Cuomo pardons 61 people ahead of the New Year, including 18 immigrants

Cuomo pardons 61 people ahead of the New Year, including 18 immigrants
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday pardoned 61 people, including some who faced immigration enforcement actions because of prior criminal charges.

Cuomo pardoned 18 immigrants who had committed low-level offenses, saying his pardon was based on their rehabilitation efforts. Cuomo blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE's hard-line immigration efforts in the process.

“While the federal government continues to target immigrants and threatens to tear families apart with deportation, these actions take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York,” Cuomo said in a statement.

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Among those pardoned Wednesday was Lorena Borjas, 57, who had been convicted of criminal facilitation in 1994 as a result of being a victim of human trafficking. Borjas, a transgender woman from Mexico, has worked as an advocate for the transgender and immigrant communities since her conviction, the governor’s office said.

Freddy Perez, 53, was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1993. Perez, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, said he hopes to become a U.S. citizen, according to the governor’s office. 

Prior to Wednesday’s pardons, Cuomo had issued seven pardons for immigrants in an effort to postpone their deportation, The New York Times reported.

Cuomo also commuted the sentence of convicted murderer Dominic Dupont, whose uncle is actor Michael K. Williams. Williams is known for his roles on HBO’s “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

Dupont has served 20 years of a 25-year sentence. A government official told The New York Daily News that the decision was based on Dupont’s work as a youth counselor at Green Haven Correctional Facility.