Showing posts from April, 2024

Don’t Seal/Expunge Noncitizen Criminal Records!

In 2023 the Minnesota legislature enacted the Clean Slate Act. It involves expanding the types of past criminal convictions that can be sealed from public view, as well as automatically sealing others, primarily low level drug offenses. The reason is that, in many situations, past criminal records harm the ability of an otherwise law abiding individual to gain employment, housing, insurance, loans, or the like.   The question of the Clean Slate Act is not whether expunging criminal records is good. The question is whether a system of automatic expungements has been crafted to prevent unintended harm to those who actually benefit from access to their own criminal records.   Who are some of these people?   Noncitizens.  In every immigration application, noncitizens have an affirmative duty to disclose any arrest and provide certified records of any arrest, charge, conviction, probation, probation completion, and in many instances court transcripts—regardless of final disposition. This is