IRP Letter On Special-Registration

Document Date: October 30, 2003

Asa Hutchinson
Under Secretary of Border and Transportation Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

Eduardo Aguirre, Jr.
Director, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

425 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20536

Dear Messrs Hutchinson and Aguirre:

I am writing on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to express profound concern about the deadlines applicable to individuals subject to the Special Registration (NSEERS) program and, in particular, the imminent re-registration deadlines that apply to individuals who were subject to the “Call-In” component of Special Registration in 2002 and 2003.

The Call-In notices published in the Federal Register indicate that individuals who registered under the Call-In program are required to re-register annually based on their individual registration date. That means that individuals who registered during the first Call-In period are subject to a deadline that could be as early as November.

We are not aware of any meaningful efforts undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security to publicize these impending deadlines or any of the other requirements that may be applicable to persons who registered. In addition, it appears that numerous questions remain regarding the specific requirements of the re-registration process, including the government office to which some registrants must go, the proper calculation of the individual re-registration deadline, the effect of travel abroad since the initial registration and the Department’s plan for ensuring registrants’ right to counsel. Moreover, this week’s announcement regarding U.S. Visit will further confuse individuals subject to the re-registration deadlines and obligations.

In light of the foregoing and given the severe consequences for individuals who fail to comply with re-registration requirements, we would appreciate hearing from you immediately and would welcome the opportunity to meet.


Lucas Guttentag

Director, Immigrants’ Rights Project