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General News

IML Report to Congress Addresses Passport Identifiers, Notifications to Foreign Countries

Three executive branch agencies — the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Justice — have reported to Congress their plans to implement the International Megan’s Law (IML). The 17-page report also includes a request for an additional $9.3 million in funding each year to implement that law.

According to the report, the Angel Watch Center (AWC) will provide written determinations to the Department of State regarding whether an individual is a “covered sex offender”. After that determination is made, the State Department will add an individual’s name to its existing name check system, the Consular Lookout and Support System.

Also according to the report, the State Department will add a “unique identifier” to the endorsement page of a covered individual’s passport. The shape and size of the “unique identifier” has not yet been determined, however, the State Department expects to make that decision no later than December 31, 2016. In preparation for the addition of “unique identifiers”, the State Department is making “technological modifications” to its passport issuance system. After making its decisions, the State Department will send “guidance” regarding the internet identifiers to its overseas consular posts as well as to domestic passport agencies.

The Department of Homeland Security will assume additional duties as it implements the IML, including establishment of a “mechanism” to receive complaints from registrants affected by notifications to destination countries. The report states that Operation Angel Watch, the precursor to the Angel Watch Center, began in Los Angeles in 2007 and was focused upon “known child sex offenders” traveling to Southeast Asian countries. The operation moved to Washington, D.C., in 2010 and expanded its focus worldwide.

According to the report, the purpose of the IML’s Angel Watch Center is to reduce the risk of child sex tourism. The individuals being monitored by the Center are “those convicted of child sexual abuse or child pornography offenses who may travel overseas and sexually abuse or exploit minors”. The Center made more than 2,100 notifications to more than 95 countries in fiscal year 2015. More than half of these notifications resulted from input received from four states — Colorado, Florida, Texas and Washington.

The Angel Watch Center expects to increase to 5,000 annually its notifications to foreign nations in the future due to increased state notifications which are required by the IML. Due to this expected increase, the Center will request funding for four additional employees, known as Angel Watch international liaisons, to work in Mexico, the Caribbean, Manila and Bogota (to cover South America).

The National Sex Offender Targeting Center, which is part of the United States Marshalls Service, will increase its activities as well due to the IML. Part of the activities include developing initiatives with law enforcement partners to mitigate the risk of U.S. citizen sex offenders “who are living abroad undetected.”

Congressional Report August 2016

Join the discussion

  1. Paul Rigney

    Travel stories to be reported to Congress

    Registrant Travel Action Group is making a trip to DC 14-17 Nov to present the most aggrievous examples of abuse at the hands of the Angel Watch process. I am developing my agenda and I have some terrible stories to share with our esteemed legislators. However, all please share with me your stories.

    Paul Rigney
    rigneyp@registranttag.org
    214-624-2552

    • Tuna

      Paul,
      Please do post back here once your trip completes with how it went, and the reactions from the staffers and especially the legislators that you are able to tell the stories to. Thank you sir.

  2. anonymousmaineiac

    Applied last week for a new passport, as mine was due to expire next April. Because of the impending changes, I paid extra for expedited processing and overnight return service. Today, I received my new passport. I could not find a conspicuous identifier anywhere in the document, which expires in October of 2026. The endorsements section of the passport is blank. All in all, it took about 9 days from the day I mailed in the application until I received my new passport book.

    I applied for the card, as well—just for giggles—but have yet to receive it. They did say that only the book could be mailed by overnight mailing, so I didn’t expect to receive both in the same envelope.

    As a declaration of faith (sort of), I requested and received the 51 page passport.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Thank you for your report, Anonymousinmaine. We would appreciate an update regarding whether you are issued a passport card.

      • anonymousmaineiac

        The passport card arrived today at the post office. It is valid for 10 years, and like the passport, does not bear any conspicuous unique identifier that I can see. Oddly enough, the passport card photo is in black and white, while the passport book photo is in color.

        It does say on the back that it is valid only for land and sea travel between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

        Neither mailing included any notice of the impending IML changes. My conviction was a state conviction in Maine, and the authorities never invalidated my original passport (and I certainly made no efforts to inform them I still had it, either), if that makes a difference.

        • David Kennerly

          I assume that they drilled a hole in your old passport as has always been their habit?

        • anonymousmaineiac

          I’m assuming that, as well, but I haven’t received the old passport back yet.

        • NY Level 1

          I got my new passport 3 days ago and although I did not request I got a passport card in the mail to-day. Yesterday I got my old passport back with drilled holes!

    • PK

      Congratulations and thanks for sharing that wonderful information! I’m sure that this information could be useful for those people who are waiting at the last moment, to apply for a new passport.

  3. Cool CA RC

    http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

    a list of universal right, most of you already know but wanted to post this as an reminder.

    • Timmr

      Thank you. We have to remind the US we signed this.

    • New Person

      Hey! There’s that “servitude” word in the Universal declaration.

      Because registration is not punishment, it is a type of servitude. Considering registrants are not paid for said service is odd b/c those who process said papers do get paid. Also, the term of “lifetime registration” is an awkward contract that would deem itself a type of servitude. Then there is the dominance such that if you want to quit registration, you will be hunted down, punished, and returned to do said registration.

      hello. involuntary servitude.

  4. Just..me

    I’ll keep this straight to the point to help with information on the topic of IML. 1994 plea deal to sexual battery county time(wobbler). No expungement yet. Unfortunately I’ve had 3 nonviolent felonies non sex related convictions thereafter. Yes there was a point were I just gave up and didn’t care bc of this registry. But I was wrong. There’s still hope. Ive been drug and alcohol free the last ten years and live a pretty normal stable life now employed and with beautiful family and home. I do have an internet exclusion. My pass port was going to expire next year so I took Janice advice and downloaded the forms from the state department web site, filled and mailed them out along with my old passport at the normal processing fee and rate($110) I received my new passbook today which took approximately 12 days. There is nothing at all on or in the new pass port that has an identifier of any sort, I repeat nothing. I hopes this helps. Thank you Janice!! And yes , God is good. I’ll b calling Chance soon to help me with my reduction/expungement.

    • PK

      High Fives to you! Be cautious upon returning to the United States with that brand new passport.

  5. David Kennerly

    This piece by Senator John Boozman just appeared in “The Mena Star” newspaper:

    “We Must Combat Human Trafficking”

    An excerpt:

    “Congress also passed International Megan’s Law, which establishes the “Angel Watch Center.” This center is responsible for giving and receiving notifications of convicted sex offenders travelling to or from the U.S. and requires a unique passport identifier for child sex offenders. Human trafficking is a global problem, and there must be international engagement in order to combat it. That is why this Congress I introduced an amendment to improve the Human Trafficking Special Watch List.
    This proposal would ensure countries continually failing to make anti-trafficking progress such as prevention, criminal laws or victim services would face certain sanctions by the U.S. I also introduced an amendment to elevate the status of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking within the State Department, which would increase its effectiveness. These are very important steps I believe our country must take in the fight against human trafficking, and I continue to work hard with my colleagues on both of these. Requiring such work on this issue from the international community means that the U.S. must lead by example.”

    http://www.menastar.com/news/article_a61c36c2-9d55-11e6-9d1b-9b1353bdfef5.html

    • Currently up for reelection....pandering...

      This guy is currently up for reelection in AR pandering to the masses by creating hysteria….

    • Davidh

      oh god here we go again: The US as the world’s police.

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