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Tong: state pardons being ignored by immigration officials

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong (FOX61/file)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says federal immigration authorities are unfairly trying to deport some residents with past criminal records, even though their past crimes were pardoned by the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The Democrat appeared Tuesday in Boston before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing on behalf of Richard Marvin Thompson.

Thompson came to the U.S. from Jamaica in 1997 at the age of 17.

He was convicted of second-degree assault in 2001 and received an unconditional pardon from Connecticut’s pardon board. While Tong argues that should protect Thompson from deportation under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act’s “Pardon Waive Clause,” federal immigration authorities argue the pardon needs to be issued directly by the governor.

The Department of Justice declined to comment.

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