Any type of illegal drug use has the potential to land you in trouble with the law. However, you may face an even harsher penalty for a drug offense if you are an immigrant living in Pennsylvania or another part of the United States. Any type of drug violation has the potential to lead to detention. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your drug arrest, a violation may also result in you undergoing deportation.
Per the Drug Policy Alliance, you stand to face detention or deportation for a drug offense even as a legal permanent resident. In some instances, deportation may result in you having no way to come home, even if you have no family or other connections in your home nation.
Deportation and drug use
Drug-related deportations are increasing. Between 2007 and 2012, the United States deported more than 250,000 immigrants due to drug-related violations. There was also a 43% uptick in the number of immigrants deported in 2007 versus the number of immigrants deported in 2012.
Deportation and marijuana
The use, possession or sale of any drug may result in you facing detention or deportation, even if the drug is marijuana. In fact, simple possession of marijuana was the fourth-most-common cause of deportation from the United States in 2013. It was also the top cause of drug-related deportation from the United States. Furthermore, there were more than 13,000 marijuana-related deportations for marijuana possession made in 2012 and 2013 alone.
Many deported immigrants struggle to get by after deportation, citing issues with employment, housing and health services, among others.