Cleary Gottlieb Secures Pardon From Governor Cuomo for Pro Bono Client

July 25, 2018

Cleary Gottlieb and The Legal Aid Society successfully secured a pardon from New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on behalf of a pro bono client who is facing deportation from the United States.

The pardon, which was issued in recognition of the client’s rehabilitative efforts, will permit the client to continue to challenge his removal from the United States. The pardon was for a non-violent drug offense, for which the client has completed his sentence.

The client has been a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. since immigrating here nearly 20 years ago. His elderly father, siblings, and niece all reside in the U.S. and are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

In 2011, the client was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance, a crime for which he served his one-year sentence with good behavior. Following his release, the client found steady employment and re-dedicated his life to caring for his family.

In 2015, upon returning to the U.S. from a trip to the Dominican Republic to visit his sick mother, the client was detained by immigration authorities and placed in removal proceedings due to his 2011 conviction. He remained in ICE custody for two-and-half years before being released on bond in October 2017. During that time, an immigration judge ordered the client’s removal from the U.S., and in February 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the immigration judge’s decision, which put the client at imminent risk of deportation.

With Governor Cuomo’s pardon, the client is now in a much better position to challenge his removal and present evidence to an immigration judge that he should be permitted to remain in the U.S. with his family.