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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

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
6 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”