Washington, DC & New York, NY – Today, South Asian and Muslim immigrant leaders from Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), together with MPower Change and MoveOn.org and others, succeeded in pressuring the White House to announce an end to the islamophobic National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), an immigrant registry program created by President George W. Bush which has resulted in the racial profiling of over 83,000, and the detention and placement in deportation proceedings of 13,000 from over 24 countries with majority Muslim populations.
Although the regulations stopped being implemented by the Department of Homeland Security in 2011, President Obama will finally put the program to an end on Friday.
Roksana Mun, Member of the United We Dream Board of Directors and DRUM’s Director of Strategy & Training, said:
“The NSEERS program forced over 83,000 people to register, over 13,000 were put in deportations, and yet zero were found to have any connection to violent activities. What these numbers don’t show are the extent of devastation and disruption in the lives that were left behind. The years lost between fathers and their children, between sons and their mothers, between brothers and their sisters.”
“What these numbers do show is a program that used egregious racial and religious profiling to engage in mass deportations of entire communities. It reflects a continuation of our country’s inability to learn the same basic lesson on human decency, that it should have learned decades ago from the Japanese internment camps. The official ending of the NSEERS program gives us the fighting chance we need to organize, mobilize and defend our communities against the incoming administration’s attempts to build up a Muslim registration program from scratch. This fight to prevent another Muslim registration or a ban on Muslim immigrants is a commitment all communities need to make for the next four years.”
Greisa Martinez, Advocacy Director of United We Dream, said:
“We are proud to stand with Desis Rising Up and Moving, MPower Change and the fierce Muslim community leaders who led the struggle to end the islamophobic NSEERS structure that led to mass detention and deportation of thousands of people. We know that the end of NSEERS today does not prevent attacks on Muslim and immigrant communities by the Trump regime. Today we pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with Muslim community members as we fight together to defend ourselves from Trump’s hatred and build power together.”