Seems like a list the majority of US citizens wouldn’t be proud of. “American Sex Offenders Comprise 75% Philippines No Entry List.” PhilippinesPlus posted the 2017 results back in January 2018. However, US citizens again finished #1 in the 2018 Bureau of Immigration (BI) list for registered foreign sex offenders (RSOs) turned away. BI records showed that 128 of 156 RSOs barred entry in 2018 were Americans.
William Depasupil over at The Manila Times first reported this story.
Here’s the breakdown according to a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente from Port Operations Division (POD) chief Grifton Medina.
(POD) chief Grifton Medina said that of the 341 RSOs who were denied entry in 2017 and 2018, 256 or 75 percent were US citizens.
Frankly, as a US citizen, those statistics are shameful and embarrassing
“We have been continuously receiving notices from foreign governments about RSOs who were monitored to be traveling to the Philippines and these information are immediately encoded in our database to alert our immigration officers at the ports of entry,” the POD chief added.
Operation Angel Watch
Sending these notices is Operation Angel Watch, a global initiative of the US Department of Homeland Security. Angel Watch targets RSOs traveling abroad who are likely to engage in child sex tourism.
Likewise, under the Philippine Immigration Act, sex offenders, convicted of a crime involving moral immorality, are banned.
Consequently, the Bureau of Immigration has included the RSOs in the country’s blacklist. Hence, the blacklist will help prevent any attempts to re-enter the Philippines.
Immigration Bureau Registered 2nd Highest Number of Excluded US RSOs
Furthermore, the Immigration Bureau received a certificate for their efforts in 2018. A commendation by the US embassy in Manila. The BI turned back the second highest number of excluded American RSOs throughout the world in 2018.
Above all, Mexico recorded the highest number.
Sex Offenders Leaving the United States
Because of this article, I did some research. I was not even aware that United States citizens that were registered sex offenders could even leave the US.
Swift’s Travel and Visa Services provided me with some answers. Under the International Megan’s Law, registered sex offenders who have been convicted of an offense against a minor will no longer be able to use their current passports.
Instead, they will have to apply for new sex offender passports that identify them as registered child sex offenders.
As a result, the new passports will have a statement printed on the inside back cover that reads, “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c) (l).”
Finally, the law will not limit the ability of registered child sex offenders to leave the country. However, the identifying marker in the new passports is very likely to prevent affected people from being allowed to enter other countries like the Philippines.
The only convicted sex offenders in the United States who are not able to get passports at all are people who have been convicted of sex tourism crimes.
(Furthermore, most convicted felons are able to get normal passports in the United States. The main exception is people who have been convicted of international drug trafficking.)