Deportation for Possessing a Sock:

Supreme Court Case Reflects How the War on Drugs Fuels the War on Immigrants

In Mellouli v. Holder, at issue is the government’s broad interpretation of already harsh immigration laws related to drug offenses. Mr. Mellouli was charged for possessing four pills of Adderall in his sock…

At yesterday’s oral argument, the Justices again pushed back on the government. One line that garnered laughter was Justice Kagan’s observation:

“He was convicted of paraphernalia here because he had four pills of Adderall, which if you go to half the colleges in America, people ­­ you know, and just randomly pick somebody, there would be a decent chance– ­­”

Of course, the War on Drugs is not being waged on college campuses or in affluent white communities…

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has made noncitizens with drug convictions, including longtime residents, one of its top priorities for deportation. In 2013 alone, the government deported nearly 20,000 people who had convictions for simple possession of a drug or drug paraphernalia, including over 6,600 people who were convicted of personal marijuana possession. Over the last six years, the government has deported nearly a quarter of a million people with a drug conviction.

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