As the famous quote goes, “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
That was on full display this week as various Democrat politicians pushed hysterical claims about Iranian Americans being detained – based off of a twitter rumor from an activist.
The myth circulated from the twitter account “hodakatebi,” a self-described “political fashion writer” who once served as CAIR’s communications coordinator in Chicago. The fashionista “informed” us, in all caps, that “US CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION NATIONALLY HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO DETAIN & REPORT ALL IRANIANS ENTERING THE COUNTRY DEEMED POTENTIALLY SUSPICIOUS OR ADVERSARIAL REGARDLESS OF CITIZENSHIP STATUS.”
BREAKING: US CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION NATIONALLY HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO DETAIN & "REPORT" ALL IRANIANS ENTERING THE COUNTRY DEEMED POTENTIALLY SUSPICIOUS OR "ADVERSARIAL" REGARDLESS OF CITIZENSHIP STATUS. 60+ Iranis held last night at the US/Canada border for 11+ hrs / thread
— Hoda Katebi هدی کاتبی (@hodakatebi) January 5, 2020
As of writing, the tweet has been shared nearly 50,000 times. Border Patrol personally corrected the misinformation when the tweet had fewer than 20k retweets, and yet that didn’t stop it from spreading like wildfire. Nor did the correction seem to matter, as CBP was flooded by comments from liberals telling them they don’t believe them.
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.
— CBP (@CBP) January 5, 2020
Among those pushing the myth are members of our own government, i.e., those who ought to know better the most. Two House Democrats pushed the lie:
People of Iranian descent — including American citizens & green card holders — are reportedly being detained by CBP officials. We can’t let this stand.
If you or someone you know has been targeted or detained by CBP officials, please contact my district office at 510-763-0370.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) January 5, 2020
Deeply disturbed by reports that Iranian Americans, including U.S. citizens, are being detained at the Canadian border with WA State.
My office has been working on this all morning. Please contact us with information on directly affected people at WA07PJ_casework@mail.house.gov.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 5, 2020
As did at least one Democrat Congressional candidates:
"…regardless of citizenship"
American citizens are being detained without regard for their constitutional and civil rights.. this is another round of horrifying Stephen Miller hatemongering https://t.co/VoDE03ogFV
— Shannon4OH (@ShannonFreshour) January 5, 2020
And one Governor:
My office is closely tracking reports that Iranian Americans, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, have been detained at the WA-Canada border.
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) January 5, 2020
So what was this rumor based on, if anything?
As RedState notes “In reality, someone who happened to be of Iranian decent was given a secondary expectation at the Canadian border. That boils down to an increased inspection upon entry. This is not unusual and could have happened by sheer chance or simply because the threat level was higher after the embassy attack. No one was being ‘detained’ or denied entry based on nationality. But let’s even imagine Trump really was as devious as the left supposes and wanted to do this. The CBP would never follow through on such an order, nor would there be any expectation they’d get away with it. In other words, you’d have to be a freaking moron of the highest order to believe this conspiracy theory was true. You’d have to be even dumber to take the word of a CAIR apparatchik and then run to Twitter to spew such garbage.”
Those circulating this nonsense probably do know better – as evidenced by the fact that they’ve all kept their tweets up despite the truth being made evident. Their audiences are gullible, and they know their audiences well.