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Sharing UK Criminal Record Information with USA


Sharing UK Criminal Record Information with USA

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AB2014
AB2014
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Yankee - 14 Dec 17 7:19 PM
AB2014 - 14 Dec 17 10:01 AM
BenS - 14 Dec 17 8:30 AM
AB2014 - 13 Dec 17 11:31 AM

In a news post in July, they said,

"Under the terms of the agreement, ACRO will send the FBI details of US nationals convicted in the UK and vice versa, and both organisations will respond to requests about either countries’ nationals who have criminal records in the US or the UK."

That second part is still a bit vague, but it doesn't sound promising, does it? Maybe President Trump is worried we'll go over there and put their criminals out of work....

So the first part presumably refers to Americans convicted in the UK, and Brits convicted in the US. It's odd why the FBI would need details of US citizens convicted in the UK - as US citizens, they can't be denied entry into their own country. The same applies to UK citizens - having a criminal record in the US or any other foreign country doesn't matter, as a British citizen can't be prevented from entering the UK. So while this information sharing might help with their overall data picture of a person, I can't see how it is for immigration purposes as a citizen of a country has the inalienable right to enter and remain in their country of citizenship.

It would be detrimental for dual US-UK citizens who want to hide their criminal record in their other country of citizenship, and if found out then their country of naturalisation could strip them of their citizenship (though their country of citizenship through birth could not do so as this right is also inalienable and cannot be stripped for any reason).

As for the second part, the word "requests" doesn't seem to be any different from how it is right now. In other words, the US authorities have no access to the PNC but can request info on a person on a case-by-case basis. At the moment they need grounds for suspecting you have committed or will commit a crime. But in general, even if this suspicion requirement is removed, hopefully they would not do a request for every single UK citizen entering the US, and would only do so if they sensed something was up?

I understand what you're saying, and the sensible part of my brain agrees with you. However, the cynical part of my brain thinks this could all be done by computer as an automated process when anyone applies for an ESTA. All that has to happen at this end is to enable the US to ask the question "Clear record? YES/NO". If that happens, then the "pending authorisation" status really would mean they are running a check. 

I think the ESTA process runs a check against US DHS watchlists, which are an aggregation of information from other agencies such as the FBI.  The question I haven't been able to find an answer to is whether they also check against the UK watch list (Home Office Warnings Index for example).  If you notify or are a violent offendr, your record is on ViSOR, which uploads to the HOWI daily.

I would be very surprised if the UK's watchlist wasn't co-ordinated at least daily with the US. Anyone on ViSOR who intends to travel to the US would probably have an Interpol green notice issued very quickly, so the US authorities would know about that as well. The main difference would be any effect on someone who isn't on the police's radar but who has some sort of criminal record, maybe spent and from years ago. Although the visa people probably wouldn't be bothered, I'm sure the DHS would be very interested in boosting their statistics on protecting the US from foreign criminals.
Yankee
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AB2014 - 14 Dec 17 10:01 AM
BenS - 14 Dec 17 8:30 AM
AB2014 - 13 Dec 17 11:31 AM

In a news post in July, they said,

"Under the terms of the agreement, ACRO will send the FBI details of US nationals convicted in the UK and vice versa, and both organisations will respond to requests about either countries’ nationals who have criminal records in the US or the UK."

That second part is still a bit vague, but it doesn't sound promising, does it? Maybe President Trump is worried we'll go over there and put their criminals out of work....

So the first part presumably refers to Americans convicted in the UK, and Brits convicted in the US. It's odd why the FBI would need details of US citizens convicted in the UK - as US citizens, they can't be denied entry into their own country. The same applies to UK citizens - having a criminal record in the US or any other foreign country doesn't matter, as a British citizen can't be prevented from entering the UK. So while this information sharing might help with their overall data picture of a person, I can't see how it is for immigration purposes as a citizen of a country has the inalienable right to enter and remain in their country of citizenship.

It would be detrimental for dual US-UK citizens who want to hide their criminal record in their other country of citizenship, and if found out then their country of naturalisation could strip them of their citizenship (though their country of citizenship through birth could not do so as this right is also inalienable and cannot be stripped for any reason).

As for the second part, the word "requests" doesn't seem to be any different from how it is right now. In other words, the US authorities have no access to the PNC but can request info on a person on a case-by-case basis. At the moment they need grounds for suspecting you have committed or will commit a crime. But in general, even if this suspicion requirement is removed, hopefully they would not do a request for every single UK citizen entering the US, and would only do so if they sensed something was up?

I understand what you're saying, and the sensible part of my brain agrees with you. However, the cynical part of my brain thinks this could all be done by computer as an automated process when anyone applies for an ESTA. All that has to happen at this end is to enable the US to ask the question "Clear record? YES/NO". If that happens, then the "pending authorisation" status really would mean they are running a check. 

