President-elect Donald Trump is months away from taking office, but illegals are already so fearful of deportation that they’re rallying to ask Barack Obama to pardon some 750,000 “Dreamers”:
“Millions of law abiding undocumented immigrants are fearful of what will happen when the new Administration takes control in January,” the group of New York state lawmakers and immigration advocates said in a statement announcing the rally. “However, President Obama has the power of pardons that he can use to protect all DACA enrollees.”
As precedent for mass pardons for those who have never been convicted, they point to Confederate soldiers in the Civil War and draft evaders during the Vietnam War.
A pardon, however, would not grant Dreamers legal status.
Trump has indicated that he would cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which “grants young adult illegal immigrants a two-year stay of deportation and issues them work permits, entitling them to driver’s licenses and some taxpayer benefits.” Obama has urged Trump to “think long and hard” before canceling the program.