A drug conviction may cause you considerable trouble under any circumstances. However, if you receive a drug conviction and are also an immigrant, the repercussions may prove life-changing. Any type of drug violation, including drug possession, drug sales or a similar offense, has the potential to lead to detention or deportation.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, many authorities focus their drug enforcement efforts in communities that are urban, low-income or home to large numbers of minorities. Because of this, the number of minorities arrested for drug offenses far outpaces the number of Caucasian individuals arrested for similar reasons.
By the numbers
How much of a risk of detention or deportation do you face following a drug offense as an immigrant? Research shows that deportations from drug-related crimes are on the rise across the nation, increasing by 43% between 2007 And 2012. Since 2007, more than 250,000 immigrants have undergone deportation each year for drug offenses.
While immigrants and minorities are frequent targets of drug enforcement efforts, they are also more likely to face harsh sentences for their offenses than white individuals who commit the same crimes. Prosecutors are two times as likely to recommend a mandatory minimum sentence for you if you are a minority, as opposed to a Caucasian.
Also, your chance of landing in a federal or state prison is higher as a Black or Latino than it is when you are white. Almost 80% of those in federal prison for drug crimes are Black or Latino. About 60% of drug offenders in state prisons are as well.