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Q4: 11/18 by phone, 12/9 in Los Angeles [details]

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Challenging Parole Conditions: postponed [details]
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ACSOLGeneral News

State Department Replies to IML Petition

The State Department has modified the Final Rule it published on September 2, 2016, regarding implementation of the International Megan’s Law (IML).  The modification corrects the erroneous statement in the Rule regarding whose passports will bear a “unique identifier”.

The modification clarifies that “unique identifiers” will be added only to the passports of individuals convicted of a sex offense that involved a minor and who are currently required to register as a sex offender.

The State Department’s modification occurred as the result of a petition filed by the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) on September 12, 2016.  The petition also challenged the State Department’s decision to deny passport cards to the same group of individuals, however, the State Department did not change its position on that topic.  According to a letter from the State Department dated October 14, 2016, the agency’s decision not to issue passport cards to some registrants is based upon the “physical and technological limitations of passport cards”.

“The IML does not authorize the State Department to refuse to issue passport cards to any registrant,” stated ACSOL President Janice Bellucci.  “Therefore, the agency’s Final Rule is in violation of the law.”

The Final Rule issued by the State Department did not address the “unique identifier” to be added to some registrants’ passports, however, the agency did address that topic in its October 14 letter.  According to the letter, “the passport book of a covered sex offender will be endorsed with a short written statement”.  The letter did not include the language of such a statement or the location it will be placed.

Letter from State Dept. October 2016

Join the discussion

  1. Tired of this

    Well, this directly affects me, as my “victim” was in her teens. So does this mean my passport I received in 2013 is rendered invalid? Looks like my dream to expatriate, or at the very least visit another country for once in my life, will remain just that, a dream. I understand most of the Schengen countries still let us in, but I imagine the number of countries that would let people in with a scary branding on their passports will dwindle to the point that we are effectively stuck here.

    For those of us with minor victims, it’s looking more and more like the prospect of leaving the US is becoming an escape mission, bringing to mind the stories of North Korean refugees who risked imprisonment, or even death, to escape in search of freedom abroad. And to think that people still blithely believe the USA remains the beacon of freedom, the land of the free.

    I no longer have any allegiance to or faith in my country, a country I once so proudly supported. We have no representation here, yet we are still required to pay annual service and taxes in support of this police state (and make no mistake about it, the US absolutely has become a de facto police state, and I don’t think I need to preach to the choir here by elaborating).

    • Janice Bellucci

      The International Megan’s Law (IML) requires the Secretary of State to add a “unique identifier” to new passports, but does not require him/her too add the identifier to existing passports. For those who possess a passport, their passport is valid until it either expires or it is revoked.

      • Devastated

        Thanks so much for this Janice! My passport just expired and I was waiting to see what the dealio was before renewing. I don’t want to waste $135 on bright pink passport that has PERVERT printed across the front.

        I’m going to renew now. Maybe they won’t mess with me for 10 years while you guys are busy trying to shut down this tomfoolery.

        I think I’m labeled as very low risk. Ecuador and Colombia don’t even seem to notice anything odd when I enter. They would at least read the screen if there were a State Dept. alert, but they just scan me and stamp my passport. So, I don’t know that they’re even sending out an alert when I travel.

        But with a huge Scarlett Letter on my passport, that would be real sh+tty.

      • KS

        Hello,
        First thank you for your heroic efforts in trying to show that at least some of those who have made serious mistakes are human beings worth saving. Thank god for the small percent of people, who carry the empathy for everyone else. I have one question, then you can read, or not read the rest; I won’t be offended. I know you must be very busy. Please excuse my passionate wording, as what follows the question has been repressed in me for some time.
        Their clarifying statement: ‘“unique identifiers” will be added only to the passports of individuals convicted of a sex offense that involved a minor’, seems very much like a reiteration of their previous description of covered sex offender. This ultimately covers any crime involving a minor. This could mean public urination if a minor was present, streaking if a minor was present, or having passively looked at lewd and lascivious material if the subject was a picture of an unknown minor. Is this a bait and switch, or is their newest revision of covered sex offender quantitatively different from the previous definition?

        I myself had psychological issues when I returned home from Afghanistan, which resulted in federal charges. I was convicted 11 years ago of possession of lewd and lascivious material (there was a discrepancy of whether the pornography that I viewed was actually “pornography”; the other half was adult pornography.) I did not pay or trade anything, nor take any pictures. It was completely passive as there was no feedback loop involved. However that being said, I realize and accept that this was socially disgusting behavior, illegal and I have taken full responsibility for my mistakes. I also realize that due to this my own voice for advocacy has lost much of its tenable position. The only upshot to this is the work I have done since to repair my life, the public support of family, friends, ex girlfriend, co-workers, neighbors, and a federal judge who stated in court that I was not a danger to the community. About 20 people heard this in court.

