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We’re Putting Sex Offender Stamps on Passports. Here’s Why It Won’t Curb Sex Tourism & Trafficking


On October 30th, the State Department announced that passports of people who are required to register as sex offenders because of an offense involving a minor will be marked with a “unique identifier” that will read:

The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).

The law which occasions this requirement, International Megan’s Law (IML), was enacted in 2016 under President Obama. In addition to the identifier requirement, IML allows for existing passports of those on the registry to be revoked, and imposes criminal penalties on them for failure to provide the government with advance notice of international travel plans.


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  1. Sam

    These are the articles you just don’t see enough of in major publication.

    • AlexO

      It’s a hard subject for major publishers to approach due to the certain backlash they’d receive for not wanting to protect the children. The general public doesn’t seem to care much for facts.

      What I am surprised about is that major publications haven’t been all over how easily kids and teens can and have become registered sex offenders. This seems like it would be a much easier subject to approach as most people have kids and of these cases didn’t actually involve any criminal activity other then the government saying that it is. A 15-year-old becoming a registered sex offender “for rape against a minor” or “producing child pornography” because they slept with their partner or took and sent a nude selfie should be on everyones radar.

      If a major new organization actually did a real peace on this, I can’t imagine phones not blowing up at all the various representatives offices. Even the reps themselves have kids that could just as easily be tagged as anyone else.

      • MS

        Maybe the reps should just look on their teens phones and see what they can see. Reality check.

      • Dave

        The fact is that over 95% of the people who are caught in child sex trafficking and tourism are NOT registered sex offenders. So even by putting marks on sex offender passports isn’t going to a thing to 95% of the problem. There are close to a million registered sex offenders currently free in the United States who are trying to live “normal” lives, which also involve traveling abroad, in some cases with their friends or families in tow. What a stamp on a passport will do will make it more difficult if not impossible for them to now do so. Congratulations on doing nothing to stop an actual problem while creating more potential headaches for people who are trying to live rehabilitated lives.

    • CR

      Great article, but you likely won’t see this article mentioned in any major publication either. It would be better if it were published by a mainstream media outlet.

    • David Kennerly, Untermensch With An Attitude

      Oh, but we’re seeing more-and-more of it. For me, this is especially thrilling, as I remember when the pedo-panic started in the late ’70s. There were no countervailing views expressed in the media to the emerging hysteria, at the time, a condition which would exist right up until very recently. It is very exciting for me, personally to witness this dam beginning to burst.

      • Sam

        The last news story that really seemed to show any sympathy were about that Zach Anderson kid. (he is so lucky) the only reason his name sticks in my head is because our cases were almost identical but he was white and they didn’t make him register.

        Along with the multiple articles online saying IML was one of the worst laws ever passed and just made the US look like idiots

      • CR

        NYT, WaPo, and have posted op-eds exposing the lunacy, futility, unfairness, and unconstitutionality of registry laws in general, or various aspects. Those first two I’d count as mainstream if you’re in the more or less liberal camp. is pseudo-mainstream too, I think. Most conservatives won’t read those sources. Sadly, I don’t think the vast majority of Americans will encounter these countervailing views until they are aired on Fox news.

        Does anyone have a handy index of favorable op-eds or news articles that have been posted in widely-read media? Such a list would be useful to compile.

        • David Kennerly, Untermensch With An Attitude

          How do you think the push-back starts? Do you think that it’s going to start with Fox News? No, it’s going to start with the Times and the Post and Reason (not pseudo-mainstream, by the way).

        • CR

          I am glad to read sensible articles no matter where they are published. It’s so much different now than it was even a few years ago when absolutely no one would speak out publicly against the registry.

        • Tim Moore

          It starts somewhere. It starts when someone starts the conversation and that creates a ripple in perception. That is how inanimate matter becomes energy. It could be you or it could be me. As long as we are exposing make believe, silence, to reality, sound, with the use of noise, discordance. Most likely it is a little bit of everyone’s voice. Humanity is a brain. It learns to resolve discordance through repetition and pattern recognition. The patterns must be held together through consistency of experiences. The patterns supporting registry laws are fragmenting, because the lived experiences, the facts, don’t support the assumptions, the stories. Therefore, a new story has to emerge.

  2. Ron

    “The U.S. Government Accountability Office and State Department quietly admitted that there is no mass exodus of people on the registry traveling to sex tourism destinations to engage in rape and child molestation:”

    Enough said.

    • AlexO

      So… what now? If this is an official government statement of record, why proceed with something so vindictive and costly? I wonder if Janice will be able to use this as an argument in her upcoming case? It seems insane that the government can state something isn’t a thing but still proceed as if it is.

