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PAAIA Thanks Members of Congress for Demanding Answers on Iranian Americans Detained at Border

Washington, DC The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) commends Representatives Susan DelBene (D-1st/WA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-7th/WA) for spearheading efforts on Capitol Hill in demanding answers from the Trump administration over the detainment of Iranian Americans and green-card holders at the Peace Arch Border Crossing this past weekend.

A letter, authored by Representative DelBene and signed by 70 Members of Congress, asks the Department of Homeland Security to explain why “Americans of Iranian descent” were held for secondary screenings with wait time of up to 12 hours and answer to whether the department had issues a directive to detain people of Iranian descent at the border. In a separate letter, Representative Jayapal asks the DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to produce any “directives, orders, guidance, instructions, musters, whether verbal or in writing,” issued to CBP regarding the screening of individuals of Iranian descent at the border.

Over the weekend, PAAIA initiated a coalition effort, which included the offices Representatives DelBene and Jayapal, to gather information and assist those who were held at the Washington border.  We thank them for their continued efforts on this matter as well as the work of Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib for helping bring attention to the detentions to Washington State congressional delegation.


January 8th, 2020

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