As The Atlantic reports,
The Department of Homeland Security will take apart the vestiges of a controversial program that was used to register and track visitors from Muslim-majority countries, a move which will make it more difficult for Donald Trump to instate a registry system for Muslims once he takes office next month.
The change, which comes just four weeks before the end of President Obama’s last term, removes the skeleton of a program that hasn’t been in use since 2011. When it was active, the “special registration” program—the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or NSEERS—had two parts, and applied only to people from 25 countries named by DHS. Twenty-four of them were Muslim-majority countries…
The complete dismantling of NSEERS doesn’t prevent Trump from creating a new program to track people from Muslim-majority countries. But nor is it only a symbolic rejection of similar programs from the outgoing president. Leaving the program in place would have given Trump a turnkey registry in waiting.
“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,” a spokesperson for the agency said Thursday. “The intervening years have shown that NSEERS is not only obsolete, but that its use would divert limited personnel and resources from more effective measures.”