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International Megan’s Law – International Travel Action Group

I would like to clarify that there are actually two, nearly identically-named (and destructive) bills entitled, more-or-less, “International Megan’s Law” originating in both Houses of Congress. This has been the source of some confusion.

The House bill has an estimated 15% chance of passing and the Senate bill 9%. These estimations are provided by the GovTrack website (and I hope they are correct).

[But do keep in mind that we are being prevented from traveling, right now, without those bills.]

They are:
H.R. 515 in the U.S. House and sponsored, as always, By Chris Smith of New Jersey.
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr515
and
S.1867 in the U.S. Senate and sponsored by Richard Shelby of Alabama.
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1867

Since we are in the first session of the 114th Congress (which lasts for two years), we, unfortunately, have more than a year during which these bills are still in play.

Please note that the above-web pages to these two bills offer a wonderful way to communicate to your elected representatives in Congress your desire to DEFEAT these bills. It asks for your address and phone number and then calls you and connects you directly to that representative’s office. It even provides a very brief script for you to read to express your view. They make it extremely easy to voice your disapproval.

Regardless of these two bills, however, we need to keep in mind that there is already a regime to frustrate Registrant’s ability to travel internationally, through administrative law facilitated by the Adam Walsh Act.
Defeating this policy is every bit as important as defeating the bills now before Congress.

Please join with us in doing so. Please contact Paul Rigney to help us challenge them head-on. rigneypa@yahoo.com

– by David Kennerly

Related

National RSOL: International Travel Group

All posts about International Travel

Join the discussion

  1. Jim

    They wont to stop us from leaving the country and yet except all these refugees that have the potentiality of being offenders them selves. Go figure??????????????????

    • NotLikingCalifornia

      We do far better for ourselves when we advance humans rights for all, rather than attempting to tear down another group of people.

      • Timmr

        You are right, fear is fear. I am surprised at least one presidential candidate is not saying these refugees are sex offenders.

  2. Timmr

    I wonder why they gave these bills such a low chance of passing? Seems like these types of bills, that is bills that increase restrictions for registrants, garnered a near unanimous vote in the past. Would be helpful to hear the reasoning behind the prediction, so that we can construct our responses more effectively.

    • Harry

      This may not be the real answer, however, facts maybe rising to that level in lawmaking and it maybe effecting the willingness to support, such laws.

      • Timmr

        That fact it went to the Judiciary committee lowered its chance of passing, according to the methodology GovTrack used. Hmmm…

    • David Kennerly

      Well, for one thing, these bills have been re-introduced, year-after-year, for many years, without ever having passed. On that basis, alone, it would seem that this year’s two bills are unlikely to pass, although the Republicans now have more power than before. Beyond that, it may be that sufficient members of Congress are reluctant to advance this bill because of obvious Constitutional vulnerabilities, and likely court challenges. Or it may simply be that the cross-party cohesion necessary to pass them is so low that few Democrats are willing to support them. Or maybe things are slowly beginning to change. We’re not seeing nearly as much of the “What shall we do to sex offenders this year?” legislation as we have in the past. Plus, we’re finally starting to push-back.

      • Timmr

        Thank you for the analysis. I think would be hard for them to prove that this law would do any good. They have to know this. All the evidence presented is allegorical.

      • Harry

        ‘Push-back’ is what all RC need to do at every opportunities, great or small. We have the truth that every blind person can see. We need to market these facts at every stand.

  3. HH

    Has there been any lawsuits started based on the current travel restrictions ? Seems like it should be easy for someone to get that going .

    • TiredOfHiding

      Nothing is “easy to get going” when you are dealing with the legal system. These area are kept very “gray” and mysterious just for that very reason. The government and/or law enforcement want to make it very difficult to take legal action with this issue.

      Speaking as one that has been a victim of this I can tell you from experience that it is not easy at all. It cost my partner and I several thousand dollars – the cost of the airfare, reserved apartment, and other expenses when we (actually I) was NOT allowed into Argentina last year.

      It was not only costly but humiliating to have to sit in an airport for 8 hours under guard while waiting to be put on the next flight back to the good ole USA! I contacted several lawyers and without paperwork stating that the USA had been the source of the information that led to the Argentine immigration rejection it was really not possible.

