This post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds
California is a “sanctuary” state that violates U.S. immigration laws by giving shelter to people who are here illegally. According to a just-released Yale-MIT study, there are 22 million “undocumented immigrants,” i.e., illegal aliens in the U.S.
In a news release yesterday, October 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced that he has granted four pardons and two commutations.
But the news release doesn’t name or identify who the recipients of the governor’s pardons and commutations are; one must click on a link to a State of California Executive Department’s PDF document on “Pardons” to find out. It turns out that three of Newsom’s pardons are facing deportation to their countries of origin.
FoxNews reports that the three men — originally from El Salvador, Iran and Cambodia — broke the law as teens or young adults, served their sentences and have taken steps to rehabilitate themselves, the governor’s office said.
According to reporter Sophia Bollag of the Sacramento Bee, Gov. Newsom pardoned the three “to spare them from deportation…arguing they reformed their lives after making mistakes when they were young and should not be sent out of the country.”
Here are the three men whom Newsom had pardoned so that they would not be deported (sources: State of California Executive Department’s PDF document on “Pardons”; Sacramento Bee):
- Arnou Aghamalian was convicted in 1999 for the crime of accessory after the fact (helping set an empty car on fire), for which he received a sentence of three years’ probation. He now owns a solar energy company. Aghamalian came to the U.S. as a refugee at 15 and faces deportation to Iran.
- Victor Ayala, 38: From 1999 to 2002, Ayala was convicted of three misdemeanor theft charges, a misdemeanor hit-and-run, and a felony for robbing an electronics store and pushing the store’s security guard. For all of the five charges, Ayala received only sentences of probation. He now runs a carpet cleaning business and faces deportation to El Salvador.
- Thear Sam, 41: Sam was convicted in 1996 of robbery (stealing a man’s backpack and wallet), for which he received a sentence of three years’ probation. In 1998, he was convicted of accessory to a felony (helping a car thief evade the police) with a prior felony conviction, for which he was sentenced (and served) two years eight months in prison. Sam came to the United States at age 4 as a refugee fleeing the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
According to FoxNews, Gov. Newsom’s office claims that all three men live in Los Angeles County and were brought to the U.S. legally as children:
- 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.
- Ayala’s parents brought him legally into the U.S. from El Salvador when he was 2. Ayala is now a father of three who owns a carpet-cleaning business.
- Sam 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.
That makes no sense.
If all three men, when they were children, had been brought to the United States legally by their parents, why would they now face deportation?
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