- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2018

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday he is pardoning seven immigrants facing potential deportation proceedings. 

“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,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement, “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.”

According to the press release, the pardons were issued to those, “facing the threat of deportation and other immigration consequences as a result of previous minor criminal convictions.”

This is the third time Mr. Cuomo utilized his pardoning power for this cause. To date, the two-term governor has pardoned over 20 immigrants with prior convictions. 

“Governor Cuomo today issued pardons to the following individuals in recognition of their rehabilitative efforts and to remove the barriers that their criminal records present to their immigration status,” a press release read, “Every recipient in is in good standing, having given back to their communities and families in a variety of ways, and having demonstrated a substantial period of crime-free, good citizenship.”

There were four drug-related convictions, two for petit larceny, one for criminal possession of stolen property, and one for identity theft.

The pardons are part of Mr. Cuomo’s larger public project to legally support immigrants in New York. He launched the Liberty Defense Project in 2017 to connect immigrants, both documented and not, to legal counsel.

Mr. Cuomo is running for a third term, but must first fend off a Democratic primary challenge from his left in actress Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”), who has denounced U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) as a “terrorist organization” and called for its abolition. The primary election will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

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