Washington, DC |March 31, 2009 | www.adc.org; www.law.psu.edu| The Center for Immigrants‘ Rights at Penn State University‘s Dickinson School of Law and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) will release today a white paper titled “NSEERS: The Consequences of America‘s efforts to Secure Its Borders.” The paper was previewed yesterday to government officials, legal practitioners and nongovernmental organizations at the offices of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in Washington, DC.
The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program was implemented as a counterterrorism tool in the wake of September 11, 2001. The white paper provides a legal and policy analysis of NSEERS, and recommendations to the Obama administration. According to the white paper, although many courts have found that the NSEERS program did not violate the Constitution, “the Executive‘s policy moving forward should not rest on the bare constitutional minimum. The United States government has an important decision to make about what kind of America it wants to be.”
“More than seven years after its implementation, the ongoing impact of NSEERS on individuals and families is striking” said Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights at Penn State‘s Dickinson School of Law. “The special registration program has raised a number of public policy questions. Public outcry, governmental criticism of the program and judicial challenges demonstrate that the program has not necessarily benefited the United States domestic and foreign policy.”
“The explicit targeting of the Arab and Muslim communities is un-American and has proven to be counterproductive,” said Kareem Shora, ADC national executive director. “Using immigration law as a counterterrorism tool with racial profiling tactics has failed in the past, and continues to fail.”
“Despite repeated assurances from the Department of Homeland Security that such policies are no longer used, the Arab and Muslim communities continue to be profiled to this very day; the most recent example being Operation Frontline which targeted Arabs and Muslims during the 2004 presidential elections. Once again, we call on the Obama administration for a serious re-examination and overhaul of such policies. It is past due for DHS to implement real change on this issue.”
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Fahed Al-Rawaf, JD
Penn State‘s Dickinson School of Law