Greyhound Lines will no longer allow Border Patrol agents to conduct immigration checks on its buses without warrants, the company said on Friday — one week after a leaked memo revealed that agents could not board buses without consent.
For years, Greyhound, the largest bus company in America, had been allowing border agents to board its vehicles without warrants, citing a law that it said it didn’t agree with.
“C.B.P. searches have negatively impacted both our customers and our operations,” the company said in 2018, referring to Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol’s parent agency. “Greyhound does not coordinate with C.B.P., nor do we support these actions.”
But in a leaked Customs and Border Protection memo that was reported by The Associated Press, the Border Patrol chief confirmed that agents were prohibited from boarding buses and questioning passengers without warrants or the company’s consent.
“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,” Chief Carla Provost wrote in the memo, which was dated Jan. 28.
In a statement on Saturday, a Customs and Border Protection official said that while the agency “does not comment on materials asserted to be leaked internal memos, management regularly disseminates information to reinforce existing protocols.”
The official did not directly address Greyhound’s change but added that “enforcement operations away from the immediate border are performed consistent with law and in direct support of immediate border enforcement efforts, and such operations function as a means of preventing smuggling and other criminal organizations from exploitation of existing transportation hubs to travel further into the United States.”
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SOURCE: The New York Times, Johnny Diaz