The U.S. House of Representatives was set to vote last week on the Amendment added to H.R. 515 by the Senate which would essentially ‘brand’ the passports of individuals require to register. Due to extreme weather in DC the House declared a snow week and will return on Monday, February 1, 2016. According to U.S. House Majority Leader, Representative McCarthy, under suspension of the rules, he will permit consideration to concur in the Senate Amendment – International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee).
Click on this link http://www.house.gov/representatives/ and in the upper right corner of the screen put in your zip code to find your representative. Call their office and identify yourself as a constituent and ask the staff person to pass on your request concerning the passport amendment to H.R. 515 added by the Senate. You can also send an email with the same statement using the form on their page.
When the Senate amendment to H.R. 515 is called for vote please do not concur. Return to regular order and return the bill to the Foreign Affairs Committee for discussion.
The Senate amendment states:
… the Secretary of State shall not issue a passport to a covered sex offender unless the passport contains a unique identifier, and may revoke a passport previously issued without such an identifier of a covered sex offender.
Since this is the first time in U.S. history that any such special designation will appear on the passports of U.S. citizens, it is clearly worth discussion prior to a vote especially since the word ‘covered’ is subject to interpretation at many levels.
Not only is there no empirical evidence indicating that recidivism for individuals required to register increased during international travel there is no justifiable reason to increase our country’s debt by $12,000,000 since we are already in debt for nearly $19,000,000,000,000.
A few high profile arrests Reported by the media does not mean that sex trafficking is rampant in the United States. As of today there is no empirical evidence indicating that assumption to be true. This type of misquoting of facts by media and politicians is at the root of the existence of the registry itself. Legislators, and the Department of Justice have long misrepresented the total re-offense rate for people that are on the registry at around 80%. When in fact, the possibility of someone on the registry being involved in a new sex crime is less than 1% with an empirical data to back up this statistic.
Lawsuits challenging any punitive law enacted will no doubt be filed and while that may certainly be the way our Framers planned our democracy to work in a changing society all monies used on this issue could be better spent on Sexual Abuse Prevention Training programs for children teens and parents here in the U.S. of America.
A person’s reputation is a liberty interest. The United States Supreme Court has previously recognized that a person’s reputation is a protected liberty interest under the federal due process clause. Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433 (1971) (hereafter “Constantineau”); Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972) (hereafter “Roth”).
In Constantineau, the State of Wisconsin authorized the posting of a notice prohibiting the sale or gift of liquor to any person who “‘by excessive drinking’ produces described conditions or exhibits specified traits, such as exposing himself or family ‘to want’ or becoming ‘dangerous to the peace’ of the community.” On appeal, the Constantineau Court recognized that “[i]t would be naive not to recognize that such ‘posting’ or characterization of an individual will expose him to public embarrassment and ridicule.” 400 U.S. at 436. The Court therefore held that a protectible liberty interest is implicated “[w]here a person’s good name, reputation, honor, or integrity is at stake because of what the government is doing to him [or her.]” Id. at 437. as well as the Hawaii Supreme Court decision in Hawaii vs. Bani . The acts of these government officials opened them and the agencies that they operate out of to million Dollar lawsuits under U.S.C. 1983 actions , as well as the possibility of them facing federal charges under Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241 Conspiracy Against Rights and Section 242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.
Please share this eletter within anyone who will contact members of the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose HR 515 or oppose it online at POPVOX.