CAIR Welcomes President Obama’s Decision to End Dormant NSEERS Tracking Program
Civil rights group pledges to challenge any Trump administration attempts to revive Muslim registry
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed President Obama’s decision to permanently dismantle the regulatory framework behind the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS).
SEE: Obama Administration Ending Program Once Used to Track Mostly Arab and Muslim Men. CLick here
President-elect Donald Trump and advisors close to him have publicly said that would revive and expand the federal registry that once targeted visitors mostly from Muslim-majority countries, which was phased out in 2011 for being “ineffective.”
SEE: Photo of Trump-Kobach Meeting Reveals Apparent DHS Proposal
“Registering and tracking Muslim visitors to the United States is not only discriminatory but a tremendous waste of our nation’s national security resources,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “We thank President Obama and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson for finally put an end to what was widely perceived to be a massive profiling campaign targeting individuals based on their religion and ethnicity. We also thank the many people in civil society organizations who worked tirelessly to end the program.”
McCaw added: “CAIR will offer a legal challenge to any Trump administration attempt to resurrect or expand NSEERS to target Muslims residing in the United States.”
In November, CAIR joined almost 200 civil and human rights, civil liberties, education, social justice, and inter-faith organizations in urging the Obama Administration to take immediate action to rescind the regulatory framework behind the NSEERS.
SEE: Coalition Letter to President Obama to Rescind NSEERS Regulatory Framework
NSEERS, set up in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, required certain non-citizen males over the age of 14 from 25 countries to be registered and fingerprinted. With the sole exception of North Korea, every one of the 25 countries on the NSEERS bulletin was Muslim or Arab. Those targeted by the NSEERS program were also required to leave the United States through specified ports. Anyone who failed to comply with the program faced arrest and deportation.
In 2011, CAIR welcomed the suspension of the “ineffective and burdensome program that was perceived as a massive profiling campaign targeting individuals based on their religion and ethnicity.”
SEE: CAIR Welcomes DHS Decision to Drop NSEERS Program
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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