A pro-immigration activist who on Monday heckled President Barack Obama during a speech on comprehensive immigration reform told CNN he found Obama’s response “very disappointing.”
“This is very urgent,” Ju Hong, a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, told CNN afterwards. “This is the only venue where I could speak out, and I’m representing the voices of other undocumented students who are actually in the detention center right now who can not be here.”
During Obama’s speech, Hong shouted that the President could halt all deportations via executive order.
“You have a power to stop all deportations,” he said.
Obama shot down that argument as the “easy way out,” adding that such executive action would violate the law.
“Actually, I don’t,” he responded. “The easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws. If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, I would do so.”
Obama has repeatedly affirmed that he would not use executive action to halt deportations for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country, as he had done for DREAMers, or undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.