This Wednesday the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pardoned 61 people, some of whom were facing immigration enforcement because of criminal activities which they were charged for.
Out of the 61 pardoned 18 were immigrants who were charged with low-level offenses. The governor explained their pardons, saying they had exemplary rehabilitation efforts. This action by Governor Cuomo is seen as a Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s strict immigration policies.
“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 in a statement meant to undermine President Trump’s immigration policies.
Among those pardoned on Wednesday was Lorena Borjas, a woman who had been convicted of criminal facilitation in 1994 as a result of being a victim of human trafficking. The governor’s office said that since her conviction, Borjas has worked as an advocate for the transgender and immigrant communities, being a transgender woman herself.
The office also said that Freddy Perez, 53, was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1993. Perez, who is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, has expressed hopes that he could become a U.S. citizen, The Hill reported.
The New York Times reported that prior to Wednesday’s pardons, Cuomo had issued seven pardons for immigrants in an effort to postpone their deportation.
One of the more controversial pardons issued by the Governor was the one for Dominic Dupont who was convicted of murder. Dupont’s case got famous because he is the nephew of actor Michael K. Williams, known for the roles on HBO’s shows “The Wire” and “Broadwalk Empire.”
Dominic Dupont was sentenced to 25 years and had served 20 before being pardoned. The decision for his pardon was based on Dupont’s work as a youth counselor at the Green Haven Correctional Facility, The New York Daily News reported.