(CN) - A full and unconditional pardon from the governor of Washington is not enough to keep an illegal immigrant in this country, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled.
Pedro Aguilera has a history of illegal residency in the United States that dates back to 1986. He was married to a U.S. citizen, but that did not change his immigration status due to his drug conviction and two removals from the country within 10 years.
The 9th Circuit agreed with the Board of Immigration Appeals that the pardon did not entitle Aguilera-Montero to a waiver of deportability.
Judge Rawlinson was not convinced by Aguilera-Montero's equal protection claim, in which he said other classes of aliens are entitled to waivers.
"Neither his state pardon nor his equal protection claim changes the fact that Congress has expressly declined to provide a waiver for an inadmissible alien convicted of a crime relating to a controlled substance," Rawlinson wrote.