Trump Takes Aim At CA Governor Over Illegal Immigrant Pardons

Trump Takes Aim At CA Governor Over Illegal Immigrant Pardons

President Donald Trump excoriated the Governor of California on Saturday for pardoning five convicts facing deportation.

Brown earned the "Moonbeam" nickname when he was governor in 1970 and floated ideas for a California space academy and launching a satellite for emergency communications.

Brown's office issued a brief statement regarding the decision to grant the 56 pardons, saying, "Those granted pardons all completed their sentences years ago and the majority were convicted of drug-related or other nonviolent crimes".

They include misdemeanour domestic violence, drug possession, and kidnapping and robbery.

Trump, who last August pardoned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio over the unconstitutional racial profiling of Latinos, wrote: "Is this really what the great people of California want?"

But Trump said, after getting his information from Fox News, that one immigrant was charged for robbery and kidnapping, and another for badly beating his wife.

Brown has always been at odds with the Trump administration over immigration.

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Friday's executive actions weren't the first time Brown has pardoned immigrants facing deportation.

Trump's administration has regularly criticized "sanctuary cities", including those in California, for their lack of compliance with immigration officials. Trump could have been describing the pardoned Californians. The 85-year-old long-time lawman announced a run for Senate in January.

In December, the governor pardoned two men who, like Chhan, fled Cambodia as children during the Khmer Rouge regime and later lost their legal status after committing crimes.

Chhan lost his U.S. legal status in 2002 when he was convicted of inflicting corporal injury on spouse or cohabitant and threatening a crime with the intent to terrorise, both misdemeanours. Pheach had served six months on charges of drug possession and obstructing a police officer in 2005. His wife said he is in federal custody. Maher is from Macau, which became part of China after his family immigrated to California when he was 3. That gives the men's lawyers strong legal arguments before immigration judges to try to prevent the deportations.

Mena was convicted in 2003 of possession of a controlled substance for sale and served three years of probation.

Alaniz was convicted in 1997 of vehicle theft and served five months in prison and 13 months on parole. The governor, who was once a Jesuit novice, has traditionally issued clemency before Christmas and Easter.