Officials with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a Sunday night statement that rumors of the agency targeting and detaining Iranian-Americans following a nationwide order are completely false.
“Social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans and refusing their entry into the U.S. because of their country of origin are false,” said CBP spokesman Mike Friel in a statement, adding “Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false.”
Social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans and refusing their entry into the U.S. because of their country of origin are false. Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false.
— CBP (@CBP) January 5, 2020
The rumor appears to have originated from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which wrote in a Sunday report that “A source at CBP reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a national order to CBP to “report” and detain anyone with Iranian heritage entering the country who is deemed potentially suspicious or “adversarial,” regardless of citizenship status.”
CAIR also claims that over 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans were detained “at length” at the Peacd Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington, while “Many more were reportedly refused entry to the United States due to a lack of capacity for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to detain them.”
The rumor was reported in conjunction with Believers Bail Out, an organization which provides financial support to incarcerated Muslim Americans, per The Hill.
Spokeswoman Hoda Katebi tweeted the report on Sunday.
Press release pt 1 pic.twitter.com/g5qUawd0lq
— Hoda Katebi هدی کاتبی (@hodakatebi) January 5, 2020
As The Hill further notes, the unsupported claim was repeated by several prominent Democrats, including Reps. Pramila Jaypal (D-WA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA).
Deeply disturbed by reports that Iranian Americans, including U.S. citizens, are being detained at the Canadian border with WA State.
My office has been working on this all morning. Please contact us with information on directly affected people at WA07PJ_casework@mail.house.gov.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 5, 2020
People of Iranian descent — including American citizens & green card holders — are reportedly being detained by CBP officials. We can’t let this stand.
If you or someone you know has been targeted or detained by CBP officials, please contact my district office at 510-763-0370.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) January 5, 2020