Washington officials investigating claims of Border Patrol detaining Iranian-Americans in Blaine

The Olympia Statehouse

Washington state officials are investigating claims that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is detaining Iranian Americans at the Washington-Canada border.

The Washington chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported in a press release that they were helping more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans, many of whom were U.S. citizens. The organization alleged that the people were being detained and questioned at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine.

They also said that CBP was refusing Iranian-Americans entry due to a lack of capacity for them to be detained.

These residents were reportedly returning across the border from an Iranian pop concert in Vancouver, Canada. According to CAIR, people who were detained said that their passports were confiscated and they were questioned about their political views.

Customs and Border Protection is disputing these allegations, saying that they ordered no such directive to detain or refuse entry to Iranians and Iranian-Americans.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib said they received several reports of the detainments, and were investigating. Inslee said that the Department of Homeland Security informed him that they did not order any directives to refuse entry or detain anyone at the border.

This is a developing story.