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Living with 290

Living with 290: Traveling to Cabo San Lucas

My boyfriend and I traveled to Cabo San Lucas as we do every year. After several scans of our passports at us airport we board the plane. He’s is a RSO from 20 years ago which was a *** deal to begin with!! We land in Baja head to Mexican customs we are pulled out of line taken into this little room where they proceed to tell him he is not allowed in the country… They fill out all forms escort us with 5 armed guards back to the same airplane we just arrived on and sent us back to USA.. What the hell is going on? When we arrive to us customs they say have a nice day and they have heard of this happening more and more?? What a way to ruin a 10 day vacation!!!

Got off plane and flew to Hawaii for the week would rather spend my money in the USA anyway!!! As far as I am concerned its over priced there anyway Americans are not safe and they can make rules up as they go!!! Take Mexico and shove it where the sun don’t shine….

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  1. Tired of hiding

    OK, so far as I have read from your comment and others, our passports are flagged by the US government who is alerting the country of destination prior to our visit that we are a threat and should not be allowed into the country. We are effectively being held hostage in the USA by the US government. Our freedom of movement is being taken away.

    Our government is now attaching and waging war against us…what do you do when someone is being directly targeting us and threatening us – YOU FIGHT BACK!

    The list of countries mentioned on this site that we have been denied entry are:

    Australia
    Canada
    Costa Rica
    Mexico
    Panama
    Thailand

    Please add others.

    • PK

      I wish they would just update the RTAG Travel Matrix.

      They sent out the Excel version of the Travel Matrix months ago, and it didn’t include many of the countries where RSO’s have been rejected, including the Philippines.

  2. Paul

    I’m sorry to hear of your troubles. This must be a brand new policy, as I travelled there last May with my wife.

    I’ve been a SO since April 2007 on a single misdemeanor charge. I was sentenced to summary probation, which I managed without any hiccups, and my case was expunged May 2010. For our 5th anniversary, my wife and I decided to spend a week in Cabo. When we arrived at the airport in Cabo, I was taken to a little room immediately after my passport was swiped. I was advised that CBP had “flagged” my passport, so Mexican authorities wanted to know more about me. I gave them the details, including where I was staying, how long I was going to be in the country, etc., etc., and after about 10 minutes, my wife and I were free to enjoy our trip!

    I noticed in the “International Travel” section of this website, that another SO had a similar problem as you did, and I believe that his trip into Mexico was denied around September of 2013. So clearly, Mexico made a change sometime between the time that I traveled there, and September.

    We can thank the Adam Walsh act, and SORNA guidelines, for this mess! Clearly, our Government is hell bent on confining us to the United States, and ensuring that we are unable to travel anywhere else! There MUST be a Constitutional challenge to be found here somewhere…maybe Janice can chime in? If SORNA would stop forwarding our information ahead of our travels, we might actually be able to enjoy a vacation or two!

  3. Paul

    Having never done this before myself, I’ve been told that a workaround is to cross over into Tijuana using the land border crossing (no passport required), take a cab to the Tijuana airport, have your immigration form stamped there (again, no passport required), then fly to Cabo as a domestic passenger. I’ve never tried it, but I’m under the impression that it does work.

  4. STEVEE

    When people aren’t allowed to go on VACATION something is wrong. So are they alerting other countries of murderers, thiefs and people with DUI’s? Same old answer….No

  5. Joe

    Oy vey, what a dreadful experience. One can only hope that your trip to Hawaii turned out well.

    Two things to maybe consider:

    1. Any money you spend inside this country is subject to taxes which further fund this scheme.

    2. Depending on the length of this trip your boyfriend may have risked being charged with a Failure To Register offense in Hawaii. It is not widely known that many states have a registration requirement for visitors.

    http://sexoffenders.ehawaii.gov/sexoffender/faq.html#q15
    http://sexoffenders.ehawaii.gov/sexoffender/faq.html#q16

    Mahalo.

  6. MM

    @joe … The way I read it, correct me if I’m wrong …. When visiting … If you don’t expect to stay more than ten days you are ok, right? And don’t need to register ….

    • VSPSV(?)

      That is correct; if not staying longer than 10 you do not need to register but must over ten days or must if multiple visit amounting to greater than 30 days in a year.

  7. Sabrina

    Thank you for sharing. The exact same thing happened to my boyfriend and I on January 4th as we arrived in Baja. We were just about to get our passports stamped when a woman came up and took our passports and us to the little room off to the right. Without saying anything they separate us and walk me back and stamp my passport and inform me that I am free to go if I would like. Seriously?!! Ummmm no, I waited on the couch for over an hour, while multiple officers came in and out laughing and joking around. They decided they were not going to let him enter Mexico. It didn’t matter that my boyfriends mother has had a house there for 10+ years and that we were going to be staying with her. Or that he had been there multiple times in the past few years. We arrived there exactly 1 year since his last trip down there. As for the offense from 1996, they informed him that he could clear it up with his own government. It was a nightmare trying to get me a flight back and I was told over and over that they were doing me a favor by assisting me at all. They also informed me that I was more than welcome to stay for 10 days and fly back on my original return date. When I asked them about finding flights for us from Phoenix to Oakland they told me that they couldn’t help us. It was only their responsibility to get “him” out of Mexico and once we landed in Phoenix we could figure out how we were supposed to get back home to Oakland. There was also a ton of paperwork that they refused to give him copies of. Just as I was about to go upstairs to find a flight home another couple was brought in. Just like us they refused to let him in due to his 1992 offense. I wonder how long this will go on and what the airlines are doing? How can they just bump people off full flights so that they may deport someone?

  8. Eric Knight

    This may be worth a trip to the Mexican Consulate, preferably in LA. The fact that one has to actually pay for a flight and not get admitted once they arrive, with no notice, is unconscionable.

    AT the very least, one should go to the consulate and ask them about the current situation with US registrants. And those that have been going for years and suddenly restricted, frankly, should have a case, even in Mexico.

    But with your experiences, I think we need to hit the consulate with a legal question. This is NOT US-specific policy (though I’m damn sure that the US has strong-arm influence behind the scenes in this debacle).

    • Tired of hiding

      The US government is the one responsible for alerting the countries prior to the arrival. If you read the details of ALL of these entry denials the subjects were greeted either before going through customs or at customs and identified by their FACE!

      This means that they were given info including the FACE ID PHOTO from the US government via direct communication with a US based database!

      GET IT – the USA – our own government – told a foreign government that WE were criminals and as such, too dangerous to be allowed into their countries! The impact of this betrayal by our own government is CHILLING!

      Our OWN government that is supposed to server and protect us is in fact at war with us – we are the enemy of the US government – the very entity that we forced to pay taxes to support.

      This is unacceptable and a human rights violation and certainly MUST be directly fought since this is ONLY the beginning in this information age!

    • Q

      Hi Eric Knight;
      I read somewhere, possibly here, that it is homeland security, they are the culprits. I do recall a man at the RSOL meeting in L.A. saying the same thing. He cant be with his family in the Philippines because of his status as a registrant. If it is in fact homeland security I would think their time would be better spent protecting THESE SHORES from any threats and not taking away our right to travel freely. I can not see how that protects these shores. It’s kind of sad that other governments believe their lies/misinformation.

  9. USA

    I’m curious as well. I had a Felony Battery Count back in 1996, charged reduced to a misdemeanor 2000 persuant to 17(B) and expunged in 2002. I had summary probation as well. No charges prior or after. I actually just visited Canada. I was let in without any issues. Nothing. Furthermore, I’ve visited the Philippines, other parts of Asia, Dominican Republic and ect ect. I’ve never had any issues. When coming back into the US via Florida, they stopped me once before, but the gentleman just came (supervisor) and said this was ancient history. Now, when I came back into LAX, they are kind of rude, but I simply told them all charges dismissed! When I came into Florida, the gentleman informed me to obtain a redress. Check it out. THey provide you a document. I wouldn’t visit Mexico, but I can understand your concerns.

    • Tired of hiding

      “I had a Felony Battery Count back in 1996, charged reduced to a misdemeanor 2000 persuant to 17(B) and expunged in 2002.”

      Well then…obviously it would be a surprise for you to have an issue since your change were expunged over a decade ago. For 99.9% of this NOT the case so consider yourself lucky…first of all to have the funds to travel and second for your status situation.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      What is a redress? How do you get it? What do you need in order to qualify?

  10. Anonymous Nobody

    We don’t really know what the US is putting on the passport for flagging. It might simply say “sex offender,” giving no details, not even the charge. Mexico or other countries might nix some flagged as SOs, but not others — perhaps nixing those marked as child molesters but not those for indecent exposure.

    Ome big problem is — who knows? We can’t even see if what is flagged is correct or not. We don’t know if it is general or specific, so we can’t even challenge it. And, is it on the passport, or if it filed with Interpol, and when your passport or card is swiped, the Interpol record comes up?

    I will say, I seriously doubt there is anything on it about an expungement, since the federal government doesn’t even accept that it has been expunged.

    • Paul

      Anyone can request to know what’s stored on their passport by making a request via DHS’s website. Unfortunately, I don’t actually think it’s the passport itself; I see think it’s SORNA’s SMART office that’s preemptively alerting foreign countries prior to our arrival into their country.

      You can learn more about this here: http://www.smart.gov/

      • Anonymous Nobody

        I don’t think it is some prior warning to a particular country before we arrive. But it might be a general listing of a criminal record with Interpol, or marked on the card/passport with the new RFID technology.

  11. Anonymous Nobody

    I’m wondering if you can go to the consulate for whatever country you plan to go to and get a visa in advance. Does anyone know? Because to go all the way there only to find out at arrival that they won’t let you in — that’s horrendous. And you’ve spent a LOT of money on the trip before you ever even take off.

    • Paul

      I believe that this is the only “safe” way to travel without too much apprehension about being denied entry into the country you are traveling to. Unfortunately, even with a visa, the immigration officer checking your passport at your destination STILL has wide latitude and discretion into whether you will be allowed access or not. Therefore, even armed with a visa, there’s still a chance that you will be turned away.

      You can Google “does a visa guarantee entry” for a long list of foreign immigration offices that confirm that a visa does not guarantee entry. 🙁

  12. Tim

    What a farce! This country keeps thinking of ways to harrass it’s free citizen to make some sort of point of moral superiority. Yes, if they have proof someone is engaging in child sexual tourism or any other threat, please detain, investigate, prosecute. But don’t harass people just to make a point, whatever it is. If this isn’t the moral equivalent of warehousing Japenese Americans during WWII, I don’t know what is. Why doesn’t our country stop coddling these corporations and the countries like Bangledesh that harbor the child slave labor camps that make huge profits off of the clothing they make. Why don’t they do that? Well, because our leaders are cowardly and greedy, the public who elects them is too willing to have their attention drawn away to the bogey man.

    • Q

      “When a well-packaged web of lies  has been sold gradually to the
      masses over generations, the truth will seem  utterly preposterous
      and its speaker a raving lunatic.” Dresden James.

      “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” ― Plato

  13. Anonymous Nobody

    It would be very helpful if perhaps CA RSOL could put together a concise information about all this. Rather than us blunder into this in the worst of circumstances, we might be able to avoid it, or avoid some of it.

    How is this information available at the customs checkpoint? Is it on the passport or card? Or does that system they swipe do some record check of some central file Immigration has that was set up when you apply for a passport? Or??? Is there any way we can even check this information to see if it is accurate? Can we do anything to make them include any expungement with that record — since the federal government does not recognize California expungements? If we can’t, should we carry our expungement order when we travel, or will that make no difference, especially overseas?

    Do they have and consider all records, or do they have them going back only a certain number of years? Do they have these records for everyone, or only for registrants? Do they do it only for offenses for which the federal government requires registration, or do they do it for any offense any state might require registration? Or??? (For one thing, many people in California are forced to register for offenses that the federal government does not require registration — would these people be caught by this record check?)

    What are they looking into? Other threads say they are fully searched and and computer or other storage device is thoroughly checked, and often everything copied off it, many times a laptop is taken and returned some weeks later after they search everything you ever even did a security erase on –and the delay at customs can take hours. But in this thread, the people are simply talking of being pulled on the side and questioned — questioned about what? What is there to question them about? ARe you questioned alone, or are you questioned with whomever you are traveling with (who might not necessarily even know of your registration, depending!)? At least I can understand a search, in theory to see if you have any kiddie porn or other illegal sexual something, but to question you accomplishes nothing they don’t already know, that you are a registrant.

    What do other countries get to see? Is it information from the card, or does that simply pull up a record now on file with Interpol? What information is there with that record, simply say “sex offender,” or does it tell the charge and maybe other info?

    Can people get a visa from all the consulates before they go — to make sure they are not turned away after traveling there? Gee, to get turned away would be a horror! Do you have to already have a ticket before you can see such a visa — which could mean you don’t get the visa and now can’t get a refund on possibly a very expensive ticket and other reservations and payments?

    Is there anything we can do to reduce, eliminate or avoid this?

    • Tired of hiding

      Would someone who has been denied entry PLEASE sue the Federal government so we can get this information addressed properly and out in the open and not simply hidden in the shadows and used against us where ever and when ever they please.

      This is a human rights violation and our government is providing false information about us to foreign governments. Our own government is betraying us and sending advanced information that we are a danger and threat and should not be allowed free entry into countries!

      Either we are allowed to travel or we are not. There should be no “grey” area. We should have full disclosure of what information the US government is supplying foreign governments about us.

      • Joe

        You guys are kind of cute…. can CA RSOL do this and can someone please do that…

        @Anonymous – may one suggest you do the research, make the phone calls, dig in dark places, compile a comprehensive report and submit it to CA RSOL for publication? I am sure they would be tickled.

        @Tired – so you are asking someone (you did say PLEASE) to risk their anonymity and possibly livelihood and spend beaucoup bucks to sue the Federal Government so you can know to where you can travel without risk of being turned around? Really??? May one suggest you factor into the cost of this whole ordeal (thousands) the price of a mid-week plane ticket (couple hundred bucks) and one night cheap hotel and do it yourself?

        Seriously, sometimes I think this board is the worst thing that ever happened. People rant and rave and pontificate and pound their chests and feel like it makes a damn difference when in fact it doesn’t. Never has. Never will.

        Just sayin’

        • Tired of hiding

          @Tired – so you are asking someone (you did say PLEASE) to risk their anonymity and possibly livelihood and spend beaucoup bucks to sue the Federal Government so you can know to where you can travel without risk of being turned around? Really??? May one suggest you factor into the cost of this whole ordeal (thousands) the price of a mid-week plane ticket (couple hundred bucks) and one night cheap hotel and do it yourself?

          Find me a lawyer who will take the case pro bono and will stick with it all the way to the Supreme court if needed and I will be more than happy to be the “poster child” for this cause. I am self-employed and don’t have to kiss customer’s asses for a living.

          I don’t know what your problem is except being a jerk perhaps. We finally have a place to blow off some steam…brain storm ideas…exchange information AND discuss our unfortunate situation and you think it is a bad thing? Really?

          For some of us who have contemplated suicide, the ability to communicate with like-minded people might have save a life or two!

          So let me know when you have that magic lawyer lined up to get this party started!

