Now one year later, SanFrancisco Bay Area activist Ju Hong got from the President exactly what he asked for–an executive order on immigration reform.
The Mercury News reports its unlikely Hong spontaneous shout down of the President during a speech in Chinatown is responsible for Thursday’s announcement, but it certainly changed the conversation and raised the issue. Hong, almost directly behind President Obama during his speech on immigration, began shouting “Mr. President, please use your executive order to halt deportation for all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in this country right now.”
The protest received coverage from NPR, Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Mail in Australia and numerous other outlets including major blogs with millions of followers.
The President turned around and told Hong he didn’t have the authority to issue such an order.
Today Hong has some satisfaction he left an impression on Mr. Obama.
“The entire narrative, the conversation, shifted from Congress to the Obama administration,” he said this week. “They got so much pressure that the White House had to answer whether he has the power to do an executive action. A lot of the public who did not know about immigration started having a conversation.”
You can read how Hong’s protest came about and how he almost backed away from the idea in the Mercury News.
You can watch Hong’s protest below in a clip from KGO-TV.