How the Adam Walsh Act Punishes People in Other Countries
October 4, 2017
If you are not aware of the Adam Walsh Act of 2005, then you definitely aren't aware of Title IV of the same. In fact, even if you know what the Adam Walsh Act is, you still may not know about Title IV. It's kind of the "dirty little secret" hidden within the law.
In layman's terms, Title IV basically says that if you've ever been convicted of a sex crime against a minor that you cannot sponsor your wife, husband, child or fiance into the US. That is, without a waiver.
So, if you're on the registry and you molested a child, you cannot bring your family into the US. I can see how a debate could happen on either side of that issue, but in the end, the family unit is going to suffer. But what if you were 17 and been convicted of having sex with your 14 or 15 year old girlfriend, who was then a minor? You are now on the registry and the AWA applies to you, including Title IV. What does this mean?
This means that many years later, when you've met someone abroad and fallen in love, maybe after they no longer even have children at home, you will not be able to sponsor your love into the US to be with you. It doesn't matter how long ago it was, and it doesn't matter that your fiance has never broken a law. The fact is, THEY CANNOT COME TO THE U.S.
Here's the asterik. * Without a waiver. This waiver states that you have proven that there is no possibility that you will harm this person or her children. As you can imagine, this is very difficult to prove. As such, these waivers are very difficult to acquire.
Personally for me, my conviction was a no-contact "non-person" misdemeanor. I didn't touch anyone, nor was there ever any exposure. Some would argue that it is a crime "without a victim." Nevertheless, I am forced to register. Whether there was a victim at the time or not, I will leave that up to the reader and the court.
But there is a victim: she is a lovely woman in a very crowded part of Asia. She is kind and gentle. She is funny, smart and just an all-around good person. She's never broken any law whatsoever and has a heart of gold; indeed, one of the best hearts I've ever known. I'm the lucky man she's shared her heart with, and we are engaged to be married.
And yet, for having done nothing wrong, SHE is being punished and is not allowed to come to the US to be with me. In fact, because of me she isn't even allowed to come here to visit. (Or Canada, for that matter, because the countries share immigration information, per President Obama's signature.) She has done nothing but fallen in love with the man of her choice. For this, she is being punished. This precious woman is the victim in all of this.
How can it be that a person can do something in their life that, short of life in prison, results in the inability to never be with the one they love the most? Being a law abiding citizen who never re-offended, who pays my taxes and does all I can to treat everyone with respect, this seems over the line. I made a mistake. I paid my dues. And for all this, my fiance pays the price. As things now stand, I cannot go to see her (Thank you International Megan's Law) and she cannot come to see me, per the AWA.
In effect, US law is telling registrants that they may only fall in love with other US citizens. (Who, by the way, are not "protected" (punished) like the citizens of other countries.) Sure, I can fall in love with anyone that I wish, but if I wish to live with that person and start a family... wow, you better make sure they are already a U.S. citizen. Otherwise, tough road ahead.
Sorry for having such a downer of an article today. I just want you to be aware because right now, at this very moment, there is an incredible woman in an opposite hemisphere who is being made to feel like garbage by her peers because she cannot come to the US. My heart aches for her.