If you have ever ingested an illegal substance, such as cocaine, heroin or marijuana, you certainly are not alone. In fact, according to a recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly 60 million Americans used marijuana or another type of drug in 2020 alone.
Consuming drugs can have catastrophic consequences. Indeed, those with drug addictions often experience declines in their overall health, work performance and interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, drug use also can lead to deportation for legal permanent residents and nonimmigrant visa holders.
U.S. immigration law
Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. Section 1227(a), anyone who becomes a drug abuser or addict after admission to the U.S. is deportable. Consequently, if U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement has evidence of your abuse of drugs or addiction to a drug, you may receive a notice to appear in immigration court. This means immigration authorities intend to remove you from the country.
As you probably know, not every drug user is discreet. If you create social media posts that discuss your drug use, ICE officers may use your posts against you. The same is true if you post pictures of your drug-related activities. Naturally, if police officers find you with drugs or drug paraphernalia and charge you with a crime, you also can expect ICE officers to use these charges against you.
For a variety of reasons, not using marijuana or any other controlled substance make a great deal of sense. Ultimately, though, if your drug usage causes you to receive a notice to appear before an immigration judge, you should explore all your legal options immediately.