Speaking at at the Borgata hotel in Atlantic City during the week before Thanksgiving, Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ 4, delivered the following speech to hundreds of prosecutors at the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey. …
Why International Megan’s Law? We know from law enforcement, academia and media documentation that Americans on the U.S. sex offender registries are frequently caught sexually abusing children in Asia, Central and South America, Europe, and, frankly, everywhere. The inherent secrecy of international travel enables child exploitation.
A deeply disturbing 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that at least 4,500 U.S. passports were issued to registered sex offenders in fiscal year 2008 alone. Typically, a passport is valid for 10 years, meaning some or many of the tens of thousands of registered sex offenders possessing passports may be on the prowl internationally looking to exploit and abuse.
Now, under International Megan’s Law, convicted child sex offenders who travel abroad must provide notice to the U.S. Government — via the Angel Watch Center — prior to departure of all planned destinations. Failure to do so carries a significant jail term commensurate with a convicted child sex abuser not reporting to local law enforcement. Upon receipt of the travel itinerary, the U.S. government informs the destination country or countries of those plans.
The destination country or countries are then empowered with actionable information to render the traveler inadmissible.
The law is working as intended. In just over two years, the U.S. government has notified foreign governments of the planned travel of 10,541 covered sex offenders to their countries. As of July —3,681 individuals who were convicted of sex crimes against children were denied entry by these nations. Full Article