Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 03013040 (posted May. 30, 2003)"
January 30, 2003
Dear Member of Congress:
As Members of the House and Senate meet to agree on a final budget for FY
2003, we urge you to adopt the provision in the Senate-passed omnibus budget
bill, H J Res 2 that restores $165 million for the border security entry/exit
tracking system and suspends funding for the controversial National Security
Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS).
AILA is committed to working with America's leaders to enhance our security.
We support measures, like the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act
(P.L. 107-173) that strengthen our security. The Act accomplishes this important
goal by including provisions that altogether accomplish what security experts
agree is essential, enhancing our intelligence capacity. Importantly, the Act
recognizes the need to balance enhanced security with our history as a nation of
immigrants, the importance of allowing the flow of people and goods to support
our economy, and the need to maintain good relations with foreign governments,
especially our allies. The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act
includes an entry-exit provision that has been the subject of much Congressional
debate and discussion.
In contrast, Congress has neither held hearings on nor been consulted about
NSEERS, or about the special registration program specifically, that targets
innocent immigrants, not terrorists. While special registration is a false
solution to a real problem, it is having real consequences. It has diverted
scarce funding from entry-exit and other critical initiatives. Limited funding
should be allocated toward building an effective entry/exit system, not used to
support an initiative that security experts believe will not make us safer.
In fact, special registration is deeply flawed as a program and in its
implementation. Special registration targets people based on national origin,
race, and religion rather than on intelligence information. To make matters
worse, it is being wrongly applied. Instead of identifying terrorists, the
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has used special registration to
identify and detain people who are on the path to permanent residency.
scarce federal dollars should be spent on what works, and works well. We urge
you to enhance our security by supporting the entry-exit provision in the
Senate-passed H J Res 2, that would authorize needed funding at our borders and
suspend funding for the controversial, ineffective and badly implemented NSEERS