Statement from the American Immigration Council on the End of NSEERS
December 22, 2016
Washington D.C. – Today, the Department of Homeland Security officially ended a Bush-era registry created after 9/11 to track noncitizen men from predominantly Muslim countries. The registry, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), was shown to be ineffective and had not been used for years. Nonetheless, the NSEERS structure remained intact. NSEERS will be dismantled through a published regulation in the Federal Register called a final rule. Ending NSEERS cannot prevent the Trump Administration from following through on its threats to create a religious registry; however, it does stop the next Administration from using the NSEERS framework without publishing a new regulation.
The following is a quote from Royce Murray, Policy Director at the American Immigration Council:
“Painting entire communities with a broad brush of suspicion is wholly inconsistent with our nation’s values. While we can all agree that national security must be a priority, the NSEERS registration program was widely regarded as an ineffective and obsolete counterterrorism tool. The next administration should not repeat the mistakes of the past and institute any discriminatory registry.”
Badmus commentary – Although no longer operational since 2011, the NSEERS program was still on the rule books. That meant that it could be restarted at any time, which would have made it easy for President-elect Trump to start a “muslim registry.” Now that the NSEERS program is officially terminated, the process to create a registry is much more difficult and subject to public review and comment. Sadly, I remember working with so many clients who had to register and suffer through interrogation as if they were criminals for no other reason than their country of birth. So glad to see this go. Let’s hope it’s permanent.