Bend the Arc on President Obama's Plan to Block Easy Activation of a Muslim Registry

Press Contact:

Elliot Levy

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202-800-7409

elliot.levy@berlinrosen.com

Release Date: Thursday, December 22, 2016

 

New York – Following reports that the Obama Administration will block the easy activation of a Muslim registry by the incoming Trump Administration by dismantling the regulatory framework of the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS), an existing but dormant program designed to monitor visitors to the United States primarily from Arab and Muslim-majority countries, Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, released the following statement:



"This is the right step for President Obama, given the terrifying proposals of the incoming administration. The NSEERS program was discriminatory, dangerous and ineffective, providing a dangerously quick path for President-elect Trump to begin his stated plans of registering Muslims in America. We are proud to have been a strong Jewish voice calling on the President to take this important action.

"As Jews, we understand the destructive legacy of government registries targeting individuals based solely on their religion or national origin. As we said when then-candidate Trump first proposed the registry - we've seen things like this before and they don't end well. Since NSEERS was created in 2002, it has provoked fear, deportations, and the decimation of many immigrant communities in America, while at the same time proving ineffective in fighting terrorism.

"The suspension of NSEERS in 2011 was an important step forward in preventing baseless discrimination against our Muslims brothers and sisters. Now, with a President-elect about to take office who has proposed a government registry of all Muslims, it is more important than ever to make such dangerous and harmful proposals as difficult as possible to implement--which is exactly what President Obama's action does. We will continue to work with our allies in the American Muslim community to oppose and combat the anti-Muslim policies we anticipate from the incoming Trump administration."

Bend the Arc Jewish Action has been a strong Jewish voice advocating for the dismantlement of NSEERS. A petition organized by Bend the Arc Jewish Action urging President Obama to dismantle the program was signed by more than 9,700 people. Rabbi Jason-Kimelman Block, Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, also spoke last week at an anti-NSEERS rally in front of the White House, where the petition was delivered along with coalition partners who amassed thousands of signatures.