Border Patrol denies claims of order to detain Iranian Americans

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials released a statement Sunday evening denying reports circulating on social media claiming Iranian Americans were being detained by CBP authorities at a border crossing in Blaine, Wash.

"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 spokesman Mike Friel said in a statement.

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

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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 travelers.

A viral statement from a spokeswoman 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 supposed new order from the Trump administration.

The claim was spread by a number of prominent Twitter accounts and at least two House Democrats, Reps. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa MORE (D-Wash.) and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOvernight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision White House threatens veto of House Iran bills This week: Senate barrels toward showdown on impeachment witnesses MORE (D-Calif.).