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General News

International Megan’s Law / RSO Travel Issues

I have written two pieces on the RSO travel issue, just published:

  • The first is about International Megan’s Law (download pdf)
  • The second describes current treatment (and regardless of Megan’s enactment) of RSO’s into the U.S. (download pdf)

It was an ambitious undertaking but I hope that you will find them to be worthwhile.

I believe that it is the most comprehensive treatment of this subject (thus far) but it is entirely possible that there may be omissions in these pieces and so would welcome your comments or criticisms for future revisions.

Submitted by David Kennerly

Related:

International Travel
International Travel – Mexico

International Travel (Resources)

International Travel (Tag)

Join the discussion

  1. Brubaker

    That’s a big HomeRun …nice..!

    • David Kennerly

      Thank you! It was (and is) hard work. And just the beginning, I’m afraid.

  2. Joe

    Wow, this is great! While I am most stingy with my printer paper I ripped open a new ream for this one!

    I must read and digest this one on paper. Looks like this will put some context to all the bits and pieces I have picked up recently. Thank you!

  3. USA

    Well, here are my experiences. I plead to a battery (I don’t want to be too detailed/wink) about 17 or more years ago. I received Summary Probation and the probation essentially stated, stay away from prostitutes/no minors ect involved. Charged reduced (wobbler) and expunged. No issues prior/after/no criminal record. I’ve flown to the Philippines, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands and I’ve been to Canada more than once. Whenever I fly back into LAX, the agents are kind or rude and they really don’t know what to say (ie: do you have the receipt proving you registered?). Whenever I’ve flown back into the US via Florida, detained a few minutes and I’m gone. The last time I came in through Florida, the gentleman recommended I get a redress, but it really hasn’t helped. Once, a supervisor came in and looked at the screen and wisked me through/this is ancient history he stated. When flying out of Canada, there is a US Customs. They detained me for a few, checked their computer and I was gone/very professional. WHen I drove from Canada to the US, I was stopped, they went through their computer again and I was allowed to proceed. So, they obviously know I have to register, but I’m wondering am I allowed to visit other countries because I had the charge expunged? Nothing to do with a minor? I really have no idea. I haven’t tried to visit Mexico since. Furthermore, I have visited PI twice, but not recently. Would this new law affect me? Or, would US Customs contact them ahead of time/ PI is a 3rd world country and their computers are way outdated. The last time I visited PI, I (seriously) bribed customs (I brought something) with a $20 and once I got into the car, a police officer approached me and asked me for money to buy be a coffee ($5). So, anything is possible in PI. I could probably get off the plane, hand the gentleman checking passports my passport and a $20 and be in my way. Yes, I’m very, very serious.

    • David Kennerly

      Well, that’s what these two articles are all about. And different states have different requirements for notification of travel. In general, and as long as you are not on probation or parole, you are (currently) entirely free to travel to other countries provided you comply with the notification laws to which you are subject. But while you may be free (from the U.S. point of view) to travel to other countries (provided you were not previously convicted of a “sex tourist” offense in another country), all of those countries reserve the right to refuse entry to any foreign visitor and often at the entire discretion of those immigration authorities on duty at the port where you seek entry. And if the U.S. government is providing those foreign governments with your criminal record information which they can easily see when they scan your passport on entry, then your chances of being granted entry into that country fall dramatically. Perhaps, even – almost invariably. And this is happening NOW and not just IF IML passes.

      So, not only do we have to fight IML RIGHT NOW (by writing to our Senators) but we also have to do something which is (probably) considerably more difficult: stopping the existing exchange of criminal records data from the U.S. to Interpol and to foreign governments.

      This is, I would guess, a huge challenge but one which MUST be addressed!

      I would like to invite any attorney to advise us on this daunting project. Perhaps Janice could weigh in with her thoughts and recommendations going forward.

      Janice?

      • Joe

        I have said it before and you said it too… the US is not keeping anyone from traveling. Even they know they cannot pull that off. All they are doing is notifying the destination country of a criminal conviction, a fact, a public record. What the destination country is doing with this information is up to them. Some will care and some won’t. Some will deny entry and some won’t. That is their right, as sovereign nations. Of course, the needier and less secure the nation the more likely they are to please big brother.

        The effect is, of course the same to a large degree, but in the most sneaky way possible. Quite brilliant. Although it seems puzzling to strive to keep all these horrible people confined to vacationing around precious American children. Another instance where never-ending punishment and vindictiveness seemed like a good idea but was not quite thought through? But I digress…

        The notification is fast becoming a requirement under the / some state laws. See here:

        http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText14/HouseText14/H7425.pdf (11-37.4-8. Required information. #22).

        This is the (soon to be passed ?) SORNA compliance for Rhode Island.

        “(22) In the event the sex offender will be traveling outside of the United States, the sex offender must notify the department at least twenty-one (21) days in advance of the travel date and provide any necessary information regarding his/her international travel. Upon notification of a sex offender’s intention to travel internationally, the department shall immediately notify and provide the sex offender’s travel information to INTERPOL.”

        That’s it. Mere notification. But it says “shall” and sounds like shall they will.

        “we also have to do something which is (probably) considerably more difficult: stopping the existing exchange of criminal records data from the U.S. to Interpol and to foreign governments.” – yes indeed, but how? Good luck putting THAT genie back in the bottle…

        Maybe what needs to happen is to require notification about ALL convicted criminals, all 65 million of them. That, of course, would only work with the requirement to self-report any intended travel. Therefore, a registry for all criminals is the only answer.

