President Barack Obama is willing to accept step-by-step immigration reform

President Barack Obama was giving a speech at an immigration reform rally in San Francisco on Monday when a heckler interrupted him mid speech, unwittingly providing the POTUS a segue into a talking point.

Obama Heckled At Immigration Rally

“Mr. Obama, my family has been separated for 19 months now!” an immigration reform protestor shouted from behind the president. “You have a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants in this country.”

Obama, unable to continue though the man’s heckling, stopped to turn around and address him. “Actually, I don’t,” he said, referring to his ability to put a halt on the deportations. “And that’s why we’re here.”

When security moved to eject the heckler from the audience, Obama instructed the guards that the man could stay. He said, “I respect the passion of these young people because they feel deeply about the concerns for their families." He continued, "The United States is a nation of laws. It is not simply a matter of us just saying we’re going to violate the law.”

“The easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws,” Obama went on. “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.”

Obama Makes Case For Immigration Reform

Obama’s aim on Monday was to present an argument in favor of immigration reform, specifically for the Bay Area, which is heavily populated by Asian American immigrants, many of whom are business owners. “You don’t have to be an economist to figure out that workers will be more productive if they’ve got their families here with them — they’re not worried about deportation, they’re not living halfway around the world,” Obama said. “This isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do.”

Obama has been pushing House Republicans to sign off on the immigration bill that passed through the Senate and has received nods of approval by a bipartisan collection of governors. He’s also recently stated his willingness to accept the “step-by-step” approach that House Speaker John Boehner is inclined to pursue.

– Chelsea Regan

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