Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | immigration | illegal | undocumented | pardon | cecelia munoz

Obama Adviser: Pardons Don't Apply in Immigration Cases

Image: Obama Adviser: Pardons Don't Apply in Immigration Cases

People rally outside the Supreme Court over immigration relief case that can provide deportation relief to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 15, 2016. Photo by Olivier Douliery/Sipa USA via AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016 12:32 PM

Pardons do not apply to immigration cases, and would not be permanent solutions if they were, according to President Barack Obama's Domestic Policy Council director, Cecilia Muñoz.

"It's not an answer here," she said in a podcast, according to The Washington Times.

"I know people are hoping that pardon authority is a way to protect people. It's ultimately not, for a couple reasons. One is that pardon authority is generally designed for criminal violations, not civil. But also, it doesn't confer legal status. Only Congress can do that. So ultimately, it wouldn't protect a single soul from deportation," Muñoz said.

Advocates for illegal immigrants worry that President-elect Donald Trump would crack down on the immigrants when he takes office, and have urged Obama to prevent that. They have asked that Obama stop deportations for the remainder of his presidency and use his pardoning power.

The Times reported that the advocates are urging Obama to grant amnesty to more than 740,000 young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. They note that presidents granted mass pardons to Confederate troops after the Civil War and draft-dodgers after Vietnam, and called on Obama to do the same.

"We are asking the president to pardon them for their undocumented status. This would not give them a permanent safe place, but it is a start," Illinois Democrat Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez said.

Obama took executive actions on legal immigration to expand waivers and entitle illegal immigrants to driver's licenses and some taxpayer benefits, but federal courts put the program on hold.

Trump has said he would cancel that program and DACA, the Dreamers' program. The Times reported that he could do both with a memo on his first day in office.

Muñoz said DACA was a success, but she wishes Obama had been able to make more changes through legislation. She said that disagreements between supporters of immigrant rights and detractors had led to nothing being accomplished.

"The fact that the yelling gets in the way of what everybody kind of agrees we need to do has had tragic results in this country, and we need to do better," Muñoz said.

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Pardons do not apply to immigration cases, and would not be permanent solutions if they were, according to President Barack Obama's Domestic Policy Council director, Cecilia Muñoz.
immigration, illegal, undocumented, pardon, cecelia munoz
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2016-32-30
Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016 12:32 PM
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