          • Tim

            I hope I don’t sound flippant here, but if any one is looking for a magic bullet that is going to slay the Megan’s Law beast, then this board is going to look like a waste of time. That being said I read, listen, to these post as I would music. There is a real rythym to it and it flows. Sounds sometimes like the blues or an opera or one of those twangy country songs about lost love and regrets, undertones of punk rebellion. I am not mocking anyone here. Indeed, I look back at some of my posts and think, really?, that sounds kind of odd. Whatever. Someone misses a beat, another takes up the tune. Some questions are answered and others not. There has been a lot of information here that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else, and heard voices that I don’t hear anywhere else, and am able to sing things I don’t sing anywhere else. What is it worth? It is the possibility of community. Forced solitude is a form of torture, at least under International human rights standards. To break that solitude is an expression of freedom, its like filing a lawsuit against the silence.

    • Janice Bellucci

      With the proper resources, California RSOL could conduct the necessary research and report on it. What resources? A $10 donation on behalf of every registered citizen would work beautifully! When that happens, we will have all the resources needed to educate, legislate and litigate.

  14. Tim

    I have heard of freedom of information requests. Does anyone know if this can work, so we can find out what’s going on. I’ll apply for one, if I can. I don’t plan on going out of the country myself, just like to know what’s going on.

    • Paul

      Yes…you can receive information related to your passport via a Freedom of Information request. Unfortunately, as I’ve pointed out in another post, I don’t think it’s what’s on our passports that are causing the issue; it’s SMART’s SORNA office preemptively notifying foreign country’s of our intention to enter their country.

      • Tim

        I’m confused. How can one get the information on SMART’s SORNA office policies? They are a government agency, no? Tax payer funded? I don’t plan on getting a passport or visa soon to travel. I’m confused, frustrated and nearly broke.

    • Paul

      Whenever any person travels, the airline provides CBP and a host of other federal agencies with a copy of the passenger itinerary. Typically, when you’re traveling abroad, you have provided the airline with your passport number, so this is provided as well. The passenger manifest is checked against federal databases, including the infamous “no fly list”, to limit the risk of an attack. Also caught up in this are passengers with warrants and, you guessed it, registrants. When a registrant is flagged on the manifest, the country that they are traveling to is preemptively notified that of our intention to travel there.

      This is how foreign authorities are meeting us the gate, pulling us out of lines, etc. Also, it’s very clear that SOMETHING on our passport is flagged, as I did not have an issue at Cabo’s airport until the immigration officer scanned my passport. It was at that point that I was advised that “CBP had flagged my passport”, and I was taken to a side room for further evaluation.

      But ultimately, the main issue seems to be our country telling another country that we are on our way there. Unfortunately, THAT information will not show up on a Freedom of Information request.

      • Joe

        Appreciate your explanation, which does make sense. Except for the fact that people have been pulled off planes / out of line before ever getting to the passport counter. In other words, by sight. How – with the help of a photo? Which photo is that? Does swiping your passport at the LAX check-in counter transmit data including your photo? Is that digitally stored in the stripe? Or does the swipe trigger an additional event? Like a person specific alert and sending your annual registration photo to the host country?

        It is one thing to have this sort of thing happen. It is entirely another to do it without ANY transparency. The old Soviet KGB and East German Stasi guys must just weep at what could have been…

      • Anonymous Nobody

        What is CBP?

  15. Robert Curtis

    Why not get a World citizen passport from World Service Authority and only use your US
    passport after you return to the USA? The other Question to think about: isn’t it better to go into Mexico via the boarder then fly to your destination anywhere else from Mexico using other than a US passport? Using you drivers license is better than a flagged US Passport isn’t it? Sometimes asking the right questions from the right people and organizations can help greatly.

    • Joe

      Why not get a passport from Joe’s Excellent Passport Shop? I am guessing it will be just as useful and quite frankly, I could use the money.

      When was the last time anyone has successfully gotten on an international flight and crossed international borders with a World Citizen Passport from the World Service Authority? Or the first time.

      As far as driving to TJ and then moving on – not everyone is driving distance from the Mexican border or wants to travel via Mexico at all times to all places on the planet. The point is that US Citizens not on Parole or Probation should have the freedom to travel at their leisure.

      This country is a complete joke.

  16. It is what it is

    Some posters mentioned expungement could possibly help with what is flagged on our passports.

    I don’t think that’s the case.

    It’s definitely not the case for U.S. customs.

    My conviction was expunged many years ago and reduced to a misdemeanor, but I still get stopped when my passport is scanned returning to U.S. points of entry.

    I’ve travelled to many countries (not Mexico but Asia and Europe) and never had any problem at the destination, but always upon my return to the U.S.

    With that said, I’ve not travelled internationally in over a year, and obviously something has happened recently.

    My guess is that whatever info is flagged on our passports is now somehow electronically linked with databases in certain other countries.

    I wonder if people’s passports remain flagged when they are taken off the registry? People in CA who get a cert. of rehabilitation or people in other states that have tiered registry and eventually come off it?

    By the way, I do know from my travel experiences that what is on the passport itself is very vague and limited.

    Every time my passport is swiped coming into the U.S. they have me step aside and then customs agents go onto a computer to look up details.

