President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago, Illinois, Tuesday night was interrupted by hecklers who confronted him for failing to take sufficient action on behalf of undocumented immigrants.
Obama was discussing the executive actions he signed Friday that will shield some undocumented immigrants from deportation when multiple protesters began shouting. He initially allowed them to speak before asking them to “stop yelling.”
“Nobody’s removing you, I’ve heard you, but you’ve got to listen to me too,” he said.
Obama seemed perplexed by the criticism. He argued supporters of immigration reform should be satisfied with the executive actions he took last week.
“I understand why you might have yelled at me a month ago,” said Obama. “It doesn’t make much sense to yell at me right now when we’re making changes.”
In June, Obama promised to take executive action on immigration by the end of the summer if Congress was unable to pass an immigration reform bill. He ultimately retreated from that self-imposed deadline and waited until after the midterm elections to take action. Since Obama’s deadline passed, Democratic candidates have been repeatedly heckled by pro-immigration reform activists.
After he managed to quiet the hecklers, Obama resumed discussing his executive orders. He reiterated comments he made in a primetime speech last week where he described the steps he took as “commonsense” measures. As he concluded Obama, who has a home in Chicago, joked about the interruption.
“It’s good to be back in Chicago because everybody’s got something to say,” he said.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.