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Smith’s Law Results in Important New Protections for Children Against Predators

A new passport identifier for convicted pedophiles will help protect children from pedophiles looking to travel abroad, possibly to abuse children, said Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), author of legislation to create the identifier.

“Child predators thrive on secrecy—a secrecy that allows them to commit heinous crimes against the weakest and most vulnerable,” Smith stated at a press conference on Friday in Trenton, N.J., about the passport protections included in his International Megan’s Law, which had several other provisions aimed at protecting children.
“We know from law enforcement and media documentation that Americans on U.S. sex offender registries are caught sexually abusing children in Asia, Central and South America, Europe—everywhere,” Smith said. “Again, we have a duty to protect the weakest and most vulnerable from abuse.” Full Press Release (official web site)


From Rep. Smith’s official web site

Join the discussion

  1. AlexO

    Man, they sure like to use the word “pedophile” a lot. It’s mentioned so much in this press release that it lost meaning by the end. Nice use of propaganda to push your BS for future votes. Let’s just gloss over the fact that the majority of those with offenses against minors are not actually pedophiles, and certainly non are who were minors themselves when prosecuted because of sexting or consensual sex with a like-age partner.

    I wish there were anywhere near the consequences for these politicians who so blatantly go out of their way to destroy peoples and families lives with outright lies, that we’ve all gone through and continue to go through for our actions (and many who didn’t actually offend).

  2. KM

    In protest, I’d encourage everyone who has to get this to cut out that page.

    • TS

      @KM

      Any alterations to your passport could potentially result in your prosecution of altering a government document. You will note that on page 5 of the passport.

    • Bob

      Or put a nice removable ” non messy adhesive ” patriotic sticker on it to go with that statue of liberty there. When you go to the country destination stick it on before check point. When you come back to the U.S. remove it before check point. The U.S. government was to play with me?, fine, ill play with them.

      • TS

        @Bob

        That is still altering your passport against the original intent of the phrase and passport use. I agree the phrase is wrong and shouldn’t be there. However, it’s like when someone puts a sticker over their registered sex offender label on a driver’s license, it’s altering and would be possibly seen that way in court.

  3. Lovecraft

    Is there anything legally we can do to address the fact that anyone convicted of a child sex offense can be deemed a pedophile wrongly by someone in government? Its well known that the majority are not classified as pedophiles. In fact, pedophilia is a medical term that really only carries weight when used by a psychiatrist or psychologist. I remember a successful defamation lawsuit in florida where a guy was labeled a predator on a billboard when he was never deemed one. It would seem this is also a defamation issue, unless you have to be targeted individually.

    • AJ

      “Is there anything legally we can do to address the fact that anyone convicted of a child sex offense can be deemed a pedophile wrongly by someone in government?”
      —–
      Apparently no, not if it’s the Federal Government: https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=43146. Sovereign Immunity seemingly lets Uncle Sam say whatever it wants about its citizens. There’s something patently wrong with that, regardless the citizen.
      From another source (http://www.medialaw.org/topics-page/defamation-faqs): “That which is name-calling, hyperbole, or, however characterized, cannot be proven true or false, cannot be the subject of a libel or slander claim.” Given the statement made in a Green Notice cannot be proven one way or the other, it doesn’t appear to rise to being defamatory/libelous.

      More and more, it’s obvious one’s rights are fewer and fewer, and I make that statement generically, not in relation to being any sort of offender of anything.

      • TS

        @AJ, et al

        I’ve found there are a couple of cases in the public realm that people have tried to sue on those grounds against sitting legislative and Congressional people and lost. I posted one referenced case on here earlier this year I believe. It’s crazy what they can say and get away with.

      • Lovecraft

        @AJ

        Yea I figured their “diplomatic immunity” would trump any grievance we have, Im just really frustrated with how they can throw around and use words however they want especially when they are grossly negligent with the words they use.

