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Paterson Pardons 24 To Stop Deportations

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Gov. David Paterson (Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Gov. David Paterson (Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. David Paterson has issued pardons to 24 immigrants with prior criminal convictions, to prevent their deportation.

In a statement Friday, Paterson said his administration has reviewed more than 1,100 pardon applications and found that federal immigration laws are often “excessively harsh and in need of modernization.”

Paterson said the 24 people he had pardoned committed offenses in the past but had paid their debt to society and are now making positive contributions to their communities.

In May 2010, Paterson created an Immigration Pardon Panel to collect information and help deserving individuals avoid deportation. He said the initiative was designed to counter aspects of federal immigration laws that may result in inflexible and unjust decisions to deport legal immigrants.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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