On Friday, the largest bus company in the United States, Greyhound, announced that it will no longer allow Border Patrol agents that do not have a warrant to board their buses for routine immigration checks.
Greyhound made the announcement just days after The Associated Press published a story on a Border Patrol memo that had been leaked, The memo confirmed that Border Patrol agents had no legal right to board private buses without the permission of the bus company.
Greyhound sent out a statement through email clarifying that the company would be notifying the Department of Homeland Security that it would no longer consent to any unwarranted searches on its buses or in terminals that are not open to the general public.
Greyhound added that it would be providing its drivers and station employees with training for the new policy. It also shared that it would be placing stickers on all of its buses that would clearly state that searches without consent are prohibited without a warrant.
Greyhound had been previously pressured by the American Civil Liberties Union, immigrant rights activists and the Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to put a stop to immigration sweeps on their buses that are within 100 miles of a coastline or international border. This practice has become common under Donald Trump.
Greyhound isn’t the first bus company to take this stand. Jefferson Lines, which is active in 14 states, as well as MTRWestern, have also made it clear they will not give consent to agents to board buses for immigration checks.
The leaked memo shared by the Associated Press confirmed that the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment prevents Border Patrol agents from boarding buses and questioning any 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.”