President Obama has less than 30 days left in office, but he's not letting that prevent him from making important decisions regarding America's future.
He just dismantled a dormant national registry program that was mainly used to track visitors from primarily Muslim countries, The New York Times reports.
The controversial Bush-era program was created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and remained active for nine years (2002 through 2011).
By dismantling the program, President Obama has made it far more difficult for Trump to establish a Muslim registry. Trump will have to start from scratch and create something new.
This will take time and also give civil rights groups the chance to step in and make things difficult for Trump.
In a statement on this development, Neema Hakim, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said,
DHS ceased use of NSEERS more than five years ago, after it was determined the program was redundant, inefficient and provided no increase in security.
None of this means Trump can't still establish a Muslim registry or a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, which he's also signified support for.
After a recent terror attack at a Christmas market in Berlin and the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Trump was asked if he still planned to pursue his proposed Muslim ban.
The president-elect responded,
You know my plans. All along, I've been proven to be right. 100 percent correct. What's happening is disgraceful.
Organizations that focus on civil and human rights are gearing up to challenge Trump on his stances toward Muslims, among other groups.
Speaking with Elite Daily on these developments, Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA's director of security with Human Rights, stated,
President-elect Trump's comments show a deeply troubling indifference to religious freedom. Proposals to "ban Muslims" are eerily reminiscent of the kinds of religious persecution we have fought in countries like China and Iran. If the Trump administration tries to set up a new program of special registration of Muslims, it will be challenged in the courts as unconstitutional. We will join many groups in mobilizing the public to reject the program as bigoted, ineffective and counterproductive.
The president-elect's pick for national security advisor, Mike Flynn, once tweeted that “fear of Muslims is RATIONAL," for example.
With that said, it seems safe to conclude Trump will continue to seek various policies that target Muslims once he officially becomes president.
But, in fully dismantling NSEERS, President Obama has definitely presented Trump with a significant obstacle in this regard.