AOC, other Democrats ask Biden to pardon marijuana offenses for illegal immigrants, reopen deportation cases

Posted 82 days ago


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N. Y. along with several other progressives are asking President Biden to pardon all federal simple marijuana possession offenses, regardless of immigration status.

Ocasio-Cortez was joined by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, D-Ill., Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and several other members of Congress in the letter to Biden on Monday.

Biden announced the pardon of all prior convictions for federal offenses of simple marijuana possession on Oct. 6, but didn't include illegal immigrants in the pardon.

"Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the Administration pardon all simple marijuana possession offenses – regardless of immigration status," the members of Congress state in the letter. "Using the power of the pardon is a constitutional imperative and a critical tool in rectifying the compounding racial injustices of draconian drug policies. However, continuing to deport immigrants for simple marijuana possession will only exacerbate racial disparities, traumatize families and communities vital to this country's fabric, and create ineffective legal regimes at taxpayers' expense."

"Granting pardons to all simple marijuana possession offenses – regardless of immigration status – demonstrates genuine compassion while ensuring that our country continues to mitigate the inhumane and ineffective drudge policies that have ravaged communities of color for so long," the letter adds.

In addition to asking Biden to pardon simple marijuana possession charges, the Democrats also ask him to reopen "the immigration cases of those who were deported for marijuana-related offenses."

Biden said in a tweet after announcing the pardons that "no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana."... (Read more)