RSOL prepared to challenge law adding “unique identifiers” to American citizens’ passports

Albuquerque, N.M.— Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. is disappointed that the U.S.House of Representatives ​concurred with HR 515​ as amended by the Senate on February 1​. HR 515 will require, for the first time in the history of the United States, the addition of “unique ​identifiers” to the passports of American citizens. ​ ​​The U.S. Senate added the historic requirement as aFloor Amendmentoffered by Senator Mitch McConnell on December 17, 2015​. ​

RSOL believes that the Senate amendment requiring the unique identifier ​may be in​ violation ofWooley v Maynard, 430 U.S. 705 (1997), which holds that the government cannot force someone to physically carry the government’s message. The passports with their identifying marks would be doing just that​.

“The citizens of this nation should be afraid, very afraid,that a unique identifier will soon be added to their passports,” stated Brenda Jones, RSOL’s E.D. “​Who will be the next targeted group​? ​”As passed by Congress, the Secretary of State is required to add a “unique identifier” to the passports of citizens convicted of a sex offense involving a minor. The list of offenses includes non-violent, non-contact offenses ​and even some that are non-sexual. “Passports today are used as a primary form of identification, not ​just to enter a foreign country,” stated Jones. “A passport symbol that identifies an individual as a registered sex offender places that person and others traveling with him or her at significant risk of physical harm.”

In addition, HR 515 establishes a center designed to notify foreign countries that the individual plans to visit that he has been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor. This notification will be sent regardless of whether the individual has been deemed to be rehabilitated by a state and therefore is no longer required to register as a sex offender.

RSOL is gravely concerned that the notification provisions of HR 515 have the potential to harm thousands of Americans who ​have completed their sentences and are no longer required to register as sex offenders. In such instances, the federal government ​will substitute​ its judgment, which will not be based upon an investigation of the individual, for the judgment of a state government that has conducted such an investigation. Furthermore, no evidence exists suggesting that the passage of this bill or its subsequent enforcement will address the issue for which it is intended.

National RSOL and many of its state organizations lobbied in opposition to the passage of HR 515. Before it becomes law, the President must approve the legislation​.


someone outside of NARSOL

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24 Thoughts to “RSOL prepared to challenge law adding “unique identifiers” to American citizens’ passports”

  1. AvatarTim Lawver

    Do as we say not as we do.

    I watched CSPAN Wed, Feb 3 morning the guest was TED YOHO R-Fla speaking on IML. The topic of conversation revolved around trafficking of humans for financial gain.

    In the state of Wisconsin, prisoners are often shipped to the state of Tennessee and Texas on busses to do their time where it is cheaper to house them.


    May of the out of state sites are privately own and operated.



    Human trafficking takes on many forms. If we are to consider the practice of human trafficking to be illegal, then it should apply to the states as well.

  2. AvatarTim L


    Thought this link may be useful for this discussion of Fed challenge for injunctive relief.


    Basically Mr. & Mrs. Wooly sought relief from FUTURE penalties for the “crime of covering states motto embossed upon their noncommercial license plate.” (sheeeeesh! talk about petty) Wooly convicted three times in 5 weeks in state district court sought injunctive relief in federal court prohibiting further state action upon them. {and not looking to reverse the district court finding of guilt and penalty}

    The Basis of Wooly claim:
    This is succinctly summarized in the statement made by Mr. Maynard in his affidavit filed with the District Court:

    “I refuse to be coerced by the State into advertising a slogan which I find morally, ethically, religiously and politically abhorrent.”

    App. 5. We are thus faced with the question of whether the State may constitutionally require an individual to participate in the dissemination of an ideological message by displaying it on his private property in a manner and for the express purpose that it be observed and read by the public. We hold that the State may not do so.

    A. IML does not concern state law= Wholly Federal Jurisdiction

    B. IML may carry a gov’t message via passport (We have yet to see an example)

    A system which secures the right to proselytize religious, political, and ideological causes must also guarantee the concomitant right to decline to foster such concepts. The right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complementary components of the broader concept of “individual freedom of mind.” {Id. at 319 U. S. 637.Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U. S. 624, 319 U. S. 633-634 (1943); }

    A. Message “sex offender” on passport dissimilar to license plates in scope of public display (Passport usually not shown to general public – only to gate keepers)

    B. When demanding removal of label are SO’s refusing to proselytize an abhorrent ideology (Fed will they claim are merely stating a fact)

    C Is it possible to cover up label as Wooley did? Are there criminal penalties for doing so?

