In a letter, sent to President Barack Obama, nearly 200 organizations Friday (Nov. 21) called on his administration to rescind the regulatory framework behind the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS).
The signatories include civil and human rights, civil liberties, education, social justice, and inter-faith organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Leadership Conference on Civil Human Rights, American Immigration Council, Center for American Progress (CAP), National Council of La Raza, the National Immigration Forum (NIF), and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The letter pointed out that the NSEERS was a failed national security program that resulted in civil liberties violations and zero known convictions for terrorism-related crimes. The registration program violated civil liberties through profiling, unlawful arrests, and detentions of individuals who were not even required to register.
In April 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delisted the countries under the NSEERS program, however the regulation was not rescinded. As a result of NSEERS more than 13,000 people were placed into removal proceedings, tearing families and communities apart, and abruptly ended productive jobs and educational aspirations.
To resist a 'Muslim registry' we need active solidarity not symbolic gestures
Max Geller, an organizer with the international Jewish Anti-Zionist Network in New Orleans, says if the government of the United States requires its Muslim citizens to register, I will register as a Muslim.
Writing on Mondoweiss, writes: Almost a year ago, then-candidate Donald Trump first publicly flirted with the idea of forcing American Muslims to register into some kind of ill-defined national database whose nefarious purpose was never articulated save by pointing a fat, small finger at the usual bogeymen: ISIS or terror. When asked follow-up questions about this registry Trump stared at his interlocutors and spread his arms wide open, as if to say: "What?"
Max Geller also says: Since the election, discussions of the possibility of a Muslim registry and how we would resist it have exploded. Proposals for the registry have come from inside the new administration, and they draw on horrifying historical examples -- including the internment of Japanese Americans-- as justification. They also revisit, as Ayesha Siddiqi (among others) have pointed out, the ugliest Islamophobic tactics of the Bush administration, during which a post 9/11 de facto registry was put in place.
"Both precedent and the administration's statements suggest that a Muslim registry may be instated. No one -- left or right -- seems to be denying it. And I'm certainly not the only person or group this week to promise to register as a Muslim if any sort of law requiring Muslim registration is enacted," Max Geller said adding:
"As stunned reactions to the idea of a registry have spread, I've seen a lot of invocations of the King of Denmark. The idea is that the Danes -- including their king, Christian X -- wore the yellow armband required for Jews by the Nazis. The noble King's actions, the story goes, inspired enough Danish Gentiles to follow suit and thus rendered pointless the Nazis' attempt to publicly stigmatize and "other" Denmark's Jews. That sounds nice, doesn't it?"
Muslim-Americans prepare for Trump's 'Muslim registry'
Roqayah Chamseddine writes on Mondoweis, Donald Trump's ever-shifting call for a discriminatory 'Muslim registry' has led to the fitting invocation of Martin Niemöller's poem, "First They Came", as well as the misguided creation of Register US, a website whose unidentified authors call on Americans to enter their personal details and pledge to 'register as Muslim' should Trump follow through with his proposal to forcefully catalogue Muslims. Filmmaker Michael Moore, and senior writer at Newsweek, Kurt Eichenwald, even promised, should Trump's administration create a Muslim registry, to convert to Islam and "sign up".
Like much of Donald Trump's platform, the concept of a Muslim registry is borrowed, in this case from The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which was inaugurated in 2002, thanks to the War on Terror, says Chamseddine adding:
"According to a report from Penn State Law,
The NSEERS Effect: A Decade of Racial Profiling, Fear, and Secrecy, "the most
controversial piece of NSEERS required non-immigrant males who were 16 years of
age and older from 25 specific countries to register at local immigration
offices for fingerprinting, photographs, and lengthy, invasive interrogations",
and violators were fined and in some cases even deported--but for North Korea,
every country on the NSEERS list has a majority Muslim population, most of them
"Open campaign hostility aimed at Muslims has arguably influenced attacks against mosques, women wearing the hijab, and even members of the Sikh community who are associated with Muslims based on their religious dress."
Muslim-Americans receiving anonymous robocalls asking for religious affiliation