During his campaign race, Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Thanks to the Obama administration that wont be happening anytime soon as they have just closed a program that would have helped the Trump administration create a Muslim registry.
After 9/11 the National Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) was created, which required people from 25 different countries to register with the government and attend check-ups with federal officials. The program was never successful in convicting any people of terrorism. In fact they deported around 13,000 people, not one of them being a terrorist.
“No known terrorism convictions have resulted from the program,” wrote a joint letter from over 50 Democratic House members earlier this month, pleading for President Obama to permanently undo NSEERS, saying that it was “an affront to our core American values of pluralism and equal justice under law.”
“Your passport is labeled and put into this strange red bag,” said Ammar Khawam, a student was required to register through NSEERS. “Someone takes you into an office, and you just sit there (for hours). People are sitting there not talking. You can’t use your phone. If this was a universal practice, I wouldn’t be upset. But when it specifically applies to you, then it’s disturbing. It’s demeaning.”
The program was suspended in 2011 by president Obama, but it wasn’t fully shut down. He did instead clear the 25 countries off the registry. Today that has changed. The Department of Homeland Security officially published a regulation that will shut down NSEERS by today.
Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” during his campaign. NSEERS would have empowered the Trump administration to add primarily-Muslim countries to the list. Thanks to the Obama administration the Trump administration will have to start from scratch if they still want to go ahead with their plan to create Muslim registry.
“This is the right decision by Secretary Johnson. We commend him, and the Obama administration, for letting it be known that such registry programs are futile and have no place in our country,” said Abed Ayoub of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “However the community cannot be at ease; the next administration has indicated that they will consider implementing similar programs. We will work twice as hard to protect our community and ensure such programs do not come to fruition.”