        Now for something no one yet has talked about.
        Overseas your domestically issued government ID (license), is fairly worthless. Your passport is your new driver’s license in most other countries. Imagine if in this country, (I am not including the minority of sex offenders who forceably rape others, or take pictures of their children. I’m sorry there has to be a triage here.) someone who made a mistake once, perhaps it was streaking or a teenager sexting, or looked at a few naughty pictures, now has to have a mark on their license, with NO EXPLANATION as to whether they streaked, or raped and murdered a child. Imagine how many people you have to show your license to and imagine the public order that would be compromised.
        It has been my experience traveling in the EU, Africa, etc., that customs officials are not the only ones who see your passport. I would like to personally meet a person who says differently so I can call them a liar. Unless you are just flying through, this includes a myriad of other people, public and private individuals who work at hotels, car rental offices, train stations, restaurants when using a card, people who have no vested interest in your safety and do not represent their government, rural police that stop you who have no knowledge whether US SO’s are rapists, or streakers and they would most likely assume it means a child rapist. (It is my experience that the average American does not realize there is a cultural contrast here.) Law makers who claim only customs officials (and foreign law enforcement) who are largely responsible representatives of their country, will be the only persons to have access to this identifying mark, have a wrong headed idea of how a passport is used and this needs to be publicly addressed. Perhaps because traveling dignitaries most likely have not tasted the flavor of traveling as a commoner in foreign areas, this concept is not taken seriously in congress. Unfortunately the minority of sex offenders who actually hurt people and do very terrible things does not help conjure their sympathies or public sympathies either.
        Back to my point. Rural cops, specifically the military Guardia Civil, (There are three types of police that patrol the streets. Common, military, and federal police.) in Spain, will beat the sh#t out of you if you provoke them. Its a fact of life in southern Spain. Mind you it is very RARE, but so is having a mark on your passport that indicates you are a sexual danger to children in their community. A UK friend of mine, who is not a criminal, had his own drunken encounter with the Guardia Civil and they beat the s#%& out of him for back talking. He warned me not to get on their bad side. Please don’t get the impression they are vigilantes or that they are inherently bad people, but in Spain the police can do that. Even the REGULAR Spanish police in Malaga told me I could have beaten a couple gypsies fairly badly in the middle of the street, who tried to run a scam on me while I was walking past the stadium there. I got the distinct impression I would not have gotten into trouble for beating them so badly they looked like they survived a car wreck, but instead patted on the back!
        I myself have had encounters with the Guardia Civil, thankfully not bad ones, they have all treated me more or less decently, but I can tell you they don’t give a s#%&. If they beat up a foreigner for back talking to them, imagine their potential response to a foreigner with what amounts to a child rapist stamp on their ID. And I do not believe Spain is the exception. In the US, you could have such a mark on your drivers’ license, and the police would most likely act professionally. Thank god police in the US are largely decent people and not corrupt; not that Spanish police are, but things are just different over there. A contrast which is not being taken into account, and frankly is a naive view of the experience of being a common person in a foreign land. American lawmakers have not thought about this enough, or so it appears.
        Many people in this country assume that law protects them over seas. Note: this may or may not be after they have kicked the s#*& out of you, let you go and apologized. Oh, so sorry, but now you’re missing a tooth. There is ABSOLUTELY no guarantee of safety for Americans in many parts of what we like to think of, as the civilized world. I will repeat here, customs and law enforcement or any other legitimate foreign law enforcement representative, will absolutely not be the only person to view your passport overseas.
        I have skin in this game, because next year towards the end of my masters degree, I would like to travel to Alexandria, Egypt to do geostatistical work concerning some old city foundations. (An acquaintance of mine in the UK did his Phd on some fairly significant, but poorly understood history of ancient Alexandria.) I have read in the news of homosexuals being beaten in the streets. While I am not homosexual, there is little tolerance for deviant behavior, or even the perception of it, even though a sex offense here might just mean you saw pictures of a marriageable girl there. There is a dangerous cultural gap. Of course I’m speaking about the upcoming sex offender statement/mark on the back pages of a US passport. Yes people in foreign countries can read English too, and what they will read is that this person was convicted of a sexual crime against a child. They will assume and look through the eyes of whatever cultural perspective they know. Rape of an actual child in some countries is a fairly serious crime. Even in Poland it is mandatory castration; and this is a country in the EU.
        I know I have gone on a diatribe here, but I am not satisfied with simply bantering about, although I could moan and complain for another 344 pages. This has zero effect on the matter. I would like community replies to this comment which progress towards a solution. If you have a story about traveling abroad and your crime either did not involve an actual physically present minor, or you are married to that person now, or you got very drunk and passed out in a Korean massage parlor only to awaken with a child prostitute forcing sexual acts upon you, these are the stories the public will listen to. They forgive mistakes, not lifestyle choices that are incurable. Don’t get me wrong, I have empathy for those human beings because we are all a product of our environment and genetics But a triage has to happen here, if not to open the door for others, but to save the ones society deems as redeemable.

