Trump attacks Jerry Brown for pardoning people facing deportation

Trump's comments are the latest in a long-standing political feud between the US president and California governor.

    Governor Brown said the Trump administration was waging war with California after it filed a lawsuit against the state's sanctuary policies [Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo]
    Governor Brown said the Trump administration was waging war with California after it filed a lawsuit against the state's sanctuary policies [Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo]

    California's governor has pardoned 56 people, including five individuals facing deportation, prompting a Twitter backlash from US President Donald Trump.

    Governor Jerry Brown's office issued the pardons late on Thursday for 56 individuals "who have demonstrated exemplary behavior and have lived productive and law-abiding lives following their conviction", a statement said.

    According to local media, five of those pardoned were individuals facing deportation, which could greatly affect whether they are sent back to their home countries.

    Trump, who has a history of public disputes with Brown, called the governor a "Moonbeam" on Twitter, a reference to a nickname given to Brown by a newspaper columnist in the 1970s.

    "Governor Jerry 'Moonbeam' Brown pardoned 5 criminal illegal aliens whose crimes include (1) Kidnapping and Robbery (2) Badly beating wife and threatening a crime with intent to terrorize (3) Dealing drugs. Is this really what the great people of California want?" Trump said. 

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    Referring to Trump's tweet, Brown's office told local media that the president's comments were "rather curious given President Trump's proclamation yesterday declaring April 'Second Chance Month' to 'celebrate those who have exited the prison system and successfully reentered society.'"

    Brown's office also tweeted a reference to Trump's Second Chance Month declaration on Friday. 

    Two of the pardoned men facing deportation fled Cambodia with their families during the time of the Khmer Rouge Regime.

    According to Brown's office, all of the individuals pardoned "completed their sentences years ago and the majority were convicted of drug-relation or other nonviolent crimes".

    "Pardons are not granted unless they are earned," the statement said.

    Many on social media pointed out that Trump's rebuke comes just months after the US president pardoned his political ally, Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving racial profiling.

    Arpaio - the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America" - is known for cracking down on undocumented immigrants and investigating unfounded claims questioning former President Barack Obama's citizenship.

    Governor Brown said in March that the Trump administration is "basically going to war" with California after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a federal lawsuit against the state over its "sanctuary" policies, which seek to help protect undocumented individuals from deportation.

    California passed a law last October that, among other things, prohibits local law enforcement from asking individuals about their legal status.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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