Breaking: DHS Terminates NSEERS
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | December 22, 2016 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) welcomes the decision by Secretary Jeh Johnson of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind the regulatory framework of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). The recession effectively ends NSEERS, a failed program rooted in discriminatory profiling. Over the past several weeks, ADC has worked tirelessly in pushing for DHS to dismantle NSEERS. ADC has strongly opposed NSEERS since the inception of the program.
ADC led an effort on behalf of over 200 organizations, calling on the Obama administration to end the program. The letter, which was delivered in late November, was followed by vigorous advocacy efforts by a large coalition of community organizations, including allies from the Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities. Resources were leveraged to build a strong diverse coalition to exert pressure that ultimately led to the dismantling of the NSEERS framework.
ADC Legal & Policy Director Abed Ayoub states, “This is the right decision by Secretary Johnson. We commend him, and the White House, for letting it be known that such registry programs are futile and have no place in our country. 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.”
After 9/11, the Bush Administration instituted the NSEERS registry system that targeted individuals on national origin. Of the 25 designated countries, 24 were majority Arab or Muslim. The discriminatory NSEERS program disparately profiled Arabs and Muslims by questioning and fingerprinting individuals and registering this identifying information in a database.