      • Lee

        Yay!

        Thanks for the clarification on that J – been wondering!

        Granted we’re all still screwed with green notices; and it’s really what’s ever in the computer that they will look up that really matters…

        Quick question – is a misdemeanor for CP possession considered as: “individuals convicted of a sex offense that involved a minor”.

        Don’t know if either a misdemeanor or the fact that there was no ‘physical’ victim matters to otherwise differentiate?

        • KS

          I’ve had a little experience with quantifying “sex offender”. In my own case we went to appeal me being on the registry. We lost, but not by much.

          The reason is a catch-all that trickles down to the passport definition. Basically any crime of a sexual nature, involving a minor. If you streaked that’s exposure which is also sexual in nature. If a child at the football game saw you from the stands, it involves a minor. Ergo, you’re on the registry and therefore a “covered” sex offender ala US State Dept passport rules, which they were kind enough to reword but say the same thing again, which is EITHER any crime involving a minor or resulting in registration.

          I saw a few pictures. I have no clue who f$# those individuals even are! I’m sorry, I don’t hate them and they were apparently abused because their picture was taken and I feel bad about that. But I don’t even know what country they were in. But they were minors. And apparently still my victims.

          I must be a victim every day because I’m not bad looking and my picture is on Facebook.

          I hope I haven’t offended anyone. If I have please let me know. I don’t want to make someone’s bad day worse.

    • ML

      I understand how you feel and your sentiments about how we now must escape to leave this country rings true. I was living in Mexico, enjoying a thriving life. If I was not on the registry and not affected by any part of the registry, I would choose to live where I was because my quality of life was outstanding. It was a life that due to income and age, I could not duplicate anywhere in the US. Your words hit home.
      We do a lot of pontificating on this site. Maybe it is therapeutic. I believe that the number one goal that we should have is a systematic way to raise money for legal challenges and a dynamic PR campaign. I donate amounts to three organizations systematically every month. All told it is less than $100 but think if we could get a large segment of those on the registry or family members to donate every month, even $10, we would soon have a war chest.
      I believe that most of the people behind these laws are not mean spirited, but genuinely afraid, but also ignorant of the facts. Before I got caught up in this, me and my family assumed that a SO was a dangerous person. None of us had any idea that the vast amounts of people on the list are not dangerous. However, to assume that a small number on the registry are not dangerous is wrong.
      We need to educate the public, because politicians have no cover to say anything in opposition to any proposed law as it stands now.
      I wish we could file a suit somewhere soon on the notifications, the green notices, as they go beyond just notifying a country of a traveler.

    • Devastated

      I have no allegiance or faith in the country either. I joined the infantry Marines when I was 17 and loved this country. I served this country for 17 years and had Top Secret clearance. I’m still the same honest guy I was for those 17 years when they trusted me fully. But I will now forever be labelled as a creep and nere-do-well for the rest of my life, even if I try to enjoy what little left I have which is travel.

      I want to leave permanently, too. I love S. America more than you can fathom. It’s my only happy place that I have left. But when I got into trouble, I had to cash in all my chips, my retirement account and stocks, to make it through five years of not being able to get even the most menial of jobs. I was a white collar professional, but was willing to sweep floors or clean toilets. I couldn’t get anything at all except for working in a glue factory for 4 months until they went out of business.

      Now I have a nice job and can save my money to travel. The foreign governments haven’t given me too much grief so far, usually none, just from CBP when I return to the States. But now, no hotel is going to let me stay. They always make a copy of your passport.

      If the USA doesn’t want us here anymore, why do they want to keep us here so badly? I don’t travel around molesting anyone’s children. I just wanna see the mountains, go hiking, meet nice people, and drink beer.

      • Joe

        Joined the military at 17? In at least 12 of the states in this country you were a mere child. Enlist to kill but not allowed to have sex with whomever you choose.

        Child soldiers…. nice!

        • Les Mis Life

          I signed up at 17 also…I wonder if that means the doctor who did my physical ‘fondled’ me and ruined my life?

        • Renny

          I too enlisted to serve the United States, my now enemy, at 17.

      • Redeemed1

        Devastated..I totally agree with you in regards to having lost my faith in this country. But on the other hand, I still value what you and others have done to try and give us freedoms. You are still a hero in my book…

  2. Nicholas Maietta

    I have come to despise much of my country’s government. That statement alone might put me on a terror watch list. I don’t f*ing care anymore. The way things are going, it is not like I can travel outside the country much longer. That is where this is all going.

    In fact, some people have been banished from countries already because of the actions of our government. There is no justification in labelling someone potential child sex tourist when a person has never been charged or convicted of such a crime. I myself have never been charged with such as crime, but it is now impossible for me to travel to some countries because of IML.

    Our government has overstepped it’s boundaries and must be opposed. Every American should be terrified at what our government is doing to sex offenders. Unfortunately, people don’t seem to see it yet. By the time they see it, it may already be too late for them.

