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Scarlet-Letter Passports Are Unjust and Irrational

The notice, which will appear on the second-to-last page of U.S. passports, is officially known as an “endorsement,” but it is more like a badge of shame. “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor,” it says, “and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).”

The scary notation, which was revealed this week, is the State Department’s response to a 2016 law requiring that the passports of certain registered sex offenders include a “unique identifier” to help maintain their status as pariahs wherever they travel. Although the warning is supposedly aimed at stopping sexual predators from abusing children in other countries, it will mark the passports of many people who pose no such threat. Full Article

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  1. America's Most Hated

    The US will invite in hundreds of thousands of foreign criminals and zealots that pose a risk to US citizens, yet I can’t go on vacation to drink cheap beers and hike through the mountains.

    If the US government were as worried about national security as they are about me going on holiday, then perhaps we wouldn’t have trucks plowing over Americans through the streets. Maybe they could worry about what happens to our own population more and less about whether I might actually get a modicum of enjoyment in my remaining years instead of trying to make me miserable enough to eat a bullet.

    USA, worry more about immigration and less about the emigration of citizens you despise anyhow. It’s for the children!

  2. Chris F

    *****
    A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying the IML easily passes the “rational basis” test. “Under rational basis review,” she explained, “a law ‘may be overinclusive, underinclusive, illogical, and unscientific and yet pass constitutional muster.'”
    *****

    Ummmm….

    • Chris F

      ra·tion·al
      ˈraSH(ə)n(ə)l/
      adjective
      1.
      based on or in accordance with reason or logic.
      “I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation”
      synonyms: logical, reasoned, sensible, reasonable, cogent, intelligent, judicious, shrewd, common-sense, commonsensical, sound, prudent;

      **********

      So, let me get this straight…”Rational”, which in every dictionary means “logical”, now does not mean “logical”? That would be like re-defining “convicted” to also mean the opposite which would be “not convicted”. Oh, wait…they did that too since deferred adjudication which has a stated purpose of meaning “not convicted” also means “convicted” under SORNA.

      So, when exactly did we give our legislature and government the authority to redefine things to mean the opposite in order to avoid honoring contracts and defining laws? After all, “Government has no powers but such as the Constitution gives it”, right?

    • AlexO

      “The Earth if flat. Its only logical.”

      “Um… we have data that says that’s completely wrong.”

      “We’ll we don’t use data here. We just go with our feelings.”

      Shouldn’t something that’s passes rational basses have to be backed up by facts? That seems insane!

  3. Jack

    Chris Smith like all republicans, and arguably more despicably, New Democrats, do not care about justice, or what is right.

  4. steve

    I am hoping Ms. Auckerman, Michigan ACLU, will take this on next. It would seem logical to assume the 6th would find this unconstitutional based on Smith V Doe.

  5. sick of hysteria

    When it comes to “sex offenders” no one cares about what’s right and wrong. In many cases, many people agree that more punishment is almost always justified. That’s how we end up with these Scarlet Letter marks on passports. Another result of more punishment: Junk sciences like the Static-99, Static-99R, and polygraph. Speaking of which, here is a good video exposing the polygraph as junk science:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nyDMoGjKvNk

    • Follow the $

      I saw the last part of your comment and said to myself it HAS to be from Adam Ruins Everything. Great show and a great episode also examining the utterly nonsensical “War on Drugs”, D.A.R.E., and criminalization of Marijuana

  6. USA

    Great article.

  7. Nicholas Maietta

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!

    Our belongings already got the mark! I just learned the hard way that there was an NCIC “Hit” on my vehicle which caused DMV almost not allow me to register my vehicle. They had to get “cleared” by CHP here in California.

    Apparently, California DOJ has decided to force registering officers to add an NCIC flag on vehicle registrations so that when the plates are run, it comes up with the NCIC hit. My concern is this will lead to harassment by law enforcement. It has already caused me trouble. CA DOJ sent out the update to all the officers sometime within the last 2-3 months.

    EVERY VEHICLE OPERATED BY A REGISTRANT NOW HAS OR WILL SOON HAVE THE NCIC FLAG.

    I was told it was in case I drive my vehicle by the schools or parks, they would be able to know if a sex offender was potentially trying to lure children.

