International Megan's Law, Signed by President Obama 2-8-16 (Whats Next: CA-RSOL)
Join RSOL Review conference call 2-10 7:30 PM EST (Lawsuit Filed)

February 9, 2016

Obama Just Signed a Really Bad Criminal Justice Law

2-9-16 National:

After months of hype about the historic bipartisan consensus that we must make the American criminal justice system less harsh, President Obama finally signed a justice reform bill into law Monday. There’s only one problem: Instead of making the justice system more fair and less punitive, the new law will make it more vindictive and petty. Specifically, it will require people who have been convicted of sex crimes against minors to carry special passports in which their status as registered sex offenders will be marked with conspicuous identifying marks.

The point of International Megan’s Law, in the words of its House sponsor Chris Smith of New Jersey, is to prevent “sex tourism” by making it harder for people to “hop on planes and go to places for a week or two and abuse little children.” In addition to the passport stamp, this goal is supposed to be achieved through the formation of a new federal unit inside of Immigration and Customs Enforcement called the “Angel Watch Center,” which will inform foreign governments when American sex offenders have made plans to visit their countries.

You might be thinking that sounds like a good idea—a wise precaution that promises to prevent confirmed perverts from victimizing more people. But like the domestic sex offender registry it’s based on, the law is premised on a profound and consequential misunderstanding of how sex crimes against minors are usually perpetrated. Though it’s understandable that parents are concerned about “stranger danger,” the most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that the vast majority of sex abuse victims are attacked not by strangers hunting for prey, but by family members and other acquaintances.

Chart in Original:

The other myth the new law perpetuates is that people who commit sex crimes are much more likely than other types of criminals to recidivate and find new victims after they’ve been released. A BJS report shows that insofar as that’s true, we’re still talking about a tiny percentage of people: According to the findings, just 5.3 percent of the 9,691 released sex offenders in the study sample were rearrested for a sex crime within three years of their release. Among male child molesters specifically, recidivism appears to be even lower: of the 4,295 male child molesters in the sample, just 3.3 percent were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within three years of their release.

It’s difficult to understand, in light of these findings, how making it harder for sex offenders to travel internationally is going to help reduce the frequency of child sex abuse. What will the new law achieve instead? Further marginalization of a group of people that Democrats and Republicans alike apparently consider to be deserving of permanent social exile and never-ending suspicion.

To state the obvious, it's hard for many people to summon much sympathy for sex offenders, and that is perfectly understandable. However, it’s crucial to remember that the category includes all sorts of people, including those who were placed on the registry when they themselves were children. Here’s how Rep. Bobby Scott put it in a statement on the House floor in which he expressed his opposition to the idea of marking sex offenders’ passports with a special indicator:

The failure of this provision to allow for the individualized consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the traveler’s criminal history, including how much time has elapsed since his last offense, underscores how this provision is overbroad. Details such as whether the traveler is a serial child rapist versus someone with a decades-old conviction from when he was 19-years-old and his girlfriend was 14 … are significant, and would allow law enforcement to more appropriately prioritize their finite resources.

Scott also argued that “it is simply bad policy to single out one category of offenses for this type of treatment,” noting that “we do not subject those who murder, who defraud the government or our fellow citizens of millions and billions, or who commit acts of terrorism to these restrictions.” ..Continued.. by Leon Neyfakh

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SEX OFFENDERS FILE LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INTERNATIONAL MEGAN’S LAW

2-9-16 National:

A lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court, Northern District, San Francisco Division, challenging International Megan’s Law, which requires the Secretary of State to add “unique identifiers” to the passports of American citizens. The law requires federal agencies to notify foreign countries that American citizens will be traveling to their country.

“For the first time in the history of our country, a Scarlet letter will be added to the passports of American citizens,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci. “Today the Scarlet Letter will be used to punish sex offenders. Tomorrow the same or a similar letter could be used to punish Muslims, gays and/or drunk drivers.”

President Obama signed the International Megan’s Law bill into law on February 8, only four days after the White House received it. Congress passed the bill on February 1.

