Friday, December 4, 2009

No Presidents allowed

Presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and William Clinton couldn't get a visa if they were aliens trying to visit the United States.

I hadn't thought of that.

They all admitted to smoking pot. "Yet," says Immigration Attorney Carl Shusterman, "U.S. immigration laws do not provide for forgiveness for would be immigrants who have admitted to smoking marijuana, even in the distant past."

It only comes up in the press when some rock star or other celebrity near the top of the fame food chain is denied a tourist visa.

How many people do silly things when they are young? They trespass, they vandalize, they drink to excess (sometimes leading to other silly things) and they vote for candidates I really, really don't like.

I wouldn't blame the immigration folks. They're probably handcuffed by a statute defining 'moral turpitude' to include substances which are illegal because they are listed in Schedule such-and-such of another law.

Shusterman brought this up to discuss a person whose green card was denied because they told a doctor at St. Lukes in the Philippines that they'd had a toke or two. That was overturned on appeal because the nature of the crime hadn't been explained (check the link for details).

Just a word of warning to my friends looking for any sort of U.S. visa. Don't admit the slightest drug use, even casual.

Oh, don't lie about it either. Bill Clinton could tell you about the problems that could cause.

BTW: What kind of doctor asks about marijuana use in a medical examination?

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