Grounds of Inadmissibility – Paris Hilton denied entry to Japan for Drug Offense

Paris Hilton is not big in Japan. The socialite and entrepreneur was denied entry into the country by immigration officials because of her very fresh conviction for cocaine possession, and flew home to the United States yesterday, the Associated Press reports. She also canceled her appearances in Malaysia and Indonesia, but told reporters she hoped to return soon.

Hilton, who was detained and grilled by immigration officials for hours Tuesday, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession and obstructing a police officer after she and her boyfriend were busted in Las Vegas by a motorcycle.

What is she was a foreign national trying to enter the US?
Prospective immigrants and nonimmigrants must establish that they are admissible to the United States. This means that they must not fall under any of the grounds of inadmissibility found in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or that, if they do, a waiver of inadmissibility applies.

Foreign nationals who are found to be inadmissible by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may be placed in removal proceedings based on inadmissibility.

The inadmissibility grounds are distinguished from the grounds of deportation, set forth in INA §237(a), which are invoked to remove individuals already in the United States who have been admitted or paroled.

Grounds of Inadmissibility

There are 10 general categories of inadmissibility grounds. They are:
1. Health-related grounds;
2. Criminal-related grounds;
3. National security grounds;
4. Public charge;
5. Labor protection grounds;
6. Fraud or other immigration violations;
7. Documentation requirements;
8. Grounds relating to military service in the United States;
9. Prior removals or unlawful presence in the United States; and
10. Miscellaneous grounds.

Each category comprises several grounds.

Of the two grounds of inadmissibility relating to drug crimes, one is for persons who have been convicted or admit commission of drug-related crimes, while the other is for persons believed to be drug traffickers.

A person is inadmissible under the first of these grounds if he or she has been convicted of or makes a valid admission of having violated, or having conspired to violate, “any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in §102 of the Con¬trolled Substances Act).This ground covers virtually every type of drug. The INA does not provide any waiver for a controlled substance violation, unless the violation was for simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.

So Paris will have a tough time applying for a visa or getting into the US if in fact her conviction for possession will not fall within any of the exception of the law.