionally don't stop people for no reason and ask "to see their papers.'"

    Is it only me, but does this bring to mind Nazi practices?

    This is America. Discrimination should under no circumstances be tolerated. Say what you want and have whatever opinion you may about undocumented immigrants in our country, but this is the wrong way to approach this issue. Shame on Arizona's Senate and other lawmakers for bending under pressure of public opinion and violating the constitution.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  76. Shirley

    If I were stopped and asked to show proof of citizenship, I couldn't prove I'm an American with what I carry. I don't have a driver's license, I don't carry my passport with me when I'm in the USA, I lost my Social Security card and haven't replaced it, and I keep a copy of my birth certificate in a file at home. I think I'll just avoid Arizona.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  77. Vince Hugh

    Jack, your mind is so brainwashed from the liberal 'political correctness' craze, that you don't realize the practicality of Arizona's law. 9/11 showed us that profiling should be mandatory and just plain good sense. You libs let your PC control rational thought. You guys have no touch with middle America. Your educated beyond your intelligence.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  78. Sam

    Why shouldn't illegal Aliens be required to prove their identity to Law Enforcement? I have to carry my drivers license, registration and proof of insurance when I am driving. If I as a U.S. Citizen am stopped by a Law Enforcement official and I am asked to show ID and prove my identity, I am required to do so under the law or I will be detained. Why shouldn't illegal aliens have to follow the same rules? Federal law already makes it a crime for an alien not to have his Greencard in his possession, and to transport and hire illegal aliens. This Arizona law does not circumvent or contradict federal law but mirrors it.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  79. Doc in Elko, Nevada

    The birther bill is silly and a waste of time. Way too much time has already been wasted on that matter.

    The immigration bill is another matter. The people of Arizona have been waiting for Washington to do something about illegal immigration, which they must bear a major portion of. Since nothing is forthcoming, they have taken it into their own hands, All they (and the rest of us) want is our country and language back. Good on ya' Arizona. Hopefully other states will take the same initiative.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  80. DevilDriver

    "'Police in this country traditionally don't stop people for no reason and ask "to see their papers.'"

    Not sure about the rest of you, but I know I've been asked for my driver's license when I'm not in my car.....fairly certain everyone's done the same. What's the real problem. I have to furnish documents when I get employed.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  81. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I beginning to think the birthers argument is not so much a question about President Obama's citizenship, which has been proven, but more about him not being a descendent of American slaves. The average summer temperature in Arizona is about 115 degrees, but if they put into law their new immigration measures it's going to get hotter than they expect.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  82. Decker

    Not sure what everyone think's is wrong with Arizona? If something does not seem right it's probably not. So if they want people to prove where there from then they should have that right, especially if it's questionable.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  83. Jim F, Austin TX

    Arizona is full of old white people who have nothing to do but sit inside watching Faux Nooz all day – it's too damn hot to do anything else! So of course they're paranoid, and their elected officials are just pandering to their constituents' fears.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  84. Mat

    I am from Arizona. I have no idea where the "birther" legislation came from and agree it is ridiculous. It has only made it though one house. The people of Arizona would not vote for it if brought to ballot and the Governor would veto it if it gets to her desk.
    On the other hand I am 100% behind the Illegal immigration law. Arizona is the open gate for Illegal immigration, drugs, crime and whatever else walks through from Mexico. We have over 600,000 undocumented (ILLEGAL) immigrants in our state alone. Immigrants that have a work permit or green card are required to carry it and do so happily. All this left wing media hype about police just pulling people over for no reason is trumped up hysteria. I have talked to a lot of people about this (white, black ,brown, blue, green.....) not one of them would have any problem with the police asking them for their ID, of course they are all legal citizens!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  85. ken

    At least Arizona has the guts to take a stand. There are too many illegals getting something they do not deserve. Sneak over here, have a child, and they will one day be president. I agree totally with what they are doing.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  86. kathy from Phoenix

    I am from Arizona and I am tired of our legislators proposing bills that only represent themselves. Immigration,huh! Having President Obama show proof of his birth certificate or he will not be on the ballot in 2012. I also love that we can now carrry concealed weapons without a permit.. I love going to a park not knowing what fool has a gun in his pants or to a bar/restaurant wondering if they are waiting for trouble. Meanwhile we are one of the worst in the nation for the economy and housing crisis but do they care about that. These republican legislators only care about themselves not us. Why anybody in their right mind would come here is beyond me. I'm stuck here!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  87. Ozzie Benegas

    I feel illegal immigration needs to be addressed but this whole thing feel like the act of sore losers. Mcain lost to Obama for better or worse and now Arizona has taken up the quest of their fallen leader to discredit Obama. How is it supposed to help immigration if cops arrest anyone who doesn't carry their birth certificate?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  88. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Maybe there saying that were mad as hell and have had enough and its time to stop sitting on our hands and if theres a problem with asking for something as small as an original none generic birth award then theres something fishy going on and the supreme court needs to get involved .

