Contact elected officials to suspend funding for INS
CAIR is calling on people of conscience to contact their elected officials and voice support for suspending the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) special registration call-in. Senate Amendment (SAMDT) 54 of the Omnibus Appropriations bill, HJ Res 2, would temporarily suspend funding and require further study of the controversial NSEERS program. At the same time, SAMDT 54 reallocates NSEERS money for the development of a more efficient and effective universal entry-exit registration system.
The appropriations bill passed the Senate unanimously, and is now being considered by a joint committee of the House and Senate. The House version of this bill does not include a provision that suspends funding for special registration call in. The amendment that suspends funding of NSEERS may be taken out during committee negotiations, so it is imperative that you encourage your elected officials to support SAMDT 54.
Contact your elected representatives by going to: http://capwiz.com/cair/home/ A sample letter is provided. It is particularly important that you contact your representative to encourage keeping SAMDT 54 in the Omnibus Appropriations bill.
As your constituent, I strongly encourage you to support SAMDT 54 of HJ Res 2, the Omnibus Appropriations bill. SAMDT 54 is a bipartisan amendment that suspends the controversial and counterproductive NSEERS special registration program, and instead allocates $165 million to further develop a comprehensive entry-exit registration system mandated by Congress.
NSEERS is a flawed and ineffective means of registering and tracking visitors to the United States. Due to the great expense of this complicated registration system it is only being applied to a relatively small number of people on the basis of national origin.
The highly limited NSEERS program has only targeted those most likely to view the United States favorably, many of whom are on the path to permanent legal residency. Instead of increasing our security, NSEERS detains and deports those who have encountered delays in processing their paperwork due to INS mishandling and inefficiency. For example, a New York Times article last week reported that an INS office in California shredded 90,000 documents, including passports, birth certificates and applications, in order to overcome a backlog of paperwork. Many people are now out of status and may be deported because of this INS mishap.
NSEERS is a complex and inefficient registration system that was put in place with an unrealistic timeline, and without sufficient funds to the INS for outreach or staff training. As a result, the INS has published erroneous Arabic language flyers, INS employees often gave contradictory or false information, and significant numbers of people have been denied access to their lawyers during interviews. As a result of this poor planning, hundreds of well-meaning visitors may now be out of status, thousands may still not know about the need to register and thousands more are too scared to register for fear of being unfairly detained.
A universal entry-exit system as mandated by Congress in the Enhanced Border Security Act of 2002 would eliminate the problems inherent in NSEERS and replace it with a more effective and efficient universal registration system that protects the rights of those registering. Such a system would eliminate the civil rights abuses and humiliating border procedures of NSEERS in favor of a more economical and accurate entry-exit system.
With all these problems, it is imperative that NSEERS be temporarily suspended in a favor of an entry-exit system that builds on effective existing border security systems, accurately records who is complying with the terms of their visas, applies equally to all visitors and is much more cost effective. I encourage you to do all you can to keep SAMDT 54 in HJ Res 2.