President Barack Obama has boosted the hopes of an immigration reform bill this year after blasting the new immigration measure in Arizona.

Speaking at a naturalization ceremony for 24 members of the military in Washington, Obama slammed the new Arizona measure as "unfair" and "misguided."

He said the Arizona bill was a direct result of the federal government's "failure to act" on the issue.

The Arizona bill - which would require immigrants to carry papers at all times - could be vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer who has until Saturday to decide on any action she may take.

But Obama has clearly opened a door to immigration reform with his speech today.

"Our failure to act responsible at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," he said.

"If we continue to fail to act at the federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country."

"As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future, a future that keeps faith with our history, with our heritage, and with the hope that America has always inspired in the hearts of people all over the world."