The program, called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, was implemented following the September 11 terror attacks to increase scrutiny on men traveling into the U.S. from 25 predominately Muslim countries.
Though the program hadn’t been used since 2011, some activists worried that the Trump administration would repurpose it to make good on his promise to make it more difficult for Muslims to travel into the U.S.
“This is the right decision by Secretary [Jeh] Johnson. We commend him, and the Obama administration, for letting it be known that such registry programs are futile and have no place in our country. However the community cannot be at ease; the next administration has indicated that they will consider implementing similar programs. We will work twice as hard to protect our community and ensure such programs do not come to fruition,” American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Legal & Policy Director Abed Ayoub told the Washington Examiner.
Ayoub said that more than 13,000 Muslim men had been placed in deportation proceedings because of the plan.
“NSEERS was a discriminatory policy that ran counter to the fundamental American values of fairness and equal protection. Rescinding the regulatory framework of the program will ensure that our nation does not target communities based on national origin and faith in the future,” he said.