Ron Paul
2002 Ron Paul Chapter 61

Interstate And Foreign Travel For Sex With Children

25 June 2002

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2002 Ron Paul 61:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, as appalling as it is that some would travel abroad to engage in activities that are rightly illegal in the United States, legislation of this sort poses many problems and offers little solution. First among these is the matter of national sovereignty. Those who travel abroad and break the law in their host country should be subject to prosecution in that country: it is the responsibility of the host country — not the U.S. Congress — to uphold its own laws. It is a highly unique proposal to suggest that committing a crime in a foreign country against a non-U.S. citizen is within the jurisdiction of the United States Government.

2002 Ron Paul 61:2
Mr. Speaker, this legislation makes it a federal crime to “travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.” I do think this is a practical approach to the problem. It seems that this bill actually seeks to probe the conscience of anyone who seeks to travel abroad to make sure they do not have illegal or immoral intentions. It is possible or even advisable to make thoughts and intentions illegal? And how is this to be carried out? Should federal agents be assigned to each travel agency to probe potential travelers as to the intent of their travel?

2002 Ron Paul 61:3
At a time when federal resources are stretched to the limit, and when we are not even able to keep known terrorists out of our own country, this bill would require federal agents to not only track Americans as they vacation abroad but would require that they be able to divine the intentions of these individuals who seek to travel abroad. Talk about a tall order! As well-intentioned as I am sure this legislation is, I do not believe that it is a practical or well-thought-out approach to what I agree is a serious and disturbing problem. perhaps a better approach would be to share with those interested countries our own laws and approaches to prosecuting those who commit these kinds of crimes, so as to see more effective capture and punishment of these criminals in the countries where the crime is committed.

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