Statement from Vera President Nicholas Turner on Governor Cuomo’s Pardon of Ground Zero Worker Carlos Cardona

Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pardoned Carlos Cardona of Queens. Mr. Cardona, who has lived in the United States for 30 years since fleeing violence in Colombia, had been detained since February, after appearing for a routine U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement appointment.

I commend Governor Cuomo for this important action—both for Mr. Cardona’s sake and as a demonstration that justice and due process prevail for all New Yorkers. The Governor’s leadership recognizes that our communities thrive and are kept safe and secure when we protect the well-being of all our residents. Mr. Cardona is an exemplar of the power of second chances—not only did he pay a debt to New York for a crime he committed in his youth, but he went on to serve New York in many ways, including at the expense of his own health when he worked for four months as a recovery worker on the Ground Zero site—where he met and eventually married another recovery worker who is an American citizen. I am relieved that Mr. Cardona will now be reunited with his family and continue his medical treatment, and proud to live in a state that makes this possible.

- Nicholas Turner, President, Vera Institute of Justice