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California governor catches flak from Trump for pardons

02 April 2018

Jerry Brown for pardoning five immigrants who were facing possible deportation.

Some of these cases involved immigrants who faced deportation or who had already been deported.

In a tweet, Trump referred to Brown as "Moonbeam", a nickname a newspaper columnist coined for him 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?", the President tweeted, along with a tag to Fox News.

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Mr. Trump visited California in mid-March to inspect border wall prototypes created to keep out undocumented immigrants.

Now in Trump's most recent Twitter rampage, he condemns the governor for pardoning five immigrants.

Sokha Chhan and Phann Pheach, whose families reportedly fled the genocidal Khmer Rouge, are facing deportation to Cambodia.

Brown's pardons do not automatically stop deportation proceedings, but they eliminate the convictions on which authorities based their deportation. All of those granted pardons served their sentences "years ago", and "earned" their pardons, said a statement from Brown's office.

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But Brown calls this lawsuit a "publicity stunt" by the administration as it continues to push Trump's "America First" agenda.

Brown has previously accused the Trump administration of "basically going to war" with California over its immigration policy.

California passed a law last October that, among other things, prohibits local law enforcement from asking individuals about their legal status. Maher served five years in state prison and a year in federal immigration custody.

Chhan had served 364 days in jail after being convicted of two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence in 2002.

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Also pardoned was Daniel Maher, who served five years in prison stemming from the 1994 armed robbery of a San Jose auto parts store. Pheach served six months in jail after he was convicted of possessing drugs and obstructing a police officer in 2005, The Sacramento Bee reported. Mena was convicted in 2003 of possessing illegal drugs. He now works at the nonprofit Ecology Center in Berkeley and assists at-risk youth.

California governor catches flak from Trump for pardons