Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Monday called reports that dozens of Canadian and American citizens faced hours of questioning at the U.S.-Canada border because of their Iranian heritage over the weekend "deeply alarming." Customs and Border Protection denies the allegations.

Driving the news: Civil rights group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it's been "assisting more than 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans of all ages who were detained at length and questioned at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Wash."

The allegations: "Those detained reported that their passports were confiscated and they were questioned about their political views and allegiances," CAIR said in a statement Sunday.

  • Sam Sadr, an Iranian-Canadian who traveled to the U.S. using his Canadian passport, told CTV Monday he saw "dozens of other Iranians held, including children" while he was stopped by agents at a U.S. border crossing in British Colombia for eight hours.
  • At a CAIR Washington news conference Monday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said there was a clear link to the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani last Friday and President Trump's subsequent action on Iran and the border delays.
"Clearly, many people were being processed through and the only people that seemed to be held aside and detained in some form or fashion were people of Iranian heritage."

What they're saying: Customs and Border Protection says it does not discriminate against anyone's religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. It said in a statement Sunday, "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 DHS/CBP has issued a related directive are also false."

  • Wait times at Blaine increased to an average of two hours on Saturday evening, though this was higher for some travelers, up to four hours, because of increased volume and reduced staff during the holiday season, according to CBP.
  • A CBP spokesman told Axios Monday there's a difference between a secondary inspection and detention. "It is possible that Canadian Iranians underwent secondary inspections," he said.

The big picture: CBP says it has stepped up procedures at its ports of entry for security based on the current threat environment.

Go deeper: "Axios on HBO" sits down with top CBP official

Go deeper

35 mins ago - Sports

Sports return stalked by coronavirus

Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Austin Meadows bumps elbows Friday during a workout at Tropicana Field. Photo: Kim Klement/USA Today Sports via Reuters

When MLB teams arrived at the ballpark this weekend for the first summer workouts of 2020, the comforting sounds of baseball brought smiles to players' faces.

Between the lines: Even the loudest crack of the bat couldn't mask the eerie silence or distract from the ever-present coronavirus threat.

239 scientists call on WHO to recognize coronavirus as airborne

People walk at the boardwalk in Venice Beach. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries is calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations to account for airborne transmission as a significant factor in how the coronavirus spreads, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The WHO has said the virus mainly spreads via large respiratory droplets that fall to the ground once they've been discharged in coughs and sneezes. But the scientists say evidence shows the virus can spread from smaller particles that linger in air indoors.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,294,859 — Total deaths: 531,419 — Total recoveries — 6,078,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.