Retired MIT linguistics professor Noam Chomsky issued a video message on Friday December 23 regarding the critical problem faced by undocumented immigrants on the verge of a Trump presidency.
“President Obama, to his credit, has issued personal pardons in deserving cases, but he should go far beyond,” Chomsky stated.
On December 19, just weeks before leaving office, President Obama pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentences of 153 other prisoners. The recipients were all non-violent, low level drug offenders deserving of a second chance. In total, President Obama has pardoned 1,000 individuals since taking office; more than 50 times that of George W. Bush.
Chomsky then dared the president to set a new record.
“He should proceed to what is, in fact, an urgent necessity, to grant a general pardon to 11 million people who are living and working [in America], productive citizens… threatened with deportation by the incoming administration,” Chomsky insisted.
Donald Trump has promised to immediately deport 2-3 million undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile the White House has shut down House Democrats’ request for Obama to pardon DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) recipients through his executive power.
“As we have repeatedly said for years, only Congress can create legal status for undocumented individuals,” a White House official told BuzzFeed.
President-elect Trump said in early December that he would “work something out” for the DACA Dreamers. But considering that Trump campaigned on the promise of deporting every single illegal immigrant, Chomsky isn’t too hopeful.
“This would be a horrible humanitarian tragedy,” Chomsky said of Trump’s deportation plan.
“And moral outrage can be averted by a general pardon for immigration infractions which the President could issue,” Chomsky said. According to Peter L. Markowitz, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, it’s possible.
“President Obama can still act to bring humanity and justice to an immigration system notoriously lacking in both. He can do so by using the power the Constitution grants him — and only him — to pardon individuals for “offenses against the United States,” Markowitz explained in July, just three weeks before Trump officially became the GOP nominee.
Markowitz then revealed that the President’s pardon power does not solely apply to criminal offenses, and can be used to grant a fairly wide range of amnesties.
“It’s a common assumption that pardons can be used only for criminal offenses, and it’s true that they have not been used before for civil immigration violations. However, the Constitution extends the power to all “offenses against the United States,” which can be interpreted more broadly than just criminal offenses,” Markowitz said, citing Jimmy Carter’s 1977 pardon to half a million draft violations.
Chomsky had a request for viewers as well.
“We should join to urge [President Obama] to carry out this necessary step without delay,” he added.
White nationalist speaker heckled for denying Holocaust at Virginia gun march: ‘You are literally a neo-Nazi’
A white nationalist speaker who has been affiliated with neo-Nazi rhetoric was caught on video denying the Holocaust at a pro-Second Amendment march in Richmond, Virginia.
The remarks were made by former Proud Boy Jovanni Valle, who goes by the name Jovi Val. Video clips of Valle's speech were shared on Twitter by writer Robert Evans.
"You wear a swastika and walk down the street," a man can be heard telling Valle. "You took it off and now you are like, oh no. You are denying the existence of the Holocaust."
WATCH: Virginia gun rights activist trashes MSNBC reporter’s live shot by shouting F-bombs
A gun rights activist in Virginia went ballistic on Monday when he saw an MSNBC correspondent reporting from a Second Amendment rally.
NBC's Gabe Gutierrez was finishing up his live report at the Richmond demonstration when a man burst into the shot.
The man rattled off a string of profanities and capped it off with "f*ck you." Several security guards blocked the man from getting close to Gutierrez.
"Apologies for some of the background noise you just heard," MSNBC host Hallie Jackson said as the network cut the sound.
Watch the video below from MSNBC.
WATCH: Ricky Gervais roasts Hollywood as hypocrites at Golden Globes
British filmmaker Sam Mendes on Sunday secured a shock best director win for war epic "1917" at the Golden Globes, which kicked off with a no-holds-barred monologue by host Ricky Gervais that shocked Hollywood's A-listers.
Stars arriving under bright California skies in couture gowns and extravagant jewels were greeted by the British comic's signature cutting one-liners at the awards ceremony, the first of the year building up to next month's Oscars.
"Let's go out with a bang, let's have a laugh at your expense, shall we?" joked Gervais, hosting the awards for the fifth and final time, before tearing into the industry.