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President Barack Obama delivered one of the best speeches of his tenure in office, but it’s too bad network television didn’t deem the moment important enough. Mr. Obama issued an executive action regarding immigration, staving off deportation for millions and angering some Republicans in Congress.

During prime-time, the president spoke from the White House and made good on his promise to act without Congress on immigration. Opposition to the action has been strong, with House Speaker John Boehner offering a rebuttal ahead of the evening speech. Despite an incoming Congress that will be led by Republicans, President Obama chose to remain firm.

From the speech (courtesy of The Washington Post):

Now here is the thing. We expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. We expect those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. So we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal 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. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is.

The president was careful to note that the deal will not apply to newcomers to the country, nor does it apply to illegal immigrants down the line. The deal also will not grant citizenship or permanent status, or give immigrants citizenship rights. The main aim of the deal is to stave off the deportation of nearly five million immigrants and offer a potential pathway to citizenship.

Boehner called out the president’s action in a post-announcement statement, saying that Obama is “ignoring the will of the American people” regarding immigration.

Watch the immigration speech below, you know, like you couldn’t do last night on regular television.

Photo: White House/YouTube

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