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Obama To Heckler Calling For Him To Stop Deportations: "We're A Nation Of Laws"

In California, President Barack Obama was interrupted by a heckler standing on the stage behind him who shouted at the president to stop deportations that split up families. Obama says he needs Congress to change the law to have that power.

BARACK OBAMA: …most importantly, we will live up to our character as a nation --

MAN: Families are separated! I need your help. Thousands of immigrant families who are torn apart…

OBAMA: That’s exactly what we’re talkin’ about here…

MAN: …every single day.

OBAMA: That’s why we’re here.

MAN: Please use your executive order to halt deportations for all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in this country right now. We agree that we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. At the same time you have a power to stop deportations—

OBAMA: Actually I don’t. And that’s why we’re here. Okay.

MAN: Stop deportations!

MEMBERS OF CROWD: Stop deportations!

OBAMA: No, don’t worry about it, guys. Let me finish.

MEMBERS OF CROWD: Yes we can!

OBAMA: Let me finish. These guys don’t have to go. You can stay there. Let me… Hold on a second.

So, I respect the passion of these young people because they feel deeply about the concerns for their families. Now, what you need to know, when I’m speaking, as President of the United States, and I come to this community, is that, if, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing this through Congress, then I would do so. 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, and what I’m proposing is the harder path: to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal you want to achieve. But it won’t be as easy as just shouting, it requires us lobbying and getting it done.

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