“Congress failed to provide adequate attention to this historic legislation when it passed the law by voice vote and without substantive discussion or debate,” stated Bellucci. “The process used for the vote – suspension of the rules – was an abuse of a Congressional rule that is supposed to be limited to noncontroversial bills, not historically significant bills like International Megan’s Law.”

The original version of HR 515 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on January 26, 2015. The U.S. Senate amended the bill on the Senate floor on December 17, 2015, by adding the passport provisions.

“The citizens of this nation should be afraid, very afraid, that a unique identifier will be added to their passports,” stated Bellucci. “Only Nazi Germany and Communist Russia have marked the passports of their citizens in this way and that was done decades ago. “

Passports today are used as a primary form of identification as well for entry into a foreign country. A passport symbol that identifies an individual as a registered sex offender could place at significant risk that person as well as others traveling with them, including family members and business colleagues.

“The notification provisions of International Megan’s Law will harm thousands of Americans who have been declared by a state to be rehabilitated and are no longer required to register as sex offenders,” stated Bellucci. “The federal government in such cases will substitute its judgment, which will not be based upon an investigation of an individual, for the judgment of a state government that has conducted such an investigation.” by Press Release

CONTACT:
California Reform Sex Offender Laws
Janice Bellucci, President
ACLU Building – 1313 W. 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(805) 896-7854

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ALERT: Sex Offenders DENIED Fresh Start Relief

2-9-2016 National:

On 2-1-16 Rep Cohen introduced HR-4410 "Fresh Start Act of 2016 which allows certain folks to petition for expungement of criminal records.

However, if one is a person convicted of ANY sex offense they are excluded from the relief of this bill, if enacted into law.

Rep Cohen's remarks on introduction were as follows:
SPEECH OF HON. STEVE COHEN OF TENNESSEE
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2016

Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Fresh Start Act, a bill I reintroduced earlier today.

If enacted, it would allow certain individuals who have been convicted of nonviolent offenses, have paid their debt to society, and are now law-abiding members of the community to petition courts to have their nonviolent conviction expunged from their records.

A criminal record, even for a minor, nonviolent offense, can pose a barrier to employment, education and housing opportunities--the very things necessary to start one's life over. This is not only bad for rehabilitated offenders, it is bad for their families and for the community in which they live.

The Fresh Start Act would give nonviolent offenders a chance to start over again, a chance to become productive members of society. The bill allows offenders to apply for expungement to the court where they were sentenced and allows the United States Attorney for that District to submit recommendations to the court. Applicants who are denied could reapply once every two years. Once seven years have elapsed since an offender has completed their sentence, expungement would be automatically granted. However, sex offenders and those who commit crimes causing a loss of over $25,000 would not be eligible for automatic expungement.

Finally, the bill would also encourage states to pass their own expungement laws for state offenses. States that pass a substantially similar law would receive a 5 percent increase in their Byrne funding while those that do not would lose 5 percent of their Byrne funds.

It is one thing to convict someone of a nonviolent crime. It is quite another to condemn him to a de facto life sentence for it. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
...

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February 8, 2016

EDITORIAL: International Megan’s Law incites unwarranted prejudice

2-8-16 Global:

Public shaming without borders

New Jersey was the first state to pass Megan’s Law in 1994 before it became federal law. A few weeks ago, a bill dubbed as the “International Megan’s Law” passed Congress, and now sits on President Barack Obama’s desk for approval. The original Megan’s Law emerged from the brutal rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Nicole Kanka of Hamilton, New Jersey. Megan’s Law required information regarding registered sex offenders to be publicly available in order to provide other citizens with adequate knowledge about their surroundings so that they can act accordingly and reinforce the safety of their family. Now, the International Megan’s Law expands current federal law for sex offenders by also mandating them to have a unique stamp on their passports to exhibit their record as sex offenders during international travel. The bill is intended to notify law enforcement agencies in other countries about the travel plans of convicted and registered sex offenders.

