According to a report from the Associated Press, immigration attorneys are very concerned about immigrants taking up jobs in the recreational marijuana industry. They’re advising immigrants to avoid taking jobs in anything related to the commercial sale of cannabis.
This January, Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, but immigration lawyers are warning immigrants not to work in the industry since the drug is still federally banned as a scheduled narcotic.
If an immigrant is caught working at one of these farms, distributors, or establishments, they open themselves up for a deportation.
AP had this to say:
“Unwary immigrants and non-citizens … can sort of feel like this is a trap because they don’t think that they’ve done anything illegal or anything that will trigger negative immigration consequences,” Kathleen Vannucci, a Chicago representative of the American Association of Immigration Lawyers, said at a news conference.
Legal immigrants elsewhere, including in Colorado, have been denied citizenship because of marijuana-related work.
The Illinois law also expunges criminal records for marijuana arrests and convictions, but those expungements won’t help immigration cases, experts said.
The National Immigrant Justice Center and others advised non-citizens not to partake, admit use or carry documentation such as a receipt, because it could hurt their cases. They extended the warning to U.S. citizens who live in mixed status households for the same reason.
Please note: The Nationalist Review is largely against the legalization of marijuana but pragmatically supports the decriminalization of possession of small amounts for personal use and fully supports the expansion of medical marijuana. We have one contributor who fully supports legalization.