President Barack Obama confronted hecklers during an immigration rally in San Francisco on Monday who demanded he stop deportations.
The man began shouting from the unusual spot of behind the president, where he pleaded that his family was separated. He urged Obama to use his executive authority to stop deportations.
“You have the power to stop deportation!” the man said.
“Actually, I don’t, and that’s why we are here,” Obama responded, subsequently rebutting attempts by security to escort the man from the rally.
Obama said that if he thought he had the unilateral ability to stop deportations, he would. But he said he doesn’t have the power to do that.
“The easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws,” Obama said. “And what I’m proposing is the harder path, 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.”
On Monday, Obama’s pitch was to Republicans in Congress. He called on them, again, to pass comprehensive immigration reform. He said, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, that he was willing to allow for a the House GOP’s preferred “piecemeal” approach — a “drumstick here, a breastmeat there.”
“I believe the Speaker is sincere,” Obama said. “I think he genuinely wants to get it done.”
A clip of Obama being heckled:
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