Connect with us


CBP Is Detaining and Questioning Iranian-Americans – Possibly Violating Their Constitutional Rights – And Denying It



In the wake of President Donald Trump’s assassination of a top Iranian general, reports flooded social media with incidents of Iranian-Americans being detained at the U.S. border, having their passports held from them, and questioned for hours. U.S. Customs and Border Protection denied the allegations on Sunday, despite some charges being made by at least one U.S. Congresswoman. CBP on Monday again denied the allegations despite more claims surfacing.

It appears CBP’s denials are false.

The New York Times on Tuesday reports that possibly hundreds of Iranian-Americans have been detained and questioned over the weekend in Washington state, which very likely could be a violation of their constitutional rights.

“Up to 200 people were held by border agents, with some of them reportedly asked to share their opinions about the situation in Iran and Iraq.” One was “asked whether she was part of any cult or Shiite Muslim organization.”

The L.A. Times adds that some families were detained overnight for five hours, and one family for 12 hours. One woman who was traveling with her young children says she was told it was a “new procedure,” adding, “I felt like we were in jail, detained for so many hours.”

The  questions allegedly asked are not only intrusive but possibly illegal. Advocates at a news conference said some of the detained U.S. citizens were asked how they felt about the U.S. and what was happening in Iran, the NY Times reported.

Noting that some of the questions appeared to violate First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project director, Hina Shamsi, said: “United States citizens and legal permanent residents do not have to answer questions about their political views or religious views and practices, and cannot be denied entry into the United States for declining to answer these questions.”

Washington’s Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is speaking out.

“I don’t think there’s any reason that is rational — and certainly constitutional — to target people based on the place of their birth,” Inslee told the Times. “It’s pretty clear that that’s what they did here.”


Image by U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Flickr

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.