FOIA Reveals Unwarranted Revocations of Trusted Traveler Credentials under the Muslim Ban

Washington, DC – Today, Muslim Advocates released newly acquired data regarding the administration’s arbitrary and unlawful decision to revoke Trusted Traveler memberships – for programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI – from people with ties to predominantly Muslim countries.

In March 2017, Muslim Advocates submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to obtain documents and information about the cause of these revocations; Muslim Advocates, represented by the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, has since sued the Department of Homeland Security to compel its compliance with this request.

A fact sheet of the key data points is available here.

A blog post explaining the significance of the data is available here.

The findings include:

  • The average number of Trusted Traveler revocations more than doubled after the first Muslim ban was enacted.
  • Muslims were targeted:
    • Travelers born in Muslim-majority countries were especially likely to have their credentials revoked.
    • There was a 74% increase in revocations for persons of Iranian origin.
    • There was a 200% increase in revocations for persons of Pakistani origin.
    • In the three months before the Muslim ban, no one born in Somalia had their credentials revoked; in the five months after the Ban, eleven did.
    • The average number of revocations increased for persons born in each of the seven countries targeted by the Muslim ban.

According to Matthew Callahan, staff attorney for Muslim Advocates, “this data reinforces our concerns that the administration is targeting Muslims, this time through Trusted Traveler revocations. No one should have to go through additional scrutiny or be denied privileges simply on the basis of their religion or national origin.”

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.