03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

TSA Policy Has Echoes Of John Ashcroft

The U.S. Government's announcement Sunday that it would impose stricter airport security on citizens of 14 "nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest" probably wasn't intended as an homage to former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

But strident critics of Ashcroft and even some of his associates said the Obama Administration's move bore strong parallells to the "special registration" or NSEERS ("National Security Entry-Exit Registration System") program President George W. Bush's first attorney general ordered beginning in 2002 which required male nationals of what eventually became 25 countries who were working, visiting or living in the U.S. to report to immigration authorities for fingerprinting and interviews. Critics of the program said it failed to nabbed any terrorists, while about 14,000 of the men were put into deportation proceedings.

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