Outside the Washington convention center on Thursday night, less than two hours before President Obama would appear to reiterate his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, protesters held signs dubbing him "Deporter in Chief." The activists aren't going away, they chanted. They are here to stay, waiting for Obama to keep his word.
Inside the convention center at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 37th Annual Awards Gala, Obama acknowledged the deep frustration the Latino community feels after he failed to deliver executive action on immigration.
"I am not going to give up this fight until it gets done," Obama told the crowd of lawmakers, business and community leaders, CHCI fellows and more.
It's rhetoric he's uttered to the Latino community before, particularly after he announced last month his intention to delay executive action until after the November election. But moments after he vowed to fight for change, a woman whose deportation had been deferred shouted, "Mr. President, stop the deportations. "¦ We need relief now."
That reaction illustrated the tension between Obama and the Latino community, which Frank Sharry, of America's Voice, said feels like it was "punched in the stomach."