  3. Robert M

    My offense was internet based with no physical victim. What am i classified as????? I’m a tier 1 in new jersey. Janice can you help me sort this out? just wanna know where i stand thanks in advance. im sure a few people are in the same boat as myself. i cant be the only one. the crime the said was importuning if that helps and it was in ohio

    • Redeemed1

      Hi Robert..been wondering the same thing myself. I am in the exact same boat here, except now off here in OH. I can’t answer directly, but from everything I’ve read, it looks like unfortunately we’re going to brought under this law. I thought I might be exempt due to not being on the hit-list anymore, but that “covered” language scares me. I so hope I am wrong, but am not holding my breath.

      • Joe

        I am not a laywer.

        2907.07 Importuning / Ohio ONLY involves minors. The IML language covers – for the notification part – anyone who has been convicted of a sex offense against a minor. Need not be real. The IML language covers – for the passport identifier part – anyone who is currently required to register as result of a sex offense against a minor.

        If your registration (due to an offense against a minor) period expired in your state, you will be subject to notification but not the identifier in your passport.

        Read the CA RSOL lawsuit (since dismissed) against this law. One of the John Does had his conviction dismissed and his registration requirement terminated (by court order – not merely serving it out, not a small feat in California). He and CA RSOL feel this law still applies to him.

        Which brings up the question…. what is the point of Tiers and 10/15/25 years of registration if one is caught in this net until one dies?

        • Robert M

          Joe, does that mean that after i am off the registy im mew jersey, i wont have to worry about such things?? NJ isn’t a SORNA state so no 21 day notification is needed. I wanna be able to go overseas to see my wife who is in the philippines. this is all a huge nightmare. I wanna be able to have some hope Redeemed1 i can petition to get off this in 2020 after 15 years incident free

  4. Mr. D

    Janice – Would appreciate your opinion on this – verbiage states crime against a minor and has to register.

    My crime was against a minor but was dismissed and expunged via 1203.4 over 10 years ago. But since I reside. In California still have to register. Do you know if my passport will be adversely affected by this decisions as well as will I need to notify 21 days in advance prior to any international travel? Appreciate any insight that you might be able to provide.

  5. Rick

    To Tired of This

    Oh the children, in some countries it’s not illegal to have sex with so called minors. Wow, it will never end, a nation of hypocrisy and magic laws. So, in one state where you have to register for an offense involving a minor your passport will have a identifier, but if you live in a state where the same offense doesn’t require you to register or register any longer u won’t have one. Is this what’s called equal protection, lol. Wow, like you said, no respect left for this 50 country experiment.

    • Timmr

      Unequal protection and totally worthless in protecting children oversees. It only protects politician’s carreers.

  6. Quint

    This gives me a (tentative) sigh of relief. My offense was against a minor, but because I currently live abroad, I’m not required to register.

    • Virtual

      I worry that just as govt lawyers twisted the meaning of the words in the patriot act to enable bulk collection of call data, they might twist the words in IML to somehow claim that those living abroad are still required to register for the purposes of this law. Otherwise it would create a loophole in their scheme.

      The stated purpose of the identifier is to prevent rso’s from traveling from their original reported destination country to some other country which would not receive notification without the passport identifier.

      But if you are correct Quint, all you would have to do to bypass this requirement is stay in your original destination country long enough to claim residency, apply for a new passport without the identifier, then move to your final destination.

  7. Joe

    “According to a letter from the State Department dated October 14, 2016, the agency’s decision not to issue passport cards to some registrants is based upon the “physical and technological limitations of passport cards”.”

    Sorry Charlie…. YOUR document, YOUR law, YOUR problem. Make it happen. Nothing in this law references your possible inability to modify your own documents. It specifically says “‘‘(3) the term ‘passport’ means a passport book or passport card” – Sec. 8 (a).

    Have never seen one but I am guessing the passport card is a government issued, laminated document – on which the government can print whatever they choose. Text, images, symbols. If there is not enough room, drop something else. Reduce the font size. Re-arrange the layout.

    Again. YOUR document, YOUR law, YOUR problem. Make it happen. Can’t do? Give Rep. Chris Smith, NJ, a call. HR 515 does NOT authorize you to deny a US Citizen an official identification document.

    Maybe with all these millions of dollars there is a line item for one copy of Adobe Creative Suite….

  8. JohnDoeUtah

    Ironically I imagine the identifier statement reading, “Child Sex Predator.” If that is the case, I can’t imagine how they are going to justify that they are not compelling speech.

  9. Bill Arthur

    First impression is that the State Department is reluctant to implement this law: “The Department is obligated to implement U. S. Law as passed by the Congress and signed by the President which includes the IML.” Obligated doesn’t indicate much enthusiasm, and it sounds like they are trying to get out of it with as little effort as possible.

