New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has pardoned dozens of prisoners ahead of the new year, including 18 prisoners who were illegal immigrants.
Fox News reports:
In a move seen as a rebuke to President Trump’s strict immigration enforcement policies, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) granted pardons Wednesday to individuals who were convicted of crimes, but have since been law-abiding members of society for 10 years or more.
Granting clemency to 61 convicted criminals and pardoning a total of 39 people for misdemeanor and nonviolent offenses, Cuomo’s inclusion of 18 illegal immigrants effectively blocks federal officials from deporting them.
In a tweet (see below), Cuomo referenced the pardons, writing: “While the federal government continues to target immigrants and threatens to tear families apart with deportation, these actions take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York.”
The pardons were granted to individuals who had committed low-level offenses, and who had demonstrated “significant rehabilitation” following their convictions, Alphonso David, the governor’s chief counsel, said in an interview, according to The New York Times.
“New York is a state of immigrants,” David reportedly said. “And most of these individuals made mistakes decades ago, and have been contributing members to our society.”
The individuals who received clemency include a convicted murderer, drug dealers, and others found guilty of violent offenses.
Cuomo’s pardons come even as New York is criticized for negligence related to immigration enforcement, which has led to the resurgence of the violent MS-13 gang. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has said that MS-13 has expanded due, in part, to “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with immigration agents.
“Because of an open border and years of lax immigration enforcement, MS-13 has been sending both recruiters and members to regenerate gangs that previously had been decimated, and smuggling members across the border as unaccompanied minors,” Sessions said in April. He added, “Harboring criminal aliens only helps violent gangs like MS-13.”
While the federal government continues to target immigrants and threatens to tear families apart with deportation, these actions take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York. https://t.co/QK1lzhMgfg
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 28, 2017
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