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  89. Otto Chicago

    Both issues are reiterations of existing Federal laws.

    It seems they are trying to get action on Federal policies and laws that they don't believe are being addressed at the Federal level. They laws they have chosen to address are specific to the desires of their populace but it seems their actions are born out of deep frustration with the competency of the Federal government.

    These days, who can blame them?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  90. ProudAZ

    Arizona is thinking and doing what 80% of upstanding and honest Americans agree with. Come to this country the right way and legally and We will welcome you with open arms. But, come illegally or as the criminal supporters say as an undocumented immigrant, and you will be treated as any other person that breaks the law.

    What part of 'illegal' don't you people understand?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  91. Chuck

    I am not a "birther" as it relates to President Obama. But, if you think about it, given that birth within the US is a requirement to run for president, I would think that ALL candidates would be required to provide evidence that they meet that requirement. Further, it is difficult for me to understand how anyone could object to being required to prove that they are qualified, by age, residence or location of birth, to serve as president.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  92. Dan from MD

    I get pulled over enough for no reason as it is (ex: getting food at mcdonalds at 11 pm) and now I'm going to get pulled over for having a certain background? I don't think so. It's pretty stupid and I'm not sure what the Arizona lawmakers are thinking. Yes we need better control with the whole illegal immigration situation, but stopping every person that has an accent is intrusive and just plain dumb. In the time that a cop is pulling someone over to check their papers, they could be stopping a robbery or arresting a murderer.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  93. S. Studenberg

    Please consider what follows a joke.
    We in Arizona, consider that immigrants are here to steal our jobs and our daughters. This is not acceptable to us, real Americans, who have lived here for ever. That is why we want this law. We deserve this law to protect us against these foreign invaders who want to take away our way of life, big SUVs, nuccular plants, which don`t pollute our American air. More over, we want to make sure our future presidents are real Americans, not some kind of immigrants no one wants. We all carry guns here, if you know what I mean.
    And finally, watch it, Cafferty, to us your also a gringo.
    S. Studenberg,
    Rancho Desnudo

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  94. Tim

    The Republican legislature in Arizona is just plain stupid. They all like to blame anything that goes wrong on illegal immigrants, 'big government', and high taxes. So they cut taxes, have the biggest budget deficit in the country, and the lowest money spent per student in the US.
    Thus, our education system churns out a lot of poorly educated people who keep perpetuating their own stupidity. In order for these folks to get re-elected, they try to make everyone else afraid.
    Thus we now have the most ridiculous gun laws in the country (people don't need a permit to get a gun, or a background check, and now can bring them into bars), the most unfair immigration policies in the country (the proposed legislation among others).

    April 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  95. j. riccardi

    What is Arizona thinkin' Jack? They're thinking about the law.
    They're thinking about about the lives and safety of their citizens.
    "Laughing stock" really Jack...'"some critics", Man up and say it
    the way you see it, don't hide behind your word games, "some critics"
    Does your mom still cut your meat for you?
    I'm new to your show, so far you don't impress me much.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  96. WhiteInAZ

    Of course we are racist. We know the hispanics have low IQs genetically. It has been determined in test after test after test. They cause crime, litter, drop out of school, etc.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  97. Michael New York

    The operative word here is: "Thinking" Come on Jack.......a certain segment of the US population has always felt the need to Scapegoat certain American ethnic groups in our society. All under the disguise of a particular label. In the 80's it was Welfare and then Affirmative Action. We all know who that was targeting. In the 90's they made Liberal a nasty word. Now the shift is to another segment of Ethnic Americans. Under the new label is immigration. Thinking? I think not. The re-election on Mr. Bush for his second term largely proved to me that 50% are not capable of "Thinking"...let alone the State of Arizona. So I laugh awayyyyyyyy!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  98. eve - Prescott, AZ

    Since I live in AZ I can tell you that the law of the land is "if you don't like it either shoot it or drown it". Our State Legislature is full of morons and we have a governor who is way over her head. AND we have a US Senator who can't figure out what the hell he wants to say. Everything he says something, he has to "clarify" his comments a couple of days later.
    Another couple of examples of how screwed up our state/representatives are: The esteemed town council of Prescott made a local community group take down a sign for the 2010 census, which happened to be in Spanish. The reason – "we didn't want tourists to think this town is Hispanic". And just the other day McCain said that illegal immigrants are "intentional causing car accidents on the highways". Huh??? Needless to say, I'm ashamed of my state government.

