‭ ‬By Yousef Ahmad

On Wednesday April 19th the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) in an attempt to gain information about the repeal of Global Entry System (GES) privileges for both Arab and Muslim Americans. The lawsuit invokes the Freedom of information act (FOIA), accusing the CBP of withholding information regarding to the GES without any legal justification. The actions taken by the CBP to repeal these privileges, according to the ADC, took place slowly after the 2016 Presidential election, then at a greater rate after the inauguration of the current administration. To add further insult to injury these events took place during the initial attempt at a Muslim travel ban. The CBP’s questioning of these participants of the GES was unusually thorough and often abusive of people who have been long time participants of the GES program.

The lawsuit that the ADC has filed against CBP seeks to gain access to the records requested in their FOIA which the CBP has not provided. Specifically, the ADC has requested the records that relate to the revocations of participants of the GES, annual total revocations, suspensions and terminations from the beginning of 2012 to November 2016. The ADC also requested “Any agency policy, practice, memorandum, training, guidance, communication, or other similar record created on or after November 9, 2016 relating to the suspension, revocation, or termination of GES using the words “Muslims”, “Arab”, “Ban” , “Muslim Ban” and “Travel Ban”.

The current lawsuit seeks to shed light upon the practices and reasoning for which the CBP has revoked people’s participation within the GES program, especially since it seems that there has been a policy change which is targeting groups with a certain background. By being denied access to these documents the ADC is unable to determine the reasoning behind the change in practice. Nor are they able to perform their function to protect the rights of these participants in the GES which have suddenly become undesirable to the CBP.

‭ ‬حياة‭ ‬واشنطن‭ – ‬واشنطن‭ ‬دي‭ ‬سي

اعلنت‭ ‬المنظمة‭ ‬العربية‭ ‬الأمريكية‭ ‬لمكافحة‭ ‬التمييز‭ ‬الـ‭ ‬ADC‭ ‬يوم‭ ‬الأربعاء‭ ‬الـ‭ ‬‮١٩‬‭ ‬من‭ ‬ابريل‭ ‬عن‭ ‬رفع‭ ‬قضية‭ ‬في‭ ‬المحاكم‭ ‬الأمريكية‭ ‬ضد‭ ‬وكالة‭ ‬الجمارك‭ ‬والحدود‭ ‬الأمريكية‭ ‬من‭ ‬اجل‭ ‬الحصول‭ ‬على‭ ‬معلومات‭ ‬عن‭ ‬نقض‭ ‬ما‭ ‬يسمى‭ ‬جهاز‭ ‬الدخول‭ ‬العالمي‭ ‬التابع‭ ‬لها‭ ‬والذي‭ ‬يمنع‭ ‬حقوق‭ ‬العرب‭ ‬والمسلمين‭ ‬امريكيين‭. ‬وتقول‭ ‬المنظمة‭ ‬بأن‭ ‬الدائرة‭ ‬تقوم‭ ‬بمنع‭ ‬توفير‭ ‬معلومات‭ ‬عن‭ ‬برنامجها‭ ‬بصورة‭ ‬غير‭ ‬قانونية‭. ‬وتقول‭ ‬المنظمة‭ ‬بأن‭ ‬تلك‭ ‬الحقوق‭ ‬تم‭ ‬تقليصها‭ ‬بعد‭ ‬فوز‭ ‬المرشح‭ ‬الرأسي‭ ‬بالإنتخابات‭ ‬عام‭ ‬‮٢٠١٦‬‭ ‬وازداد‭ ‬معدلها‭ ‬بعد‭ ‬تولي‭ ‬الإدارة‭ ‬الجديدة‭.‬

ومما‭ ‬زاد‭ ‬الأمور‭ ‬سوأً‭ ‬لهذه‭ ‬الممارسات‭ ‬هو‭ ‬اصدار‭ ‬مرسوم‭ ‬منع‭ ‬المسلمين‭ ‬الذي‭ ‬اعلنته‭ ‬الإدارة‭ ‬الأمريكية‭ ‬الجديدة‭. ‬وكانت‭ ‬عمليات‭ ‬استجواب‭ ‬قامت‭ ‬بها‭ ‬دائرة‭ ‬الجمارك‭ ‬والحدود‭ ‬التي‭ ‬تتم‭ ‬بصورة‭ ‬سيئة‭ ‬لأناس‭ ‬كانوا‭ ‬جزء‭ ‬من‭ ‬هذا‭ ‬البرنامج‭. ‬

