American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, No. 1:17-cv-00708 (D.D.C. filed April 18, 2017)
In March 2017, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed a Freedom of Information Act request with CBP seeking agency records relating to Global Entry System (GES) revocations, suspensions, terminations, confirmations, and policy practices. ADC alleged that after the November 2016 presidential election, and significantly accelerating following President Trump’s attempted travel ban implementation, CBP began revoking—without explanation—Global Entry System approval for Arabs and Muslims who previously had been approved for Global Entry. ADC further alleged that the revocations were not isolated incidents but rather part of a wider pattern in which CBP singled out travelers with Arab or Muslim names or ancestries and revoked their GES approval without any accompanying material change in circumstance or security risk. Those singled out for revocation included doctors, bankers, students, and businesspeople. These revocations also corresponded with inexplicably heightened scrutiny by CBP agents towards Arab and Muslim travelers in the wake of the travel ban.
Through its FOIA request, ADC specifically sought agency records relating to each revocation, suspension, or termination of GES participation beginning November 9, 2016, as well as additional records that would show a pattern of CBP’s singling out Arab and Muslim travelers from whom to revoke GES approval, including agency records created on or after November 9, 2016, relating to the operation or functioning of the GES program and containing the words or phrases “Muslim,” “Arab,” “ban,” “Muslim ban,” or “travel ban.”
CBP failed to disclose the requested records within the designated timeframe. In April 2017 ADC sought declaratory and injunctive relief to compel DHS to produce the requested records.
After two years of litigation, the parties settled on their disputes on the merits and with respect to attorneys’ fees, and the case was voluntarily dismissed in July 2019.
Co-Counsel: R. Andrew Free | Law Office of R. Andrew Free
Co-Counsel: Gregory H. Siskind | Siskind Susser, PC
Contact: R. Andrew Free | firstname.lastname@example.org | 844-321-3221