- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 14, 2008

— Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine pardoned an illegal immigrant Tuesday for credit-card fraud. However, the woman, Kathryn Anne Ingleson, still faces a federal deportation hearing Thursday.

Miss Ingleson, 31, moved to the United States from England with her parents when she was 7 as a lawful resident but failed to become a naturalized citizen. In 1997, she was convicted of stealing credit cards from customers at the store where she worked to buy a Christmas tree, some ornaments and other items valued at about $340. She paid restitution and completed probation.

On her return from a visit to a relative in England in 2003, she was arrested and placed in removal proceedings. Her appeals have been denied by immigration officials and the courts.

Miss Ingleson’s attorney, Joseph Peter Drennan, plans to take the pardon Wednesday to the Newport News Circuit Court, where his client was convicted, to stop the deportation. If the judge agrees to vacate the conviction based on the pardon, Mr. Drennan will appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals to throw out the removal order.

“We don’t live in a police state,” he said. “We live under a government that should be informed by wisdom and discretion in enforcement of the laws, and Kathryn is deserving of the relief for which she seeks. She just wants to get about her life.”

Mr. Kaine, Democrat, did not issue an absolute pardon, which is granted when the governor becomes convinced the person did not commit the crime or did not knowingly do it. He instead grant a simple pardon, which is forgiveness for having paid restitution, satisfying sentencing obligations and having provided evidence of a commendable adjustment following conviction, Kaine attorney Lawrence Roberts told Mr. Drennan.

Mr. Roberts said “the commonwealth fully supports action by the federal government to permit Ms. Ingleson to remain in the United States and her continued residence in the commonwealth.”

Miss Ingleson has applied for a stay of deportation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

A message left with an agency spokeswoman was not returned.

Miss Ingleson was an 18-year-old single mother when she stole the credit cards in 1996. She confessed when confronted about it, but wasn’t prosecuted until the following year after a law took effect that expanded the categories of deportable offenses.

Since then, she has worked at a packaging company, kept a clean record and raised her two children, ages 18 and 9, Mr. Drennan said.

After her arrest in 2003, Miss Ingleson’s case was reviewed by ICE, an Immigration Court judge, the immigration board and the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. In May, immigration officials set an Aug. 14 deportation date.

In June, she appealed to Mr. Kaine for a pardon.

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