View Full Version : Border agent arrest aboard Greyhound bus triggers outcry

The Bobster
01-23-2018, 09:51 AM

Border agent arrest aboard Greyhound bus triggers outcry
By Joshua Rhett Miller
January 23, 2018 | 10:51am | Updated

A woman from Jamaica who overstayed her tourist visa was removed from a Greyhound bus in Florida by border agents who allegedly asked riders to provide identification — prompting an outcry from traitorous immigration advocates who questioned the legality of the inspection. :mad:

The Florida Immigrant Coalition posted video of the Friday encounter on its Facebook page Saturday. The 2-minute clip shows two uniformed US Border Patrol officers taking a woman into custody as shocked passengers :eek: look on during a stop along the Orlando-to-Miami route.

“This is new?” one woman asks another passenger.

“I’m offended :mad:,” said another passenger, who apparently took out her phone to document the incident. “Legitimately.”

The woman is then led off the bus after one of the officers removed her luggage from an overhead bin. She was later arrested and transported to a Border Patrol station before being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for removal proceedings, Border Patrol officials confirmed to the Miami Herald in a statement.

“On [Friday], while performing an immigration inspection at a Ft. Lauderdale bus station, Border Patrol agents identified a passenger who was illegally residing in the United States,” the statement read. “The subject was an adult female that had overstayed her tourist visa.”

The Border Patrol agents also demanded proof of citizenship from all passengers on the bus during what was billed as a “routine inspection,” according to the immigrant group.

“Incidents like these erode public trust in police and authority figures whose job is to serve and protect our communities :confused:,” the group’s membership director, Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, said in a statement. “Without an official judicial warrant, border patrol agents should not be permitted to board the private property of the Greyhound corporation to harass its customers and violate their civil liberties. Floridians deserve to ride a bus in peace without having to carry a birth certificate or passport to go to Disney world, visit family, or commute for work.”

The woman — a Jamaican national in her 60s — was planning to stay with a friend in Florida after visiting her daughter-in-law in Virginia, Sousa-Rodriguez told the Washington Post. After being dropped off at a Greyhound bus station in Richmond on Friday, the woman had not been heard from again. She’s now being held at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach. Her daughter-in-law has been unable to reach her, Sousa-Rodriguez said.

“My mother-in-law came to visit me last week,” the woman’s daughter-in-law said in a statement to the immigrant group. “She’s my daughter’s grandmother and this was the first time meeting each other. I dropped her off at the Greyhound bus stop Friday morning and never got word of her arrival. I’m very concerned about these officers questioning her without a lawyer present.”

But Border Patrol officials confirmed to the Miami Herald in an email that its officers were indeed seen on the video and cited parts of federal law detailing the powers of immigration officers and employees. The email did not, however, address claims that the agents asked everyone on board for proof of citizenship. One passenger on the bus, Raquel Quesada, told CBS Miami that “everyone” on board had to show US identification or a passport.

The Miami Herald also noted that what might appear to be a violation of the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment :rolleyes: — which protects against unreasonable search and seizure — has been common Border Patrol practice for more than a decade, citing a 2005 story in which an anti-Castro militant dodged agents who boarded a Greyhound bus.

“US Border Patrol officers periodically board interstate buses and trains to check the immigration papers of foreign nationals,” according to the 2005 Herald article. :eek:

Greyhound, meanwhile, said in a statement that it’s required to comply with all local, state and federal laws and to cooperate with relevant law enforcement agencies if they ask to board its buses or enter stations.

“Unfortunately, even routine transportation checks negatively impact our operations and some customers directly,” the statement reads. “We encourage anyone with concerns about what happened to reach out directly to these agencies. Greyhound will also reach out to the agencies to see if there is anything we can do on our end to minimize any negative effect of this process.”

US Customs and Border Protection officials later released a statement on Twitter Tuesday indicating that immigration officers may “within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the US … board and search for aliens in any vessel, rail car, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle” without a warrant. :D