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SPLC Statement on the Detainment of Iranians and Iranian Americans

The following statement is by Southern Poverty Law Center Interim President and CEO Karen Baynes-Dunning following reports that Iranians and Iranian Americans are being detained and questioned at U.S. ports of entry:

“Reports that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is detaining and questioning Iranian Americans is in direct violation of their constitutional rights, and every single one of us should be alarmed.

“Since day one, the Trump administration has used fear to target black and brown communities, and it continues as Iranians and Iranian Americans are being held at ports of entry for hours and asked about their beliefs.

“We cannot sit by and watch as this administration uses fearmongering as a weapon to strip men and women of their dignity and their rights just as the nation did during World War II with the Japanese and Japanese Americans.

“The treatment of Iranians and Iranian Americans is reminiscent of that shameful chapter in our nation’s history, and we must do everything we can to ensure it is stopped.”

Photo by Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez