The New York Post reported that, just before the holidays, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pardoned 18 undocumented immigrants, including a transgender immigrant from Mexico.
Governor Cuomo pardoned Lorena Borjas, a 57-year-old transgender woman, who had a conviction in 1994 for criminal facilitation in a human trafficking ring. Governor Cuomo’s office said Ms. Borjas has since worked on behalf of transgenders and immigrants in helping transgender sex workers get tested for HIV and providing clean syringes for transgender females who are taking hormone injections.
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) represented Ms. Borjas in her fight to stay in this country. NewYork Nonprofit Media reported that a Queens County Criminal Court judge had recognized she was a victim of human trafficking despite her conviction, but only her convictions for prostitution were vacated “under New York’s Vacating Convictions law due to limitations of the law,” according to a statement from TLC.
According to Governor Cuomo’s office, the pardons will mean these individuals, including Ms. Borjas, will no longer worry about facing deportation. They may be allowed to become legal permanent residents, although it cannot be guaranteed.
The New York immigration lawyers at Bretz & Coven, LLP understand the issues LGBT non-citizens face and offer legal services in an LGBT-friendly environment. Our New York immigration attorneys are experienced in handling all aspects of immigration law, including pathways to citizenship, asylum, and deportation defense. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (212) 267-2555.