Paterson Move May Help Immigrants Facing Deportation

Danny Hakim and Jeremy W. Peters
The New York Times
5/3/2010

ALBANY — In a major rebuke of federal immigration policy, Gov. David A. Paterson announced on Monday that he would create a special pardon panel to review cases involving legal immigrants who are at risk of deportation for minor or old convictions.

Mr. Paterson’s move will give many immigrants facing deportation renewed hope and places the governor into the middle of the country’s immigration debate.

The announcement comes as the federal government has taken an increasingly hard line in its interpretation of existing immigration law, leaving a growing number of legal immigrants who have criminal records facing deportation.

“Some of our immigration laws, particularly with respect to deportation, are embarrassingly and wrongly inflexible,” Mr. Paterson said in a speech on Monday at an annual gathering of the state’s top judges.

“In New York we believe in renewal,” he added. “In New York we believe in rehabilitation.”

State officials say they believe thousands of legal immigrants could fall into the category of cases that they are interested in reviewing.

A new five-member panel made up of existing state employees, called the Special Immigration Board of Pardons, will review the cases.

The article continues at The New York Times.

Read also Professor William A. Jacobson’s analysis at Legal Insurrection.

Comments are closed.