WASHINGTON –(ENEWSPF)–February 2, 2016. U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.-04) today applauded House passage of H.R. 515, introduced by Congressman Chris Smith, which puts International Megan’s Law on the President’s desk for signature. H.R. 515 passed the Senate in December 2015. S.1867, the Senate companion bill, was introduced by Senators Kirk, Shelby and Mikulski.
“Last year in Illinois there were 120 reported cases of human trafficking. This abuse of children must end. International Megan’s Law will increase communication throughout law enforcement to help identify and apprehend pedophiles who prey on children for sex,” said Senator Kirk. “There is still more to do if we want to combat trafficking internationally and here at home, and as the author of the SAVE Act I will continue to lead the fight on behalf of those who are victimized.”
“It is great news for all Americans that the House passed International Megan’s Law today,”said Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). “Crimes against children are a horrible plague on our society, and this legislation takes crucial steps to eradicate them. In addition to streamlining domestic and international communication, International Megan’s law creates new procedures to advance ongoing efforts that will help us achieve one critically important goal: preventing horrific crimes against innocent children. I urge the President to quickly sign this legislation into law so that we can begin to proactively protect families in the U.S. and around the world.”
“We have made some amazing progress over the years, starting out with billboards and milk cartons. But as crimes have grown more sophisticated, we’ve had to become more sophisticated,” said Senator Mikulski, Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee which funds the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice. “This legislation will give the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice the tools they need to protect children at home and abroad.”
“I applaud Congress, under the leadership of Senators Richard Shelby and Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Chris Smith, on the final passage of International Megan’s Law which will help ensure the effective monitoring and compliance of sex offenders who have harmed children and may pose a risk to children in the United States and abroad,” said John F. Clark, President and CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
“It is imperative that we take the lessons learned from Megan’s Law on how to protect our children from known child sex predators within our borders and expand those protections globally to prevent convicted U.S. sex offenders from harming children abroad,” said Congressman Smith, who first introduced the bill in 2008, naming it for Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old from his district who was sexually assaulted and killed in 1994 by a previously convicted sexual predator. “The reinforcing provisions of this carefully crafted legislation—advance notice of travel to countries of destination and the passport provisions championed by Sen. Shelby—will help stop those seeking to end run the registry and notification programs. This legislation is a product of effective bipartisan teamwork in both the House and Senate and we call on all agencies of the Administration for swift and faithful implementation.”
International Megan’s Law:
- Requires registered pedophiles to have a unique passport identifier to ensure that they can be identified at the border as they travel internationally in the event that advanced notification was not sent by the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Justice.
- Establishes the “Angel Watch Center” at the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that all destination countries receive a notification that a convicted child sex predator is traveling to their country. The Department of Homeland Security’s responsibilities at the border and their unique relationships with border officials around the world will enable Angel Watch’s charge.
- Formalizes the process for the United States Marshal’s Service Sex Offender Targeting Center to provide advanced notice of travel by all registered sex offenders to destination countries using the Interpol notification system.
- Coordinates communication between the newly established Angel Watch Center and the well-established United States Marshal’s Service Sex Offender Targeting Center and streamlines the international notification system to ensure that no registered sex predators are lost in the system when leaving the United States.
- Designates the Angel Watch Center as responsible for receiving notifications of convicted sex offenders entering the United States.
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