President Obama criticized Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration tactics during a round table discussion on immigration Wednesday. The president was asked about a federal investigation into the sheriff's office and appeared to dodge the question.

A trio of Latin American journalists brought forth questions to President Obama, and the conversation turned toward the government's investigation of Sheriff Arpaio.

"What happened to the investigation of the many violations and challenges by the federal government on Sheriff Joe Arpaio?" asked the foreign journalist.

"I have to be careful on commenting on individual cases. That's handled typically by Department of Justice or other agencies. I will say the approach that has been taken to immigration in Arizona has not always been as productive."

He later said, "We challenged the Arizona law that was supported by the sheriff because we thought there was a great danger that naturalized citizens with Latino surnames could be vulnerable to questioning."

The sheriff later weighed in on the president's round table discussion.

"He's a lawyer. He is pretty sharp to avoid direct questions… he made some comments talking about people being stopped because of their name. He didn't like the 1070 law. He connects me with 1070. And my answer is I am just doing my job and I arrest everyone that violates the law and I am not going to stop." 

He added: "Stop saying boots on the ground and stop saying we must secure the border first."

"We can't have a patchwork of 50 states with 50 immigration laws," Obama said.

Despite the comments, the sheriff is pleased the president knows who he is and what he stands for.

For more news from Phoenix see MyFoxPhoenix.com.

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