AOC rips Biden's 'inexcusable' exclusion of illegal immigrants from pardon for marijuana offenses
A policy expert at the Center for Immigration Studies says such an expansion would "undoubtedly benefit illegal alien drug traffickers."
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New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to see President Joe Biden extend his executive order pardoning simple marijuana possession offenses to cover illegal immigrants.
"Contrary to rhetoric, Biden is not actually pardoning ALL federal simple marijuana possession convictions, only some," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on social media. "His executive order discriminates based on immigration status, which is frankly upsetting and inexcusable.
"If the assertion here is that these laws should have never existed and were racist in their enforcement and impact, then the pardons should be for all impacted by them. It's upsetting to see the racial impact of the War on Drugs recognized while perpetuating that impact by excluding immigrants from pardoning, who could significantly stand to benefit from it."
A policy expert at the Center for Immigration Studies, meanwhile, argues that such an expansion would "undoubtedly benefit illegal alien drug traffickers."
According to an analysis from Jon Feere at CIS, the U.S. Sentencing Commission studied federal possession charges from fiscal years 2008 and 2013 and found that the increase in federal sentencing for simple possession of drugs "is almost entirely attributable to a single drug type — marijuana — and to offenders who were arrested at or near the U.S./Mexico border."
Feere notes that "it's important to know the data behind these prosecutions in case the Biden administration starts signaling a plan to expand the scope of this proclamation."
Biden's executive order grants a "complete, and unconditional pardon" to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents "who committed the offense of simple possession of marijuana in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, as currently codified at 21 U.S.C. 844 and as previously codified elsewhere in the United States Code, or in violation of D.C. Code 48–904.01(d)(1), on or before the date of this proclamation, regardless of whether they have been charged with or prosecuted for this offense on or before the date of this proclamation."
The Immigrant Defense Project is one of the advocacy groups pushing for the Biden administration not to deport illegal immigrants for marijuana possession charges.
"If POTUS thinks no one should be in jail for marijuana possession, then no one should be deported for it either," the group posted on Twitter, along with a link to a report on the "immigraton consequences of a marijuana offense." The report claims that "people of color, which includes immigrants, are disproportionately targeted in marijuana arrests" and "non-citizens get punished beyond the already harsh consequences of a marijuana conviction."
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