      • David Kennerly, Untermensch With An Attitude

        The many agencies that comprise the U.S. federal government often contradict one another and are run as individual, and competitive, fiefdoms which often work at cross purposes.

    • Dave

      Yes, but how many of the people caught doing so are actual registered sex offenders residing in the US? Fewer than five percent. So passing these unconstitutional laws only a) cost taxpayer dollars and b) erode freedoms of Americans, while doing next to nothing to stop the actual problem. If 95% of the individuals involved in these practices are not affected by the new laws then the law isn’t really doing a bit of difference, is it?

  3. America's Most Hated

    The author is on the registry in KY. He finished law at the University of Kentucky, but he’s been banned from becoming an attorney.

    I guess the only job we’re allowed to do is dishwasher, ditch digger, or roofing. I think we should all just decide to Break Bad if they won’t allow us a legal path to earn a living.

  4. Agamemnon

    What I found most reassuring of this op-ed is that it explains that if there is any recidivism among registrants, they are nearly all for technical violations and not for new sex crimes, which is a detail nearly all articles (even those favoring repealing sex offender laws) omit.

    • ML

      This was a great article. How is it that the government can state as facts, what in essence are lies? There seems to be no accountability. They are not under oath so they can say anything.
      The GAO states in a 5 yr period there were 3 on the registry convicted of an international sex crime. Yet the emotion of the issue causes the US to revert to Nazi like Germany practices and $60,000,000 a year in new government expense. Unreal.
      Get this: Yesterday the spouse of a US citizen met with immigration officials in a Mexican state to discuss her husband’s entry into Mexico. While kind, the spouse was told that under current Mexican law that was not possible. She was told that Mexico had entered into an agreement with the US that required Mexico to reject any US citizen from entry after being notified by the US that “the US did not want Mexico to allow the US citizen entry.” This seems to be far beyond mere notification.

  5. Tired of this

    How long until RCs who wish to leave this country and start anew in another will be left with literally no choice but to try to sneak out, ala N. Korea? Literal refugees (who would be considered “absconders” by this regime) from a country that was once the shining beacon of freedom and human rights. If this IML BS isn’t stopped, this is exactly what will happen.

    I’ve been considering leaving and starting over elsewhere for quite some time. If I’m unable to do so normally, as any other free citizen, it’s looking increasingly like I would have to find other ways. I’m still blown away that the land of the free is making it de facto illegal for free citizens to travel and leave as they wish.

    • Gralphr

      This country has NEVER been the home of the free. Mainstream society has always picked on someone one way or another. Once race was thrown out, it was drugs. Now that laws are changing with drugs, now its sex offences and illegals. Just as much as football players take a knee due to police brutality, i refuse to stand for a country that has decided i dont count as a citizen of this country. Considering all of the things they make us do, and the fact many people support such things (and wouldnt have a problem with the government making a new law to round us up to put a bullet iin our heads) i’d be a fool to have any respect for this country or our government. Btw, this is coming from someone who served in the military. Yes, i WAS patriotic until my eyes were opened to the injustice system…

      • Tired of this

        You and I are in total agreement, my friend. People who actually believe this is a free country, “the land of the free” and all that happy crappy, are delusional or very naive at best.

        “Mainstream society has always picked on someone one way or another.”
        We are the current iteration of this, the current boogeyman to fear and hate, the current social experiment to see what the powers that be can get away with. Label and designate a group of people to be feared and loathed, fan the flames at every media opportunity, then legislate against said group with impunity. I’m pretty sure the world has seen such a thing before…

        “I refuse to stand for a country that has decided i dont count as a citizen of this country…i’d be a fool to have any respect for this country or our government.” I’ve long wondered why I must continue paying taxes to a country that no longer represents me, to a government that oppresses me and tells me I have no say in the matter. We are quite literally disenfranchised, by the definition of the word, and I very much share your sentiments.

        I, too, was once proudly patriotic before my eyes were opened, starting with my experience in the justice system. I’ve said this before in another thread, but I truly believe we live in a pseudo police state and it has gotten progressively worse since 9/11 (the Snowden revelations seem to confirm this). No one seems to bat an eye at the incrementally-growing surveillance and security theater, at the erosion of our rights and liberty as a whole, all in the name of “protecting the public.” Anything to keep them safe from terrorists, druggies, and sex offenders hiding behind every bush, right? And I fear things will only get worse, with the current generation of future voters and lawmakers who are growing up in a post-9/11, post-privacy, share-everything-on-social-media world. I’d love to make my escape from this sinking ship while I can, but the hatch seems to be closing fast and I currently don’t have the means. I may or may not end up just settling for dropping off the grid somewhere at some point. It all depends on how things go in the next few years. I think in the end, we have to live our lives on our own terms.

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