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Obama responds to heckler on immigration reform: ‘It won’t be as easy as just shouting’

The young man’s plea was direct: Stop the deportations, he urged President Obama, of the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

“You have the power to stop deportations for all,” the man said as he interrupted Obama’s immigration policy speech in San Francisco yesterday afternoon.

“Actually,” the president replied, “I don’t. And that’s why we’re here.”

He added, “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, 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 came to San Francisco’s Chinatown yesterday to argue that immigration reform would be an economic windfall for the Bay Area and other communities nationwide. In remarks at the Betty Ong Recreation Center, Obama said 35 percent of business owners in San Francisco are immigrants, many of them Asian-Americans.

Obama urged House Republicans to take up the Senate’s compromise immigration bill, saying that progress on immigration overhaul is being held up by a faction of the Republican Party.

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