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Romney Criticizes Immigration Ruling

Says the Court should have given more latitude to states' rights. Also slams Obama for state of immigration: "It didn't have to be this way."

Posted on June 25, 2012, at 4:49 p.m. ET

Mitt Romney criticized the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's immigration law at a fundraiser in Scottsdale Monday afternoon, according to a pool report.

"Now, you probably heard today there was a Supreme Court decision relating to immigration, and given the failure of the immigration policy in this country," said Romney, "I would have preferred to see the Supreme Court give more latitude to the states, not less. And there are states now under this decision have less authority, less latitude to enforce immigration laws."

He continued: "And there are states now under this decision have less authority, less latitude to enforce immigration laws."

Romney's shot at the Court comes hours after he released another, more vague statement in which he failed to address whether he agreed with the ruling. Already, pressure was mounting from the press and Democrats — including President Obama — to come down with a clear position.

In addition to bemoaning the Court's lack of deference to Arizona's rights, Romney offered a bleak description of the overall immigration situation, blaming Obama's lack of leadership.

"And it's really, it's become a muddle," he said. "But it didn't have to be this way. The President promised in his campaign that in the first year he would take on immigration and solve our immigration challenges, put in place a long term program to care for those who want to come here legally to deal with illegal immigration, to deal with securing our borders."

He then earned applause by declaring, "All these things he was going to in his first year, he had a Democrat house and a Democrat Senate but he didn’t do it. Isn’t it time for the American people to ask him, Why?"

Romney blamed the "muddle" of localities and states crafting their own immigration solutions on the federal government's inaction. He pledged to take on the immigration issue in his first year in office.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.