The US is revisiting the Scarlett Letter
President Obama disappointed me with a decidedly regressive and anti-liberal signing of the International Megan's Law legislation. To be fair even if he had not it would still become law as the number of votes in congress would have overridden any veto. He could have just let it set without signing to keep his hands clean of this terrible law.
While many nations will do a background check and selectively decide who to issue a Visa to in order for you to travel, many nations require only a passport for a stay of 90 days or less. Now that the passport may carry a specific designation that your name is on a sex offender registry, chances are good most nations will ban your entry outright.
Of course Congress finds this easy to do...who is easier to bash than a former sex offender. Second chances be dammed, full speed ahead adding more and more penalties. I foresee some legal battles over this.
Which registry do you use to determine who's passport is "tagged" with a scarlet letter?
The State Department is a Federal department. Most sex offender registries are run by states with varying laws. The same offense in one state may land you on "the list" while if committed in another may not. Is this equal protection of the law when there is no consistency?
This is a dangerous experiment in further restricting Americans. As I see it there is no legal barrier to expanding this type of legislation to include any and all former felons, perhaps adding people never convicted of crimes but who may have unpaid student loans, or back child support etc. After all they might leave and not pay up or spend the money on the trip!
If they decide to list DUI convictions you could not rent a vehicle on your trip. If you were convicted of a credit card fraud you may have to carry large sums of cash because you might not be permitted to charge anything.
I suspect there was little no no research done to determine if this provision would even prevent crime.
We already know of horror stories involving the sex offender registries on which this depends. Young lovers, now married with families would find they cannot take a vacation in Europe because they had sex while under age. A college kid takes a wizz in an ally, gets caught and winds up confined to US borders for years. Will the "scarlet letter" be stamped only on certain former offenders?
How does one contest this scarlet letter?
Our prison's walls now extend around US borders...even after serving your time.
Where does it stop?
Who will be next?
Trump would surely want to stamp "Muslim" on some passports....
I sent a copy to Senator Nelson's office asking for more information on what research was done to determine this measure will actually reduce crime. I will share his reply ( Assuming he cares to reply, given that I am not wealthy enough to get the attention of a Senator. )