Saturday, December 4, 2010

Undocumented Pardon

At the direction of Governor Paterson, the State of New York is currently reviewing hundreds of pardon applications from criminal aliens who want to avoid deportations based on their criminal acts. Governor Paterson announced in May of this year that he intended to pardon certain criminal aliens in order to prevent the U.S. government from deporting them. To that end, he ordered the creation of a Special Immigration Pardoning Board to review applications.

While Governor Paterson has provided little, if any, guidance as to criteria for receiving pardons, he did specify that review would be limited to green card holders (legal permanent residents). Officials said that the cases being reviewed by the Special Immigration Pardoning Board range from misdemeanors to felonies, and from turnstile jumping to murder. Some crimes were committed recently, while others were committed decades ago. such as the case of a Dominican NYC cab driver.

Feds are set to deport Manhattan cabbie Eligio Valerio, 52, on old gun rap
October 28, 2010,
NY Daily News - A Manhattan cabbie who's had a green card for nearly 30 years is suddenly facing deportation - for a gun arrest in 1982. Dominican immigrant Eligio Valerio, 52, didn't get any jail time for the ancient offense, but it could get him kicked out of the country he's called home for decades. After digging up the old conviction, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents knocked on his door in Washington Heights last week. Peter Markowitz, director of the Immigration Justice Clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, said the law has long allowed for the deportation of legal residents convicted of minor offenses, no matter how far in the past. Lately, though, he said, he has noticed a "disturbing trend" of people like Valerio sent packing. "The sad trend that I've seen is an increased focus on pumping up numbers of deportations of people that they can claim are 'criminal aliens' without any attempt to look at the particulars of the situation," Markowitz said. He fears there could be even more deportations with the advent of Secure Communities, a program that shares police department fingerprints with the feds.

As the clock winds down towards the departure of the Governor, the hope is that he will indeed
pardon the deserving.
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