Travelers across the country hail Greyhound buses as an affordable and convenient mode of transportation. But lately passengers have been seeing a lot more than scenery on their bus ride.
A mass deportation crusade at the bus station
For months U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been staking out bus stations and boarding Greyhounds in a mass deportation crusade. The agents have reportedly been targeting passengers based on their race, language and even clothing. In one instance immigration employees stopped a passenger because his “shoes looked suspicious.”
These types of suspicionless stops demonstrate the broad leeway that federal agents have when it comes down to tracking undocumented passengers. Are these types of stops legal?
ACLU urges greyhound to protect passengers’ privacy
Affiliates from The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 10 states wrote a letter urging the bus company to deny immigration agents from boarding. The affiliates request that Greyhound asserts their constitutional rights and protect the privacy of their passengers by denying government agents entry. The letter goes on to say that Greyhound buses are not public areas and that the company has a right to refuse warrantless searches.
A spokesperson from the company responded to the letter last week. She stated that the company will continue to comply with Border Control requests.
The federal government believes that these types of searches are in American citizens’ best interest. But are Americans willing to sacrifice their rights to find and deport undocumented residents? Do the searches undermine the protections provided by the U.S. Constitution?
Whatever the case may be it’s important that you know your rights to protect yourself from being unlawfully searched and detained during your next Greyhound ride.