Credo Action

What President Obama can do to protect Muslims from Trump

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The petition to President Obama reads:

"Revoke the regulatory framework of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System. NSEERS predominantly targeted Muslim immigrants and should be dismantled before it can be used by Donald Trump to target, register and deport Muslims.”

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    What President Obama can do to protect Muslims from Trump

    When he becomes president, Donald Trump will be able to make his hateful anti-Muslim campaign promises into federal policy targeting Muslims.

    One of Trump’s most chilling threats was to create a registry of all Muslims in the United States. The easiest way to get started down that horrific path would be for Trump to restart a much-maligned, xenophobic Bush-era program called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or NSEERS. Trump advisers are already considering this move.1

    Since the election, people all over the country have pledged to do everything they can to protect the people most at risk from Trump’s hate. But right now, when it comes to blocking the Muslim registry, there’s one person who can make the most difference: President Obama. Can you help make sure he acts while there’s still time?

    Tell President Obama: Dismantle NSEERS and use your power to obstruct Trump’s Muslim registry.

    President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s administration launched NSEERS in 2002. It required men from 25 countries to register when they entered the country and then check-in regularly with immigration officials. The registry was not officially a Muslim one, but 24 of the 25 targeted countries were ones with majority Muslim populations.2 Supporters claimed the program was necessary for national security, but in reality, NSEERS was a program that profiled Muslims, subjected them to detention and deportation, and damaged and hollowed out their communities. Not a single person on the registry was ever convicted of a terrorism-related crime, but in only the first year of the program, the government started deportation proceedings on more than 13,000 people.3

    In 2011, President Obama took all 25 countries off the special registration list. His action effectively suspended NSEERS, but it didn’t completely end special registration because the regulatory framework for NSEERS is still on the books.4 He still has time to revoke that framework, which could slow Trump and his administration down by forcing them to publicly build a new registry and opening up their actions to scrutiny, protest and constitutional challenge. If President Obama fails to shut NSEERS down, Trump can essentially switch it back on when he takes office and have a premade registry waiting to be filled.

    Since the election, President Obama has gone out of his way to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. He certainly needs to help ensure a peaceful transition of power, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t do everything in his power to disrupt, slow down or obstruct Trump policies that would threaten millions of people simply because of their religion, ethnicity or immigration status. Shutting down NSEERS is a vital step, and we need to make sure the president knows we are counting on him to do the right thing.

    Tell President Obama: Dismantle NSEERS and use your power to obstruct Trump’s Muslim registry.

    Thanks for standing up for Muslims today.

    References:

    1. Abigail Tracy, "Trump Advisor Accidentally Leaks His Own Homeland Security Plan," Vanity Fair, Nov. 21, 2016.
    2. Dara Lind, "Donald Trump’s proposed “Muslim registry,” explained," Vox, Nov. 16, 2016.
    3. Nadeem Muaddi, "Obama Urged to Dismantle NSEERS Visa Tracking Program," CNN, Nov. 23, 2016.
    4. Dara Lind, "Donald Trump’s proposed “Muslim registry,” explained," Vox, Nov. 16, 2016.