Reply To: International Travel

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Linda Y.

My 1992 SO case was expunged in California in 2002. But, for the last 26 years, I have had to register as a sex offender nationally. I notified the Registration Officer in my city three weeks prior to taking my trip to Guatemala Sunday, January 28, 2018. Since I needed to transfer planes in Mexico I had to go through Customs. My passport was flagged and I was questioned. I had to fill-out information of my destinations, and was put in a holding tank for 24 hours before I was deported back to the United States. Prior to going on the trip I asked my lawyer, the Registration Officer, and I looked online to see if I would have any trouble going through Mexico. No one had a clue (I saw this site after I returned). My lawyer wrote a letter for me in English and Spanish that talked about me as a compliant citizen, included a copy of my expungement, and stated that he was handling my case to be removed from having to register. He also included “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. But the Mexican customs authorities just scoffed at it.
I am upset that there is no clear, up-to-date list of countries that ban RSOs from entering their countries. I wasted a lot of time planning my trip and money on the flights and hotel reservations that could not be refunded. Plus my fiancee is still hoping I can get into Guatemala so we can be married. Does Guatemala and El Salvador ban RSOs?
P.S. I don’t think you will need an expensive lawyer in California to get off the SO Registry. Wait a couple of years then apply when the new ordinance goes into effect.