If the current congressional push for immigration reform were to fail, however, a presidential pardon for undocumented immigrants with no criminal history might be Obama’s last ditch alternative to prosecutorial discretion. Rather than scaling back on detentions, Obama could instantly–and permanently– legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Beck, the Georgia law scholar, notes that the Constitution empowers the president to “grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” The question, he says, is “whether coming into the country in violation of the immigration laws or overstaying a visa could be deemed an ‘offense against the United States.'”

Read more http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/03/how-obama-could-but-probably-wont-stop-deporting-illegal-immigrants-today/274352/

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