Diary

Jerry Brown Pardons Convicted Criminals to Subvert ICE Deportations

In today’s “too stupid to be true” news out of California, I bring this story.

As many know, ICE has been targeting those convicted of certain levels of crime and prioritizing them for deportation. Not too long ago this was exactly what Democrats insisted they wanted. “Focus on the criminals!” they’d cry while pushing DACA and such.

But today is a new day and apparently deporting those convicted of violent crimes, firearm offenses, and even kidnapping is something Democrats can’t support anymore. Extreme doesn’t even begin to describe the march left on this issue by liberals.

Per the Sacramento Bee

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday pardoned five ex-convicts facing deportation, including two whose families fled the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia four decades ago.

The pardons don’t automatically stop deportation proceedings, but eliminate the state convictions federal authorities based their deportation decisions on. That gives the men’s lawyers strong legal arguments before immigration judges to try to prevent the deportations.

“The pardon does provide enormous benefit to immigrants facing deportation,” said Anoop Prasad, an immigration staff attorney at Asian Law Caucus.

Brown’s intervention for the men — among 56 pardoned — marked the Democratic governor’s third consecutive pardon round in which he intervened on behalf of immigrants who were deported or faced deportation because of criminal convictions. Brown has accused the administration of President Donald Trump of “basically going to war” with California over immigration policy.

Let’s start with the mention of the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge have been gone for decades. They no longer exist. Cambodia is now a representative democracy and is a perfectly safe place to visit and live. The inclusion of that line is simply to stir misguided emotion.

Jerry Brown’s rhetoric here is partisan garbage. President Trump is deporting people at no higher rate than the Obama administration and the policies are largely the same. Criminals are the focus of the recent ICE raids and non-offenders are passed over. Brown apparently has a problem with criminals being held accountable for their deeds and is now handing out pardons in order to give them more leverage before the immigration courts.

So what are the offenses we are talking about?

Those pardoned Friday included Sokha Chhan and Phann Pheach, both of whom face deportation to Cambodia, a country ruled in the 1970s by the genocidal Khmer Rouge. Chhan was convicted of two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence in 2002 and served 364 days in jail.

Pheach was convicted of possessing drugs and obstructing a police officer in 2005 and served six months in jail. His wife said he is in federal custody.

Also pardoned was Daniel Maher, who was convicted in 1995 of kidnapping, robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm and served five years in prison. Maher is facing deportation to China.

These aren’t small crimes. Domestic violence is obviously a serious issue. Obstructing a police officer can mean several different things in California, but given the legnth of the sentence, it’s probable that the count included physical resisting or running from police.

Mr. Maher’s convictions are the most serious. Kidnapping, robbery, and a firearms conviction. Two more men also mentioned in the article were pardoned on drug crimes and auto-theft.

While it’s true that some of these convictions are fairly old, that doesn’t mean these men shouldn’t have to own the repercussions these crimes have on someone’s immigration status.

Longstanding policy is that if you are convicted a crime, you are targeted for deportation. Besides the obvious reasons to enforce that policy, it also serves as a deterrent to illegal immigrants and those on various visas to not commit crimes.

Jerry Brown is now subverting that and attempting to undercut ICE from doing it’s job. He has now pardoned 1,519 people during his multiple terms as governor. By comparison, from 1991 to 2010, only 15 total pardons were given by California governors.

Meanwhile, the violent crime rate in California continues to increase, especially in the urban centers of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

When Democrats can’t even agree that ICE should be able to deport criminals, a policy that has spanned Democrat and Republican administrations alike, exactly what can the two parties agree on in regards to immigration at this point? The Supreme Court has to stop cowering in the corner and rule on California’s various (clearly illegal) sanctuary policies so all this confusion can stop.