THE National Iranian American Council has filed a formal complaint with the Department of Homeland Security regarding a ‘’ very disturbing treatment’’ that some Iranians and Iranian Americans were subjected to by immigration authorities in Washington State.
The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – CAIR said Sunday that dozens of Iranians and Iranian Americans were detained, questioned about their political views and had their passports confiscated upon returning to the U.S. through Blaine, Washington, from a concert in Canada on Saturday.
Mona Zabihian, an Iranian American, who was returning to Washington State from Canada late Saturday said ‘’they asked if I was in the military or had anything to do with guns,” adding, “We were there from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Sunday.”
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union said it was monitoring the reports of increased screenings.
“The common thread here is that a large number of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents were subject to very disturbing treatment based apparently on their Iranian heritage,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s national security project, said.
“We have repeatedly seen people subjected to invasive questioning and sometimes prolonged detention based on national origin or perceived religion,” she said.