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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie


    Dec 22, 4:25 PM EST


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration on Thursday officially scrapped the last vestiges of a U.S. registration system for Muslim immigrants. If President-elect Donald Trump now wants to introduce an expanded version of the program, he will have to start from scratch.

    The post-9/11 registration program for immigrant men arriving mainly from the Islamic world hasn't been enforced since 2011. Although it never prohibited travel for men and boys from the more than 20 affected countries, including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, Trump's suggestions about banning Muslim immigrants from the United States have led to fears that it could be reinstated and used for new and enhanced purposes.

    The decision to erase it from the books entirely marks one of President Barack Obama's last administrative actions on immigration and will at least slow any Trump effort to introduce even tougher requirements, as has been suggested by a top adviser.

    The registration program is "not only obsolete," said Neema Hakim, spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, "its use would divert limited personnel and resources from more effective measures."

    The registration system started about a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, requiring men and boys from a variety of mostly Middle Eastern countries to register with the federal government upon their arrival in the United States. Such people already in the country had to register with immigration authorities inside the U.S.

    Registration, which also applied to immigrants from North Korea, included fingerprints and photographs. People also were required to notify the government if they changed addresses.
    Trump has never publicly spoken about the program, but has made clear his desire to take a far tougher approach toward immigration than Obama.

    He and his advisers have suggested the rising terror threat in the United States, Europe and elsewhere is linked to insufficiently vetted refugees and immigrants arriving from predominantly Muslim countries. After a truck attack killed 12 in a Christmas market in Berlin this week, Trump told reporters, "You know my plans."

    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Trump confidant on immigration, has been more explicit on his plans for the registry. Last month, he said he wanted to launch an updated system for all foreigners from "high-risk" areas.

    Meeting Trump in New York, Kobach carried a document labeled "Department of Homeland Security Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days." It described a reboot of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System as the top priority. Kobach helped draft the program while working at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.

    If Trump opts to restart NSEERS and create a new program, he will have to start from scratch with a process that includes notifying the public about his plans. That could delay a new effort by months.
    The program had been widely derided by civil libertarians as an effort to profile people based on race and religion.

    "With this action, the U.S. is on the right path to protect Muslim and Arab immigrants from discrimination," said Joanne Lin, the senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, which said the registry "didn't yield a single terrorism conviction in nearly a decade."

    When the Obama administration abandoned the system in April 2011, it said a newer data collection program would be sufficient to collect biometric information for all foreigners coming into the country. At the time, more than 80,000 foreigners were registered.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member lsmith1338's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Boston, MA
    Donald Trump is going to revive this and even enhance it, if they even get the visas to get into this country which will be extremely difficult if not impossible if they come from countries that have ties to terrorism. We are not going to have Europe here in the US. Obama was not even using this since 2011 so no biggie there. He is doing everything he can on his way out the door. Too little too late Obama the Trumpster is going to be in soon and get rid of everything you have done that is wrong for this country.
    Judy likes this.
    Freedom isn't free... Don't forget the men who died and gave that right to all of us....
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Anyone who participates in this crime against our country of destroying government information about immigrants, must have the book thrown at them and prosecuted. All the way down, and all the way up to the top where the buck stops.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Obama’s team cancels Muslim registry to foil Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’ plans

    By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2016

    The Obama administration rushed Thursday to cancel a program set up in the wake of Sept. 11 to track and deport illegal immigrant Muslim and Arab men, hoping to hinder President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to impose “extreme vetting” on Muslim visitors.

    Civil rights and immigrant groups cheered the move and said they hoped it would force a rethink by Mr. Trump who, while softening some of his other positions postelection, has not budged on his call for more thorough checks on those coming into the U.S. from terrorism-connected countries.

    The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System had been dormant for years, but activists demanded that the Obama administration take it off the books entirely. They feared Mr. Trump could use the program as a shortcut to starting his own vetting.

    “Keeping NSEERS out of Trump’s hands was the right thing to do,” said David Leopold, a prominent immigration advocate and former head of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    The Bush administration set up the program in 2002 as a way to track Muslim men in the U.S. When it was fully operational, the program required new arrivals to turn over extra biographical information and required those planning to stay more than 30 days to provide even more data, including where they planned to stay in the U.S. Those already in the country were also asked to register.

    The goal was to give authorities a way to keep tabs on potential bad actors such as the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers who came into the U.S. legally but stayed after their visas expired, which made them illegal immigrants at the time of the attacks.

    The system initially targeted visitors from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Sudan, but the Bush administration was also concerned about male visitors ages 16 to 45 from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

    The system was controversial from the start, and the 30-day and reregistration requirements were quickly dropped. Much of the rest of the program was made obsolete as border checks were brought into the digital age.

    When the program was operational, it required border officers to manually collect information from visitors. The Homeland Security Department says it now has automated systems that collect better information, making the program outdated as well as inefficient.

    “DHS has determined that the NSEERS model for border vetting and security, which focused on designated nationalities for special processing, is outmoded,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday in his official submission to cancel the program.

    He said the program, which was fully suspended in 2011, would be taken off the books immediately.

    Jessica Vaughan, an enforcement advocate and policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said she wasn’t sure why the administration was pushing to remove the regulations if the program already had been frozen.

    She said the program was effective in locating foreigners who had overstayed their visas, helping immigration agents track down and deport some and spurring others in the U.S. illegally to go back to their home countries.

    “Back then, we had no entry-exit tracking and no way of knowing which of the people admitted from risky areas had departed. Now we have a biographic matching system, so it’s probably not necessary to re-create NSEERS in the same form,” she said.

    Instead, she said, the administration can use the information being collected electronically to determine whom immigration agents should pursue.

    Civil rights groups said NSEERS, during its decade in operation, didn’t lead to a single terrorism conviction and that revoking the framework of the system would help protect Muslim and Arab immigrants.

    Rescinding the NSEERS doesn’t stop Mr. Trump, but it does mean he would have to set up a new program rather than renew an existing one — a higher hurdle and a longer process.

    The president-elect said Wednesday, in the wake of a terrorist attack in Germany, that he is still determined to pursue his extreme vetting. “You know my plans. All along, I’ve been proven to be right,” he said.

    Immigrant rights groups have been fearful of what Mr. Trump will do once in office.
    “Painting entire communities with a broad brush of suspicion is wholly inconsistent with our nation’s values,” said Royce Murray, policy director at the American Immigration Council. “The next administration should not repeat the mistakes of the past and institute any discriminatory registry.”

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