**Update: Obama has issued a formal notice that he is removing the NSEERs framework!
This is a great step towards protecting rights, a huge victory for collective action, and a clear signal to the Trump administration!***
Here’s an easy one:
On the campaign trail, Trump talked a lot about banning Muslims entering the United States, a stance which he later softened to “extreme vetting.” So moderate.
This kind of registry for vetting Muslims has been used before, which is what makes it particularly dangerous. In the wake of 9/11, President Bush introduced the NSEER program to protect the United States against Islamic terrorism. Sound familiar?
Despite being in effect for almost ten years, it didn’t produce a single terrorism conviction. What it did do was discriminate against an entire religion, isolate Muslim communities in the United States, and cost taxpayers money. A resounding success!
While Obama has shut it down, the regulatory architecture is still there. Theoretically, if Trump wanted to, he could sign an order on day one reinstating the program.
That’s why many groups are calling on Obama to permanently dismantle the program. That way, if Trump does want to reinstate some kind of a Muslim registry, he will have to develop a new framework from scratch. This will be more burdensome, subject to more scrutiny, and force him to confront the realities of what a muslim registry would do to Muslims in the United States.
There is already a lot of momentum mounting, so here’s what you can do:
- Sign this petition calling on President Obama to take action.
- If you’re sick of me telling you to sign ACLU petitions, take your pick: MoveOn.org, CREDO, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, or MomsRising.org.
If this is an important issue to you and you want to learn more, check out this article that has some really great background on the NSEER program.