ACLU Comment on Reported CBP Directive Targeting Iranian Americans

January 30, 2020 4:30 pm

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NEW YORK — A reported U.S. Customs and Border Protection directive appears to show that the agency did, indeed, direct its officers to target travelers based on their national origin, and even interrogate them about their religion and beliefs, following the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Below is comment from Hugh Handeyside, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, in response:

“If this report is true, CBP has been caught in a lie. It appears the agency did, in fact, wrongly direct officers to target and detain travelers based on national origin, and interrogate them about their religion and beliefs. There is simply no justification for these CBP practices against travelers who present no security concern. The agency should immediately withdraw this directive, if genuine, and Congress should investigate and prevent these abuses.”

The ACLU and CUNY Law School CLEAR Project are currently suing CBP for more information about its secret Tactical Terrorism Response Teams, which have been targeting, detaining, and interrogating innocent travelers and were reportedly instructed to question travelers about their religion and beliefs.

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