While the public outcry may have died down while Americans await the Trump administration's next move, the recent travel ban may still be affecting U.S. citizens who are Muslim.
As the Trump administration gears up to issue a new executive order regulating international travel following the legal challenge to its initial travel restrictions, some Muslim travelers outside the seven countries targeted by the ban, including naturalized U.S. citizens and green card holders, are indicating that their Global Entry status has been revoked.
According to Mic, lawyers are currently trying to decipher the pattern regarding the cancellation of Global Entry and TSA Precheck status for many Muslim-American travelers.
Skift’s reporting backs up this pattern, and requests for comment from CBP were not immediately returned. Business travelers indicated to Skift that corporate visa vendors are alerting clients that Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 49 may be affected.
One individual, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen while in middle school, was suddenly informed via email that his Global Entry status had been revoked.
The CBP stated that his status has been revoked for the following reason: “You do not meet the program eligibility requirements.” He had first received Global Entry certification in 2012 an.
Global Entry provides enrollees with expedited customs processing through kiosks at major U.S. airports. Before acceptance into the program, travelers undergo a rigorous background check, which includes a face-to-face interview.
Travelers are also being informed to expect extra scrutiny and screening when passing through customs. The CBP determines that the applicant is “low risk” before being accepted into Global Entry.
The notification that Skift saw informed the individual that he could get his Global Entry status reviewed by contacting a trusted traveler enrollment center or ombudsman.
The CBP noted that individuals can be barred from Global Entry for things such as being convicted of a crime, “providing false or incomplete information on the application,” or “other circumstance that indicate to CBP that you have not qualified as ‘low risk.'”
It isn’t clear if Global Entry members who suddenly are being informed that they no longer qualify have been subject to a new review, whether they have run afoul of the eligibility requirements since becoming members, or if the development is part of a broader effort by the new Trump administration to wean Muslims from the program merely based on religion — a development that would likely run afoul of the courts just as the president’s travel restrictions have.
If you believe your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck status has recently been revoked, please send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: CBP has responded to these allegations with a flat denial of any widespread effort to strip Muslim travelers of Global Entry status. It also states that all travelers whose status was affected by the recent travel ban executive order have had their status reinstated. The full statement from a CBP spokesperson is below:
“The allegations that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cancelled Trusted Traveler memberships because the member had a “Muslim-sounding name” or is Muslim are completely false.
The Executive Order did not provide an exemption for Trusted Travelers so impacted travelers with a Trusted Traveler membership had that membership suspended. On February 1, 2017, the White House issued guidance stating that lawful permanent residents (LPR) were not subject to the Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” After the guidance was issued, CBP worked to reinstate LPR Trusted Traveler members who were no longer subject to the Executive Order. Those members were fully reinstated as of February 2, 2017. Some members of NEXUS and FAST were still subject to the Executive Order and as such, their memberships remained suspended until the judge’s ruling that was issued on Friday, February 3, 2017. Following that ruling, DHS suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order. CBP worked to reinstate members whose memberships were suspended. All Trusted Traveler memberships affected by the Executive Order have since been reinstated.
To determine, at the time, which members were subject to the Executive Order, CBP reviewed each account individually.”
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Photo Credit: Some Muslim-American travelers or green card holders say their Global Entry credentials are being revoked. Pictured, an airport private contractor engages with a passenger at a security checkpoint during the check-in process at at JFK airport in Queens, New York. Brendan McDermid / Reuters
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