A New Jersey drug charge has the potential to lead to serious legal consequences for anyone, but for immigrants who face drug charges, the stakes may be much higher. Many immigrants arrested for drug possession, drug sales, drug trafficking, drug manufacturing or a similar criminal offense end up facing deportation. Many who undergo deportation struggle after leaving the United States because they often have limited resources, job prospects or familial connections in their nations of origin.
The Drug Policy Alliance reports that any drug-related criminal offense may lead to deportation for immigrants, and this includes drug offenses involving marijuana.
Marijuana and deportation
In 2013, simple possession of marijuana was the most common reason for drug-related deportation from the United States. It was also the fourth most common cause of deportation from the United States, period. In 2012 and 2013, there were more than 13,000 deportations from the country resulting from charges of simple marijuana possession.
All drugs and deportation
Between 2007 and 2012, more than 250,000 immigrants underwent deportation from the United States as a result of drug-related offenses. There was also a sharp jump in the number of drug-related deportations made for possession offenses during that time, with the number of such drug arrests increasing by 43% over that two-year span.
All immigrants with drug offenses face the possibility of deportation from the United States. This includes those facing state-level drug charges as well as federal ones. It also includes immigrants who hold valid visas and those who live in the nation as lawful permanent residents, or green card holders.