Although the International Megan’s Law is intended to prevent sex offenders from committing the same sexual crimes in other countries, the bill would only make criminal activity more attractive for registered sex offenders since the stigma around them is exacerbated. The proposed law would enable other countries to know when a sex offender is entering their borders, so law enforcement agencies can take necessary precautions, such as simply rejecting offenders from entering the country. Proponents of the proposed bill endorse the potential preventative measures it has in regard to sexual abuse outside the U.S., since they claim many sex offenders can still take advantage of minors by getting on a plane to another country and take part in the international sex industry or sex trafficking schemes. However, the motivation for this law is incongruent with studies that demonstrate how publicly shaming sex offenders increases the likelihood of offenders committing more criminal activity. Having a record, especially a conspicuous record, imposes financial and social costs, which could make non-criminal activities unattractive or difficult. ..Continued.. by The Daily Targum

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The long arm of sex offender laws

2-8-16 Global:

America’s broken sex offender policy goes global

Ex-offenders convicted of sex crimes in the United States are accustomed to facing numerous and often burdensome restrictions. There are laws governing where they are allowed to live, what kind of job they can hold and, in some cases, if they are even allowed to own a computer, long after they have ostensibly paid their debt to society.

Now, a bill that passed Congress last week and is now awaiting a signature from President Barack Obama risks gambling away the civil rights of thousands of law-abiding Americans each year by subjecting them to heightened scrutiny not just at home but abroad. The legislation (H.R. 515) was sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) and bears the laborious title: “The International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders.”

The bill’s supporters say it is designed to prevent the practice of “sex tourism.” In practice, it amends federal law to require registered sex offenders to provide information about any intended travel outside the United States — including travel dates and itinerary — and provides for that information to be shared with the governments of any countries they plan to visit. Failure to comply with the notification requirement would be punishable by fines and up to 10 years in prison.

Most incredibly, an amendment added to the bill in December by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) requires that qualifying ex-offenders have a “visual designation affixed to a conspicuous location” on their passports. Any travel documents that were issued prior to the law’s passage would be subject to revocation by the Department of State.

The law applies only to ex-offenders who have been convicted of sex crimes involving minors (people who rape adults are apparently free to travel at will), and is ostensibly designed to make it harder for active offenders who “[plan] their trips around locations where the most vulnerable children can be found … [using] the anonymity provided by foreign travel to help hide their hideous crimes,” in the words of Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), a cosponsor of the legislation.

A handful of states already have statutes identifying registered sex offenders on their driver’s licenses. But legal experts say H.R. 515 represents the first time in U.S. history that American citizens would be subject to such a requirement by federal law. Critics have compared the required passport identifier to the Scarlet Letter worn by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s protagonist for the sin of adultery. The bill earmarks $6 million a year to help fund a new federal agency called the “Angel Watch Center” with broad powers to compile and share information domestically and globally about registered sex offenders. ..Continued.. by Christopher Moraff

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February 4, 2016

Editorial, Feb. 4, 2016: Passport marking for sex offenders would achieve nothing

2-4-2016 National:

There’s a lot that Congress is unwilling or unable to do, but it still can achieve one thing — finding a heavy-handed solution in search of a problem.

Republicans and Democrats have sent a measure to President Obama’s desk calling for special marks to be placed on the passports of sexual offenders against juveniles so that, maybe, somehow, it will allow other countries to do something — maybe turn travelers away. So then what happens? They come back home, probably.

There’s so much wrong with this intrusion into civil liberties that it’s hard to know where to start.

Some advocates have suggested that this scarlet letter on a passport will somehow curtail sex trafficking, but we’ve seem no statistical backup to support the theory.

It’s almost impossible for an immigration official of another country to determine what kind of offense the traveler has committed. That’s because some prosecutors have sought convictions with so much zeal that they have classified, say, a 19-year-old who had sexual relations with a 16-year-old in the same category as a serious, multi-timer offender who may be truly dangerous.

