President Obama has made another move aimed at hamstringing the incoming Trump administration. He decided to get rid of the registry that tracks visitors from countries with active terror groups. The Department of Homeland Security noted that it doesn’t increase our security and it hasn’t been used since 2011. Obama’s first hurdle he put up for Trump before he makes his exit on January 20 was issuing a permanent ban on offshore drilling (via NYT):
The Obama administration is dismantling a dormant national registry program for visitors from countries with active terrorist groups — a program that President-elect Donald J. Trump has suggested he is considering resurrecting.
The registry, created after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has not been in use since 2011, so the move is largely symbolic and appeared to be aimed at distancing the departing administration from any effort by the new president to revive the program, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or Nseers.
The move by the White House to formally end the registry is among the actions being taken in the final weeks of the administration that could prevent, or at least slow, what Democrats fear may be a swift rollback of President Obama’s efforts on immigration and climate change.
D.H.S. ceased use of Nseers more than five years ago, after it was determined the program was redundant, inefficient and provided no increase in security,” Neema Hakim, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement. The program is “not only obsolete” and “outdated,” but diverts personnel and resources from other areas that are seen as more effective, the statement said.
Experts have also said that the program is obsolete, with the Times citing a DHS Inspector General report noting that “Information obtained from fingerprints, flight manifests, travel and identification documents and intelligence sources is more valuable in determining who poses a potential national security risk.”
At the same time, The Department of Homeland Security has had security lapses when they accidentally granted citizenship to at least 800 immigrants from nations that are deemed to be security risks. The error occurred because these individuals’ fingerprints were missing from the government database.