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General News

Motion Filed to Stop Implementation of International Megan’s Law [updated with Motion for Preliminary Injunction]

A Motion for Preliminary Injunction was filed on February 19 asking the U.S. District Court to stop implementation of International Megan’s Law (formerly HR 515 and now Public Law 114-119). If granted, the motion would temporarily prohibit the federal government from both adding a conspicuous, unique identifier to the passports of registrants and notifying foreign countries of registrants’ plans to travel internationally.

Six declarations were Included with the Motion, including declarations from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), Dr. Tom Tobin of Sharper Future and criminal defense attorney Alex Landon. The declarations of by ATSA and Dr. Tobin included statements that International Megan’s Law will not halt child sex trafficking and could result in significant harm to hundreds of thousands of registrants.

“We are grateful for the support of ATSA in our efforts to stop implementation of International Megan’s Law,” stated CA RSOL president Janice Bellucci. ATSA is an international organization dedicated to preventing sexual abuse through research, evidence-based practice, public policy and community strategies that lead to the effective assessment, treatment, and management of individuals who have sexually abused or are at risk to abuse.

A hearing date of March 30 was requested when the motion was filed. The federal government’s response to the motion is currently due on March 4, however, both dates could be postponed if the government requests a delay.

Related

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Join the discussion

  1. PK

    The Government Attorney was talking about the Passport Provision:

    “because the State Department has yet to make technical modifications or issue regulations or guidelines necessary to implement the passport identifier provision and will not complete these steps before late 2016. Plaintiffs’ challenge to that provision is unripe, and certainly presents no reason for the Court to address that issue on an emergency basis.

    Oh but those Notifications that they have been sending out for 5 years?

    Is that ripe? Thanks!

    • PK

      He seemingly repeats himself at least 3 times, that the passport provision will not be implemented until late 2016:

      “The passport identifier requirement will not take effect until the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State and the Attorney General first develop a process for implementation, then submit a joint report to Congress regarding this proposed process, and, finally, certify that the process has been successfully implemented.”

      What about the fact that the Angel Watch Notification System has been in place for 5 years, under some type of Authority that isn’t Law.

      Is he trying to throw the Judge off by continually repeating himself that the passport provision will not be implemented for several months?

  2. David H

    The problem with fighting these guys they have an army of lawyers to parse each sentence of a complaint for contrary case law–did you see the table of contents of case law???

  3. David H

    I walked away with three key notions they argued:

    1) they buttress and support the relevance of these laws based upon an existing flawed foundation of laws.

    2) any information they share is available on public internet

    3) the studies they quote– offenders on avg, go for 16 years before being caught; each offender has hundreds of victims

    1–the foundation for these laws stem largely from the flawed Smith V Doe matter and then many more layers compounded

    2–get real is a country going to realistically screen passengers entering into their county’s from maybe a known website that may or may not be accurate, even if they were to know of such a website put up by 100’s of countries across the globe ( and I believe here’s where 5th amendment on compelling speech continues in such a circumstance–you may or may not agree with the accuracy of a website that anyone could make look official for profit or nefarious reasons). If SORNA was created because 50 states couldnt agree on statutory claims and punishments then how could the world be experts on U.S. law

    3–the data that’s been compiled now tells of a far different conclusion of likelihood to re-offend and # of victims etc. Further, I recall when most of these studies were being performed–they had convicted serial offenders in prison undergoing guilt rehab making punishing confessions of themselves. Many of whom were seeking redemption..

  4. steve

    WTF?

    Operation Angel Watch, which seeks to prevent child sex trafficking or tourism1 by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents abroad by identifying registered sex offenders whose travel plans, along with other factors, SUGGEST INTENT to engage in child sex tourism or child sex trafficking in other countries.

    The only possible situation where someone traveling across borders and that travel “suggests intent” is if you have ALREADY been convicted of sex tourism and even that’s a stretch. This seems like a MAJOR flaw in their argument.

    • PK

      Man I hope she pounces on that.

      “Operation Angel Watch, which seeks to prevent child sex trafficking or tourism1 by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents abroad by identifying registered sex offenders whose travel plans, along with other factors, SUGGEST INTENT to engage in child sex tourism or child sex trafficking in other countries.”

      Really- What are the “other factors” that “suggest intent”?

      • David H

        Remember congressmen Foley from Florida this goes back to the 1990’s; He was one of those get tough on child abuser types only to be found having homosexual contact with his young congressional interns–resigned after discovered; now we have this guy who writes this bill after his visiting every known sex tourism country on the plane: Thailand, Philippines, Brazil; he was probably on a sex tour himself.

        That goes on there was too a senator Craig from Idaho got caught in an airport bathroom seeking homosexual contact; all the while he was some anti-gay moralist crusader.

        These guys punish us for their deficiencies

    • Timmr

      In essence, the argument for these laws is that the punitive laws are ineffective in prohibiting re-offense. They really need to have some evidence to support that. The studies I have seen suggest only 1 in 20 wish to go through the justice system again.

  5. curiouser

    None of this is uncommon in ANY government opposition, whether it be with regard to a complaint such as this, or something as seemingly trivial as a sentencing position. There is a vast library of case law out there. They simply pick and choose what they believe is on-point to the argument they espouse. None of this is unexpected, and certainly not to Janice and the legal team. This is the very basis of our system of stare decisis. It’s not like anyone expects the government to read the complaint and just say, “oh well. Yeah. They’re right. We don’t oppose.”

    • steve

      I disagree…the sending out of warnings about rc’s is an action the government is DOING the opposing lawyers aren”t spinning anything here they are stating they are sending out notices that aren’t even true and they admit it.

  6. Rob

    I wish the government would just come out and say they send out the notification for all current sex offenders, regardless of crime or risk factors. That they do not look at each individual and there travel plans in any detail (other then destination country) and that they do not have any system in place that is able to determine “Intent” or show heightened risk.

    I wish I could ask them how they show who is traveling with intent and how they prove it?

    So me and my fiancee traveling together to the Dominican Republic to stay at a resort that is in the middle of nowhere. We have booked an all-inclusive resort for 7 days, clearly thats where we are going to be. We have not rented a vehicle, we will be at the resort the whole time. We have traveled extensively together with no “incidents” or attempts for sex tourism..
    My crime was a class D misdemeanor 9 years ago and I’m in college full-time. My crime is not even a crime in most countries that we would travel to.
    So please show me what mitigating factor’s have led you to determine that I’m at an elevated risk to engage in sex tourism ICE?
    What a joke this is, except it’s not funny.