    Eve – Prescott AZ

    April 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  99. Richard McKeon


    I don't think the birther or immigration bills go far enough. In fact, I think we should add one more test: DNA tests of the Arizona legislature to make sure they are human. Unfortunately, DNA tests can't measure intelligence or they'd be in real trouble!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  100. Aaron Brown

    All I can is is wow...Is Arizona really serious with passing these new measures into their state law? Are the people in Arizona really disliking the Obama Administration that much to try every maneuver to not allow President Obama to win in his next Presidential campaign?? It's really true I'm realizing that those who are resistant to change are people who are too involved in their own ideals and bigotry.

    I do believe that immigration reform must be done in order to better aid ourselves as a country but in technicality I do not see their new proposed legislation as justifiable. I can already see it now; racial profiling at its finest and every cop out there stopping anyone and everyone of Latino descent just to see their status as a legal citizen.

    When will our government leaders stop with the endless efforts towards legislation that is unnecessary and will only put America back one step and begin measures that will take us steps forward?? Wake up Congress!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  101. Matt

    Arizona Has been a joke for many years. More kidnapings, ID Theft, Drugs and gangs, 20 something percent unemployment, Not to mention all the Police and American people that are killed every year, What other country can you just show up in without passport or some for of ID?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  102. steve- virginia beach

    We can tell what you're thinking by the way you framed your argument. Arizonans are likely thinking that enough is enough with their high crime and unemployment rates and federal politicians perpetrating the problem in quest of the illegal alien swing vote. The illegal alien bill doesn't allow a "papers please" scenario. It requires probable cause to believe that someone is here illegally or knowingly employing or transporting an illegal alien. This may come as a shock, but police routinely ask folks for identification whenever they have probable cause to believe any crime has been committed. Even a traffic violation. Whether Dana Perino likes it or not. Arizona is at the boiling point and anti-law-and-order sombrero-wearers are in charge of Washington. Law enforcement is better than vigilante justice.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  103. John Klang, KY

    Nothing, Jack.

    The "Birther" thing, as you said, is a CONSPIRACY theory, and we sould brush it off as we have so many other conspiracy theories before it. We know where he is from, and making him show the paperwork is like making him prove that he is the first black president, unneeded.

    The immigration bill was only made because we don't use the immigration laws we have.

    Not only that, but both bills were very poorly made and writen.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  104. Gary

    Jack – Arizona isn't thinking – that's the whole point. These people are shutting off their critical minds and venting their xenophobic fears through their authoritarian insanity. And I have to give it to Anderson Cooper – he did a GREAT job last night calling out State Rep Cecil Ash on his lame "I heard it on the internet" birther excuse. Good reporting CNN. Keep them honest!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  105. pete at the beach

    Dear arizona:

    I was coming to visit you national parks but now I think I'll spend my tourist dollars elsewhere. If the all the hispanics leave and your economy goes further into the toliet who will you blame then???

    April 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  106. Ben

    When Iived in Montana I talked to Border Patrol agents a few times who were looking for Canadian who were here illegaly (frostbacks). They were using racial profiling in the extreme, stopping anybody who looked Canadian! Just what does a Canadian look like anyway?

    The point is they were here illegally, so our agents had every right to find them and ship them back. When cops arrest somebody they should have every right to see proper identification, but if they ask a Mexican for said ID, they get accused of racism. Every time I have been pulled over for anything I have had to show ID, it's no big deal if you are here legally. The whining liberals need to grow up.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  107. Len Smith

    Jack, They must not have anything to do in Arizona. And, where do these people get idea that to be President of the US that both parents need to be American citizens, NOT. The person needs to be born in the US and the parents don't have a thing to do with it.

    Put this stupid issue to bed and forget about it. President Obama is our president and so far has been a very good one and we have a lot to be thankful for all he has done to help this great country.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  108. Joe

    If you are born in the US regardless of parents citizenship you are a US citizen...

