The Obama administration is moving quickly to dismantle a program to track visitors from countries with a high terrorist threat, so that Trump can’t use it as president.
The program, called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), was created after the 9/11 attacks and halted in 2011. It worked by tracking arrivals from countries with active terrorist groups.
It attracted renewed attention in the past year when then-presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed reviving the program to serve as a form of “extreme vetting” for Muslims arriving in the United States from dangerous countries. Trump adviser Kris Kobach, who currently serves as Kansas’ secretary of state, was recently photographed carrying documents that explicitly called for reinstating NSEERS and using it to track all arrivals from terrorism-associated countries. (RELATED: Speaking Of Fake News, The ‘Muslim Registry’)
But now, the Obama administration is junking the deactivated program so Trump can’t use it, forcing him to rebuild it from scratch instead. In a rule change taking effect Friday, the Department of Homeland Security moved to eliminate the regulations that undergird it, saying the program wasn’t useful.
“D.H.S. ceased use of NSEERS more than five years ago, after it was determined the program was redundant, inefficient and provided no increase in security,” Neema Hakim, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement accompanying the rule change. The rule change argues that all the useful data NSEERS collected is obtained in other ways, making it useless.
The maneuver is the latest effort by the outgoing Obama administration to throw up hurdles for the Trump administration before it leaves power. Obama has also issued a decree banning oil drilling in large swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, a move he says Trump won’t be able to reverse.
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