    The “unique identifier” now is described as a “short written statement” “endorsed” in the passport book. Reading the tea leaves, I’m guessing that this will be printed in the Visa pages at the back, probably the first page, in the case of newly issued passports. My experience with customs in friendly (Schengen) countries is that they don’t look at other visa stamps in my passport (which has many) and find a blank page to stamp. The may even overlook the “identifier” statement.

    As to the Passport Card, it’s a good thing that the identifier will not be added to it. If you have one (even expired), you can use it for hotel check-ins, rental cars, etc. as an ID with no sex offender recognition.

    I applied last week for a new passport book and card by mail $140, and if I get it, it will be valid for 10 years (my check has already been cleared by my bank). I’m guessing that State will be focusing on newly issued passports and will not be getting around to revoking passports already issued.

    As to the “good cause” exemption for not having “comment” on the rule, that’s obviously challengeable. In one commentary, it says “Generally speaking, the notice requirement of § 553 is satisfied when the agency ‘affords interested persons a reasonable and meaningful opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. Once adequate notice is provided, the agency must provide interested persons with a meaningful opportunity to comment on the proposed rule through the submission of written ‘data, views, or arguments.’ The comment period may result in a vast rulemaking record as persons are permitted to submit nearly any piece of information for consideration by the agency. While there
    is no minimum period of time for which the agency is required to accept comments, in reviewing an agency rulemaking, courts have focused on whether the agency provided an adequate opportunity to comment-of which the length of the comment period represents only one factor.”

    Another source says the “good cause” exemption can be justified to allow agencies to dispense with notice and comment if those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”

    None of those conditions has been fulfilled. Imagine the witnesses who could have been called to testify that this rule is illegal and unconstitutional.

    Commentaries on 553 good cause exemptions –

    http://www.wise-intern.org/orientation/documents/crsrulemakingcb.pdf

    http://archive.law.fsu.edu/library/admin/acus/305832.html

    Also urgent, what’s happening with filing another lawsuit, perhaps in a more friendly district, to challenge the Angel Watch and advance notifications under SORNA. The is a separate issue from the “identifier” but perhaps more troubling.

    • David

      LOL. We should just ask the French/Dutch/etc customs officer to please stamp right across the stupid IML unique identifier and make it unreadable!!

    • Tuna

      Bill Arthur made a good comment here back in October, that the State Dept didnt seem to have much enthusiasm in implementing IML, and the lack of further action to date seems to bear this out. We are almost a year on from passage of the law, and the State Dept has yet to implement the law. I monitor the Federal Register daily, and have seen no further movement on identifiers or any other IML activity. Anyone else?

  10. Civil rights first

    The IML violates the”Bills of Attainder” clause of the Constitution.
    In United States v. Brown, a statue was challenged for violation of this clause. The court ruled…”it can[not] automatically be inferred that ALL members share their evil purposes or participate in their illegal conduct”. What is was talking about was the statute that banned the whole group of people whom belonged to the Communist party. The statute basically said all communist (RSO’s) will engage in illegal activities. ..
    The statute also in effect sets up an irrebuttable presumption that the RSO’s who have a minor victim engage in sex tourism and child sex trafficking….
    Please research the Bills of Attainder clause.
    This whole IML need to be challenged not modified.

    • Chris F

      Exactly!!!

      Not just IML, but the entire registration scheme has been “ripe” for a “Bills of Attainder” challenge for years now.

      All one has to do is look at the origin of laws coming from a family hurt by a sex offender, the unanimous approval of laws against sex offenders with some ultimately struck down as unconstitutional, and the recent regrets by those victims who originally championed these laws to now say they are over-reaching. Whenever you have clearly unconstitutional laws being unanimously approved by legislators that vowed to uphold the constitution, you most likely have an issue that is a “Bill of Attainder” and needs to be challenged as such. It’s the courts duty, because the legislators know they can’t hold office if they try to stop unconstitutional laws that are also counterproductive without their opponents seizing the opportunity to brand them as soft on crime and pro-sex offender.

  11. Davidh

    While this clarification is good news for many– a couple issues come to mind

    1) even if one is not covered by this new identifier are they still going to send those absurd and notifications?

    2) There are many of us who will still be covered by this law and we have never had nor will have anything to do with international sex trafficking–does this mean this organization is ending it’s fight? and placing it on a back burner??? because Angel Watch notifications are wrong and individual assessment should be made before making a mark in anyone’s passport!

    Thank you for what you have done–it would have been a lot worst, as your letter demonstrates had you not acted.

    • Chris F

      That’s true.

      What is being done about the notices sent for people that have no history of sex tourism and to locations where sex tourism is unlikely to begin with?

      While I believe Angel Watch started by just notifying specific child sex tourism hot spots, that appears to no longer be the case. With all of the talk of negotiations with other countries to share this data, I assume this means all the major countries are now getting these notices and not just the 3rd world sex tourism hot spots.

      I would think someone could file a request under freedom of information to uncover what is really going on in order to form a challenge.

