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Obama to immigration hecklers: 'I just took an action to change the law'

Obama heckled during immigration speech
Obama heckled during immigration speech

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    Obama heckled during immigration speech

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Obama heckled during immigration speech 01:35

Story highlights

  • President Barack Obama pointed to his immigration executive order as he sought to quiet protesters in Chicago
  • Obama's immigration speeches have repeatedly been interrupted in recent months by hecklers who want bolder action
  • Obama told the three female hecklers: "I just took an action to change the law"
President Barack Obama told three people who repeatedly interrupted his latest speech on immigration to stop their yelling because he "just took an action to change the law."
Obama was in Chicago on Tuesday night to tout an executive order halting deportations for the undocumented parents of children born in the United States. But -- as has been the pattern in recent months -- he couldn't get through the speech without being heckled by protesters who want bolder action.
About 20 minutes into the speech, three women -- one standing four rows behind Obama, holding a sign reading "Stop Deportations Now," and the other two in the crowd -- shouted a series of complaints.
One called Obama's claim that his immigration policies are focused on deporting felons, not families, "a lie." Another said it's "not just Republicans" who have called undocumented immigrants felons.
Obama told the protesters it "doesn't make sense to yell at me right now," given his immigration action last week.
"What you're not paying attention to is, I just took an action to change the law," he said as the crowd applauded.
The interruptions continued, with Obama saying at one point that he's "not going to be able to have a conversation with each of you separately" and later that they should "just sit down."
"Nobody's removing you. I've heard you. But you've got to listen to me, too," he said.
Obama's claim that he "took an action to change the law," though, could fuel more complaints from congressional Republicans and governors in states like Texas who have accused the President of overstepping his constitutional bounds.
Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott is readying a legal challenge to Obama's executive order, while GOP lawmakers consider using spending bills this December to cut funding for the agencies that would implement Obama's order.
Obama has shot back that House Republicans who object to his action should pass an immigration reform bill; he's endorsed one approved by the Senate in 2013.