    On more than one occasion, the person who swipes my passport told me they can’t see on their computer WHY it’s being flagged, it’s just telling them it is. One time at Newark the lady swiping it said “I don’t know why but your passport is flagged so I can’t let you through. This usually happens when you’ve been convicted of a crime”

    She didn’t say anything about a sex offense specifically.

    I told her “yeah I was convicted of something 15 years ago”

    And she said “oh just tell them how long ago it was and they’ll let you right through.”

    I got the impression from her it’s a pretty common occurrence.

    Another time when my passport was flagged, some guy who looked like he was in full combat gear took me to a back room and was holding my arm like I was going to be arrested.

    A guy on a computer looked at something and said, “he’s ok” and then the armed combat-type guy left.

    So they definitely need to check a secondary database beyond what is just “flagged” on the passport to get specific details.

    Despite the hysteria over sex offenders let’s not forget these are the same people trying to find terrorists.

    At certain places like JFK and Washington they almost seem like all the sex offender flags are just annoying and their real concern is terrorism.

    At LAX, however, they act like sex offenders are their top priority and they almost seem MORE focused on that then on terrorism.

    I’d be interested to know if the people sent back from Mexico noticed if they scanned your passport and immediately seemed to know you are a SO, or did they seem like they scanned it then had to go into another database?

    Finally, the U.S. can’t tell another country who they can and cannot let in. They can share their databases but these other countries need to put policies and procedures into place.

    @Joe I understand your cynicism about these boards and what we can accomplish from venting here, but personally I feel if nothing else the sharing of ideas and other experiences here is helpful and I’d DOES make a difference, at least it’s helped me.

  17. Mel

    Everyone’s info is sent to the destination country, not JUST RSO’s. This information is readily available on the internet regardless. The specific country will flag the RSO’s and do as they wish. Don’t blame the USA for your past.

    • Paul

      Mine’s not available on the internet, as I’m exempt from that specific component.

    • Eric Knight

      Mel, you are incorrect. RSO information is SPECIFICALLY sent to the country of intended visitation. While other felons may also have to submit to extra scrutiny, registrants are the ONLY group of individuals whom are specifically prohibited from travel without 21 day notice.

      In fact, there is absolutely no way to find out if one will be denied entry to a country unless they actually travel there. As more and more registrants are being denied entry due specifically to the reporting requirement, this law is working JUST as intended: A backdoor way to prevent registrants from traveling without overtly breaking any constitutional violations.

      Unfortunately, there will be no easy way out of this one.

    • Tired of hiding

      Hey Mel, you are wrong old chap. I am not on the California website either. Furthermore, some of us can very well blame the USA for our past as in we are innocent but caught in a system that really doesn’t care about justice at all and have to pay for that injustice for the rest of our lives. How dare you make such arrogant comments about citizens who are being abused by the very government they are forced to support via income taxes and sworn oaths!

  18. Dray

    I think this comes under our freedom to travel. Or at least double jepody I have traveled at least 20 times to Mexico in the last 15 years. I have not been there I 2013 . But I the past had no problem. I am in California and maybe they do not inform SORNA . Just thinking

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Your constitutional right to travel applies only within the borders of the US, not overseas. The US is not stopping you from leaving, it is other countries barring you from entering. The US is merely giving out information — what other countries choose to do with that is up to them. I only wish our country did not hand out that information about us. But it would be helpful if we could at least know what it is or if it is — it might even depend on what sex charge you were involved in, might only be those offenses covered by SORNA, not all the other offenses for which California requires registration. And does it even matter how old the offense is, as SORNA identifies tiers, so even though California does not, maybe the feds hand out that info based on the SORNA tiers. Who knows.

  19. SWY

    Interesting the US government knows (tax payer IDs, census, food stamp/welfare rolls, etc) exactly where all the illegal Mexicans are in this country but won’t deport any of them. Or, at least until the timing is right. If the US can keep our “bad people” out of other people’s countries, why can’t the Mexican government keep their millions of illegals out of ours? In case you haven’t heard, the government has an agenda, and it’s not that secret! Unless you have relatives there, if you want to see a bunch of Mexicans all you have to do is open the door. California (and the USA) is over run with them. People are people no matter where you go so you might as well stay in America. If you just want to travel, try the many places that happily took Roman Polanski or that Snow guy that snitched on the NSA.

    • steve

      The tone of your post is a little racist. If you wanted more impact I think mentioning depriving families of going on VACATION would have been a little more appropriate.

      • AS

        I disagree. His comment was directed towards the country of this topic, Mexico.
        Surely you must realize the majority of illegals abiding here are from the very country turning back our legal travelers visiting Mexico, who only wish to vacation there for a short time.
        He further comments on how ironic it is that the Mexican government can’t or won’t help our country to turn back illegal and undesirable “Visitors” from it’s homeland.

        • steve

          “if you want to see a bunch of Mexicans all you have to do is open the door”

          I disagree..but there are more important fish to fry here.

  20. Stephen

    Stop crying about it, and do something about it. Stop waiting for someone else to do your job. You can start by all of you sending a letter to the ACLU about this subject. Maybe they will listen, or maybe they won’t, but you’ll never know till you all get off your butts.