We agree that sexual offenders against juveniles should be punished for their crimes, but that doesn’t mean that they should forever be hounded and harassed. What’s next, marking passports for those with drug convictions? Burglaries?

Not every person convicted with a sex crime is the same. That’s why we have public trials, parole and probation. And we hardly trust a far-off government agency at the passport office to make decisions on who gets the special passport marking and who doesn’t.

Similar bills have been proposed in the past and have been widely rejected. President Obama should veto it this time.

Like other crimes, there’s a wide difference among offenders. We agree that there are some sexual predators who should be watched by probation officials even after they’re released from custody

But there are those whose likelihood of committing another crime is quite low. Law enforcement officials will tell you that they watch some registered sex offenders a lot more closely than others.

That’s the problem with one-size-fits all government actions like this passport gambit. We see no result of this policy that would protect anyone in any way. Does Congress really think that putting a mark on a passport would stop even one case of sexual assault?

We have no sympathy with those who prey on children. We agree that offenses should be aggressively prosecuted. But that doesn’t mean that a permanent black mark on every offender’s passport would achieve anything. ..Source.. by Monterey County Herald

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ACTION ALERT: Did a ridiculous situation put you on the sex offender registry ...

2-4-16 Washington DC:

From: Galen Baughman
Did a ridiculous situation put you on the sex offender registry

Dear Sex Offender Reform Leaders:

We've all heard stories of people ending up on the sex offender registry for absurd things... If you think you're one of those people please email gbaughman@humanrightsdefensecenter.org
  • Teenage lovers very close in age?
  • Are you now married to your victim?
  • Streaking?
  • Skinny-dipping?
  • Sunbathing?
  • Urinating in Public?
  • Anything else ridiculous we didn't think of...?
We'd love to hear from you!

Warmly yours,

Galen Baughman
Soros Justice Fellow
Human Rights Defense Center
11 Dupont Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 681-8121
gbaughman@humanrightsdefensecenter.org

"Are We All Sex Offenders?" | TEDx Talk
Open Society Foundations Q&A Profile

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Bill to mark sex offender passports raises ire of criminal justice advocacy group

2-4-16 National:

Critics threaten to sue if made law

A criminal justice advocacy group is prepared to sue the federal government if President Obama signs into law a measure requiring child-sex offenders to be identified as such on their passports — a move they say is as hypocritical for a president pushing for broad criminal justice reform.

The House and Senate this week resolved differences in versions of the bill, known as the “International Megan’s Law,” which is meant to make it harder for pedophiles to travel abroad. The final version requires that individuals convicted of sex offenses involving minors obtain a “unique identifier” on their passports that would alert immigration authorities in other countries of their prior convictions.

“This is the first time in the history of our country that any American citizen will have a unique identifier on their passport,” said lawyer Janice Bellucci, who as the president of the group California Reform Sex Offender Laws has brought prior lawsuits challenging sex offender laws. “Who is the next group? Is it going to be Muslims if Donald Trump becomes president?”

Though the White House has not yet indicated whether Mr. Obama intends to sign or veto the law, Ms. Bellucci said her organization is preparing to mount a legal challenge if it is adopted.

“We believe it violates so many constitutional rights of our citizens, we just cannot ignore it,” she said.

The measure was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey Republican, who has been pushing for the legislation for eight years. If signed into law by Mr. Obama, the legislation would also require any registered sex offender planning to travel abroad to inform law enforcement officials at least 21 days in advance; authorize a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to notify destination countries of those offenders’ intended travel; and to allow for information sharing with other countries to identify foreign nationals who are sex offenders planning to travel to the U.S.

“It is imperative and long overdue that the United States take the child protection lessons it has learned domestically with the successful notification systems first created by Megan’s Laws and expand them globally to prevent convicted U.S. sex offenders from harming children abroad,” said Mr. Smith in a statement released Monday following the passage of the law.

The law is named for Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl who in 1994 was sexually assaulted and killed by a convicted sex offender who lived across the street from her family.

