U.S. President Barack Obama rejects claims by Republican critics that his executive action is tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama defended his executive action on immigration during his weekly address on Saturday (November 22), which eases the threat of deportation for some 4.7 million undocumented immigrants. "Nothing about this action will benefit anyone who has come to this country recently, or who might try and 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," Obama said. "And it's certainly not amnesty, no matter how often the critics say it. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today - millions of people living here without paying their taxes, or playing by the rules. And the actions I took this week will finally start fixing that," he added. Obama also responded to Republicans, who accuse the president of overstepping his constitutional powers and vow to fight his moves. "As you might have heard, there are Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better. Well, I have one answer for that: Pass a bill. The day I sign it into law, the actions I've taken to help solve this problem will no longer be necessary," he said.