Last night I had a look at CAIR’s twitter feed (you should all do that from time to time). It was very illuminating. They have been hollering for days about a slowdown in movement across the Washington State/Canada border due to Border Patrol doing a little extra checking of those who might pose harm to America.
By the way, in case CAIR and you have forgotten, the President’s travel ban is still in place and Iran is on the list, so checking Iranians right now is doubly important.
(I’ll have more to say about the travel ban at RRW in light of John Binder’s Breitbart post yesterday about how we are still taking refugees from banned countries.)
Here is one of CAIR’s featured outrage stories by their pals at Vox:
Nearly 200 Iranian Americans were detained at the US-Canada border
In recent days, as many as 200 people of Iranian descent, some of them US citizens, have been detained at the US-Canada border and questioned about their political views, family members, and work histories.
About 60 individuals, including American and Canadian citizens, were held for questioning about their “political views and allegiances” at the Canadian border in Blaine, Washington, on Saturday, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of Muslims in the US.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confiscated their passports and held some of them waiting rooms for as long as 10 hours, refusing to grant them entry to the US, according to CAIR.
By Monday, as many as 140 more people of Iranian descent had been detained at the border. They were repeatedly asked about their birthplaces, family members, schooling, and work histories.
But CBP also told Vox it’s operating with an “enhanced posture at its ports of entry to safeguard our national security” based on current threats to the US — which, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), could include an Iran-backed terrorist attack.
CBP agents have broad legal authority to detain and question individuals at ports of entry, but not to conduct interrogations for hours without cause.
Though Saturday’s detentions appeared to be a reaction to the recent escalation of tensions between the US and Iran, the administration had already made it difficult for Iranians to enter the US under President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which also affects nationals of six other countries deemed to be security threats.
In a statement, CAIR said that according to one of its sources at CBP, DHS had directed CBP officials to report and detain anyone of Iranian heritage attempting to enter the US if they were found to be “suspicious or adversarial, regardless of citizenship status.”
“These reports are extremely troubling and potentially constitute illegal detentions of United States citizens,” Masih Fouladi, executive director of CAIR’s Washington chapter, said.
Washington’s Democrat Governor Inslee joined CAIR in its criticism. He apparently is fine and dandy with unhindered traffic in and out of his state.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called CBP’s denial of the detentions “simply not credible.”
“These were detentions, and that is unacceptable,” Inslee said in a statement. “By all accounts, this is detention, regardless of whether the waiting area has bars on the windows.”
We should all breath a sigh of relief to know that extra scrutiny is happening at our border in light of recent fears that Iranians would exact revenge on us.