Over the last decade, lawmakers and courts have had a mixed take on sex offender laws. Several states, including Florida, Oklahoma and Louisiana require sex offenders to obtain a special driver’s license that identifies them as such. Meanwhile restrictions on where offenders could live have been struck down by courts in California, Massachusetts and New York.

Given the commitment that both Congress and the president have professed over the last year for criminal justice reform, advocates see the passage of the federal sex offender law as backsliding.

For 29-year-old Josh Gravens, who said he was placed on the Texas sex offender registry for an incident that occurred when he was 13, the stigma has already led to bouts of homelessness and trouble keeping a job. He fears that a “scarlet letter” on his passport will only marginalize him further when he travels.

“I believe that if the president really means what he says about criminal justice, he will veto the bill,” said Mr. Gravens, who through his advocacy group Organize Justice, has pushed for broad criminal justice reform. “And I’m watching with anticipation that he keeps his promises.”

An official from the State Department, which would oversee the passport demarcation, declined to comment Wednesday on the legislation.

But according to a 2010 Government Accountability Office, the State Department in 2008 issued 4,500 passports to sex offenders of all categories. The State Department noted at the time however that there was “no evidence that the offenders used their passports to commit sex offenses abroad.” ..Source.. by Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com

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February 3, 2016

International Megan's Law passes Congress on 2-1-16


You folks always hear me talk about Trickery and Behind Closed Doors when speaking about Congress. Lets review what happened with IML on 2-1-16, and how the public gets misled by misuse of House Rules. All times mentioned EST come from the Video upper right corner of screen:

1) House Majority Leader's schedule of bills to be discussed 2-1 with votes at 6:30 PM (See graphic);

2) The House adjourned a few times during the day, caused public to give up watching C-Span.

3) Finally, IML came up for discussion LATE in the day, (4:20PM see video), but way before 6:30 PM when votes were scheduled.

4) As usual House Speaker (which by the way, they change who that is frequently, depends on who is doing nothing at any specific moment). Top pic started IML discussion, bottom pic finished discussions.


Speaker said, 40 minutes for debate allowed 20-20 for each side. Debate began, but it was LATE in the day and Smith KNEW most lawmakers would have already gone home or to diner. He begins.


5) Then Rep Boyle from PA starts his 20 minutes. Supposedly Boyle is the opposition, but he didn't oppose it instead he supported IML. Things went back & forth between Boyle and Smith for several minutes. Normally any objections would have come up during this time frame, but there is no one there, out to diner, set to come back at 6:30 to vote on bills as scheduled.

6) BINGO Smith moves to pass bill (4:50 PM See video), Speaker asks for objections and hears NONE, so Speaker then asks for a VOICE Vote, and if you listen carefully maybe 5 or so agree. This is way before the scheduled 6:30PM vote time. Bill has now passed into law, and will go to President for signature. (Follow this color way below) Total time on the floor 4:20 to 4:50 PM EST.

Now, folks need to learn HOW to read the Daily Digest (DD) (Has a wealth of info) which is published the day after proceedings. Here is DD for 2-1-16: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r114:@FIELD%28FLD003+d%29+@FIELD%28DDATE+20160201%29 Not sure link will keep, it may be temp but its still on the website, just ask me.

Scroll down to:

International Megan's Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking: Concur in the Senate amendments to H.R. 515, to protect children from exploitation, especially sex trafficking in tourism, by providing advance notice of intended travel by registered child-sex offenders outside the United States to the government of the country of destination, and requesting foreign governments to notify the United States when a known child-sex offender is seeking to enter the United States;
Pages H387-394

If you click on that H387-394, then #2, you will see


Page: H387 Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and concur in...
Page: H388 Page: H389 Page: H390 GENERAL LEAVE
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members...
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Page: H391 Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time...
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from...
Mr. PITTENGER. Chairman Smith, thank you so much for your leadership...
Page: H392 Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers...
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from...
Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 515, the International...
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. I yield the gentleman 1 minute.
Mr. ROYCE. At present, multiple U.S. Government agencies are working to combat...
Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the...
Mrs. WAGNER. I thank the gentlemen for yielding.
Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentlewoman from...
Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, as elected Members of Congress, we must stand up for...
Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my...
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
Page: H393 Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, to conclude, I second the...
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 515,...
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I stand in strong support of H.R. 515 because it...
Page: H394


