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Int’l Megan’s Law Amendment to Protect More Kids

Washington, Aug 1 – A legislative effort by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) to restrict the passports of U.S citizens who have been convicted of sex crimes against children took a leap forward today when it was unanimously approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Smith wrote an amendment which is now part of the U.S. State Department authorization bill, H.R. 2848, which is expected to be on the House floor in September. It grants the Secretary of State discretion to limit the valid duration of passports for convicted sex offenders listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, or to revoke the passport of an individual convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction in a foreign country of a sex offense.

“The amount of travel by known predators is staggering,” said Smith, who has worked for years with the family of Megan Kanka to promote legislation that would protect children from sex offenders. “A report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that nearly 4,500 registered sex offenders apply for U.S. passports each year. Since a passport is valid up to 10 years, some offenders can remain unwatched for years. According to the Protection Project of Johns Hopkins University, sex tourists from the United States who target children make up a significant percentage of child sex tourists around the world.”Click here to read Smith’s statement to the full committee.

    “Authorizing the State Department to restrict the passports of registered sex offenders has the ability to deter and protect,” said Smith, a leader in Congress on human rights issues, including sex trafficking of women and children. “Predators who have been convicted for sexually exploiting children have used long-term passports to evade return to the United States and have moved to a third country where they continue to exploit and abuse children. By requiring child sex offenders to renew their passports, more regularly, we can curtail the current 10-year window of unchecked travel and offer greater protection for vulnerable women and children around the world.”

 Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old from Smith’s district in Hamilton, N.J., was kidnapped, raped, and brutally murdered in 1994. Her assailant was a convicted, repeat sex offender living across the street, unbeknownst to families in Megan’s neighborhood. Due to public outcry in response to the tragedy and to hard work by Megan’s parents, Richard and Maureen Kanka, the New Jersey State Legislature passed the original Megan’s Law (NJSA 2C: 7-1 through 7-II) to require public notification of convicted sex offenders living in the community. Smith supported a federal Megan’s Law which became law in 1996 and other child protection measures.

 “In order to better protect children, this amendment would allow the Secretary of State the discretion to revoke the passport of an individual who has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction in a foreign country of a sex offense,” Smith said. “It also allows the Secretary the ability to determine the appropriate period of validity of any passport that is issued to a sex offender.”

Smith authored similar legislation to protect children in 2010 called The International Megan’s Law. That bill would establish a model framework for international law enforcement notifications when convicted child sex offenders pose a danger to children in a destination country. The bill passed the full House in 2010, but the Senate failed to act on the bill.


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The sure sign of a totalitarian government is restriction of its citizens’ movement OUT of the country. Welcome to the USSA.

I fully support restricting passports for convicted child molesters. If they do travel they should not be allowed to cary digital data and transport child pornography. They will just find some other place to live and exploit children there.

With respect, I disagree. The constitution, including the equal protection clause, shines on all of us like the rays of the sun. Obviously you don’t like that part of the constitution, but while you have the shredder out, anything else you want to eliminate from the constitution?

I disagree and without respect. You have no idea how many of those “convicted child molesters” as you call them are innocent and took plea bargains. Why should they be denied the ability to see the world? Oh and digital media is not needed any longer. Just a cell phone, tablet, anything really…upload your photos to the cloud where ever you happen to be and then delete them off your device when you pass through customs or better yet…do what I do…put nothing but churches and selfies of yourself alone and naked in your hotel bathroom. I love it when… Read more »

As one of the category of being bullied into a plea(after a year in jail, “you can go home today or spend the next 2-3 years in jail fighting a case you’re not likely to win, in which case the sentence at this point is only 28 months in prison where you’d be eligible for half time”), I completely agree. My life was changed from a false accusation, and now I(and my family) have to deal with this crap from people who are just coming up with these things to promote themselves politically or exploit the hype when heinous crimes… Read more »

When it’s a sex offense, the years you’re threatened with can be 15 to a life sentence.f

That is way out of bounds now… Restricting travel of free people who have completed their sentences….

Previous proposed legislation by this Representative that did not go anywhere…

H.R.3253 — International Megan’s Law of 2011

H.R.1623 — International Megan’s Law of 2009

H.R.5722 — International Megan’s Law of 2008

… when at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. When that does not work, sneak something in somewhere.

The bill referenced in this press release (H.R. 2848) makes no mention of the proposed restriction. What does that mean? Will it be snuck in at some point, once enough politicians are invested in this overall bill? Stranger things have happened…

Please don’t call him a “representative”. He does not represent any true American.

