Immigrants Who Work within the Hashish Trade Are of Questionable “Ethical Character”
On Friday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) issued steering in response to queries concerning the battle between federal and state-level hashish legal guidelines.
As Hashish Wire reported, earlier this month, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Metropolis Lawyer Kristin Bronson met with two lawful everlasting residents, one from Lithuania and one from El Salvador, who have been deemed ineligible for citizenship because of their employment in Colorado’s licensed hashish trade.
Following that assembly, Hancock despatched a letter to U.S. Lawyer Normal William Barr, asking for federal steering “that will make clear and modify” these insurance policies. The USCIS, in flip, responded by issuing coverage steering “to make clear that violations of federal managed substance regulation, together with violations involving marijuana, are usually a bar to establishing good ethical character for naturalization.”
Regardless that “some states and the District of Columbia have enacted legal guidelines to decriminalize the manufacture, possession, distribution, and use of each medical and non-medical (leisure) marijuana,” the company famous, “federal regulation classifies marijuana as a ‘Schedule I’ managed substance whose manufacture . . . distribution, allotting, or possession could result in immigration penalties.”
That very same day, Hancock penned one other letter, this time to mayors who take part within the Authorities for Accountable U.S. Hashish Coverage Coalition, together with Oakland, San Francisco, and West Hollywood in California; Thornton in Colorado; Portland in Oregon; and Everett and Seattle in Washington.
In it, Hancock attracts consideration to “authorized residents [who] are being denied naturalization and a path to citizenship for having labored within the hashish trade, which is authorized underneath state regulation.”
“I worry that is occurring in your metropolis too and also you will not be conscious,” the mayor wrote. Hancock additionally urged his counterparts to “uncover these newest injustices in your group and be a part of me in standing up towards them.”
“I requested that the DOJ uphold Colorado’s state rights by respecting our voters who agreed to decriminalize marijuana practically 20 years in the past,” he added. “But, in a renewed effort, the federal authorities apparently has chosen to not honor these choices regardless of this administration’s public statements about supporting states’ rights.”
In response to a request for touch upon the coverage steering issued on Friday, Deborah Cannon, a spokesperson at USCIS, instructed Hashish Wire that the company “is required to adjudicate circumstances based mostly on federal regulation” and that “people who commit federal managed substance violations face potential immigration penalties underneath the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which applies to all international nationals whatever the state or jurisdiction by which they reside.”
“Federal regulation,” she added, “doesn’t acknowledge the decriminalization of marijuana for any function.”