On Thursday, Democratic lawmakers Luis Gutiérrez (IL), Zoe Lofgren (CA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA) urged President Barack Obama to pardon Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients before the official start of a Donald Trump administration.
In a November 17 letter (full text below), Gutiérrez, Lofgren and Roybal-Allard wrote that “Dreamers face uncertainty, fear and stress, leading to psychological issues including depression, anxiety and an increased risk of suicide. Indeed, we have received reports of Dreamers who have taken their own lives as they are now facing the threat posed by the incoming president. Using your pardon authority, which is not subject to reversal, to protect these young people who relied on the program you implemented is quite literally a matter of life and death.”
In 2012, President Obama announced the DACA program through executive action, and since then, about 750,000 Dreamers have received two-year work permits and a shield from deportation. President-elect Trump has already promised to reverse Obama’s DACA action. He also said he would deport two to three million undocumented immigrants.
Trump’s words have many DACA recipients deeply worried about their futures.
NBC News cited a White House source and reported “the president’s clemency power does not allow giving legal status to any undocumented individual.”