Gov. Charlie Baker announced pardons of four people on Wednesday, including two immigrants hoping to gain legal residency status in the United States and Canada. The four had been sentenced to a variety of crimes, including drug distribution and breaking and entering.

This is the second time this month — and only the second during his time as governor — that Baker announced actions to forgive people of their criminal offenses. The state constitution allows the governor to grant pardons, which are initially reviewed by an advisory board. The board recommended the pardons, according to a state press release, and they now must be approved by eight-member elected Governor’s Council.

“Each of these individuals has shown compelling reasons for requesting a pardon, including the need to remove barriers that currently prevent them from accessing more professional opportunities," Baker said in a press statement. "These offenses all occurred many years ago, and since that time, all four individuals have committed themselves to bettering their lives and improving their communities.”

The four include Zaida imentel-Solano, who was convicted in 1996 on drug-distribution charges and received a one year suspended sentence, state records show. Since then, she has not been charged with any other offenses. She requested the pardon so she could seek legal residency in the United States, according to the Advisory Board of Pardons.

Thomas Schoolcraft was convicted in 2006 on a charge of breaking and entering and sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence. He received an conditional pardon in 2015, which prohibited him from possessing a firearm, state officials say. He requested a full pardon because he works in corrections and most states require he be eligible to carry or possess a firearm.

Christopher Nichols was convicted 20 years ago on charges related to a night-long series of efforts to steal beer from stores, records show. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges and was sentenced to 27 days of probation. He sought a pardon so he could pursue jobs in law enforcement, records show.

Bertrand Lamitie was convicted on drug charges in 2001 sentenced to a year in jail, records show. Lamitie, who came to the United States from Haiti as a child, said after his sentence he was deported to an unfamiliar country where he didn’t speak the language. He sought a pardon to apply for legal residency status in Canada.

Liz Matos, president of the nonprofit Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, applauded the pardons as an important step for people trying to survive the aftermath of their sting in the criminal justice system. But, she said, there is much more to do. For years, very few pardons or commutations were issued in the state.

“The fact they are happening is good, but it is really the tip of the iceberg,’’ she said. “There's so many people who should really have their sentences looked at, and there are far more petitions for commutations and pardons that have been filed and, quite frankly, not been paid much attention to.”