  21. Stephen

    You all might get more involved with RSOL, send them a few bucks, go to a meeting. Until you do something it isn’t going to get any better. RSOL of Virginia died because not enough people would get off their butts to help. If your allowed to vote, then you should do so. The people that make these laws wont listen to a RSO, but they will listen to a voter.

  22. Bam Bam

    Has anyone ever gotten a traditional pardon for 243.4a sexual battery. Please let me know because I moved out of state one year to early to get a certificate of rehabilitation. It seems like traditional pardons are hard to get for a person out of state. When I was in California I was exempt from all website exposure but it is different in florida. everybody is subject to the websites. Does California plan on giving any traditional pardons out ever. I have not been in trouble in 13 years after parole. can some one please help me.

  23. Chris

    I have lived in Tijuana, Mexico before my conviction for about 5 years. I never had to show a passport while crossing into Mexico.
    I was stopped a few time at the border going in when their scanners thought something was in my car just said going to my wife’s house. I was on my way.

    I only to show a passport card at the border coming back in daily for work.

    Found out you can travel up to the first 50 km with travel docs after that you are supposed to get a visa. At the border or airport.

    I did go to guadalajara without a visa via domestic flight. Then again I was not an RIO at the time.

    Let you all know what happens in 2 years when I am off probation. We plan to move back.

  24. Observer

    Google “RSOITS” and you will find a paper published on usdoj.gov that explains what is going on behind the scenes. All RSOs need to read this paper to understand what is going on.

  25. Tim

    What is the substantial difference between this and the fugitive slave laws of two centuries back? Except that it is now a world government based in Washington DC and there is no underground railroad to transport people to a place of safety, like Canada was.

  26. Observer

    I wonder if this only affects registrants in states that have the 21 day advanced notice of international travel? I understand that California is compliant with that supplemental guideline?

    Also, has anyone found this supposed new law in Mexico that prevents registrants from traveling there?

    • Someone

      It does not matter what state you live in. If you are a registrant then you must notify your jurisdiction of any international travel 21 days prior to travel. It is a FEDERAL law. Applies to EVERY state. Even states that are not SORNA-compliant.

      Read this: http://sexoffender-decisions.blogspot.com/search/label/SORNA%20EFFECTIVE

      SORNA is in effect for EVERY registrant. Period.
      SO be careful.

      • Observer

        Ok, so I go to my local police department and since my state doesn’t have this 21 day travel notification requirement they won’t have any clue what to do with my travel information anyway. They haven’t updated their procedures to be compliant with this new U.S. law because my state law doesn’t require them to be compliant. So then in this case who is at fault? Is it my fault that my state doesn’t require me to register 21 days in advance of international travel? I’m confused.

        • Paul

          The federal law actually makes clear that there is NO federal registration office; all registration occurs at the local level. When I traveled to Cabo San Lucas last May, I placed a call to the detective who handles my registration here in Los Angeles. I actually called him in February, a full three months ahead of my vacation, as I had already booked my trip and did not see any benefit in waiting until the last second.

          His response was literally, word-for-word, “call me when you get back from Mexico.” Since SORNA only requires that notification be made 21 days prior, I was compliant with that phone call. I saved a copy of my phone bill showing the call was made, and made note of exact what it was that he said.

          When I returned (on a Saturday), I literally got out of the terminal, called him, and left him a voice mail stating that I was back. I never did get a return call from him but, again, I kept a copy of that phone bill showing that I had notified him of my return.

          That was the best I could do, since he’s in charge of handling registration.

  27. Craig

    I have to agree with Janice on the comment she made, the RSO and their families need to pony up some funds to help with the fight, but most will not. I know that in my state ( Texas) I give nearly every month, it is really not very hard to donate $20 to $30 dollars a month for the cause. We really do not have a choice if we want to win.

    • Tim

      On this note, is there an option for doing an automatic donation from credit card or Pay Pal every month?

  28. Emily

    My great grandmother, who escaped Hitler, always said “Never say never, anything is possible, many people came out safe from that awful time.” Sometimes I have a hard time but I keep reminding myself of great grandma and what she said.

  29. Max

    Check out the International Tracking of Sexual Offenders Working Group white paper http://ojp.gov/smart/pdfs/InternationalTrackingofSexOffendersWorkingGroup.pdf

    It outlines what SMART’s plans are over the next few years to notify foreign governments of visits from register sex offenders to comply with SORNA requirements. Sounds like notification of Mexico of sex offender air travel is in place and operational. Interestingly, the white paper specifically mentions that it will be years before the system can be implemented for land travel.

  30. Frank

    Looking for answers on where a 290 can still go in the world. I am planing a trip to Belize as to the best of my knowledge it does not discriminate against 290 ex-felons l. Has anyone traveled to Belize this year? Please post places where you have not had any problem getting in.

  31. Cabo return

    My wife and child take a cabo trip once a year for the past 5 years no problems, this past Monday I was scanned pulled off to the little room and told I couldn’t enter, and was told my family and I would be held if I didn’t sign a paper in Spanish, there were armed police hovering over me, I explained my situation, I was convicted of consensual sex with a minor in 1990 when I was 18 and she was 16 and since had it expunged and travel here annually, he didn’t care they already had my return tix in hand, so I’m out 5k and worst of all my wife has not left the hotel crying alone with a 11 year old child in Mexico since Monday, I don’t know what has changed but it’s insanity, I’m waiting at the Mexican consulate now here in California, to see if I can get something resolved to rejoin my family and salvage even a day of our family vacation

    • j

      Document this fully and send it to your representative with a question about how he thinks this is democracy/justice/ex post facto punishment. He will lie if he does not agree there are serious constitutional violations that he most likely voted for.

