NEW YORK (AP) — A former ground zero worker has filed a legal challenge to his pending deportation to Colombia after receiving a pardon from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) on a 1990 drug conviction.
Carlos Cardona was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in February and is being held in New Jersey. Cuomo pardoned him Wednesday.
Cardona is from Santiago de Cali, Colombia, and entered the U.S. illegally in 1986. He was convicted of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance as a 21-year-old.
The Democratic governor's pardon on the conviction is seen as a way to challenge deportation.
Cardona worked as a recovery worker after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He suffers from acute respiratory issues, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
An ICE spokeswoman has declined to comment on the case.