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Are ICE Agents Using Marijuana As An Excuse To Arrest Immigrants?

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Are ICE Agents Using Marijuana As An Excuse To Arrest Immigrants?

Opinion: Uptick in arrests follow comments from Trump administration that possession is grounds for deportation.

By: Drug Policy Alliance | thefreshtoast.com

On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported a nearly 40 percent increase in immigrant arrests in the first 100 days of the Trump administration compared to the same time period in 2016, including a nearly 20 percent increase in ICE arrests of immigrants convicted of a criminal offense from 25,786 people in 2016 to 30,473 people this year.

 It is unclear from the data made available by ICE on Wednesday what proportion of these convictions stemmed from drug charges. However, a 2014 Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University report showed that nearly 250,000 — one-quarter of a million — people were deported for nonviolent drug offenses from 2008 to 2014. A nonviolent drug offense was the cause of deportation for more than one in ten (11 percent of) people deported in 2013 for any reason — and nearly one in five (19 percent) of those who were deported because of a criminal conviction.

Advocates stress that these numbers can be expected to continue to rise dramatically and are the latest sign that the Trump administration threatens to exploit drug war policing and prosecution tools to target and deport large numbers of immigrants for drug law violations, even in cases where drug charges are dismissed or possession is lawful under state law.

Continue reading at thefreshtoast.com

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