      I would retain CARSOL to help submit this letter if you think this is a good idea.

      The underlying reality is that your child and family are being emotionally abused by this “law ” (and that is using the term loosely) and how is it that the legislators hold their own political insurance packages above the constitutional rights of you and your family?

    • Joe

      Have you looked into getting a Certificate of Rehabilitation? If your details are correct you sound like a good candidate.

      If that is not an option, if your details are correct, you sound like the poster boy for why these laws are so draconian and wrong. You should consider being a plaintiff.

      Hope you get to join your family in Mexico.

  32. Cabo return

    I just got back from Mexican consulate, they couldn’t do much, they said I can travel thru San Diego cross the boarder then take a flight to Cabo, it’s insanity, I’m thinking about chancing it and taking an am flight back with my expungement paper work and if I get pulled out again I have some sort of proof, the consulates attorney said it’s a crap shoot on the individual agent, im blown away by no one giving me an answer, curious if anyone’s gotten thru with paper proof in hand

    • Paul

      I hate to say it, but you should have done some research prior to booking your trip. If you had, you would have known that Mexico started refusing entry about 2 years ago. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but the issue of registered citizens being denied entry to places like Mexico has been a hot topic for a while now.

      The Mexican Consulate advising you to drive into Mexico and then hop a domestic flight makes zero sense. First, last week, the Mexican side of the San Ysidro border crossing opened a new processing center. The days of simply walking or driving into TJ are now gone. Instead, you must present yourself to a Mexican immigration agent, and provide him/her with your passport. The moment you do this, you will be flagged for removal. Second, since you are traveling beyond the border zone, you will be required to have a FMM. Again, this requires a passport and, again, you will be denied. Third, it’s a myth that a non-Mexican citizen can fly domestically simply by showing up at the airport. In order to fly domestically, you will have to have a FMM, which requires a passport.

      I’ve paid close attention to this issue on this website, as well as a few others, and I have yet to read an example of a person who was successfully able to cross into Mexico. This will be especially true for you, since you have already been denied entry and deported from the country. From Mexico’s standpoint, you are non-admissable, based on that single fact alone.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I highly recommend that you do some thorough research prior to any future travel. Countries such as Mexico, Philippines, Canada….all deny entry.

    • Katharine

      Cabo Return, you might want to send your story to the email address provided in this link. This new group is collecting stories like yours with, apparently, the intention to try to do something about this ugly situation.
      http://nationalrsol.org/blog/2015/08/24/international-travel/

  33. Cabo return

    I just posted to the site you suggested, thnx K, my family is heading back now, what a nightmare, I just got off the phone with the U.S. embassy in Mexico, they said it’s a problem that’s overwhelming them only lately, it’s his understanding that anyone that the U.S. Gov has decided to include on a data base has been sent to Mexico and it’s only a list, no explanation of any crime, and it’s 100% return policy, before I guess it showed the conviction and 1203.4 info or what have you and you could explain or bring paper work, but now it’s cut and dry to them, the U.S. Embassy has been demanding info on the list and have received no response from the Feds, sounds like getting an attorney from Mexico to fix it in a Mexican court is out( even though that’s what it says to do on the consulate website) the representative told me the only way he knows at this point is to some how get yourself removed from the data base, also he said the data base can be very old, so it might not even show a person having anything expunged only the conviction, what a quagmire, anyone want to buy my place in Mexico lol

  34. Cabo return

    Also thnx Paul, I don’t feel you’re being a jerk, I’m sure we all feel the frustration, and you’re right I will research in the future, but like I said I’ve been traveling to Mexico for years as well as multiple other countries, no problem, but in the future the consulate said to stop by 20 days in advance they can issue a travel visa unless I’m flagged right then and there, but I’ll have to research that as well, so this travel restriction is new to me I’ll be working on it for sure

  35. Gordon

    Just returned from Cancun.

    I should have done some homework. I wrongfully assumed a passport would get me in. I was taken off the plane to the “little room” where five agents suddenly would not converse in English. I filled out their form while my wife and son waited and then was told I was not welcome in Mexico. (Convicted in 1998. No jail time, released from probation in 2013). They gave us 2 minutes to decide weather we all returned or just me. My wife and adult son stayed since everything was already paid for. They hurried me back to the same plane I arrived on and I was gone within an hour of landing. I arrived in Phoenix with no connecting flight or boarding pass. Luckily the guy at American Airlines took pity on me and put up in the Sheraton and booked me home the next day.

    I have traveled to Hawaii, Florida and all over the western US with no problems, even while on Probation. Florida has you register if you stay longer than four days, Hawaii ten days, Maryland – I couldn’t even find out, I called the State Police and they didn’t know. It wasn’t on the their website.

    I asked my local sheriff who does my annual registration “what happens when I retire, buy a RV and just travel around the US not staying long enough to register in any one place? No answer.