        They should just stamp pedophile on the passport then (jk) I wonder if the lawmakers even know what the definition of a pedophile is (prepubescent) It just says minor on the passport and that can range from 0 to 17 and plenty of those years are postpubescent. Not to mention even if you did commit a crime that fell under prepuberty that doesnt automatically make you a pedophile. Thats where a clinical diagnosis comes in. Its nothing most of us dont already know, but in this world especially for those of us that have to deal with this labels do matter. Thanks to shows like csi:svu the hysteria is at an all time high and being labeled arguably the worst title a registrant can get really sucks.

  4. Sam

    So according to this article everyone who gets the mark is a predator pedophile? Are you fucking serious? Pardon my language. But that should be it’s own fucking lawsuit by publicly stating that everyone with the mark is a predatory pedophile and spouting off shit science. My God. Who shit in his branflakes

    • Sam

      “Now, U.S. passports of convicted pedophiles who are on a state’s public sex offender registry will be stamped with the identifier: “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212 (c)(I).”

      Like seriously isnt this what the whole tiered system was supposed to prevent? The lumping of all of us into the same danger zone?

    • Joe

      This is not an “article”. This is official communication from the author of this legislation.

      ““We know from law enforcement and media documentation that Americans on U.S. sex offender registries are caught sexually abusing children in Asia, Central and South America, Europe—everywhere,” ”

      Where? How many? Whom?

      And official law enforcement numbers only, please. No “media documentation”. What is the criminal statute (state or federal) for pedophilia? Seriously?

      https://chrissmith.house.gov/contact/

      Phone call first thing Monday morning.

      • Sam

        The last I knew it was 3. 3 people in the past 5 or 10 years. Out of over 800k. That’s like a micron of a percentage. Damn they don’t have an 800 number. International calling rates here suck

        • TS

          @Sam

          Then it would be great if that information was sent to the Representative’s Office in his Washington DC location and his home office in New Jersey. If I recall of late, there have been an article or two stating what you just said.

      • Alex P

        “ We know from law enforcement and media documentation that Americans on U.S. sex offender registries are caught sexually abusing children in Asia, Central and South America, Europe—everywhere, ”

        YET, THERE IS THIS:

        “ The U.S. Government Accountability Office and U.S. State Department quietly admitted that there is no mass exodus of people on the registry traveling to sex tourism destinations to engage in rape and child molestation ”.

        • TS

          @AlexP

          And that, too, from the GAO report, should be sent into Rep Smith along with the rest of his data package being created here for his education and understanding. Heck, while it is being sent there, maybe the Trentonian ought to get a copy of it as well since they are in his district, maybe the Philly Inquirer for good measure since they are nearby as well and for good measure, and the Washington Examiner because they will post it in WDC (not so sure about Bezo’s WaPo unless Eugene Volokh at UCLA got a hold of a copy and wrote of it).

  5. Jack

    We need to put that bastard on the defensive and end him in 2018!

  6. KM

    Anyone else see the irony of the Statue of Liberty in the background?

    • TS

      @KM

      That is ironic imagery all things considered…..that, too, should be sent to Rep Smith.

  7. Sam

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3858805/canada-passports-convicted-sex-offenders-us/

    “It also announced that other offenders would still be permitted to travel with their existing passports until they received a notification in the mail from the department saying their travel documents were invalidated.”

    So if I never received a letter I’m okay right? 90% of mail from the US doesn’t make it here unless you own the shipping crate or send it FedEx. Just wishful thinking but yeah.

  8. TS

    I find that this is a great block of information for the lawsuit soon to come out of this organization’s office against this very item.

  9. G4Change

    |”A new passport identifier for convicted pedophiles”

    They need to be sued for this. There is no such thing as a “convicted pedophile”, and therefore this is defamatory!!! Will someone please sue this a**hole!!!

  10. Nondescript

    So if 2 people committed the same offense against a minor, but one is in a State that requires 10 years of registration for the offense and the other is in a State that requires lifetime on the registry for that same offense, only the latter is “covered” under the federal statute if 10 years has elapsed.

    Seems like a gross Equal Protection violation to me.

  11. T

    Chris Smith’s statement is fallacious because no one on the registry would be crazy and stupid enough to travel for the purpose of doing something illegal knowing that they will get caught, because registered citizens are being scrutinized and questioned by authorities, and the criminals that are doing these things are not on the registry and will usually get caught for the first time or if caught before but are still not on the registry. Somebody needs to shut this guy up and confront him, because the IML is unconstitutional and needs to be repealed and leave the registrants alone, let them travel freely without being compromised, and unmolested.

