Immigration has been a ‘hot button’ issue for decades now. However, it seems like the spotlight has been placed directly upon the topic ever since President Trump has taken office. One of the main points of his campaign platform was immigration reform, and he has since taken drastic steps to restrict immigration and asylum seeking at the border. Be sure to check out The Improbable Farmer for more info.
Smoking Weed and Violent Crimes Are Treated As the Same
A recent proposal by the Trump administration alongside the Department of Justice aims to make asylum seeking even more difficult than it already is. You see, asylum seeking is not the same as official immigration. It is the act in which individuals fleeing dangerous countries and circumstances can come to the USA and seek protection. As it stands currently, the only reasons why an individual is likely to be denied asylum are violent crimes. Such as rape, murder, or domestic violence. You can also check out our article about how Hempfest started.
Those With Misdemeanor Charges Will Be Restricted
However, the proposal is that now anyone with any marijuana related charges will also be denied asylum. In fact, the proposal aims to restrict anyone with a misdemeanor charge at all from asylum entry into the USA.
The actual wording of the proposal is ‘anyone convicted of possession or trafficking of a controlled substance’. This is a broad stroke of the brush, especially considering the widely disputed legality of marijuana in general.
Marijuana Is Legal In 11 States but Still Federally Illegal In All States
While marijuana is legalized fully in 11 states, it remains a controlled substance federally. This means that it doesn’t matter where your entry point is in the United Stated – whether it is a legalized state or not – the denial will still be enforced. This even extends to possession or trafficking of paraphernalia, as well. No actual controlled substances need be present on the charge or in-person. If you are planning on purchasing cannabis, you can check our post regarding wholesale cannabis.
It’s Another Ploy To Keep Immigrants Out Of the US
The first draft of the Department of Justice proposed rule states that those who have charges of drug possession and trafficking pose a dangerous threat to society, and therefore do not deserve the right of asylum. Some experts, however, disagree.
Critics have been quick to point out that many asylum seekers are coming from extremely restrictive and impoverished nations. Because of this, they may be charged with ridiculous misdemeanors that do not indicate violence or danger at all. The claim is that this proposal is simply another method used in a long string of tactics to restrict and deny immigrants from finding safety within US borders, and should be stopped.
First Time Offenders With Minimum Charge Still Have A Chance To Enter the US
The proposal itself does have one small allowance, though. It allows leniency for one-time offenders who’s charge was for 30 grams or less, and for personal use. Such offenders would still be allowed to seek asylum within the United States, and is not cause for refusal of entry. However, any and all other marijuana and drug related charges are now very likely to pose a problem.
The proposal was introduced last week, and is subject to a 30-day comment period in which disputes towards the proposal can be made. However, it is expected that this new law will take effect on January 21st, 2020. Baring extraordinary circumstances, the proposed law looks like it is all but assured to pass scrutiny. Unfortunately for asylum seekers, this could mean that non-violent marijuana users could find themselves in a mess of extreme difficulty in their asylum seeking moving forward.