  36. Stressed out

    What if your offense had nothing to do with a minor? Does anyone know if this has any impact on international travel?

    I am a registered sex offender in CA and a CA resident. My conviction was in 2000 in VA. It was a felony offense that was basically the result of a drunken case of mistaken identity on my part. Blacked out in college and got in bed with a girl’s roommate instead of the intended girl. No force or coercion was used because she thought I was her boyfriend (just as I thought she was a girl I knew well), but there was penetration and police were called, so it was a felony.

    I didn’t go to prison but did do time in county jail and was released from probation early after 3 years.

    In the years since I’ve traveled pretty extensively with no problems – except in Canada. Last year I was making a connecting flight through Toronto on my way to Europe and was turned back. Flew to New York, bought a new ticket to Spain, and entered with no problem. I’ve also had no problems in the UK, France, Russia, Mexico (most recently in 2011), and many other countries. Sympathetic Canadian officials suggested to me that the problem was that their criminal databases are much more tightly integrated with US databases than other nations are.

    My wife and I are now planning a trip to Mexico in May, and I’m here reading these horror stories for the first time. It never occurred to me that I might have a problem, especially because I’ve been there twice before and it was fine.

    Can anyone advise me here? Does the fact that no minors were involved in my case help me at all? Are some people successfully making it into the country, but they’re just not posting here – or is everyone being turned back? Do I need to cancel this trip? Is there anything else I can do?

    Thanks…

    • Rob

      The short unhelpful answer to your question is nobody really knows. I flew into Cabo, Mexico in 2014 and gained entry. In 2015 I flew into the Dominican and was denied entry. Are they looking at just people on the registry or the actual crime? While my crime was a misdemeanor it was also with a minor. While your on the registry your crime was not with a minor but if they don’t bother looking at your actual crime and that your just on the registry then you might be screwed. Obviously they don’t look at the actual facts in each case, so while what you did was not extreme, they are just going to see the wording of what you were convicted of I.E date rape, sexual battery etc which can seem a lot worse then the actual crime.

      You’ve traveled a lot internationally but when is the last time you flew internationally?, other then Spain which seems to be letting RSO’s in.
      It’s in the last two years where they have been sending out many more notices and people have been turned away in much larger numbers. It seems like they have really perfected there notification system. Unfortunately there is no number you can call that will give you accurate information and nobody can give you a correct answer here, only antidotal facts.
      While it would seem like you would have a better chance of not having a notice sent then someone with a crime against a minor in which they are wording it on the notification’s as a child sex offender, which sounds pretty bad on the notices. But are they leaving out child sex offense and just saying “intent to commit a sex act” on people convicted of a non minor offense?
      If you really want to find out i would suggest booking the cheapest flight possible and not booking a hotel room until your in Cabo which obviously isn’t that easy to do and you lose out on the discount rates, but they might have a good walk up rate. If you do book a hotel/flight combination buy the trip protection and use a credit card. I didn’t have trip protection when i flew in the dominican but did use a card in which I disputed the hotel room charges. Me and my GF received half of our money back, minus the flight cost.

    • Timmmy

      My suggestion is to try to enter via land and get the tourist permits at the border. If successful, then just take a take to the city you want to travel to, or go the nearest airport in Mexico.

      That way if you are refused entry, it won’t cost you much.

    • Stressed out

      Thanks for the replies, guys. I pretty much figured it was as you said; no one knows the answer and we’re all just struggling to figure it out based on anecdotal evidence.

      The last time I flew internationally was to Paris in October 2015. Had no problem. The Spain trip (same one where I was kicked out of Canada) was in 2014. Both were within the last two years.

      It crossed my mind to call the Mexican consulate and ask them some anonymous questions about what the policy is, but I have the distinct feeling this would get me nowhere. Still might try it… I’m really not sure what else to do besides wing it…

    • StressedOut

      Just wanted to post an update here.

      My wife and I made the trip to Mexico successfully. Flew into Mexico City, then continued to Cancun. Had no issues whatsoever entering or leaving the country, and also no issues re-entering the US. Encountered the least hassle at customs and immigration that I have in years, as a matter of fact.

      Whether this is because my offense didn’t involve a minor, because my conviction is over 15 years old, or because I just got lucky, I’ll never know. Based on my reading of the actual statutes in the new International Megan’s Law legislation, it looks to me like it only applies to registrants with offenses involving minors.

      Hopefully that’s of some help to someone.

  37. Stressed out

    As a separate question, has anyone actually used the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) to avoid being hassled when returning to the US? I never knew this was possible. Does it actually work? Are you doing yourself more harm than good by attracting attention to yourself, or is it legitimately beneficial?

    Thanks

  38. Marie

    So the concensus is ….

    If you’re off the registry you’re ok?
    Even if your offense was involved a minor?

    • PK

      That is NOT the consensus, and I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from.

      If you were ever convicted of a sex offense involving a minor, irregardless if you have to register, you are “not ok” and travel notices will be sent to other countries informing them of your intention to enter into their country.

      • Marie

        Thank you.

        For some reason I thought some comments leaned towards only those required to register (providing advance notice of travel) as what triggered the alerts.

        So if I’m under no obligation to report travel is the warning attached to my passport ?

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