  7. anonymously

    We’ve got the numbers in our favor. The numbers prove there is no need for this. The Government lawyers are trying to weasel their way around this. And say the numbers they use were not arbitrary when they use numbers that are totally irrelevant to the issue. It does not matter how many registrants got passports in a given year, 4300 or so, does not matter. What matters is how many of those registrants were shown to have committed child sex crimes as a result of using their passports. This seems to me worse than the government using some bogus numbers on how many registrants were caught overseas using passports and committing child sex crimes and then those numbers were found to not be arbitrarily arrived at. This is not even giving any numbers on this and then acting like these numbers are not even necessary for their argument. IML is not needed. And they don’t have numbers to indicate it is needed, not surprisingly.

    I am also a little confused on the the 1st Amendment part of the Government response. They cite, in referencing another case, that its a 1st Amendment violation to force someone to have a license plate saying “Live Free or Die” and claim it is such because the license plate goes on your personal property, which I assume means your vehicle or it means the car could be parked on your land and then you would be forced to display the slogan ‘Live Free or Die’ on your land. The license plate is the government speech saying ‘Live Free or Die’. With the passport indicating your criminal record, it is also forcing you to have the message that indicates criminal record on your personal propery, yourself, which you may need to display for many reasons in the course of your trip. Since registrants with a past criminal record involving a sex offense have been shown to have the second lowest recidivism reoffense rate of under 1%, past record of sex offenses as a registrant does not indicate, show, suggest , or suggest a possibility of committed a future sex offense. Therefore, it is no ones business in a foreign country what is some travelers past criminal record involving a sex offense if they are registrants. Forcing the message broadcasting your past record negates the message of a registrant who wants to not broadcast his past crimes which statistically speaking will not be repeated over 99% of the time and appear law abiding and be able to act in an upstanding manner and be treated as an upstanding person. The government message embedded in or on the passport negates that message. First Amendment violation, in my book.

    It’s kind of interesting how the factors in determining if a registrant is to be suggested to have intent of criminality does not seem to be any that take into the consideration that the registrant is traveling with spouse or family, which makes it even more unlikely the person would engage in sex trafficking. Stories abound of registrants having to leave their families upon trying to enter foreign countries due to Angel Watch and the Marshalls Service notices of false threat.

    • James

      It also bothers me greatly that the numbers, the actual evidence is so…badly misrepresented. All of this is an affront to my analytical mind…and I would hope others also.

      To say that 4,500 passports have been issued to RSO’s is to say nothing at all; this is empty of any Analytic content at all…how many of these Passport holders committed sex crimes over seas?

      Not(!) sex crimes committed by US Passport holders, but of these 4,500…this I want to know. And I suspect this can be discovered but the Government does not wish…to help discover or promote the truth in this matter.

      Listen, if 30% of these 4,500 have committed crimes…I will stand up and say the government is right in its position…but if it is less than 50 cases, or 25, which is what I suspect…I expect them in good faith to say we are right and they are simply wrong.

      In this sense then I have some hope for the distant future because if the Preliminary Injunction is denied, and it may well be, (let us not fool ourselves), then at trial, whenever that might be, the actual facts may be developed and entered into the record.

      Here then is the saving grace of the complaint…it may force some actual truth into the record.

      Of course this will require more financial assistance…and I sigh at this, but CARSOL gets first dips on any money I might give away.

      Best Wishes and Good Luck to Everyone, James

      • Friend of RSOL

        I know exactly what you mean, James. This whole thing is an affront to anyone with an analytical mind. Pure circular reasoning.

        The registry itself defines the word “Kafkaesque”: …”having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality.”

        See also:

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Kafkaesque

        • Timmr

          Also surreal describes it well. For the past 15 years I have been wondering how long I have been sleeping, and when will I wake up and people start to make sense again.
          The other possibility is that I did wake up 15 years ago, and this is how people really are.

        • steve

          I have recently told 4 people that I know about IML and they were in utter shock. They also couldn’t believe they didn’t her about this. Waking up from this dream will require educating everyone you know about what is really going on.

      • steve

        James,

        I think the number is 10 RSO’s arrested for sex tourism a year. I read that somewhere.

        • David H

          sounds like a whooping problem to me–and how many French and English do this ( half of Asia was a colony of theirs; that’s where all this got started)–if it was merely an American problem seems they’d be out of business!

        • Brubaker

          Dude please try to use specific info evidence Especially when this legal matter is pending. Our team deals with facts NOT some type of speculation or Enron tactics of corrupted inflated figures: please.

        • steve

          Read the GAO report from 2010.

        • PK

          I was going to mention the same thing. This is exactly part of the problem that we’re dealing with, politicians spewing misinformation and false facts.

          If you could please cite a specific example and evidence which supports your statement of 10 RSO’s per year, instead of posting information about “something you thought you read somewhere”. In fact, I thought I read it was ZERO RSO’s commit sex offenses against children internationally. I don’t know that for sure, but I think it. That being said, you don’t see me posting data that I cannot back-up.

          I urge you to ask to have your post removed at once, before some attorney involved in our case reads your post.

        • Joe

          Happened to see this – just yesterday.

          http://patch.com/california/santamonica/ex-santa-monica-resident-convicted-after-long-delayed-sex-tourism-trial

          All three appear to be registrants – convicted over several years. As this sort of story makes headlines the absence of other news article re. the subject leads one to conclude that this is an extreme rarity.

          Here is a press release about their arrest on the DHS web site.

          https://www.dhs.gov/blog/2009/08/31/cracking-down-child-sex-tourism

          which links to

          http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/08/31/us-pedophiles-nabbed-in-cambodia-sex-tourist-sting.html

          from 2009 which says

          “Since 2003, ICE has arrested 70 international sex offenders under the Child Protect Act.”

          accounting for roughtly 10 ARRESTS of registrants per YEAR.

          On this fact sheet from 2008 ICE states

          https://www.ice.gov/doclib/news/library/factsheets/pdf/predator.pdf

          “Working cooperatively with foreign governments through ICE attaché offices worldwide, ICE agents have made 67 arrests under the child sex tourism provisions of the 2003 PROTECT Act. Of those, 47 have been convicted and others are still being prosecuted. ”

          It does not specify how many of the 47 CONVICTIONS (approx. 10 / year) were of registrants.

          I wonder if they even know their own numbers?

          1-866-DHS-2ICE or Operation.Predator@dhs.gov

        • James

          Dear Joe;

          Well, we have three from Cambodia, (a lovely country BTW, Angkor What is not to be missed), and maybe 47 move convicted from, the ICE Reprot cites 3 that went to Thailand, etc….from 2003~08.

