New York Will Help Criminals
Evade Federal Deportation Laws
May 19, 2010
David Paterson announced earlier this month he will grant
pardons to illegal aliens who have committed crimes in his state
in order to help them avoid federal deportation. The highly
unusual move puts the State of New York at odds with the Obama
administration, which has focused its removal efforts solely on
criminal aliens. Ironically, Paterson announced his new policy
during a Law Day speech at the New York Court of Appeals.
Paterson said he was moved to grant pardons to illegal aliens
after having pardoned a 29-year-old Chinese immigrant for a
series of muggings committed as a teenager. Nevertheless,
Paterson insisted that his office was “separating these cases
from ones where there are egregious crimes.”
With respect to public safety, Paterson said, “To be sure, there
are some individuals whose crimes are egregious or who pose a
threat to public safety….But there are others in which
delineation is far less clear. In those cases, our national
immigration laws do not permit for any redress or mitigating
circumstances. But in New York, we think differently. In New
York, we believe in renewal.” Paterson’s office anticipates an
influx of hundreds of new pardon applications by the end of the
To execute his new policy,
Governor Paterson is creating a Special Immigration Pardoning
Board, consisting of five members, to review individual cases
over several weeks, according to an Associated Press report.
Open borders advocates praised Governor Paterson’s decision, but
immigration enforcement supporters criticized the move. “There
are people out there, maybe the governor included, who don’t
want to deport anybody, even people who have committed crimes,”
said Jan Ting in a New York Times interview. Ting, a professor
at Temple University Law School, and a former assistant
immigration commissioner continued, “I understand the impulse,
but it’s an impulse that leads to open borders.
Mr. Paterson said the new policy was in the works weeks before
enacted a law late last month to give the police there
authority to question people about their citizenship status.
Transcript of Law Day Speech
Patterson Panel to Help Some Immigrants Avoid Deportation
New Paterson Policy May Reduce Deportations (New York Times)
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