2002-12-21 / Community

Weiner Lauds Addition of Saudis To List

Weiner Lauds Addition of Saudis To List

Attorney General John Ashcroft has added Saudi Arabia to
the list of countries whose nationals are subject to new INS tracking
measures under the N-SEERS program when they enter the United States.

Congressman Anthony Weiner, who first called attention to Ashcroft's failure to include Saudi Arabia on the N-SEERS list, released the following statement: "For too long the Saudi's have tried to have it both ways, holding nice press conferences, doing photo-ops with the President in Crawford, Texas, and running glitzy advertising campaigns in our nation's most prominent news outlets.  And for too long, the Bush Administration has let them get away with it.

"It's time to start judging the Saudi's by what they do, not what
they say. Saudi Arabia was the home to 15 of 19 September 11 hijackers, and the Saudi government has held fund-raises for homicide bombers.

"What's needed are reasonable steps to ensure that our first
responsibility as a government is upheld: to make sure the bad guys who want to do us harm, can't do it so easily. Adding Saudi Arabia to the N-SEERS list is a good, common sense first step."

In June, Attorney General Ashcroft established the N-SEERS program,
under which nationals from five countries-Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria-were subjected to heightened tracking measures when they entered the United States, including fingerprinting and photographing at their point of entry, periodic checks by INS during their stay, and a required departure check-in when they leave.  The list was expanded to include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen in November. 

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