Governor Andrew Cuomo pardoned seven more illegal immigrants on Monday who were facing deportation for “minor criminal convictions.” Many of the convictions were related to the possession or sale of drugs and occurred several years ago.
Two of the men pardoned by Cuomo was 53-year-old Dominican national Ludames De La Cruz and Carlos Suarez, 41, who is also Dominican. De La Cruz had a drug conviction 17 years ago, but stayed out of trouble since, according to the New York Post. He is now battling cancer and would have no support in his home county if he were to be deported.
In a statement Monday, Cuomo’s office explained that “his siblings and nieces and nephews extended family all live in New York City, where they visit and offer support during his illness.”
Suarez was headed to a swearing-in ceremony in September 2017 when he learned he was ineligible for citizenship because of a petit larceny conviction in 2009. He also stayed out of trouble after that conviction. Cuomo’s office added that Monday’s pardons “will make immigration-related relief possible, if not automatic” for the two men, as well as the five other pardoned people.
In his tweet announcing the pardons, Gov. Cuomo took another stab at Trump, making it clear the pardons were in retaliation for Trump’s current immigration policies:
Today I issued pardons to 7 individuals facing the threat of deportation resulting from minor convictions. While President Trump engages in policies that rip children from their mothers and tries to ramp up the deportation of New Yorkers, we will protect our immigrant communities
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 23, 2018
Cuomo also pardoned more than two dozen other illegal immigrants facing deportation. Among them was Carlos Cardona, A Columbian immigrant who volunteered with 9/11 recovery at Ground Zero. Cardona was facing deportation for a minor drug conviction.
Alina Das, a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law said that the pardons come with some degree of insurance against deportation. She told the New York Times that the degree of security from deportation depended on the crime and conviction. For some, the pardons will render them not deportable at all. Others will be able to apply for relief from deportation.
Das explained, “Either way, it allows people to have a chance to stay in the U.S. with their families.”