Brown Defies Trump Again, Issues Pardons to 2 Immigrants
By Brian Freeman
California Gov. Jerry Brown has granted pardons to two immigrants who were on the verge of being deported for committing crimes while in the United States, The Sacramento Bee reported.
Brown’s decision was part of an overall decision in which he pardoned 132 people for mostly nonviolent and drug-related crimes, and commuted the sentences of 19 others in an annual Christmas tradition of mercy.
The move appears to escalate California’s showdown with the Trump administration over illegal immigration, as federal officials in recent months have detained and deported immigrants with felony convictions that resulted in the loss of their legal residency status, including many with nonviolent offenses that occurred years ago.
The two men pardoned by Brown were arrested in October in immigration sweeps. Both arrived in the U.S. as children from Cambodia after their families fled the Khmer Rouge.
One was convicted on felony joyriding in 2003 and sentenced to a year in jail, while the other was convicted on a felony weapons charge with a gang enhancement and a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property with a value of $400 or less in 1995, The Sacramento Bee reported.
Those felonies took away their legal residency status and both were set to have been deported on December 18, before a federal judge delayed the order, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Both can now seek legal status through the immigration courts.
Brown’s pardons also come on the heels of his challenge to the Trump administration in October when the state legislature made California a sanctuary state, Newsweek reported.
The legislation forbids state law enforcement officers from detaining people based on their immigrant status unless they have been convicted of certain misdemeanors or felonies.