I think the ESTA process runs a check against US DHS watchlists, which are an aggregation of information from other agencies such as the FBI.  The question I haven't been able to find an answer to is whether they also check against the UK watch list (Home Office Warnings Index for example).  If you notify or are a violent offendr, your record is on ViSOR, which uploads to the HOWI daily.
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AB2014 - 14 Dec 17 10:01 AM
BenS - 14 Dec 17 8:30 AM
AB2014 - 13 Dec 17 11:31 AM

In a news post in July, they said,

"Under the terms of the agreement, ACRO will send the FBI details of US nationals convicted in the UK and vice versa, and both organisations will respond to requests about either countries’ nationals who have criminal records in the US or the UK."

That second part is still a bit vague, but it doesn't sound promising, does it? Maybe President Trump is worried we'll go over there and put their criminals out of work....

So the first part presumably refers to Americans convicted in the UK, and Brits convicted in the US. It's odd why the FBI would need details of US citizens convicted in the UK - as US citizens, they can't be denied entry into their own country. The same applies to UK citizens - having a criminal record in the US or any other foreign country doesn't matter, as a British citizen can't be prevented from entering the UK. So while this information sharing might help with their overall data picture of a person, I can't see how it is for immigration purposes as a citizen of a country has the inalienable right to enter and remain in their country of citizenship.

It would be detrimental for dual US-UK citizens who want to hide their criminal record in their other country of citizenship, and if found out then their country of naturalisation could strip them of their citizenship (though their country of citizenship through birth could not do so as this right is also inalienable and cannot be stripped for any reason).

As for the second part, the word "requests" doesn't seem to be any different from how it is right now. In other words, the US authorities have no access to the PNC but can request info on a person on a case-by-case basis. At the moment they need grounds for suspecting you have committed or will commit a crime. But in general, even if this suspicion requirement is removed, hopefully they would not do a request for every single UK citizen entering the US, and would only do so if they sensed something was up?

I understand what you're saying, and the sensible part of my brain agrees with you. However, the cynical part of my brain thinks this could all be done by computer as an automated process when anyone applies for an ESTA. All that has to happen at this end is to enable the US to ask the question "Clear record? YES/NO". If that happens, then the "pending authorisation" status really would mean they are running a check. 

ACRO describe this as a police-to-police agreement.  Given how disjointed law enforcement and immigration agencies are on both sides of the pond, this should not be a big deal in the short term.  The FBI would have to request information from ACRO and add it to their databases, which could then be checked by DHS for border control purposes.  What is scarier is if the use is somehow expanded through time and ACRO becomes a conduit for DHS checking visa/ESTA applications.  At the moment, the 5 country protocol allows the US to share biometric data and criminal record checks if you are applying for immigration purposes, rather than visit purposes - given you have to get an ACRO certificate anyway, not much changes.


AB2014
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BenS - 14 Dec 17 8:30 AM
AB2014 - 13 Dec 17 11:31 AM

In a news post in July, they said,

"Under the terms of the agreement, ACRO will send the FBI details of US nationals convicted in the UK and vice versa, and both organisations will respond to requests about either countries’ nationals who have criminal records in the US or the UK."

That second part is still a bit vague, but it doesn't sound promising, does it? Maybe President Trump is worried we'll go over there and put their criminals out of work....

So the first part presumably refers to Americans convicted in the UK, and Brits convicted in the US. It's odd why the FBI would need details of US citizens convicted in the UK - as US citizens, they can't be denied entry into their own country. The same applies to UK citizens - having a criminal record in the US or any other foreign country doesn't matter, as a British citizen can't be prevented from entering the UK. So while this information sharing might help with their overall data picture of a person, I can't see how it is for immigration purposes as a citizen of a country has the inalienable right to enter and remain in their country of citizenship.

It would be detrimental for dual US-UK citizens who want to hide their criminal record in their other country of citizenship, and if found out then their country of naturalisation could strip them of their citizenship (though their country of citizenship through birth could not do so as this right is also inalienable and cannot be stripped for any reason).

As for the second part, the word "requests" doesn't seem to be any different from how it is right now. In other words, the US authorities have no access to the PNC but can request info on a person on a case-by-case basis. At the moment they need grounds for suspecting you have committed or will commit a crime. But in general, even if this suspicion requirement is removed, hopefully they would not do a request for every single UK citizen entering the US, and would only do so if they sensed something was up?

I understand what you're saying, and the sensible part of my brain agrees with you. However, the cynical part of my brain thinks this could all be done by computer as an automated process when anyone applies for an ESTA. All that has to happen at this end is to enable the US to ask the question "Clear record? YES/NO". If that happens, then the "pending authorisation" status really would mean they are running a check. 
BenS
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AB2014 - 13 Dec 17 11:31 AM

In a news post in July, they said,

"Under the terms of the agreement, ACRO will send the FBI details of US nationals convicted in the UK and vice versa, and both organisations will respond to requests about either countries’ nationals who have criminal records in the US or the UK."

That second part is still a bit vague, but it doesn't sound promising, does it? Maybe President Trump is worried we'll go over there and put their criminals out of work....

