Around New England

Biden Administration To Stop Deporting Immigrants Convicted Of A State Crime In Connecticut If They Get A Pardon

August 13, 2022

The Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security will stop deporting immigrants on the basis of crimes committed in Connecticut if they get a pardon, the state’s attorney general said.

Under former President Donald Trump, federal officials did not recognize Connecticut pardons when deciding whether to deport an illegal immigrant convicted of a crime, on the grounds that pardons in Connecticut are issued by a board and not by a governor.

Connecticut’s attorney general, William Tong, sued the federal government to try to get federal officials to honor state pardons.

On Friday, August 12, Tong announced a settlement of the case with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Connecticut.

“This agreement affirms, with full force of law, what we have known to be true for well over a century — Connecticut’s pardons are legitimate and lawful. There was no reason for the federal government ever to single out Connecticut and deny our residents the second chance we chose to grant to them. I thank the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for working with us to reach today’s positive resolution,” Tong said in a written statement.

Pardons in Connecticut are issued by the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Tong had argued that the pardon-granting system in Connecticut is similar to the ones in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, South Carolina, and Utah, and that the Trump administration accepted pardons from Alabama and Georgia.

Federal immigration officials typically seek to deport an illegal immigrant if the immigrant is convicted of crime and sentenced to one year or longer in prison.


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