Cuomo pardons 7 immigrants facing deportation

- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pardoned seven immigrants who are facing deportation because of minor criminal convictions from many years ago.

In a statement, the governor, a Democrat running for reelection, criticized President Trump for "waging a war on our immigrant communities." He also said diversity is the state's "greatest strength" and that his administration would work to protect immigrants.

The governor's office said the seven people receiving pardons have shown a turnaround from the time of their convictions. They range in age from 35 to 57.

"In each case, a pardon will make immigration-related relief possible, if not automatic," the governor's office said in a press release. "Every recipient in is in good standing, having given back to their communities and families in a variety of ways, and having demonstrated a substantial period of crime-free, good citizenship."

A press release listed the seven pardon recipients with biographical information. Here is a summary of the information provided by the governor's office.

Tamar Samuda, 35, of Jamaica, was convicted of low-level assault and petit larceny 17 years ago but has then earned a GED and works as a healthcare assistant.

Carlos Suarez, 41, of the Dominican Republic, was convicted in 2009 of petit larceny and works in business analytics.

Frank Barker, 43, of Barbados, was convicted of criminal possession of stolen property and controlled substances and identity theft more than nine years ago when he was addicted to drugs. Now sober, he works as a coordinator at an HIV/AIDS supportive housing provider and is a certified substance abuse counselor.

Elpidio Rodriguez, 57, of the Dominican Republic, has been crime-free for 19 years after convictions for criminal possession of a controlled substance and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He works in housekeeping at New York City hospitals.

Marino Soto, 43, of Colombia, was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance more than a dozen years ago. He owns a software company in Connecticut.

Ludames De La Cruz, 53, of the Dominican Republic, was convicted of attempted sale of a controlled substance 17 years ago. In 2008, he was hurt on the job and became disabled. He has PTSD and cancer.

Jose Rafael Cruz, 53, of the Dominican Republic, was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance seven years ago and works in the food-service industry.

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