      • David Kennerly

        According to the zealous campaigners, the U.S. is also a “sex tourism destination.” News to me.

        ECPAT and World Vision and the other hysterics joined forces with Interpol, the U.S., etc. to further punish sex offenders. That’s all there is to it. We will find nothing rational in this campaign and the 3rd world scare stories are overwhelmingly specious. There are huge resources being poured into these witch hunts and equally huge injustices flowing from them.

        On the ground, the police and NGO busybodies operate extensive shakedown operations in places like Cambodia and Thailand. Google Somali Mam to learn of one such scam.

        “Human trafficking” is today’s Satanic Ritual Abuse.

  12. ma.concerned.citizen

    Just for clarification, if I apply for a passport right NOW, will it have the identifier on it? If not, even though I have no foreseeable plans to travel, I think I’m going to get one. Thanks!

    • Janice Bellucci

      The State Department has not yet issued a rule regarding what a “unique identifier” will look like or where it will be placed on a passport. We expect the rule to also address when “unique identifiers” will be added to passports. It is our opinion that unique identifiers will not be added to passports until and unless such a rule has been published. Therefore, a person who wants a passport without a “unique identifier” would be wise to apply for and obtain one before the rule is published.

      • Davidh

        Janice am i wrong, but I thought I read the unique identifier will be placed on the pages they stamp

      • ma.concerned.citizen

        Thank you Janice! I will be getting my passport soon 🙂

      • Brian

        Hi Janice,

        Thank you so much for your continued advocacy.

        I very much would like to take your suggestion to renew my passport now before the “unique identifier” regulation is put into place, but I’m worried to do so after reading that the State Department is going to confiscate those passports that do not have the identifier:

        http://all4consolaws.org/2016/09/state-dept-restricts-passports-for-sex-offenders/

        Does this “confiscation” clause also not apply until the “unique identifier” rule is published?

      • NY Level 1

        Great news for me

        I applied for a new passport 10 days ago and it just arrived. We can make conclusions as to what is hidden in the code on the first page. It does clearly state it must be surrendered upon the request of the government.
        And it states that The Secretary of State hereby requests all of whom it may concern to permit the citizen/national of the USA named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection.

        Seems there is a strong chance the next Secretary of State will either be Chris Christie or Don Vinnie Gambino. Mind you, Obama has done less.

      • NY Level 1

        It is my understanding from the language used in the pamphlet that accompanied my new passport and passport card that government information may have been added to the scannable code that contains information that is available only to law enforcement.
        Another words when you go through passport control in Nigeria or Siberia the whole airport will blow up and a 1,00,000 Marines will land from a hot air ballon and whisk you away back to America The Land of The Free.
        It’s naive to think that your record is not embedded in that code.

  13. hh

    I think someone else asked this but what does this mean for the notifications ? Are they still going out on ALL registrants ?
    From the language seems like no but who will be the guinea pig and try this out ?

    • David Kennerly

      The IML law suggests a measure of discretionary latitude in notifying foreign countries. However, we have seen evidence that criminal records, or at least sex offenses, may be continuously available to foreign countries – perhaps nearly all of them – and probably through Interpol databases. If this is indeed the case, then we can see that the U.S. is being deeply dishonest with us in not declaring this extant policy. If so, we can then see that the IML notification regimen, in which countries are notified on a per-trip basis, is not the sole mechanism for “notifications.”

    • Quint

      Last year, I sent an email to the US Marshall’s office, who replied that notices are sent, regardless of the underlying offense.

      • Tired of this

        All because of a crime that we MIGHT commit in the future. No crime has been committed, no due process, no way to refute what amounts to an accusation that we are traveling to engage in illicit behavior, yet they send the destination country a scary notice that a sex criminal is headed their way, with predictable results. The net effect is they’re preventing (by proxy) citizens who are otherwise supposedly free and clear, i.e. not on paper and not wanted for any crime, from coming and going as we please.

        But it’s not punishment though, we have to remember that. /s

        For a country that is supposedly the shining beacon of freedom and liberty, I still can’t get my mind around how this (or the entire registry for that matter) was deemed legal and constitutional in any way. Sorry, I know this comment isn’t really contributing much, but I am angry beyond words.

  14. T

    I have a question, can the green notices that are being sent to foreign countries of any registrants traveling abroad and have been in compliance and have not committed any new crime be challenged?

    • David Kennerly

      I’m researching this now. Here is a relevant link:

      https://www.interpol.int/Media/Files/Legal-material/Reference-Documents/INTERPOL%E2%80%99s-Rules-on-the-Processing-of-Data

      “Article 18: Right of access by persons who are subjects of international police cooperation
      (1) Persons who are subjects of international police cooperation shall be entitled to access, under set conditions, the data concerning them processed in the INTERPOL Information System.
      (2) This right of access shall be guaranteed by the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files and be governed by separate rules. Unless otherwise specified in those rules, requests for access may not be processed in the INTERPOL Information System. ”

      “National Central Bureaus [this would be, in our case, the U.S. D.O.J. section of INTERPOL as each member state of INTERPOL has its own INTERPOL office operating within that nation’s laws] and international entities shall retain, at all times, control over the processing of their data, in accordance with the present Rules. Any National Central Bureau or international entity shall be free, in particular, to restrict the access to or the use of its data in one of the Organization’s police
      databases, under the conditions provided for in Article 58 of the present Rules.”