    April 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  109. janice

    Jack, where these same people 8 years ago, or 12 years ago. President Obama is a natural born citizen . His mother was and he was born in the state of HI. I was born in NC, my birth certificate does not have a doctors signature, but it is the original. I think this bill is just a convenient excuse to try to delegitimize this President.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  110. STEVE

    so if the police can stop anyone and ask for papers that show your a citizen that means anyone right? Like the govenor as well. and all white people as well now have to carry those papers? so if a cop stops a mom with kids in the car and she doesnt have the proper papers can the cop call for cps to come get the kids? this is for our own protection right? then lets do it for everyone. how about some cops wait outside the capital steps of az. and as the law makers come out ask each one for citizenship papers. if they don't have it they get detained.. GO FOR IT>

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  111. Michael in Texas

    Put simply: What else would you expect from a red state with so many red necks in it?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  112. VG

    The answer is in your question, Jack - Arizona is NOT thinking. Thinking implies using logic and reason – and Arizona's recent actions simply reek of an antediluvian prejudice.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  113. David


    I don't think is law is going to hold up Jack. I just hope other nut-jobs do the same like Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who by the way is running for re-election...Let's see how he walks this one..I dare anyone to ask him.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  114. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugervile Texas

    Jack, let them pass it. Then the natural progession will be the courts. Both sides will then have to put up or shut up. Either way it gets the topic on the table and settled once and for all. If it's bad legislation it can be changed.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  115. bana

    America is a nations of Immigrants. This immigration deal in AZ is purily motivated by stupitidy and racism. Who required Bill Clinton, or George W Bush his birth certificate?
    Now that a black president is trying to make a difference in American's lives, those gorillas are trying to stop him. Well, clear your ears, open your eyes and more importantly, open your mind: You killing this country.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  116. Phillip Vasile

    Jack, Arizona has all ways been the laughingstock state due to the selfish, raceist attatude and actions of the Republicans and conseritives that control this state. Arizona politics has just reached rock bottom. I am ashemed to live here. If it was not for family ties, I would leave Arizona in a heartbeat. Phill from Sun Lakes, AZ

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  117. frhoads

    I wonder if the birther bill would seem so desirable if it were President Brad O'Brien of Hawaii rather than President Barack Obama? At least I know what happened to Governor George Wallace's supporters....they retired and moved to Arizona.

    I am embarrassed for my country. At least I don't have to bear the additional shame of being an Arizonan.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  118. Norma

    Obama is so clean that the right has to make up stories about him. He is not a citizen, he is a socialist. I want you to know I"ve waited my entire life of 70 years for a decent man like him. Go Obama!!!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  119. C. Spencer

    If the federal government enforced the federal immigration laws, perhaps Arizona wouldn't be forced to.
    Now that there are estiamtes of 12million to as much as 25million illegal immigrants in this country,drastic measures have to be taken.
    Arizona has nearly 500,000 illegal immigants that are becoming more and more violent. One in three inmates are now illegal immigants.
    When 25 million enter the country illegally, seems to me more like an invasion.
    Think of the uproar if the United States adopted Mexico's methods of dealing with people that entered illegally. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe they are shot.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  120. The Constitution

    Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 1:
    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. ”

    There is no provision as to whether the parents must be citizens.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |

    I just read " Title 8, section 1401 " and it defines who is a citizen. President Obama meets the criteria. I wish people weren't so dumb.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  122. AlexSD

    I think Arizona does everything right. It is the only state that is trying to protect its borders and itself from illegal immigration. Obama and his company failed miserably to do something about immigration. As about so-called "birther law", it is the right thing to do as well. We do not know for sure where Obama was born. Philippines were a U.S. Territory in 1930s, and McCain was born there, so he is a US citizen. We know it for a fact. So, Arizona, keep up the good job!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  123. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    The birther bill is simply more rednecked GOP teabagger mentality at work. However, this is not representative of Arizona but more representative of the idiots that right wingers vote into office. Now as for the illegal immigration bill...that is greatly needed as this state is over ran by illegal aliens from Mexico on a daily basis. If the legislators want some birther bill, they should change the status of citizenship to exclude all these illegal aliens who are born here by illegal aliens who cross our border with Mexico to use our healthcare system. These are known as anchor babies and for a good reason.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    April 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  124. bob c.

    Obviously "Joe", From Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, does not know what he is talking about. The constitution does not require that both parents be born in the States, only that the individual running for president be born in the USA.

