New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has pardoned seven illegal immigrants charged with crimes ranging from petty larceny to drug possession.
Frank Barker, 43, was among those pardoned Monday, according to the governor’s office. He was convicted for criminal possession of stolen property and controlled substances and identity theft which stemmed from a drug addiction.
Also pardoned are: Jose Rafael Cruz, 53, who was convicted of a sale of a controlled substance; Ludames De La Cruz, 53, who was convicted for an attempted sale of a controlled substance; Elpidio Rodriguez, 57, who was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated; Tamar Samuda, 35, who was convicted nearly two decades ago for low-level assault and petit larceny; Marino Soto, 43, who was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance; and Carlos Suarez, 41, who was convicted for petit larceny. (Fox News)
Judging by Cuomo's reasoning for the pardons, it seems the governor did it in part to rub it in President Trump's face.
“At a time when President Trump and the Federal government are waging a war on our immigrant communities, New York stands firm in our belief that our diversity is our greatest strength,” Cuomo said in the statement.
“While President Trump engages in policies that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up the deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will protect our immigrant communities,” Cuomo continued. “With the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, New York will always stand against the hate coming out of Washington and instead serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all.”
Cuomo has defended "undocumented" citizens for quite some time, even to the point of identifying as one himself.
"I’m an Italian-American, I came from poor Italian-Americans who came here," he said. "You know what they called Italian-Americans back in the day? They called them wops. You know what wop stood for? Without papers. I’m undocumented. You want to deport an undocumented person, start with me, because I’m an undocumented person."
Still, he may not be as radical as his primary challenger Cynthia Nixon. The former "Sex and the City" star has called for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to be abolished because it is a "terrorist organization."
At his speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States on Tuesday, President Trump condemned Democrats for spewing that radical message. ICE agents, he said, are "tough and smart" and should not be treated so terribly.
"Thank goodness for ICE," Trump said.