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Green Card Holder Denied Citizenship for Working in Legal Cannabis

January 04, 2024 (1 min read)

Kaylee Tornay, Politico, Dec. 23, 2023

"As an immigrant, Maria Reimers tried to do everything by the book. She entered the U.S. legally, married an American citizen and secured a green card to work. Together, she and her husband managed to open a small storefront in Ephrata, a dot of a town in Washington state. But when Reimers tried to become a U.S. citizen in 2017, she was denied for lack of “good moral character.” Federal immigration officials deemed her work “illicit drug trafficking,” because the couple’s business in Ephrata sells state-regulated cannabis. Though it is legal in Washington state, their retail shop has put Reimers’ dream of citizenship in jeopardy. She gets to keep her green card, but her attorney recommended that she not visit her family in El Salvador because of the possibility that she’d be detained at the border when she returned. "