Immigration law expert Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia welcomes NSEERS policy change

Uploaded by pennstatelawvideos on 27.04.2011

It was aimed at tracking non-immigrant visitors and preventing terrorist attacks.
It evolved into quite a controversial program.
The registration process itself involved interrogation, finger prints and photographs.
Some of these interrogations were lengthy and quite frankly unrelated to either national
security or rudimentary immigration questions. The most controversial aspect of the NSEERS
program occurred when the government expanded the program to people already in the U.S.
and specified that certain male non-immigrant visitors in the U.S. from x-countries would
be subject to special registration. Well twenty four of these twenty five countries
included muslim majority population and just optically was received as discriminatory.
But the fallout and the controversy around NSEERS wasn't just limited to the discriminatory
nature of the program. There were many other problems.
For example local immigration offices lack the resources and capability to even process
these registrations. Thousands were detained. More than thirteen
thousand individuals who voluntarily registered themselves were served charging papers and
placed in removal proceedings. This is news that comes after ten years of
advocacy, critique and education and to, frankly, communities who are required to comply with
the registration program. It represents a huge step by the department
in that they have aknowledge that the program is both duplicative and controversial.
It specifically collaborated with the american arab anti-discrimination committee on producing
a report that looked holistically at the answers program, identified the legal authorities
and frankly the myths, the policy questions raised by the program and recommendations
for the administration on how to move forward. It represents probably the most comprehensive
report on the NSEERS program because the clinic at Penn State Law is a policy clinic, it's
really great force students to be able to see how their able to shape policy.
There are many people who have fallen in love and married a U.S. citizen. Others who have
been gainfully employed with a U.S. employer and on these bases have an ability to be in
the U.S. legally But, NSEERS has been a hurdle for their process
and so their either stock in the process, meaning USCIS is unable to adjudicate their
applications because they want them to register now for, example or they're denyed a benefit
on because of their failure in quotes to register. Rather than being a "back-peddling" it's a
"catching-up" with a program that's outdated and already proven to be ineffective, discriminatory
and damaging to communities and families. I think that's ten-year history and, frankly,
fall out of NSEERS illustrates it's inability to find terrorists.
I would be hard-pressed to find the next terrorists voluntarily registering himself with a local
immigration office. Moreover, I think there are better schemes
that are non-discriminatory in nature and less inconvenient to the non-citizens that
could collect information when people enter and exit the country. NSEERS is not that program.