Trump Administration May Start Denying Asylum Over Misdemeanor Marijuana Offenses

The Trump administration says it will begin denying asylum to migrant people with misdemeanor marijuana offenses in the United States. The new rule will likely take effect in 30 days. The move comes as part of a larger effort by the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to narrow eligibility among migrants with misdemeanor convictions. Asylum requests would also be denied for anyone accused of domestic violence, according to a draft version of the rule published Thursday.

Marijuana Could Join Murder, Rape and Domestic Violence as Reasons to Deny Asylum

The Trump administration already prevents most Central American immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States. Under a rule approved by the Supreme Court back in September, anyone who passes through another country on their way to the United States without seeking asylum there is automatically denied asylum in the U.S.

Yet the White House is seeking to restrict asylum eligibility further with a new set of rules related to misdemeanor convictions. One of those rules would deny asylum to anyone convicted “for possession or trafficking of a controlled substance,” according to the DOJ notice. Under federal law, cannabis containing more than 0.3 percent THC is considered a Schedule

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