Friday, December 18, 2015

Action Item: 8 Years Since the 1st Version the U.S Senate has Passed an International Megan’s Law Bill…. All Passports for U.S. RSO’s Would Need to be Reissued to Be Emblazed with the Words “Sex Offender”… This New Version Heads Back to the House (Congress) for Approval

eAdvocate: International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders' December 18, 2015

The Senate passed HR 515 formerly known as "International Megan's Law" with another NEW title "International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders" and added a section about Passports.

Essentially, all current passports for folks CONVICTED of a sex offense/s MUST be reissued, with the words "SEX OFFENDER" prominently displayed on the passport. And all new passports for folks convicted of sex offenses will be issued with same wording.

The Senate also added a section for appropriating funding ($6,000,000) for each of these years (2017-2019) to implement IML.

The Senate then sent the bill with changes back to the House for them to review and pass. It is very likely this will be on the FAST TRACK because lawmakers want to go home for Christmas break.

Advocates and their families and others need to immediately contact their U.S. House Representatives and object to the entire IML bill (and concept), and any other similar bills that may arise.

The FULL bill may be found HERE and the Senate Amendments HERE (The Corker amendment [Sen Bob Corker R-TN] in the Federal Register).

To Virginia Readers: 

Please send an email (or make a phone call) to our Virginia Congress members (see list belowTODAY!

If you aren’t sure of what to say you can use my email as a basis for yours. 

Dear Virginia Congressional Representatives, 

I am writing you today because HR 515 which was formerly known as "International Megan's Law" but is now titled "International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders” has passed the U.S. Senate with amendments and is headed back to you for a vote. 

HR515 is NOT directed toward Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) who have been convicted of Human Trafficking, Prostitution or Traveling across State lines to have sex with a minor, it wrongly includes ANYONE convicted of a sex crime, ever.  

HR515 will capture the 18, 19 and 20 year old boyfriends and girlfriends who had consensual sexual contact with their 15, 16 and 17 year old partners and were convicted for violating the states criminal code. It will also capture the 15, 16 and 17 year olds who “sext” images of themselves to others and it will capture whoever received those images even if they did not solicit them. Plus ALL convictions for crimes against adults and convictions that are more than 20 years old for a citizen who has never re-offended. 

HR515 is supposed to assist in the reduction/elimination of the International Exploitation of children but it is so broadly written in an underhanded attempt to restrict the travel of the majority of America’s Registered Sex Offenders and look tough on Sexual Predators it will waste valuable government resources and make travel for work, school, family emergencies and enjoyment virtually impossible. 

HR515 completely ignores the last 20 years of data of who is sexually abusing children in the U.S. and abroad. 
·         National recidivism rate for all registered sex offenders committing a new sexual offense within 3 years is 2.5-5.3%*the 2nd lowest of all crimes.
·         90% (9 out of 10) sexual assaults are perpetrated by a family member or acquaintance of the victim, neither by a stranger nor by someone on a registry.
·         1 in 7 children are sexually exploited online. This data comes from the very reputable Crimes Against Children Research Center, however, very few take the time to read the report carefully. Most children are sexually solicited by their classmates, peers, or young adults just a few years older than they are.

                        *Bureau of Justice Services

The inclusion of ALL U.S. Registered Sex Offenders (840,000+ Americans) in HR515 is political posturing and fear-mongering to keep America’s parents deceived about where the real dangers lie. Among family, friends, teachers, coaches and mentors who are not listed on the Sex Offender Registries. 

HR515’s recent amendment would force all passports for RSO’s to be reissued (a new application submission, new fees, new photo, etc) and the re-issued passport would be emblazoned with the words “Sex Offender” for all to see. Why? 

How does publicly shaming the holder of the passport with the scarlet letter of “Sex Offender” prevent a crime? It doesn’t. 

This recent Corker amendment is NOT an administrative act but a punitive one, pure and simple. 

HR515 continues to perpetuate the inaccurate boogeyman concept that does nothing to protect America’s children but instead promotes the statistically anomalous dangers.

If protecting America’s children is the real desire (and not just a future campaign brochure headline) behind HR515 then including every RSO in America and branding their passport as a Pervert, a Predator and a Pedophile does nothing to accomplish that goal. 

When emotions drive our legislation not only are bad decisions made, but people who pose no threat to society will be unable to provide for their families, travel for school or work or reenter society as positive contributors to their communities because of the lifetime of restrictions, regulations, fees and hoops to jump through that is always expanding. Their court-ordered debt to society has been fulfilled and to be successful the numerous and ridiculous barriers must stop being placed in front of them. 

HR515 is cruel, it’s beneath us and it should NOT become law in America.  

Please Vote Nay on HR515.


Send your email or make your phone call to these Assistants:

Thank you! 

Mary Devoy