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Old Aug 25, 10, 7:50 pm   #1
 
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A question about getting Global Entry

This is a question about GOES. I’d like to apply, but I have a long-expunged misdemeanor conviction on my record.

About 15 years ago I was convicted of a misdemeanor (a couple of years later the attorney that represented me was disbarred due to malpractice). A few years ago I had the conviction judicially pardoned and expunged. The exact language from the court order is: “Upon entry of this order, petitioner shall be deemed judicially pardoned and he may respond to any inquiries relating to arrests/convictions of crimes as though the arrest/conviction in this case never occurred. Copies of this order shall be sent to ….. the Federal Bureau of Investigation….”

In the last 15 years, I’ve not been on the wrong side of the law – not even a traffic violation. I'm a US citizen and I’ve been employed at some pretty high level jobs and currently work in a position with a DOD top secret clearance (clearance granted without question). Is the clearance process the same as what Immigration and Customs uses?

My research has shown, however, that the Immigration and Customs service requires disclosure of convictions, even if they are expunged. And the Global Entry website has a pretty stern warning that prior convictions OR falsification of my application will result in the denial of the application.

So can I get Global Entry at all? If there’s any chance, do I report the prior conviction and expungement? Or do I not put it down and risk being accused of falsification (a Federal Crime)? I travel internationally 6-8 times a year on work. And if I do apply and it's denied, will I be hassled at passport control every time I enter the US?

Is there any chance for me?
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Old Aug 25, 10, 9:07 pm   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyerskyhigh View Post
This is a question about GOES. I’d like to apply, but I have a long-expunged misdemeanor conviction on my record.

About 15 years ago I was convicted of a misdemeanor (a couple of years later the attorney that represented me was disbarred due to malpractice). A few years ago I had the conviction judicially pardoned and expunged. The exact language from the court order is: “Upon entry of this order, petitioner shall be deemed judicially pardoned and he may respond to any inquiries relating to arrests/convictions of crimes as though the arrest/conviction in this case never occurred. Copies of this order shall be sent to ….. the Federal Bureau of Investigation….”

In the last 15 years, I’ve not been on the wrong side of the law – not even a traffic violation. I'm a US citizen and I’ve been employed at some pretty high level jobs and currently work in a position with a DOD top secret clearance (clearance granted without question). Is the clearance process the same as what Immigration and Customs uses?

My research has shown, however, that the Immigration and Customs service requires disclosure of convictions, even if they are expunged. And the Global Entry website has a pretty stern warning that prior convictions OR falsification of my application will result in the denial of the application.

So can I get Global Entry at all? If there’s any chance, do I report the prior conviction and expungement? Or do I not put it down and risk being accused of falsification (a Federal Crime)? I travel internationally 6-8 times a year on work. And if I do apply and it's denied, will I be hassled at passport control every time I enter the US?

Is there any chance for me?
Based on the bolding, I would say you can answer NO to a question re past convictions.
You might (if you have real doubts) pay one of the hundreds of search services to do a criminal check on you and see what comes up. (I can't vouch for any of these services though.)
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Old Aug 26, 10, 4:33 pm   #3
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Welcome to FlyerTalk, flyerskyhigh!

Just FYI, GOES is not the trusted traveler program you'd like to apply for. GOES stands for Global Online Enrollment System. You are interested in applying for Global Entry..

Perhaps you can give CBP a call, or visit an enrollment center. Maybe an officer can help you out..
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Old Aug 27, 10, 11:54 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyerskyhigh View Post
The exact language from the court order is: “Upon entry of this order, petitioner shall be deemed judicially pardoned and he may respond to any inquiries relating to arrests/convictions of crimes as though the arrest/conviction in this case never occurred. Copies of this order shall be sent to ….. the Federal Bureau of Investigation….”
The order speaks for itself. Contact your local enrollment center if you are so in doubt. You should get a copy of your record from the FBI to make sure that they cleared their records of your conviction, otherwise you will be denied right off the bat and have to mess with that. I believe you are eligible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyerskyhigh View Post
I'm a US citizen and I’ve been employed at some pretty high level jobs and currently work in a position with a DOD top secret clearance (clearance granted without question). Is the clearance process the same as what Immigration and Customs uses?
No, that's not what they use; they don't have time to have the FBI investigate every Global Entry member, that's for sure! I don't think your TS clearance will matter to CBP one way or another, but who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyerskyhigh View Post
My research has shown, however, that the Immigration and Customs service requires disclosure of convictions, even if they are expunged.
There is a difference between ICE, USCIS and CBP. What a conviction means for immigration and naturalization purposes (i.e. what it means to aliens) is different than what it means for a citizen. In other words, just because an expunged conviction might effect an alien's immigration status doesn't mean that it will be considered by CBP as a disqualifier for Global Entry.
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Old Sep 29, 10, 3:38 pm   #5
 
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One problem with electronic forms is it very difficult to deal with situations where you don’t neatly fit in the form.
Was your order obtained based on rehabilitation or innocence? What state is it from? While I know that you don’t particularly want the scrutiny that my response will give you, I would request an advance determination whether you can answer “no.” The law on executive pardons is an absolute nightmare. (Note: I know you said a judicial pardon, but most pardons are executive in nature).

