WASHINGTON – Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) joined a coalition of advocacy, civil rights, and inter-faith organizations who wrote a letter urging President Obama to rescind the regulatory framework behind the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS).
Other signatories of the letter include but are not limited to, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and PARS Equality Center.
Created in the wake of September 11, 2001, NSEERS required non-immigrant nationals from twenty-five countries, including Iran, to undergo “special registration procedures” during entry and exit from the United States.
The controversial domestic call-in registration portion of the program took a tremendous toll on the affected families and communities. A 2004 investigative analysis from the Iranian American Bar Association found substantial evidence of improper interrogations, arbitrary detention decisions, poor detention conditions, and demeaning treatment by INS officials.
In the end, NSEERS proved to be an unsuccessful anti-terrorism tool. Citing issues with efficiency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suspended the program by de-listing the countries required to undergo NSEERS screening in 2011.
Nevertheless, the regulatory structure of the program remains in place, and advisors to the incoming Trump administration have reportedly discussed the reinstatement of a national registry as part of the “extreme vetting” of some Muslim immigrants.
“As organizations that represent diverse communities and that are committed to civil and immigrant rights, we firmly believe that removal of the NSEERS framework is a necessary imperative,” the authors write in the letter. “We ask the Administration to immediately take steps to remove the regulatory structure of NSEERS and stop any future use of the program.”
Click here to see a copy of the letter.
Click here to take action and tell President Obama to scrap the NSEERS program.