Court: Monitoring Muslim visitors was legal
NEW YORK (AP) €” A post-9/11 rule that required visitors from two dozen Arab and Muslim countries and North Korea to register with immigration authorities was constitutional, an appeals court said Wednesday.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it did not quibble with the fact that the program selected countries that were predominantly Muslim.
“One major threat of terrorist attacks comes from radical Islamic groups,” the court said. “The Sept. 11 attacks were facilitated by violations of immigration laws by aliens from predominantly Muslim nations. The program was clearly tailored to those facts.”
The program was part of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, meant to improve the monitoring of immigrants and the enforcement of immigration laws. Males from 24 Arab and predominantly Muslim countries and North Korea who were not permanent residents had to register, submit to fingerprinting and prove they were legally in the U.S.
The requirement has been phased out, but the database of information still exists.
The appeals decision came in response to challenges by five men who claimed their constitutional rights were violated when they were ordered deported.
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