          These are minuscule numbers…each case of course on its individual facts is important, but this is the equivalent to anecdotal evidence…what needs to be hammered on is what are the total numbers of RSO Passports divided by number of cases per year.

          Current laws are entirely adequate to deal with….what is a tiny, tiny problem, I think will be born out by the evidence.

          I need here to thank Joe for pulling together these links…proponents of these laws, ICE and who-nots, will continue to point to these few incidents expecting us to be ashamed and hold our heads in shame or something…

          But they lie, they purposely are withholding evidence of the true numbers of the RSO Passports issued and crimes committed….So we and everyone could know the truth of these assertions.

          I am curious if a FOIA request to release this information would be effective? I’ve never filed a Freedom of Information Act request so I don’t know what is possible….or discoverable in the current case filed by Janice…

          But this is what we need, real numbers…not single stories of this bad man did this, this bad man did that….rather, 30,000 passports (or some true number) are outstanding to RSO and there have been X arrests for Sex Crimes, Y convictions in…say 2014, or 2013, but for each year.

          Good data is good data, garbage is garbage and ICE trying to defend its budget is no reason to curtail my, or anyone else’s, basic freedoms.

          (hey, this isn’t too bad as a statement position, is it?….lol)

          Best Wishes, James

        • James

          Geeze, I apologize for some typo errors above…I take a call and then when I get back to this my edit window has closed…well, stuff happens.

          Move should be more, of course

          Reprot should be Report…

          These are the only two…I apologize…I’ll do better in the future.

          Sorry, James

        • David H

          continuances and representing himself only tells me he had a public defender that was only going to enable the system to convict him; I’m sorry, and not because I am prejudiced by this, I dont believe a word!

        • Joe

          Here is the official press release regarding this conviction.

          https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/bay-area-registered-sex-offender-convicted-traveling-cambodia-have-sex-young-girls

          It would seem that his potential century-plus of imprisonment is mostly due to intent to travel and doing so while being required to register under PC 290, as opposed to the actual abuse itself.

          Not wanting to defend this guy and what he did – by any stretch of the imagination, but finally it should be noted that the offense his registration is based on (OC with a 16/17 year old person) would not be a criminal offense in almost any developed country and half the states in the US.

          Pre-crime is alive and well in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

        • NPS

          Sorry Joe, but I think this person actually had this intent and did the action overseas. Did you miss the part of this press release that said ENGAGED in those acts? It’s more than a thought crime or preconceived notion crime. There were also witnesses who provided testimony that he did in fact engage in these acts. However, this does not justify IML. He is the exception and not the rule of RCs. Unfortunately, our government likes to spin this as the rule.

        • David H

          They’re really working Cambodia–I think because that’s the last holdout country.

          That aside this country’s fanaticals are willing to drag nets allover the world to bring them back here why didnt Cambodia just jail him there

          ” ,’ said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Protecting children from sexual exploitation is one of our top priorities, and we will pursue pedophiles across the globe if necessary. I also salute the courage of his victims who were willing to come to the United States to be witnesses at the trial and testify against him.'”

          anything for a dog-and-pony show–to justify bloated bureaucratic budgets and to give the narcissists a job

  8. anonymously

    70 international sex offenders…that may be the same thing as 70 US registered sex offenders. But it also may not be the same thing. I know the sex trafficking scammers like to say that during a domestic operation they have arrested/rescued such and such number of child prostitutes and they have also arrested such and such number of pimps. One would assume the pimps were pimping the child prostitutes. Yet, its been shown to not be the case, where the child prostitutes did not have pimps and the pimps were not involved with the child prostitutes arrested/rescued. So if its not explicitly spelled out that the 47 convicted were registered sex offenders and not just those arrested that they are labeling international sex offenders from their involvement in the then-current arrest, then I would not make that assumption they were previously convicted. The 3 mentioned that flew back on that plane together it has been spelled out that they were registrants. It’s spelled out that there were 70 arrests of registrants since 2003 and the year of the report was 2009. In 7 years, there were 70 arrests of registrants. 10 registrants per year on average arrested. We still don’t know how many convictions from those arrests.

    It says the Protect act has provisions that provide up to a life sentence for child sex tourism with previous conviction, which I assume means they are a registrant. It still does not mean that the 70 arrested under the PROTECT act are registrants as the PROTECT Act also increases penalties for 1st time offenders of sex crimes as well as increasing punishment for those caught who had previous convictions. The 70 arrested were described as ‘international sex offenders’ and not ‘registered US sex offenders’. It sounds like they are described as such from the circumstances of the arrest, even if they have not been previously convicted of a sex crime.

  9. anonymously

    70 international sex offenders…that may be the same thing as 70 US registered sex offenders. But I doubt it. I know the sex trafficking scammers like to say that during a domestic operation they have arrested/rescued such and such number of child prostitutes and they have also arrested such and such number of pimps. One would assume the pimps were pimping the child prostitutes. Yet, its been shown to not be the case. The child prostitutes did not have pimps and the pimps were not involved with the child prostitutes arrested/rescued. So if its not explicitly spelled out that the 47 convicted were registered sex offenders and not just those arrested that they are labeling international sex offenders from their involvement in the then-current arrest, then I would not make that assumption they were previously convicted. The 3 mentioned that flew back on that plane together it has been spelled out that they were registrants. It’s spelled out that there were 70 arrests since 2003 and the year of the report was 2009. In 7 years, there were 70 arrests of ‘international sex offenders’, not the same as registered sex offenders.

    In one part of the PROTECT Act it has provisions that provide up to a life sentence for child sex tourism with previous conviction, which I assume means they are a registrant. It still does not mean that the 67 or 70 arrested under the PROTECT act are registrants as the PROTECT Act also increases penalties for 1st time offenders of sex crimes as well as increasing punishment for those caught who had previous convictions. The PROTECT Act does not solely deal with registrants who had previous convictions. The 70 arrested were described as ‘international sex offenders’ and not ‘registered US sex offenders’. It sounds like they are described as such from the circumstances of the arrest, even if they have not been previously convicted of a sex crime. Nowhere does it say the 70 arrested were registrants. All I think that is known is that there were 3 registrants convicted of sex tourism from 2003-2009. My guess is that is all there is. From each of those accounts, we got the story of the arrest and their criminal history stories. The most was made of these 3 guys cases. I would highly doubt there are any others. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • James

      Dear anonymously:

      If your analysis is correct…we are talking about .00066% percent of RSO’s using the 4,500 passports issued during this period to RSO’s…though surely the outstanding Passport total is far higher and so the number is even smaller and smaller and smaller.