    D. There are distinctions between refusing to use a passport with the label (not attempting travel) versus removing or covering up the label and attempting to use it.(as per Wooley) One may drive his auto without plates and face likely penalty if caught VS. One may not be permitted to travel with defaced or without a proper passport.

    E. Does compelling the label implicate a fundamental liberty interest?

    Any other observations would be much appreciated

    1. AvatarPassport can be used as an ID

      Actually, the passport is a valid form of identification accepted by the general public, e.g. restaurants, liquor stores, government offices, etc, when you don’t have a state or federal issued ID of any sort. Therefore, if the label is on the cover or elsewhere, it is very possible it will be seen by others either who are reviewing the passport or nearby and see the passport in use. Therefore, the risk of injury to the passport holder, their family and/or those around them has just been increased if the passport is used as ID when needed. The opposition will say it did not need to be used as an ID, but when it comes down to a second piece of ID, the passport is an easy one to use.

  3. Avatarnewbury

    I think this law is a waste of taxpayer money. I think most of the people going overseas to have illegal sexual relations are first timers and therefore this law won’t touch or affect them. That is similar to in the States where 95% of sex offenses are committed by new offenders. Furthermore, most former sex offenders going oversea are not going to commit another crime.

  4. FredFred

    “National RSOL and many of its state organizations lobbied in opposition to the passage of HR 515. Before it becomes law, the President must approve the legislation​.”

    And yet it passed UNOPPOSSED. We have no voice. The only way we will be heard is when we unify and speak loudly where we can be seen and heard as one. Its time for us to stop cowering and hiding behind lawyers and advocates. We have to come out ready to fight for our lives. The system is NOT going to work for us the conventional way. Its time to face reality and take matters into our own hands.

    1. AvatarJR

      My passport is on its way to Chris Smith. After I dropped it in the mail I thought, “Perhaps many others would love to act in this civilly disobedient manner but have too much on their plate to worry of the consequences?”

      I guess I’m lucky or stupid (naïve?) but I did it anyway.

      So- here is a link to NOVELTY PASSPORTS on Amazon. Order some and send them in representation of a true passport. Buy some for your friends and family.

      Let’s fill Chris Smith’s office with passports.

    2. FredFred

      I appreciate your spirit of protest, but I don’t think Chris Smith is going to be fazed by receiving yours or anyone else’s passport in the mail. He is driven by greed and power. He did not push for this Legislation because he gives a damn about children in the world. He pushed for it because the lobbyists who pull his strings made it clear to him that he will benefit financially and career wise if he does. The rest of congress believes that as well and that is why it passed UNOPPOSED. Their hearts are not breaking for the poor children around the world who have been forced into sex slavery. They are only concerned with maintaining their positions of power and appearing soft on Sex Offenders will make them vulnerable to losing that position.
      If you want to get through to a professional politician, you have to be willing to show them that you can and will knock them off their pedestal. That is how you put fear into a politicians heart.
      Lets not forget that even though Chris Smith is the driver of this legislation, he had a whole bus load of corrupt politicians behind him (the entire congress) and they are all equally guilty of throwing our constitutional rights out the window.

    3. AvatarJR


      I understand that fully and appreciate your feedback. I have stood on the floor of the capital and addressed the likes of Chris Smith (in my past life). I have worked with lobbyists and congressmen and women and I am well aware of the glad-handing by which democracy truly operates.

      Simply in the spirit of civil protest is my intent. A statement that I am willing to just forgo my passport and say, “your ignorance is so insignificant to me that I will simply stay. I will stay.”

      My new motto: S.O. = N-O

    4. AvatarSW

      I agree, we have no individual voice. Many of us cannot even vote. The only voice we have is through groups like this, advocating for us.

      I was shocked to find that the Fair Housing Act, which is supposed to be about “fairness” and “equal rights”, specifically excludes sex offenders from the protections that the act is supposed to be about. Even though a person may be disabled, their status as a sex offender nullifies the FHA protections. There is nothing protecting us from abusive slum lords, abusive employers (pfff, like we can find a job…), or even abusive medical personnel.

    5. That’s a good way to get shot. I know we’ve been conditioned to believe that in order to change something one must fight hard against it. Sadly, the harder we fight against and yell and scream about this issue, it seems to only exacerbate the issue. We have to find things that we have in common: children safety, healthy families, strong communities etc. And stop focusing on the all the things we don’t want. We must begin creative, solution-oriented methods to get the change we want. This old way isn’t working. It’s kind of going on a date and all you hear is the other person talking about ugly they are. When in fact they aren’t ugly at all, but their constant talking of it is what really makes them ugly. Applied to our situation: we stop presenting ourselves as sex offenders who want change but instead present ourselves as Citizens who have served their sentence and want to take advantage of the Constitution, it’s a whole new conversation and a whole new “vibe”. It’s about creative marketing, intelligent dialogue and smart networkinig. But i’ve been saying this for years and everyone just wants to keep fighting, igniting that tired old “sex offender wronged” / “us vs. them” vibe that people have no stomach or time for and does not work. We are our own worst enemies by the way we present ourselves as individuals AND as an organization. Time to find ways to go downstream with the millions of people who share our goals and wishes. This new way of thinking has gotten me removed from the list in 2015, so i do practice what i preach. Finally, when you realize “the people” have had little to no voice in regards to ANY law for many years now, then you see it’s far from personal to sex offender laws. Lawmakers now consider it their job to create as many laws, good and bad, leaving the enforcement and legality of a law to be determined by the two other branches of government. Live the life you want. Be the person you want to be. Live the change you want and then it will manifest. We want to see it first, then believe it and it’s actually the other way around.

    6. For awhile now my position has been that what we are doing is not working. We are like a pack of loud, raucous dogs who keep screaming, “it’s so unfair!” And so they make sure we stay in our fenced in areas and ignore us. We must begin a new way of thinking, involve ourselves with other, more powerful organizations who are concerned about justice, safe communities, etc. We are NOT going to win this by “fighting.” We are going to win this by aligning our views with the views of the many. We all want the same thing, but can’t seem to find a way to work together. Meanwhile the law, common sense, human nature and the morally right thing to do are ALL on our side. We need people in positions of power and who have clout to join us, but right now they are scared to death of us. This is due to our “fight, fight fight” attitude, our refusal to acknowledge a very real and logical fear that legitimately exists towards those who hurt children and our unwillingness to focus the major portion of our time and resources in the judicial arena as opposed to the legislative arena. If you have served your time, your probation is finished and all you’re left with is requirement to register along with all of the other stuff that is getting heaped upon you and you’re NOT fighting your case, then you will NEVER experience relief. Each and every one of us who have served their debt to society, MUST be actively involved in taking their case to court to be removed from the registry. If I can do it, you can do it. California RSOL is experiencing the level of success they are experiencing because they began focusing their time and resources in the Courts.

  5. AvatarPaul

    Oh, the president will approve it. Even as then Senator Obama, he was in favor of Dru’s Law. Here’s a letter he wrote to someone in 2006

    Dear Erin:

    Thank you for writing to me about sex offender laws. You sound like an incredibly brave person, and I appreciate you taking the time to share some of your experiences with me. Nobody should ever have to suffer as you have. To protect children from sexual abuse, the Senate has worked on several bills, including Dru’s Law, the Jessica Lunford and Sara Lunde Act and the Sex Offender Registration Act.

    Dru’s Law would create a national sex offender registry, which would be searchable by zip code for all offenders in an area, regardless of state lines. Our current system is unable to adequately track offenders who move from state to state. Dru’s Law would also require the notification of state prosecutors upon the release of a high-risk offender who has served a full sentence. This would allow the state prosecutor to consider a civil commitment. Additionally, released offenders would be tracked and monitored for at least one year through electronic bracelet, monitoring by a parole officer, or other appropriate means. This monitoring would strengthen existing mechanisms to prevent future instances of abuse.

    The Senate has passed Dru’s Law (S.792). I am proud to be a cosponsor of this critical piece of legislation, which now awaits consideration by the House of Representatives. As your U.S. Senator and a father of two young daughters, I understand the need to do everything in our power to protect our children, and I view Dru’s Law as a critical component of this effort. Illinois Attorney General Madigan has also endorsed Dru’s Law, and I urge the House of Representatives to act expeditiously to pass S.792. The time to act is now.

    The Jessica Lunsford and Sara Lunde Act (S.1407) directs the Attorney General to award grants to state and local governments to track child sex offenders with electronic monitoring units, and to report to Congress on the effectiveness of such monitoring. This Act has not been passed yet by the Senate. Finally, the Sex Offender Registration Act (S.1086) has also been introduced to address the tracking and registering of sex offenders. These two bills, as well as Dru’s law, reflect some of the provisions established in Florida’s Jessica’s law.

    I hope Congress will take timely action on these bills, because I believe they are important steps to protect children. That said, most sex crimes are state law offenses prosecuted by the local States Attorney’s office. To seek changes in state laws and in the way crimes are prosecuted, I encourage you to communicate with your State Senator, John Millner (217-782-8192) and your State Representative, Paul Froehlich (217-782-3725).

    Again, Erin, thank you for writing, and please stay in touch in the days to come. I assure you that protecting our nation’s children is on my mind.

    Barack Obama
    United States Senator

    The thing is even if he vetoed it, it wouldn’t matter since this bill was passed virtually unopposed.

  6. AvatarMaestro

    Fred said:
    “I don’t think Chris Smith is going to be fazed by receiving yours or anyone else’s passport in the mail. He is driven by greed and power. He did not push for this Legislation because he gives a damn about children in the world. He pushed for it because the lobbyists who pull his strings made it clear to him that he will benefit financially and career wise if he does.”

    Fred, this statement is exactly the kind of things that need to be said TO THEIR FACES and in a PUBLIC FORUM where others (tax payers) can HEAR IT/READ IT.
    When you call someone out on their b.s., they quickly get tongue tied. And that is exactly what needs to happen for the citizens of this country to realize what’s going on because many of them truly DON’T know what’s going on and they truly THINK that these politicians really care about some kid in a foreign land.
    Americans with the blessing of COMMON SENSE make statements like yours on a daily basis. But the majority of the voting population don’t even have such thoughts pass through their brainwashed minds.

    Remember Jackie Gleason’s character on The Honeymooners, whenever he’d find himself in a jam, he’d make that silly mumble “Ha-mi-na, ha-mi-na, ha-mi-na”…. that’s exactly what people like Chris Smith will do when you throw their LIES back in their faces. They’ll look at their watches and say “Well, gotta go! The wife wants me to stop for bread and milk on the way home today.”

    When we as Americans keep telling each other to “make a stand”, we really should start with putting these political money grubbers in their place with words that WILL in fact hurt them. And those words are “You’re doing this for the votes and the money, aren’t you?”

    Let’s all send our passports to Chris Smith along with a heartwarming message:
    “Dear Sen Smith,
    Here’s all of our passports so we cannot go to places like the Philippines to have sex with minors like you claim we’re going to do. We’d rather stay here at home in the USA and keep our eyes and ears open for news media coverage of people of YOUR calibre (high income, high-end careers) getting caught in doing what you tell the public WE are going to do. Because many of the hundreds of thousands of men and women (and some kids too) with sex offense convictions, all have the time and money to travel the world looking for our next “victim”. Because we all have high paying jobs with a week vacation every 3 or 4 months.
    Now please, take these passports and shove ’em. And have a splendid day”

    And that’s exactly what we should all do (those of us that have passports). Will we all get arrested for it? And where will several hundred thousand of us be put? In local YMCA’s until they build a prison to fit us all? Spare me!

    1. FredFred

      Don’t get me wrong. You have very strong words for the likes of Chris Smith and I appreciate that. However you originally stated that we need to call them out in a public forum where the tax payers can read or hear the exchange, then you suggest mailing our passports with a sarcastic note. Not only is that not a public forum as no one will hear about it, the note you suggest we send along with it can easily be twisted to fit their agenda as a form of confirmation to their fears. These are powerful people who can say and do whatever they want. I really do not recommend this approach.

      However your first point in regards to confronting them in a public forum is spot on and THAT is what needs to happen, consistently in plain English, not legal lawyer mumble jumble. We need to watch them struggle to explain themselves and the logic behind their laws.

      Going behind the scenes and mailing anything to them is not going to make our voices heard. It is not going to show the tax payers anything. They will likely just throw the passports away and forget about them and go on with their oppressive agenda as we have yet shown them again that we will not stand up to them and embarrass them in public as we are too afraid of being embarrassed ourselves.

    2. FredFred

      Also, I seriously doubt several hundred thousand of us even have passports. Even with out this new law it had already been difficult for us to travel. Most states require a 21 day notice before traveling out of country and I am fairly certain they notify the authorities in that country that we are coming. Even though I am sure some of us have the means of traveling out of country, most of us do not and we are living in poverty.

    3. AvatarJR

      Well… I thought it was a good idea for myself and only suggested it to others as an act of defiance if they so agreed.

      Maestro and Fred- please do not let this action of mine divide us. You both have good points and both of your suggestions are valid. Thank you for your input.

      Whichever actions work, whichever actions do not work I will simply promise to you both (and the rest of us as Registered Citizens) that I will not stop trying to make things better for myself and my son and you.

    4. FredFred

      I know you put a lot of thought into your act of defiance and I am sure it will at least show him that your are onto his non-sense. I just hope we can all work together in other acts of defiance.

      I don’t feel divided at all by your suggestion, It’s just not my style. I hope we can work together on other forms of protest.

      Can this website give us a private chat room so we can have more formal meetings among ourselves?

  7. AvatarAlex

    I agree,

    I will be ordering a set of novelty passports today and having my family attach letters inside. I will also be bringing them to my mandatory sex offender recidicism group for them to send aswell.
    Thanks for the great idea, we need to organize, we need to push back, we need to make the people understand we are who we are, we’ve done what we have done but now its time to move on. Chris smith can climb down off hia cross, use the wood to build a bridge and get over it.

    1. AvatarJR

      Alex, great! Pass it on!

  8. i’d like to think that a known habitual child rapist who stalks children as a sport is not free to travel the world. If that is not true, we need to have an entirely different discussion. Assuming that our justice system has dealt with them appropriately and since that is the only kind of person who anyone with a thinking mind would even be remotely concerned about, whose passports are we stamping exactly and for what reason? We need to start asking better questions. Is common sense an option anymore are have we been so far duped into believing that this kind of stuff actually makes us safer??

    1. And doesn’t that sound so much better than: “hey, we’re a group of sex offenders and we don’t think it’s fair that you’re going to stamp our passports!” “If you do we’re gonna sue, cuz we have rights!” Uh, known child rapists who stalk and sexually harm children (what a “sex offender” is to the average citizen) as a lifestyle have rights? I thought it is generally believed and our history dictates that people who do things like that as well as others who commit the most heinous of crimes are relegated to only the rights as afforded to them with life in prison? See how different of a vibe and direction that kind of dialogue has? WE MUST START HAVING A DIFFERENT KIND OF CONVERSATION BY FOSTERING THE USE OF COMMON SENSE. Whining, crying and bitching is getting us no where. Sticking up for ourselves, agreeing with the masses of the dangers of an habitual child rapist who is free to roam our streets (something we are hesitant to do for some crazy unknown reason – and it’s keeping us from victory btw) and aligning ourselves with the “wanted” things of society that we all share will foster smart thinking and common sense. A lawsuit will do that too, amen for the lawsuit!

    2. and while i’m at it… (i haven’t shared in awhile) the government is run the same way everything is run, including this organization: through personal agendas, personal belief systems, personal goals etc. If you don’t like it, go live somewhere else, if you don’t like the rsol is run, for example, start your own organization. There are very few truly “selfless” people in the world. Mother Theresa, maybe. Why are we so conditioned that being selfless is the end all be all goal? As president of a country or a group, it would be human nature for me to run the country or makes decisions as i see fit. If all i had to do was “listen to the people” what do you need me for? You would just need message takers. We aren’t wired that way. We are wired to be self motivated, self involved, self supporting, self sustaining independent thinkers. Selfish is not a bad word. We are all selfish, we have to be or we wouldn’t survive. My family is in a world of trouble if i am not selfish first, then provide for the family. I can’t provide if i don’t take care of my “self” first and that is the meaning of selfish. So stop this tired tirade against the government. They run it just like you’d run it, and if you have a better idea, run for office. We need you! We just gotta change the tired old way that we think about stuff. Hail deep thinking free thinkers of the world! Where have you all gone?? Turn off the TV and think!! (well that should start an interesting conversation). Peace out, God Bless you All! and i mean that.. 🙂

  9. AvatarEmil S

    The America as we would like to see, offering life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, is no more, sadly. Here illegals have more rights than those labelled with “scarlet letter”. The American dream is dead for so many, and it is more so for those who are in the registry.

  10. AvatarSteve

    Per Differed Adjudication for sex crime charges.

    The federal government, and states have made use of the technical procedures of the law to trap those who were arrested and charged with a sexually related crime in a form of legal purgatory.

    They are not legally “Sex Offenders”, yet they are called “Sex Offenders”, they are not “convicted” of a sex crime. The new International Meagan’s law uses that language erroneously when it comes to differed adjudication registerers. There has been no adjudication, and there is no judgement. According to the law, there is no legal basis to require registration, and calling anyone who plea bargained for differed adjudication a sex offender on a list, or reporting them as such is a false charge, and defamation of character. Now they push their bad law out onto the world who does not even understand it. The world is led to believe that they are dealing with guilty criminals.

    The US makes spurious use of the technical mechanisms of the law by making the law RASOs (Registered Accused Sex Offenders) were charged with have a non-expiring statute of limitations. Then these governments claim that since the statute of limitations does not expire on the crime RASOs were charged with, that they can do all of these things to them, label them, identify them, track them, require registration from them, defame them to others, limit them, and even punish them for non-compliance to these things.

    There is no real legal basis for these requirements that is not spurious, but functionally they are applied as law because of vague assumptions about what you can do to someone eternally stuck in a legal procedural purgatory.

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