Minor Marijuana Possession Does Not Warrant Automatic Deportation, Supreme Court Rules

U.S. Supreme Court

THINK PROGRESS - The U.S. Supreme Court held Tuesday that an immigrant should not have been automatically deported for a minor marijuana conviction. In a 7-2 decision, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said a state charge of possession with intent to distribute for possession of an amount equivalent to two or three marijuana joints was not an “aggravated felony.”

Under U.S. law, immigrants facing deportation typically have an opportunity to contest it. However, if the immigrant has been convicted of crimes categorized as “aggravated felonies” in the Immigration and Nationality Act, deportation is automatic, and not even claims that the individual is seeking asylum can stop that person’s removal from the country.

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