    I think "Joe" has been listening too much to the extreme right-wingers. Maybe he should study American history a bit more.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  125. James R Ruston

    Among other things, we should point out that the drugs that are destabilizing Mexico and causing so much harm in Arizona are bought by, you guessed it, Arizonans.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  126. Jonathan

    With all of the violence coming across the border into Phoenix, I don't see why the government wouldn't want to try to pass legislation so to protect the people living in the state.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  127. dr

    Andres Saenz(ABQ, NM) April 22nd, 2010 5:05 pm ET

    There has recently been a lot of controversy over President Obama's birthplace. According to Title 8, section 1401 the President must be:
    1. a natural-born US citizen
    2. both of his parents must be natural-born US citizens

    Thanks for pointing out the regulation, It took me all of 30 seconds to Google it and see you have no idea what your talking about. If you are born outside the U.S. both parents need to be citizens. Not true if you’re born in the U.S. oh well, don’t let reality get in the way of your opinion.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  128. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    Everyone is trying so hard to present this growing far right fringe as just normal, everyday Americans, but this question just goes too far. Thinking and the actions of the birthers in Arizona are mutually exclusive.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  129. Jon

    WOW people, some of you think these are good ideas?

    1. To that very first posted comment, dude, the constitution doesn't say BOTH parents have to be citizens.

    2. Carrying ID (drivers license) is NOT proof that you are here legally. Do we really all want to carry around our birth certificates and passports? Do we really want the police to be able to cart us into jail b/c we aren't "carrying our papers"?!? And I know at least some of you are thinking, "they won't bother me, I'm not Hispanic" or "I speak English". Sad.

    Sure, we have a problem w/ illegal immigration, but this is so NOT the answer.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  130. David


    I hope other nut jobs, like Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, do not do the same thing. He is up for re-election this year. Which way will he walk?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  131. Rosie

    WAY TO GO ARIZONA!!! Finally, a state that has the backbone to uphold our laws! What part of the word ILLEGAL is not understood?? If you are in this country ILLEGALLY you should be arrested. I would expect the exact same if I was in a country illegally. Im not sure why Mexican-American people are for people breaking this law, that is costing our country a fortune! Also, why is it so "controversial" to uphold our laws??? I have to show my birth certificate to get into any school or college, to get a passport, or to play sports. Being a president of a country should definitely require documentation, asking for proof of a simple birth certificate is NOT controversial!!!!!!! Wake up America!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  132. Ryan

    You're parents do not even have to be legal immigrants for you to be a Natural Born U.S. citizen. All you need do is be born within the borders of the United States. Thats all, Try again.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  133. voyager77

    This is just another example of how unhinged some Americans are becoming. If it weren't the birth certificate, it would be some other ludicrous, paranoid invention of their own minds. Obama's birth certificate was already proven at the time of the 2008 election. Why would such a bizarre request be made? It is completely irrational, illogical and begs the question if this is yet another sign that the underlying hatred and distrust of Obama is because of his skin color. Paranoia is not becoming of America and is becoming more and more reminiscent of the 1930's and 1950's.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  134. Marc Parella

    Jack, I lived most of my life in Arizona and let me tell you that I am disgusted with the Arizona GOP for even thinking of passing something so outrageously unconstitutional. This the land of Goldwater and Barry would never have supported such opprobrious legislation.

    If we are a free nation then we must live up to a higher standard. To arrest someone because of their origin or national status is contrary to the values our country was founding on.

    I will leave the Arizona GOP with this quote from Ronald Reagan's farewell address. It is a quote they hate to hear:

    "I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still."

    The GOP is no longer the party of Robert Taft, Barry Goldwater or even Ronald Reagan.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  135. Jon

    Jack, what I think what they are thinking is to uphold our constitution. This is not just about Obama as the silly liberals always imply; it is for all future presidential candidates. Should we abolish this very unique qualification for everyone running for the president? By the way, I am not a naturally born American so can I run for the US president? If I try, I will be immediately disqualified. It is really very simple, blood is always thicker than water. Do you know what I mean? Blood is thicker than water? What I don't understand from these liberal elites is that by reaffirming the US's constitution, you are immediately branded as racists, bigots, un-Americans, murders, anti-gays, anti-blacks, anti-asians, anti-hispanic, anti-governments, anti-environment etc etc.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  136. Ryan

    Whats wrong with these two bills? Illegals in the workplace can be found out? Oh no!!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  137. chuck Kiskade

    The word "thinking" implies rational, unemotional thought which is apparently AWOL on this issue.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  138. RICARDO

    I think this is just no fare to the latino population in Arizona they will targeted and i know there are referent types of races but latinos will be profile. i bet if i was white i did not need to carry proof of citizenship

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  139. Mike C

    Well, the old Soviet Union is alive and well in Arizona. Speed cameras everywhere spying on everyone, anyone can turn you in for being 'illegal' and you have to produce 'your papers'. What are these conservatives trying to conserve – fascist communism? I think people would have more rights in China than Arizona at this point. That's just sad.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  140. coramae

