Earlier today while holding a press briefing in Puerto Rico, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo discussed the issuing of pardons to seven individuals facing the threat of deportation and other immigration consequences as a result of previous minor criminal convictions. This is the third time Governor Cuomo has used his pardon authority to protect individuals facing potential deportation, including most recently in December where he issued pardons to 18 other individuals. More information is available here.
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is below:
Governor Cuomo: None of them were violent offenses, but just to take a step back and furthering what I said before, people of Puerto Rico think it was just they were disrespected by this administration. This administration is on a crusade against people who they do not consider original Americans. Which is specious and hypocritical at best. Because unless you're a member of a Native American tribe, then you're really an immigrant to the United States. But, what they've done at the border, is an example of it, what they've Puerto Rico. And they are on a jihad to deport as many people as they can who they believe are not in the United States legally.
One of the rationales they use is people who've committed crimes in the past, even if they have no criminal activity, even if they're now leading productive lives—they deport people based on past crimes. We're doing everything we can to frustrate their efforts. One of the things we can do is pardon people for past crimes so their records are expunged. Pardoning means you pardon the crime committed so they no longer have a criminal record and that criminal record then can't be used for deportation. And we did 7, people who did non-violent crimes and have not had any criminal activity in the past 10 years and were leading productive lives. I can get you the actual facts on the 7. Ok, we'll go to work now—thank you.