Proposed amendment puts travelers at risk of violence

  • Congressman wants to make life difficult for more people.
  • Amendment does nothing but harm.
  • Legal protections abroad are as suspect as they are in the U.S.

International Megan’s Law already puts American registrants traveling abroad at risk of being detained by security forces in other countries, at risk of being exposed as a registrant in countries where legal protections may be minimal.

Now the congressman responsible for IML wants to amend it to make life difficult for more people, including some Americans who live abroad.

Tucked away in the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 5150), you will find an amendment to International Megan’s Law (IML). The 2016 IML set the requirement that some passport-holders on the sex offense registry must have an indicator in their passport showing that they are registrants and that they offended against a minor.  

Current IML makes sure that the United States does what it can to throw unfounded suspicion upon its own citizens — suspicion of future crimes — as they travel to countries where that suspicion could put them in harm’s way. This amendment will make sure that Americans who live in other countries where they are not required to register will be treated with that same suspicion; it will also collect names of citizens of other countries who have been convicted of sex offenses against minors.

Like the registry itself, which treats registrants as if they are ticking time bombs destined to commit more sex crimes, IML treats all registrants convicted of offenses against minors as if they are using travel to find more victims. That imagined danger puts Americans traveling abroad at risk of discrimination and violence when their passport makes known their history of a sex offense, and puts them at risk in a country where they may not have legal protections they would have in the United States.

Read more here.

Call to Action!

  • Register your opposition to proposed SORNA changes.
  • Three communication methods you can use.
  • Take the time to write an original letter.

Remember the proposed SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) changes that were published in August 2020? We registered our opposition to those changes last fall and then nothing happened. When President Biden took office in January, his administration put all proposed regulation changes on hold.

Now, the proposals are on the move again. Before it is too late, let Attorney General Garland know why he should not sign off on the SORNA changes. 

From the ACSOL (Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws) post on this topic, here are the three methods you can use to share your thoughts with AG Garland:

  • First, call the U. S. Department of Justice and leave a comment on the agency’s comment line at 1-202-353-1555
  • Second, send an online message to the agency (the general topic is “message to attorney general) at https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice.
  • Third, mail a letter to Attorney General Garland at U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20530-0001.

To refresh your memory on the proposals:

Notes from the Handbasket: suggestions for comments on the SORNA rule changes

Make sure your message refers to the proposed regulations published in Federal Register on Aug. 13, 2020, in Proposed Rulemaking, Docket No. OAG 157 (AG Order No. 4759–2020).

More from the ACSOL post:

If you take the time to write an original letter it will be given more weight than if if looks like you just copied and pasted the same text that other people used.

There is no deadline by which Attorney General Garland must reach a final decision regarding the proposed SORNA regulations.  Therefore, that decision could be made at any time.  The decision of the Attorney General will be published in the Federal Register and Congress will have 30 days to review that decision before it becomes law.

Don’t be duped by scammers who call you and demand money

  • Callers are breaking laws, including laws against extortion.
  • Do not fall for this scam.
  • Do not be frightened — law enforcement does not call and demand money.
  • Cases like these are good reasons to abolish the registry.
  • Listen to the voice of the scammer at the end of this post.

Law enforcement will NEVER call you on the phone and tell you to pay money to resolve an issue.

That goes for everyone, including people who are forced to register.

Nebraskans Unafraid recently heard from an individual who got a call from a scammer who used the Nebraska State Patrol’s registry to gather information about registrants, whom they call and attempt to extort money.

The scammers are violating several laws, including the law against extortion, when they engage in this bottom-feeding behavior.

In the case brought to our attention, the person who is forced to register received a phone call from a person claiming to be Nebraska State Patrol “Trooper Barnett.” The caller talked about the need for a “secondary” DNA sample. That’s a tipoff: No person forced to register is required to give such a “secondary” sample.

The caller, who used a spoofed phone number to make the call appear to be legit, attempted to frighten his victim by saying there was a felony warrant out, but the whole thing could be cleared up for the tidy little sum of $6,200.

Again: Law enforcement NEVER will call you up and tell you that you can clear up a problem by giving them money. Pay no attention to whether the phone number looks real, because scammers spoof the numbers.

Fortunately, the person who received this call was not duped. He reported the incident to law enforcement, and then to Nebraskans Unafraid.

“This is why the registry should not be public. It made me an easy and vulnerable target,” he wrote to Nebraskans Unafraid. He had the good sense to record the conversations. As a public service and an effort to out whoever is running this fraudulent scheme, we provide the recordings here with personal information bleeped out.

Here is the initial voicemail with the voice of the scammer:

Here is the call back to the scammer:

And here is where the scammer is told to shove it:

If you get a call like this, hang up and call law enforcement.

And remember to tell your state senator this is yet another reason to abolish the registry, which causes harm and protects no one.


Download The Perfect Bad Law and share it with your state senator: