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Bus searches lead to immigration detention, protests in New York

Advocates recently held a national protest against a major bus company claiming that they are allowing travelers to be disrupted by federal officials. Chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union collaborated to speak out against Greyhound Bus Lines' policy of allowing border patrol agents to board buses and question passengers about their immigration status. The message from the ACLU says that, in New York, the bus raids unfairly target people of color and result in people who are in compliance with the law to be sent to immigration detention

Local groups claim that border patrol agents have been observed targeting groups of Hispanic people for interrogation. The advocates claim that the bus riders are being singled out for racial profiling and harassment and that the policy must end. The Greyhound spokesperson has addressed the ACLU's letter, saying that they intend to continue to comply with the federal agency and that the practice is not uncommon or illegal. The company has expressed a desire to try to balance cooperation with law enforcement with the privacy of its customers. 

New York has recently seen more protests regarding detention. One case that made the news was a traffic stop that led to the detention of two Guatemalans. Another case involves a young person with significant disabilities who is now being held in a detention center. 

The mayor of the city of Rochester, New York, has expressed sympathy for the plight of immigrants and maintains that the location is a sanctuary city. The city cannot impede the actions of a federal enforcement agency and will not act to stop deportation arrests. A person in immigration detention in the state may have to take certain steps to be released back into the community. An experienced and knowledgeable immigration law attorney can help a person follow the required steps to try to seek release from detention. 

Source:, "Greyhound hears immigration protests over bus searches", Justin Murphy, March 22, 2018

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