Gov. Cuomo Pardons 7 Facing Deportation For ‘Minor’ Past Crimes

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pardoned seven people who had faced deportation because of “minor” crimes committed years ago.

The Democrat announced the pardons on Monday, saying the state must protect its residents as the federal government wages what he calls an un-American assault on immigrants. The pardons are intended to prevent deportation or at least make it harder for federal immigration officials to proceed with the process.

“At 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,” Cuomo said in a statement obtained by ABC News.

“While President Trump engages in policies that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will protect our immigrant communities. With the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, New York will always stand against the hate coming out of Washington and instead serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all.”

The governor’s office says the seven people pardoned all turned their lives around following “minor criminal convictions” years ago.

The list includes a 57-year-old grandfather who was convicted of drug possession and intoxicated driving nearly 20 years ago and a 53-year-old man battling cancer who now faces deportation because of a 7-year-old conviction for attempted drug sales.

(AP)