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SPECIAL REGISTRATION FOR MUSLIM MEN AND TEENS SHOULD BE RESCINDED. URGE THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO REVOKE THE NSEERS REGULATION PRIOR TO JANUARY 20TH

On December 1, 2016, members of Congress wrote President Obama to request that the NSEERS regulation providing for special registration of Muslim men and teenagers over the age of 16 should be rescinded. I quote the letter below at length:

“The NSEERS program was announced in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The most controversial portion of the NSEERS program involved a “domestic” registration system that targeted certain males who entered the United States on nonimmigrant visas from primarily Arab, Muslim-majority, African, and South Asian countries. The program was fundamentally flawed in its false assumption that people of a particular religion or nationality pose a greater national security risk and should be subject to racial profiling. The program is reminiscent of and indeed has been compared to — the dark time in our history when innocent people were interned based on their Japanese ancestry.

When instituted in 2002, the program caused widespread and palpable fear in affected communities, separated families and caused much harm to people affected by it. Boys and men were required to register with local immigration offices, were interrogated, and subjected to serious due process violation. Communities saw family members and neighbors disappear in the middle of the night, held in overcrowded jails and deported without due process. More than 13,000 people were placed in removal proceedings, businesses closed down, and students were forced to leave school with degrees uncompleted.

In addition to the harm that NSEERS caused to communities, the program was ineffective as a counter-terrorism tool. A 2012 Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General report found the program to be inefficient and a waste of resources, costing American taxpayers more than $10 million annually.’ The report characterized the data collected through the program as unreliable. No known terrorism convictions have resulted from the program.”

The letter was signed by many members of Congress. While the federal regulation providing for NSEERS has not been enforced by the Obama administration since 2011, it is still on the books, and could easily be used immediately by the incoming Trump administration. Once the existing regulation is revoked, it would take time for the new Trump administration to write up a new regulation, and go through the notice and comment procedures before it could become law, should the new administration decide to go ahead with registering Muslims. You can contact your member of Congress (you have two Senators for your state as well as a representative depending on your Congressional District) at http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep, and President Obama at https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact, to voice your opinion on this matter.

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