Source: New York Times
By Danny Hakim and Jeremy W. Peters
ALBANY — In a major rebuke of federal immigration policy, Gov. David A. Paterson announced on Monday that he would create a special pardon panel to review cases involving legal immigrants who are at risk of deportation for minor or old convictions.
Mr. Paterson’s move will give many immigrants facing deportation renewed hope and places the governor into the middle of the country’s immigration debate.
The announcement comes as the federal government has taken an increasingly hard line in its interpretation of existing immigration law, leaving a growing number of legal immigrants who have criminal records facing deportation.
“Some of our immigration laws, particularly with respect to deportation, are embarrassingly and wrongly inflexible,” Mr. Paterson said in a speech on Monday at an annual gathering of the state’s top judges.