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Canada He never had trouble at the U.S. border — until he got a pardon. Here’s what seems to be happening

16:00  21 january  2020
16:00  21 january  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Nor has a court has ever ruled on the question of whether such an extreme action is allowed under the U . S . Constitution. But 44 years ago, when the Mark Osler, Professor and Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of St. Thomas " He can issue himself a pardon warrant

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a person standing in a parking lot: U.S. officials have said many times that they don't recognize foreign pardons, most recently in the context of Canada's legalization of cannabis. © GETTY IMAGES U.S. officials have said many times that they don't recognize foreign pardons, most recently in the context of Canada's legalization of cannabis.

An Ontario man had some brushes with the law in his past — a mischief conviction from 1994 and another from 2001 that he describes as "a bad situation induced by booze."

Still, it never made all that much difference in his life, he says: not at the time, when both cases ended in a conditional discharge, and not when he crossed the U.S. border, which he says he did often. (Mischief isn't an offence that will get a Canadian barred from the U.S.)

The problems only started when he was given pardons for his old convictions.

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Cillizza: No president has ever pardoned himself. But what about the pardon of a top adviser? They were not his aides, but he had worked alongside them in the previous administration and Bush was Kalt: Historically, there does seem to be a slight increase in the use of the pardon power toward the

"It was something that my wife was encouraging me to do for years," he says. "She was a teacher and is just very orderly that way.

"I wanted to get the pardon because people feel cleansed. It’s like going to church and confession. You feel so good afterwards. Part of it is that — just really absolving yourself of that weight."

After the pardon, though, he found himself caught in a catch-22 at the border. Before, U.S. border guards could see that his record was for something they didn't care about. After, all that they could see was that he had a pardon — but no way of knowing what it was for.

The man didn’t want to be identified due to concerns about his prior convictions affecting his citizenship application in an EU country.

Though most pardons are for minor crimes, Canadians can be given pardons, or record suspensions, for many serious crimes — in the most recent year for which we have data, pardons were granted for manslaughter, kidnapping, attempted murder, hostage-taking and arson with disregard for human life, among other things.

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Here ' s how to get a pardon in PA. Once he receives the recommendations, the Governor has total discretion over whose pardon If the Board approves an application and makes a recommendation to the Governor for clemency, the decision to grant or deny a pardon is at the Governor’ s sole discretion

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"I’m not surprised that this gentleman is having problems at the border after receiving a pardon," says Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer in Blaine, Wash. "What the Americans can see through the Canadian criminal databases is that this gentleman received a pardon. But unfortunately, they can’t see for what."

After he started having problems crossing the border, the man launched a series of complaints with the national parole board and the RCMP.

READ MORE: BC woman banished from U.S. gets second chance

Last October, a senior RCMP officer offered an explanation in a letter seen by Global News.

When a Canadian is pardoned, he wrote, the RCMP finds out whether U.S. border officials have looked up the person's criminal file. If they have, the RCMP sends them a notification of the pardon, without saying what the original crime was, and asks them to destroy any records of their own they might have created over the years.

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First Pardoned Federal Felon ever to serve as President of the U . S . Bill Clinton’ s Draft Records from the Freedom of Information Act files show he was a If Clinton had still been obligated to report for induction, his draft board could have got him any time they wanted: they certainly knew where to find

Who have historically been its beneficiaries? And why the practice of granting clemency at the last minute? Pardons are often issued by U . S . presidents as one of the last things they do before leaving office. This wasn't the first time a president waited until the last moment to commute a sentence or

If that's complied with literally, though, all the U.S. now knows is that the person has some kind of criminal past. And for minor offenders, that doesn't necessarily make life easier.

"My experience is that if the Americans see a pardon, they will not let you in," Saunders says. "They put the burden on you to get your records and bring them to the border to see whether you’re admissible or not."

The man says he has visited Niagara-area border crossings several times with documents he hopes will show what his crimes actually were. U.S. border guards have so far rejected them, though he hasn't so far been formally barred from crossing the border.

"Each of these visits, when I drove, were an hour to two hours of sitting there," he says.

He says he doesn't blame the U.S. for rejecting the documents because they would be easy enough to forge or alter.

"It’s just a basic piece of paper showing that this has gone off your record and that that’s so freeing and all this garbage. That’s all you get. When it’s completed, you get a form stating what the charges were and that they’re now suspended."

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She solved my border crossing issue without any problems and even obtained a canadian pardon for me. Their professionalism and quick response times really made me feel comfortable throughout the whole process. After years of trying to get this done on my own, I was so happy to have found them."

If he really did pardon his aides, his family or himself to head off Robert Mueller’ s inquiry, the move probably would be Trump clearly possesses the authority to pardon associates and family members under Article II, Section 2 of the U . S . Constitution, which states that the president “shall have power

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In the meantime, his criminal record is giving him much more trouble now than it did before it was suspended, and he is now reconsidering plans to retire to the U.S.

"It’s a bit of a limbo," he says. "They haven’t said, ‘You’re an individual who is not welcome in the United States.’

"I now know it would have been best left like asbestos, untouched."

Saunders agrees.

"My assumption has always been that if (a criminal record) has not created an issue at the U.S. border, I wouldn’t do anything. I have seen individuals who have criminal convictions from 40 years ago, and they cross back and forth and these issues never come up until they receive a pardon," he says.

"Once you have been denied entry, if the issue comes up, then getting a pardon is fine because the Americans already know that you have a conviction."

a close up of a sign © Provided by Global News

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson, speaking on background, confirmed the problem in these kinds of cases is that border guards can only see there was criminality but nothing more than that.

Asked what someone in this situation can do to resolve it, or what documents would be acceptable, he wrote: "Each traveller's inspection is on a case-by-case basis."

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You have more rights, but not as many as a US citizen, according to Rizzo. Officers at the border cannot make you sign a form that would relinquish Wessler' s advice is similar: "The best advice may be to be really careful on how many devices and what kind of data you're carrying with you," he says.

The president elaborates that he has done nothing wrong, and thus there is nothing to pardon . Late last July, Trump tweeted that “all agree the U . S . President has the complete power to pardon ” — only to add that there was no point discussing pardons because the only crimes arising out of the Russia

U.S. officials have said many times that they don't recognize foreign pardons, most recently in the context of Canada's legalization of cannabis.

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Global News asked the Parole Board of Canada what can be done for people in this situation.

The board referred the question to the RCMP, which didn't directly answer it. 

"The RCMP does not comment on hypothetical scenarios or specific cases," Cpl. Caroline Duval wrote in an email.

"If an individual tried to enter another country, including the U.S., before receiving a record suspension, they may have checked your criminal record and documented their interaction with you. U.S. border personnel are not subject to Canadian record suspension legislation and may not have destroyed their own record, even if your criminal record is no longer available on CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre)."

About 7,000 Canadians are given pardons, or record suspensions, each year. To be eligible, a person must have completed all sentences, plus a waiting period of five years for less serious offences and 10 years for more serious offences. The national parole board charges $631 to process the application.

In most cases, the criminal records of the people concerned are removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre, the national criminal record database, though records of pardoned sex offenders are flagged in such a way that they still show up if a person wants to work with vulnerable people in fields like nursing.

While some pardons are for serious crimes, they are also given out for minor offences like failing to attend court, nudity and breaches of the Fisheries Act.

In 2017-18, one person was granted a pardon for loitering.

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