Registered citizens are being trapped in the U.S. by the federal government. They are not allowed to travel overseas for business reasons, to visit family members, or just to relax on vacation.
The reason given for this entrapment is to prevent the international sex trafficking of children. We do not support international sex trafficking of children which is a heinous crime. However, the U.S. government is overreaching in the methods it uses to address this real and dangerous problem. That is, the U.S. government is targeting virtually all registered citizens who attempt to travel abroad. It matters not that their offense did not involve a child or occurred decades ago and hasn’t been repeated.
The U.S. government is preventing registered citizens from traveling overseas in a number of ways, including reviewing the manifests for international flights. If a registered citizen is found on such a flight manifest, U.S. government officials provide a written warning to the country into which they are traveling. The receiving country, in turn, does not allow entry into that country and in fact immediately deports the registered citizen.
This all happens with no prior notice to the registered citizen and/or those who are traveling with him/her. Deportation of a registered citizens is embarrassing and expensive at the least and a violation of his/her constitutional rights at the worst.
Where is the due process guaranteed for all citizens by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? If a registered citizen is not allowed to travel outside the U.S., then the U.S. government must provide that citizen with a hearing during which he/she can provide evidence that he/she is not involved and has never been involved in international sex trafficking.
In the absence of such hearings, registered citizens have already been denied entry into may countries, including but not limited to, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.
In one such case, a registered citizen is being denied re-entry to the Philippines where he moved 10 years ago and subsequently married, started a family, initiated a business and purchased a home. He left the Philippines a year ago for what he thought was a 30-day business trip to the U.S.
Several decades ago U.S. citizens, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and author Arthur Miller, were prohibited from traveling abroad because the U.S. government determined their overseas travel was “not in the interests of the United States”. Fortunately, the U.S. government corrected that problem long ago.
It is now time for the U.S. government to correct the problem it has created by preventing overseas travel by registered citizens. The U.S. government must either allow registered citizens to travel overseas or conduct hearings that provide registered citizens with their due process rights.
– Janice Bellucci
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