NY Gov pardons 6, stops their deportation, including one who faced removal from US for killing a burglar

December 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Immigration laws,” he said, “are often inflexible, arbitrarily applied and excessively harsh, resulting in the deportation of individuals who have paid the price for their crimes and are now making positive contributions to our society.” Those pardoned include Mario Benitez, 58, a Dominican immigrant and assistant director of finance for CUNY. He pleaded guilty to selling CDS in 1988 and served 3 years in prison; Kevin Auyeung, 32, a Chinese national who, at 17, was convicted of robbery but went on to earn a GED and form his own cellular communications services company; Deborah Salako-Nation, 41, a Nigerian facing deportation for one larceny and two forgery convictions. In the decade since the convictions, she “has worked steadily in order to support her college-age son and her 6-year-old autistic son.” Also pardoned was Marlon Powell, 36, a Jamaican who was being held in an immigration jail in NJ, facing deportation for a misdemeanor drug possession when he was 15. While most of the pardon recipients had green cards, one, Sanjay Broomfield, was a legal immigrant whose past conviction had blocked his application for a green card through marriage to a US citizen. Broomfield, 28, a Jamaican immigrant, was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in 2005 after he shot and killed a burglar trying to break into his home. Even though a district attorney said the shooting was justified, Immigration rejected Mr. Broomfield’s application, because, they said, his illegal possession of a weapon had resulted in a death. The governor also pardoned Darshini Ramsaran, 25, a citizen of Guyana and Trinidad who was facing deportation for her participation 4 years ago in a robbery. Paterson’s office said that if Ms. Ramsaran were to be deported, her life would be in danger from 2 men who were deported after she testified against them. (NY Times)

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