Gov. Jerry Brown (D) pardoned three illegals on Saturday who served in the U.S. military, were imprisoned, then deported for various crimes committed after being discharged.
Brown issued 69 other pardons and seven commutations on Saturday as well.
According to the Sacramento Bee, one of the pardoned illegals was 40-year-old Hector Barajas Varela. He entered the U.S. at the age of seven, served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and was imprisoned for more than a year following discharge “after being convicted of shooting at an occupied home or vehicle.” Authorities then deported him.
Brown also pardoned Marine Corps veteran Erasmo Apodaca. He was convicted of “burglary” in 1996, served ten months in prison, and was then deported.
The third illegal to receive a pardon was Marco Chavez. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, then convicted of animal cruelty, serving a 15-month sentence before being deported.
An advocacy group, “Honorably Discharged, Dishonorably Deported,” applauded Brown’s pardons. Its chairman, Marine Corps veteran Nathan Fletcher, said, “Gov. Brown today has show [sic] compassion for California veterans and their families and taken bold action that highlights the plight of deported veterans.”
CNN reported that Brown’s pardons could “open a pathway” for Varela, Apodaca, and Chavez to return to the U.S.