Over 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans detained at Peace Arch, US CBP is denying the claims made
- Blaine, WA/ Surrey B.C.
Over 60 iranian and Iranian-Americans were detained at the Peace Arch Border Crossing Sunday afternoon on the United States side. The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says it is assisting more than 60 Iranian nationals and American citizens who were "detained at length and questioned" at Peace Arch border crossing as they tried to enter the United States after visiting British Columbia.
In a press release, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it had spoken to people who had been detained who said they were "questioned about their political views and allegiances" and held for more than 10 hours.
The organization also claims to have information from a source at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol who
"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."
Washington Governor Jay Inslee tweeted on Sunday that his office is tracking reports that Iranian Americans who are U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents are being detained at the U.S. - Canada border.
"My office is closely tracking reports that Iranian Americans, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, have been detained at the WA-Canada border," Inslee tweeted Sunday afternoon.
Cyrus Habib, the Lieutenant Governor of Washington, said on Twitter that
"our office is receiving reports of Iranian Americans being held up at the Canada-WA border. We are working to help those being affected & gathering info."
The detainment follows the high growing tensions between the United States and Iran. The tensions have quickly escalated following Trump -- a president wary of war who promised to end American conflicts overseas called out a drone strike killing Iran's military leader Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
During the detainment at the Washington/British Columbia border, The United States CBP has been denying the claims of the detainment. The agency also said it's false that a directive has been issued related to denying Iranian Americans entry.