qing hong wu's long journey to citizenship

Remember Qing Hong Wu? He's the Chinese immigrant who got into trouble with the law as a teen, but managed to turn his life around, building a promising career and family. It was a story of redemption... until immigration authorities threatened to take it all away when he was jailed for mandatory deportation to China, based on his convictions as a minor.

Thankfully, through strong support from the community, including a letter of appeal from the judge who originally sentenced him, he was eventually pardoned New York Gov. David A. Paterson. And last week, Wu was sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America: After Governor's Pardon, an Immigrant Is Sworn in as a Citizen.
"I can now officially say I'm an American," said Mr. Wu, who immigrated legally to the United States as a child, in a prepared statement he read at a news conference outside a federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan. "I can finally have peace that I am safe and won't be forced to leave my home and my family."

He thanked immigration officials who decided to swiftly reconsider his rejected citizenship application after a pardon by Gov. David A. Paterson cleared the way. And Mr. Wu pledged to "keep doing the right thing" and to "give back to my community in any way I can."

The case of Mr. Wu had drawn support from many, including the judge who sentenced him to a reformatory in 1996 for a series of muggings committed at age 15, and who promised to stand by him if he redeemed himself. The judge, Michael A. Corriero, since retired, wrote to Mr. Paterson appealing for the pardon.
According to the article, Qing Hong Wu's case has prompted the governor to create a Special Immigrant Board of Pardons to review cases of legal immigrants threatened with deportation for old or minor crimes. It's just awesome to see Wu's long and twisted journey to citizenship finally reaching a happy conclusion.

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