The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new directive on Friday stating that working in the marijuana industry, even in areas where it is legal, could prevent immigrants from gaining citizenship .
The agency noted that although several states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana at the medical and recreational levels, the federal law continues to classify this drug as an "Annex 1 controlled substance." ".
"USCIS publishes guidelines in its manual to clarify that violations of federal controlled substances legislation, including those involving marijuana, generally preclude the moral characterization of naturalization, even in cases where such conduct does not occur. would not constitute an offense under the law of the state. , Wrote the agency.
"The general instructions also state that an applicant who participates in certain marijuana-related activities may lack morality if it is acknowledged that he has violated federal law, even though this activity has been decriminalized." under applicable national laws, "added the USCIS. , distributing or possessing marijuana could "have an impact on immigration".
A USCIS spokesman reiterated in a statement to The Hill that the agency "is required to rule on cases based on federal law".
"People who commit violations of federally controlled substances face potential consequences for immigration under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which applies to all. foreign nationals, regardless of the state or jurisdiction in which they reside, "they added.
This new orientation came at a time when the Trump administration was relying on its radical immigration stance, while the senior ranks of the Department of Homeland Security were overhauled, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpL's American People Shows Trump Trump's People's Support Trump Addresses Libyan Rebel General Attacking Tripoli Legislature Dem: Mueller Report Shows "Substantial Set of Evidence" on Clog reflecting on a review of the asylum process and threatening to close the border with Mexico.
"I do not think it's any marijuana at all," NBC News told Michael Collins, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "I think they use the war on drugs to attack the migrant community and that's what they've been doing since day one."
The guidelines also come as support for the legalization of marijuana is increasing across the country. A poll released on Friday revealed that 65 percent of Americans think the pot should be legalized, including 56 percent of Republicans.
Updated at 9:48 am