Ok, what in the HELL do they want exactly!? They don’t want offenders living in their neighborhoods, but then now they don’t want offenders leaving the country? Where are they supposed to go?? No work, no shelter, no food stamps, and now unable to leave an oppressive society? Whats next?! Concentration camps? Seriously!

Come on, you know what they want…you dead in a gutter somewhere. I’ve actually heard a CA congressman who co-authored “Jessica’s Law” say in a radio interview that he believes all sex offenders should be “down in a ditch somewhere out in the middle of the desert.” Now you figure out what he meant by down in a ditch…it doesn’t take much imagination.

Just remember ,what goes around comes around. I wouldn’t be surprise to see one of his family members on the registry , if not him , in the near future.

To answer your question, Justice for all, yes, I’m quite certain they would like all of us to be placed in concentration camps or, failing that, force us to live under bridges such as the Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge in Miami. (True and horrible fact.). It’s all becoming quite Kafka-esque! (I hope the general public remembers the saying: “First they came for the gypsys, and nobody protested. Then they came for the homosexuals, and nobody protested. Then they came for the intellectuals, and nobody protested. Then they came for the Jews ….. and there was nobody left to protest.” General… Read more »

If (when) it passes into law will it be able to pass Constitutional scrutiny. This may be the strew that bring the registry back to the table before the U.S. Supreme court as punitive and post facto. What makes for good politics doesn’t apply well as policies. TRUTH

Once again the USA is trying to force its laws and rules on the rest of the world. They need to take care of their own messed up country first. Abolish the registry to give the land of the free back to the people.

From Chris Smith’s full statement: “…can result in serious, lifelong and even life-threatening consequences for the physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional and social development and well-being of a child.” Dear Rep. Smith – you know what DOES result in life-long and life-threatening consequences to a child? Hellfire missiles dropped from Predator drones. Automatic gunfire from helicopters miles away. Death. Things like that. “An Iraqi non-governmental organisation, Iraqiyun, estimated 128,000 deaths from the time of the invasion until July, 2005” – “He said 55 percent of those killed were women, and children aged 12 and under.” “Seventy percent of children… Read more »

“We don’t do body counts” – Gen. Tommy Franks, 2002

Right on, @iam – your comment made me think of this story from Colorado. When these guys are oversees firing on women and children they are good soldiers and employess and heros and we put a bumper sticker on our car expressing our pride and thanks. But should they have sex (can you even imagine how horrible this is????) with teenagers who lie about their age they are monsters. Oh, make that american teenagers. Anyone who thinks that people in parts of the world, people who have no problem strapping on a dynamite vest, are not reading this kind of… Read more »

Its sad. This man thinks ALL people on the registry are traveling to another country to prey on children…but what his delusional mind does not realize is over half are wanting to survive, wanting to be able to feed their family, wanting to work, wanting a second chance in life, wanting to be accepted back into society. So what he is saying is that the 4,500 whom received a passport are wanting to travel to another country to harm a child? No, most want their passport to get away from these illegal, unconstitutional laws that the Govt. passes over and… Read more »

@Freedom – this would apply to all registrant US passport holders wishing to travel abroad, not just the ones wanting to emigrate. Those will face their own hurdles, rightfully so, with the immigration authorities of their chosen destinations. However, what is considered a life-forfeiting offense in this country may be completely legal in other countries (Mexico, Europe), or perhaps an offense in the host country that they could get over in time (I hear that in certain parts of the world – NOT the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave – there is the concept of… Read more »

I got a second passport from World Service Authority. It Might not help much getting back in the USA the home of the free, but everywhere else it seems to work. Coming back into the USA if you have a valid State driver’s license and a SSN (card) along with it you may get a pass.

Something to look into.

Uhhhmm… when was the last time you attempted to enter the US of A with a Drivers License and a SSN Card?

You can’t…

It is time to be heard! Write to your Congressional representative NOW and let them know that this policy would harm more than 750,000 citizens of the United States of America as well as members of their families. CA RSOL is writing such a letter and it will be mailed on Monday. In the meantime, we are sending E-mails to Congressional offices. Join us now! We can’t let this provision be passed into law!!

It feels like the fear-mongering just never ends. I sent an email off to Senator Feinstein and Boxer’s offices, along with Rep. John Garamendi. Will be sending letters as soon as I get time.

This is complete and utter garbage. I really have no words.

