President Barack Obama told Univision this week that he “probably” wouldn’t resort to granting amnesty on a grand scale to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S.
“Probably not. I think that it is very important for us to recognize that the way to solve this problem has to be legislative. I can do some things and have done some things that make a difference in the lives of people by determining how our enforcement should focus,” Obama said.
But the President, who’s certainly not shy about broadly interpreting the Constitutional provisions that delegate unenumerated powers to the executive branch, could, in theory, invoke the power to pardon criminals as set forth in Article II, Section 2, which simply states “The President…shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”
Obama’s words may have been intended as a veiled threat to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which is poised to shape a dramatically different vision for immigration reform than the liberal, omnibus bill that passed the Senate in late June.