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Cuomo Pardons Illegal Immigrant With Criminal Conviction Hours Before Deportation Hearing

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo pardoned an illegal immigrant with a criminal conviction hours before his deportation Tuesday.

Harveys Gomez, a 39-year-old resident of Bronx, New York, came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was 8 and does not have family members on the island who can support him if he’s deported back, according to Cuomo’s website. He was convicted for the criminal sale of a controlled substance in 2009, the Gothamist reported.

Though Gomez finished his probation, he was in custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since October 2017.

“Harveys Gomez has paid his debt to society for a crime committed nearly a decade ago and poses no threat to society,” Cuomo said in the statement. “America is his home — he has a family here, works here and has lived here for over 30 years.”

Gomez is gay and HIV positive, according to Cuomo’s press release. He also survived childhood sexual abuse.

This is the fourth time Cuomo issued a pardon to prevent deportation. Seven ex-criminals were pardoned in July, another press release from Cuomo’s website said.

Cuomo is hoping to expand legal services to all immigrants, regardless of status, through the Liberty Defense Project. New York’s budget for fiscal year 2019 includes an additional $10 million to sustain the project. (RELATED: Cuomo Could Make Taxpayers Provide Legal Services To Detained Immigrants)

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Cuomo’s office for comment, but did not receive an immediate response in time for publication.

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