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InternationalNational

IL: Good news. A Win in Illinois!

[floridaactioncommittee.org – 6/15/18]

In April, we wrote about an FAC member currently exiled from his home country because of International Megan’s Law.

One of our members, who has a decades-old conviction, for which he got probation, left the country 17 years ago and hasn’t come back. He went on to live a good life in this other country, established a business, got married and had three children. In October, his mother fell gravely ill and he returned to see her. When he flew into the country (another state) he did what he was supposed to do and registered his one-week stay, letting them know he would be going home on November 7th.

Our country sent a “green notice” to the country he now (and for the past 17 years) lives, warning them of his arrival, flight information and registration flyer. Not surprisingly, the authorities were waiting for him and upon arrival he was immediately turned back. Unwilling to step foot in the US again, he’s currently exiled in a third country, unwilling to be subjected to a lifetime of persecution in the US and unable to return home to his family. He desperately misses them and they miss him.

The state he visited was Illinois and his presence on their registry is what precluded his return to his family.

Read the nice ending

 

Join the discussion

  1. NY won't let go

    This happened once in NY but the doe v O’Donnell case allows them to continue to keep registrants on.

    • SCOTUS SAVE US NOW

      That is a state decision… I wonder if it violates federal law somehow… might be worth the challenge

      • Anonymous Nobody

        We’re not challenging it, and that is a major complaint I have had about our “lack” of fight against International Megan’s Law.

        This is an example of exactly what I have said. Our focus has been on the damn mark to be put on the passport, which is irrelevant if you are only going to be turned away from entering the other country because of this very information sent in the case cited at top here — the point I have made all along.

        If you don’t fight the foundation of International Megan’s Law, instead merely pick around the edges, then the entire effort is a waste of time and resources. This group never goes for the throat, it never goes at the foundation, it only picks around the edges.

        Who cares if you have a mark on the passport if you can’t enter another country anyway, even without the mark!? If you can’t enter the country, the mark is irrelevant.

        What we have for this International Megan’s Law is individual states making our federal international policy — individual states decide whether you will register and thus whether you will be blocked from traveling outside the country.

        Last time I looked, the Constitution does not give states the power to make federal international policy, and it does not allow Congress and the president to delegate that authority to individual states — SCOTUS has often ruled that neither Congress nor the president can delegate their power, which International Megan’s Law does.

        But despite me so many times pointing this out, we refuse to challenge the basic International Megan’s Law, we just want to complain peripherally about a mark on a passport, a passport that won’t get you in to other countries because of the INFORMATION sent with it — as this group now blindly posts being done in the case cited at top. And in that case, so low grade as to warrant only probation. How can an offense that warrants only probation be so serious as to justify notifying and warning foreign countries about the person!?

        (How can such an offense even warrant registration — another foundational point we refuse to challenge — in fact, we just cheerleaded louder than any cheerleading group to make mere misdemeanants register for at least 10 years and maybe longer — even those who before our cheerleading could have had their registration ended in seven years, we demanded longer registration for them!)

        • AJ

          @Anonymous Nobody:
          Sometimes I feel your posts get a bit “ranting”, but I have to say I feel you’re spot on here. Thank you for your post and thoughts.

          I especially like your thought about States having not just a say in international diplomacy, but can alter it at will without Federal input! Congress (again) wrote a lazy, sh!tty law, and it needs to be swatted out of mid-flight.

  2. Lake County

    Does this guarantee he can go back? Did the other country say they would accept him if he got off the list? I would have thought that once they deny your entry, it could be a number of years before they let you try to came in again. It’s not like Americans have any rights to enter any country. At least he’s off the list now.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      There is nothing here suggesting he is getting off the list!

      But even so, the other country already has the info about him, that’s all they care about, they don’t give a damn whether the US continues to hound him or not, the other country is not subject to US law. He will have to deal in that other country’s laws to do anything about now.

      • CR

        “There is nothing here suggesting he is getting off the list!”

        The court granted his petition to be removed from the list. Are you suggesting that the state will simply ignore the court’s order? Of course, the state may appeal, and it is possible that he may remain on the list during until it has run its course. And he could lose at the appeals level, and then he could appeal, etc. We don’t know how this will ultimately play out, but for now, he has won a victory. If the state doesn’t appeal, they’ll have to remove him from the list.

        Once he’s removed from the list, he’ll no longer meet the criteria for IML compliance, and should not (hopefully) be subject to further green notices. That part’s unclear.

        And yes, you are right about the rest of it. Having been denied reentry into the country where he had been living before returning to the US, he’ll have to mount an effort to overcome that. There’s no telling if he’ll be successful or not, but no longer being registered in the US will surely help.

