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One of the most offensive post-9/11 anti-immigrant policies dreamed up by our federal government is finally gone. Yesterday, DHS announced the end of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a state-sanctioned racial profiling program that wasted serious amounts of government resources while damaging our country’s reputation, and treating whole groups of people as “other” because of where they came from, not what they did.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
The federal government Wednesday effectively ended a controversial program launched in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep tabs on individuals visiting the U.S. mainly from Arab countries.
The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, known by its acronym, NSEERS, required individuals from more than 20 predominantly Arab countries to register with the government on arrival and departure from the U.S.
Why the change? The Department of Homeland Security believes they have better methods to find terrorists:
But with improved use of information technology and intelligence, such as demonstrated by US-VISIT and APIS, DHS concluded that NSEERS was no longer necessary. Moreover, the department has been attempting to move away from identifying individuals by country of origin generally and toward improved applications of intelligence and information sharing to identify individual threats specifically, the Federal Register notice said.
Yep, entry-exit controls applied to everyone, not nationals of particular countries, and intelligence-based law enforcement are much more effective than the blunt tool of national origin profiling. The problem is, we always knew this. But Kris Kobach, former DOJ advisor and current Kansas Secretary of State (also lawyer to the nativist stars), disagreed. He was the “mastermind” behind NSEERS back in 2002.