  12. Tuna

    As this is an official statement by Smith, it should be retained by Janice and Chance as evidence for their next lawsuit, as it evidences Smith’s misuse of medical terms, his mindset and his intent.

    • David Kennerly, "Wait, do you smell gas?"

      No doubt, Smith is completely unaware of the distinction between “pedophiles,” “hebephiles,” and “ephebophiles.” On the off-chance that he were interested, which I’m sure he is not, the differences are:_____

      “Hebephilia is defined as a chronophilia in which an adult has a strong and persistent sexual interest in pubescent-aged individuals, generally aged 11–14, although the age of onset and completion of puberty vary.”__________

      “Ephebophilia is the primary sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19. The term was originally used in the late 19th to mid 20th century. It is one of a number of sexual preferences across age groups subsumed under the technical term chronophilia.”____

      And the mot du jour, pedophilia:

      “Pedophilia is primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.”

  13. T

    Notice Chris Smith had never provided any proof of evidence of his claims but only his rhetorical statements to make everyone believe his point to make it a good idea to pass the IML.

    • David Kennerly, "Wait, do you smell gas?"

      Nor was Megan Kanka or her murderer traveling internationally at the time of her murder.

    • Eric Knight

      There is a statement of fact that Smith made that he said that he hoped the foreign countries would use the designation to deny entry into that country. That alone is enough for any court to justify challenging the mark. Keep in mind much less rhetoric level was needed to convince a judge to overturn a Trump executive order, same as a legislative law, that prohibited immigration from some countries he deemed dangerous.

  14. J

    BUSTED!!! I think Chris Smith needs to learn the definition of a pedophile before generalizing in his statements!! Does he realize pedophile is a clinical diagnosis. Thanks for the Ammo in court Dennis Hastert, I mean Chris!!!!! Sweet Dreams

  15. Nicholas Maietta

    I wonder just how many children Chris Smith has molested overseas. He sure has a vendetta out for everyone on the sex offender registry, pointing fingers at the people who are NOT the ones doing this.

    As far as I am concerned, Chris Smith is a closet peodophile trying hard not to be discovered.

    • J

      That’s what I know. Look at all the Hollywood stars and POLITICIANS being exposed, oh but Chrissy Smith could never do that..hahahahahahahahaha…. We should run a campaign and see how many accusers we can find

    • Alec

      I came here to say this. I know this sounds like sour grapes but honestly I do not say this in the spirit of vindictiveness or vengeance; but instead the sober recognition that this behavior is exactly how closet child abusers behave. I have seen it enough for it to shine like the brightness of day. This is the kind of behavior intended to inoculate one against accusations, not as the result of a consciously chosen cause.

      Part of me would like to expose whatever he has done. Credibility lost, so would be the laws he has passed on the subject.

      • Jack

        Alec, you’re exactly right. This is exactly the same thing that was present in Dennis Hastert. It’s the same thing that’s present in all of the republicans. They have to come down hard on sex offenders so that people will never suspect them. It’s really that simple.

        • J

          BINGO!!!!

        • Les Mis Life

          Let’s not forget Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, probably Roy Moore, Mark Foley, or John Walsh…rule of thumb: someone who pushes this legislation probably has some underage skeletons…they just know this is something that seems virtuous

    • Nondescript

      The puppet politicians do as they are told because most are compromised, blackmailed and manipulated. There is probably a reason Chris Smith was chosen to be the sponsor of this legislation just as Foley was chosen to be the sponsor of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
      What better way to mock the public.

