Dems push Obama to use pardon power to prevent deportations

Democrats are amplifying their calls for President Obama to pardon undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and protect them from the threat of deportation under President-elect Donald Trump.

In a second letter in less than a month, this time with 60 signatures, Democrats asked Obama to immediately take action.

Lawmakers say their last letter was misinterpreted as a call to provide legal status to the participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted two-year work permits to recipients and deferred deportations actions.

“We clearly understand such a pardon will not grant legal status and that is not the intent of our request,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.).

“We are simply asking the president to protect the nearly 750,000 DACA recipients who are living in fear of immediate deportation because they trusted our government.”

In a statement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) backed party calls for Obama to take action.

“Today, thousands of young dreamers are stuck in a terrible limbo, left to dread the possibility of President Trump deporting them from the only home they have ever known,” she said.

“These young people are American in every way but on paper, and all they have asked for is the opportunity to live, work and contribute to the country they love.”

Pelosi expressed concern about handing the personal information of DACA recipients to an incoming administration that “made intimidation and hateful statements against immigrants a hallmark of the campaign.”

“President Obama should use every possible measure to protect our dreamers and their data,” she said.

“House Democrats will continue to stand behind our young dreamers and we will continue to fight for the comprehensive immigration reform our nation so urgently needs.”

Trump has promised to rescind all of Obama’s executive orders, including the one that established the DACA program.

By LYDIA WHEELER for THE HILL
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