Congressional Committees: Re Iranian-Americans Detained at Border

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Addie
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Congressional Committees: Re Iranian-Americans Detained at Border

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The Hill
House Dems demand answers regarding holding of Iranian-Americans at border

House Democrats sent a letter to the Trump administration Tuesday demanding answers over reports that up to 200 Iranian-Americans were sent for secondary screening and held for up to 12 hours at the Canadian border over the weekend.

The letter sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which was signed by six House Democrats who chair relevant committees or subcommittees, was intended to “express our alarm” over media reports about the detentions at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Wash. ...

The letter was signed by Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security Chairwoman Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.).

CBP pointed The Hill to past statements dismissing claims that Iranian-Americans specifically were targeted. The agency also noted that border crossings have generally been subjected to bolstered security measures in response to the increased threat environment surrounding rising tensions with Tehran. Officials noted that longer wait times were an unintended consequence for some travelers.

The reported screening and detention of Iranian-Americans comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran following a U.S. strike last week that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a powerful Iranian military figure who led the country's elite Quds Force.

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