Unfortunately the links above are temporary and after this date will no longer work which is why we are showing below the detail of the relevant ones. Accordingly, Rep SCOTT (Yellow highlighted area) said:


I think my good friend, Ann Wagner, said a moment ago that Megan is an angel. Her parents are guardian angels. They have taken a pain, an agony, and a trauma that is incomprehensible and have worked tirelessly to get Megan's
[Page: H393]  GPO's PDF
Law enacted throughout the United States and in some other countries. This will take it to the next level and will establish that true reciprocal reciprocity regimen, whereby we notice, they notice, everybody knows what is going on to take the secrecy out of this travel when a convicted pedophile hops on a plane with the idea of exploiting children.    This will have a very measurable impact and will protect children from this kind of agony.
   Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
   Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, to conclude, I second the comments that were made by Mr. Smith. I congratulate the family of Megan Kanka. Being a father myself of a 2-year-old daughter, I can't imagine losing a little girl, especially in the heinous way that they did.
   I remember very much when all of that happened. Hamilton, New Jersey, is only about 40 minutes up the road from where I live in Philadelphia, and I remember the ugly incident very well. The fact that here we are, so many years later, and the family still continues to fight for other little girls and little boys is really remarkable and is a testament to them.
   I also congratulate the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith), who I know has worked tirelessly on this bill for a long period of time.
   Mr. Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to support this piece of legislation.
   Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  • [Begin Insert]
   Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 515, International Megan's Law. While I support the underlying goal of ensuring that American law enforcement agencies share information on potential child sex offenders with foreign law enforcement agencies, I am opposed to how one particular provision, added in the Senate amendment before us today, would work in practice.
   Other existing provisions of the bill already contain the following information-sharing requirements with and among law enforcement agencies here in the United States and abroad:
   U.S. sex offenders are required to provide international travel-related information to the sex offender registries;
   the Department of Homeland Security is required to create the Angel Watch Center to receive information on individuals seeking to enter the U.S. who have committed offenses of a sexual nature as well as registered sex offenders seeking to travel outside the U.S. in order to share all relevant information to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials;
   the U.S. Marshal's Service is required to notify law enforcement agencies of sex offenders seeking to leave the United States who have not transmitted their travel information to sex offender registries;
   the U.S. Marshal's Service is required to notify the international destination country of a sex offender's upcoming travel; and
   the Secretary of State should seek reciprocal international agreements or arrangements to further these goals.
   If our goal is to ensure that customs and border as well as law enforcement officials are notified so that they may track and investigate those sex offenders who may be engaging in sex tourism or pose a threat of absconding, these provisions have addressed those concerns.
   As a result, I am skeptical of what more we stand to gain by the Senate amendment's provision authorizing the Secretary of State to use a ``unique passport identifier for covered sex offenders'' that is defined as ``any visual designation affixed to a conspicuous location on the passport indicating the individual is a covered sex offender.'' At best, if this vague language is meant to describe some sort of code or symbol embedded in the passport that is only discernible by law enforcement at the border indicating that the traveler is a sex offender, it is redundant given the other information-sharing mandated by the bill's other provisions. However, if this is interpreted to mean something akin to the words ``sex offender'' stamped on the identification page of the passport, this raises serious problems and will lead to unintended consequences.
   First, it is simply bad policy to single out one category of offenses for this type of treatment. We do not subject those who murder, who defraud the government or our fellow citizens of millions and billions, or who commit acts of terrorism to these restrictions.
   Second, by treating all sexual offenders as one monolithic group ignores reality. While some pose a continued and real risk of reoffending and may be traveling to engage in sex tourism or other illicit acts, not all pose the same risk. Indeed, the failure of this provision to allow for the individualized consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the traveler's criminal history, including how much time has elapsed since his last offense, underscores how this provision is overbroad. Details such as whether the traveler is a serial child rapist versus someone with a decades-old conviction from when he was 19-years-old and his girlfriend was 14, just missing the Romeo and Juliet exception by one year, are significant and would allow law enforcement to more appropriately prioritize their finite resources.
   Third, a traveler does not have any recourse with the foreign destination country if he or she is refused entry solely on the basis of this ``unique passport identifier.'' While the bill has some due process provisions, those apply only domestically. There is no recourse if a traveler is erroneously denied entry from the destination country.
   Fourth, if the ``unique passport identifier'' is implemented in a way that makes it obvious to not only law enforcement officials but any member of the general public viewing the passport, this could lead to unintended consequences of persecution and harm to the traveler. This is especially troubling given that no factual context about the offense is provided.
   If our goal is to ensure that domestic and foreign law enforcement and customs officials are notified of potential threats, multiple existing provisions of the bill already achieve that goal without raising these problematic implementation and fairness concerns.
   In summary, while I support the underlying goal of ensuring that American law enforcement agencies share information on potential child sex offenders with foreign law enforcement agencies, I have grave concerns about how the redundant and problematic provision regarding the ``unique passport identifier'', added as a Senate amendment, would work in practice. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to oppose the underlying bill.

   Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I stand in strong support of H.R. 515 because it seeks to protect our children from predators by identifying the whereabouts of sex offenders and providing means to monitor their activities.
   This legislation is important because sex trafficking of children is a displaceable act that we detest and has been an on-going concern for the United States.
   In addition to protecting our children from national threats, we must also consider the potential threat from international actors, especially during times of increased tourism, like for example the Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup, World Olympics and other major events around the world where tourism is high.
   This legislation by my friend Representative Smith aims to protect our children from exploitation, specifically sex trafficking in tourism, by providing advance notice of intended travel by registered child-sex offenders outside of the United States to the government of the destination country.
   This legislation is important because it requests that foreign governments notify the United States when a known child-sex offender is seeking to enter the United States.
   International child exploitation is increasingly becoming a top priority for all nations and certainly is for our country.
   For instance, two years ago, during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, reports of child exploitation received global attention.
   According to the Department of State, Brazil is a destination country for children subjected to sex trafficking.
   For the case of Brazil, child sex tourists typically arrive from Europe and North America.
   According to reports, the Rio de Janeiro civil police identified eight hotels and restaurants involved in a child sexual exploitation network in two city areas.
   Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as you know, is where the World Olympics will be hosted this summer.
   According to the Huffington Post, major sporting event usually lead to a spike in the demand for sexual predatory activities.
   Unfortunately, these accounts of sexual predatory activity include child sex trafficking.
   Here at home, during the 2014 Super Bowl week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with 50 law enforcement agencies, recovered 16 teenagers during an enforcement action on child sex trafficking.
   Additionally, more than 45 pimps were arrested, some of whom claimed to travel to the Super Bowl location specifically for the purpose of prostituting women and children at the sporting event.
   According to Judy Kluger, Director of Sanctuary for Families, and former judge for New York City Criminal Court of New York County, New York, ``the Super Bowl could never not be breeding grounds for sexual exploitation.''
   If a location experiences an exponential increase in large numbers of men travelling for entertainment, it will proportionally see an increase in those who purchase sex.
   As you all know, I am committed to ensuring the protection of children, always championing the protection of children.
   As co-chair of the Children's Caucus, I commend the work of all my colleagues here in Congress, dedicated to protecting children here in the U.S. and across the globe.
[Page: H394]  GPO's PDF
   This is why I support this legislation and I commend Representative SMITH for championing legislative measures dedicated to the safety and protection of our children worldwide.
  • [End Insert]
   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) that the House suspend the rules and concur in the Senate amendments to the bill, H.R. 515.
   The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the Senate amendments were concurred in.
   A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.




