Immigration and Missing Criminal Records

Coming to the US from a third world country often means absent documentation that may include missing criminal records.

“When an immigrant from a third world country wishes to be considered for residency in the US, it’s often the case that their personal records, due to the turmoil in their home country, are incomplete,” commented Sally Odell of Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida.

The problem with this, aside from the obvious lack of facts, is if the person has an existing criminal record, that’s the last thing they are going to voluntarily reveal to the authorities in the US. “Why would they want to mess up a chance at relocating to the land of opportunity, as opposed to the oppressive regime they may be currently living under?” said Odell.

Obviously, this is a problem for determining if the applicant is of “good moral character” and other specifications that need to be met prior to being approved for entry. The interesting thing is that our current immigration system was originally designed to keep out certain types of wrong doers or just plain bad people from becoming a part of America’s melting pot.

“If there are no records, or incomplete records, this means we have no way of knowing if they are violent, have taken part in criminal activities, if they have spent time in jail and if so for what crime, or any other specifics that may be used to assess the viability of their application for immigrant status in the US,” explained Odell.

To say that this has the potential to be an embarrassing political problem at some point would be fairly accurate, for if the US Immigrations officials make the mistake of assessing someone as being acceptable without proper records and something terrible happens, it’s media circus time.

The solution appears to be that European countries are working to electronically synchronize their criminal records and allow them to be viewed by those who need to know in other nations – say the United States. “This will increase the chances of fugitives being apprehended, weed out fraudulent business individuals, immediately identify career criminals, murderers and even child molesters,” outlined Sally Odell of Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida.

Of course, this kind of an intelligence system would work both ways in order for our authorities to enjoy the advantages of reciprocity. While reciprocity is nice, it will need to come with a dash of discretion and the ability to interpret not only the plain, stark language of various records, but realize the motivation behind some of them and make exceptions.

For instance, in some countries, those who are oppressed and fight back are jailed and receive a criminal record for wanting to make life better for their fellow countrymen and women. This is hardly to be classified as a ” crime” in the most usually accepted sense of the word.

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