Good news! A new law was signed that creates the Angel Watch Center within the Department of Homeland Security, which will coordinate travel monitoring of convicted sex offenders. In this episode, Jen discusses the new law with Tim Ballard, the Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, which is an organization dedicated to saving children from international sex slavery.
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H.R. 515: International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders
- Creates the Angel Watch Center, which will be a part of the Child Exploitation Investigations Unit of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, within the Department of Homeland Security.
- The Center will process notifications about individuals trying to enter the United Stets who have committed sex crimes.
- Information received will immediately be shared with the Department of Justice and some information will shared with other Federal, State, and local agencies at the Center's discretion.
- The Center will use "all relevant databases and sources of information" to inform other countries if a sex offender plans to visit their country
- The Center will have to immediately send a correction of any inaccurate information transmitted
- The Center will notify the Department of State of an individual's sex offender status "when appropriate" for passport application purposes.
- The Center will create an in-house mechanism for receiving complaints about notifications and forward any complaints about other Federal entities.
- In response to complaints, the Center must confirm errors in writing, take steps not to repeat them, and inform the individual of the steps taken.
- The United States Marshals Service National Sex Offender Targeting Center is allowed to also transmit and receive travel information about sex offenders.
- The Attorney General will collect all data regarding sex offender notifications sent by the National Sex Offender Targeting Center
- Sex offenders will be required to provide detailed descriptions of their international travel plans to the sex offender registries, including:
- Dates and locations of departures and arrivals
- Flight numbers
- Purpose of travel
- Sex offenders who fail to report their travel will be subject to fines and possibly ten years in prison.
- The State Department will issue passports to sex offenders only if they contain "a unique identifier" and may revoke passports that don't include one.
- The sex offender can get a new passport without the identifier if they are taken off of the sex offender registry.
- Appropriates $6 million per year from 2017 and 2018 to implement the changes.
Sound Clip Sources
- Hearing: Sex Trafficking Victims, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Human Rights, May 14, 2015.
- Article: Speaker Ryan: Not enough votes for TPP trade deal by Rebecca Kaplan, CBS News, February 11, 2016.
Music Presented in This Episode
Design by Only Child Imaginations