Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) launched H.R. 1614, a invoice that might give immigrant alcoholics and drug customers a better path to naturalization. Underneath present regulation, “ordinary drunkards” and drug convictions hinder the power of immigrants to turn out to be full residents by naturalization. Rep. Boyle’s invoice goals to alter that.
The invoice will “amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to offer that marijuana use, possession, and distribution will not be thought of for determinations of whether or not an individual is an individual of fine ethical character.” In a press launch, Boyle mentioned:
These questions are wholly unrelated to citizenship, and solely serve to
reinforce societal stigmas related to alcohol and substance abuse. It’s
extraordinarily troubling to see federal functions like this that proceed to make use of
a harsh and antiquated time period resembling ‘ordinary drunkard’. Furthermore, potential
residents shouldn’t be penalized for comparatively innocent and non-criminal
offenses. This careless language solely serves to strengthen societal stigmas and
misunderstandings about substance abuse, and it’s time we modernize the
U.S. citizenship is without doubt one of the most
sought-after statuses on the planet. It gives innumerable privileges and
rights within the U.S. that different statuses – together with authorized everlasting residence –
merely don’t. Plainly said, American citizenship is a giant deal. And that’s
why there are “ethical” necessities. They’re fairly primary, and they’re simply
Rep. Boyle’s invoice particularly prevents
marijuana offenses from negatively impacting an alien’s naturalization standing.
Whereas social norms regarding marijuana have definitely modified since 1965, it
stays a Schedule I drug. Many states presently enable the leisure
buy and use of marijuana regardless that it’s technically unlawful beneath
Federal regulation. It’s a ridiculous scenario, however till Congress – which Rep.
Boyle is a voting member of – adjustments the drug legal guidelines concerning marijuana it
stays a federal crime. Aliens with histories of misdemeanor and felony drug
convictions replicate criminality, and Citizenship and Immigration Companies
(USCIS) is correct to take that into consideration when weighing whether or not to
naturalize a inexperienced card holder.
The “ordinary drunkard” language is clearly a unique story. There is no such thing as a commonplace definition for a “ordinary drunkard,” and so this language creates a scenario the place USCIS workers interpret completely different conditions in a different way. Fairly than eradicating this from the naturalization necessities, USCIS ought to merely replace it to incorporate drunk-driving associated offenses, that are a nationwide drawback. Deaths from drunk driving are a horrible factor. Lots of the Angel Households – kinfolk of individuals killed by unlawful aliens – misplaced their relations due to drunk driving incidents by unlawful aliens.
It is a misguided invoice that does nothing to enhance our immigration system or profit Americans. As an alternative, it proposes decreasing the bar for citizenship, once we actually ought to boost that bar even larger to replicate and honor the significance of American citizenship.