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Will POTUS Pardon Immigrants?

January 16, 2017 (2 min read)

Prof. Peter L. Markowitz writes: "I wanted to draw your attention to a piece posted today [Jan. 16, 2017] on the Huffington Post by Prof. Stephen Legomsky urging President Obama to use his last few days in office to issue a categorical pardon protecting 100,000-200,000 lawful permanent residents from deportation based on the most minor criminal convictions.  Steve's piece is available here:

 Steve's posting follows on the heals of several bog boosts this week for the campaign pressing Obama to issue a categorical immigration pardon for LPR's with minor convictions.  In addition to Steve's piece, this week:

  • 27 Congressional representatives sent a letter to President Obama asking him to use his pardon power for this group of immigrants. And here’s a story on it in Spanish. And an English one.
  • 60 local elected officials, organized by Local Progress, also sent a letter to the President about the pardon.
  • Samantha Bee had a great section about the power the president has to pardon people like Lundy Khoy with minor criminal records. You can view and share it here.
  • 37 new organizations (bringing the total to 140) signed up and pledged your support at
  • thousands of immigrants rallied in Washington D.C. to say our communities are #HereToStay, and to urge the President to cement his immigration legacy with this one last action.

Can you help? Here’s how:

  • Call the White House and ask the President to grant this pardon. The comments line is 202-456-1111.
  • Join the fray on social media: Post any of the links above and use the hashtag #POTUSpardon to join the push and share why you think this pardon is important.

We believe that this effort is important, even if the President does not grant our request, to make clear that we will not stand for the demonization of immigrants who have had contact with the criminal justice system. 

Suggested tweets

@POTUS Make ur final act -- a #POTUSpardon of longtime resident immigrants to keep 1000s of families together 

4 days. 1 action. Over 200,000 lives. @POTUS sign #POTUSpardon to keep longtime immigrants with their families. #HereToStay 

@POTUS Act before you can’t. Sign #POTUSpardon to keep longtime resident immigrants w minor convictions at home 

Deporter in Chief or Family Defender? What is @POTUS immigration legacy? Can pardon LPRs w minor convictions, protect families #POTUSpardon 

Reps of Congress, Local Electeds, Imm Orgs agree: @POTUS must pardon immigrants w minor convictions NOW #POTUSpardon"