Can the President do it?
There are many people making claims that the president granting amnesty to illegal immigrants is unconstitutional. Ted Cruz has been one of the major politicians promoting the alleged illegality of the president to grant amnesty to those who are illegal immigrants.
So lets find out whether the president actually has the authority to grant amnesty.
Article II section 2 of the U.S Constitution states: “… he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”
The definition of amnesty is:
- n. A general pardon granted by a government, especially for political offenses.
- transitive v. To grant a general pardon to.
So as can be seen, amnesty is a pardon.
Now, according to many laws that have been passed by the government of the United States, it is illegal to come into this country without documentation.
Thus, it would appear that those illegal immigrants are criminals of which the president has the power to pardon criminals.
So the President can grant amnesty to all of the illegal immigrants.
He can prevent them from being deported or jailed for being in the United States illegally.
The president has the power to protect any and every individual residing in the United States from the consequences of any and all laws written.
He cannot, though, grant them citizenship or the privileges that come from the laws that the government has created. They would still have to follow the laws in order to become a citizen of the United States.
Article I Section 8 of the constitution gives the power to create a uniform rule of naturalization to congress.