Millennium Post

Obama takes on hecklers over immigration policy

Obama takes on hecklers over immigration policy
Obama had traveled home to Chicago for an appearance aimed at broadening the appeal of his recent executive actions on immigration beyond the predominantly Latino population that lobbied heavily for relief.

He visited a community center in a predominantly Polish-American neighborhood. About midway through his remarks, three protesters strategically placed around the auditorium rose and began criticizing his deportation policy, saying he hasn't just been deporting criminals. 'You have been deporting families,' one heckler shouted. A woman among the group of people seated on stage behind Obama stood up and held a sign that said 'Obama Stop Deportations Now,' with the word 'now' in red.

Obama listened. He sympathized. He asked them to stop yelling. Then when it appeared he'd had enough, the former lawyer and former constitutional law professor set about deconstructing their arguments, the event largely overshadowed by fiery protests elsewhere in the U.S. that followed the news of a decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old.

'What you're not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law, so that's point No. 1,' Obama said. 'Point No. 2, the way the change in the law works is that we're reprioritizing how we enforce our immigration laws generally.'

'The point is that though I understand why you might have yelled at me a month ago, although I disagree with some of your characterizations, it doesn't make much sense to yell at me right now when we're making changes,' he said as the audience of approximately 1,800 people applauded.

'But the point is, let's make sure that you get the facts and that you know exactly what we're doing,' Obama said.


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