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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Friday, December 17, 2010

Governor Pardons Six Immigrants Facing Deportation Over Old Crimes

New York Times: Gov. David A. Paterson announced pardons on Monday for six immigrants facing deportation because of old criminal convictions, including a financial administrator at the City University of New York. The governor said the pardons addressed “shortcomings in our federal immigration laws relating to deportation.” Mr. Paterson began a special clemency process in the spring with the principal aim of helping permanent legal residents — green card holders — who were at risk of deportation because of long-ago or minor convictions. “Federal immigration laws,” he said, “are often inflexible, arbitrarily applied and excessively harsh, resulting in the deportation of individuals who have paid the price for their crimes and are now making positive contributions to our society. These pardons represent an attempt to achieve fairness and justice.” Mr. Paterson convened a so-called pardon panel last May. In the past several weeks, its five members have been sifting through about 1,100 petitions for clemency, referring promising cases to the governor’s Executive Clemency Committee, which has recommended cases to the governor for final determination. Officials say the governor may issue another batch of pardons before his term ends this month. The administrator who was pardoned, Mario Benitez, 58, is a Dominican immigrant and the current assistant director of finance for CUNY’s Graduate School and University Center. He pleaded guilty to selling a controlled substance in 1988 and served three years in prison, according to a statement from the governor’s office. The statement praised Mr. Benitez’s achievements since his release, particularly his rise “to jobs with higher levels of responsibility” and his community activities in the Bronx, including mentoring.

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