Alien Registration Requirements: Obama Administration Removes Certain Regulations, but Underlying Statutory Authority Remains [January 5, 2017]   [open pdf - 134KB]

"In a final rule issued and effective on December 23, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security removed regulations that the Executive had relied upon in implementing the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These regulations had authorized the imposition of 'special registration, fingerprinting, and photographing requirements' upon certain aliens who are citizens or nationals of countries designated by notice in the Federal Register. In essence, the regulations provided a 'turnkey' system, whereby the Executive could potentially subject particular aliens to so-called 'special registration' requirements by issuing a Federal Register notice (i.e., without further rulemaking). Some had called for the Obama Administration to dismantle this system, which others continued to support, out of concern that a future administration could use it to create a registry that targeted religious or racial minorities. However, despite the Obama Administration's action, the statutory authority under which the removed regulations were promulgated remains in effect and could potentially be used to impose new, NSEERS-like requirements in the future. This Sidebar briefly surveys the legal authorities that underlay the implementation of NSEERS, as well as the authorities that remain available to the Executive notwithstanding the recent rule change."

Report Number:CRS Legal Sidebar, January 5, 2017
Publisher:Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:application/pdf
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