A cellphone video shot on board a Greyhound bus last week showed Border Patrol agents in Florida arresting a 60+ year old Jamaican woman who had overstayed her tourist visa and then ordering the other passengers to produce proofs of citizenship.
The footage was taken at a bus stop in Fort Lauderdale at around 4.30pm on Friday. The bus was traveling from Orlando to Miami when the driver announced they would be performing a ‘routine inspection.’
The video was upload to the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) Twitter page, where it has gone viral and attracted widespread condemnation.
.@CustomsBorder got on a Greyhound bus yesterday at 4:30pm in Fort Lauderdale and asked every passenger for their papers and to prove citizenship. Proof of citizenship is NOT required to ride a bus! For more information about your rights, call our hotline👉 1-888-600-5762 pic.twitter.com/rWJn61o8VP
— Florida Immigrant Coalition (@FLImmigrant) January 20, 2018
According to official releases, the elderly woman known only by her first name Beverly, came to the country legally with a visitor’s and was in Orlando visiting her daughter-in-law and granddaughter whom she had just met for the first time. Her daughter-in-law had put her on the bus so she could return to stay with a friend in Miami.
During the search, it was revealed that Beverly had overstayed her visa which subsequently led to her being arrested and brought to the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, Florida, where she is awaiting removal proceedings.
To date, family members have not be able to speak with her and has not been notified by Immigration officials that their relative had been detained by Border Patrol Agents. In a Twitter response to widespread condemnation from the public, Border Patrol on Tuesday released a statement confirming the incident.
FACT: Immigration law states that Immigration Officers, without a warrant, 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”. pic.twitter.com/zxCYHBA7bQ
— CBP (@CBP) January 23, 2018
Greyhound has also come under fire for being complicit and not standing up for its passengers by refusing these random searches by Immigration officials.
My mother-in-law came to visit me last week. 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. – Woman’s daughter-in-law in a statement to FLIC.
Story adapted from The Daily Mail. You can read more at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5304183/Border-Patrol-agents-arrest-woman-board-Greyhound-bus.html#ixzz557LPPT5a