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Bridgeport Man Released From ICE Detention In Alabama

Ted S. Warren
Associated Press
Detainees wait in a holding area during a media tour at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Tacoma, Wash., Sept. 10, 2019.

A Connecticut man who has spent the majority of the last seven years in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention has been freed.

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Richard Marvin Thompson, 37, faced deportation to Jamaica for a crime he’d committed as a teenager, and for which he had received a full and unconditional pardon from the state of Connecticut.

The pardon should have meant he was not eligible for deportation, but the Board of Immigration Appeals  found that Connecticut’s pardon process was invalid.

In a ruling Friday, a federal appeals court struck down that decision.

Thompson’s attorney, Gregory Romanovsky, told Connecticut Public Radio that the Board has been inconsistent on the issue.

“They tried to describe Connecticut’s pardons as something that they’re not, and interestingly enough just recently in another case they ruled that Connecticut’s pardons are good enough,” he said.

On Tuesday, Thompson was released from the Etowah County Detention Center in Alabama.

His family lives in Bridgeport.

Diane Orson is a special correspondent with Connecticut Public. She is a longtime reporter and contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories have been heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Here and Now; and The World from PRX. She spent seven years as CT Public Radio's local host for Morning Edition.

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