“The amount of travel by known predators is staggering,” Out of close to a million RSOs, I wouldn’t call that staggering and to presume these people travel for illicit purposes is highly subjective and bordering paranoia. “Predators who have been convicted for sexually exploiting children have used long-term passports to evade return to the United States and have moved to a third country where they continue to exploit and abuse children.” May we see the proof and the convictions? If so let us revoke THEIR passports. Foreign countries are already free to blacklist the passport of anyone deemed a threat… Read more »

Would this just affect those convicted of child related offense?

Really??? THAT is your concern with this proposal?

I think that USA’s question was possibly taken the wrong way. After reading the article I was a little confused. In the first paragraph it specifically addresses offenders convicted of a child related offense, than goes on to include all offenders. So before we assume the worst, maybe we should clarify what someone is asking/stating before we jump all over each other.

Talk about missing the point of this horrible proposal. This is about restricting the liberties of a “class” of people known as sex offenders. It shouldn’t matter one damn bit what a person did in their past. If you served your time and paid your debt back to society, what gives anyone the right to restrict travel? If this isn’t stopped now, then there is NO TELLING what they will pull next. You think the registry is bad, there will be a lot of worse scenarios that can be dreamed up by so called representatives that will cater to the… Read more »

So in essence , every other sex crime conviction for which requires registration ,outside the spectrum involving children, are the unattended consequence every other sex convicted person has to suffer because of this law . Talking about Constitutional rights being violated. This has to change big time. Especially the retroactive stipulations when the law was written. This stinks to high heaven, no doubt!!!

@ Louis – There is something you can do to turn this ship around! Send letters to members of Congress especially those who represent the district where you live. As a constituent you will be listened to. I have prepared a model letter which you and others can use to get your message across. It’s time to show up – stand up – speak up!!

Janice, I would like to have one of those letters you made up . Where can I get one? Thanks.

That’s the way it is with almost all sex offender laws. This is one of the reasons the registry is completely ridiculous as a whole. What was originally created to inform the public about sexually violent predators has been exploited for political gain to the point of listing people who stumble out of a bar drunk and urinated in public resulting in a misdemeanor “indecent exposure” conviction. No one in their right mind thinks someone whose problem is drinking should be listed on sex registry and have all these restrictions on him/her for the rest of their life. While we… Read more »

So now not only do I have an interrogation and strip search to look forward to when entering the USA when I return from a vacation I will probably have to ask for permission soon with with Passport restrictions to prevent my ability to leave the country when I wish! It’s like being on prohibition all over again! Why did I even bother? MY GOD…all of this they keep shoveling on us…it’s almost enough for me to say F it and actually do something that warrants this sort of absurd monitoring and restrictions! Oh…since we know the NSA is reading… Read more »

Tired of Hiding: They strip search you? Personally, I have never had any issues when traveling to other countries. I just visited Canada and drove across the boarder. No issues. ALthough, when I came back, I was stopped at the border and asked to visit secondary screening. The gentleman made no mention of any issues, took my passport and did some typing. He apologized for the delay and we were on our way (my charges have all been dismissed/18 years ago). Although, lets be real. You can be a murderer, convicted of manslaughter or ect ect and still travel Internationally.… Read more »

Lucky you. I have a buddy in construction and his job required him to travel to Canada and when he got to the Canada border , he was screened , I believe NCIC, and was refused entry for a past drunk drive conviction.

I have problems going to Canada… No problems with South America… One incident going to Europe but that was clear.. Unfortunately I’m a prisoner within my own country….

“One incident going to Europe but that was clear” – interested in that one… can you share details?

Yes, I went to France because of a funeral (very close family) if you believe it or not I was very honest at the embassy and the consulate granted “Hardship” on my paperwork. But reduced the amount of time I can stay there to 2 weeks and address and phone of the relative I’ll be staying with. So, yes there was a incident when I landed. I was held in a cell for 40 minutes after landing.. And the “Guard Captain” there said that this situation was very unusual and he needed someone to review the information.. But what happened… Read more »

Thank you – appreciate the info. I am, however, under the impression that US Citizens can enter France / any “Schengen Accord” country visa free for 90 days. What embassy did grant you “Hardship” on what paperwork? The French Embassy? For a visa? Was it a question of leaving the US or entering France that caused you to apply? Why would you even apply for anything? Were you still on parole / probation? Ignore me if this appears to be prying, but I am seriously interested. I consider Europe (Fr, Au, I, E, Ger, Be, Ne, Lux, Scandinavia, etc, NOT… Read more »

That info you posted is new to me, and it wasn’t like that a year ago. I have long ago completed my parole/probation. It was under instruction with my lawyer because I was fearful that I might not even make it to the funeral.. Land there and get sent back type of fear. Leaving the United States wasn’t the problem. They scan my passport upon entering the Schengen Area. So you’ll need a passport entering that area, then you can freely roam around in there. They can still deny your entry before you enter the area. Also their databases are… Read more »

I’m transient in order to protect my wife and child from vigilantes/harassment. Considering all the laws concerning out of state travel, differing laws everywhere, etc, I don’t feel like a prisoner within my own country, I feel like one within the state!

