July 10, 2016


Illegal Immigrants - Trump Says Deport Them - But Obama Should Pardon Them (Andy J. Semotiuk, 7/07/16, Forbes)

In a recent article in the New York Times, Peter L. Markowitz, a professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, drew attention to the fact that President Obama is able, through the constitutional pardon power of the President, to grant undocumented immigrants unconditional pardons for their civil immigration violations, thereby irrevocably protecting them from punishment and prosecution while leaving the law unchanged related to all other current or future offenders. The example Markowitz cited was President Jimmy Carter's pardon of around half a million men who had violated draft laws to avoid military service in Vietnam. He pointed out that other past presidents, including Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln, also granted broad amnesties from prosecution to large groups in the public interest. Such a proposal brings to mind the saying that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. [...]

As President Obama approaches the end of his term, he has an opportunity to make a courageous move to address this decades-old problem and leave a legacy that could very well make him one of the greatest presidents in American history. As Professor Markowitz has suggested, President Obama can initiate a Presidential pardon to deal with the problem. One possible scenario would be to implement a pardon that effectively moves the registry date that enables anyone who has been in the country since that date to apply for landing, currently set at January 1st, 1972, to say, November 1st, 2006. Such a move would provide relief to over half the undocumented immigrants in the country on the argument that, as in other legal matters, for due process and  practical reasons, there needs to be a limitation date by which an action to remedy a legal problem should have been started. Setting such a limitation date for removals of illegal immigrants would fall in line with the concept of cancellation of removal currently employed in immigration proceedings where illegal immigrants who can show they have been in the U.S. for 10 years or more and meet some other narrowly defined criteria, can gain permission to remain.

The pardon would simply acknowledge that anyone who has been present in the United States for over 10 years, in the absence of any criminal behavior and having paid taxes, deserves a chance to correct his or her life.

...that it isn't even judiciable. Not to mention he'd break Reagan's record for immigration amnesty.

Posted by at July 10, 2016 10:23 AM