      “TITLE 2: PARTICIPANTS CHAPTER I: ROLE OF THE NATIONAL CENTRAL BUREAUS
      Article 19: Coordination of data flow

      (1) The National Central Bureaus shall be responsible for coordinating at the national level the processing in the INTERPOL Information System of data provided by their countries. (2) The National Central Bureaus shall be responsible, with due respect for the present Rules, for providing the institutions of their countries with data processed in the INTERPOL Information System and necessary for the performance of their duties. Article 20: Coordination of criminal inquiries (1) Matters relating to criminal inquiries shall be coordinated in conjunction with the National Central Bureaus.

      (2) The National Central Bureaus shall be responsible for coordinating at the national level the processing of requests for cooperation and international alerts sent to them by means of INTERPOL notices, diffusions and messages. As such, they shall be free to determine the most appropriate means, at the national level, for effective international cooperation.

      (3) The National Central Bureaus shall be responsible for following up on requests for cooperation and international alerts that they have sent at the request of the institutions of their respective countries, by means of INTERPOL notices, diffusions and messages.

      Article 21: Granting authorizations to directly access the INTERPOL Information System at the national level
      (1) The National Central Bureaus alone shall be entitled to authorize the institutions of their countries to access the INTERPOL Information System and determine the extent of their access and processing rights. The National Central Bureaus shall take, to the extent possible, all the necessary measures to allow the criminal investigation authorities involved in international police cooperation in their countries to have access to the INTERPOL Information System.”

      “Article 51: Deletion of data
      (1) If the National Central Bureau, national entity or international entity decides not to retain the data, they shall be automatically deleted.
      (2) The data shall also be deleted automatically on expiry of the initial retention period if the National Central Bureau, national entity or international entity has not indicated the need to retain the data. ”

      Clearly, if the U.S. decides, or is forced by courts, to restrict diffusion of data on U.S. individuals or classes of individuals, then it has the power to withdraw that data from INTERPOL.

      • David Kennerly

        This is specifically about Green Notices and the restrictions to which they are subject from the same INTERPOL source cited above.

        Article 89: Green notices
        (1) Green notices are published to warn about a person’s criminal activities.
        (2) Green notices may only be published under the following conditions:
        (a) The person is considered to be a possible threat to public safety;
        (b) This conclusion has been drawn from an assessment by a national law-enforcement authority or an international entity;
        (c) This assessment is based on the person’s previous criminal conviction(s) or other reasonable grounds;
        (d) Sufficient data concerning the threat are provided for the warning to be relevant.

        (3) A green notice may only be published if it provides sufficient identifiers. Sufficient identifiers mean at least:
        (a) either the family name, forename, sex, date of birth (at least the year), along with the physical description, DNA profile, fingerprints or data contained in identity documents (passport or national identity card, for example); or
        (b) a photograph of good quality, along with at least one identifier such as an alias, the name of one of the parents, or a specific physical characteristic not visible in the photograph.

        (4) The National Central Bureaus and national entities that receive green notices shall take the appropriate measures, in conformity with their national laws.

        • ML

          David is there a process to discover on what grounds the green notices were sent for any individual?

          • David Kennerly

            They say that the authority to disseminate the information may be on the basis of a criminal conviction.

            However, there seems to be some due process alluded to in this document which may offer opportunities for challenge. We’re going to have to dig down further with an attorney.

            What is very positive is that they say that we have a right to review our data in this database. I think that we may all want to start requesting, no, demanding those records. Janice may have some suggestions for doing this.

            I had just stumbled upon this document today so will be interested in seeing where this leads us.

        • mch

          David Kennerly;

          I appreciate your insight and wisdom. Here’s an interesting question for everybody.
          If one receives record clearance via PC1203.4 shouldn’t that exempt them from the Green Notices? Since record clearance is granted by a recognized law enforcement agency/Superior court then is that recipient of clearance still considered to be a “possible threat to public safety”?

          Yes, rhetorical question. Once a threat, always a threat…

          (2) Green notices may only be published under the following conditions:
          (a) The person is considered to be a possible threat to public safety;
          (b) This conclusion has been drawn from an assessment by a national law-enforcement authority or an international entity;

          • David Kennerly

            MCH, it seems like your first step may be to start with finding out what they may be saying about you, per their statement assuring us that we have a right to review our own records.

            But yes, I think that those due process stipulations which you refer to are encouraging.

