The bill, known as International Megan's Law, was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith after it was found in a 2010 GAO report that 4,500 passports are issued to registered sex offenders every year. The report gave a detailed list of the crimes committed by certain individuals.
However, the State Department argued that it already had the authority to deny passports to those who were convicted of being involved in sex tourism with minors or those who were not allowed to leave the country due to their crimes. Further, there was no evidence that registered sex offenders who were issued a passport used it to travel to other countries for the specific purpose of committing a crime. U.S. citizens who have committed crimes in the past often travel to other countries for reasons that are not associated with past crimes, including to work, to take vacations or to even visit family members.
People who have been arrested for a sex crime face serious legal consequences if convicted that could include having to turn in their passport or become a registered sex offender in addition to potentially serving jail time. Because the consequences are so severe, those who are in this type of a position may want to meet with an attorney as soon as possible in order to begin constructing a defense strategy.