A heckler interrupted the president during a speech on immigration Monday, demanding that Obama use his executive power to halt the deportations of undocumented immigrants.
“I need your help,” the heckler shouted near the end of Obama’s speech in San Francisco. “Mr. President, please use your executive order to halt deportations for all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants.”
Obama said that he didn’t possess the power to do what the heckler asked of him, but was unable to regain full control of the floor as chants of “Stop deportations now!” erupted from the heckler and others near him.
Security tried to remove one of the hecklers, but Obama called them off and engaged the heckler directly.
“Now, what you need to know, when I’m speaking as president of the United States, and I come to this community, is that, in fact, if I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so,” Obama said. “But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition. And so the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws.”
“What I’m proposing is the harder path,” Obama went on, “which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve, but it won’t be as easy as just shouting. It requires us lobbying and getting it done.”