OF DRUG CONVICTIONS
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND IMMIGRATION
An immigrant (permanent resident or green card holder) who has been convicted of selling or possession of a controlled substance, such as cocaine, heroin, or more than 30 grams of marijuana or who has admitted having committed the actions constituting such a crime, is deportable from the United States. A non-immigrant (tourist, student, etc) is immediately removable and inadmissible to the United States.
There are no bars to this provision, even if the drug offender has a U.S. citizen spouse, U.S. citizen parent, or U.S. citizen child. This harsh sanction allows no exemption in spite of the offender’s immediate family who would suffer irremediable hardship as a result. The only exception under the law for drug use is for simple possession of fewer than 30 grams of marijuana. This exception does not apply to any other amount or any other controlled substance.
Whether the drug conviction is classified as a misdemeanor or of a felony is not relevant. Possession, or possession of paraphernalia, or sale or the conspiracy to sell or possess a controlled substance imposes an absolute expulsion or bar to return to the U.S. regardless of any circumstances. Controlled substances are defined as all drugs designated by the Attorney General at 21 USC §802, 811,812 and 1308 and generally applies to drugs as cocaine, heroin or more than 30 grams of marijuana among as well as certain unauthorized prescription medications.
Once an immigrant has been convicted of a controlled substance violation, his options to remain, or re-enter the country are greatly reduced.
If you have been charged with or convicted of a controlled substance violation, you should seek legal advice immediately and suspend any travel out of the country. Contact us today for an evaluation of your case and an analysis of available options.