International Megan’s Law moves through Congress

The International Megan’s Law cleared a major hurdle Friday when the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed it.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.) has worked to pass the bill, which would expand the system of registering and tracking sex offenders to the international community, since 2008, when he first introduced the legislation. It was previously approved by the House in 2010. Full Article

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We need to contact our Congressman and stop this. These laws are getting crazy! Now we can leave the country? What next interment camps?

I thought the good old USA was already informing other countries when registered citizens travel.

Just be sure to tell the afghan citizens how the us protected them.

These people in Congress make federal laws despite the fact sex offender laws in general vary tremendously by state.

California is one if only four that make everyone, regardless of the severity of the crime, stay registered for life.

This means, if this law passes, there will be a huge disparity and unequal enforcement/punishment going on here.

If two people are convicted of the same lower level offense, and one is from CA and the other from a state with a tiered registry, then the person from CA will trigger a warning if traveling overseas for their entire life, but the person from a tiered state will only trigger notices for 10 years and after that can travel freely?

This seems highly inequitable and possobly could merit a lawsuit.

And what about people (like me) who have travelled overseas for work extensively with no incidents and no problems. If this passes I will suddenly be deemed such a threat countries need to be warned about me?

Again, this seems like an overreach, like it’s unfairly adding life-altering restrictions onto people long after they completed their sentences, and something hat I hope would be fought in the courts!

This entire issue of sex offenders traveling overseas seems like unchartered territory. Many RSO issues have been litigated in the courts – but I can’t recall ever reading about anything involving the right to travel freely internationally once your sentence is complete and you are no longer on probation or parole.

This is something that can impact bi-national families and something that can cause people to lose their careers. It’s a very serious issue and I think the ACLU or a group like this should examine it.

My crime was a statutory rape type case, I had a sexual encounter with a 16 year old when I was 23.

Most of the world has an age of consent of 16.

The main places where it’s over 16 are the U.S. (Some states) and the Islamic world.

So if this passes the U.S. Government will be using valuable resources to alert countries that I’m coming when I didn’t even do anything that would be illegal in that country!?!?

Yeah, that seems more important than focusing on terrorism or human trafficking!

What are they going to do for the people caught peeing near a school which can land people on the registry?

Are they really goin to alert foreign law enforcement agencies that someone who got caught peeing outside is going to be arriving shortly, “we thought you should be aware”.

Of course, knowing the way they operate, they probably won’t give any specifics and just tell places “a registered sex Offender is coming” so the countries themselves have know idea of the spefics and just think the worst.

The yearly passport renewal fee (>$150) and the fee for submitting an itinerary would be problematic form a constitutional standpoint as well. In addition, a registrant would STILL not know if he were to be rejected at his destination or not.

When we’ve seen minor victories here and there, it’s discouraging when we see major things like this coming up…other than increasing the argument that registration IS punishment.

This congress has done about zilch to make the lives of women and children any better in any real sense. Meanwhile we drop to the bottom of the developed world with our high infant mortality rates. 5 million children are now orphans in Iraq because of our actions. They must hide this fact by putting this symbolic act on their resumes, and by so doing harm many who pose no harm to others. Do the people realize the sham?. No. Do they care? No. We are just a bunch of sex criminals to them, commodities to be traded for political gain.

This is coming on top of the Adam Walsh Act (which may or may not apply [depending on who you ask], in regards to international travel, to those citizens living in a non-Sorna compliant state) AND on top of INTERPOL’s much trumpeted rollout of a database which, itself, alerts all member countries (nearly 200) when a sex offender is presenting themselves upon arrival in their country.

So these are three OVERLAPPING moves (two already implemented) to turn us into the 21st century’s equivalent of Soviet refuseniks. The only difference is that fewer people hated Jews than sex offenders.

This is as grim as anything I have seen since the introduction of online registries themselves. Effectively, all registrants can consider themselves GROUNDED permanently, regardless of their circumstances (I traveled frequently on business but not anymore) and regardless of their offense date (in my case, 25 years ago).

I wish I knew how to effectively counter this major civil rights travesty, apart from contacting my “congresswomen” who are likely to support it, regardless.

I have some resources to put into this effort but I can’t do it alone.

Can’t live where you want
Can’t go to beaches parks libraries
People living under Bridges
Cant get jobs
Shunned by society
Families being ruined
Banned from events with your family
And now can’t travel….nahhhh its not punishment

At the very least LIFETIME registration should be considered unconstitutional. You can’t tell someone they can’t travel forever.

What an utter waste of congressional resources and time. I am no expert or anywhere close to being one where sex offenses, human trafficking, and child abuse is concerned. However, as a rational person I understand the basic concept of problem solving. Can anyone answer how keeping track of registrants in any country actually helps prevent future crimes? Seriously if an individual or a group wants to do something they will find a way to do it regardless of whether they are being monitored or not and there is not a thing anyone else can do about it, unless messures are implemented before that stage is ever reached to prevent it in the first place. Though nobody in congress, law enforcement (hence the word enforcement), or really any other organization is aggressively pushing front end preventative measures. So forget the whole notion of reducing and preventing the outright creation of potential predators and victims way before circumstances arise that can lead towards the genesis of the activities everyone claims to be so adamant about stopping a second, third, forth, etc….time.

Instead of wasting time and resources on policing the world or notifying other countries of registrants travels congress should be working on fixing the problems at home. Also like just about every other human behavior there is little global consensus on what is or isn’t acceptable, some crimes in the United States are not crimes elsewhere and vice versa, so let’s get started on addressing those discrepancies prior to alerting anyone of the arrival or departure of anyone. Finally who is more dangerous a serial murderer or someone who committed a sex offense? Keeping in mind that not all sex offenses involve sexual activities of any kind and even among those that do, a decent percentage involve participants of a narrow or approximate age range who are consenting to said activities or conduct (at least within the scope of interactions between each other.) Hands off offenses are another matter and are more complicated than governments care to admit because as they or organizations on their behalf prove everyday, merely looking at images or videos does not automatically mean sexual or malicious intent exists. Of course don’t point out that when someone on “official business” does something as part of their job it’s okay under a given set of work related parameters to view contraband such as child pornography. Anyone else is committing a crime and under the law must be up to no good, so punishment is justified because only sickos would look at such materials right? In closing as a global community we have much work to do and Megan’s law or an international version of it can’t ever properly address all the issues or symptoms at play, for that lots of research and development is required to develop long term and short term strategies/programs to truly resolve these and other pressing issues facing the world.