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Governor Cuomo plans to pardon man in immigration detention

Though many people in this country disagree on issues surrounding undocumented immigrants, there are still many who come to New York and other states in search of a better life. Though many of these immigrants become law-abiding citizens, some of them feel forced to make ends meet in ways that are technically illegal. Advocates for immigrants say that each case is unique and deportation should not be applied to low-level offenders. Governor Andrew Cuomo apparently agrees, as he says he will issue a pardon to one immigrant who has been in immigration detention since early this year.

The man in question came from Gambia over 25 years ago. He sought to escape his father and came to the United States wanting to work. He was not allowed to obtain traditional employment, so he began selling clothes and other goods to support himself. He was arrested and charged with multiple misdemeanors, but never served longer than 15 days in jail for any crime. Immigration and Customs Enforcement eventually gave him a work authorization and the man has worked as a building porter ever since.

He now lives in Manhattan with his wife and five children. He went for a routine check-in with ICE several weeks ago and was detained with plans of deportation. Governor Cuomo has expressed his desire to pardon the man for his past crimes, saying that the low level of offenses were so many years ago that he deserves a second chance. The governor notes that the man is currently a tax-paying citizen and has not committed any crimes for over 10 years.

Advocates for the Gambian man are hopeful that he will be released soon and be able to rejoin his family. Anyone here in New York who is stuck in a similar situation may want to consult an immigration attorney. People being held in immigration detention still have rights under U.S. laws, and the right lawyer can help.

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