Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act

The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act is a law passed in 2006 with the aim to

“…protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crime, to prevent child abuse and child pornography, to promote internet safety, and to honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other child crime victims.”

On February 8, 2007, the USCIS issued an Interoffice Memorandum explaining what immigration procedures would be changing.

Title IV of the Adam Walsh Act, “Immigration Law Reforms to Prevent Sex Offenders from Abusing Children” contains two provisions that amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act).

The first provision is:

…to prohibit U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been convicted of any “specified offense against a minor” from filing a family-based immigrant petition on behalf of any beneficiary, unless the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) determines, in his sole and unreviewable discretion, that the petitioner poses no risk to the beneficiary. Section 402(b) of the Adam Walsh Act amends section 101(a)(15)(K) of the Act to bar U.S. citizens convicted of these offenses from filing nonimmigrant visa petitions to classify their fiancé(e)s, spouses, or minor children as eligible for “K” nonimmigrant status, unless the Secretary determines, in his sole and unreviewable discretion, that the petitioner poses no risk to the beneficiary.

The next provision is:

A petitioner who has been convicted of a specified offense against a minor is not simply prohibited from filing on behalf of a minor child. The petitioner is prohibited from filing on behalf of “any” family-based beneficiary under sections 204(a)(1)(A)(i) and 204(a)(1)(B)(i) of the Act or in accordance with section 101(a)(15)(K) of the Act. “Any beneficiary” includes a spouse, a fiancé(e), a parent, an unmarried child, an unmarried son or daughter over 21 years of age, an orphan, a married son or daughter, a brother or sister, and any derivative beneficiary permitted to apply for an immigrant visa on the basis of his or her relationship to the principal beneficiary of a family-based petition. The term “specified offense against a minor” means an offense against a minor (defined as an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years) that involves any of the following:

  1. An offense (unless committed by a parent or guardian) involving kidnapping;

  2. An offense (unless committed by a parent or guardian) involving false imprisonment;

  3. Solicitation to engage in sexual conduct;

  4. Use in a sexual performance;

  5. Solicitation to practice prostitution;

  6. Video voyeurism as described in section 1801 of Title 18, United States Code;

  7. Possession, production, or distribution of child pornography;

  8. Criminal sexual conduct involving a minor, or the use of the Internet to facilitate or attempt such conduct; or

  9. Any conduct that by its nature is a sex offense against a minor.

Section 401 of the Adam Walsh Act amends section 237(a)(2)(A) of the INA by adding a new subparagraph (v). Under new section 237(a)(2)(A)(v), an alien who is convicted under new 18 USC 2250, for failing to register as a sex offender, is subject to removal as a deportable alien.