President Obama was heckled by immigration reform protestors during a speech in San Francisco Monday. But it didn’t fluster him. Instead, he worked their protests into his speech, winning applause from the crowd.
“I respect the passion of these young people because they feel deeply for their concerns for their families,” he says, after allowing hecklers to stay.
The incident began when a man standing behind the president shouted, “Please, Mr. President, use your executive order to halt deportation of all 11.5 million undocumented immigrant in this country right now.” He added, “You have a power to stop deportation,” before leading a chant with others gathered nearby.
“Actually, I don’t, and that’s why we are here,” Obama replied, who nevertheless stopped security from escorting protestors out of the room while the crowd applauded.
Obama then continued with his speech, stating that they were all there for the same reason:
What you need to know is when I’m speaking as president of the United States and I come to this community is that if in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws; that’s part of our tradition. And so the easy way out is to yell and pretend that I can do something by violating our laws and what I am proposing is the harder path which is to use our democratic process to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve.