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HIAS Applauds Dismantling of Discriminatory Registration Program

WASHINGTON—Today, the Obama Administration rescinded a regulation that allowed for the "special registration" of male visitors to the U.S. from a list of predominantly Muslim and Arab countries. The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, put in place after the September 11 attacks, required certain male visitors from 25 mostly Arab, Muslim, African, and South Asian countries to register for interviews at local immigration offices

“The ‘special registration’ program known as NSEERS did not enhance national security, and in fact penalized those who followed the law and registered, as some were later deported and separated from their families. Although the Obama Administration discontinued NSEERS in 2011, the program remained on the books and could have been easily re-started, until today,” said Melanie Nezer, vice president for policy and advocacy at HIAS.

“Any registry based on race, religion, or national origin is un-American and threatens the most fundamental values of our country.  HIAS, the global Jewish organization for refugees, is particularly concerned about discriminatory policies that divide people and target certain groups. We thank the Obama Administration for rescinding NSEERS and urge the next Administration to similarly protect our national security without resorting to discrimination and the scapegoating of certain groups,” Nezer said.

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