The when the respondent alleges nolo contendere

The nation’s immigration laws have hash penalties for residents convicted of simple possession of marijuana offenses (Cunning, 2015). There is limited protection for the personal use exception for residents that are noncitizens with less serious marijuana convictions and falls outside of the protection from deportation (Cunning, 2015). “Additionally, marijuana convictions can prevent noncitizens from obtaining certain forms of relief from deportation and from returning to the United States in the future if they are deported” (Cunning, 2015, p 531). These cruel outcomes frequently result in serious hardship to immigrant families and communities and are conflicting with society’s developing recognition that cannabis use is for the most part non-serious (Cunning, 2015). The current immigration laws for simple marijuana possession offenses often involve the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) controlled substance deportability ground (Cunning, 2015). “INA section 237(a)(2)(B)(i) makes a noncitizen who at any time after admission has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation relating to a controlled substance deportable” (Cunning, 2015, p 531-532). The INA’s wide explanation of conviction indicates that a wide cluster of criminal dispositions can cause this deportability ground (Cunning, 2015). For the purposes of the INA, a conviction can happen when there is a formal judgment of blame entered by the court, or when the respondent alleges nolo contendere or concedes actualities the would be adequate for a finding of guilty (Cunning, 2015). If the defendant pleads guilty and the charges are dismissed it is considered deferred adjudication however, it also counts as a conviction for immigration purposes (Cunning, 2015). Suspended sentences and probation both are considered as inconveniences of discipline adequate to constitute a conviction (Cunning, 2015). Any infringement or infractions are also deemed to be convictions for immigration purposes if the procedures require that guilty be proven beyond a reasonable doubt (Cunning, 2015). The deportability ground has the personal exception for marijuana use that is an individual could be deported if convicted of drug offenses that has more than one offense that involves one’s own use of thirty grams less of marijuana (Cunning, 2015). The government must prove deportability in removal proceedings, when attempting to deport a noncitizen for marijuana convictions, the government is required to show that the noncitizen’s conviction does not fit under governmental exceptions (Cunning, 2015). However, it is not difficult for the government to prove that a conviction does not fit under the personal use exception (Cunning, 2015).


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