The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

CAIR Welcomes President Obama's Decision to End Dormant NSEERS Tracking Program

Civil rights group pledges to challenge any Trump administration attempts to revive Muslim registry


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed President Obama's decision to permanently dismantle the regulatory framework behind the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS).

SEE: Obama Administration Ending Program Once Used to Track Mostly Arab and Muslim Men

President-elect Donald Trump and advisors close to him have publicly said that would revive and expand the federal registry that once targeted visitors mostly from Muslim-majority countries, which was phased out in 2011 for being "ineffective."

Photo of Trump-Kobach Meeting Reveals Apparent DHS Proposal

"Registering and tracking Muslim visitors to the United States is not only discriminatory but a tremendous waste of our nation's national security resources," said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. "We thank President Obama and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson for finally put an end to what was widely perceived to be a massive profiling campaign targeting individuals based on their religion and ethnicity. We also thank the many people in civil society organizations who worked tirelessly to end the program."

McCaw added: "CAIR will offer a legal challenge to any Trump administration attempt to resurrect or expand NSEERS to target Muslims residing in the United States."

In November, CAIR joined almost 200 civil and human rights, civil liberties, education, social justice, and inter-faith organizations in urging the Obama Administration to take immediate action to rescind the regulatory framework behind the NSEERS.

SEE:Coalition Letter to President Obama to Rescind NSEERS Regulatory Framework

NSEERS, set up in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, required certain non-citizen males over the age of 14 from 25 countries to be registered and fingerprinted. With the sole exception of North Korea, every one of the 25 countries on the NSEERS bulletin was Muslim or Arab. Those targeted by the NSEERS program were also required to leave the United States through specified ports. Anyone who failed to comply with the program faced arrest and deportation.

In 2011, CAIR welcomed the suspension of the "ineffective and burdensome program that was perceived as a massive profiling campaign targeting individuals based on their religion and ethnicity."

SEE: CAIR Welcomes DHS Decision to Drop NSEERS Program

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

(202) 488-8787