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President-elect Donald Trump speaks to members of the media at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

DHS shut down a Muslim-tracking database. That may make Trump's registry plan much harder.


The Department of Homeland Security  announced Thursday it would shut down a database used during former President George W. Bush's administration to track Muslim immigrants. 

That could be huge for the incoming Trump administration. This database, known as NSEERS (National Security Entry-Exit Registration System) could have served as a cornerstone of President-elect Donald Trump's controversial ban on Muslim immigration. 

President Obama suspended the program in 2011 but never fully shut it down, Politico reports.

Experience has confirmed that NSEERS is obsolete, that deploying it would be inefficient...
DHS statement

NSEERS wasn't used very long anyway, and the most controversial components were ditched in 2003. The DHS notice hinted that administrators didn't seem sorry to see the system go offline.

What's this database actually about?

When NSEERS was in effect, immigrants from 25 countries -- all majority Muslim nations, except North Korea -- had to register with the federal government. It led to about 13,000 deportations but zero convictions for terrorism, Vox reports.

When Obama suspended the program, he didn't remove the database, only the list of countries being tracked. The database worked but tracked nobody. Trump could have rebooted it with a new list.

Kris Kobach memo.jpg
In this Nov. 20, 2016, photo, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach holds a stack of papers as he prepares to meet with President-elect Donald Trump at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in Bedminster, N.J. Kobach, a immigration adviser to rump and a possible candidate for a top government post, wants to make some changes at the Homeland Security Department, including reinstituting a registration system for certain immigrants. Kobach's "Department of Homeland Security Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days" document was visible in a photograph from The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

When Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, met with Trump last month, he was carrying a memo proposing reinstating NSEERS to facilitate the ban on Muslim immigration. 

DHS shut down a Muslim-tracking database. That may make Trump's registry plan much harder.

WATCH  | Trump has used terror attacks, including recent attacks in Berlin and Turkey, to justify the ban, saying "I've been proven to be right. 100 percent correct."

This continues a trend he started on the campaign trail after the Pulse shooting.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded the move to shut down the database.

So did the ACLU.

Others saw it as dangerous.

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