After Trump’s election, ADC was contacted by Arabs and Muslims reporting that their Global Entry privileges (expedited airport security clearance) had been revoked. CBP stonewalled our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request inquiring about the nature of the revocations, and to what extent Arabs and Muslims were targeted. CBP initially denied our request, after which we subsequently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C.
CBP has only handed over documents that tell us what we already know. ADC’s trying to get to the bottom of why CBP decided to rescind passes for Arab-Americans, but CBP is still refusing to release documents that would provide an answer.
CBP has “invoked the privilege” to withhold “these pre-decisional and deliberative materials” to protect the internal “frank expression of ideas, recommendations, and opinions.” CBP is also claiming that it has fulfilled the court’s mandate and that the case should be dismissed. We do not agree with either position taken by the agency. We have a right to know what ‘expressions of ideas and opinions’ were behind the decision to revoke the Global Entry privileges of countless Arabs and Muslims.
If racism and deception prevail over equality and transparency, it will be a green light to more brazenly discriminate against Arab-Americans. That’s why we desperately need your help to keep the pressure on CBP to force them to hand over the key documents.