America's registered child sex offenders will now have to use passports identifying them for their past crimes when traveling overseas.
The State Department began revoking the passports of convicted child sex offenders this week, in order to comply with a law passed previous year.
The department said in a statement posted to its travel.state.gov website that registered child sex offenders will no longer be issued smaller travel documents known as passport cards because they do not have enough room to fit the notice. The law is named for Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old girl murdered by a convicted child sex offender in New Jersey in 1994.
In a response provided to CNN at the time, the State Department called the report "very misleading", adding, "the report appears to suggest, without any foundation, that the Department's issuance of passports to certain Americans facilitated their commission of sex crimes overseas".
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"As long as the individual continues to be certified by (the Department of Homeland Security) as a covered sex offender as defined in the law", the official added, "any passports subsequently issued to that individual will have the unique identifier".
State Department officials told The Associated Press that it will begin notifying people affected by the change "as soon as (the department) receives their names from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security".
Critics say the passport requirement will limit the ability of those affected to lawfully travel overseas.
The ICE Angel Watch Center is charged with determining whether a person is a "covered sex offender", according to the State Department.
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