San Francisco . . . A lawsuit was filed February 9 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 judgement of a state government that has conducted such an investigation.”