Gavin Newsom, California governor, issues 10 pardons to block deportations


California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued 10 pardons Tuesday to immigrants he said risked being deported as long as they had crimes on their records.

Among the pardons were several convicted drug dealers and killers, including gang members.

The pardons are part of a strategy of resistance some Democratic governors adopted under the Trump administration, moving to protect immigrants who under the law should face deportation because of their crimes.

Pardons could remove the justification for deportation, though there is no guarantee the federal government will consider the pardons in its removal decisions.

Among those pardoned on Tuesday was Somdeng Thongsy, who in 1997 was convicted of second degree murder and attempted second degree murder stemming from a gang rumble. Mr. Thongsy, 17 at the time, shot and killed one rival gang member, and wounded two others.

Mr. Newsom said in his pardon the man has turned his life around.

“He has demonstrated that he is living an upright life and has demonstrated his fitness for restoration of civic rights and responsibilities,” the governor wrote.

Also pardoned was Tung Do, who racked up convictions in 2000,2003 and 2006 for selling cocaine, dealing in stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime, and Saengsavan Choum, who was convicted in 1999 of being the driver in a drive-by gang killing.

Immigrant-rights groups have pushed the pardon strategy as a means of thwarting President Trump’s immigration agenda.

Mr. Newsom and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been particularly active in issuing pardons.

The 10 pardons to block deportations were part of a broader set of 22 pardons and 13 commutations Mr. Newsom issued Tuesday.

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