Governor Lamont: ICE must recognize state pardons
HARTFORD — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is demanding that federal authorities recognize pardons issued by his state after a woman whose criminal record was erased was detained for deportation.
ICE arrested Hartford resident Wayzaro Walton on Tuesday and is detaining her for deportation to England, citing convictions for felony shoplifting and several misdemeanors. Connecticut’s Board of Pardons and Paroles approved a pardon for her in January, but it didn’t take effect until Wednesday.
Walton’s lawyer Erin O’Neil-Baker says federal officials indicated they are not recognizing the pardon because it wasn’t issued by the governor, who in Connecticut has no pardon authority.
In Lamont’s letter, he said “An individual granted a pardon by the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles – just like an individual granted a pardon in another state – is no longer considered by law to have been convicted or otherwise adjudicated guilty of the pardoned crime.” The letter continued “We urge you to give Connecticut pardons the respect they are due, and Connecticut individuals who have been pardoned – including Ms. Walton, her U.S. citizen family, and others who may be adversely affected by this policy – the opportunity to continue to contribute positively to our community.”
A message was left for the Homeland Security Department by the Associated Press.
Read Gov. Lamont’s full letter: