Border Patrol Officers routinely board buses without a warrant, with no specific people to target, up to 100 miles from the border – and ask passengers for their papers. Greyhound, the country's largest intercity bus line, has the border patrol do that and is not planning to stop.
Greyhound officials say they are only following the law. But 10 ACLU affiliates argue that Greyhound has the right ̵
They believe Greyhound could fight for and win for his rights. But first they have to convince the company to give it a try.
"The point is not to give your consent," said Jordan Wells, attorney for the New York Civil Liberties Union. "If Border Patrol then says," You know what, we do not even need their approval, we're just going to do that stuff, "that would hurt the Constitution, but we, the public, do not get this conversation about whether that's constitutional, when Greyhound sells the game by saying, "We agree, so it's alright."
The Busy Tactics to Ask Passengers for Papers This is not new to the Trump administration, but immigration lawyers say this happens more frequently as the president tries to arrest and deport more immigrants In January, people outraged when a Greyhound passenger submitted a video by Border Patrol in which of every passenger in the It was not only buses: Border Patrol also interviewed passengers in Amtrak trains, and last year called for Customs and Border Chutzagenten passengers on a flight show ID when left a domestic flight . This does not apply to buses, trains or flights to the US. It happens when people travel from one place to another in the US
Customs and Border Patrol, which also includes Border Patrol, says it's all in its responsibility. A spokesman quoted a statute stating that immigration officers "get in and out of the ship at a reasonable distance from the border and without an arrest warrant". The CBP spokesman declined to elaborate on whether the agency needed a probable cause or suspicion of boarding and requesting passenger documents.
Government regulations stipulate that "reasonable distance" as up to 100 miles from the border including the land and coastal CBP authority over an area that includes nine of the 10 largest metropolitan areas, covers two-thirds the entire US population.
A Greyhound spokesman has sent out a list of statutes and regulations in which he has to admit the border patrol on the buses when officials ask.
"Greyhound must abide by the law," the spokesman said last month after the ACLU wrote to the company requesting that they stop letting Border Patrol on board without a warrant. "We recognize that routine transportation controls will not only affect our operations, but also our customers' travel experiences, and will continue to do everything possible to minimize negative experiences."
The question is whether the document violates the fourth supplement, which protects individuals from inappropriate searches and seizures. The ACLU argues that CBP violates individuals' rights when, for example, it stops passengers on an airplane from alighting while interrogating them, or demanding papers from bus passengers far from the border, based on a meager suspicion or at all.
Greyhound is not "f under the law, they facilitate a violation of the law" said Cecillia Wang, Deputy Director of National ACLU.
Legal experts agreed that Greyhound's rights are being violated, which is likely to have to be answered in court or by Congress.
The border patrol has considerable authority to interrogate people within their parameters of a "reasonable" distance from the border, unless this happens in a discriminatory manner. This also includes asking bus passengers for papers, even though it's "definitely unappetizing," said Greg Doucette, a North Carolina-based defense attorney.
Courts have approved authoritarian stops of cars from the border patrol. The Supreme Court ruled in 1976 in the case U.S. against Martinez-Fuerte that checkpoints on roads a distance from the border, where every car is stopped for a brief interrogation, were not a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
But there are some limits. The Supreme Court has ruled that Border Guard prevents border patrols from searching private vehicles outside the border without probable cause or consent.
Greyhound agrees to the searches instead of trying to challenge a fourth change. Many legal experts said they were not sure if the company could prevail if it tried to say no. Kristie De Peña, director of immigration in the think tank at the Libertarian Niskanen Center, said that if bus drivers demanded an arrest warrant, they would simply "drive agents crazy" and they would probably not succeed in asserting their rights in court. If Greyhound wanted to go against the searches, perhaps arguing that the Border Patrol was trying to penetrate non-public areas on routes far from the border might well take root, but current legislation suggests that this is unlikely to happen the case would be successful, De Peña said.
Others believed Greyhound could win in court. Some cited the fact that buses, being only for passengers with tickets, are a non-public area of a business. Greyhound could also argue that the Border Patrol is damaging their businesses, said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF.
"If I were Greyhound, I would certainly understand that this poses a threat to my business and I would test it and I would say no and take it where it belongs," said Saenz.
Anil Kalhan, a professor at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University, compared the matter to Apple resisting the FBI request to gain access to a locked iPhone. Greyhound could similarly comment on the privacy of its customers, he said, and could win in court, though he warned that this was not guaranteed.
Greyhound tries to say "that they are not making an affirmative decision here, that they agree that the CBP is coming because they have to, and that's not the case," Kalhan said. "I think that obscures the fact that they make that choice."