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.
‘I don’t see any hands’: Awkward silence after CNN asks undecided voter panel if Trump won debate
A panel of undecided voters unanimously told CNN on Thursday that President Donald Trump did not win the final presidential debate of 2020.
"Who thinks Donald Trump won this debate?" CNN's Gary Tuchman asked the panel of North Carolina voters following the debate.
"I don't see any hands. That's a zero," the reporter added following an awkward moment of silence.
In all, nine voters said that Democratic nominee Joe Biden came out ahead, while two voters believed it was a draw.
Watch the video below from CNN.
Trump adviser lashes out at masks: ‘People around him have their masks on… he still got COVID’
Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller asserted over the weekend that masks don't work because President Donald Trump was infected with COVID-19.
Miller made the remarks during an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
"Why does the president continue to hold these rallies where thousands of people are packed together, the vast majority of them without masks?" Wallace asked. "Why doesn't the president follow his administration's own guidelines at his rallies?"
"I encourage everyone who is attending a Trump rally to put the mask on," Miller replied. "But look, as we get close to the election, people don't want to be living in fear in their basements."
WATCH: Trump backer flails as she gets called out by CNN host for defending president’s conspiracy mongering
Appearing on CNN to talk about Donald Trump's waffling when asked about QAnon during his NBC town hall on Thursday night, a regular defender of the president tried to brush off concerns about the president's penchant for promoting conspiracy theories he thinks might help his re-election -- and was promptly called out by CNN host Jim Sciutto.
Speaking to Sciutto and co-host Poppy Harlow, Washington Examiner correspondent Salena Zito -- who has been accused of making up quotes from Trump supporters to flesh out her stories -- was asked about the president's controversial comments and tweets.