U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has introduced S.1867, legislation to protect children from exploitation by establishing an international notification system to provide advanced notice of travel by registered sex offenders to destination countries. This legislation is a companion to H.R. 515, which was introduced last year by U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ).
“International Megan’s Law strengthens our nation’s current sex offender targeting system to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect children around the globe from exploitation,” said Senator Shelby. “Crimes against children are a plague on our society, and we must continue our work together to eradicate them. Better coordination and communication between all levels of law enforcement at home and abroad is an essential element to this effort. This legislation streamlines domestic and international efforts and establishes new procedures to help us achieve one goal: to prevent heinous crimes against children.”
- Requires convicted child sex predators to have a unique passport identifier to ensure that they can be identified at the border as they travel internationally in the event that a notification was not sent.
- 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.
Senator Shelby has long been an advocate of legislation in the Senate that seeks to protect our nation’s children from predators. Shelby is a founder and Co-Chairman of the Senate Caucus for Missing, Exploited, and Runaway Children, and has worked in his capacity as the Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee to fight crimes against children.