As part of his pre-Thanksgiving West Coast trip, President Obama dropped by Chinatown in San Francisco at the Betty Ong Recreation Center (named after 9/11 flight attendant Betty Ann Ong). Obama gave some shoutouts to some prominent Californian Asian American elected officials who I believe were in attendance, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Congressmen Mike Honda as well as Congresswoman Judy Chu and also mentioned nearby Immigration Station at Angel Island.
President Obama emphasized that immigration reformed is not just a southern border issue (i.e. between the United States and Mexico) and that today, more than one-in-four residences born of the United States came from Asian countries. The speech didn’t really break any new policy ground, and the most interesting aspect of the speech was that it was interrupted by a heckler demanding Obama to use his executive power to stop deportations. President Obama asked the heckler not to be removed and responded to that heckler’s claim that he could not do so, that the U.S. is a country of laws and passing immigration reform into law would be the best route fixing our immigration system. You can catch Obama’s whole 29-minute speech here on C-SPAN’s website.
Screen capture courtesy of C-SPAN.