Saturday, August 3, 2013

Action Alert Federal Bill: Congressman Chris Smith attaches an International Megan’s Bill Amendment to HR2848 - Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014

Attention Everyone! 

New Jersey’s Congressman Chris Smith is at it again! He wants to restrict/revoke the passports of Registered Sex Offenders. 

First there was 2008’s HR5722. Then there was 2009’s HR1623. To be followed by 2010’s HR5138. And then again in 2011 there was  HR3253 plus TWO “Trafficking” Bills with passport restrictions for RSO’s HR2830  AND HR3589. 

Still pending for 2013 is his HR898-Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013 also with a Registered Sex Offender passport restrict/revoke mandate. 

Then there have been other sponsors of travel and/or passport restrictions for Registered Sex Offenders. 

Like Congressman Ted Poe’s 2010 bill HR5870. Blatantly titled; To restrict passports of certain sex offenders, and for other purposes. 

2010 and 2011 were busy years for these types of bills because of a GAO Report that was released. 

They have all so far failed to be voted on in the House or in the Senate. 

Now, Congressman Smith has submitted an amendment to HR2848- Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014. This amendment is to Megan’s Law, it grants the Secretary of State discretion to limit the valid duration of passports for convicted sex offenders listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, or to revoke the passport of an individual convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction in a foreign country of a sex offense. The amendment was unanimously approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on August 1st 2013. 

This amendment is way too broad. Allowing open discretion to the Secretary of State’s Office to revoke passports will most likely turn into a blanket-ban against ALL registered offenders.