Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I’ve been tracking an issue involving Global Entry (“GE”) pretty closely. Starting on January 27th, the day the travel ban took effect, I started seeing reports from lawyers and lay people about individuals who were having their Global Entry status revoked for no explainable reason. The common factor was having a Muslim-sounding name.
Global Entry, for those of you who are not familiar, is a program that allows people to be vetted via extensive security and criminal checks and given clearance to bypass the main immigration lines at international airports. If you were wondering what the computer kiosks are near the immigration lines at airports, those are for Global Entry program enrollees.
Rachel Bus, an attorney friend in Phoenix, was kind enough to forward me a redacted version of a Global Entry (“GE”) revocation letter for a US-born woman or Iranian descent who had her GE status pulled for no explained reason other than a reference in a notification letter to her no longer being eligible for the program.
I started asking people in social media if they knew of other cases and then got help from individual lawyer friends, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee to see if they could help get the word out that I was reaching what might be going.
I started hearing from people who had similar experiences to Rachel’s clients (and who received identical letters) and I then reached out to one of the best immigration civil rights lawyers I know, Andrew Free (he worked with me on the Visa Bulletin case). Andrew was pretty concerned with what I reported and we decided to take action.
I’m pleased to tell readers that our firm, Siskind Susser, and the Law Office of Andrew Free, along with the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, filed a Freedom of Information Act request last night with Customs and Border Protection asking for details on what is happening with the Global Entry Program. Hopefully, CBP will be forthcoming so that we don’t need to take further actions as provided under the FOIA law. I will keep you informed regarding what we learn. If