      I can tell you that I was told by the Argentine immigration that I was being returned to the USA specifically at the request of the US government! I was also told that I was perfectly legal to enter Argentina and that ALL my paperwork (passport and Visa) were acceptable and the ONLY reason I was not being allowed in was at the request of the US government to return me.

    • j

      It won’t happen but if you could get that statement in writing from Argentina, you would have proof that you were subject to ex-post-facto punishment.

      Have you tried to work with the Argentine consulate? There should be a proper grievance process to attempt to recover your money lost.

  4. Don Quixote

    I am interested in emmigrating to another country south of the border. I would prefer to drive across the border from New Mexico or Texas and continue to a beach destination

    I want to talk with anyone who has been there or done that. Rental prices and agreements what they look out for I wanr know all there is to know about visas, tourists, where to surf, where to board, where to leave from the are embarassing.

    i would appreciare a mom’s p.o. ANY ADVICE, LINKS, TRICKS, SUCCESS STORIES and where is the world’s best beach? How do I get Columbian Men interested in me romsnticlly. Can I buy property (just in case! haha) “?

    • j

      Contact the consulate for the destination country.

    • TiredOfHiding

      The problem you will have is that the USA will notify the country you intend to immigrate to and will issue a green alert via Interpol and you will be stopped and returned. If you plan on going to Mexico you will need to inform the local police of your intent to relocate out of the USA OR you will be in violation of your registry. So don’t think it matters if you travel to Mexico by car. Your passport will be flagged.

      Colombian men are attracted to money so if you are rich flaunt it and you will have the on you like flies. I have lived in Colombia so I can tell you from experience.

      Have fun trying to get out…and best of luck!

      • Tired of this

        It seems these green notices are generated only when the registrant notifies the registering agency of intent to leave. Hypothetically speaking, what if one simply took a gamble and left without notifying anyone, with no intention of returning?

        • Quint

          It’s a federal crime. Don’t try it.

        • Commenter1

          If you did that you would likely be extradited. If you are following the news stories you will see that this is now being challenged in the US Supreme Court since two men from the Kansas City area did exactly that. They were both extradited to the US and one Federal Appeals court decided the man did not need to register and the other one decided the other man needed to register.

        • David Kennerly

          A few years ago, I watched an episode of “America’s Most Wanted” (something I very rarely did) and saw that John Walsh was crowing about having been instrumental in capturing a “child predator” who had fled the U.S. He had not been charged with any other crimes since his release from prison, only that he had failed to report his move to another country. U.S. Marshalls or F.B.I. had gone to that country and taken custody of him and brought him back to the States for prosecution.

          That’s how seriously the U.S. treats a failure to notify them that you are leaving the country.

        • TiredOfHiding

          No this is NOT correct.

          Just buy an airline ticket out of the USA. Do NOT tell anyone you are planning on leaving because…say, it’s just for a week in Japan (or anywhere else out of the US).

          You are in a database and that is automated! It is tied to your name and passport number. The green notice will be generated automatically by simply this information.

          Simple as that. We live in a digital age and there is nothing you can do about it except get off the grid BUT they have made that illegal for RSO to do!

          Hope you have a clearer understanding of how this procedure works.

  5. jo

    Why does it seem most want to skip to South American countries? I would consider Amsterdam, France, Spain…countries that will allow you to travel there and you would have a much better quality of life.

    • The Anon

      The main thing I can think of is that it’s a lot cheaper to live there.

    • David Kennerly

      Well, when you go to most any country you get, at most, a 90 day tourist visa. Anything longer requires a lot more scrutiny of you by that government. If you overstay and are caught, you may well find yourself never able to lawfully enter that country again and, quite possibly, deported to the welcoming arms off the U.S. authorities. I don’t have a lot of experience with South America but some countries are probably easier to get away with overstaying than in Europe. Also, most of South America is cheaper than Europe. If you need to work then Europe will be very difficult.

