Press Releases

Washington Democratic House Members Comment on Report that CBP Targeted Iranian-Americans

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Washington, D.C., January 31, 2020 | comments

Today, members of Washington’s Democratic delegation in the House of Representatives issued a joint statement after an internal memo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows Iranian-Americans and others were deliberately targeted for detainment at the Blaine Peace Arch crossing in early January. The Washington Democratic delegation includes Representatives Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Kim Schrier, M.D., Denny Heck, Adam Smith, and Pramila Jayapal.

“This latest news is deeply troubling and calls into question the honesty and transparency of CBP regarding these events. CBP denied that any directives were given ordering CBP officers to deliberately target Iranian-Americans and other people of Middle Eastern descent, even if they were proven to be U.S. citizens. We now know this is untrue.

“It is vital that CBP come clean about exactly what really happened over the weekend of January 4-5 at the border crossing in Blaine. Any effort to delay the full disclosure of the truth is an insult to the very people who were wrongly detained. We will continue to demand answers over what occurred and won’t stop until the civil rights of every single person in our state and our nation are respected.”

Up to 200 individuals of Iranian, Lebanese, and Palestinian descent were detained by CBP between January 4-5. In response, DelBene led a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting answers over what occurred at the Blaine border crossing.
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