Saturday, March 6, 2010

New York: Pardon!

From the Office of the Governor:

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that he has pardoned Qing Hong Wu. Mr. Wu came to the United States from China with his parents at age five. In 2007 and engaged to be married to a United States citizen, Mr. Wu applied to become a United States citizen. Mr. Wu disclosed to United States Immigration officials that he had convictions for robberies which occurred in New York City in 1995 and 1996, for which Mr. Wu served three years in the custody of the former Division for Youth. These convictions require deportation under the inflexible federal immigration law. Mr. Wu was ordered to report to an immigration officer in November 2009 and was detained. He has been in federal custody ever since.

"Qing Hong Wu's case proves that an individual can, with hard work and dedication, rise above past mistakes and turn his life around," Governor Paterson said. "While in New York custody, Mr. Wu earned his GED and has since earned an Associate's Degree and has pursued a successful career in information technology. Since his release, Mr. Wu has had no other involvement with the criminal justice system. This pardon will give Mr. Wu the opportunity to remain in the United States to be with his family and continue the career and life he has built here in New York."

The pardon for Mr.Wu was advocated by New York City District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. and by a broad array of Chinese, Asian, Pan Asian and immigrant organizations throughout the country. To these immigrant groups Mr.Wu's case is an example of rehabilitation and the opportunity to make a forceful statement about the harsh inequity and rigidity of the immigration laws. Governor Paterson agrees with their assessment and the injustice that would be continued to be visited upon Mr.Wu were he to be deported to China where he has no family and no connection. Mr.Wu has paid his debt to society.

The Governor has broad authority to grant clemency, which may include a pardon, a reprieve or a commutation of an inmate's sentence.

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