Amnesty refers to a legal absolution for a crime, typically conferred upon a guilty party by a branch of government other than the judiciary. In the United States, the President can grant individual criminals amnesty by a presidential pardon; similarly, the legislature can repeal, or carve out exceptions to, criminal laws, and provide for retroactive application, thus discharging guilt.
In United States political discourse, "amnesty" typically refers to legislative proposals to forgive immigrants who enter the country illegally and, in some cases, grant them citizenship. Many Democrats support amnesty for illegal immigrants, including DACA recipients, in order to provide the Democrat Party with additional voters. This was affirmed in a leaked memo by the Center for American Progress Action Fund that stated that legalizing DACA was "a critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success." While establishment Republicans, such as John McCain, also support amnesty, conservatives staunchly oppose immigration amnesty in any form.
- Binder, John (January 11, 2018). Leaked Memo: DACA Amnesty Is ‘Critical Component of Democratic Party’s Future Electoral Success’. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 11, 2018.