SEATTLE – After the attacks between the U.S. and Iran, there is growing concern over some people that their civil rights are being infringed upon.
Over the weekend, it was reported dozens of Iranian Americans were detained at the Canadian border, some for as long as 11 hours. Customs and Border Patrol continues to deny the claims.
Jorge Baron, Executive Director of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, personally went up to the border in Blaine after hearing reports of Iranian Americans being detained.
More than 100 people with ties to Iran were subjected to prolonged question and detention regardless of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status, according to Baron.
He also says the incident at the border combined with the standing travel ban is raising deeper concern for people with roots in the Middle East.
Baron said a young woman is choosing not to share her story of being held for hours by border patrol agents out of fear it could impact her pending citizenship application.
“She was very worried, because she said I don’t want to speak up and have my name be out there when I’m applying for citizenship. I’m worried that they’re going to deny me citizenship and so there’s absolutely a heightened sense of concern of what the future is going to hold,” said Baron.
That concern is shared with local community members.
The host of KEXP’s Wo’Pop Darek Mazzone used his platform Tuesday night to share the Iranian culture through music.
Throughout his three hour show, all genres of music including hip hop, classical, indie and blues were played.
“These are people and they have cultures, and they care for their children, and they express themselves in many ways and this is one of the most ancient cultures on the planet. This is Persia, and I want people to think about this as the news changes that these people create music, they create art, they create cinema,” said Mazzone.
Mazzone said it’s especially during difficult times, people’s voices and culture need to be heard.