The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 21 American Democrat fromMassachu- setts—ensured that the amendment passed. Donnelly’s program was created as a temporary fix to increase Irish immi- gration, but he and others in Congress, including Schumer, fought for a perma- nent version of the green-card lottery in the Immigration Act of 1990, pushing it as a program to support “diversity.” And after a four-year transitional period, during which the Irish economy improved and the number of applicants declined, the current visa lottery—which excludes high-immigration countries such as India, China and Mexico—went into effect in Fiscal Year 1995. In 2017, Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act. The RAISE Act would eliminate the diversity lottery and certain categories of family-based green cards, and transform the remain- ing employment-based visas into a point system that favors highly skilled, highly educated, English-speaking immigrants. But despite President Trump’s endorsement of the updated bill, the Senate has not yet taken any action. State Department Adds Sex Offender Warning to Passports O n Oct. 31, according to the PBS NewsHour, CNN and several ot her media outlets, the State Department began requiring registered child sex offenders to use passports containing a warning inside the back cover stating that they have been previously convicted of a sex offense against a minor. The new policy does not prevent registered sex offenders from leaving the United States, but it may prevent them from entering other countries that prohibit or place restrictions on travel by convicted felons. The goal is to stop sex tourism and child exploitation. The policy change comes in response to “International Megan’s Law,” which the U.S. Congress passed in 2016 to prevent child exploitation. The law was named after Megan Kanka, who was raped and murdered in New Jersey in 1994 by a convicted sex offender. The 7-year-old’s murder led to the creation of sex offender registries in several states. The new policy has drawn some criticism. The nonprofit group Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws sued the government over the issue, The New York Times reports, arguing that the passports violate the constitutional rights of registered sex offenders. The group is concerned about the “slippery slope” represented by the mea- sure, warning that it could potentially be expanded to target other groups. There are approximately 400,000 reg- istered sex offenders in the United States who have been convicted of sexual crimes against children. However, some of these offenders are minors them- selves, Newsweek reports. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the case of a woman who “hooked up” with a 14-year-old boy when she was 19 years old and has in the 15 years since been unable to hold a steady job or even take her own children to the park. The Sun-Times also reported that four convicted sex offenders have challenged the law, arguing that it brands them with a “scarlet letter” and prevents them from traveling, earning a living or visiting relatives abroad. n This edition of Talking Points was compiled by Donna Gorman, Dmitry Filipoff, Shawn Dorman, Steve Honley and Ásgeir Sigfússon. AFSPA Ancillary Programs Ameriprise Financial theodore.s.davis Clements Worldwide Greenway Funding Group Hirshorn Company Jack Realty McGrath ProMax WJD Management