Immigrants living in New Jersey or another part of the United States must know that certain actions may lead to serious legal trouble and potential deportation. Drug violations fall under this umbrella. Even a small drug violation may mean removal from the United States without any way to return.
Per the Drug Policy Alliance, drug-related deportations have risen across the nation in recent years.
Drug-related deportation statistics
Between 2007 and 2012, the number of immigrants deported from the United States for drug-related reasons rose 43%. During this span, more than 250,000 immigrants underwent deportation for drug-related reasons. Many of those deported faced only minor drug charges.
In 2013, simple marijuana possession was the most common reason for drug-related deportation. It was also the fourth most common reason immigrants underwent deportation, in general. Between 2012 and 2013, the United States deported more than 13,000 people as a result of marijuana possession violations.
Racial disparity statistics
People of color face an even higher risk of drug-related enforcement efforts, detention and deportation. This holds true regardless of immigration status. There are also disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates among individuals of color, and about 80% of those incarcerated in federal prisons in the United States are either Black or Latino.
Many immigrants deported to their countries of origin after drug violations find that they have no family members, job prospects or opportunities awaiting them there. Many are also unable to return to the United States ever, resulting in the destruction of numerous immigrant families.