FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2016
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149, [email protected]
NILC Responds to Obama Administration Announcement on NSEERS
LOS ANGELES — Responding to a groundswell of advocacy by civil rights groups, the Obama administration is ending the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a George W. Bush–era program that forced people in the U.S. from 24 Muslim-majority countries and North Korea to register with and be tracked by the federal government. The program inflicted harm on tens of thousands of families in communities across the country. An estimated 83,000 people were registered under NSEERS, and about 13,000 were placed in deportation proceedings. Yet, the program failed to lead to a single conviction on terrorism charges.
President Obama deactivated NSEERS in 2011 but did not do away with it completely until now. Advocates urged Obama to rescind the regulations for the program out of concern that it would be reactivated by the incoming administration to fulfill President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to create a Muslim registry.
Avideh Moussavian, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), issued the following statement:
“NSEERS, like any profiling program, is a shameful stain on our country’s civil and human rights record. We are all well-served by its dismantling.
“Looking ahead, we cannot ignore the lessons of this unjust and failed program, which caused great harm to so many in our communities. We must reject all attempts to institutionalize discrimination, including those born out of fear and ignorance.”
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