Press Releases

DelBene Issues Statement on Meeting with CBP Officials

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Washington, D.C., February 3, 2020 | comments

Today, Congresswoman DelBene and Congresswoman Jayapal met with officials from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to discuss the multiple cases of Iranian Americans being detained and questioned at length while entering the US from Canada at the Blaine Peace Arch crossing in January and the recently leaked CBP memo directing CBP agents to discriminate specifically against individuals of Iranian descent.

“We met with the Director of Field Operations and Chief of Staff of the Seattle Field Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about the detention of American citizens who are of Iranian descent. The Director reported that the agency made mistakes and there are two investigations ongoing,” said DelBene. “CPB acknowledged that it is unlawful to single people out based on their heritage alone. It is disappointing that CBP officials were not honest about the incidents in Blaine when we first reached out to them with questions. I will continue to work to ensure that rights of all Americans are protected and that measures are taken to prevent this situation from happening again.”

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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