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Pardon Me?



According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the US government has a right to separate immigrant children from their parents when they cross the border illegally. Sessions says this right was defined by Apostle Paul through "his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes."

However, by the US law as defined in Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, the president has been given the right to pardon individuals who have been found guilty of federal crimes. In a sense, then, the president has been given the power to play God as his pardon power supersedes what otherwise would be dictated by the criminal law of the land.

This is nothing new as presidents of both parties have granted numerous pardons over the years. But in the case of Trump, I have some problems. Last August he didn't hesitate to pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio before he served a day of punishment for being found guilty of violating court orders related to racial profiling when searching for suspected illegal immigrants ("The Best and Worst of Us," Sept. 7, 2017). He said Arpaio was worthy of a pardon based on his many years of service in law enforcement. Now it is told in both the Old and New Testaments that God is a compassionate God. So why can't Trump, who has God-like powers when it comes to federal law, show the same compassion to the comparatively innocent illegal immigrant families that he showed to the guilty Joe Arpaio?

Instead of doing nothing besides continuing to falsely blame the Democrats for the law behind this situation, he could instead simply direct Attorney General Sessions to allow these immigrant families to be detained together. I think God would smile.

Sherman Schapiro, Blue Lake


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