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National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS)

June 6, 2010

A letter to the president:
——————————–

            June 6, 2010

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

            Please accept my late congratulations to winning the white house. As and an Arab-American I saw your leadership and charisma as a way to propel this country to the better and to change the US image back to its glory days with our partners overseas. On the other hand I do not envy you on what you have inherited after you won the presidency.

            I do understand that your plate is full these days from dealing with the fragile economy to health care to the oil spill in the gulf. This in my opinion takes a well rounded leadership like yours to tackle all the tasks on hand and I commend you for it.

            I would like to add to your list of tasks on hand an item that touched my family (I’m very positive other families are in same position too). The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), this program was “put in place after September 11, 2001, to keep track of those entering and leaving our country in order to safeguard U.S. citizens and America’s borders.” from http://www.ice.gov/pi/specialregistration/index.htm. In a way I do understand the program intentions and the need to keep our borders safe, but its implantation is a different story. To give you an example of resources wasted at our airports:

            When a person is granted a visiting US visa, who also in the past have had multiple US visas and entered the country legally, who has a residency in developed country and a job in the country’s top bank with vital responsibility is hassled by an officer at the airport regarding NSEERS registration is well mind boggling. I’m speaking here of my brother who resides in UAE and carry a Jordanian citizenship. He enjoys visiting the US to see his brother and also to be a tourist and in return help our fragile economy in small way. This latest trip for him left a source taste in his mouth regarding his treatment at the airport. As a road worrier I travel the US for my job and I see firsthand TSA security, do I feel safe when I board the plane knowing a job was well done? Not at all. Our border security as you aware needs major enhancement, some that
come to mind:

·    Have US consulate at respective countries run background checks before issuing visiting Visas. This acts as First defense.

·     NSEERS can be eliminated if we utilize the computer powers in the US, what I suggest is:

o  Visas are scanned when entering and exiting the country instead of going to “special” office to obtain boarding pass BEFORE registering your departure! The scan would then notify all proper authorities’  servers.

o  If the individual visiting has a relative who is a citizen of this country.

§ Relative information could be verified by tapping into the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicle) records to match name and address or even tapping into assessor’s office to verify home location and name.

§  Require the visitor after X amount of weeks in the US to visit a local Police department to re-register their location. For example in Jordan on your 3rd week in country a visitor needs to do that.

o  On the other hand if a visitor indicates he/she will be at a hotel during their visit, have the hotels scan the passport visa and tie their server to TSA servers. Doing so would verify the individual location and verify that individual actually went to their intended location.
This can also be used with car rentals.

·    Train TSA and security personnel to spot out of the ordinary behavior. Israel could lend us a hand on this. Wasting security resources stopping random people or everyone coming from a certain country puts a strain on security resources. Doing so get our TSA more focused on threats rather than stopping old ladies on cane or toddlers that we assume pose a serious danger!

I have taken more than enough of your time regarding the NSEERS issue; the ADC (American Arab Antidiscrimination Committee) has a paper that was published March 2009 (http://www.adc.org/PDF/nseerspaper.pdf). I’m also sure some of my suggestions would raise a flag with ACLU.

Again thank you for taking the time to read a letter from a citizen of this great country of ours and thank you for all the work you have done so far.

Sincerely yours

Shadi Wadi-Ramahi

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One Comment
  1. Just an update. Never heard back from anyone regarding the above. Is it a rumor the President reads 10 letters a day or true?

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