Today, April 28, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is eliminating redundant programs by removing the following countries from, and relieving nonimmigrant nationals or citizens of the following countries from compliance with, the special registration procedures under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS): Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Over the past six years, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented several new automated systems that capture arrival and exit information on nonimmigrant travelers to the United States, and DHS has determined that recapturing this data manually when a nonimmigrant is seeking admission to the United States is redundant and no longer provides any increase in security. DHS, therefore, has determined that it is no longer necessary to subject nationals from these countries to special registration procedures, and this notice deletes all currently designated countries from NSEERS compliance.
While the notice relieves citizens and nationals of the designated countries from NSEERS requirements, left unclear is how individuals who face NSEERS-related charges are to be treated. AILA calls upon DHS to implement policies to treat as a favorable factor in discretionary determinations the withdrawal of designation of an individual's country of citizenship or nationality, including individuals seeking adjustment of status, and to terminate removal proceedings against the victims of the NSEERS mess.