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Immigration News 2013: Pres. Obama Responds to Heckler, Says He Doesn't Have Power to Stop Deportations

First Posted: Nov 26, 2013 02:56 PM EST

President Barack Obama was making a speech in San Francisco on Monday when a young person -- who was part of a crowd that the White House assembled for the event -- interrupted the Commander in Chief and called for faster progress on immigration.

"There are thousands of immigrants deported every day," the person said to Obama, to which he replied, "That's exactly what we're talking about. That's why we're here."

Even as tensions grew in the room, the heckler continued.

"Please use your executive order to halt deportations for all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in this country right now! You have a power to stop all deportations."

"Actually, I don't, Obama replied. "That's why we're here."

The secret service came into the scene to intervene, but Obama was quick to shoo them away and it became clear that he was glad to see young people become so engaged in the debate.

"I respect the passion of these young people because they feel deeply about the concerns for their family," Obama said.

"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 laws in Congress, then I would do so," he added.

"But 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 that I can do something by violating our laws. 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."

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