Many states say that a pardon foregives, but it doesn’t forget. A sizeable minority say exactly the opposite and says that it obliterates all traces of the conviction. Further complicating the problem is that the language in many of the good states is contained in decisions which are fifty years old and there is no telling whether the Court in that state would still adhere to that.
Assume Homeland Security will be able to see your conviction regardless. Just because members of the public can’t see it, doesn’t mean anything. There are a number of convictions (or “adjudications”) which are not part of the public system. Additionally, if the print out shows an arrest segment, a charge segment, and a blank for the judicial segment, it won't take a genius to figure out what is going on.

If you are going to answer “no,” I would get an opinion from an attorney that you can answer the question “no.” If the statute is specific intent (e.g. requires a criminal intent), an opinion of counsel might save you. The person considered THE national authority on the pardon power is a woman named Margaret Colgate Love in Washington, DC (www.pardonlaw.com). She is President Clinton’s former pardon attorney, author of a dozen law reviews of the effect of pardons, a speaker for CNN, etc.
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Old Sep 30, 10, 12:48 pm   #6
 
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I've recently become intimately familiar with the GOES website enrollment process, first for a NEXUS card and then for the Global Entry program. In my case there was a glitch, not related to any previous criminal conviction but rather to the fact that I hold two passports, and I made the mistake when I enrolled of listing my US passport as secondary (using my Canadian passport as primary, since that's where I currently reside).

The result was that I was approved for both NEXUS and the Global Entry program but I have not yet been able to successfully use the kiosks, as the Global Entry program does not recognize me as a US citizen. Clearly, just a software glitch, albeit an annoying one. (Despite this, NEXUS entry works flawlessly at YYZ in both directions.)

The point of all this is to say that I have visited Global Entry program offices in MIA, ORD & SEA in recent weeks trying to sort this out. It may or may not be resolved now (I won't know until I try to enter at MIA next week) but in all three cases the people I spoke with were accessible, knowledgeable and helpful. My recommendation to the OP would be to visit one of the offices to ask how this is handled. They're obviously going to couch any opinions proferred very carefully, but I'd guess you have a decent chance of getting a reasonably direct answer.
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Old Sep 30, 10, 6:21 pm   #7
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Old Oct 1, 10, 1:29 pm   #8
 
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My wife has it and swears by it. The other day we timed her and she was fifteen minutes from deplaning to exiting the customs area.
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Old Oct 5, 10, 12:51 pm   #9
 
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I have a similar issue to the OP, but I can give some more insight because I actually paid the fee and applied. First of all, make special note of the fact that the application does NOT ask if you've been convicted, it asks if you've been ARRESTED. Much different - I answered this incorrectly on my first application 2 years ago and it was denied within 24 hours with no hope of retrying for 90 days.

Well, my international travel picked up again this year, so I applied again. This time I made sure to carefully read the questions and answer. Yes, I was arrested in 1974, and the charges were subsequently dismissed. I explained all this as best I could, and was denied again.

I am setting up an appointment so that I can talk to them, I don't hold out much hope though. This was in California, 30+ years ago, and it still haunts me.

Be good boys and girls!
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Old Oct 5, 10, 4:55 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by jwbbx View Post
I have a similar issue to the OP, but I can give some more insight because I actually paid the fee and applied. First of all, make special note of the fact that the application does NOT ask if you've been convicted, it asks if you've been ARRESTED. Much different - I answered this incorrectly on my first application 2 years ago and it was denied within 24 hours with no hope of retrying for 90 days.
I just looked over the application instructions and the question is about previous convictions, not arrests, unless the application has changed since the instructions were published.

Here is the link: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...obal_entry.pdf

It says very clearly on page 39 that the question is about previous convictions; I see no question asking about arrests. Same for NEXUS.
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Old Oct 6, 10, 6:33 am   #11
 
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I just looked over the application instructions and the question is about previous convictions, not arrests, unless the application has changed since the instructions were published.

Here is the link: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...obal_entry.pdf

It says very clearly on page 39 that the question is about previous convictions; I see no question asking about arrests. Same for NEXUS.
That is my point about the problem with online applications. In the old paper world, you could attach an explanatory letter on a debatable call to avoid claims that you are being deceptive where an answer involves a judgment call.

When I looked at the Global Traveler manual, it said to include expunged and pardoned convictions. I would think the feds are not obligated to respect state pardons. They generally do, but there are certainly exceptions. When you apply for law licenses in most states, for example they examine pardoned offenses as well as regular ones. Canadian pardons are useless for gaining entry to the US. You still need to apply for a waiver. I'm not talking Nexus, I'm talking ordinary admission.
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Old Oct 6, 10, 12:46 pm   #12
 
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When I had my Global Entry interview, I was asked "Have you ever been arrested?" (I haven't, and answered no.)
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Old Oct 6, 10, 3:04 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
When I looked at the Global Traveler manual, it said to include expunged and pardoned convictions. I would think the feds are not obligated to respect state pardons. They generally do, but there are certainly exceptions. When you apply for law licenses in most states, for example they examine pardoned offenses as well as regular ones. Canadian pardons are useless for gaining entry to the US. You still need to apply for a waiver. I'm not talking Nexus, I'm talking ordinary admission.
Where is that?
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Old Aug 13, 12, 2:07 pm   #14
 
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Question Have you resolved this issue

i have read your post from a year ago, please kindly follow up on outcome. many thanks.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 5:25 pm   #15
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Originally Posted by slava View Post
i have read your post from a year ago, please kindly follow up on outcome. many thanks.
if you have a question you may want to search the forum or if it is anew question, ask one of your own.

thanks

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