(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Thursday night he was accompanied to the convention center by two illegal aliens, whom he called "dreamers."
"I want to give a special thanks to two young men who rode over with me from the White House tonight," Obama said. "Luis and Victor are CHCI (Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute) interns and fellows. They are also dreamers, living and working in the country they call home, and making it a better place for all of us.
"Their stories are inspiring, and along with the other CHCI fellows, they give me great hope for the future. They make me optimistic about what America's all about."
Dreamers are young people who were brought to this country illegally as children.
In June 2012, President Obama, acting on his own, said those who do not present a risk to national security or public safety could request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work permits. Around 610,000 young people have been accepted into the program.
At the end of his speech -- in which he promised to fix "our broken immigration system" after the midterm election -- Obama returned to Luis and Victor:
"People who love this country can change it, he said. "American isn't Congress, America isn't Washington, America is the striving immigrant who starts a business; or the mom who works two low-wage jobs to give her kid a better life; America is the union leader, the CEO who put aside their differences to make the economy stronger; America is the student who defies the odds to become the first in the family to go to college; the citizen who defies the cynics and goes out there and votes; the young person who comes out of the shadows to demand the right to dream -- that's what America is about."
"Six years ago, I asked you to believe, and tonight I ask you to keep believing, not just in my ability to bring about change, but in your ability to bring about change, because at the end, 'dreamers' is more than just a title, it's a pretty good description of what it means to be an American. Each of us is called on to stand proudly for the values we believe in and the future we seek. All of us have a chance to reach out and pull this country that we call home a little closer to its founding ideals.
"That's the spirit that's alive in this room. That's the spirit I saw in Luis and Victor..."
At one point, Obama was interrupted by a protester who is upset with him for failing to honor his promise to act unilaterally on immigration reform by allowing millions more illegal immigrants to stay in this country.
Obama said he would take executive action by the end of the summer, but now he's put it off until after the midterm election.
"Fixing our broken immigration system is one more big thing that we have to do and that we will do. Now I know there is deep frustration in many communities around the country right now, and I understand that frustration because I share it...But if anybody wants to know where my heart is or whether I want to have this fight, let me put those questions to rest right now.
"I am not going to give up this fight until it gets done."
Obama was then interrupted by Blanca Hernandez, a beneficiary of Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, who works as a paralegal in the District of Columbia. She demanded that Obama "stop the deportations...we need relief now. Not one more delay. Not one more broken promise. Not one more deportation."
She was escorted from the room.
Obama continued his speech, telling the Hispanic audience to help him get out the Latino vote. He noted that any immigration action he does on his own can be reversed by the next president; and he said the only way to get lasting reform is for Congress to pass an immigration bill.
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