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Immigration Status and Pardons

If you are a non-U.S. citizen and you are convicted of a federal crime, you will likely be deported after you have served your sentence. If your removal order is based solely on the federal offense, however, a pardon from the President will revoke the order and prevent your deportation.


The relationship between the President’s pardon power and the authority of Congress over the status of non-citizens is notoriously complicated. The U.S. Constitution places very few limits on executive clemency, however, and a Presidential pardon removes all civil penalties resulting from an offense. You cannot be deported on the basis of a crime for which you have been pardoned.


If you are laboring under the threat of a deportation order due to a federal offense, Samuel Morison can discuss the specific circumstances of your case and give an assessment about how a pardon might resolve your immigration status.

For more information about immigration and federal pardons, read Samuel Morison’s essay, “Presidential Pardons and Immigration Law.”