By Astrid Galvan, Associated Press
( AP)– Immigration authorities on Friday stated that anybody with any involvement with marijuana, no matter whether it’s legal in the state where they live, can be denied citizenship due to the fact that the drug is still unlawful under federal law.
The statement comes weeks after officials in Colorado, where recreational cannabis is legal, started warning residents that working for a dispensary or production operation might jeopardize their citizenship bids– even if those tasks are state-sanctioned.
The upgraded assistance from the U.S. Citizenship and Migration Services mentions that people who utilize marijuana or are involved with it in any way stop working to have “excellent ethical character,” a prerequisite for people who have legal irreversible residence to get American citizenship.
About two-thirds of states allow the usage of cannabis for medical purposes, and 10 enable leisure usage. Washington, D.C., likewise permits recreational usage.
” U.S. Citizenship and Migration Providers is needed to adjudicate cases based upon federal law,” spokesperson Jessica Collins said. “People who devote federal illegal drug offenses face potential migration consequences under the Migration and Citizenship Act (INA), which applies to all foreign nationals no matter the state or jurisdiction in which they reside.”
In Colorado, immigration lawyers state at least two green-card holders were rejected citizenship due to the fact that they worked or had actually worked in marijuana-related tasks. There are probably more, they say. Border states like Arizona, California and New Mexico will likely see these problems emerge.
Immigrants who look for citizenship must first fill out a 20-page kind known as the “N-400.” It asks about previous work, household and criminal history, but it doesn’t particularly ask if a person has used or dealt with marijuana.
” Whether or not it has a genuine impact is whether adjudicators decide to inquire about it,” Gelatt stated.
Julia Gelatt, a senior policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute, stated it’s not likely that many people will divulge information about marijuana usage. But she said the new policy could make some people anxious about applying.
AP Photo Thomas Peipert
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