A U.S. military veteran who was deported to Jamaica over a marijuana conviction has been allowed to return to the country following a concerted push for relief by members of Congress. It’s been more than 20 years since Navy veteran Howard Bailey was arrested after a package containing cannabis was sent to his house for a friend and he pled guilty, on the advice of counsel. He disclosed the conviction when later applying for citizenship, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) used that single marijuana offense as the basis to initiate a deportation proceeding. Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Mark Warner (D-VA) last month sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting that he reopen the case. Thirty members of the Congressional Black Caucus separately urged the Biden administration to reopen certain deportation cases, including those involving cannabis such as Bailey’s. Bailey “was prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the United States of America,” Padilla said on Monday. “Thankfully, he’s not paid the ultimate sacrifice—but through that service, we’ve known that he deserved better and others deserve better than their treatment in the current immigration system.” Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) issued a pardon for the veteran in 2017, and now President Joe Biden’s administration is being thanked for taking action on pleas for further relief enabling the veteran to return home.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 08/31/2021 08:14:00