New York Gov. Paterson's move to pardon legal immigrants applauded

Quaker Group says More Pardons Should Slow Deportation of Legal Immigrants

PHILADELPHIA (May 4, 2010) – The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker peace and social justice organization, applauds New York Gov.  David Paterson for his decision to speed up reviews and grant pardons to legal immigrants for old and minor criminal convictions. Legal permanent residents have felt the impact of detention and deportation policies aimed at undocumented immigrants, national studies have found. 

 “The governor’s decision is a welcome counterbalance in the increasingly heated debate over immigration. It recognizes that mandatory detention and deportation of legal residents is an inordinate punishment that also hurts their families, communities and employers. This decision is a breath of fresh air,” says Amy Gottlieb, immigrants’ rights director for AFSC’s New York metropolitan region.

“Governor Paterson has shown consideration for human and civil rights. We hope Congress and President Obama’s administration move in the direction of similarly humane, comprehensive and fair reforms of the current immigration system,” Gottlieb says.

Based on years of experience working with immigrant families, AFSC urges lawmakers to use the following seven principles to guide reform.  

They are:  

  • Adopt economic policies consistent with human rights and trade justice
  • Protect all workers’ labor rights
  • Create a clear, workable path to residency
  • Respect immigrants’ civil and human rights
  • Demilitarize the U.S.-Mexico border
  • Support family reunification
  • Ensure immigrants access to services

For more information on AFSC’s immigrants’ rights programs, visit www.afsc.org, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.