    Wrong, Joe. Anyone born (i.e. "natural born") on American soil is an American citizen, regardless of the status of the parents. Check out the 14th Amendment. The terms you are basing your theory on apply only to those born outside the US.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  141. Mike Pietzsch

    As a long-time Arizona resident, I'm embarrassed and appalled at the right-wing idiots who have been so vocal in state politics in recent years. These people have supported open "gun carry" – with virtually no restrictions whatsoever, onerous laws discriminating against anyone deemed to be "outsiders", irrational anti-tax positions, and an apparent desire to return to the stone age. Some of our politicians – ranging from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Attorney General candidate Andrew Thomas, State Senator Russell Pierce, and U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth have all fueled the angry, hateful rhetoric – and, unfortunately, even mainstream politicians like John McCain lack the courage to stand up to this mob mentality.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  142. Gary S

    There may be conspiracy theorists out there, but in this case Obama should prove his qualifications like anybody else would. Why again does he get a pass? Why is this hard?

    As far as immigration reform, I'm sure the border states have had enough,and feel the need to take matters in their own hands. Good for them. Keep building that fence. Or should they just wait for hope and change?

    No, I don't think this makes Arizona a laughing stock. I'd move there but it's too damn hot!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  143. marsjr

    So may misinformation. Have you guys ever actually read what your spouting about?

    1.) The natural-born citizen clause is written in Artecle II, Section 1, Clause 5 in the constitution. NOT in the 12th Amendment.

    2.) While never really defined anywhere, the term "natural born" is generally reffered to as any citizen who did not get his citizenship through naturalization.

    3.) Only when an American is born outside the United States is it required that you have both American parents. If you are born in the United States, no matter what citizenship your parents are, you are a natural born US citizen. Accept it, live with it!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  144. tom

    In Mexico they shoot illegal immigrants coming in from Central and South America. Deportation is much more humane

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  145. DaveinFla

    Joe: you are a natural born citizen if you are born in the US or it's territories. Has nothing to do with the citizenship of your parents.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  146. AAn Lee

    Learn from the city that really kick out illegal immigrant. How suffer the economy at that area. It is already part of the economy and many business is developed based on their market, and now suddenly you want to take it out, then many business will have to close, apartment, etc. Illegal immigrant contribute 20% of this economy. This is fact and business open based on the demand. Arizona can be death state for sure.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  147. me

    Yo, Jack, when was the last time you were in a border state? These states have big problems and sitting in a nice office in NYC with your nose up is not a way to help out. People need to go to Ellis Island and see for themselves how at one time the US knew how to handle immigration. If you did not have a sponser you were sent back on the boat.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  148. Anchorite

    Unlike John McCain, Obama HAS proven he is a US citizen by putting his birth certificate on the web. So Arizona's law is already moot, he has presented it. It is a purely spiteful thing, and it wastes taxpayer dollars and makes a mockery of the legislative system to use it for personal political attacks like this. And no, Joe in Florida, being a natural born citizen does not mean you have two American born parents, it means YOU were born in country. Did you not have 6th grade civics class? That explained the Constitution rather well.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  149. Mark B.

    I feel it's Obama himself who has stoked this nonsense. He COULD produce a valid birth certificate. He COULD have not blocked his college thesis and grades from being released. He could hae voted something other than present in his short stint in the senate. Even you Caffe, would have to admit with President Obama, one finds many more questions than answers. I blame that partly on the press. So quick to get on the bandwagon so slow to vette.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  150. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    What is Arizona thinking? The problem is that there is no thought, no reason, no rationalization, no regard to history. If these measures are not vetoed, or thrown out by the Supreme Court, we will all be destined to repeat the history of tyranny that Americans had fought against. Such as the creation of national I.D. cards to make people prove their citizenship. There is no reasoning the the irrational and thoughtless.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  151. Rich

    Mike- He has shown it. In fact HI is considering a law to ignore any future requests for it, because this whole birther notion is ridiculous (or, retarded, with a nod to Palin).

    Apparently the heat is getting to AZ's senior-citizen population.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  152. Charles of Eugene, Oregon

    If a person is born in The United States, as Obama was, he or she is automatically an American citizen, it does not matter where he or her parents were born. Obama's Hawaiian birth notice was in the Hawaiian newspaper the day after he was born, in the state of Hawaii, USA. Hello?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  153. Jack Bevin

    Think about it. When I applied for my job I had to show my ID and pass a drug test. All they are asking for is verification that the person running for president is within the laws of the constitution. We still haven't seen Obama's birth certificate and he has spent millions keeping it out of the public eye.

