With the election of Donald Trump, illegal immigrants are preparing to ask President Obama for pardons because they fear that they will be deported. Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program grants young adult illegal aliens a two-year stay of deportation and issues them work permits, entitling them to driver’s licenses and some taxpayer benefits. A pardon from Obama may prevent them from being deported and erase records of the illegal ways they entered the country, but a pardon cannot give them citizenship or legal status. Advocates say their goal is to stop deportations at least to give Congress and Trump the chance to tackle a broader immigration bill that could include legal status.
When looking at ethics, this is a tricky situation. The article says that “millions of law abiding undocumented immigrants are fearful of what will happen…” and I believe they should be. The term “law abiding undocumented immigrant” is an oxymoron. When you are an illegal alien you aren’t abiding by the law and as such, I don’t believe they have the right to demand a pardon. In social contract theory, one of the obligations we have is to follow the law. Governments are created to enforce norms and laws and when one is broken there must be consequences. For people who came into the country illegally, that consequence is deportation.
With Trump wanting to deport so many illegal immigrants people may think he is practicing malicious obedience. They assume he is acting on racist feelings he has toward them and he intends to hurt the immigrants by deporting them. People who believe this need to look at the situation though. They may be acting as “law abiding citizens” here but they are still criminals. The number of people who enter this country illegally is getting out of hand and something needs to be done. The rule has been considered and its meaning has been evaluated. With illegal immigration getting so out of hand, people need to see that there are consequences to illegal behavior and deportation is necessary for that.
Being afraid of deportation is definitely a right that these immigrants have, but demanding a pardon from the president of a country they are not even living in legal is ridiculous. It makes sense that if you enter a country illegally, you will not benefit from the same things others that entered legally would, or even people who are citizen of the country.