The young undocumented immigrant who interrupted President Obama during a recent speech isn’t backing down on his call for the president to stop deportations.
While Obama was speaking about immigration reform in San Francisco on Monday, 24-year-old Ju Hong shouted out, suddenly putting the president on the defensive.
“We agree that we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” he said. “At the same time, you have a power to stop deportation for all.”
“Actually, I don’t. And that’s why we’re here,” Obama answered.
Hong spoke with Jorge Ramos about his message to Obama Tuesday on “AMERICA with Jorge Ramos.”
“He’s been blaming Congress not doing their jobs, but I think that he’s not been doing his job, not protecting our community members,” Hong said.
Hong, a recent graduate from University of California, Berkeley, said that Obama should issue deportation relief for the estimated 11.7 undocumented immigrants in the country.
Speaking with Jorge Ramos, he cited a personal example explaining why immigration reform would bring relief to families. He came to the U.S. from South Korea when he was 11 years old.
“In 2010, my family’s home was burglarized, my door was broken, my windows were completely shattered, our important belongings were gone,” Hong said. “We were very terrified and my initial reaction is to call the police, but my mom insists not to call the police because we are afraid that we [would get] deported back to South Korea.”
Meanwhile, another set of activists are speaking up in favor of reform across the country.
A small group of protesters have been fasting for more than two weeks in Washington, D.C.
Jorge Ramos spoke on Tuesday to two of those activists, 67-year-old Eliseo Medina, the secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and 23-year-old Phoenix resident Cristian Avila.
The pair have lost roughly 20 pounds and 17 pounds, respectively, and Ramos asked them if they were ready to die for the cause.
“Jorge, we have a lot to live for,” Medina said. “Because we know that we’re going to have to keep struggling.”