This past weekend, Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo issued a pardon for Chin Tsui’s 1995 conviction in Nassau County. Last month, Transgender Law Center (TLC) and the Law Offices of Earnest Bailey won a motion to terminate Chin Tsui’s immigration proceedings, which the government has thirty days to appeal. With this pardon, there is nothing left to appeal in Chin’s case and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should release him. His legal team followed the pardon with another request for release on Saturday and has not yet received a response.

Chin’s case garnered state and federal attention due to the treatment he received as a trans man in immigration prison and his status as a survivor of human trafficking. On March 4, New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and nine other members of Congress from New York wrote a letter to ICE asking why Chin was still in custody if his case had been terminated. 

“By granting this pardon, Governor Cuomo is allowing Chin’s legal team to clear his path home,” said Lynly Egyes, Transgender Law Center’s Legal Director. “We are grateful to both the Offices of the Governor of New York and Rep. Maloney for their willingness to advocate for Chin and to do what needs to be done to get him home. Every single day spent in an immigration prison is torture. We are hopeful with nothing left to argue in court that ICE will release Chin immediately and allow him to live and heal with his family.”