The Obama administration [official website] is dismantling [NYT report] the dormant national registry program that was used to keep tabs on visitors from countries with active terrorist groups, the administration announced Thursday. The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (Nseers) is a remnant element [Guardian report] from the Bush administration’s response to the terror attacks of 9/11. More than 80,000 people from 25 different countries were required to provide fingerprints and photographs and make regular in-person visits to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website]. Over 14,000 of those people were placed in deportation proceedings. Joann Lin, legislative counsel for the ACLU [official website], said [press release] Nseers was a “completely failed counter-terrorism tool and massive profiling program that didn’t yield a single terrorism conviction in nearly a decade.” The registry has not been in use since 2011 but it provided a framework for President-elect Donald Trump [official website] to introduce the Muslim-registry program he promised while on the campaign trail. The dismantling of Nseers will make it much more difficult for Trump to implement his ban on Muslims entering the United States.
The Obama administration has been taking several steps to preserve its legacy before the President-elect takes office in January. On Wednesday Obama announced a ban [JURIST report] on offshore drilling as a preemptive opposition to the Trump administration. Earlier this month the Obama administration challenged [JURIST report] a federal judge’s decision to block the implementation of a new overtime pay rule. President-elect Trump’s views on immigration have been a source of contention for many city officials. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel [official website] delivered a letter [JURIST report] in early December to US President-elect Donald Trump signed by many US mayors warning of the potential economic losses Trump could cause if he repeals Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [official website]. In November New York Governor Andrew Cuomo [official website] unveiled statewide initiatives to combat [JURIST report] hate crime and protect civil rights in response to the increase in hate crimes following the November 8 election.