HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Hartford woman has been in a legal battle for years over crimes that were pardoned by the state. News 8 has received word that that battle is now over.
The federal government has agreed to stop trying to deport Wayzaro Walton because it recognizes the state government’s pardon of her crimes.
Walton was only three or four when she was brought to the U.S. from Great Britain. She was undocumented at first, but became a permanent legal resident, and married an American citizen.
But then she got arrested for shoplifting eight years ago. That got her flagged by immigration officials. The state of Connecticut pardoned her to allow her to stay in the U.S.
The thing is, Connecticut’s pardon system is different than most states. So for a while, officials did not recognize the state pardon. They even put Walton behind bars back in March. Now, ICE recognizes the pardons, and she is back in Hartford with her wife and daughter.
“I hope that people can have more faith that it can happen, because honestly there were times when I lost my faith,” Wayzaro Walton.
She says the one thing that kept her going was frequent visits. Her wife and daughter would drive up to where she was being held in New Hampshire to see her. This was resolved with a lot of help from local officials, especially the Connecticut Attorney General. Now that it’s been resolved, her attorney thinks her case could set an important precedent.
In other words, other immigrants in her position may not have to spend months behind bars because of this legal decision.