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CAIR claims Iranian-Americans detained, questioned at border. Government says they're not telling the truth.

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'Those detained reported that their passports were confiscated...'

SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images

Customs and Border Protection has responded to allegations that Border Patrol agents detailed Iranian-Americans for questioning at American ports of entry over the weekend.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' Washington state chapter claimed in a news release that it was "assisting more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans of all ages who were detained at length and questioned" at a American-Canadian border crossing over the weekend.

"Those detained reported that their passports were confiscated and they were questioned about their political views and allegiances," CAIR claimed.

The organization, which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the infamous Holy Land Foundation case, further alleged that the Department of Homeland Security "issued a national order to CBP to 'report' and detain anyone with Iranian heritage entering the country who is deemed potentially suspicious or 'adversarial,' regardless of citizenship status."

The media subsequently published CAIR's allegations:

  • Politico: "Border stops for people of Iranian descent spark outrage"
  • NBC News: "Iranian Americans say they were questioned and held by immigration officials"
  • The Daily Beast: "Iranian Americans Detained When Entering U.S., Says Rights Group"
  • Al-Jazeera: "Iranians detained, asked about political views at US border: CAIR"
  • KIRO-TV: "Dozens of Iranian-Americans reportedly stopped and questioned for hours at Washington-Canada border"

According to the government, CAIR is not telling the truth.

CBP, which has oversight over the Border Patrol, said Sunday that there was no directive to detain and question Iranian-Americans. The agency also denied CAIR's claim that Iranian-Americans were detained or refused entry into the U.S.

"Social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans and refusing their entry into the U.S. because of their country of origin are false. Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false," the agency said.

CAIR's claim was made as tensions between Iran and the U.S. escalate following President Donald Trump's authorization of an airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top military leader and terrorist.

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