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.)

Comments (7)
  1. Funk Doppler says:

    He brings a whole new meaning to blind justice!

  2. Connie says:

    I have a friend who was deported after being stopped for speeding..his visa had expired 3 days before he was stopped and his new one hadn’t arrived yet..he was NOT a criminal. He was a productive member of society. He had a good job..a house..a car and a family who are devastated!! I contacted Patersons office and they told me there was nothing they could do…how unfair..protect the criminals and deport the law abiding ones? His visa did eventually arrive but it was too late. Is there anyone else we can contact about this?

  3. A. Deported LEGAL Immigrant's Wife says:

    where do you see the word ILLEGAL???? he pardoned immigrants w/misdemeanor convictions who served their time, if they were even sentenced to any time considered how minor some of the crimes were. not all immigrants are ILLEGAL, US citizens seem to confuse this all the time, most of our relatives were IMMIGRANTS, that doesn’t make them ILLEGAL! what kind of person wants to see another person’s family torn apart over a mistake, a minor conviction, these are not terrorists, murderers, or rapists. please make yourself more informed before striking out against something you know nothing about.

  4. Private says:

    Deaf, dumb and blind. These illegals are ruining the economy. Im glad this looser is leaving soon. I hop he becomes a victim and learns

  5. pal says:

    if they continue to commit crimes, i hope he is the victim

  6. Gregg says:

    Pardoned Illegal Immigrant Criminals ? What the hell is that all about ? When is this Gov leaving office ?

  7. Steve says:

    Worst Gov EVER! What an embarrassment.

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