Dec 1: The US Department of Homeland Security announced
on Monday that it was ending a programme begun after
the Sept 11 terror attacks that required male visitors
from mainly 25 Muslim states to register with the government
while in the United States.
department said that a new programme called US-VISIT
will replace the controversial National Security Entry
Exit Registration System, known as NSEERS from Jan
the old programme visitors from almost all large Muslim
nations were required to reregister after 30 days and
again when they completed a year of stay in the United
new system will focus on individuals instead of on "broad
categories" of people, the Department of Homeland
Security announced. The department, however, warned
that those who were required to register under the
old system while in the United States will still have
to register each time they enter or leave the country.
Hutchinson, the undersecretary for border and transportation
security, said NSEERS could be used again if there
was another terrorist attack linked to a foreign country.
Hutchinson said the decision to "terminate" the
programme, which administration officials had hinted
at last week, was not influenced by the harsh criticism
by advocacy groups and civil rights organizations.
required men and boys from 25 countries to be fingerprinted,
photographed and interviewed at US immigration offices.
A total 83,519 people complied and many were deported,
usually for overstaying visas.
programme, which ends on Tuesday, prompted angry protests,
with critics saying it unfairly targeted innocent people.
Hussein Ibish, spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee, said the change would bring "a much
fairer and more effective system of immigration."