Korean American Activist Interrupts Obama During Speech in San Francisco
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: November 26th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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A Korean American activist for immigration reform interrupted President Barack Obama during a speech at the Betty Ong Center in San Francisco on Monday.

Ju Hong, 24, has been vocal about the rights of undocumented people, and he was standing behind Obama when he began shouting, NBC Bay Area reports.

“I need your help,” Hong said. “My family will be separated on Thanksgiving,” he said. “Please use your executive order. You have the power to stop deportation.”

Others in the crowd joined in, shouting, “Stop deportation, yes we can.”

When Secret Service agents rushed in to remove Hong from the crowd, the President said he could stay, prompting cheers from the audience.  Obama then responded by insisting he does not have that power to bypass Congress on the issue.

“I respect the passion of these young people,” he said. “But we’re also a nation of laws, that’s our tradition.”

He emphasized addressing the laws that require deportation and called on Congress to pass “common sense” immigration reform, saying that it was an issue that needed to be solved now and not to be left for the next generation.

Hong, an undocumented immigrant himself, is a University of California, Berkeley graduate and a research assistant at Harvard University. He is also a member of Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education (ASPIRE), and several members were also present during Obama’s speech.

He told NBC Bay Area that while he has supported Obama, he has been disappointed about his efforts on immigration reform.

  • lillian

    you assume I assumed he is white. you aren’t the one I was replying to, but since you’re assuming I was, I’ll assume that’s a ‘no’ to the question I posed. the answer I was expecting, so it’s a good thing you spoke for him, no?

  • dick church

    nothing African about him

  • Chan Mac

    You sound just as lovely as him… 1. You assume he is white.
    2. Race before country is retarded. 3. You’re both the problem.

  • lillian

    white people really need to shut the fuck up sometimes.

  • James Kim

    Ahh, the irony of someone telling you not to pick and choose passages and then proceed to pull em out of context … As if your passages are telling me to conform to Nazism? Or Communism? Or Islamic Theocracy? It’s beside the point! The specific question I asked was what does the bible say about “aliens”? Just do a simple word study: strangers, aliens, foreigners …

  • Surreal

    This was not helpful. No one at all has a problem with allowing immigrants into the United States. But there is a process. It is a process fraught with flaws that need to be fixed, yes, but it is ridiculous to suggest that we should simply allow every single illigal immigrant to gain legal status. Surprising this guy is a researcher at Harvard, because that’s obviously unworkable.

    As far as Korea in specific, we know for a fact that Korea is hyper-xenophobic, generally racist, and resistant to ANYONE having citizenship there. So yeah – that is another problematic area. For Koreans to come to the United States and point fingers (which happens literally all the time) is not going to help immigrants; what it does is raise eyebrows for the millions of us whose relatives came, worked themselves through proper channels, and carved out a living. No free passes.

    That said, I really hope that more young, intelligent people will get involved with immigration reform. Unfortunately, Hong simply made it clear that he does not have the capacity to think about immigration reform in a rational way.

  • Courtney Gunnink

    You cannot just pick and choose from the Bible which passages apply to your personal passion. It also says in the Bible that you are to follow the laws of the government.

    Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, Titus 3:1

    He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Luke 20:25

    I does not say in the Bible, if there is a law about immigration you can just ignore it and not follow the government. The point at this time, to me, is that having anyone live here w/o paying taxes and having no recourse to coming here ILLEGALLY is morally wrong. If you break a law there is a consequence, yes? As a Pastor and saying these things you are promoting breaking the law and I think that you should reflect on that fact. I have no problem w/ people coming here LEGALLY.. all my great-grandparents did so w/ almost no money. ALSO, that man was a plant by Obama and his people… all people who are in a setting like that are vetted and they know EXACTLY who he was and what he would say. I find that setup reprehensible.

  • http://lifespringconnect.com James Y. Kim

    Pastoring in Los Angeles means I know many non legal persons living and working in the area. I have tremendous respect for them. Some have fortunately found a pathway to legal status via company sponsorships or other means. These are not bad people, simply immigrants looking to secure a better living for themselves and their families. America, lest you forget, is a relatively new nation made up mostly of immigrants.

    I admire what this man did, especially since he was in that situation himself not long ago. He spoke out on behalf of others at the potential of great risk to himself. That to me is the definition of selfless courage.

    What does the Bible say about ‘aliens’? Plenty!

    Treat the alien as you would the local – Lev 19:34 & 25:35

    God defends the cause of the fatherless, widow and orphan. We are to
    love the strangers and fear the Lord. – Deut 10:18

    Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice – Deut 24:17

    The ‘set-aside’ was for the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the
    widow so that they may eat. Deut 26:12

    And on and on…

  • lillian

    he shouldn’t have asked for special treatment. I don’t know what the legal process is for immigrants to become citizens here, but he obviously did not take that road for whatever reason. but I don’t know his circumstances or why he was unable to, and can’t judge him for that. what I most definitely know is that he was asking the wrong question to the wrong person.

  • Ryan Kim

    He’s an illegal alien, he should’ve been deported a long ass time ago.

  • lillian

    well that took balls. but of course it didn’t work. he was basically asking for special treatment.


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