If you or someone you love has been detained by Immigration officials you likely have many questions about the process. Non-citizens may be detained for violations of immigration law. Commonly these include: overstaying or violating a visa, entering the country illegally, or criminal convictions.
The detention process begins with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) finding that you have violated an immigration law. You will then be picked up by ICE officers and taken to a local facility to process. In the Washington, D.C. area, you would go to the ICE office in Fairfax, Virginia. There, you will be formally processed and ICE will decide if they are going to release you on bond (a legal agreement where money is paid and held by the government to ensure that you will attend future hearings), release you with a monitoring system, or transfer … Read More »
The first medical marijuana dispensary in Washington, D.C. opens this month. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have now legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes and two states have legalized its recreational use. Many people think that as long as they are abiding by state marijuana laws, they are free to partake. However, this is not always the case– especially for those who are non-citizens.
Whether or not use of marijuana is legal under state law where you live, your use of it may subject you to federal prosecution. This is because marijuana remains classified as a schedule I drug on the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Under immigration law, drug offenses– such as violation of the CSA– can carry serious consequences. For non-citizens (even green card holders), a drug possession or drug trafficking conviction could result in deportation … Read More »
Receiving a notice to appear before an immigration court can raise many questions. You may have received this notice by mail or through an immigration official. This notice will contain the charges against you and the date, time, and location of your court hearing. The charges will explain why the government believes you are deportable. Some of the main reasons for deportation are criminal allegations or immigration violations including an illegal entry or a visa overstay. When you do receive a notice to appear, you want to make sure you do a few things to protect your stay in the United States.
First, make sure to attend your scheduled hearing. Ignoring the notice and not attending your hearing will only make your situation worse. If you fail to appear for your hearing, the government can have you ordered removed without your … Read More »
On April 23, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Moncrieffe v. Holder. Adrian Moncrieffe is a Jamaican national who came to the United States at the age of 3. During a 2007 traffic stop, police found 1.3 grams of marijuana in Mr. Moncrieffe’s car. This is roughly the amount of 2-3 marijuana cigarettes. In his Georgia criminal case, Mr. Moncrieffe agreed to a plea for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He received no jail time and was placed on probation. As a result of this conviction, Mr. Moncrieffe was placed in immigration proceedings ultimately resulting in his deportation. The Board of Immigration Appeals agreed with the Immigration Judge and the 5th Circuit denied review. The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, ruled that his marijuana charge was improperly classified as an aggravated felony under … Read More »