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Hillary Clinton heckled by immigration protesters

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks on behalf of Maryland Democrats Anthony Brown (background R) and Ken Ulman (top-L) during a campaign rally October 30, 2014 at the Ritchie Coliseum at the University of Maryland in College Park Maryland.

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at the University of Maryland on Thursday to stump for Anthony Brown, Maryland's Democratic gubernatorial candidate, but she ended up defending her own record on immigration reform after protesters repeatedly interrupted her speech.

"If they had just waited a little while, I was getting to the Dream Act," Clinton joked at the rally, referencing the legislation that gives certain undocumented youth a pathway to citizenship.

"As a senator, I was proud to co-sponsor the national Dream Act and to vote for it," she said. "I'm a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, and I believe we have to fix our broken immigration system, [and] we have to keep families together."

Clinton noted that Maryland -- during Brown's tenure as lieutenant governor -- passed its own version of the Dream Act.

The potential presidential candidate was interrupted at least four times by protesters looking for more reforms to the immigration system, though the campus crowd seemed to rally around her, chanting, "Hillary! Hillary!"

As the protesters continued, Clinton at one point remarked, "We want people to be champions and advocates for the causes they believe in."

Pro-immigration reform demonstrators have pressured lawmakers on the issue all year. After Congress failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013, President Obama promised to take more executive action on the issue over the summer. However, by September, the White House said it would wait to take action.

The White House is still considering ways to reduce the number of deportations, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some immigration reform advocates, though, are concerned the administration's actions may not be bold enough.

The delayed action has raised the question of how motivated Latino voters will be to turn out on Election Day for Democrats. The Latino vote could have an impact in some states like Colorado.

Like Clinton, President Obama has faced hecklers over immigration reform in recent weeks. Earlier this week in Wisconsin, when Mr. Obama was interrupted by one such protester, he responded, "She should be protesting the Republicans who are blocking it in Congress."

At the Maryland rally Thursday, Clinton had a similar point to make, but it came in the context of her remarks on the economy: "You have to ask yourself, what is the Republican alternative?" she said.