Meet the “pardoned” illegal aliens who had been scheduled for deportation: a couple of felons guilty of weapons charges and affiliation with gangs, a 57-year-old transgender convicted of criminal facilitation, a 35-year-old convicted of larceny and a 53-year-old man who reportedly sold drugs.
Those are among the dozen or so illegal aliens saved from deportation at the last minute by pardons from their governors.
The move appears to be the latest attempt to undermine President Trump’s crackdown on illegal aliens in the United States.
Some of the details about the holiday moves by California Gov. Jerry Brown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were revealed by Judicial Watch.
Brown pardoned two men “on the verge of being deported,” and Cuomo pardoned “18 immigrants convicted of serious crimes so they could remain in the country,” the report said.
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“The foreigners had obtained legal immigration status in the United States but committed such abhorrent crimes that they faced removal after the completion of their criminal sentence,” Judicial Watch said, even though a statement referred to those pardoned as “contributing members of society.”
Cuomo claimed the criminals were rehabilitated, but it was the “stigma” of their crimes that “prevented them from gaining legal status or fully reentering society.”
“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,” Cuomo said.
His statement also included endorsements from a number of groups that advocate essentially for open borders.
For example, the head of the Vera Institution of Justice said, “Too many immigrants with prior criminal convictions are subjected to the gratuitous punishment of deportation, despite being longstanding contributing members of our community.”
But Judicial Watch reported that the two saved by Brown were Cambodians Mony Neth of Modesto, California, and Rottanak Kong of Davis, California. They had been arrested in a sweep of allegedly criminal activity a few months ago.
They were among a large group of Cambodians that are subject to deportation from the U.S., a group in which more than half have criminal convictions.
“The New York pardons include a 57-year-old Mexican transgender woman convicted of criminal facilitation, a 35-year-old man from Estonia convicted of larceny and a 53-year-old Dominican man convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance. The Mexican national, Lorena Borjas, deserves to stay in the U.S. because she is a strong advocate for transgender and immigrant communities and runs HIV testing programs for transgender sex workers and a syringe exchange for transwomen taking hormone injections. The Estonian, Alexander Shilov, became a nurse and frequently gives talks on overcoming addiction. The Dominican, Freddy Perez, works as an electrician and takes care of his autistic younger brother. For these reasons, they deserve to remain in the U.S. despite their criminal histories, according to Cuomo,” Judicial Watch said.
The evidence that it’s part of a larger strategy to “protect criminal immigrations from deportation” is becoming obvious, Judicial Watch said.
“Months ago, Judicial Watch reported that prosecutors in two major U.S. cities ordered staff not to charge illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes because it could get the offenders deported. Brooklyn, New York District Attorney Eric Gonzalez was the first to issue the order creating two sets of rules involving local crimes. The goal, according to a statement issued by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, is ‘minimizing collateral immigration consequences of criminal convictions.'”
Also, just a few weeks ago, prosecutors in Maryland joined.
“There was no public announcement or celebratory press conference but a local newspaper got ahold of an internal memo sent by Baltimore’s Chief Deputy State’s Attorney instructing prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes. The chief deputy, Michael Schatzow, used similar language in the memo, writing that the Trump administration’s deportation efforts ‘have increased the potential collateral consequences to certain immigrants of minor, non-violent criminal conduct.'”