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Thursday, December 7 • 2:15pm - 3:45pm
Clearing Criminal Records for Immigrant Clients

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Criminal records create barriers to employment, housing, and other basic needs and services. For immigrant clients, a criminal record may be even more damaging, as it can lead to immigration detention, mandatory deportation, and permanent lifetime banishment from the United States. Cleaning up someone's criminal record can provide a new lease on life, but clearing criminal records for non-citizens raises a host of issues with which advocates must be prepared to grapple. Filing record-clearing petitions can, at times, pose potential immigration risks that may outweigh the benefits. However, certain types of record-clearing mechanisms can actually help clients to obtain crucial immigration relief. With the recent changes in immigration enforcement priorities, it is more important than ever for advocates to understand the risks and rewards of clearing criminal records for non-citizen clients.


Seth Lyons

Staff Attorney, Community Legal Services
Seth Lyons is a Berkeley Law Public Interest Fellow and staff attorney in Community Legal Services’ Employment Unit. His project focuses on combatting wage theft and reducing criminal-record-based barriers to employment in North Philadelphia’s Latino community. He previously worked... Read More →


Benita Jain

Managing Attorney, Immigrant Defense Project
Benita Jain is a supervising attorney at the Immigrant Defense Project, which works to secure fairness and justice for immigrants in the United States by transforming a racially biased criminal legal system and an immigration system that tears hundreds of thousands of immigrants with... Read More →

Vanessa Stine

Staff Attorney, Friends of Farmworkers Inc.
Vanessa Stine joined Friends of Farmworkers (FOF) in September 2014 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. Her fellowship project provided direct representation, advocacy, and community education to low-income consumers who have been victims of predatory and fraudulent immigration services... Read More →

Thursday December 7, 2017 2:15pm - 3:45pm EST
Meeting Room 15 Meeting Room Level