  6. LeftCalifornia

    In 2013 I flew from the USVI where I’ve lived since 2008 to Cozumel, MX with my girlfriend for a week long dive vacation. I was not aware of the requirement to notify the DOJ of intent to travel internationally. When my passport was reviewed by the Mexican authorities I was seperated from my girlfriend and taken into a room with about six Mexican officials. I was told in broken English that the U.S. government had provided them with my name, photo and my flight number. After being forced to sign a statement written in Spanish which I could not read I was led by armed security back to the plane that brought me to Mexico, where I joined my girlfriend and flew back to the Caribbean.
    Since my release from prison in 1998 I had vacationed in Cozumel on two prior occasions with no issues, however since the last successful trip in 2006 some type of arrangement had been reached between the U.S. government and the Mexican government providing trade of information.
    During my following ‘Annual Update’ I was warned by local authorities I would be arrested if I traveled any place outside of the U.S. territory again without notifying them.

    • Joe

      Looks like there are two (unrelated) issues.

      1. Mexico denied you entrance into their country. Starting around 2013 the US Government began sending an Interpol Green Notice to the immigration department of any country that a person required to register boards an airplane to, with language that is largely unknown but makes reference to the historical conviction and an intent to commit a crime in the destination country. It is up to the country to react or not. Some countries will deny the traveler admission (Central / South America, Far East, English speaking countries, roughly speaking) or ignore it (Europe minus UK).

      2. Advance travel notification requirement. The USVI is an AWA compliant jurisdiction. Part of the AWA is advance notification for International Travel. Sure enough, it is found in 14 V.I.C. § 1724(b)(4) – “All sex offenders required to register in this jurisdiction shall appear in person at the Department of Justice at least twenty one (21) calendar days prior to any intended travel outside of the United States and provide information about their intended travel”.

      You are lucky you were not arrested for failure to report your intended travel 3 weeks in advance, however ill-fated it was.

      It would appear that the generation of the Green Notice is not dependent of the notification requirement as such a thing does not exist in CA law and plenty of people from the Golden State have been turned away from other countries.

      Your only option at this point is to avoid the countries known to deny entry to registrants and adhere to the travel notification requirement when taking the chance to travel to other countries.

      Most of all, get involved in fighting this blatant violation of the right to freedom of movement. Sounds like you have found the right place to start.

  7. Mike

    Please be aware of bill 212 International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders’.
    Its clear that this will become law as soon as Jan 2016. My fiancé is from Thailand and we have hired and attorney for a K-1 visa. We still face the challenge of applying for an Adam Walsh Act Waiver as the AWA automatically denies application for fiancé because of past sex offence. Essentially, You cant marry, travel, live, work, without being under the scrutiny of the US government which continues to erode the constitution of the united states. I will fund any attorney who will help me challenge the AWA Megan’s law international travel for sex offenders. SO far I have not found one attorney willing to do this.

    UPDATE 12-22-15: ALERT: H.J.Res.76 – Appointing the day for the convening of the second session of the 114th Congress.
    12-18-15 Washington DC:

    The Senate passed HR 515 formerly known as “International Megan’s Law” with another NEW title “International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders” and added a section about Passports.

    Essentially, all current passports for folks CONVICTED of a sex offense/s MUST be reissued, with the words “SEX OFFENDER” prominently displayed on the passport. And all new passports for folks convicted of sex offenses will be issued with same wording.
    Note 12-21-15: Interestingly, the bill on the Thomas website which supposedly includes the Senate amendments (which my comments above were drawn from), and the Senate amendments as published in the Federal Register, are at odds with each other as to “covered sex offenders.” Although I note this point it is likely mute given no Congressional action on the bill as of today.
    The Senate also added a section for appropriating funding ($6,000,000) for each of these years (2017-2019) to implement IML.

    The Senate then sent the bill with changes back to the House for them to review and pass. It is very likely this will be on the FAST TRACK because lawmakers want to go home for Christmas break.

    Advocates and their families and others need to immediately contact their U.S. House Representatives and object to the entire IML bill (and concept), and any other similar bills that may arise.

    The FULL bill may be found HERE and the Senate Amendments HERE (The Corker amendment [Sen Bob Corker R-TN] in the Federal Register).

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