Sex Offenders Will Now Have a Harder Time Traveling
Americans who have been convicted of sexual offenses against minors will soon have that to add to their passports.
The State Department announced earlier this month that a sentence noting sex offenders’ convictions will be added to the back inside cover of their passports.
The Department of Homeland Security provides the names of sex offenders to the State Department, who then notifies affected sex offenders that their passports are being revoked and will be reissued with the new language.
Smaller passport cards used for limited international travel will not be issued to sex offenders because there is no room to note the person’s offenses.
According to an article in The New York Times:
The policy, which went into effect on Tuesday, was required under legislation passed in 2016 known as “International Megan’s Law.” It is named for Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old girl from New Jersey whose rape and murder in 1994 inspired a slew of namesake laws that allow neighbors to be notified when a sex offender moves to their community. Her attacker, a neighbor, had previous child sex offense convictions.
The New Law is Being Challenged
Some people believe this will lead to other groups of people being “targeted” or restricted. Specifically, the concern is that American sexual misconduct laws tend to be overly broad. For example, there are instances when the perpetrators are themselves minors when the incidents occurred.
The New York Times article also stated that the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, a nonprofit that fights for the civil rights of registered sex offenders, sued the government last year over the measure, arguing that it violated the constitutional rights of registered sex offenders.