The I CARE Foundation is always working toward the goal of preventing international abductions. One of the keys to protecting children from abduction is raising awareness of the realities of international abduction with the hope that our messages about the risks and warning signs that a kidnapping is being planned may allow a parent or other stakeholders the opportunity to prevent abduction. Historically, the U.S. rate of reported cases of outbound abduction has declined by approximately 15% during the fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and that is after nearly 30 years of reported growth. This tells us that abduction prevention efforts are working.
Now one of the most concerning risk factors that will lead to international child abduction is the use of a would-be taking parent to use a secondary passport not issued by the United States government in order to depart the country as shared in detail in the article published on behalf of the I CARE Foundation titled Summer Vacation. Child Abduction. Dual Citizenship. Two Passports. How To Prevent Abduction.
I urge any parent who believes they are at risk of abduction to read both articles that I have listed.
Unfortunately, the caveat is that in order for a person to be considered a candidate for the Prevent Departure Program they are not American citizens, which presents a problem since individuals who possess dual citizenship, including American citizenship, cannot be placed on the Prevent Departure Program list. Hopefully, there will be a modification in policy so that American citizens who are considered to be high-risk child abductors can be placed on a secure screening list. The following press release provides details of the need to have the Prevent Departure Program policy modified: Peter Thomas Senese & The CARE Foundation Supports GAO Recommendation to Create Departure Screening List for High-Risk U.S. Citizens Considered High-Risk Child Abductors.
So what is the Prevent Departure Program and how can it be applied?
Lets begin by suggesting Parent A is a citizen of another country but lives in the United States with Parent B. Parent B is a United States citizen. Parent A need not be married to Parent B.
During the course of A and B’s relationship, a child is born in the United States. When this occurs, the child is automatically a United States Citizen by birth.
In all likelihood, the child also will retain automatic citizenship to the nation that Parent A is a national of.
- Subject may NOT be a US citizen; and,
- The nomination must include a law enforcement agency contact with 24/7 coverage; and,
- There must be a court order showing which parent has been awarded custody or shows that the Subject is restrained from removing his/her minor child from certain counties, the state or the U.S.; and,
- The Subject must be in the US; and,
- There must be some likelihood that the Subject will attempt to depart in the immediate future.