U.S. Navy veteran Howard Bailey, who was deported to Jamaica over a cannabis conviction, was allowed to return home after more than 10 years thanks to mounting pressure on the Biden Administration, Marijuana Moment reports.
Bailey, who served four years with the U.S. Navy, was arrested more than 20 years ago after a package containing cannabis meant for someone else was delivered to his home. Based on his lawyer’s advice, he ultimately pled guilty in the case but when he later applied for U.S. citizenship, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement used the offense to justify denying his application and ultimately arrested and deported him.
Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Mark Warner (D-VA) delivered a letter last month to the Head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting the reopening of Bailey’s case, while 30 members of the Congressional Black Caucus had previously each called on Biden to reopen similar deportation cases. But the Congressional pressure was preceded by advocacy from the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP).
Welcome home, U.S. Navy veteran Howard Bailey! Howard reunited with his family yesterday evening in Virginia after a decade of living in exile in Jamaica following his unjust deportation. Read more here: https://t.co/gaz30ot1vY pic.twitter.com/ehpnnhWtYS
— National Immigrant Justice Center (@NIJC) August 25, 2021
“I’m relieved that our calls to bring U.S. Navy veteran Howard Bailey home were heard by [Biden] and that he is now reunited with his family. We must continue to undo the harmful immigration policies that are hurting our veterans, service members, and their families.” — Sen. Alex Padilla, in a tweet
Bailey was already pardoned for the cannabis incident by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in 2017, according to the report.
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