"Today our immigration system is broken and everybody knows it," Obama said. "It's been this way for decades and for decades we haven't done much about it."
"We'll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day," he said.
The president calmly explained in a 16-minute speech – subtitled in Spanish – the parameters of what angry Republicans are calling a lawless 'amnesty.'
'We’re going to offer the following deal,' he said: 'If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation.'
"If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you're a criminal, you'll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up," Obama said.
'This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that.'
'All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.'
"To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed Friday to push back against President Barack Obama's executive action shielding up to 5 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation, accusing him of sabotaging any chances of comprehensive legislative action to reform the immigration system.
Boehner said he would not stand by and let Obama accomplish his plan. Only a devil like Boehner and his Republican mates will disagree with such a proposal that will bring tears of joy to over 5 million illegal immigrants.
"With this action, the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he claims to seek. And as I told the president yesterday, he's damaging the presidency itself," Boehner said in a news conference outside his Capitol Hill office.
"In the days ahead, the people's House will rise to this challenge," Boehner added. "We will not stand idle as the president undermines the rule of law in our country and places lives at risk. We will listen to the American people, we will work with our members, and we will work to protect the constitution of the United States."