      This is not difficult to do if the Government would issue true numbers of what they maintain is of vital importance to them….if it is so important they should have the numbers.

      I suggest they are actively hiding the truth or, actively avoiding compiling easily found data on this question.

      Best Wishes, James

      • Brubaker

        In their own USDept of State words they said it was less than 0.00030% .
        Then can you do the math when that number shrinks upon the millions & millions of passports issued yearly.
        C’mon, this hr515 has Enron deception misrepresentation cheating lies fraud written all over it.
        I’d like to be John Doe5. This can be won for injunction & to tear down that modern day Berlin Wall (hr515).

        • Brubaker

          The iml (wall) is in direct conflict with the Constitution.

        • Timmr

          The new Iron Curtain for those detained for previously served convictions.

  10. anonymously

    I was thinking maybe the blacklisting by a country once they deny you entry could be added to the list of irreparable harm of the IML. Add that to all the other things like lost money, lost time, lost opportunity for work, missing of good times with family, denial of going to a religiously sacred place, irreparable health damage from denial of going to a foreign country for better or more choices in ,or more affordable ,medical treatment that only outside the US is possible, etc.

  11. anonymously

    How can the government have it both ways. They say that IML is not implemented yet, so plaintiffs have no standing to bring it up. But then, they also say that IML is just building upon Angel Watch that has been in place over 5 years and there have been no problems thus far. I guess they have to be at least that honest when they report Angel Watch has been in effect already. But actually in effect for over 5 years ?. With so many other stetchings of the truth, I would have to not believe that either. I think its been in effect for more like 2-3 years. That would mean that the zero cases of sex tourism or trafficking convictions from maybe 2010-2013 would not be attributed to Angel Watch in effect, but attributable to registrants just not committing sex crimes. Maybe the policy was written and passed around in 2010. But I think it only got implemented until 2-3 years ago. I think some stories on this site relay that. In any case its a contradiction to say theres no standing on something thats not in place, when its been in place for at least 2-3 years in my estimation, or over 5 years as claimed by the government, with many problems. The only reason no murders/assaults can be recounted from the Angel Watch program is because the government is scaring or paying the host countries to deny registrants entry. In addition to telling the host country the registrant is likely to commit a child sex crime, the host country may also be threatened to have some aid funds frozen if they don’t deny the registrant entry. If the government ever stops doing what they are not openly admitting and registrants actually are allowed in, then I am sure some murders/assaults on entire traveling parties will occur to report back on.

    • Timmr

      The government has not revealed how many convicted international sex offenders were on the registry. They apparently don’t know about people as noted here wasting thousands of dollars on aborted travel plans, having family vacations ruined and business opportunities crushed. So what’s to believe in the government’s claim there has been no damage done to registrants due to Angle Watch? If there has been violence done to registrants, would they reveal that, when they haven’t reveal other other information the might damn their case?

  12. anonymously

    Not a major point in comparison, but in the first article Joe linked to, it said that the Judge said how just in September an 81 year old pedophile was sentenced. Then, it tells of 3 offenders. I looked it up and the 81 year old mentioned is in fact one of the 3 offenders who are later mentioned and who appeared to be separate. Kind of misleading as it makes it look like there were more than 3 registrants arrested for sex tourism from 2003-2009. Check it out.

  13. anonymously

    Well, to correct myself, I did manage to come across one other news article of a registrant convicted during that time period of 2003-2009 of sexual tourism related crimes, involving the Philippines and not Cambodia. So now I have a total of 4 registrants convicted in 7 years. Out of 7 years, 2003-2009, if it can be assumed each year 4500 passports were issued to registrants, there were 31,500 passports issued. In that 7 years, 2003-2009, I know of only 4 registrant convictions of child sex tourism related crimes. So, 4/31,500 = .000127, which means a .0127% rate of conviction of sex tourism by registrants who got passports.

  14. anonymously

    Well, to correct myself, I did manage to come across one other news article of a registrant convicted during that time period of 2003-2009 of sexual tourism related crimes, involving the Philippines and not Cambodia. So now I have a total of 4 registrants convicted in 7 years. Out of 7 years, 2003-2009, if it can be assumed each year 4500 passports were issued to registrants, there were 31,500 passports issued. In that 7 years, 2003-2009, I know of only 4 registrant convictions of child sex tourism related crimes. So, 4/31,500 = .000127, which means a .0127% rate of conviction of sex tourism crimes by registrants who got passports from 2003-2009, assuming 4500 registrant passports were issued each year like in 2008.

  15. steve

    Here is an interesting report from 2011. this talks about who the traffickers are:

    Traffickers are individuals and organizations who trade in human beings as commodities. Traffickers may be foreign-born or domestic, or even members of a victim’s own ethnic or national community. They usually have legal status in the United States. Often they are part of organized crime groups and are increasingly members of Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs). As noted above, they frequently traffic drugs and guns using the same smuggling routes as for people. Some traffickers are also part of family operations that exploit both outsiders and members of the extended family and local community.
    MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF PERSONS ENGAGE IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING– independent contractors, pimps, sexual predators, and diplomats as well as neighbors, friends and relatives.

    So should diplomats, my neighbors, friends and relatives all have a stamp on their passports?

    http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1031&context=childrenatrisk

    • Harry

      Drug traffickers are the biggest vehicles and reasons for human trafficking, both for sex and otherwise. However, drug traffickers are allowed to travel, internationally.

  16. PK

    So what happens at this point? Does Janice now write a response to the government’s response?

  17. MG

    Actually, Operation Angel Watch has been in use for several years. I was excluded from the Philippines and blacklisted in 2012 due to Operation Angel Watch.

  18. Eric Knight

    The government brief is esesntially a document dump with no real arguments. Virtually every assertion they make had been addressed in the original well-prepared complaint, and a competent judge will have to take his glasses off and rub his eyes to reread it to make sure that the government response was not satirical.

  19. James

    I’ve lately been big on numbers as a weapon for us to use…to hopefully protect ourselves and move the needle in our direction or favor….However, seeing Joe’s linked post from ICE/HSI above….is really worrisome to me since it could cut the legs out from my argument. (I generally think it best to face these things squarely). Here it is:

    “Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative….”