        • David Kennerly

          I’m not going to assume that it is an unassailable practice (i.e. our gov’t giving foreign gov’ts our criminal records). You may be right and the genie may be out of the bottle but, unless we are finely tuned to the constitutional opportunities which may be available, I would rather not yet make that assumption.

          Which is why I asked Janice for her thoughts even if she feels the need to refer us to someone else.

          Hopefully, she will have some suggestions?

      • junito

        I am a foreigner who was convicted in the USA, did all of the time sentenced to, and then was deported. I have not gotten into anymore trouble since I was released from prison and deported well over a decade ago. I recently started traveling, and every time I am about to leave my country of origin this green alert pops up from interpol. It is such a hassle, n it is very humiliating indeed— especially since I am traveling n vacationing with my wife n family! The first time I was completely surprised by it and had no idea these alerts existed. By the way ,this was a border crossing and unbeknownst to me the immigration official of my own country had summoned the police of the country I was traveling to. I was completely caught off guard, the cop just walked up n stood next to me and asked the immigration official of my country, ”who’s birthday is it” and she just nodded coldly towards me. That’s when it hit me like a bucket of cold ice water as I realized for the first time there was something going on regarding my persona. The cop just grabbed me by the elbow n without saying much he escorted me to a desk where we both sat shoulder to shoulder. My wife was terrified as she held our baby in her arms , n even though I had learned to keep my cool in Attica surrounded by huge abusive hillbilly C.Os waving batons, and being in a situation where the odds were against me through out my bid– I was also filled with fear of the uncertainty of not knowing what I had done now. My mind and thoughts were spinning wildly trying to figure out where had I gone wrong. I was already saying good bye to my wife n family quietly because what ever it was about and/or what was going on— I know I won’t be giving the benefit of the doubt because of my criminal record. Anyway, after what seemed to be forever but in reality maybe only a half hour or so, the mean immigration lady of my country came by n gave me the OK to pass on through. I am so thankful to God n highly relieved, but still feel that this is something unjust n very humiliating and frightening to me and my family. Who puts that alert, is it my own country, is it the U.S. whom I owe nothing to? And for how long will I be harassed in such a way? I will greatly appreciate any feedback regarding this issue.

        • PK

          Which country are you referring to?

        • James

          Actually, there are two questions here…

          1. What country were you traveling from?

          2. What country is your country and that you were trying to enter?

          (and a piece of advice….if this damned thing does follow you, just get used to it. I haven’t traveled this past year…but I used to get pulled aside to US Secondary Inspection for….being a…Sex Offender!!!!…maybe 10 times a year.

          You get used to it, so it is no big deal….Also, don’t let the bastards control you…if you can or need to travel, just do it…this added scrutiny, while unfair, will become normal and no problem to you).

          Good Luck, James

    • Brubaker

      At that person that uses usa (maybe change it..maybe g.wallace be better for you )…segregation today…segregation tomorrow …uno g.wallace…almost every comment you give the same mold thing what you plead guilty /no contest too…but what did a real private attorney cost..?..what charges you face had you gone to trial..?…going to trial and pleading guilty to lesser charges are a whole nother level.

  4. Tired of hiding

    Could someone recommend a lawyer who deals with this sort of situation. Not simply a sex offender lawyer who is familiar with California law BUT one that is versed in dealing with these NEW FEDERAL LEVEL sex offender laws as they are clearly being applied to us here in California despite it not being one of the states who have officially adopted them.

    We need this information! We can not just wait for the hammer to drop…it has already dropped and now it is continuing over and over driving nails as goes sealing the tomb we find ourselves trying to escape!

    Thank you in advance for recommendations.

  5. Tim

    Thank you for the research. In addition to good lawyers we need investigative reporters with Jeremy Scahill and Greenwald’s courage and integrity to delve into what others are afraid to report, the inside workings of the prison military industrial complex, especially in the realm of sex offender laws, and the few who are profiting from it. Truly a daunting task, but I commend you for attempting to locate and connect the dots.

  6. M. Lee

    I took a plea then years ago, to possession of CP. The plea was leveraged by lies and threats which I believed all, including threats of pursuing family members. I scored a zero on the assessment and passed a polygraph that I had no hands on victims, with deferred adjudication. I hate being a registrant, life in the US is hell. So I had flown to Mexico several times and enjoyed it there. I knew that they had no registry so I decided to live there. I attempted to get a temporary resident visa where I divulged all of the criminal record and was rejected but told to go on a tourist visa. I drove across in October of 2013. I drove out in Dec and back in in Jan of 2014. Drove out in June of 2013 and drove back in July of 2014. Drove out in December of 14 and drove back in in Jan of 2015. However in April I few out and when I attempted to fly back in April of 15 I was met and sent right back on the plane that I had arrived on. I had driven in on 4 trips with no problem. I was very happy in Mexico living as a normal person. The cost of living is low and it was nice to be well regarded. I was in a position to help others even with my limited income and I enjoyed that very much. Now for me life is hard to stomach in the US. The question for me is can anything be done? Those that have hired an attorney, have you gotten any relief? I see where people have talked to an attorney but none where there are any guidelines for any relief.

  7. M.Lee

    One more question. For those that were not allowed to enter the country, did they ask you to sign a document? They put a document in front of me and I asked what it was and was told “that you were treated well”. But I have no idea what it was since it was in Spanish. Does anyone know?

    • The Anon

      I would have refused to sign anything that I could not read and understand.

  8. Harry

    I believe that CARSOL would send formal letters to the appropriate powers of these counties the facts about RC, it would do some good.

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