California governor pardons 3 convicted immigrants to help block deportations

California governor pardons 3 convicted immigrants to help block deportations

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday he’s pardoning three immigrants who've been convicted of crimes as part of an effort to protect them from deportation to their home countries.

The three men — originally from El Salvador, Iran and Cambodia — broke the law as teens or young adults, served their sentences and have taken steps to rehabilitate themselves, the governor’s office said.


But Newsom’s pardons do not completely shield the men from deportation. The move instead erases the mens' criminal records to prevent past offenses from being considered in their deportation cases. All three men live in Los Angeles County and were brought to the U.S. legally as children, the governor’s office said.

“The Governor regards clemency as an important part of the criminal justice system that can incentivize accountability and rehabilitation, increase public safety by removing counterproductive barriers to successful reentry, and correct unjust results in the legal system,” a news release said.

The governor, a Democrat, pardoned 38-year old Victor Ayala, who in 2001 at age 21 was convicted of felony robbery and sentenced to probation for pushing a security guard while shoplifting from an electronics store, The Sacramento Bee reported. He also had four prior misdemeanor convictions for theft and a hit-and-run in which no one suffered injuries, Los Angeles' KTLA-TV reported.

According to the governor’s office, Ayala’s parents brought him legally into the U.S. from El Salvador when he was 2. He is now a father of three who owns a carpet-cleaning business.

Newsom also pardoned 41-year-old Thear Seam, who at age 18 was convicted of robbing a man’s wallet and backpack. He was convicted as an accessory the next year after leading police on a high-speed chase while helping another man, a car thief whole stole a separate vehicle, evade arrest, KTLA reported.

Seam entered the U.S. legally as a 4-year-old refugee fleeing Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge. His wife and daughter are both U.S. citizens and he’s worked for 17 years at an aviation company.

The third immigrant to be pardoned was Arnou Aghamalian, 42, who as a 22-year-old in 1999 was convicted of helping his cousin set a nightclub owner’s unoccupied car on fire after a dispute. Newson’s office said Aghamalian entered the U.S. with his family at age 15 as a refugee from Iran. He and his wife are the parents to newborns twins. He now owns a solar energy company.


In addition to pardoning the three immigrants, Newsom pardoned a fourth man, 59-year-old Curtis Reynolds of Sacramento Country, who was convicted of six drug felonies including possession for sale between 1998 and 2003, The Bee reported. Newsom said since his convictions, Reynolds has dedicated his life to volunteering to help those struggling with addiction.

Newsom also commuted the sentences for two men previously facing life in prison. Esdvin Flores, 44, has served 20 years behind bars for robbing a woman at gunpoint at age 23. Jensen Ramos, 35, has served 17 years for attempted murder after firing at a car fleeing a brawl at a house party when he was 17. The governor’s office said both men have taken steps to rehabilitate themselves from behind bars. The commutations make both eligible to enter into parole hearings.

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    • Yep! The Gov here in California cares more about (1) asinine legislation being passed that doesn’t help even one citizen. And (2) cares more about illegals than CA citizens. All you have to do is look at all the cities here that are infested with homeless folks and rats. It breaks my heart that my once great state has been become a dumpster fire due to way too many years of Democrat control.

      I wish fellow fed-up Californians will petition for his recall. Of course, we’re infested with far-left liberals and not enough sane conservatives to make that happen. So sad.

  1. This is an abuse of the pardoning system given to Governors and the President! They SHOULD be deported ASAP!!! Message needs to be sent to ALL ILLEGAL aliens. You may hide for now but, when you get caught… you WILL BE DEPORTED!!!!!!

    • These men served their sentences and are now productive members of society. They are better Americans than the lying,corrupt , degenerate per vert we have in the white house.

  2. It is TIME AND MORE for the USA to tell California to either “s&*t or get off the pot”. They EITHER OBEY US laws and regulations or they LEAVE!! And I suggest they be TOLD, in NO uncertain terms, that they have 30 days to comply or be evicted from this country!!!

  3. obviously doesn’t care about the USA…probably more worried about Syria situation than protecting the borders here. actually just another flunky DemRobot left loon that wants to fight anything President Trump does.

  4. This why decent law abiding people who love America need to separate from the loonies and let them sink into their swamp. Why live around these creatures any longer.

  5. There is a sign up going around to recall Newsom. It needs to be signed by everybody who comes in contact with it.Vote all democrats out this 2020 election.

  6. Newsom doesn’t mind killing babies but won’t execute the murder’s on death row. He has his head up his ass like the rest of the Democrap’s in this State.

  7. California governor is a criminal. California should recall this idiot and bring him up on charges. He should be under guard so he will not hurt anymore Californians!

  8. There are a lot of good people in CA., who are opposed to this Governor and all that he does, but sadly, they are so swamped with Illegals, and Libocrats, who out vote them each time. This Governor doesn’t care about CA., or it’s LEGAL citizens. Like all the rest of the Demoncraps, he is only interested in himself, money, and power. He has a great teacher for that with his Aunty-in-law PUlosi,…

  9. Former Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned more than 100 Mexican criminals, murderers, rapists, drug dealers, child sex traffickers. Current Gov. Gavin Newsom continues this Sanctuary State trend because in his case, the Mexican drug cartels pay him millions of dollars. Jerry Brown got lots of money, but more importantly, they provided him with countless little brown boys for his pleasure. If voters ever wake up, we might be able to locate the one person who still has a speck of integrity and vote that person into office. Latinx only vote for Latinx and Dems because they consider themselves to possess superior rights to all Americans.


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