  3. David

    If Registries are indeed – as lawmakers endlessly reiterate – entirely intended for Public Safety purposes and not for punishment, then how does any State justify keeping a registrant on their list if that individual no longer resides in that State and is, therefore, in no way a threat to the citizens of that State in which he/she no longer resides!!! Being retained on that State’s registry can ONLY be interpreted as punishment*!
    *or as law enforcement being too lazy to remove the person from the list.

    • JohnDoeNC

      I am in a related situation. I was convicted in the state of SC. I moved twice until I settled in NC over 10 yrs ago. After being registered for 10 yrs in NC I was eligible to be removed from the SOR. I petitioned the court and was granted removal. This is not an easy thing to do in NC. There are several hoops to jump through but the most important is the “Finding of Dangerousness”. I have a COURT ORDER now that explicitly states I am no longer a danger to anyone in NC. I am no longer under any legal restriction in NC and I am extremely grateful for that.

      However, since I was convicted in SC which has a LIFETIME registry I will always be an RSO. Even though I no longer live in SC I am on the SC SOR for the rest of my life. I can only assume they want to make sure the good citizens of SC are safe if they do make the 200 mile drive to where I live. NC doesn’t care anymore but SC still does. I think this takes holding a grudge to new levels.

      But it’s not punishment!

      • Janice Bellucci7

        @JohnDoeNC – Your experience with North Carolina is very similar to the experience of many people who are on the Florida registry. Florida does not remove people who visited that state when they had to register but are no longer required to register in their home state. Florida also does not remove the names of people who are deceased.

        • AJ

          Florida does not remove people who visited that state when they had to register but are no longer required to register in their home state. Florida also does not remove the names of people who are deceased.
          —–
          Neither does MS, and IIRC, AL and LA keep emigrants and RIPs listed too. Of course the USDOJ recommends this so victims can keep tabs on the status of the offender and have some sort of peace of mind. (I will have to dig for the reference if asked, but know I read it.) What’s so stupid is 1) Most CP offenders (non-producers) almost assuredly have no connection to the victim, and the victim is personally unaware of the offender, so what good does that do with non-contact offenses?; 2) if an offender moves from FL, the data immediately becomes stale. What if I were to move from FL, to CA, to GA? FL would still show CA, which is wrong, and I may be living just across the border. Using the FL’s logic, the fearful victim will now feel safe because I’m in CA…even though I’m virtually next door.

        • Tim Moore

          Knowing where the person who victimized you is at all times, does this have any proven rehabilitative value? I doubt it. I think most people who are victimized do not want to keep track of were the perpetrator is indefinately. They want to move on.

        • David

          [Now, 20+ years since my conviction, my so-called “victim” and I continue to remain friends. We talk and text regularly and he certainly knows my whereabouts. Since we are now (and have always remained) on good terms, can he simply write to law enforcement authorities and request that I be removed from all SORs since he knows where I am and it doesn’t matter to him? No? (Oh yeah, I guess that question was rhetorical, since the true purpose of the SORs – having been repeatedly invalidated for any public safety benefits – is shaming, ostracism, and ongoing retributive punishment.)]

      • Anonymous Nobody

        The current home state is only one of the considerations; the feds require you to register in whatever state you now live if you would still have to register in the state of your offense — even if your current state otherwise would no longer require you to register.

        And even under the BS tier bill just adopted in California, those who have moved out of state can never get tier relief unless they return to California and register here for the full amount of their tier time — and even then they can be denied relief under the fake tier bill. So, unless they uproot their lives and move back to high-priced California and start registering here, they will never be able to stop registering — thanks to the BS tier bill we cheerled.

        • David

          “… the feds require you to register in whatever state you now live if you would still have to register in the state of your offense — even if your current state otherwise would no longer require you to register.” I know they say “Be careful what you wish for”, but the absurd labyrinth of States’ laws almost make me wish for one single set of overriding, comprehensive Federal laws addressing all registration requirements for everyone throughout all 50 States.

  4. CR

    What I found interesting in the article is that it says “… the court granted his petition [to be removed from the state’s registry], finding that the individual’s continued presence on the Illinois registry was a grossly disproportionate punishment for the crime, served no benefit to the people of Illinois (as he is no longer there) …”

    I’d like to see the court’s opinion to confirm that it found that presence on a registry is punishment.

    That flies in the face of Smith v Doe, and may not survive an appeal by the state, if it chooses to do so. I guess it’s too early to know if the state plans to appeal.

    • TS

      I bet the atty would be willing to share the document detailing the decision and findings.

  5. Timmy

    Damn ! The attorney in this case Ron Kleiner is Miami Florida based. I wonder what other States he can practice on or take on a case. Or if it matters.

  6. Agamemnon

    So how does this incident involving IML – which is applied registrants, which itself is retroactively administered – NOT constitute punishment?

