Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman called on the Obama administration this week to rescind the regulatory framework of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, a controversial registry created during the George W. Bush era that sought to track and register non-immigrant males from primarily Arab, Muslim and South Asian countries regardless of whether they were suspected or accused of any wrongdoing.
Created in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, NSEERS targeted boys and men primarily from Muslim-majority countries. After the program proved to be ineffective at reducing terrorist activity, new registration in the program was terminated by the Department of Homeland Security in 2011. However, the regulatory framework undergirding the program remains in place, creating an unacceptable temptation for future administrations to restart the program.
Schneiderman said the registry has not proved to provide any law enforcement benefit. Despite registering more than 80,000 teenage boys and men, NSEERS failed to result in a single terrorism-related conviction. More than 13,000 men who registered with NSEERS were placed in removal proceedings, forcing them to leave their families and communities.