Press Releases

DelBene Continues to Demand Answers from CBP on Iranian Detentions at Border

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Washington, D.C., August 21, 2020 | comments

Following a briefing by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials on the investigation into the detainment and interrogation of Iranians and Iranian Americans at the Peach Arch Border Crossing in January, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) issued following statement.

“In early January of this year, I received reports of more than 60 people of Iranian descent being held for abnormally long periods of time – in some cases up to 12 hours – at the Peace Arch Border crossing. Since then, I have been demanding transparency and answers from CBP and DHS to fully understand what happened and ensure that this kind of discriminatory process does not happen again.

“After yesterday’s briefing with CBP my questions remain unanswered. I believe that CBP is taking this matter seriously, but I have not received direct answers as to whether the agency has determined if civil rights were violated and if those in charge are being held accountable. It is unacceptable that after seven months there are still lingering questions. I will continue to demand answers until we can be confident that practices like these will never be put in place again.”

On January 5, the New York Times reported that dozens of Iranians and Iranian-Americans were held at Washington state’s border with Canada for hours, and many were subjected to additional questioning on their political views and allegiances.

On January 8, DelBene led 70 Members of Congress in a letter to DHS demanding more information on the detention of Iranian Americans at the border. Read the full letter here
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