New York, NY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pardoned several criminals on Monday to help them avoid deportation.
Cuomo, a Democrat who is up for re-election this year, pardoned seven people who had criminal convictions ranging from petty larceny to drug possession, according to Fox News. Cuomo’s office confirmed the pardons.
“At a time when President Trump and the Federal government are waging a war on our immigrant communities, New York stands firm in our belief that our diversity is our greatest strength,” Cuomo said in a statement, according to Fox News.
“While President Trump engages in policies that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up the deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will protect our immigrant communities. With the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, New York will always stand against the hate coming out of Washington and instead serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all,” Cuomo said, according to Fox News.
Frank Barker, 43, was one of the seven pardoned by Cuomo, according to the governor’s office. Barker was convicted of criminal possession of stolen property and controlled substances and identity theft. The governor’s office stated those crimes were because of a drug addiction.
Fox News and Newsday reported the others who were pardoned:
Jose Rafael Cruz, 53, who was convicted of a sale of a controlled substance.
Ludames De La Cruz, 53, who was convicted for an attempted sale of a controlled substance.
Elpidio Rodriguez, 57, who was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance and being intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle 19 years ago.
Tamar Samuda, 35, who was convicted 17 years ago of assault and petty theft.
Marino Soto, 43, who was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Carlos Suarez, 41, who was convicted of petty theft.
The spokeswoman for the Republican candidate challenging Cuomo criticized the pardons.
“Everything Andrew Cuomo does is for his own political benefit, regardless of whether it’s right, wrong or dangerous to the public,” said Katherine Delgado, a spokeswoman for Republican nominee Marc Molinaro, according to Newsday.
In June of 2017, Cuomo challenged President Donald Trump to deport him, saying that, “We are all immigrants,” according to Fox News.
According to Fox News, Cuomo said unless people belonged to the Onondaga, Mohawk or certain other Native American tribes from New York, they were immigrants.