Gavin Newsom Pardons Convicted Felons to Shield Them From Deportation

California’s policies just get more and more nonsensical.

Their new governor, Gavin Newsom, has decided to continue former Gov. Jerry Brown’s policy of pardoning illegal immigrants convicted of serious felonies in order to undercut federal immigration enforcement. Apparently, being rightly targeted by ICE gains you a special status above U.S. citizens in his state. I’m sure there are a lot of Americans who’d love one of the clean records Newsom is handing out for political reasons.


Before we get into the details, take a look at this LA Times headline.

In a Rebuke to President Trump, Gov. Newsom Pardons Refugees Facing Deportation

Talk about whitewashing. Maybe mentioning they are felons in the headline would be prudent? Just a thought.

Here’s one of the men granted clemency by Newsom.

Hov, a naturalized citizen who arrived in the United States in 1985 as a legal refugee when he was 6, was convicted of solicitation to commit murder and participation in a criminal street gang in 2001, when he was 21, according to the Newsom administration.

The other crimes being pardoned aren’t quite as serious but are felonies nonetheless.

Let’s deal with the obvious rebuttal, which will be that these people completed their prison sentences. Part of committing a crime as an immigrant in this country is that you give up your right to be here. By pardoning those properly being tagged for deportation, Newsom is removing a major deterrent for non-U.S. citizens when it comes to criminal activity.

Furthermore, it’s not a fair use of the system, as it prioritizes a certain segment of the population for pardons for purely political reasons.


For ICE’s part, the pardons do not remove their ability to complete the deportations, although it removes the underlying crime which triggered it.

The pardons do not automatically end a deportation effort but remove the underlying criminal offense that triggered the federal removal actions.

Federal immigration authorities should seriously consider ignoring the efforts of Newsom here. They can legally do so and there’s no reason to reward California’s efforts of subversion of Federal law.

For Newsom’s part, this is all just politics. Before the pardons were granted, he took a bunch of shots at President Trump, including comparing his policies to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Of course, there’s no actual comparison between ICE deporting convicted felons and that law, but no one said it had to make sense.

“I’m constantly trying to understand the moment we’re living in, the xenophobia, the nativism that marks the populism of this moment,” Newsom said. “Any of us who are students of history know that it’s not without precedent. It’s not novel. It’s hardly new. It’s very familiar.”


It couldn’t just be that ICE is trying to enforce the law. It has to be xenophobia and nativism. That’s Democrats’ only play.


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