The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection made a surprising admission this week about the agency's Seattle field office.
Last month, officers at a border crossing there pulled aside hundreds of Iranian-Americans — including U.S citizens and green card holders — and held them for hours.
"In that specific office," acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan said at a briefing with reporters in Washington, "leadership just got a little overzealous."
At the time, tensions with Iran were rising after the U.S. air strike that killed a top Iranian general. And field offices had been told to be vigilant. But Morgan says they were not instructed to hold and question everyone from Iran.
"That was not in line with our direction. And so that was immediately corrected," Morgan said. "And it was very unique to that one sector."
But immigrant advocates say this was not an isolated mistake.
Across the country, they say, Customs and Border Protection officers are targeting travelers for extra scrutiny — particularly travelers from Iran and the Middle East, many coming here for school.
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