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Neighborhood House stands with Iranian community

January 7, 2020

Dear Neighborhood House,

I was shocked and saddened to learn about the events that occurred at the US-Canada
border over the weekend, in Blaine, Washington. Many Iranians and Iranian-Americans were
detained by US Customs and Border Protection for prolonged questioning as they were
looking to cross the border to return to their homes in the US. Civil rights organizations are
investigating this and assisting those who were affected, including local partners such as the
Northwest Immigrants Rights Project (NWIRP) and the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR).

These actions have been condemned by our governor, Jay Inslee, as well as many other
elected officials across our state and country. Neighborhood House joins them in
condemning this behavior by the US Customs and Border Protection, and we stand with our
community members here in King County and all over the nation who may be experiencing
threats.

Neighborhood House has served our immigrant and refugee communities for 114 years. We
have often been the first warm hand to reach across national, cultural, religious, and
linguistic differences to say “All are welcome. How can we help?” This tradition continues
today and we are proud to serve individuals from dozens of backgrounds, including many
clients from the cultures, peoples, and languages of Iran and the entire region. We stand
proudly with these communities, our staff, and our partners to reject the actions at the
border this weekend and continue our work to build Strong Families and Strong
Communities.

Below are links to resources from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

https://www.cair.com/KnowYourRights

https://www.cair.com/breaking_cair_wa_assisting_iranian_americans_detained_u_s_border

Janice Deguchi (she/her/hers)
Executive Director