New York Gov. Cuomo pardons illegal immigrants facing deportation for crimes
Gov. Andrew Cuomo pardoned numerous illegal immigrants Monday in order to support them avoid deportation.
The New York Democrat, who is up for re-election this year, pardoned seven men and women who had minor criminal convictions, ranging from petty larceny to drug possession, his workplace said.
And with the pardons, Cuomo didn&rsquot miss the opportunity to take a dig at the Trump administration and its &ldquozero-tolerance&rdquo immigration policies that left thousands of minors separated from their households following illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
&ldquoAt a time when President Trump and the Federal government are waging a war on our immigrant communities, New York stands firm in our belief that our diversity is our greatest strength,&rdquo Cuomo mentioned in a statement.
&ldquoWhile President Trump engages in policies that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up the deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will safeguard our immigrant communities,&rdquo Cuomo continued. &ldquoWith the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, New York will often stand against the hate coming out of Washington and as an alternative serve as a beacon of hope and chance for all.&rdquo
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The separation of minors from their parents was swiftly and harshly criticized by many on each sides of the aisle. Right after the national outrage, Trump signed an executive order in June enabling families to stay together in detention. The administration is still working on reuniting those who have been separated nearly 1,200 were reunited by this week.
According to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency, a 2017 executive order from Trump expanded the agency&rsquos focus to contain removing immigrants who have been convicted or charged with a criminal offense, among other things.
Frank Barker, 43, was among these pardoned Monday, according to the governor&rsquos office. He was convicted for criminal possession of stolen home and controlled substances and identity theft which stemmed from a drug addiction.
Also pardoned are: Jose Rafael Cruz, 53, who was convicted of a sale of a controlled substance Ludames De La Cruz, 53, who was convicted for an attempted sale of a controlled substance Elpidio Rodriguez, 57, who was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance and operating a motor vehicle although intoxicated Tamar Samuda, 35, who was convicted nearly two decades ago for low-level assault and petit larceny Marino Soto, 43, who was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance and Carlos Suarez, 41, who was convicted for petit larceny.
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Cuomo faces a principal challenger in Cynthia Nixon, an actress and progressive activist who has been credited with pushing the governor to the left in the race.
During the campaign, Nixon has referred to as for the abolishment of ICE. Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Nixon, told Newsday that while Cuomo&rsquos pardoning was very good, Nixon would do far more to &ldquoend the deportation pipeline&rdquo by allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver&rsquos licenses.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro&rsquos campaign accused Cuomo of political grandstanding with the pardons.
&ldquoEverything Andrew Cuomo does is for his own political advantage, regardless of whether it&rsquos right, wrong or harmful to the public,&rdquo spokeswoman Katherine Delgado told Newsday. &ldquoIn this case, it&rsquos all about attempting to out-liberal Cynthia Nixon for the September primary.&rdquo
Cuomo has pardoned 34 individuals considering that taking workplace, according to a news release.
The Related Press contributed to this report.
Published at Tue, 24 Jul 2018 12:45:00 +0000