A less publicized impact of the NSEERS program are the scores of individuals who currently are “stuck” in the immigration process, have been denied a benefit by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), have been denied admission, placed in removal proceedings, and/or ordered removed due to an NSEERS-related issue. The impact of NSEERS on individuals and their families is striking when considering the number of individuals who are happily married to a U.S. citizen, gainfully employed and/or squarely eligible for removal relief, but who are treated differently and unequally because of an NSEERS issue. To this end, we believe that DHS must issue guidance that calls for the favorable exercise of discretion for individuals facing an immigration consequence as a result of NSEERS. This guidance must be adopted by USCIS, CBP and ICE to ensure that individuals who are seeking a benefit, may be eligible for a benefit, facing removal, or seeking admission into the U.S. are treated similarly and favorably.
Also attached is a report issued by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Penn State Dickinson Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, NSEERS: The Consequences of America’s Efforts to Secure Its Borders” which illustrates the importance of addressing the residual impact of NSEERS and the impact that it continues to have on community members. http://www.adc.org/PDF/nseerspaper.pdf
Thank you for your attention. If you have any questions, please contact Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Abed Ayoub
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia*
Rights Working Group South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, Priya Murthy
*affiliation listed for informational purposes only
cc: John Sandweg, Counselor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, DHS Mary Kate Whalen, Managing Counsel, Office of General Counsel, DHS David Heyman, Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy, DHS Margo Schlanger, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, DHS
John Wagner, Executive Director, CBP Lori Scialabba, Deputy Director, CIS Beth Gibson, Assistant Deputy Director, ICE
1 “Removing Designated Countries from the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), 76 Federal Register 82 (April 28, 2011), pp.23830-23831. Available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011- 10305.pdf.
2 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Press Office, “Fact Sheet: DHS Streamlines Collection of Data for Individuals Entering and Exiting the United States.” (April 27, 2011). Available athttp://photos.state.gov/libraries/singapore/231771/PDFs/NSEERS.pdf
3 Supra note 1, at 23830.