  16. Sunny

    I hope this will be blocked by litigation and then found to be unconstitutional. I am not willing to give up my current passport, even if it means civil disobedience and arrest (although I doubt they are going to go door to door to collect the passports of hundreds of thousands of individuals). What would prevent someone from simply tearing out this page? I’m sure I could replace it with the page from my existing passport. I’m wondering if in implementation this will be one of those unenforceable laws. Doesn’t it also depend on the individual secretaries of state to decide whether to revoke a passport? I recall the wording of the law says they “may” revoke, not must. The cost of revoking and reissuing passports would be substantial and we already know most states still refuse to comply with Adam Walsh, over a decade later, because of the high costs and lack of funding. Not to mention the tremendous backlog associated with the registry and the inability to maintain and ensure the accuracy of even the most basic records about registrants. Passport offices are already being flooded by new requests due to several changes in foreign nations like Canada and some cruise lines no longer accepting State ID’s, along with the Real ID act being implemented this January, with a number of states out of compliance.

    • CR

      This is a federal law. It is the State Department (Federal) that “may” revoke our passports. In fact, it will do so, bet on it.

      There are 860,000 or so people on sex offender registries. I doubt the majority of them have a passport, so if there are hundreds of thousands to revoke, it’ll be on the low side of that.

      If you tear out the page, or try to replace it with another, you can be prosecuted for that. It’s illegal to do so. That applies to every passport holder, not just us.

      Someone recently posted statistics on the number of passport requests that are granted per week. I don’t recall the number, but it was huge. Revoking our passports isn’t going to take very long. I don’t know if they’ll automatically re-issue. You may have to apply for one again. Probably you’ll have to pay for it too. Anyway, it’s a drop in the bucket for them.

  17. Eric Knight

    By the way, in any further lawsuit regarding this issue, MAKE SURE that you include the desire of the original author of the bill, Chris Smith, publicly stated that he hoped that foreign country customs would SEE the designation and prohibit entry to the registrant. If Trump’s tweets can be attributed to policy to restrict immigration by a court that uses the tweets to prevent the immigration ban, then so can Smith’s assertion be used in court to prevent the scarlet letter marking.

    I’m not in duckduckgo mood right now, but I’m sure someone can find the original article that has this statement by Smith.

    • David Kennerly's Spectral Evidence

      I’ve linked to his pre-passage statements/aspirations several times in which he makes very clear that he wants “pedophiles” to be stopped cold from international travel. I agree that this should be a part of any new challenge. His statements outside of the House have been less circumspect in this regard. He was well aware that his statements in support of IML in Congress could not state that the goal was to keep “pedophiles” from traveling.

  18. jo

    “So when he travels everyone is noticed. This is the second layer of protection,” Smith said.

    There it is.

  19. E

    So what happens if I renew my passport right now? Will it take longer to get the new one back? I am planning on leaving the country early next year since they won’t let my wife come here. I have citizenship/passport from the country where I’m going but I will need the US passport whenever I come back and it expires middle of next year. Not sure if I should try to get the renew passport now (and risk not getting it back in time because of this process) or get it from the embassy when I’m there…. any advice?

    • David Kennerly, "Wait, do you smell gas?"

      “So what happens if I renew my passport right now?” I don’t think that we know the answer to that, yet. I had thought to renew my passport since it expired last summer but, now that they have announced the “mark of the Beast,” I’m not exactly sure when to renew, now and possibly not get the “mark” but only to have it revoked a bit later and have to reapply (and re-pay) for another one? Until we get someone reporting back that they have, or have not, begun either affixing the mark to new passports or revoking old passports, it’s hard to know. It sounds as though you don’t need your U.S. passport to enter other countries unless it is not a country that enjoys much visa-free power. If the former, you should count yourself as very lucky. You have an escape clause, perhaps.

  20. Sam

    If I were in your circumstances I would leave behind the US citizenship and just live life where you have the other citizenship. If you had to come back just do it as a citizen from the other country. That way you could at least be with your wife if you get denied entry into the US

  21. David

    So, Jackass Lawmaker, tell me again why I might get a unique identifier on my passport but this person will not?

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-voter-fraud-john-doe-20171117-story.html

    And why in the world would you not first propose a law that would identify people convicted of identity fraud??

  22. Tim Moore

    This is one reason I have no interest in returning to Catholicism. Too many moral ignoramuses like Chris Smith.

    • Registry Rage

      Chris Smith and the Kankas’ are all Jesus freaks which further complicates things and explains their self-righteousness and entitlement.

