Reclassification of Drug Crimes as Misdemeanor still removable for Immigration

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano


In a Court of Appeals decision on May 10, 2019, the court concluded that the petitioner’s felony conviction for Possession of Marijuana for Sale under California Health & Safety Code §11359 rendered the petitioner removable, even though the conviction had been recalled and reclassified as a misdemeanor under California’s Proposition 64. The court explained that valid state convictions retain their immigration consequences even when modified or expunged for reasons of state public policy. (Prado v. Barr, 5/10/19)

What is the significance of this court decision?

Answer:        If you are convicted of possession for sale of Marijuana, even if the case is reclassified as Misdemeanor or expunged in California, you are still removable under the Immigration law.

Question:      Does this ruling make immigrants with same cases as above ineligible for relief under Immigration Law?

Answer:        It will depend on your current status.  There are waivers available in Immigration Court for this type of offenses.  If you have no immigration status, then it will make you ineligible for immigration benefits.  It is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney about your specific situation.

Question:      With regards to Affidavit of Support for petitioners issued to their relatives, in what situation will they be accountable to the government?

Answer:        As of May 28, 2019, the White House issued a memo directing relevant agencies to update/issue procedures, guidance, and regulations, as needed, to strictly enforce existing income-deeming and reimbursement laws when sponsored immigrants seek certain means-tested public benefits, such as SNAP, Medicaid, and TANF.

Question:      What will happen now that the law is being strictly enforced?

Answer:        It is very important to know what types of public benefits your relatives are using.  If they fall under the means-tested public benefits, you may be liable to reimburse the government.  It is recommended that you consult with an immigration attorney about your specific situation.

Note:  This is not a legal advice.


  1. For the month of January 2020 we received four approvals of N-400 Application for Naturalization and four I-485 Adjustment of status application.
  2. For the month of December 2019, we received four approvals of naturalization applications, five approvals of Adjustment of Status applications, two approvals of Petition to remove condition on residence, one renewal of green card approval and one green card application at the U.S. Embassy.
  3. For the month of November 2019, we received approvals of one naturalization application, one renewal of green card, one Petition to remove condition on residence and one adjustment of status.
  4. For the month of October 2019, we received five naturalization application approvals and two renewal of green card and one DACA approval.
  5. For the month of September 2019, we received approval of two naturalization applications, one adjustment of status and one application to remove condition on residence.
  6. For the month of August, 2019, we received approval from Immigration Court for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who has committed marriage fraud. We also received approval from USCIS of two naturalization applications and two fiancé visa petition.
  7. For the month of July 2019, we received approvals of three N-400 application for Naturalization, one I-751 Petition to remove condition of residence with interview and two I-90 renewal of green card.
  8. For June 2019, we received approvals of four adjustment of status, six naturalization applications and two certificate of citizenship applications, and one Removal of condition on resident.
  9. On May 6, 2019, we received approvals of three adjustment of status applications and two Naturalization applications.
  10. On April 24, 2019, we received approval from USCIS for three naturalization applications and one adjustment of status.
  11. On March 29, 2019, we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client whose petitioner and primary beneficiary has died under INA 204(l)
  12. On March 28, 2019, we received an approval of renewal of green card for a client who was in the Philippines under medical treatment for one and a half years.
  13. From March 4 to 26, 2019, we received six adjustment of status approvals.
  14. For the month of February, 2019, we received tow approvals of renewal of green card and one approval of removal of condition on residence.

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email:

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment