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SMART Watch Dispatch, February 2016

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2016
2 pages
This "Statute in Review" issue reviews the most important provisions and practical implications of the International Megan's Law To Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders ("International Megan's Law"), which was signed into law by President Obama on February 8, 2016.
The Angel Watch program, which has been operated by the Department of Homeland Security since 2007, is headed by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Child Exploitation Investigations Unit (CEIU). The International Megan's Law (IML) authorizes Angel Watch to determine whether any person who intends to travel internationally is a registered sex offender based on a conviction for a sex offense against a minor. Angel Watch can send any relevant information about that individual to the country to which that individual is traveling. In addition, the IML authorizes the National Sex Offender Targeting Center (NSOTC) to provide notice to a destination country regarding any person who is a sex offender as defined in the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The IML also requires the NSOTC to share information on such traveling offenders with other Federal, State, local, and foreign agencies. The IML amends the Federal failure-to-register statute to cover and criminalize situations in which an individual has failed to provide advanced notice of international travel as required by SORNA amendments. In addition, the IML mandates that the State Department not issue a passport to a "covered sex offender" unless the passport contains a "unique identifier." Also addressed in this review of IML provisions are issues related to the interaction of SORNA provisions with IML provisions, with implications drawn for SMART's administration of SORNA provisions and regulations.