    • Debo

      Because he is no longer required to register in any state so IML does not apply to him anymore so the travel notification 21 days doesn’t effect him he can simply book a flute and not tell anyone. Also if he renewed his passport they would not be able to put an identifier on it now.

  7. Ron

    Florida -😖 I have lived outside the US for 10 years and I am still on Florida’s list. They have even listed the country I currently live in. I can’t go back, not even when my parents die, as I know I might not make it back here.

    • NY won't let go

      Same boat but with NY. Working on getting another citizenship now. Hopefully birth right trumps birth place.

    • AJ

      @Ron:
      FAC has an ongoing legal fundraiser to launch an “Out of State Challenge” and fight FL’s nonsense. They’re only 16% funded as of 6/8/18, so any $ tossed in the kitty will help. I won’t post the direct URL here out of respect to ACSOL, but FAC has a green “Donate” link at the top right of its page. Any win, anywhere, is what we need, so not being in or traveling to FL shouldn’t hold anyone back.

      • NY won't let go

        I would donate if I could afford to, but the exchange rate would kill me. $1 = 4 meals here and my income after rent and bills is about $25 a month.

  8. steveo

    So, me and my wife are traveling with our adult daughter to Eastern europe in September. We live in Texas. Does anyone know the rules for notification of international travel from Texas? Is it 21 days?

    • Ts

      @steveo

      21 day advance notice through your registration office by Fed law. You can do it further out if you want. Certified mail is best to the registration officer to show mail and receipt. Keep two copies of everything with you (one on you and one in your bag).

      • steveo

        Thanks Ts. The officer in charge in my county (I live in a rural area) has me come in for everything. I sold a car, and had to go in. I changed a license plate on my car, which I had already gone in and registered with him, and he said to call when I got the new plate. When I called to give him the place number I had to go in. So, when I send him a certified letter, do you know if I need to provide specific information when I send him the letter, or if I can just say, “going to eastern europe on X day, be back soon… ” 😀 Thanks again for your thoughts. Anyone else is welcome to chime in as well.

        Also, I still have an old passport, and I’m planning on just moving forward with it, and hoping for the best. I already have about $6000 to $8000 invested in this trip, and haven’t even left yet.

        • TS

          @Steveo

          They’re looking for departure and return days; outbound and return flights, destinations, and lodging.

          Side note – mail back YOUR electronic items, e.g. phone, laptop, tablet, etc to avoid CBP scrutiny at USA return; travel mates, e.g. wife and daughter, will be ok.

          If you are eligible for a dreaded IML passport marking by law, e.g. offense involved a minor, then expect a revocation letter upon return.

          Feedback upon your return would be helpful here to know your experience with flights, customs, etc.

        • E

          For those of us trying to track this IML crap it would be helpful to have all these threads in the “Survey-International Travel after IML” thread on this site. Just a suggestion but YES, please keep us updated after your return on how it went and passport revocation. Most if all, have fun!

  9. steveo

    Thanks for the input. I will definitely post on what happens to us. I keep trying to talk the wife into moving abroad, but I’m not sure if we can get a visa anywhere, since the US has made me a worldwide periah. It’s been over 25 years since my offense, and the lifetime public notification system has designated me a lifetime criminal. Even murderers are given a second chance. It’s hurt my family, and my ability to make money, to be accepted, or feel accepted anywhere, even churches. Nobody says: once a murderer always a murderer, once a thief always a thief, once an adulterer always an adulterer, but once a sex offender? You’re always a sex offender! To even say that someone is “fill in the blank” present tense anything is so unjust. To actuially label them that with a legal document, with no proof that they are present tense actively doing that seems unprecedented. Anyway, I’m ranting.

  10. rpsabq

    Thing is Florida is going to have to prove the punitive argument first. A judge is going to take a look at this case and go, “so Florida keeps the names on record even after they leave the state, so what? It’s just a civil regulatory requirement.” Also it can only be a facial challenge and those victories are hard to come by. I just can’t see any Florida judge making a ruling that removes under half of Florida’s registrants just like that. Plus the law says, “those requiring placement on the state registry must register for life.” Until that is changed, I don’t see what the argument is. Seems to me until the Florida Supreme Court says, “yes Florida’s sex offender laws are punitive,” like what happened in Ohio, then we don’t have much of a chance at anything else. There has not been one successful legal outcome to come out of Florida. For this to be the first victory is highly unlikely in my opinion.

    • David

      @ rpsabq: ““those requiring placement on the state registry must register for life.”  Well, if a judge rules that the individual does not – or no longer – “requires placement” on the SOR, then that’s that: No longer on SOR.

    • rpsabq

      Also something that really irks me: FAC, the state organization is refusing to use organization funds to pay for this thing because “it doesn’t impact the majority of members who reside in the state.” Are you kidding me? If they would win this case, and Florida has to remove all the names who no longer reside in the State, there is going to be a mass run for the border a day later!

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