In the wake of recent military strikes carried out by the United States government on the orders of President Donald Trump and the subsequent attacks on US troops in Iraq, many have taken a particular interest in American-Islamic relations. And while some are might be well-founded and poised to repair any damage done between the two groups, others appear only to be interested in stirring up more issues and creating even more unrest among the people.
Such seems to be the case of the Washington state chapter of CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations. On Sunday, the group published a press release claiming that U.S. Customs and Border Protection or CBP were denying entry to any and all Iranian Americans at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington.
According to this division of CAIR, their anonymous source said that CBP was “issued a national order to report and detain anyone with Iranian heritage” coming into the United States. They used the story of one specific Iranian American as an example of this.
The press release stated:
“Crystal, a 24-year-old American citizen and medical student was allegedly detained and interrogated for more than 10 hours with her family at the Peace Arch Border Crossing before being released early this morning. ‘The vast majority of people being held last night were American citizens,’ said Crystal. “We kept asking why we were being detained and asked questions that had nothing to do with our reason for traveling and was told ‘I’m sorry this is just the wrong time for you guys.’”
Sources say that Crystal and her companions had attended an Iranian pop concert in Vancouver, Canada, and were traveling back from there.
The release continued, “A source at CBP reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has 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. CBP at the Peace Arch Border Crossing did not confirm or deny this report.”
Naturally and rightfully so, some were concerned with the so-called ‘national order’ after the press release and took to social media to voice their opinion on the matter.
One person tweeted, “BREAKING: US CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION NATIONALLY HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO DETAIN & ‘REPORT’ ALL IRANIANS ENTERING THE COUNTRY DEEMED POTENTIALLY SUSPICIOUS OR ‘ADVERSARIAL’ REGARDLESS OF CITIZENSHIP STATUS. 60+ Iranis held last night at the US/Canada border for 11+ hours.”
Notice the exaggeration at the end.
Members of Congress also took note of the situation.
Both Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Barbara Lee from California tweeted about the actions the press release alleged.
However, it seems none of these people decided actually to make sure this happened because Border Patrol says that no such national order was ever given or received. Furthermore, they claim that all social media posts and press releases about the incident are false and that someone has been badly misinformed.
CBP spokesman Mike Friel told The Hill, “Social media posts that CBP is detaining Iranian-Americans ad reusing 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 only thing that comes even remotely close to such an order comes from a Border Patrol source that told CBC’s Katie Nicholson that the agency is operating with “an enhanced posture at its port of entry,” which by the way is a fancy way of saying they are being overly cautious. And in times such as these, with political unrest on the domestic front and missiles being launched at American forces overseas, being excessively cautious seems to be a reasonable stance to take.
Nicholson went on to report that this increased security may affect “processing times,” just as staffing and traveler volumes may.
So it is likely that several American citizens were detained for several hours that night. It is also possible that a young woman named Crystal was one of them. And yes, she may have been of Iranian heritage. But as CAIR has so profoundly exhibited, you can’t believe everything you read, see, or are told.
And taking someone’s word at face value, especially when it incriminates the government like this, is extremely dangerous.
But that just goes to show you what CAIR is really about, they care about heritage more than this country, more than their freedom.