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Governor criticized after illegal immigrant convicted of murder is transferred to ICE custody on release

Man was released on parole after serving 22 years in state prison

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An illegal immigrant who was convicted of murder in California more than two decades ago was released on parole Monday, and immediately taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, and some immigrant rights activists are upset with Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).

According to The Associated Press, Newsom has been criticized for cooperating with ICE in a state that has laws directing state agencies to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the transfer of illegal immigrants who are released.

The convict was Cambodian illegal immigrant Tith Ton, who served 22 years in state prison for murdering a rival gang member.

"It's deeply disappointing that the governor is choosing to work with ICE," said Anoop Prasad, an attorney with the Asian Law Caucus. "It's an unjust and illogical practice that is tearing apart communities in California."

Immigrant rights groups want Newsom to end policies allowing the transfer of prison inmates to federal authorities despite California's efforts to provide a sanctuary for immigrants.

Prasad argued that Ton had turned his life around in the past two decades and become a substance abuse counselor. In approving his release, Newsom must have agreed that Ton no longer poses a danger to the community, Prasad said.

Prasad said Ton was picked up by a federal government contractor and taken into ICE custody after his parole release. That's notable because Newsom has vetoed a bill that would block private companies from picking up paroled immigrants.

"Tith should be hugging his mother as a free person this morning for the first time as an adult," Prasad wrote on Twitter. "Instead, this is how he's speaking to his mother because Gov @GavinNewsom tells prisons to collude with ICE."

Newsom's office did not comment on the situation, but a representative of the corrections department that they followed "normal procedure" with Ton's release.

(H/T The Daily Wire)

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