    Are these not bad numbers? It is true that these are probably not RSO’s, but still…this seems problematic for us in my view. Of course, this may well be like the fact that our recidivism rate is quite low, the vast majority of offenses are committed by family members etc and not RSO’s….likewise these overseas offenses are being committed by people other than RSO’s…who, as a group, commit few or no crimes in this category.

    But this may be an argument too fine tuned for most people to understand….and so is bad for us.

    I am just trying to be honest here.

    Two questions:

    Are these Government numbers good? Were there 2,300 arrests for overseas sex crimes in 2014? I would image we would know this if it were true…and even if 2,300 arrests, how many convictions? How many actually involve children? (I’m sorry, I’m not considering a 17 year old prostitute a child…a minor maybe, but not a child either).

    Secondly, if these Government numbers are good, how would you argue against them? What arguments would you advance to help in the opposition to the IML?

    Best Wishes, James

  20. anonymously

    James writes “I’ve lately been big on numbers as a weapon for us to use…to hopefully protect ourselves and move the needle in our direction or favor….However, seeing Joe’s linked post from ICE/HSI above….is really worrisome to me since it could cut the legs out from my argument. (I generally think it best to face these things squarely). Here it is:”

    In another posting, it says 70 total people, of which only 4 that I know of from articles I have seen were registrants were arrested for child sex tourism.

    ““Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative….””

    12,000 were arrested but it does not say they were registrants. The number of registrants arrested is likely under 1% of that total. According to wikipedia on Operation Predator, 85% of the arrests were of foreign national “sex offenders” being kickout out of the US or imprisoned and then kicked out of the US. The 85% of the arrests of foreign nationals do not appear to be for new sex crimes. Then, and most importantly, Operation Predator deals with domestic child pornography. I would venture that most of the remaining arrests other than the 85% of foreign nationals getting deoprted would be child pornography offenses. We do have numbers on sex tourism/trafficking. It is 70 between 2003-2009 through the PROTECT Act, which was spawning as part of Operation Predator. I feel bad on the one hand to attack a beauracracy that exists to give people jobs, feed their families, etc. But these lies lead to too much abuse for them not be fact-checked.

    “Are these not bad numbers? It is true that these are probably not RSO’s, but still…this seems problematic for us in my view. Of course, this may well be like the fact that our recidivism rate is quite low, the vast majority of offenses are committed by family members etc and not RSO’s….likewise these overseas offenses are being committed by people other than RSO’s…who, as a group, commit few or no crimes in this category.”

    But they are not overseas offenses. Remember, there were 70 overseas offenses. 4 of which are known to involve registrants. Your argument is not undermined.

    “But this may be an argument too fine tuned for most people to understand….and so is bad for us.”

    They don’t want to give the real, low numbers on overseas offenses. So they mix them in with domestic crimes and then give numbers on that, without pointing out how many were registrants. They obviously do both the omitting of the distinction of what percentage were registrants , and also the co-mingling of overseas crimes with domestic crimes to hide the real numbers on registrants committing overseas sex crimes in order to make their ireelevant numbers seem like they refer to registrants.

    “I am just trying to be honest here.

    Two questions:

    “Are these Government numbers good?”

    If they were used to try to imply anything regarding registrants, then no. They don’t apply to anything that would indicate registrant sex tourism arrests/convictions.

    Were there 2,300 arrests for overseas sex crimes in 2014?”

    No.

    “I would image we would know this if it were true…and even if 2,300 arrests, how many convictions?”

    To have relevance to IML, the numbers would have to be on registrants. Not general numbers of arrests without making the distinction if it was a registrant involved.

    ” How many actually involve children? (I’m sorry, I’m not considering a 17 year old prostitute a child…a minor maybe, but not a child either).”

    Thats a good question. In the wikipedia on Operation Predator, it says 85% of the arrests were for expelling foreign national sex offenders. It did not say foreign national child sex offenders. So I do not know how many were child offenders of the 85% of arrests from Operation Predator since 2003 that were of foreign national sex offenders not allowed in the US, but still committing a crime just by being here.

    “Secondly, if these Government numbers are good, how would you argue against them? What arguments would you advance to help in the opposition to the IML?”

    If those numbers were ‘good’, meaning they were interpretted as you did, then it would us that would be only mentioning the number of passports issued maybe.

  21. T

    So i just finished reading the goverments response to the iml injunction and if i read it correctly it states that doe #3 is no longer a registrant so he probabally would not recieve the identifier. So my question since he is no longer a registrant is he still bound by the sorna requirements on interstate travel and international travel.

    • JohnDoeUtah

      SORNA says nothing about expungements. However, IML says, if required to register in any jurisdiction. States like Utah still require you to register even if your crimes were expunged, so Doe #3 would still have to register in certain states if he went there.

      • Jason

        I’ve been curious about that phrase “if required to register in any jurisdiction”.

        I think it’s ambiguous. If I live in a country that does not have a sex offender registry, then I am not required to register in any jurisdiction, and therefore am no subjected to the passport identifier.

        However, as you point out, even though I don’t live in Utah, I would be required to register there, and therefore I would get the passport identifier.

        One requirement of “being required to register in any jurisdiction” is to have a residence, employment, or attend school in that jurisdiction, is it not?

  22. anonymously

    James writes “I’ve lately been big on numbers as a weapon for us to use…to hopefully protect ourselves and move the needle in our direction or favor….However, seeing Joe’s linked post from ICE/HSI above….is really worrisome to me since it could cut the legs out from my argument. (I generally think it best to face these things squarely). Here it is:”

    In another posting, it says 70 total people, of which only 4 that I know of from articles I have seen were registrants were arrested for child sex tourism.

    ““Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative….””

    12,000 were arrested but it does not say they were registrants. The number of registrants arrested is likely under 1% of that total. According to wikipedia on Operation Predator which gives stats from 2003-2007, 85% of the arrests were of foreign national “sex offenders” being kickout out of the US or, I think, imprisoned and then kicked out of the US. The 85% of the arrests of foreign nationals do not appear to be for new sex crimes. The original crime I think involved a child victim. I think that is what is meant, that the original crime that got the foreign national to be considered a sex offender is what makes the arrest for a child sex crime. In thw wikipedia on Operation Predator, they mention the foreign national offenders. In the posting Joe linked to , it just says child sex crime arrest. Then, and most importantly, Operation Predator deals with domestic child pornography. I would venture that most of the remaining arrests other than the 85% of foreign nationals getting deoprted would be child pornography offenses. We do have numbers on sex tourism/trafficking. It is 70 between 2003-2009 through the PROTECT Act, which was spawning as part of Operation Predator.