    You can’t even begin to describe how angry I am at the level of defamation against me and fellow law abiding, registered citizens. I tried to leave a message with Janice and with Chance but no response from either yet. This issue MUST BE ADDRESSED.

    • David Kennerly, Diminishing Shelf-Life

      Well, we knew this was coming. The automated license plate readers on cop cars can scan dozens of plates a minute. So the question is when do they start pulling people over for no other reason than being Registrants?

      Driving while sex offender, anyone?

      • Tired of this

        This is more of a rant than a reply, but it’s really sad how most people have no idea that this is even going on. They blithely still believe the US is the world’s shining beacon of freedom. The average person seems to be more concerned with keeping up with their favorite show on Netflix or what’s going on in the social media world. But a truly free nation doesn’t employ ALPR cameras on its cop cars and busy intersections which allow tracking of citizens’ movements. A free country doesn’t endorse mass surveillance of its own populace and the tracking of free citizens. We registered citizens, I believe, are the guinea pigs, a social experiment of sorts. It’s simple, really – designate a subclass of citizens, label them, drum up fear and hatred toward them, then legislate against them with impunity in the name of “public safety” or whatever the current hysteria is. Hasn’t the world seen something like this before?

        This may or may not seem like hyperbole to some of you, but I truly believe we are living in a pseudo police state and we are the current experiment to see how much the powers that be can get away with. I dare say most people don’t seem to even give a sh*t, because they aren’t directly or immediately impacted. Besides, who cares about those sex offenders?

        • AJ

          And yet, most Americans would probably say the terrorists didn’t win on 9/11. I beg to differ, RC or not.

          • Tired of this

            Absolutely. How people can delude themselves into believing otherwise boggles my mind, given the kind of pervasive (and invasive) security theatre and paranoia we have today. How easily people have accepted the erosion of their privacy and liberty is really f***ing scary.

            And just think, the young post- 9/11 generation of future voters grew up with such things being normal everyday life. I may sound like a crazy old fart when I say this (though I’m in my late 30s, which is old enough to have experienced a pre-Patriot Act world), but I really fear for the future of this country. That I fear for my own future as a RC, despite glimmers of hope with recent court rulings, goes without saying.

        • Nondescript

          @Tired of this.
          I appreciate your rant. I have long held the view that registries and registrants are the beta test to gauge the threshold of how many people they can oppress without substantial pushback. I used to think it was the US Government run amok until I started noticing laws being passed in other western nations mirroring the laws that are passed here. Then I looked into the Agenda 21/ Agenda 2030- the Agendas for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations. ( otherwise known as “Global Transformation “)There are 17 goals. Number 16c is called Child Abuse.

          “And there is no such thing as the typical child sex offender: business travellers, human- itarian aid workers, expatriates, members of a peace mission, retirees or volunteers can all possibly become travelling child sex offenders; both men and women, and many offenders are domestic or regional tourists or travelers”

          “We need more binding regulation”

          The noose that is tightening around us and our families is a global initiative and the US and its law maker minions are just following their marching orders. That’s why there is very little debate about “strengthening” sex offender laws. They know what they have to do and then come up with nonsense logic to justify it either preemptively or afterwards.

          Don’t be fooled by Agenda 2030 . It is a blueprint for global socialism. The police state is already here, but it will likely become much worse- if we don’t stop consenting to their incremental changes.

    • AJ

      “I was told it was in case I drive my vehicle by the schools or parks, they would be able to know if a sex offender was potentially trying to lure children.”
      —–
      Right, because there absolutely cannot be any other reason you’d be driving by either of these places. That would completely go contrary to the self-created narrative.

    • Lake County

      What is an NCIC “hit”? And why does it matter?

      I have been listening to local police and fire radio broadcasts for several years now due to the many large and fatal fires in my area. I know that every time they pull someone over, they always run the vehicle plates and registered owner information as soon the vehicle is stopped. They always let the officer know criminal history including if the person is a 290 registrant, narcotics offender, felon or gang member and if there are any previous recent contacts with the individual. So I don’t know what more a NCIC hit does to harm us.

      Also, if you become a AAA member, you can do all your DMV registration through them. It’s much quicker that way.

      • AlexO

        Seems odd. We already have to provide our vehicle information changes during our regular registration (if you’re driving the same car then no update needed). They already have all my info. I always assumed cops could scan my plate and see this info. How’s this different?

