Peace Arch crossing. (File photo)

Peace Arch crossing. (File photo)

Leaked memo directed CBP officers to vet Iranian-Americans at Peace Arch crossing

CBP says it doesn’t discriminate based on ethnicity

An apparent leaked internal memo from the Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations confirms that CBP officers were directed to vet anyone with Iranian background at the Peace Arch border earlier this month.

“CBP does not comment on leaked documents,” a CBP spokesperson told Peace Arch News Thursday, when asked for a response.

The memo was left inside a blank envelope at the office of Blaine-based immigration lawyer Len Saunders. Saunders provided the memo to PAN.

RELATED: 60+ people of Iranian background detained for up to 16 hours at Peace Arch crossing: Muslim group

On Jan. 4, at least 60 Americans of Iranian background were reportedly detained at Peace Arch border for up to 16 hours while heading back to the U.S. from a concert in Vancouver. The detention came shortly after the Iranian government pledged retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

The memo, which was issued by the Seattle Field Office, directs front line officers to vet all people born between 1961 and 2001 with links to Iran, whether that be their nationality or they had recently travelled to the country. It also directs CBP to vet Palestinians and Lebanese people that have travelled to/from Israel and Jordan.

RELATED: Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

The memo includes details about a secondary procedure to seek connection to extremist ideology; links to terrorism; criminality or associates to criminality; deceptive behaviors; and military.

“Even if they are not SHIA faith, anyone can state they are Baha’i, please question further to determine this is the case. When in doubt send for high side checks,” the memo states.

Following news reports of Iranian-Americans being held up at the border, CBP issued a statement to PAN saying that “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. Reports that (Department of Homeland Security/CBP) has issued a related directive are also false.”

RELATED: ‘They were targeting us’ : Iranian-Canadian held at U.S. border

The statement included background, adding that “CBP does not discriminate based on religion, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”

While CBP told PAN Thursday it will not comment on leaked documents, it said the matter is under investigation.

“At no time did DHS/CBP issue a directive to deny entry to any individual,” a CBP official wrote to PAN.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)
Surrey mayor taking it on the chin during budget public hearing

So far, he’s cut five callers off during Monday’s virtual meeting

The entrance at Fleetwood Villa in Surrey. (Photo: dignified.ca)
Fleetwood Villa resident tests positive for COVID-19, leading to ‘outbreak’ at facility

Fraser Health says it’s ‘critically important’ for people in the region to use COVID-19 assessment tool

A Surrey protest now in week 12 against a local resident has frayed the nerves of neighbours fed-up with the group’s presence. (Submitted photo)
Surrey neighbourhood fed-up with strange protest

Surrey Mounties say they’re monitoring the situation

Bhupinder Hundal. (submitted photo)
Surrey’s Bhupinder Hundal hired as news director of B.C. broadcaster

Grad of Princess Margaret Secondary now managing Global station

(Delta Police Department photo)
Scam-savvy North Delta couple help would-be victims avoid Bitcoin fraud

Mike’s Convenience Store owners have stopped several folks from being scammed at their Bitcoin ATM

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
Judge hears Langley development case that could end in mayor, councillors booted out of council

The conflict of interest case was launched by local voters a year ago

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Most Read