    “Are these not bad numbers? It is true that these are probably not RSO’s, but still…this seems problematic for us in my view. Of course, this may well be like the fact that our recidivism rate is quite low, the vast majority of offenses are committed by family members etc and not RSO’s….likewise these overseas offenses are being committed by people other than RSO’s…who, as a group, commit few or no crimes in this category.”

    But they are not overseas offenses. Remember, there were 70 overseas offenses. 4 of which are known to involve registrants. Your argument is not undermined.

    “But this may be an argument too fine tuned for most people to understand….and so is bad for us.”

    They don’t want to give the real, low numbers on overseas offenses. So they mix them in with domestic crimes and then give numbers on that, without pointing out how many were registrants. They obviously do both the omitting of the distinction of what percentage were registrants , and also the co-mingling of overseas crimes with domestic crimes to hide the real numbers on registrants committing overseas sex crimes in order to make their ireelevant numbers seem like they refer to registrants.

    “I am just trying to be honest here.

    Two questions:

    “Are these Government numbers good?”

    If they were used to try to imply anything regarding registrants, then no. They don’t apply to anything that would indicate registrant sex tourism arrests/convictions.

    Were there 2,300 arrests for overseas sex crimes in 2014?”

    No.

    “I would image we would know this if it were true…and even if 2,300 arrests, how many convictions?”

    To have relevance to IML, the numbers would have to be on registrants. Not general numbers of arrests without making the distinction if it was a registrant involved.

    ” How many actually involve children? (I’m sorry, I’m not considering a 17 year old prostitute a child…a minor maybe, but not a child either).”

    Thats a good question. In the wikipedia on Operation Predator, it says 85% of the arrests were for expelling foreign national sex offenders. It did not say foreign national child sex offenders. So I do not know how many were child offenders of the 85% of arrests from Operation Predator since 2003 that were of foreign national sex offenders not allowed in the US, but still committing a crime just by being here.

    “Secondly, if these Government numbers are good, how would you argue against them? What arguments would you advance to help in the opposition to the IML?”

    If those numbers were ‘good’, meaning they were interpretted as you did, then it would us that would be only mentioning the number of passports issued maybe.

  23. anonymously

    James writes “I’ve lately been big on numbers as a weapon for us to use…to hopefully protect ourselves and move the needle in our direction or favor….However, seeing Joe’s linked post from ICE/HSI above….is really worrisome to me since it could cut the legs out from my argument. (I generally think it best to face these things squarely). Here it is:”

    In another posting, it says 70 total people, of which only 4 that I know of from articles I have seen were registrants were arrested for child sex tourism.

    ““Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative….””

    12,000 were arrested but it does not say they were registrants. The number of registrants arrested is likely miniscule and under 1%. According to wikipedia on Operation Predator which gives stats from 2003-2007, 85% of the arrests were of foreign national “sex offenders” being kickout out of the US or, I think, imprisoned and then kicked out of the US. The 85% of the arrests of foreign nationals do not appear to be for new sex crimes. The original crime I think involved a child victim. I think that is what is meant, that the original crime that got the foreign national to be considered a sex offender is what makes the arrest for a child sex crime. In the wikipedia on Operation Predator, they mention the foreign national offenders. In the posting Joe linked to , it just says child sex crime arrests. Then, and most importantly, Operation Predator deals with domestic child pornography. I would venture that most of the remaining arrests other than the 85% of foreign nationals getting deoprted would be domestic child pornography offenses. We do have numbers on sex tourism/trafficking. It is 70 between 2003-2009 through the PROTECT Act, which was spawning as part of Operation Predator.

    “Are these not bad numbers? It is true that these are probably not RSO’s, but still…this seems problematic for us in my view. Of course, this may well be like the fact that our recidivism rate is quite low, the vast majority of offenses are committed by family members etc and not RSO’s….likewise these overseas offenses are being committed by people other than RSO’s…who, as a group, commit few or no crimes in this category.”

    But they are not overseas offenses. Remember, only were 70 overseas offenses. 4 of which are known to involve registrants. Your argument is not undermined.

    “But this may be an argument too fine tuned for most people to understand….and so is bad for us.”

    They don’t want to give the real, low numbers on overseas offenses in that article. But in other articles linked to by Joe they do. So, in this article, they mix them in with domestic crimes and then give numbers on that. They are not distinguishing or isolating registrants, so it is your latest interpretation of the numbers that has lead to you to incorrectly consider that all 12,000 were for new sex tourism crimes with registrants being arrested. Your hypothetical interpretation both omits the distinction of what percentage were registrants , and also co-mingles the overseas crimes with domestic crimes and does not truly isloate the real numbers on registrants committing overseas sex crimes.

    “I am just trying to be honest here.

    Two questions:

    Are these Government numbers good?”

    If they were used to try to imply anything regarding registrants, then no. They don’t apply to anything that would indicate registrant sex tourism arrests/convictions.

    Were there 2,300 arrests for overseas sex crimes in 2014?”

    No. There were 2300 arrests for domestic and overseas crimes. I would imagine none of those arrested were registrants since Angel Watch has been in place, according to the Government, over 5 years. 2014 is only 2 years ago.

    “I would image we would know this if it were true…and even if 2,300 arrests, how many convictions?”

    To have relevance to IML, the numbers would have to be on registrants. Not general numbers of arrests without making the distinction if it was a registrant involved.

    ” How many actually involve children? (I’m sorry, I’m not considering a 17 year old prostitute a child…a minor maybe, but not a child either).”

    Thats a good question. In the wikipedia on Operation Predator, it says 85% of the arrests were for expelling foreign national sex offenders. It did not say foreign national child sex offenders. So I do not know how many were child offenders of the 85% of arrests from Operation Predator since 2003 that were of foreign national sex offenders not allowed in the US, but still committing a crime just by being here.

    “Secondly, if these Government numbers are good, how would you argue against them? What arguments would you advance to help in the opposition to the IML?”

    If those numbers were ‘good’, meaning they were interpretted as you did, then it would be us that would be only mentioning the number of passports issued maybe. The only numbers I have seen the government use in this case is the 4500 number of passports issued to registrants. I think the other numbers such as the 12,000 are just thrown out there to sway public opinion, but they know those numbers could not be examined and used to support IML for the reasons I gave. Likely, as they probably also know the 4500 number proves nothing. But I think Chris Smith is the one that uses the 4500 number and is hoping it is meaningful, when it’s clearly worthless.