OK, if you click on the other Pages you can find who said what, I'm not concerned with their misconstructions and heresay. IML is now history and going to the Pres.

OK, come 6:30 PM Likely when Rep SCOTT actually made his comments (Notice the word BEGIN INSERT above, just before his comments. This is how they piece things occurring on same date together)

So what we have is ONE Lawmaker AGAINST and all others never heard what he had to say. But remember they always says before debating a bill "
Mr. SMITH (or whoever) of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous materials on this measure. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey? There was no objection. Video shows this..

They assume ALL lawmakers will read what others have said on a bill, and make comments within the 5-legislative-days time limit. Thats why I suggest folks to POUND AWAY at lawmakers to try to get other lawmakers to -at least comment for the record-. However this is where it would be political suicide for them to do that; SCOTT is a RARE BREED, a man well entrenched in Congress with hutspa.

I've also mentioned, DAILY at the beginning of a session, they have ONE MINUTE speeches, well those speeches get PHASED into the bill they pertain to, or are simply a lawmaker's remarks on a topic (all such remarks are phased into their logical place, late at night just before the "Daily Digest" is published), Rep SCOTT comments above were inserted into HR 515. The unfortunate thing about such comments is, they are not time stamped. Oh well...

As to the VOTE (Pink area above), this is real upsetting, remember House Majority Leader scheduled VOTES at 6:30 PM, well NOT So, they Voice Voted on the floor at end of debate. All is said and done.

Now even though Lawmakers have 5-legislative-days to put their comments in, it cannot change the voice vote. A voice vote is taken so that, no one knows WHO voted and WHO didn't vote; the public is left BLIND as to who they should be working on to change their minds, or at least consider further evidence.

Now some might say, well rules were suspended, so the vote could be taken anytime, true, but I ask why wasn't that true on the business bills heard before IML? See recorded votes on them:

47 1-Feb H R 4168 On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass P Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement Act
46 1-Feb H R 2187 On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended P Fair Investment Opportunities for Professional Experts Act

Congress bends rules, breaks them, etc., when they want, and the public has no say in the matter.

In fact, when the House Majority Leader said, in his earlier schedule, the bill would be heard UNDER SUSPENSION of the RULES, it was decided, IML was not a controversial bill i.e., no one cared what happened with it, it was like naming a Post Office; who cares so Congress can do what it wants.
Suspension of the rules in the United States Congress: Is a procedure generally used to quickly pass non-controversial bills in the United States House of Representatives.

A motion to suspend the rules is in order on Mondays and Tuesdays and towards the end of a session of Congress and may only be made by the Speaker of the House or their designee, though it is customary for committee chairs to write the Speaker requesting a suspension. Once a member makes a motion to "suspend the rules" and take some action, debate is limited to 40 minutes, no amendments can be offered to the motion or the underlying matter, and a 2/3 majority of Members present and voting is required to agree to the motion.

A suspension motion sets aside all procedural and other rules that otherwise prohibit the House from considering the measure—but the motion never mentions the specific rules that are suspended. Typically, a suspension motion is phrased as a motion to "...suspend the rules and pass the bill," and, if the Motion is agreed to, the bill is considered passed by the House. A Member can also move to suspend the rules and take another action, such as to "suspend the rules and consider the bill," and the House shall take the proposed action if TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE VOTING are in favor of the motion.

Most often, bills "on suspension" are non-controversial legislation -- such as naming Post Offices of the United States Postal Service or federal buildings -- and nearly all bills that are considered under suspension rules have bipartisan support.

The real mockery of the rules is this "and the House shall take the proposed action if TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE VOTING are in favor of the motion." So if there are 10 lawmakers on the House floor, 2/3rds of 10 is what? Voice vote hides how many are on the floor; this occurred on AWA as well.

Did Smith invite just those who would support the bill? OH, I forgot, the majority were out to diner when the voice vote was taken, 4:50 PM (see video), did they kept adjourning so the IML would be heard when the fewest lawmakers were on the floor? Yes, I believe that.

OK, need anymore be said..................



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