California Governor Pardons 3 Convicted Immigrants To Stop Them Being Deported
Gov. Gavin Newsom tries to protect convicted men from deportation
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced he will be pardoning three criminal immigrants who have convicted of crimes as part of an effort to help protect them from being deported back to their home countries.
The governor’s office stated the three men, originally from El Salvador, Iran, and Cambodia, served their sentences and have taken steps to rehabilitate themselves.
Newsom’s move to pardon the immigrants erases their criminal records to prevent past offenses from being considered in their deportation case.
The men, who live in Los Angeles County, were brought to the United States legally as children, the governor’s office stated.
A news release said:
“The Governor regards clemency as an important part of the criminal justice system that can incentivize accountability and rehabilitation, increase public safety by removing counterproductive barriers to successful reentry, and correct unjust results in the legal system."
Fox News reported The governor, a Democrat, pardoned 38-year old Victor Ayala, who in 2001 at age 21 was convicted of felony robbery and sentenced to probation for pushing a security guard while shoplifting from an electronics store, according to The Sacramento Bee.
He also had four prior misdemeanor convictions for theft and a hit-and-run in which no one sustained injuries, Los Angeles' KTLA-TV reported.
Ayala’s parents brought him legally into the U.S. from El Salvador when he was 2, according to the governor’s office.
He now owns a carpet-cleaning business and is a father of three.
Newsom also pardoned 41-year-old Thear Seam, who at age 18 was convicted of robbing a man’s wallet and backpack.
He was sentenced as an accessory the next year after leading police on a high-speed chase while helping another man, a car thief whole stole a separate vehicle, evading arrest, KTLA reported.
Seam entered the U.S. legally as a 4-year-old refugee fleeing Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge. His wife and daughter are both U.S. citizens, and he’s worked for 17 years at an aviation company.
The third immigrant to be pardoned was Arnou Aghamalian, 42, who, as a 22-year-old in 1999, was sentenced to helping his cousin set a nightclub owner’s unoccupied car on fire after a dispute.
Newson’s office said Aghamalian entered the U.S. with his family at age 15 as a refugee from Iran. He and his wife are the parents to newborns twins. He now owns a solar energy company.
In addition to pardoning the three immigrants, Newsom pardoned a fourth man, 59-year-old Curtis Reynolds of Sacramento Country, who was convicted of six drug felonies including possession for sale between 1998 and 2003, The Bee reported.
Newsom said since his convictions, Reynolds has dedicated his life to volunteering to help those struggling with addiction.
Newsom also commuted the sentences for two men previously facing life in prison.
Esdvin Flores, 44, has served 20 years behind bars for robbing a woman at gunpoint at age 23.
Jensen Ramos, 35, had served 17 years for attempted murder after firing at a car fleeing a brawl at a house party when he was 17. The governor’s office said both men had taken steps to rehabilitate themselves from behind bars.
The commutations make both eligible to enter into parole hearings.