OK. I am still trying to figure out if I will get arrested for camping in a State Park in San Diego County after I saw the ordinance listing it as illegal for registrants to “loiter” in a public place within the County. My wife has been talking about us going to Spain or somewhere else outside the country for a vacation. A dream that was before this limited only by a lack of money. I guess not having a life is part of the plea bargain I made 13 years ago. Missed the part that said they’ll make up… Read more »

Nothing stopped me from vacationing in other states.. *cough* rental car and staying with family… and don’t do anything illegal.. I have seen so much of this country but not much of this state

Not wanting to be a downer, but better read up… i.e. Alaska:

Temporary Presence in Alaska – Visitors and Non Residents

Registered sex offenders from other jurisdictions who temporarily travel to Alaska are required to notify the Alaska Sex Offender Registry office of their presence in the state.

I would like to know just why you would even be aware of this law unless you were currently on probation and needing to ask for permission to leave the state/county. I would never dream of checking into a particular states sex offender laws unless I intended to move and live there. I have never do so and I never will. I don’t sit around and worry about it. If I wanted to go to Alaska I would simply buy an airline ticket there. Book a hotel and rental car and go. Why on earth would I tell anyone? Why… Read more »

A very good reply from you. Too many people, it seems want to spread fear and apprehension among registrants.
Whether it’s fear of being harmed by vigilantes, over zealous laws from pocket communities, travel traps and etc.
It’s time for RSO.s to put on their grown-up shoes and fight the fight.

I don’t disagree with the sentiment, but it is rather naive to think they wouldn’t arrest you because you didn’t know about their compliance laws. When I was in jail, I knew two others with similar stories, here to visit and were stopped and arrested for not registering. One said he stopped registering in 1986 because at the time, he was not required to register after completing probation. In the early 90’s, he moved out of state and was not required there to register even under the newer laws because of his charge and the length of time since his… Read more »

I frequently go to Las Vegas for the weekend and I clearly I have never registered my presence in “sin city” and I never will.

Again, until they have a boarder check at the Nevada state line I am not going to give 2 sh*ts about it either.

Why would you tell anyone? Uhhm, because it is the law and you are a law abiding citizen… look, no one is telling you what to do. You may have no problem ending up in jail. Your family may, your employer or business may, your cat or dog may, but not you. Fair enough. Personally I would have a problem being in jail, but I would have a huge problem ending up in the slammer for something I did not even know about. You call this worry about nothing? I call it a bite of a reality sandwich. Take the… Read more »

You know with all these crazy laws varying between different states and cities.. There should be a big billboard with all the SO laws at every city access.. just my two cents

Not really. Unless you are on active probation don’t even bother with them! I don’t and I don’t plan to.

Until they have boarder crossing check points between states I am not going to care and I suggest you adopt the same attitude.

I wish I could ignore them, but I already missed 4 years of my daughter’s life due to a false charge, it’s not worth the risk that I might miss more of it.

Personnel themselves couldn’t keep up with all their
confusion …….blind leading the blind….they get caught up
in their own confusion……taxpayer funded.

Yes, it is one giant clusterf**k and we are caught in the middle.

Oh really. I finished my formal probation eight years ago. but I have this law enforcement group in my county actively monitoring my 290 compliance. Maybe they get a chunk of cash from Congress for enforcing Meagan’s law, I don’t know. I asked the sheriff’s department clerk what I should do when I go on vacation. She answered that if I was going for more than two weeks I should have to re-register. She also said that whenever I went on vacation for any time, I should notify them, “to be safe”, and to avoid a red flag in case… Read more »

You need to stop taking the abuse and contact a lawyer immediateliately after you read this. They enjoy keeping you under their thumb…why would you ask the enemy what the rules are? You think they are going to actually tell you (or even actually know)!?!

