Leaked memo had CBP agents hold Iranian travelers for questioning
A leaked memo from Customs and Border Protection appears to direct officers at Canadian ports of entry to stop travelers of Iranian descent- including American citizens- and question them about their politics and religion.
The leak came out of the Seattle CBP Office.
When it happened earlier in January, the CBP angrily denied that it was doing such a thing.
Right after the US killed a top Iranian general in Iraq, dozens of people trying to enter the United States through Blaine, Washington, were detained.
The memo states anyone born in Iran, Lebanon, or the Palestinian territories between 1961 and 2001 should be vetted, along with anyone who has connections to those places.
Some travelers were held for hours and said they were asked detailed questions about their country of birth, as well as their religion and military service.
Others say their passports and car keys were taken by officers during questioning.
Field Operations Director for Customs Dan Tacier made comments at a news conference in Washington DC, saying first “that scenario is under investigation,” and adding “there is no policy, there is no rule that would permit us to target or stop individuals based on their nationality alone.”
The National Iranian American Council filed a formal complaint with the Department of Homeland Security about the detentions in Blaine.
The organization says the Office for Civil Rights and Liberties told them they’re now investigating.
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