Scarlet-letter passports unjust and irrational

Jacob Sullum writes for Reason that the unique identifier to be added to sex offender passports is lousy policy and merely stigmatizes people who are not dangerous.

The notice, which will appear on the second-to-last page of U.S. passports, is officially known as an “endorsement,” but it is more like a badge of shame. “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor,” it says, “and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).”The scary notation, which was revealed this week, is the State Department’s response to a 2016 law requiring that the passports of certain registered sex offenders include a “unique identifier” to help maintain their status as pariahs wherever they travel. Although the warning is supposedly aimed at stopping sexual predators from abusing children in other countries, it will mark the passports of many people who pose no such threat. 

Read more online at Reason.

2 thoughts on “Scarlet-letter passports unjust and irrational

  1. Barry, exactly! They are scanning the passports and the data is sent through what I am pretty sure is Interpol. What Interpol does is send that info to the destination you are traveling police/etc. What they do with that info is up to them. No one will notify you that when you check in for your first flight they are “red flagging” your passport.

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