On Monday, March 8th, Representative Brendan Boyle (PA-02) introduced legislation (HR 1614) to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act by removing marijuana offenses as grounds of inadmissibility or consideration in a good moral character determination, among other legal changes.
For generations, a mere possession charge by an individual who seeks to become a US citizen could scuttle their ability to do so.
Upon induction of the bill, Representative Boyle said, “As applicants go through the Green Card and/or naturalization process, they currently encounter questions that ask, “Have you ever been a habitual drunkard?”, or for details about an applicant’s level of marijuana use. These questions are wholly unrelated to citizenship, and only serve to reinforce societal stigmas connected to alcohol and substance abuse. It is extremely troubling to see federal applications like this that continue to use a harsh and antiquated term such as “habitual drunkard”. Moreover, prospective citizens should not be penalized for relatively harmless and non-criminal offenses. This careless language only serves to reinforce societal stigmas and misunderstandings about substance abuse, and it is time we modernize the process.”
If you agree that this senseless discrimination against those who seek the American Dream is unnecessary and should be ended, contact your Representative now and tell them to support and co-sponsor HR 1614.