  24. anonymously

    James writes “I’ve lately been big on numbers as a weapon for us to use…to hopefully protect ourselves and move the needle in our direction or favor….However, seeing Joe’s linked post from ICE/HSI above….is really worrisome to me since it could cut the legs out from my argument. (I generally think it best to face these things squarely). Here it is:”

    In another posting, it says 70 total people, of which only 4 that I know of from articles I have seen were registrants were arrested for child sex tourism.

    ““Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative….””

    12,000 were arrested but it does not say they were registrants. The number of registrants arrested is likely miniscule and under 1%. According to wikipedia on Operation Predator which gives stats from 2003-2007, 85% of the arrests were of foreign national “sex offenders” being kickout out of the US or, I think, imprisoned and then kicked out of the US. The 85% of the arrests of foreign nationals do not appear to be for new sex crimes. The original crime I think involved a child victim. I think that is what is meant, that the original crime that got the foreign national to be considered a sex offender is what makes the arrest for a child sex crime. In the wikipedia on Operation Predator, they mention the foreign national offenders. In the posting Joe linked to , it just says child sex crime arrests. Then, and most importantly, Operation Predator deals with domestic child pornography. I would venture that most of the remaining arrests other than the 85% of foreign nationals getting deoprted would be domestic child pornography offenses. We do have numbers on sex tourism/trafficking. It is 70 between 2003-2009 through the PROTECT Act, which was spawning as part of Operation Predator.

    “Are these not bad numbers? It is true that these are probably not RSO’s, but still…this seems problematic for us in my view. Of course, this may well be like the fact that our recidivism rate is quite low, the vast majority of offenses are committed by family members etc and not RSO’s….likewise these overseas offenses are being committed by people other than RSO’s…who, as a group, commit few or no crimes in this category.”

    But they are not overseas offenses. Remember, only were 70 overseas offenses. 4 of which are known to involve registrants. Your argument is not undermined.

    “But this may be an argument too fine tuned for most people to understand….and so is bad for us.”

    They don’t want to give the real, low numbers on overseas offenses in that article. But in other articles linked to by Joe they do. So, in this article, they mix them in with domestic crimes and then give numbers on that. They are not distinguishing or isolating registrants, so it is your latest interpretation of the numbers that has lead to you to incorrectly consider that all 12,000 were for new sex tourism crimes with registrants being arrested. Your hypothetical interpretation both omits the distinction of what percentage were registrants , and also co-mingles the overseas crimes with domestic crimes and does not truly isloate the real numbers on registrants committing overseas sex crimes.

    “I am just trying to be honest here.

    Two questions:

    Are these Government numbers good?”

    If they were used to try to imply anything regarding registrants, then no. They don’t apply to anything that would indicate registrant sex tourism arrests/convictions.

    Were there 2,300 arrests for overseas sex crimes in 2014?”

    No. There were 2300 arrests for domestic and overseas crimes. I would imagine none of those arrested were registrants since Angel Watch has been in place, according to the Government, over 5 years. 2014 is only 2 years ago.

    “I would image we would know this if it were true…and even if 2,300 arrests, how many convictions?”

    To have relevance to IML, the numbers would have to be on registrants. Not general numbers of arrests without making the distinction if it was a registrant involved.

    ” How many actually involve children? (I’m sorry, I’m not considering a 17 year old prostitute a child…a minor maybe, but not a child either).”

    Thats a good question. In the wikipedia on Operation Predator, it says 85% of the arrests were for expelling foreign national sex offenders. It did not say foreign national child sex offenders. So I do not know how many were child offenders of the 85% of arrests from Operation Predator since 2003 that were of foreign national sex offenders not allowed in the US, but still committing a crime just by being here. In the ICE article Joe linked to, it says that the 12,000 arrests were for child sex crimes. I am not sure if they are including arrests for expulsion of foreign sex offenders with adult or child victims in their original crime, but I do know they are co-mingling overseas crimes with domestic crimes.

    “Secondly, if these Government numbers are good, how would you argue against them? What arguments would you advance to help in the opposition to the IML?”

    If those numbers were ‘good’, meaning they were interpretted as you did, then it would be us that would be only mentioning the number of passports issued maybe. The only numbers I have seen the government use in this case is the 4500 number of passports issued to registrants. I think the other numbers such as the 12,000 are just thrown out there to sway public opinion, but they know those numbers could not be examined and used to support IML for the reasons I gave. Likely, as they probably also know the 4500 number proves nothing. But I think Chris Smith was first to use the 4500 number and is hoping it is meaningful, when it’s clearly worthless.

  25. mike t

    Pg. 16 lines 19-24 of the defendants response reads:

    “Operation Angel Watch provides notifications to destination countries when it determines, based on an assessment of various factors, a likelihood of intended child sex tourism.Id. ¶¶ 10-11. ICE HSI, through Operation Angel Watch, provided notice of travel from the United States of approximately 2,300 convicted child sex offenders in 2014, and 2,100 such offenders
    in 2015.”

    So what, if any, assessment tool or guidelines are they following to determine the “Likelihood” that a registrant is intending to participate in “Child Sex Tourism”? This needs to be addressed. Maybe they don’t like your mugshot and base their determination on that? I hope it’s more scientific than that.

  26. anonymously

    James said “Were there 2,300 arrests for overseas sex crimes in 2014”

    I replied “No. There were 2300 arrests for domestic and overseas crimes. I would imagine none of those arrested were registrants since Angel Watch has been in place, according to the Government, over 5 years. 2014 is only 2 years ago.”

    I should have said…”No. There were 2300 arrests for domestic and overseas crimes. I would imagine none of those arrested for overseas crimes were registrants since Angel Watch has been in place, according to the Government, over 5 years, 2014 is only 2 years ago.”

    Imagining using the numbers from the ICE article/statement or the ‘4500 passports issued to registrants in 2008’ to justify IML would be a stretch in any rational examination of this issue.

  27. James

    I would like to thank anonymously for such a thorough and smart response…I wrote a lengthy reply but, somehow it got lost in the ether that often inter-spaces our existence…maybe for the best.

    Still, I would like to…maybe be a little more active in this cause…bad numbers are bad, bad for everyone, bad for policymakers and us alike.

    I did some research a long time ago with violent juveniles and this kind of tomfoolery with numbers would never get past my thesis committee…I would have been laughed off campus…

    I suppose the Government can get away with this because it is political and has nothing to do with discerning the truth…but someone should learn how to hold their feet to the fire on this.

    There are true numbers to be had…they may be good, they may be bad…but they exist.

    The question becomes one of how to force them to the surface.

    Hummm

    But thanks for all the intelligent commentary on this vexing question.