وتطالب‭ ‬المنطمة‭ ‬العربية‭ ‬لمكافحة‭ ‬التمييز‭ ‬من‭ ‬خلال‭ ‬الدعوى‭ ‬المقدمة‭ ‬بالحصول‭ ‬على‭ ‬معلومات‭ ‬تقوم‭ ‬دائرة‭ ‬الجمارك‭ ‬والحدود‭ ‬بعدم‭ ‬توفيرها‭. ‬وخاصة‭ ‬معلوما‭ ‬تخص‭ ‬المنخرطين‭ ‬ببرنامج‭ ‬الدخول‭ ‬العالمي‭ ‬والذي‭ ‬يوفر‭ ‬نوع‭ ‬من‭ ‬الحماية‭ ‬لهم‭ ‬والتي‭ ‬قامت‭ ‬الدائرة‭ ‬بمنعه‭ ‬والغائه‭ ‬منذ‭ ‬بداية‭ ‬عام‭ ‬‮٢٠١٢‬‭ ‬وحتى‭ ‬نوفمبر‭ ‬‮٢٠١٦‬‭. ‬

وطلبت‭ ‬ايضاً‭ ‬المنظمة‭ ‬في‭ ‬ادعائها‭ ‬بـالحصول‭ ‬على‭ ‬‮«‬اية‭ ‬مواد‭ ‬تتعلق‭ ‬بسياسة‭ ‬الدائرة‭ ‬وتعاملاتها‭ ‬وتدريباتها‭ ‬وجميع‭ ‬طرق‭ ‬التواصل‭ ‬وما‭ ‬يتعلق‭ ‬بها‭ ‬من‭ ‬تسجيلات‭ ‬بعد‭ ‬التاسع‭ ‬من‭ ‬نوفمبر‭  ‬‮٢٠١٦‬‭ ‬والتي‭ ‬تتعلق‭ ‬بالغاء‭ ‬معاملات‭ ‬جهاز‭ ‬الدخول‭ ‬العالمي‭ ‬باستخدام‭ ‬كلمات‭ ‬منها‭ ‬مسلم‭ ‬وعربي‭ ‬ومنع‭ ‬سفر‮»‬‭. ‬

وتسعى‭ ‬الدعوى‭ ‬لتسليط‭ ‬الضوء‭ ‬على‭ ‬اسباب‭ ‬ممارسات‭ ‬دائرة‭  ‬الجمارك‭ ‬والحدود‭ ‬والتي‭ ‬ادت‭ ‬الى‭ ‬ابطال‭ ‬معاملات‭ ‬اشخاص‭ ‬منخرطين‭ ‬ببرنامج‭ ‬الدخول‭ ‬العالمي‭. ‬ويبدو‭ ‬بأن‭ ‬هذا‭ ‬التوجه‭ ‬بدأ‭ ‬كجزء‭ ‬من‭ ‬تغيير‭ ‬بالسياسة‭ ‬الخاصة‭ ‬بالإدارة‭ ‬الجديدة‭ ‬والتي‭ ‬توجه‭ ‬ضد‭ ‬اناس‭ ‬من‭ ‬خلفيات‭ ‬اثنية‭ ‬معينة‭. ‬وبمنع‭ ‬المنظمة‭ ‬العربية‭ ‬لمكافحة‭ ‬التمييز‭ ‬من‭ ‬الحصول‭ ‬على‭ ‬تلك‭ ‬المعلومات‭ ‬يمنعها‭ ‬من‭ ‬الوصول‭ ‬للاسباب‭ ‬التي‭ ‬ادت‭ ‬الى‭ ‬تلك‭ ‬الممارسات‭. ‬وتحد‭ ‬من‭ ‬قيمتها‭ ‬ايضا‭ ‬على‭ ‬حماية‭ ‬هؤولاء‭ ‬الذين‭ ‬ينخرطون‭ ‬ببرنامج‭ ‬الدخول‭ ‬العالمي‭ ‬والذي‭ ‬اصبح‭ ‬وبصورة‭ ‬مفاجئة‭ ‬غير‭ ‬مرغوب‭ ‬عند‭ ‬دائرة‭ ‬الجمارك‭ ‬والحدود‭ ‬الأمريكية‭. ‬