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2015-9

Supporting the "#AUTOERASE" Initiative to Erase Wrongful Arrest Records for Mistaken Identity or Identity Theft

SENATOR IRIS MARTINEZ (IL)

WHEREAS, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) has always been committed to the fair treatment of all people and especially those in the Hispanic community;

WHEREAS, many people believe if they are released after being mistakenly arrested and the charges were dropped or dismissed without any court date being set that they no longer have an arrest record;

WHEREAS, even in cases of a mistaken arrest, the damaging documents are not automatically removed;

WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans who are mistakenly arrested because of mistaken identity or identity theft are still haunted by arrest records;

WHEREAS, an arrest record can ruin an innocent individual’s chance to get into college, or secure employment, loans and housing;

WHEREAS, an arrest record is an ugly stain for law-abiding citizens, who in some cases, found themselves arrested for circumstances beyond their control;

WHEREAS, when an individual answer questions about an arrest on a job application, they are treated as though they are guilty no matter what the outcome was;

WHEREAS, the process to remove an arrest record can cost an innocent individual an average of $5,000 and can take a significant amount of the individual’s time, who through no fault of their own were wrongfully arrested;

WHEREAS, wrongful arrest rates of Hispanics are among some of the highest of all races;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) applauds the nationwide effort of the #AutoErase Campaign to bring awareness that innocent individuals wrongfully arrested still have an arrest record even after they are released as innocent, and to remove the burden from the innocent individual of having that wrongful arrest record erased established due to mistaken identification or identity theft;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NHCSL calls on all local, state and federal agencies to automatically erase and destroy all information pertaining to arrest records of innocent individuals wrongfully arrested, immediately after the innocent individual is no longer being detained by the arresting agency, and insure the arrest record appears in no local, state or federal agency’s database;

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that the NHCSL calls on the US Congress, states and localities to, under such circumstances indicated above, insure that an innocent individual’s record appears as it did before the wrongful arrest occurred, at no expense or actions required by the innocent individual that was wrongfully arrested;

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that the NHCSL supports that, under such circumstances, the innocent individual can proceed in the future and be legally and factually allowed to deny the arrest under ALL circumstances, on any local, state, federal, corporate, or private form, including but not limited to, applying for a state-issued professional license, applying for a law-enforcement job, applying for a federal / national security clearance, applying for a school-related job, buying a firearm or applying for a concealed carry permit, running for public office, or candidate for state bar;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, and other federal and state government officials as appropriate.

THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED AND RATIFIED ON NOVEMBER 21, 2015 AT THE NHCSL ANNUAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE & BUSINESS BOARD OF ADVISORS MEETING HELD IN ATLANTA, GA.