California Gov. Pardons Immigrants Facing Federal Deportation

SACRAMENTO (CN) – Continuing his Easter tradition, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday issued 56 pardons including five for immigrants at risk of being deported.

The pardons extend Brown’s recent practice of pardoning immigrants and come with California fighting a lawsuit brought by the Trump administration over three recently enacted immigration laws.

Last year Brown pardoned three military veterans that were deported to Mexico, including Army veteran Hector Barajas who served 13 months in prison for shooting a gun from a vehicle. Brown’s pardon helped Barajas gain U.S. citizenship last week.  Barajas filed a lawsuit San Diego last December after the federal government failed to meet its own deadline to process his citizenship application.

Brown said most of the pardons were for drug related offenses and nonviolent crimes. He also handed down 14 commutations to current inmates who will have the expedited opportunity to go before a parole board. He has issued 1,115 pardons and 51 commutations since returning to office in 2011.

One of the individuals pardoned is Sokha Chhan, a refugee from Cambodia who came to the United States when he was 13. He was convicted of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, and of threatening a crime with the intent to terrorize in 2002 by a Fresno court and served 364 days in jail.

Chhan is currently in federal custody and facing deportation. He is a father of five and served in the Army reserve.



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