On Monday, President Barack Obama’s speech before a crowd of supporters in San Francisco was interrupted when a heckler erupted with demands that the president halt deportations of illegal immigrants via executive order. Politifact took on the heckler’s claims on Tuesday with a thorough audit of his statements.
“You have a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants in this country,” declared the heckler who has since been identified as 24-year-old Ju Hong of South Korea.
“Actually, I don’t,” Obama replied. “And that’s why we’re here.”
“In the heckler’s case, he appears to be talking about Obama issuing an executive order to stop deportations,” Politifact noted. “But experts said action like that would likely violate the separation of powers.”
The fact-checking institution quoted experts who contend that executive orders cannot be so broad as to be able to protect all illegal immigrants from deportation. However, there are ways in which Obama could forestall deportations for some or halt those for certain illegal immigrants.
If he wanted to order a stay of deportations across the board, he would have to provide a strong justification, such as a lack of resources to do the job, said Robert Delahunty, a University of St. Thomas School of Law professor who co-authored an argument against the constitutionality of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. “But he could do that only briefly, and only in what I’d consider pretty extreme circumstances,” Delahunty said.
They concede, however, that the president is unlikely to take this step. “We rate this claim Mostly False,” Politifact declared.
Watch Obama’s exchange with the heckler below via C-SPAN:
[Photo via BLANK ]
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