by Global News Staff
NEW YORK, USA — New York Governor David Paterson has granted pardons to 24 immigrants, including Caribbean nationals, who were due to be deported because of prior criminal convictions.
Though he did not identify the nationalities of all the immigrants who had faced deportation, Paterson singled out Haitian, Edouard Colas.
The governor, the grandson of Jamaican and Grenadian immigrants, said Codas was brought to the United States from Haiti as a lawful permanent resident at the age of 10.
He said Codas was convicted in 1987 of attempted burglary in the third degree and sentenced to five years of probation.
“He has maintained gainful employment and is married to a United States citizen with whom he has two young sons,” Paterson said.
Paterson indicated that over the course of the administration’s review of more than1,100 pardon applications, it has become “abundantly clear that the federal government’s immigration laws are often excessively harsh and in need of modernisation.”
“The individuals pardoned committed past offences but paid their debt to society. They now make positive contributions to our state and nation, and I believe they should be protected from inflexible and misguides immigration statutes,” Paterson added.
His latest pardons come on the heels of six he granted earlier this month, including four Caribbean nationals, who had faced a similar fate.
Those Caribbean immigrants were nationals of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and the Dominican Republic.
Over the years, Caribbean leaders have blamed increased deportations of criminals, particularly from the United States, for the spiraling crime wave in the region.
Reprinted from Caribbean News Now!