U.S. Citizens from Iran Stopped and Questioned

Alyssa Hernandez, Writer

Alyssa Hernandez 

Mrs. Seltzer 

Journalism 1 

7 Jan 2020 

U.S. Citizens from Iran Stopped and Questioned 

While returning from a concert in Canada, five Iranian-born U.S. Citizens were stopped and questioned, due to the recent conflicts the U.S. has had with Iran. The group was sent to secondary inspection, they waited in a room not fit to hold numerous people for what seemed like hours. When CBP (Custom & Border Protection) finally got to one of the members in the group, Mona Zabihian, was asked a series of questions. “They wanted to know the names of all my immediate family members, their birthdates, their location, and their occupations. They asked when was the last time I visited Iran.” Zabihian told Buzzfeed News. All Zabihian wanted to do was go to a concert with a couple of her friends and then come back home, I’m sure she wasn’t expecting to come back and be questioned for being Iranian, her background, something she didn’t choose and cannot change. It’s her life.  

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a national to report and detain anyone with Iranian heritage. Most of these people being questioned have gone through the long hard process of becoming a U.S. Citizen, but are now being stopped and held for hours in a room not fit to hold many people, forcing some to have to sit on the floor holding their kids telling them everything will be okay. All these Citizens with Iranian heritages are being stopped and deemed as potentially suspicious 

It’s understandable for the DHS and CBP to want to protect the American people, but it should not be at the cost of someone else’s civil rights. “Yeah you picked the wrong time to travel. Haven’t you seen the news?” a CBP agent, Halbawy, said to one of the individuals being detained. Those with Iranian background are supposed to put their life on hold to make others feel safe? Though DHS and CBP are trying to protect American people by holding people who they deem suspicious, they don’t stop to think how these are American citizens, they got their citizenship and have contributed to society. They have rights and don’t deserve to be held for hours on top of hours when all they wish is to get back to their families. Those who sent out the order to detain anyone with Iranian background and seemed suspicious are targeting and isolating a community that is part of our society. They are bringing up deep roots of discrimination. Despite continuously asking why they were being held and being asked multiple questions that had nothing to do with them trying to get back into the U.S., officials only answer was that it was the wrong time for people of their background to be traveling 

With everything America is going through you would think this would be the time we try to be a united front and act as one. If we all have our heads in the wrong place, we won’t be as strong, and we’ll fall apart before the possible war even happens.  

Sources: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/adolfoflores/us-citizens-from-iran-were-stopped-and-questioned-at-the-us