New State Panel to Counter Strict Deportation Penalty
Governor Paterson Creates Panel to Review Pardon Petitions
On Monday May 3, 2010, Governor Paterson created a panel to investigate pardon requests of legal immigrants who are facing deportation due to a prior criminal conviction. Current immigration laws allow for deportation for even relatively minor incidents from the past. The Panel will review pardon requests on a case-by-case basis and recommend to the Governor cases that deserve additional consideration. Relevant factors for consideration include the date of the conviction, whether the conviction was a minor offense, and whether the individual has shown efforts towards rehabilitation.
If you have been convicted of a crime, it is possible that the crime did not carry a deportation consequence at the time you were convicted or pled guilty. In addition, you may not have been aware of the deportation consequence of a conviction. A typical deportation decision does not consider certain factors, such as efforts toward rehabilitation and positive contributions to society. The Governor's Panel, however, will evaluate these factors when making its determination. The Governor seeks to prevent the injustice that would be caused by deportation to a country where you have little or no ties after you have been living in the United States with an established career, a family, roots in a community, and no further involvement with law enforcement.
Our firm has kept abreast of this new initiative and our attorneys already have experience in representing clients who are petitioning the Governor for a pardon.
If you are a legal immigrant with upcoming immigration proceedings (an application for citizenship or a renewal of permanent resident status), and you have been previously convicted of a crime in New York State, our firm has the knowledge and experience to assist you with your pardon petition. When you contact our firm, please be prepared to discuss details about your prior criminal conviction, your current immigration status, and the timeframe for future immigration proceedings. In addition, we will ask you to gather letters of reference from employers, family members, religious ministers, community members, and anyone else who can attest to your good character, your rehabilitation, and your contributions to society since your conviction. We will attach these letters to the pardon petition, which will demonstrate to the Panel your rehabilitation efforts and community ties.
Since Governor Paterson will not be in office after this calendar year, it is essential that pardon petitions be drafted and submitted quickly. Even if your next immigration proceeding is months or years away, it is in your best interest to submit the pardon request while Governor Paterson is still in office. We would be happy to assist you with the process, and we look forward to working with you.
Click here to view the Governor's Press Release: http://www.state.ny.us/governor/press/050310Deportation.html