As he continues his advocacy for victims rights in the House of Representatives, U.S. Congressman Ted Poe recognizes May 25th as National Missing Childrens Day. Proclaimed as such by Ronald Reagan in 1983, National Missing Childrens Day reminds Americans to remain ever vigilant in the campaign to reunite missing children with their families and the importance of child protection.

Since entering Congress in January, Congressman Poe has demonstrated a commitment to victims. Within one month of being sworn-in as the U.S. Representative for Texas 2nd Congressional District, Congressman Poe founded and assumed co-chairmanship of the first-ever Congressional Victims Rights Caucus, which aims to cultivate a forum for legislators to discuss the rights and concerns of victims including exploited children. In March, he introduced a bill, H.R. 1355, the Child Predator Act of 2005 in the House of Representatives to hold criminals accountable and impose tougher sentences on child predators who repeat. The Act aims to close loopholes in the current law and place tools in the hands of parents who want to safeguard their children from child predators.

The Child Predator Act amends present law in six key ways:

1) Defines the term child predator as a person who has been convicted of a sexual offense against a victim who is a minor if the offense is sexual in nature and the minor is age 13 years old or younger.
2) Requires child predators to report a change in residence within 10 days of a move.
3) Requires community notification Child predators would have to notify (at a minimum) schools, public housing, and at least 2 media outlets such as newspapers, television stations, or radio stations covering that community.
4) Classifies non-compliance as a federal felony child predators who fail to register would be charged with a felony.
5) Mandates a national database available on a free access internet website.
6) Requires prominent designation of a convicted offender as a child predator.

Currently there are more than 400,000 convicted sex offenders in the United States. Yet, 20 to 25 percent of these predators nationwide are missing and law enforcement has no idea how to track them down, Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said. I commend Congressman Poe for introducing this important legislation. It is a great first step towards a more effective system of protecting Americas children.

The primary duty of government is to protect its citizens We as a people are not judged by the way we treat the rich, the famous, influential, powerful, but by the way we treat the weak, the innocent the children. Individuals who have been convicted for sexual assault of a child child predators desire to remain anonymous. I sponsored and introduced this bill in Congress to on one hand provide parents with more resources to protect their children from these dastardly perpetrators of evil and on the other hand subject monsters who prey on our children to the fullest degree of prosecution, Rep. Poe said.

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