AALDEF Special Registration Report Released


Special Registration, a part of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), and the 30-Day Port of Entry registration program, is described and analyzed in a new AALDEF report entitled, Special Registration: Discrimination and Xenophobia in Government Policy.

From November 2002 to April 2003, the Special Registration “call-in” program targeted men and boys from North Korea and 24 predominantly Muslim countries in Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. In preparation for its report, AALDEF surveyed 219 of the nearly 800 individuals it had counseled during that period. The report found that Special Registration disproportionately affected Muslim men in working class professions, many with wives and children. Over 42% had pending applications for green cards. Two-thirds of those surveyed wanted to comply with the law, but over 50% who registered found themselves placed in deportation proceedings.

AALDEF executive director Margaret Fung said, “This selective enforcement of immigration laws has not enhanced national security and instead has threatened our core democratic values of freedom. The Special Registration program represented a serious lapse of judgment that should not be repeated again.”