California Democrats Ask Obama to Pardon ‘Dreamers;’ White House Says Pardon Wouldn’t Allow Legal Status

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Young people wait in line to enter the office of The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) on August 15, in Los Angeles, on the first day of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. (Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/GettyImages)

The members of Congress who persuaded President Obama to grant temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the country illegally as children are now asking him to use a pardon to prevent those immigrants from being deported by President-elect Donald Trump.

The White House, however, promptly batted down the idea.

Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Downey) and Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) sent a letter to Obama on Thursday asking him to use his pardon authority to forgive the past and future civil immigration offenses of the nearly 750,000 people granted deportation deferrals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

They believe that would keep those people from being deported, and even though it would leave them in legal limbo without work permits or visas, they could more easily apply for legal status from within the U.S. without immigration offenses on their records.

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