Bill Would Eliminate Cannabis Possession As Grounds For Deportation


A bill introduced by lawmakers in Washington, D.C. not too long ago would get rid of possession of cannabis as grounds for deportation beneath federal law. Below the bill, the Eliminate Marijuana from Deportable Offenses Act (S. 2021), the offenses for which an undocumented immigrant could be deported would be amended. The bill was introduced by Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey in June and in the Home final month with an identical companion bill from fellow Democrat Assistant Speaker Ray Ben Luján of New Mexico.

“This Administration’s efforts to use marijuana possession as a tool for deportation is misguided and does not make our communities safer,” said Booker in a press release. “Limited law enforcement sources should really not be wasted on deporting people today for some thing two of the final 3 presidents have admitted to performing. This legislation will get rid of a further one particular of ICE’s weapons that have been deployed to execute this Administration’s hardline immigration policy.”

Why This Bill is Essential

With the bill, the Immigration and Nationality Act would be amended, adding the phrase “other than the distribution of marijuana” to the section that defines “illicit trafficking in a controlled substance” as an offense that warrants the deportation of an undocumented immigrant.

The measure also adds that “any offenses involving the use, possession, or distribution of marijuana shall not be deemed as grounds of inadmissibility.” The bill would also permit immigrants who have been deported or denied a visa to reapply for admission to the nation or have their visa reissued.

“The Trump administration’s choice to use marijuana as a weapon against our immigrant communities is despicable,” stated Luján. “The federal government should really not be wasting sources to wreak havoc on immigrant households when there are young children held in border camps that are desperate for legal solutions, hygiene solutions, and fundamental humanitarian care. Supplying care for these young children and households should really be exactly where the Trump administration devotes its funding—not functioning as a deportation force.”

“I’m proud to be fighting for this legislation to hold President Trump accountable and defend our immigrant communities from senseless and hateful policies,” he added.

Extra than 34,000 immigrants have been deported among 2007 and 2012 for marijuana possession, according to a report from Human Rights Watch. Given that President Trump rescinded suggestions that listed misdemeanor offenders and cannabis convictions as a low priority, the crisis has worsened, according to Luján’s workplace. He adds that “this anti-immigrant agenda from the Trump administration stands in contrast to the policies of dozens of states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana use and possession.”


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