"We certainly will not stand by and watch the Trump administration try to deport immigrants, discourage people from health care, ignore climate change and steal our water," Democrat Senator Scott Wiener said in January. "It's about playing defense, whatever the administration throws at us – but also insulting the continuation of California's progressive social transformation."
On Friday, the same day Mr. Brown announced the pardon, Mr. Trump said April "The Second Chance Month" highlights the need for ex-convicts to become members of society involved.
"I commit to driving forward the reform efforts to prevent crime, improve re-entry and reduce relapses," Trump said in a press release.
Mr. Brown, who serves as governor for the last 12 months of his second term, has granted 1,115 pardons and 51 transformations since taking office in 2011, said the Governor's spokesman on Saturday, Evan Westrup. This is far more than his youngest predecessors.
In some cases, these were immigrants who were deported or had already been deported. An exact breakdown was not immediately available.
In December, Brown pardoned two men who came to the United States as children, after their families fled the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and were to be deported for their crimes, the Sacramento Bee reported. Last year, he pardoned three veterans who had been deported to Mexico, and in 2015, he pardoned a man who was fighting deportation after two decades for burglary and kidnapping.
For ex-convict immigrants, deportation is a harsh punishment, often unjustified, said Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Human Rights Immigrants, who wants to change California's laws to save immigrants from deportation.
"We believe that deportation is an increase in their punishment that goes far too far," she said. "They actually paid their debts to society."
Immigration law is "so punitive that it simply does not forgive," she added. "Most judges, their hands are tied behind their backs," she said, and the inability to be discreet promotes large-scale deportation.
Mr. In mid-March, Trump visited California to investigate the boundary wall prototypes designed to keep undocumented immigrants. The trip came a week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions had sued the state over three new immigration laws, which he described as unconstitutional. He said that it has made it impossible for the US Immigration Department officials to deport criminals born outside the United States. Brown, a Democrat, said at the time that Mr. Sessions would "basically go to war with California."
In Mr. Trump's weekly address on Saturday, he took another blow to California, accusing them of being called sanctuary towns for the opioid epidemic and calling California a "sanctuary" that became a hub for the transport of heroin has become over the southern border. He also warned Oakland's mayors to help "criminal aliens" evade the authorities' "dangerous haven policy".
"Sanctuary Cities get innocent Americans in the way of hard criminals and heartless drug traffickers," Trump added. "These are bad people."
This argument – that immigrants bring crimes to America – has influenced many of the immigration policies of the Trump administration. However, studies have shown that immigration does not drive crime. According to a recent analysis, a large-scale collaboration of four universities, the areas with the largest increases in immigration in 2016 had lower crime rates than in 1980.
"Data show that immigrants do not cause an increase in crime," said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. "I think opponents of immigration like to choose outrageous cases in which the person does not belong in the US and therefore marginalizes a whole community."
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