            I would think that an expungement would do the trick but I have given up assuming that either California or the U.S. governments make sense.

            Have you had any problems traveling internationally?

          • T

            Sir is it possible to try to make a lawsuit against the implementation of green notices being sent by the Angel watch?, because if the green notices are only meant to be sent out about those who have a criminal history and have reoffended, and a registrant has not reoffended at all and with proof that recidivism rate is low, then it’s nothing but speculation and a waste of time & money. Literally it’s a setup for innocent “registrants” to be turned back from their destined country whenever they do the notification. What could be done sir?

            • ML

              I too wish that some group would take legal action against the green notices. Upon what grounds does our government have to tell anyone, much less another government that we are likely to commit a crime again? What data, what facts? How is the legal?

  15. JZ

    I did some digging into the citings from the State Department letter which is linked above:

    If I am correct, 22 U.S.C. 212b(c)(1) refers you to 42 U.S.C. 16935f, and then to 42 U.S. Code § 16911, which, sadly, actually broadens the definition of covered sex offender:

    (7) EXPANSION OF DEFINITION OF “SPECIFIED OFFENSE AGAINST A MINOR” TO INCLUDE ALL OFFENSES BY CHILD PREDATORS The term “specified offense against a minor” means an offense against a minor that involves any of the following:
    (A) An offense (unless committed by a parent or guardian) involving kidnapping.
    (B) An offense (unless committed by a parent or guardian) involving false imprisonment.
    (C) Solicitation to engage in sexual conduct.
    (D) Use in a sexual performance.
    (E) Solicitation to practice prostitution.
    (F) Video voyeurism as described in section 1801 of title 18 (/uscode/text/18/1801).
    (G) Possession, production, or distribution of child pornography.
    (H) Criminal sexual conduct involving a minor, or the use of the Internet to facilitate or attempt such conduct.
    (I) Any conduct that by its nature is a sex offense against a minor.

  16. I can't wait to die

    all legal minds —
    look what i found —
    don’t know if it can help

    what happens when the same statute has criminal
    and
    civil applications? May
    Congress sidestep these requirements by giving crimin
    al statutes a civil app
    lication? The answer
    is no. The courts must give dual-application st
    atutes just one interpretation, and the criminal
    application controls. Statutes are not “chamele
    on[s]” that mean one th
    ing in one setting and
    something else in another.
    Id.
    at 730. Because a single law should have a single meaning, the
    “lowest common denominator”—including all rules a
    pplicable to the interpretation of criminal
    laws—governs all of its applications.
    Clark v. Martinez
    , 543 U.S. 371, 380 (2005). That
    explains why
    United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Co.
    applied the rule of lenity to a civil tax
    case that turned on language that had civil a
    nd criminal applications. 504 U.S. 505, 517–18 &
    n.10 (plurality opinion);
    id.
    at 519 (Scalia, J., concurring in the judgment). Time, time, and time
    again, the Court has confirmed th
    at the one-interpretation rule means that the criminal-law
    construction of the statute (with
    the rule of lenity) prevails ove
    r the civil-law construction of it
    (without the rule of lenity). When a single statut
    e has twin applications, the search for the least
    common denominator leads
    to the least liberty-inf
    ringing interpretation.
    See, e.g.
    ,
    Maracich v.
    Spears
    , 133 S. Ct. 2191, 2209 (2013);
    Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.
    ,
    No. 15-3101
    Esquivel-Quintana v. Lynch
    Page 13
    563 U.S. 1, 16 (2011);
    Clark
    , 543 U.S. at 380;
    Leocal v. Ashcroft
    , 543 U.S. 1, 11 n.8 (2004);
    Scheidler v. Nat’l Org. for Women
    , 537 U.S. 393, 408–09 (2003).

  17. Bill Arthur

    To NY Level 1

    A machine-readable passport (MRP) is a machine-readable travel document (MRTD) with the data on the identity page encoded in optical character recognition format at the bottom of the page. The following information must be provided in the zone: name, passport number, nationality, date of birth, sex, and passport expiration date. These MRTD make it easy for automated systems to scan a travel document. If a country decides to check all visitors against a criminal database (anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant from Interpol, or in the UK for example, the US sex offender registry), reading the information automatically with a computer will be much faster and less prone to error than if the immigration agent needs to type the information in by hand. So, when the agent scans your passport you hold your breath.

    Here are detailed instructions on how to read the data encoded on your passport:

    http://www.highprogrammer.com/alan/numbers/mrp.html

    • NY Level 1

      Great! Thanks How about all of us with passports scan them/photocopy and you decipher? You’d be performing a great service:)

      We could print out your discovery and when we go through passport control hold it up in front of our eyes and say “just checking on you”

    • Disillusioned

      I will play around with C# or Android Studio today and see if I can write a quick and dirty app for everyone. Using the information you provided.

  18. Brian

    Sent my passport off for expedited renewal less than two weeks ago. Just came in the mail today. No markers anywhere!

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