Greyhound will no longer allow U.S. Border Patrol agents to conduct routine immigration checks on its buses without a warrant, the company said Friday.
“Our primary concern is the safety of our customers and team members, and we are confident these changes will lead to an improved experience for all parties involved,” the emailed statement read, according to Fox 6.
The company said it would notify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of its refusal to consent to “unwarranted searches on its buses or in areas of terminals that are not open to the public — such as company offices or any areas a person needs a ticket to access.”
Greyhound stated that its employees will receive updated training regarding the policies, adding that stickers declaring its non-consent would be fixed on all buses.
In April, a Washington state official banned the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency from using the King County International Airport to deport illegal aliens, Breitbart News reported.
King County Executive Dow Constantine said his decision to implement the ban was because the county “respects the rights of all people,” adding, “My Executive Order seeks to make sure all those who do business with King County uphold the same values.”
February 14, the Associated Press (AP) reported that bus companies were not required to allow agents to perform routine checks on buses, according to a memo by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
However, Greyhound previously said it was subject to the searches under federal law.
The report continued:
The memo obtained by the AP was dated Jan. 28, addressed to all chief patrol agents and signed by then-Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost just before she retired. It confirms the legal position that Greyhound’s critics have taken: that the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment prevents agents from boarding buses and questioning passengers without a warrant or the consent of the company.
“When transportation checks occur on a bus at non-checkpoint locations, the agent must demonstrate that he or she gained access to the bus with the consent of the company’s owner or one of the company’s employees,” the memo states. An agent’s actions while on the bus “would not cause a reasonable person to believe that he or she is unable to terminate the encounter with the agent.”
Andrea Flores, deputy director of policy for the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Equality Division, recently praised the bus company for its decision to not allow the searches.
“We are pleased to see Greyhound clearly communicate that it does not consent to racial profiling and harassment on its buses. By protecting its customers and employees, Greyhound is sending a message that it prioritizes the communities it serves,” she concluded.