NO, get a lawyer and find out what they can legally do and what you are legally required where you live at – once you KNOW, do ONLY what is legally required and no more. Sue the city if they over step the law!

Like a local court coverup……they gotta put more cover for
their reckless disregard of law…..their lie becomes bigger….
more people will buy into it with higher taxes………its a good
racket …..perfect crime……personnel covers for same.

It seems that every time I turn around there is something new the government is working to stop me from doing. I have always lived to travel and spent the last 7 years rebuilding my life and my finances so I could afford to do so. I was issued a passport by the government upon my return from the contract work I did for the state (how I describe my incarceration) but hadn’t had a chance to use it until last year when a friend planned a trip to Costa Rica and invited me along. I didn’t do the research… Read more »

jdem, Interesting story – thanks for sharing. Would you mind posting a link to the Costa Rica restriction you mention? We visited Costa Rica in the Spring of 2011 – no problems and no questions asked. I researched their laws before then, and did again after reading your account. And found nothing. Thanks in advance. I am also wondering how the CR authorities would know about your visit. No visa is needed to visit CR, so the first event to set the wheels in motion is swiping the passport at the departure airport? I have not heard that the US… Read more »

Interesting, I was passing through Panama last year and I was stopped by an official after I got off the plane. My passport was examined and when they found I was only there in transit from and not staying nothing more was done. No explanation was offered but clearly the reason was my RSO status.

Something is going on my friends and no one is telling us about it. It seems that our travel is soon going to be very very restricted!

If you do not think there is a direct parallel between the Jews in Nazi Germany –sex offenders in America today, take a look at this book on”The Sex Offender Registry Is A Prelude To Tyranny” The sample pages will show how the Nazis restricted the passport of Jews in the same way the FEDS are about to restrict the passports of sex offenders, sadly this book is highly censored or outright banned.

Yes, the USA is going down that same path – history IS repeating itself!

“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

(Adolf Hitler)

The registry is at the heart of all this evil. You can’t simply restructure it, tier it, make it less insidious, because the act of labeling a class of people as dangerous without the possibility of redemption is wrong. The Nazi’s tried this with sex offenders, the “work shy” and Jews. They didn’t need to do anything more, because the public became scared seeing all these dangerous people around them and said take them away. Once you put a pink triangle on someone, whether you sew it on their sleeve or put it on the Internet, you’re saying this person… Read more »

This is actually illegal to international law. People have human rights to leave their country. This is world authority and it is stated that ALL PEOPLE HAVE HUMAN RIGHTS!!! It could be argued that the public registry and detaining people in any country is IN VIOLATION TO THAT LAW!! With vigilant assaults and killings are becoming an epidemic yearly occurrence, in some cases if a family had there home broken in to, gun shots fired at there house, their spouse and or children, even family members are at danger, could have a case to move out of the country.… Read more »

Recently the world court at the Hague ruled that the Japanese have to stop whaling. I wonder if they would look at the Sex Offender Scheme.


What is the current status of this legislation?
I know it passed the (Republican dominated) House, but I don’t see it in the Senate calendar?
Has it expired (and died like Smith’s previous efforts)?
If not, when does the Senate session end when, if not voted on, it will die again?
Any info, anyone??

Apparently it is still active, though I found this interesting.

Not sure what they base it on, but it has a prognosis saying that the bill has a 20% chance of being enacted.

It seems very unlikely that the bill will pass before the end of the current session January 3, 2015. That it has not passed the Senate is not a surprise as the Senate is controlled (until the next session) by Democrats who, regardless of their stand on IML, have not been in the mood to strike bipartisan iron with Republicans. Of MUCH greater concern: The 2015 Session, when the bill will almost certainly be reintroduced, as it has for years now, by Republicans where its passage in The House seems assured (it passed there this year) and its passage by… Read more »

Has anyone noticed how many of these reps that sponsor these bills or vote for them have prisons and law enforcement backing? If they keep us here, don’t allow employment opportunities, then deny adequate housing and family support, then they increase the odds of a registration or probation screw ups. This leads to more incarceration and more money fore the system. We are a product to be bought and sold, nothing more. We are the new industry here.

As a registered sex offender who has absolutely no interest in breaking the laws of the United States of America or any other country, I am appalled at being branded with the hot iron of bigotry and self righteousness of individuals who could find themselves in the position into which I have be forced against my will and without having committed the offense for which I was convicted. I agree that there need to be laws to protect any human being from sexual abuse of any kind, but mistakes happen. Each case and each person must be judged only for… Read more »

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