    • New Person

      Isn’t the license plate thing another form of constant monitoring? Didn’t CA already state that the GPS is unconstitutional? If you’re no longer under custody, then why are there custodial practices still ongoing? The state has no warrant to track my whereabouts if I am no longer under custody. LEO can bypass asking you questions and you responding that you don’t have to tell them anything as well as need a lawyer present. Nope, that’s taken completely away if they can simply track you as a potential danger.

      That last sentence is important because it has already alerted LE that you are a danger just doing lawful things, not unlawful things.

    • michael

      Get a Fic Bus name, put your vehicle in that name and dont REGISTER that vehicle !, it now belongs to a BUSINESS that has MULTIPLE OWNERS 🙂

  8. Joe123

    This is pathetic. These overpaid, disgraceful lawmakers that push laws like this clearly have no real work to do, so they have so much free time to pass laws based on a problem that has proved to have “10 convictions per year” in a country of over 350 Million people. Should we be more angry at the misguided lawmaker that started this bill and demand his resignation? Or the people who voted for this law? How about the millions of idiots of the public that keep voting for Democrats or Republicans and perpetuating the endless two-party Nazi regime that can afford to extort US citizen’s hard earned money so that they can pass pointless laws like this that destroy Freedoms and waste millions of tax dollars? STOP VOTING FOR THE SAME TWO PARTIES, because this Nazi regime, which is 100% what it has become, will never end. Do you people not see how Brainwashed you are? Vote for a 3RD PARTY, especially one that wants to cut the size of the government. You think this regime can afford to keep stupid laws like SORNA and IML if the government’s budget is cut by 20% across the board to increase efficiency and remove waste? Not a chance.

    • AJ

      they have so much free time to pass laws based on a problem that has proved to have “10 convictions per year” in a country of over 350 Million people.
      —–
      IML is particularly useless, since there’s already a law that deals with sex tourism and allows SecState to revoke. I guess Rep Smith (R-NJ) didn’t get the memo that even his home state says MLs are useless.

    • LOL!

      Joe, your comment is so funny! The cost to enforce a new law means absolutely nothing to lawmakers! They don’t care! They’re just happy to write a new law, get it on the books, and then use it to selectively persecute the targeted population!

  9. T

    This unique identifier on passports is going to endanger lives, this must be challenged. The notion that registrants whose conviction was sexual crime against a child such as possession of cp that are at risk, is like the Bush administration saying Iraq has weapons of mass destruction just to scare people and to go to war. How do you refute the fallacies about registrants whose crime was against a child being a risk to the public?

  10. Robert Curtis

    We need to get all persons making laws removed from office if they are supported heavily by law enforcement. Call it severe conflict of interest. We need to hold churches and religious organizations accountable for upholding/practicing what they preach. WE have more power than we are realize. Just ENGAGE a little where you are and see!

  11. Chris

    First they came for the Communist, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Gays, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not Gay.
    Then they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not Muslim.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  12. Sam

    My question is how is thisbgoing to affect those of us living outside of the country already? This makes me not want to travel anymore or even renew my passport until I have permanent residence

    • Left the US

      Sam,
      If you’re living outside the US and signed out before leaving you are no longer on the registry. The State Dept is waiting on a list of ‘covered offenders’ before revocking their passports. I signed out over a year ago and haven’t entered the US since then

  13. T

    What sense does it make for registered citizens to go through the notification process for travel, only to find out later when they arrive at a foreign destination that they can’t be allowed in, sent back and given extra scrutiny and explaining to CBP at US Customs inspections about being sent back and their past conviction, while officials in the media are saying that registrants are not being prevented from traveling?

    • Left the US

      T,
      A few years ago I booked a dive vacation for two in Cozumel. I had been there twice since I was released from custody. This time however the ‘guardian angel’ program was in effect and I didn’t know it. I was taken into a room with half a dozen or so officials, questioned by the only one who sort of spoke English, forced to sign a statement I could not read, lead back to the plane by an armed guard and returned to the US on the same plane I flew to Cozumel in. It was a highly embarrassing, frustrating, humiliating experience, but I didn’t have to explain anything to CBP. I believe they already knew. I’m sure they knew I wouldn’t be allowed into Mexico when they cleared me to board my flight. Thousands of dollars wasted to fly in and out the same day. No refund from the Dive Resort. But thank God there was an immediate flight out with connections back to where I started from.

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