      It’s not like Megan was going to grow up and cure cancer or anything.

      • David Kennerly, "Wait, do you smell gas?"

        Registry Rage, let’s not do that. Megan Kanka had every right to live and to fulfill whatever promise she had. She’s not our enemy and she certainly was a victim who was robbed of her life by a scumbag who is, unfortunately, frequently confused with us. That’s not Megan Kanka’s fault. She does not inherit the sins of her father or of a malign and distorted society.

  23. Registry Rage

    “I’m not going anywhere – Richard Kanka.”

    Well, I certainly hope not.. because I want you to live long enough to see your life’s work squandered and utterly destroyed.

  24. Johnny

    I think we should start a petition to have every sitting politician take a full sexual history polygraph…

    • David Kennerly, "Wait, do you smell gas?"

      It would be, at that moment, that polygraphy, plethysmography, and “treatment” are revealed to be science-free scams.

      • James

        FWIW…Smith should be pursued and defeated on whatever he is vulnerable on…but possibly not this. If anyone knows anyone in New Jersey, and especially in Smith’s district, find a reason for people to vote against him…but probably not for this, (it may well increase his chances of winning).

        I’m not looking for emotional satisfaction in a Smith defeat…I just want him out of office. (That will be satisfaction a`plenty!)

        Best Wishes, James

        • David Kennerly, "Wait, do you smell gas?"

          James, I have to say, the time to have defeated Chris Smith was before he introduced IML for the last time. We are, however, on our way to being able to organize at a level necessary to get out in front on these issues. This would mean not always simply reacting to every horseshit law that arrives before us as a fait accompli. This requires dialog and strategy.

  25. dph

    isn’t IRONIC to be placed on the Statue of Liberty ….page.
    And Justice for All?
    I thought she stood for rights for all….from France to the U.S.
    Statue of Liberty Page

  26. T

    The IML is sure going to do a lot of major damage on American citizens that are on the registry and it’s not a matter of keeping the world safe from predators, it is due to Chris Smith’s rhetorical statement that is base on junk science and phony statistics just to prove that registered citizens that are traveling internationally are a threat worldwide that has to be neutralized which is not true. One day he will be called out and confronted and the IML will be repealed with the angel watch center being shut down.

  27. http404

    The legal argument should be quite simple. This legislation has the chilling effect of permanently confining – for life – a segment of the population convicted of specified crimes, within the boundaries of the United States.

    Evidence of this is demonstrated through the widespread instances of registered citizens who have been denied entry into countries while traveling. The marker isn’t even needed, they’ve already flagged those subject to IML provisions.

    • CR

      It is not that simple because the law does not confine us to the US or bar our international travel strictly, by the language of the statute. There are many countries that do not forbid entry to persons on the registry who are currently the subject of the Interpol Green notices.

      If no foreign country would admit us because of the passport endorsement or the Interpol Green Notice, then one might make the case that the law confines us, *in effect*, even if not explicitly by statute. But even that would be a weak argument, since neither our State Department nor our judicial system can compel another country to respond in a particular way.

      While preventing us from traveling outside the US is, in fact, the intent of the author of the law (Chris Smith), the government lawyers who will defend the law in court will assert, correctly, that they are not confining us or stopping us from traveling. They are only notifying the country we are traveling to about our status. It is, they will aver, the destination country that makes the decision on whether or not to admit us.

      I don’t believe that the Supreme Court has ever found a fundamental right to international travel. The challenge will have to be on different grounds.

      • TS

        @CR

        Well said.

        It is more of a compelled Gov’t speech issue among other things noted here in these forums than it is preventing int’l travel. Follow the 21 day rule of notification, hope for the best when you get to the other end of your mode of trans.

        While I don’t agree with notifications because they lump people, there is no individual assessment, etc for all that has mentioned here, notifications are just wrong based on principle. While others who travel from the USA to overseas locations may get there safely, are they, too, not subjected to green notices when their legal past comes up on the screen? Do we really know? I am not aware of any, but someone may know who has not said yet. I cannot imagine a green notice isn’t sent when it comes to someone who has spent time in a federal pen regardless of their crime.

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