STATEMENT: CAP’s Vice President of Immigration on Obama Administration Announcement Dismantling National Visitor Registry Program

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Obama administration announced it is dismantling the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or NSEERS, an inactive national registry program for visitors from select countries. Tom Jawetz, Vice President of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement on the matter:

CAP applauds the administration’s move to completely dismantle NSEERS, a dormant program that proved to be ineffective as a counterterrorism tool, wasted limited government resources, resulted in tremendous harm for thousands of individuals, and disrupted relationships with immigrant communities and foreign countries. NSEERS was a stain on our nation, targeting primarily Muslim and Arab American men. Dismantling the underlying regulation will hopefully mean that we can put this dark period behind us. President-elect Donald Trump has called for a new form of a Muslim registry; he would be wise to note that not one single terrorism prosecution resulted from NSEERS—even as it disrupted the lives of thousands of individuals and their families—and that numerous terrorism and security experts have pointed out its flaws.

In order to appropriately deal with our national security challenges, the United States must pursue a more sophisticated response and should endeavor to work collaboratively with diverse communities around the country. This program’s broad-brush approach led not only to flawed enforcement but also to strained community and foreign relations.

Click here to read the “ADC Letter to Administration On behalf of Nearly 200 Organizations Requesting Rescinding of NSEERS,” which CAP signed on to.

Experts from the Center for American Progress are available to speak on this topic. To coordinate an interview, please contact Tanya Arditi at tarditi@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6258.