Continuing his efforts to make California a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants, California Governor Jerry Brown (shown) pardoned two convicted felons December 23 who were slated to be deported back to their native Cambodia. Brown's actions bring to 150 the number of immigrant criminals he has either pardoned or whose sentences he has commuted to prevent their ejection from the United States in sweeps by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The two men, 39-year-old Mony Neth and Rottanak Kong, 42, came to the United States as children when their parents fled the communist Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. Kong was convicted of felony joyriding in 2003 and Neth was convicted in 1995 on a felony weapons charge with a gang enhancement.
While neither has been charged with a crime since, both had been scheduled to be deported on December 25. With the pardons from Brown, a federal judge stepped in with a temporary restraining order, allowing the two to appeal deportation efforts. The pardon from Brown could even allow the two to apply for U.S. citizenship.
California's Sacramento Bee noted that Gov. Brown has made it a special mission to thwart the Trump administration's efforts to tighten up on the decades-long flood of illegal immigration into the country. In October Brown signed a law making California a so-called “sanctuary state,” limiting the ability of state and local law enforcement to help enforce federal immigration statutes.
Additionally, reported the Bee, Brown “fortified the state budget with millions more in spending to help mount a range of immigration-related legal challenges, including cases over the ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). Other cases seek to prevent construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, and to stop the federal government from withholding public safety grants from localities that don’t expend public resources on immigration enforcement.”
Photo of Gov. Jerry Brown: AP Images