NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Gov. David Paterson continued defending decisions made in his final month in office, including two dozen pardons.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

Pateron gave out 24 pardons this past week because he feared the overzealous and unjust actions of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials would have led to deportation.

“I believe in rehabilitation and redemption. ICE clearly does not,” Paterson said.

All of the offenses were minor and many occurred years ago, Paterson said, adding that his decision was purely about justice.

“You can’t get a pardon because you committed a crime and they won’t let you into law school or your business is not taking off because people know your previous criminal record,” Paterson said.

He created a special immigration pardon panel in order to guide his actions.

“The power of pardons for governor is profound. Pardons should not be taken lightly and they should only be issued in cases involving justice,” he added.

Paterson called actions of ICE arbitrary and inflexible, saying that their enforcement was often times random at best.