So the first part presumably refers to Americans convicted in the UK, and Brits convicted in the US. It's odd why the FBI would need details of US citizens convicted in the UK - as US citizens, they can't be denied entry into their own country. The same applies to UK citizens - having a criminal record in the US or any other foreign country doesn't matter, as a British citizen can't be prevented from entering the UK. So while this information sharing might help with their overall data picture of a person, I can't see how it is for immigration purposes as a citizen of a country has the inalienable right to enter and remain in their country of citizenship.

It would be detrimental for dual US-UK citizens who want to hide their criminal record in their other country of citizenship, and if found out then their country of naturalisation could strip them of their citizenship (though their country of citizenship through birth could not do so as this right is also inalienable and cannot be stripped for any reason).

As for the second part, the word "requests" doesn't seem to be any different from how it is right now. In other words, the US authorities have no access to the PNC but can request info on a person on a case-by-case basis. At the moment they need grounds for suspecting you have committed or will commit a crime. But in general, even if this suspicion requirement is removed, hopefully they would not do a request for every single UK citizen entering the US, and would only do so if they sensed something was up?
Edited
10 Months Ago by BenS
AB2014
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JohnL - 12 Dec 17 8:17 AM
P.S. For those curious, I’ve previously been subject to ‘notification requirements’ but those ended 3 and a half years ago.

In a news post in July, they said,

"Under the terms of the agreement, ACRO will send the FBI details of US nationals convicted in the UK and vice versa, and both organisations will respond to requests about either countries’ nationals who have criminal records in the US or the UK."

That second part is still a bit vague, but it doesn't sound promising, does it? Maybe President Trump is worried we'll go over there and put their criminals out of work....
JohnL
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P.S. For those curious, I’ve previously been subject to ‘notification requirements’ but those ended 3 and a half years ago.
JohnL
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This is indeed news for me too. There is very little information available online about this agreement. However, as it’s not a full agreement yet (only a Memorandum of understanding), it suggests that they aren’t yet proactively sharing. Proactive is the worrying term.

However, for travellers I do see this becoming a problem. When you apply for an ESTA to visit the USA you have to fill in a lot of information, including the names of your parents and your address history. If the US immigration forces are able to check against a UK database or PNC extract, then it would make travelling to the US a lot harder, if not impossible.

I applied and received an ESTA a few weeks ago and got it accepted after 60 seconds. Though there was a paniced moment when, instead of going straight to ‘approved’ it first went to ‘pending authorisation’ which, according to the website, suggests additional checks are needed. However a few seconds later it went to ‘approved’ - what additional checks could the US have been doing? They don’t know me from Adam.
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One Time Crim - 9 Dec 17 12:53 PM
Hello,

I read this information in the 2016-17 ACRO Criminal Records Office annual report:

‘Momentous’ agreement with the USA
In March 2017, ACRO signed an agreement that is set to improve the way criminal records information is shared between the UK and the USA.The memorandum of understanding is between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and ACRO. It focuses on pro-actively sharing information in order to keep people safe.The FBI’s Assistant Director Douglas E. Lindquist of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division said: “We value the close partnership we have with ACRO and we are pleased to announce the expansion of our information sharing relationship.“This momentous agreement benefits both countries and formalizes the process to share information between each other. We are very much looking forward to working closer with our partners.”Work is ongoing to establish the standard operating procedures that will underpin the agreement and we will report on these developments next year.

Is anyone with a better understanding of these issues able to comment on whether this information is likely to be used for immigration purposes? I realise the agreement is still in the early stages.

Thanks.

"Momentous" my a***
I didn't know anything about this and this is the first time I've heard of it, thank you for the information.
Could indeed be worrying, but I guess they will never reveal the exact details.
I hate the way this kind of thing is always marketed as "stopping criminals from escaping justice and endangering public safety abroad", rather than what it actually is: law-abiding people who have made one mistake perhaps decades ago, who are discriminated against for the rest of their lives in the UK so want to go abroad to avoid this and live like a normal person, or who just want to go on holiday like any other law-abiding citizen.
One Time Crim
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Hello,

I read this information in the 2016-17 ACRO Criminal Records Office annual report:

‘Momentous’ agreement with the USA
In March 2017, ACRO signed an agreement that is set to improve the way criminal records information is shared between the UK and the USA.The memorandum of understanding is between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and ACRO. It focuses on pro-actively sharing information in order to keep people safe.The FBI’s Assistant Director Douglas E. Lindquist of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division said: “We value the close partnership we have with ACRO and we are pleased to announce the expansion of our information sharing relationship.“This momentous agreement benefits both countries and formalizes the process to share information between each other. We are very much looking forward to working closer with our partners.”Work is ongoing to establish the standard operating procedures that will underpin the agreement and we will report on these developments next year.

Is anyone with a better understanding of these issues able to comment on whether this information is likely to be used for immigration purposes? I realise the agreement is still in the early stages.

Thanks.
GO


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