    Best Wishes, James

    • Robert

      CHILD SEX TOURISM CONVICTIONS/ CONVICTION RATE FOR US CITIZENS IS VERY LOW compared with number of US travelers (outbound).

      DHS currently reports that 99 Americans have been convicted since 2003 for Child Sex Tourism: https://www.ice.gov/factsheets/predator#wcm-survey-target-id:”Working cooperatively with foreign governments through ICE attaché offices, ICE agents have made 99 arrests under the traveling child sex offender provisions of the 2003 Protect Act. Of those, 99 have been convicted and others are still being investigated”

      More detailed sources: Trafficking in Persons Reports: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/

      US Traveler data: http://travel.trade.gov/outreachpages/outbound.general_information.outbound_overview.html

      2015 US Trafficking Report, “U.S. laws provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over child sex tourism offenses perpetrated overseas by U.S. citizens. FBI made six criminal arrests resulting in six indictments and two individuals were convicted in child sex tourism cases in FY 2014. DHS took proactive steps to prevent child sex tourism in 2014 and shared information with foreign law enforcement counterparts about registered child sex offenders prior to their travel abroad (from the United States). DHS made more than 45 child sex tourism related arrests in FY 2014.

      2014: “ The federal government made 57 criminal arrests resulting in 40 indictments and 32 convictions in child sex tourism cases in FY 2013”

      2013: “U.S. laws provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over child sex tourism offenses perpetrated overseas by U.S. citizens. DHS, working with federal prosecutors at DOJ,made 27 criminal arrests resulting in 33 indictments and 22 convictions in child sex tourism cases in FY2012. In 2012, FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Forces made seven criminal arrests resulting in two indictments and two convictions.”

      2012: “U.S. laws provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over child sex tourism offenses perpetrated overseas by U.S. citizens. DHS made three criminal arrests resulting in five indictments and eight convictions in child sex tourism cases in FY 2011. The DOS Bureau of Consular Affairs Passport Services took action during the reporting period to preclude issuance of passports in the case of two individuals who were convicted of child sex tourism crimes that subjected them to passport restriction.”

      2011: “U.S. laws provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over child sex tourism offenses perpetrated overseas by U.S. citizens. DHS made seven criminal arrests resulting in five indictments and six convictions in child sex tourism cases in FY 2010.”

      2010: “U.S. laws provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over child sex tourism offenses perpetrated overseas by U.S. citizens. The federal government made 11 criminal arrests, brought five indictments, and obtained 10 convictions in child sex tourism cases in FY 2009.”

      99 child sex tourism convictions since 2003 = 8 cases a year for the 12 year period vs. an average of 60-70 million outbound US foreign visits per year during the same timeframe. These cases and these people are the statistical outliers and only comprise a very, very small group. They are not at all representative of the registered citizens who travel for all the right reasons.

      Another interesting observation is that child sex tourism arrests actually increased during 2013 and 2014 per the DOS Trafficking reports. We know that DOJ Interpol, DOJ Marshall Service and DHS proactively prevented the travel of US registered citizens during this same timeframe so therefore it is highly unlikely that many of the arrests in 2013 and 2014 were registered sex offenders.

      The US government is clearly misleading the public on the association of traveling sex offenders and child sex tourism. On one hand we have politicians and DOJ bureaucrats trying to stop thousands of US sex offenders from traveling overseas based on an average of 8 child sex tourism cases a year. What DOJ and DHS do right now with their policies is totaling playing on the fear and ignorance of the public.

      It is very upsetting to learn the truth what our government bureaucrats are doing to mislead the public, taking credit for preventing future crimes and at the same time do so much collateral damage to a targeted group of US citizens and their families. Most noteworthy is the hypocrisy of the DOJ SMART office and Department of Homeland Security. The SMART office has pursued restricting the international travel of registered quite aggressively since 2010. They have put programs in place and have managed to fund the programs without changes to the AWA laws that established and limited SORN to the US states and its territories.

      DOJ has managed to fully fund the expansion of the US Interpol and US Marshall Service without changes in the law. DHS has managed to expand their angel watch program the same, without changes in the law. We now see that these same bureaucrats are using the unrelated international travel of registered citizens for taking credit in “preventing human trafficking” as witnessed in the most recent government reports. Interpol and USMS actually use these alerts sent as performance metrics in their budget submission to congress. We know that there are people at the top of these organizations who know the truth here but fail to recognize the damage they cause to fellow American citizens.

      DHS ICE officials know that child sex tourism and the travel of registered citizens are unrelated but still claim in the most recent trafficking report “DHS took proactive steps to prevent child sex tourism in 2014 and shared information with foreign law enforcement counterparts about registered child sex offenders prior to their travel abroad (from the United States).” Likewise US Interpol claims in their budget submission to Congress that they have “targeted a population consisting of those sex offenders who are likely to travel internationally and who qualify as the “worst of the worst”. We know firsthand that this patently false as so many people on the list do not qualify as the worst of the worst and represent no threat to anyone.

    • Timmr

      You have to separate the problem from the proposed solution. Does hindering the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for a great number of registrants pursuing those goals with no intent to harm anyone while traveling trump the dubious claim that the IML is preventing harm overall? Are they doing a blanket solution to a problem that could require more scientific assessment as to risk attached to each individual on a case by case basis? Their argument seems to be they are promoting the greatest good, and we just have suffer the consequences in order to obtain that greater good. But they are valuing the prevention of the potential crime being committed and devaluing the good that can be obtained by registrants seeking lawful travel, such as, reintegrating back into society, and pursuing lawful economic gain, which also benefits the society at large. They also, on the face of it, seem to be devaluing the happiness of the family and friends of registrants as collateral damage. The total happiness of the population deserves a more critical assessment if they are going to use this utilitarian approach to the Constitution.

      • Robert

        You are spot on. This “war on child exploitation” by the US government is no different than its colossal failed “war on drugs.” Recently Kofi Annan said it best: “The failed ‘War on Drugs’ is really a war on people, health and human rights.”

        When history is written someday we will find that this war against sex offenders by the US government is the same failure because it too is a war on people, health and human rights. The US government continues to feed and enable this war with the billions of dollars spent on law enforcement, incarceration of offenders and pumping millions into poor government policies that destroys peoples’ lives.

        “I believe that drugs have destroyed many lives, but wrong government policies have destroyed many more,” Annan writes. Sound familiar? Someday America will wake up and find our government has gone down this road again with these destructive sex offender policies that destroys the live of its own citizens.

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