CBP says Iranian-Americans not being detained in US

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US Customs and Border Patrol

Iranian stem cell scientist Professor Massoud Soleimani detained in the US in October 2018, freed late in 2019

US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials have debunked a trending rumour circulating on social media claiming Iranian-Americans were being detained by CBP authorities at a border crossing in Blaine, Washington.

“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,” CBP spokesperson Mike Friel said in a statement.

“Reports that DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false,” he added.

A CBP official confirmed that border crossings have been subjected to increased security measures as a standard response to the increased threat environment caused by heightened tensions with Iran, and stressed that longer wait times were an unintended consequence for some travellers.

A viral statement from a spokesperson for Believers Bail Out, a group that provides financial support to incarcerated Muslim-Americans, circulated on Twitter Sunday afternoon saying that CBP officials had detained dozens of Iranian-Americans at the Blaine checkpoint as part of a new supposed order from the Trump administration.