Obama Aiming to End "Outdated" Visitor Registry Program Before Trump Takes Over

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Dec 22, 2016 10:45 AM
Obama Aiming to End "Outdated" Visitor Registry Program Before Trump Takes Over

President Obama is poised to end a visitor registry program before Donald Trump takes the reins.

NSEERS, sometimes called "Special Registration," was a program for registering and monitoring noncitizen visa holders -- such as students, workers and tourists -- that President George W. Bush's administration enacted a year after the 9/11 attacks.

The program affected males 16 or older from 25 countries. With the exception of North Korea, all the countries on the list were Arab or had majority Muslim populations.

The program is “outdated,” the Department of Homeland Security said in its announcement. 

Critics took issue with NSEERS because they claim it unfairly targeted Arabs and Muslims. Others argued it did not produce effective results.

Yet, one can’t help but think the Obama administration is making this late move in order to prevent Trump from enforcing a Muslim ban on immigration or a Muslim registry, as he’s pledged to do on the campaign trail. On Wednesday, when asked by reporters, Trump said he’s been 100 percent correct about the threat of relaxed border security and that his immigration proposals are more necessary than ever. Monday's Berlin attack, for instance, appeared to have been waged by a Tunisian refugee. 

At the very least, Trump wants “extreme vetting” for foreign travelers and to suspend immigration from countries ripe with terror activity.

House Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) gave a detailed preview earlier this month of how the Trump administration plans to usher in the "biggest domestic terrorism overhaul in a decade."