ACSOL to Challenge Passport Identifier in Federal Court

The Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) will challenge the passport identifier recently revealed by the U.S. State Department. The challenge is expected to be filed in a federal district court within the next 90 days.

“We have begun the necessary process of identifying a strategy for a successful challenge,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “The strategy will include the identification of potential plaintiffs as well as both legal and financial resources. The federal district court in which the challenge will be filed has not yet been determined. That decision will be made after potential plaintiffs have been identified.”

The addition of a “unique identifier” to the passports of some registrants is one of the requirements of the International Megan’s Law (IML) which was Congress passed Congress and the President signed in February 2016. Registrants to be affected by this provision are those convicted of a sex offense involving a minor and are currently required to register as a sex offender.

The IML does not include a description of the “unique identifier” or its placement in an individual’s passport. According to a press release issued by the State Department on October 27, 2017, the following language will be added to the inside back cover of affected passports: “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212(c)(1).”

Prior to passage of the IML, no American passport has included a “unique identifier” for a U.S. citizen. The IML does not require the State Department to add such an identifier to the passports of U.S. citizens convicted of murder, robbery drunk driving or any other offense.

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I want to put somethings into perspective when it comes to international travel and other countries when you have a criminal record – notice I said ‘criminal record’ not sex offense. I was doing some research on what country would be easiest for me to move to with my past (if anyone has suggestions, PLEASE let me know – has to have snow/mountains 😉 and what i was finding is that there are a LOT of countries that won’t let you in their borders with many crimes, yes, sex offense is the worst, but sometimes it can be as light as a misdeamenor. Canada, DUI or ANY felony, Japan, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, ANY felony, Chili, South Korea, and SO many more will not let you in if you have any crime in your past. I am not sure how they know, but if you have a drug felony – you don’t have to do any stupid notification to Japan, but they will sure as hell kick your butt off the plane and send you home. My point is that although it is the worst for an SO, it is not the only group of people that is banned from countries.

The IML stamp issue sucks the worst, but if I am reading it right, it is on the very LAST page of your PP, NOT the cover page with all the info on it. I have traveled a lot, no one looks at that page, even when you come into the US. I have found that sometimes sticky things can spill, and make pages stick together…. I am hopeful Janice wins this first (of many challenges) but until then, when (if) I get that letter, I will worry about it.

Lastly, again, I HATE all of this, but at least for now, I can name 7 countries i have traveled too with no problems – Iceland, Amerstdam/Netherlands, Czech Rep, Switzerland, England*, France, Portugal – *England has turned away ppl, so be careful or take a train. South Africa isn’t banning anyone,
Eastern EU isn’t, I see this all the time, ‘I can’t go anywhere’ BS, you CAN – if you want to go to a beach, you can go to the US VIRGIN ISLANDS and you DON’T NEED A PASSPORT!!! same with Pueto Rico and Guam (super long flight). Just remember you WILL be harrased coming back into the US, DON’T bring a laptop!!! They WILL search your phone – legally, and they do to many others, expect that, they will look at receipts, and I have heard even question you – I have also come back with none of that, almost cried when I walked thru. There are smart ways to do things to be safe – or you can sit on your ass and complain about it. I lost a lot of time on my life, and will fight to get as much of that back, I hope you do too

Bottom line as long as you give in and LET them think they have you bottled up, they win. Yes, we have less choices, but you STILL have choices! Better yet, donate – your time or money, your experiences, your expertise, whatever, DO something!

Has there been any progress in the lawsuit announced by ACSOL in Nov, 2017 to be filed in a federal district court “within the nest 90 days” challenging the passport identifier?

ACSOL should be using the statement by the AG in my case for a challenge to the IML,

“Strict scrutiny may be applicable in cases where international travel restrictions also
implicate First Amendment concerns. Eunique, 302 F. 3d at 973; see Aptheker v. Secretary of
State,378 U.S. 500, 501-02, 514 (1964) (statute prohibiting international travel by members of
the Communist Party was unconstitutional as not “narrowly drawn”). Although Plaintiff
generally alleges that restrictions on his travel prevent him from “associating” with family
members, he does not allege that any of those family members reside outside the U.S. See
Compl. at pp. 29-39. Even if he did, this would not implicate the First Amendment, since all
travel restrictions could then be challenged based on one’s right to “associate” with the people at
any destination, thus swallowing the rule of rational basis review. In any event, Plaintiff is free to
visit and associate with his family members under SORA and Megan’s Law.”

It is as though the AG is spelling it out for any challenge to IML. Specifically,

“all travel restrictions could then be challenged based on one’s right to “associate” with the people at
any destination, thus swallowing the rule of rational basis review.”

I find it hard to believe that this only applies to out of the country crap. She is basically stating that we have a fundamental right to associate that is infringed upon with international travel restrictions if you have a family member in any of the destination countries. It is a no brainer for many of the complaints on this site on IML because many have family members that they cannot visit because of IML. This should nonetheless apply to domestic travel as well.

I cannot go visit aunt sally in Florida because there are travel, presence or residency restrictions, in place.

I ran across a SCOTUS case that seems like decent foundation for a suit by a CA RC against FB and its ban of RCs. The case is Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins ( It involves expanded rights on private property based on a State (CA) constitution. If you read the case and swap out “Pruneyard” for “FB” or “shopping center” for “website” or “social media,” I don’t see a lot (if any!) difference.

Given CA doesn’t collect Internet IDs from RCs, any such case would have to come from putting it right in FB’s face. For instance, a CA RC could openly state their registrant status and discuss other RCs petitioning the Assembly or such. Or perhaps someone could start a FB group that requires one to be a CA RC in order to join.

Fellow armchair barristers, please chime in.

Hi from ca , just applied for a passport and recently received it in the mail. First thing I did was turn to page 27 to see the stamp of ridicule and behold nothing was there! Am I mistaken? Did they make a mistake? I was convicted 9 years ago for indecent exposure 134.1pc and annoy or molest 647.6a pc. Both were against a minor. Finished all requirements with flying colors. They asked me to do 20 pushups I did 40. I’m counting my blessings and thank the lord that my passport came through but I’m still confused. I’m taking a trip overseas soon hope it doesnt ruin plans. Keep yall posted and goodluck to everyone.

AJ ~ Pretty funny. Even more so, you can say “What gives, you are putting millions of people in danger by not marking the passport”. Now these “dangerous” people can travel and not cause an alarm that they are “dangerous”.