Rights Working Group Releases Report Critical of NSEERS and Calls for Full Dismantling of Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Keith Rushing, Rights Working Group, Communications Manager, krushing@rightsworkinggroup.org, (p) 202.591.3305 (m) 202.557.4291

June 4, 2012, Washington, D.C. – Today, Rights Working Group released The NSEERS Effect: A Decade of Racial Profiling, Fear, and Secrecy, a report critical of the Obama Administration's handling of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). NSEERS is a long discredited and discriminatory program launched by the federal government in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.  The program, in part, required male visitors from predominantly Muslim nations to register with the federal government for fingerprinting, photographs, and lengthy, invasive interrogations.  The implementation of NSEERS revealed it to be ineffective and a clear example of discriminatory and arbitrary racial profiling.

The NSEERS Effect documents the ways in which individuals and families have been and continue to be harmed by NSEERS as well as the Obama Administration's failure to provide redress to all individuals impacted by the program.  The report makes a number of recommendations including:

  • the full dismantling of NSEERS;
  • relief for all those negatively impacted by the program;
  • and the discontinuation of the use of data gathered through the program.

The NSEERS Effect was prepared by Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law's Center for Immigrants' Rights on behalf of the Rights Working Group.  The Center is an immigration policy clinic where law students work on innovative policy and advocacy projects primarily through the representation of immigrant advocacy organizations.

"The Obama administration has repeatedly missed the mark on NSEERS," stated Margaret Huang, executive director of Rights Working Group.  "The program structure remains in place and information obtained through the discriminatory NSEERS program can continue to be used against individuals.  The administration, yet again, is failing to address unlawful profiling based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, nationality, age and national origin," continued Huang.

"Despite the policy changes the Department of Homeland Security has made after years of documentation about the individuals and families stained by NSEERS, the continuing impacts of the program are striking and illustrate the importance of the recommendations contained in The NSEERS Effect," stated Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Clinical Professor and Director of the Center for Immigrants' Rights.

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