Stoner Migrants Might Not Become Citizens
According to New York Magazine the Trump administration has “declared war” on immigrants. How so? It doesn’t want stoners with a connection to the violent trade in illicit drugs becoming U.S. citizens.
In a piece titled “USCIS: Immigrants Linked to Legal WeedMay Be Morally Unfit for Citizenship,” the online news outlet recently claimedU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that, “Immigrantswith ties to marijuana, including in states where it has been legalized, can bedenied U.S. citizenship.” According to NYMag,this, “is but the latest hard-line stance taken toward immigrants and immigrationby the Trump administration.”
Of course, NYMagis completely mistaken. In reality, USCIS simply updated its Policy Manual, “to clarify thatviolations of federal controlled substance law, including violations involvingmarijuana, are generally a bar to establishing good moral character fornaturalization, even where that conduct would not be an offense under statelaw.”
That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Applicants fornaturalization have always been required to demonstrate good moral character. 8U.S.C. § 1101(f)(3), which has been in effect since 1996, mandates that a “violationof any law on controlled substances, except for simple possession of 30 gramsor less of marijuana, is a bar to the establishment of good moral character. Immigrationlaw has long disfavored immigrants who display a propensity to disobey federallaw.
In fact, the Trump administration hasn’t changed any of thelaws or policies relating to naturalization. It has simply made it clear thatthe legalization of marijuana pursuant to state laws has not rendered the use,possession, or sale of cannabis lawful under federal statutes. And that shouldhave been patently obvious to any news organization that did even a minimum ofresearch on this issue.
Nevertheless, NYMag insists that the Trump administration is perpetuating “the antiquated notion that smoking weed is somehow immoral,” in order to deny citizenship to otherwise deserving immigrants “of color.”
But the woke smokers advocating on behalf of migrantmarijuana users are missing the point entirely. The U.S. is a nation of laws.We expect citizens to obey our laws, state and federal. And we expect the samefrom migrants who wish to become members of our polity and our nation.
There is nothing remotely unfair about denying citizenshipto immigrants who violate federal drug laws. Similarly, there is nothinginappropriate about charging U.S. citizens with federal drug violations, evenwhen they live in states that have ostensibly “legalized” marijuana. Cannabisremains a prohibited drug under the Controlled Substances Act. And that willremain the case, unless Congress sees fit to amend that legislation.
The Trump administration isn’t waging a war on immigrants. It’s the victim of a war on immigration enforcement, waged by irresponsible journalists who opt to tell only part of the story whenever they encounter facts that don’t support their open-borders narrative.