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CBP officers instructed to target Iranian and Iranian-American travelers following U.S. assassination of General Soleimani

  1. Date Announced

    Jan. 5, 2020

    Seattle field office leaked memo shows CBP ordered to report and detain individuals of Iranian heritage, regardless of citizenship status. Press reports indicate that more than 60 Americans of Iranian descent, as well as numerous lawful permanent residents, were held at the US-Canadian border in secondary inspection and questioned at length based on DHS instructions. [ID #445]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Jan. 5, 2020
  3. Subsequent Action

    January 6, 2020

    House letter to CBP Acting Commissioner Morgan about detentions at Blaine, WA border crossing. For a MA letter of January 23, 2020, see

    January 6, 2020 Congressional inquiry letter to CBP
  4. Subsequent Action

    January 9, 2020 CBC: U.S. government civil rights watchdog investigating Canadian border stops
  5. Subsequent Action

    February 12, 2020 CBC: U.S. admits border officers wrongly detained Iranian-born travellers at Canada-U.S. border


CAIR-WA Assisting Iranian-Americans Detained at U.S. Border

The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) is assisting more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans of all ages who were detained at length and questioned at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Wash. 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.

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