From the Washington Post:

The Justice Department this afternoon will propose a regulation requiring a new “special registration” of people visiting the United States from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Sudan, according to congressional officials.Visa holders temporarily entering the United States from the five countries would be required to be fingerprinted and photographed and to provide contacts in the United States and in their home countries. After 30 days, the visa holders would have to report to the Immigration and Naturalization Service about their activities, and again after each year in the United States and when leaving. Violators would be barred from re-entering the United States.
The officials said a similar arrangement already exists for all of the five countries except for Syria. Notably, the new list excluded Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, North Korea and Cuba. However, those entering the United States from virtually any country could be directed to meet the same requirements if the INS determines them to be of a “higher security risk.” The Justice officials who briefed lawmakers today did not say what the criteria would be to label a visitor a higher security risk.

Justice Department to Propose Visa Regulations

This is such nonsense, I don’t even know where to begin. The measure would not have stopped Richard Reid (the shoe-bomber, a native-born British citizen), nor Zacarias Moussaoui (the alleged 20th hijacker, a French citizen). I don’t believe that racial profiling works, and I think we’ve seen evidence that it doesn’t. The other thing that I find amusing is the exclusion of Saudi Arabia. If this was a question of scrutinizing people whose profile fit that of the WTC hijackers, Saudis would have to be on the list, considering that several of the hijackers were from the Kingdom. And if the purpose is to exclude citizens of countries already on the “axis of evil” list, then where are the North Koreans? It’s like saying that we think terrorists are likely to be from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Lybia, but not from Saudi, Pakistan, Yemen, North Korea, or Cuba. It all seems arbitrary and misguided. And the irony of it? Bush II won the vast majority of the Arab American and American Muslim voters (whose vote helped win Florida) by promising, among other things, an end to racial profiling.


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