U.S. immigration law: can past jobs affect citizenship prospects?

Many of the lawful permanent residents living in Louisiana hope to one day become naturalized citizens. These individuals probably already understand that they will have to go through an interview for the application process, but some people might not be as prepared as they think. Permanent residents living in another state say they were questioned about their line of work, which, despite being legal in their state, might not be considered okay under U.S. immigration law.

A man who has been a permanent resident of the United States for more than two years recently spoke out about how he was denied citizenship. Medical marijuana is legal in the state he lives in, and he works at a dispensary. His position at the dispensary was brought up during his citizenship interview in the fall of 2018. Since, even for medicinal uses, marijuana is not legal under federal law, he was denied citizenship.

Immigrants who have worked in the medical marijuana industry where it is legal might fear going forward with the citizenship process. Not only could they be denied for their line of work, but they could potentially face felony criminal charges. Both of these outcomes could impact a person’s ability to remain lawfully within the country.

U.S. immigration law does not leave much wiggle room for errors or perceived missteps. Any deviation from application processes, documentation submissions or even past job positions could compromise a person’s chance at achieving citizenship. Because of this, working alongside an attorney who understands the nuances of immigration law can be a helpful option for some immigrants living in Louisiana.