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December 6, 2010

NY Gov Paterson grants pardons to immigrants facing deportation

As detailed in this New York Times piece, "Gov. David A. Paterson announced pardons on Monday for six immigrants facing deportation because of old criminal convictions, including a financial administrator at the City University of New York."  Here's more:

The governor said the pardons addressed “shortcomings in our federal immigration laws relating to deportation.”

Mr. Paterson began a special clemency process in the spring with the principal aim of helping permanent legal residents — green card holders — who were at risk of deportation because of long-ago or minor convictions.

“Federal immigration laws,” he said, “are often inflexible, arbitrarily applied and excessively harsh, resulting in the deportation of individuals who have paid the price for their crimes and are now making positive contributions to our society.  These pardons represent an attempt to achieve fairness and justice.”

Mr. Paterson convened a so-called pardon panel last May. In the past several weeks, its five members have been sifting through about 1,100 petitions for clemency, referring promising cases to the governor’s Executive Clemency Committee, which has recommended cases to the governor for final determination.

Officials say the governor may issue another batch of pardons before his term ends this month.

December 6, 2010 at 09:45 PM | Permalink

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