Patterson pardons four imminent deportees

Gov. David Paterson on Dec. 6 pardoned four Caribbeans, among six, immigrants who faced deportation because of old criminal convictions.

The immigrants are nationals of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and the Dominican Republic. The governor’s grandparents were immigrants from Jamaica and Carriacou, Grenada’s sister isle.

Among the pardoned is Marlon Oscar Powell, 36, a Jamaican immigrant, who was held in an immigration jail in New Jersey.

He had faced deportation because of a misdemeanor drug possession conviction when he was 15.

Sanjay Broomfield, 28, another Jamaican immigrant, was convicted in 2005 for criminal possession of a weapon after shooting dead a burglar who tried to break into his home in Suffolk County.

Bloomfield, who married an American citizen while serving three years’ probation, was denied a green card by immigration officials because they said his illegal gun possession resulted in a death. The district attorney had said that Bloomfield’s shooting was justified.

Darshini Ramsaran, 25, who holds dual Guyanese and Trinidadian citizenship, was also pardoned. She had faced deportation for participating in a robbery four years ago.

The governor also pardoned, Mario Benitez, 58, a Dominican immigrant and the current assistant director of finance for the City University of New York Graduate School and University Center.

Benitiz had pleaded guilty to selling a controlled substance in 1988 and served three years in prison.

Others pardoned were: Kevin Auyeung, 32, a Chinese immigrant who, at age 17, was convicted of robbery; and Deborah Salako-Nation, 41, a Nigerian immigrant, who had faced deportation for one larceny and two forgery convictions.

The governor said the pardons addressed “shortcomings in our federal immigration laws relating to deportation.”

“Federal immigration laws are often inflexible, arbitrarily applied and excessively harsh, resulting in the deportation of individuals who have paid the price for their crimes and are now making positive contributions to our society,” he said.

“These pardons represent an attempt to achieve fairness and justice,” he added.

The governor’s office said over 1,100 immigrants facing deportation has applied for clemency.

Paterson is expected pardon another group of immigrants facing deportation before his term ends this month.

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