    As for the immigration bill... Good, how many people have died due to open boarders and thugs coming over to kill. Use to be that you would land at ellis Island and get your citizenship the right way. What happened to that idea?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  154. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    What evidence do you have that Arizona is thinking?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  155. Kile Anderson

    So, Arizona has passed 2 laws stating that they must enforce the laws that are already on the books. Where's the problem?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  156. Peter from Fair Lawn, NJ

    Sorry to disillusion some of you, but the Constitution requires that any natural born US citizen be borne\ is the US. Neither parent has to be a US citizen. That is why the children of illegal immigrants born on American soil are indeed American citizens.

    Best for everyone to get their facts straight before they start ranting and raving about none existent issues.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  157. James Miller

    To Joe: The Constitution does NOT say both parents must be citizens or that the birth has to be inside of the borders of the United States . What the Constitution DOES say is "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of the President; ..." Currently, regardless of where in the world you are born, as long as one of your parents is a citizen of the U.S., then so are you and you are eligible to run for President. President Obama's U.S. citizen mother gave birth to him in the state of Hawaii so he was eligible to run..

    April 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  158. Lisa

    Natural Born Citizen Act Summary

    PURPOSE: To define the term “natural born Citizen” as used in the Constitution to include three categories:

    (1) Any person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,
    (2) Any person born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who are eligible to transmit citizenship, and
    (3) Any person adopted by the age of 18 by a U.S. citizen parent or parents who are otherwise eligible to transmit citizenship to a biological child.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  159. Travis

    Having moved from Wisconsin to Arizona in 97, I have to say the weather is beautiful but to say that the people and local politicians are questionable would be an understatement. Basically they're attempting to legalized racial profiling. As though "due process" hasn't suffered enough during the Bush administration. Police now can detain and arrest a person under the mere suspicion of "looking" like an immigrant, whatever the he!! that looks like. I agree that Arizona has a unique problem which the Federal government continuously fails to address. However, one would have to be an idiot to see the problems with due process that this potentially new law would pose. I am convinced that mainstream "Americans" couldn't care less about "due process" when people of color are asking to receive it. My opinion has proven to be true time and time again.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  160. High Desert

    I notice that many of you opposed to the birther bill and the immigration bill are slinging the "racist" "stupid" "Republican" or "Conservative" label. If you oppose these bills, please explain your opposition in a rational manner.

    Just two weeks ago Democrats and Republicans were discussing the issuance of a National Identification Card. Please realize that both parties want us all to be chipped and controlled.

    I am a Democrat and I don't like uncontrolled borders. Over eleven million undocumented people. Give me a break. Yeah, they earn some money but they fill up emergency rooms and get public assistance. If you don't think the illegals have contributed to California's problems, you are fooling yourself. Our country has a carrying capacity and we are there.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  161. Richard in Arlington

    Thinking? This is not thinking it is feeling. And the feelings are hate and fear. While we may understand that their response is not logical, we must continue to provide love and comfort as the only effective responses we know.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  162. Bobb

    Time will tell. When we are all old and looking back at our first black president I think the history books if books still exist will tell the tale of an America that refused to let go of its prejudice and silly pride in attempt to fight moving forward into the future. Asking a president to prove his citizenship has never come up until a black president was voted in, never in our history. This is just pathetic, I thought McCain had more class than this. As for the witch hunt of illegal aliens, if their was not a job market for them they would probably not bother coming here for work. It is time for certain people in this country to stop blaming others and look at their selves for reasons of distress.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  163. George in Az.

    The Arizona legislature should add one additional provision to their "birther law" The candidates should also be required pass an IQ test. That would really thin down the ranks for the 2012 Presidential race. If they had done that in 2008, Obama would not have had anyone to run against.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  164. Sean, St. Louis

    That birther junk actually passed as a bill in Arizona? Who is the governor, Orly Taitz?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  165. Susan

    Just when I thought no state could do anything worse than proclaim Confederate History Month. Are you "tea totalers" getting too much sun in Arizona?"

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  166. dave from fresno,ca

    they are thinking that they have had enough! 1 in 6 crossing the border has a criminal record.No help from the feds!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  167. Jose

    What was Arizona thinking? I can tell you exactly what they are thinking.

    They are thinking they are fed up with corporate owned government and media force feeding us imported cheap illegal alien labor. They are thinking, we've had enough of being murdered, raped, jobless, and forced to support millions of law breaking foreign nationals in our own country.

