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Obama: Immigration system feels unfair
02:15 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

President signs executive action

He says Congress has failed to do its job on immigration

He deals with heckler

Las Vegas CNN  — 

His new immigration plan stamped and signed, President Barack Obama on Friday rallied support behind his decision to delay deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, though a heckler in a mostly supportive crowd in Las Vegas illustrated the high-voltage issue is far from settled.

Speaking at the same high school he visited to push immigration legislation in 2013, Obama said his plan came about after years of GOP inaction, despite what he described as a willingness on his part to compromise.

“I cajoled, I called, I met. I told (House Speaker) John Boehner I’ll wash your car, I’ll walk your dog, whatever you need to do,” he said.

Those overtures denied, Obama said he had been forced to act alone to fix a system he said “everyone knows” is broken.

“For years, we haven’t done much about it. Well, today we’re doing something about it,” he said at Del Sol High School.

A key element of Obama’s plan is to instruct immigration authorities to target those undocumented immigrants who are dangerous rather than law-abiding undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and residents and others.

Obama – who signed the papers making his decision official on the tarmac of Las Vegas’ airport – was interrupted once by a heckler who wanted Obama to go further, saying his parents weren’t included in the millions of immigrants who will avoid deportation under Obama’s rules.

After about a minute, Obama said he’d “heard” the young man but wanted to get on with his speech.

“What I’m saying is we’re still going to have to pass a bill,” he said. “I’ve been respectful to you. I want you to be respectful to me.”