Sunday, January 31, 2016
ACTION ALERT! If you have a passport, you have just one day to oppose International Megan's Law (HR 515). If passed, you WILL be required to turn in your passports and have a new one marked with a "unique identifier" marking you as a registered sex offender. I shouldn't even have to mention how heinous that provision will be for us. This is a FEDERAL law, NOT a state law.
Paul Rigney of the Registrant Travel Action Group (a subsidiary of Narional RSOL), urgently requests that everyone please help with the following:
1. Everyone, call and have others call The Speakers office THIS Monday morning. 202-225-600, 202-225-3031.
David: We need to tell them that they must not vote on H.R. 515 under RULES OF SUSPENSION because the bill received an amendment from the Senate that is SUBSTANTIVE and HISTORIC. (U.S. passports have never been branded with criminal convictions of citizens before)
I would like to see 500 phone calls. Please put this up on Affiliates websites. Lets leave hundreds of messages on 202-225-0600 for them to sort through Monday morning
2. Spread Josh Graven’s petition that should go directly to their representative.
(This site will look up your Congressman for you! How convenient, right?)
3. Sign the Change.org petition at:
For those with Twitter accounts, tweet this , “Are you familiar with International Megan’s #Law, or IML? http://ow.ly/WITZv” sends to David Post’s article. Also, please TWEET the following image and message which can be found here (simply right-click and save the image to your hard drive and then insert it, along with the text message, into new Tweets):
Also, you could help further by re-tweeting Tweets already sent to House members which have been sent from that Twitter account.
5. Continue to call and email congressional members.
Use the banner at the top of the screen.
Below is my letter to Congress. You can use it as a template if you want.
On 2/1/16, the CONTROVERSIAL International Megan's Law is up for "suspension of the rules." This must not pass! IML as written will place a "unique identifier" on the passports of ALL registered citizens and will establish a new bureaucracy for expanded government control.
International Megan’s Law is an attempt at imposing the American way of thinking on the rest of the world, an act of arrogance that will lead to disastrous results if implemented. IML will attempt to force other nations to create a registry and raise the age of consent to conform to the American standards. This is a blatant violation of international law and a show of contempt for the governments of all nations who do not maintain close ties to the US.
Victim industry advocates have tried to justify International Megan’s Law using anecdotal examples, assumptions, unsourced statistics and non sequiturs to attempt to justify this bad piece of legislation. In reality, various government agencies have reported they have found very few examples of actual sex tourism, and even fewer examples of sex tourism from a registered citizen. It is estimated only about 10 convictions a year occur from Americans engaging in sex tourism annually. The GAO, the US Dept. of Justice, ICE, and the now defunct NDIC have all stated they have found few, if any, examples of Americans traveling abroad specifically to engage in sex tourism or sex trafficking. Key researchers studying sex crimes have repeatedly warned their own research or the research of others have been misinterpreted or distorted by those trying to promote human sex trafficking as America’s next social panic.
International Megan’s Law will be a costly and ineffective measure. It will cost millions just to establish a new bureaucratic agency and to revise the passports of registered citizens. It will cost millions more to enforce the various proposed changes to passports proposed by Congress. Passport limits run afoul of international law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), by interfering with the free movement of citizens. The ICCPR was signed, ratified, and enforced by the US. In addition, 22 U.S. Code § 217a has been narrowly tailored to limit passports only to those registrants convicted in a court of law for sex tourism, thus nullifying the perceived need to pass IML passport provisions. As previously noted, very few cases of sex tourism/ trafficking are confirmed by government agencies, so the cost of investigating and prosecuting a mere handful of cases do not justify the need for a new bureaucracy, especially if the SMART office is passing IML notification provisions without the authorization of Congress.
The proposal to mark the passports of registered citizens is unprecedented in American history and is offensive enough that even mass media have made parallels between International Megan’s Law and Nazi law. In 1938, the Nazi government required all Jews to surrender their passports and have new passports issued with a scarlet “J” stamped on them. If IML passes, registered citizens will be forced to surrender their passports and have new passports issued with a “unique identifier” on them. In addition to the obvious parallel to Nazi law, this practice will obviously lead to travel impediments and denials of entry across the globe for all registrants regardless of offense. This mark of infamy could potentially lead to travel problems domestically as states struggle to fall into compliance with the so-called “REAL ID” system and thus requiring passports to fly within the boundaries of the US. Furthermore, IML could have an effect described as “humiliating” and “devastating” for individuals whose passports may be falsely marked as belonging to a registered citizen and would lead to costly litigation.
While certain provisions of IML imply that these provisions would be limited to “high risk/ interest” registrants, the harsh reality is this law will be applied to every registered citizen regardless of offense, even teens who engaged in consensual relations with other teens. The law is especially difficult for juveniles on the registry, who are assumed to be less likely to reoffend, more amenable to rehabilitation, and far less likely to become a “sex tourist.”
Finally, International Megan’s Law violates a number of constitutional safeguards, including the 1st (freedom of association) and 14th (Due process) Amendments, as well as the Ex Post Facto clause. In addition, protecting the reputation of American travels and their privacy is of great governmental interest, especially given the attitude of much of the world regarding American tourists. Unconsidered in this report was the potential chilling effect IML could have on ALL American tourists as the US gains a reputation for being a country full of “sex traffickers.” International Megan’s Law will ultimately do far more harm than good, not just in regard to registered citizens, but for the reputation of this nation as well.
For the full report and references for my assertions, go to http://www.oncefallen.com/internationalmeganslaw