Obama Sets Up Roadblock to Possible Muslim Registry

Post-911 program is officially scrapped
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2016 1:11 PM CST
Obama Sets Up Roadblock to Possible Muslim Registry
The White House is scrapping a post-911 program.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Donald Trump has mused about a registry for Muslims from high-risk nations to Muslims in the US, but an Obama administration move places a bit of a roadblock in his way. The New York Times reports that the Department of Homeland Security is formally ending a post-9/11 program that targeted males 16 and older from Arab or mostly Muslim nations via interrogations, fingerprinting, and check-ins, and it's a program that's already been unused since 2011. "DHS ceased use of NSEERS more than five years ago, after it was determined the program was redundant, inefficient, and provided no increase in security," DHS spokesman Neema Hakim tells the Times. The DHS request will go on the books in the federal registry on Friday.

The NSEERS program was deemed a counterterrorism necessity at the time it was created in 2002, including by GOPer Kris Kobach, who helped set up the Bush program and whose name was floated for head of Trump's DHS before Gen. John Kelly was picked. But critics said it unfairly targeted Arabs and Muslims, "regardless of whether they were suspected or accused of any wrongdoing," NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Wednesday, per CNN. CNN noted in November that the program didn't bring a single terrorism conviction. DHS officials point toward newer, more efficient initiatives that are "far better equipped to face the evolving landscape of international terrorism," says Hakim. (Who won't be helping to build a registry: these Silicon Valley workers.)

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