    We are thinking...the corporate owned media has become the enemy of the working class American...as it takes it's marching orders to support, at all costs, the invasion of Third world cheap labor to the detriment of working class and poor Americans who have had the floor of poverty lowered 5 levels as a result of 30-35 million illegal aliens.

    THAT'S exactly what Arizona and 2/3rds of the rest of the America is thinking!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  168. Larry

    Good for Arizona. The rest of the states should follow. I am not offended when asked for my birth certificate. What's the big deal?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  169. Daniel

    This is the problem with the internet. It gave these "birthers" a forum to voice their stupidity and access to mindless sheep who do not wish to believe that a black man born and raised in America is capable of graduating from Havard Law or being president. It shatters the sad bedtime tales their parents told them of their superiority over blacks.

    He has already shown his birth certificate numerous times. Even if he hadn't don't you think Republican election strategist would look into this? Or is Karl Rove suddenly part of the Obama conspiracy?

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  170. Andrew

    Nothing surprising here. Welcome to the United States of the Tea Party. This is nothing more than what they advocate.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  171. D

    I am a natural born US citizen of Latino decent. This law will directly effect me. I will be subjected to racial profiling. I will be asked for proof that I am an American Citizen. I carry my driver's license with me at all times but this will not be enough for me to prove my citizenship because illegals have driver's licenses. What I am to do? Carry my birth certificate with me because my skin is brown and not the white? This law affects more than illegals. Profiling is not right. Arizona is taking a step back and not moving forward. This is racism. Something that should have stopped in the 60's with the civil rights movement.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  172. john

    Arizona legislators are treading far too close to the situation created by Adolf Hitler in Germany in the 1930's. Very simply, all they have to do is pass a simple law that all emplyers of illegals go to jail for a year. (Maricopa County tent jail!)
    No jobs, no illegals!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  173. Roman


    Obama is definitely a citizen. However, I don't see how requiring a presidential candidate to prove his citizenship, a clear requirement of holding the office as outlined in the constitution, can be classified as "idiotic".

    As far as the immigration bill is concerned I think it's a step in the right direction. I have been asked for identification by an officer on multiple occasions.

    Our current laws prevent officers from reporting any suspected illegals to the immigration dept even if they have broken the law. That's just plain silly. I don't understand why people are okay with illegal immigration. It's a huge problem in this country and we need to start enforcing the law.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  174. Chad

    Actually, it was Article 2, not the 12th amendment, that states that a person must be a natural-born citizen. At no time are the requirements for being considered a "natural-born citizen" are mentioned in that section of the Constitution. Amendment 14 states "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." It makes no mention of parents. Therefore, if either McCain or Obama were born on US soil, it makes no difference what nationality their parents were.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  175. NO_Lady

    What is wrong with these people??? I am embarrased to live in AZ.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  176. Delphia

    I am in Arizona and frankly, embarrassed. President Obama has already provided his birth certificate. It was all over the internet before the election to satisfy the 'birthers'. Facts don't bother them. Either they can't read and as an Arizonan watching them I action I note they can't spell either. The truth of the matter is they are angry with the economy and have found a convenient scapegoat...a Black President.

    The other Arizona scapegoat is the 'illegal alien'. Since the Governor, nor the legislature can balance the budget in a reasonable fashion, the new immigration bill provides a nice diversion. I have a birth certificate which proves I was born in Mesa Arizona, which I have NO intention of carrying around with me. With my luck I'd be stopped by a 'birther' police officer and he or she would insist it wasn't real. The truth is I won't be stopped anyway since I am blonde woman over 50.
    Many in Arizona feel our best bet is to vote these nuts out of office in November, or perhaps, be as lucky as myself to have the means to find a State that is run by competent individuals.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  177. Ronald

    Arizona is not the laughing stock of America, its a model for other states to follow!

    April 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  178. Marci

    I am against illegal immigration, but I do not believe Arizona's way is the correct way to deal wth illegal immigration. If I lived in Arizona, I do not want to be walking around with my birth certificate nor passport just to prove that I am a legal born United States citizen. Why if I lose these important documents just because I need to prove to these idiots that I belong in this country? I am boycotting Arizona.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  179. lynnej in nc

    At this point, who knows. People are scared and fearful. These two bills are coming out of this notion of 'people taking something from other people.' No one is taking nothing from anyone. These people are just scared of folk that are a little darker in hue. If Hillary had won, they would be going after gender rules. Funny thing is that if McCain had won, they wouldn't have been heard of while the rest of us would be hoping that this man stayed healthy. Get over it people. Mr. Obama is President of the United States.

    April 22, 2010 at 5:53 pm |