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Greyhound Settle suit against its policy of letting ICE onboard

Rhea

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https://www.npr.org/2021/09/27/1040968238/greyhound-warrantless-searches-lawsuit-settlement

SPOKANE, Wash. — Greyhound Lines Inc. will pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit over the bus line's practice of allowing U.S. Customs & Border Protection agents to board its buses in Washington state to conduct warrantless immigration sweeps, the state attorney general said Monday.

The bus company failed to warn customers of the sweeps, misrepresented its role in allowing the sweeps to occur and subjected its passengers to discrimination based on skin color or national origin, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.


So glad to see this. It’s Washington, but I expect it will affect their behavior in other states as well.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Good, but I don't think they were really at fault in the first place. It's the sort of situation where saying no can cause problems. Now, with a lawsuit to point to they'll be able to say no more effectively.
 

atrib

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Good, but I don't think they were really at fault in the first place. It's the sort of situation where saying no can cause problems. Now, with a lawsuit to point to they'll be able to say no more effectively.

They were at fault - they actively cooperated with the government's efforts to violate the civil rights of paying customers. They were not legally required to cooperate, they thought they could get away with it because many of the said customers don't have the financial resources to take them to court.
 

TomC

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Good, but I don't think they were really at fault in the first place. It's the sort of situation where saying no can cause problems. Now, with a lawsuit to point to they'll be able to say no more effectively.

They were at fault - they actively cooperated with the government's efforts to violate the civil rights of paying customers. They were not legally required to cooperate, they thought they could get away with it because many of the said customers don't have the financial resources to take them to court.

I'm no lawyer, but the legal issues seem murkier than that.
The bus itself is private property, but if it's on a public road law enforcement has a bunch of powers that wouldn't exist if it were parked on bus company property.
I dunno.
Tom

ETA ~I kinda feel bad for Greyhound. They're caught in the crossfire of a culture war. All they're trying to do is make a buck providing cheap, efficient, long distance transportation. ~
 

atrib

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Good, but I don't think they were really at fault in the first place. It's the sort of situation where saying no can cause problems. Now, with a lawsuit to point to they'll be able to say no more effectively.

They were at fault - they actively cooperated with the government's efforts to violate the civil rights of paying customers. They were not legally required to cooperate, they thought they could get away with it because many of the said customers don't have the financial resources to take them to court.

I'm no lawyer, but the legal issues seem murkier than that.
The bus itself is private property, but if it's on a public road law enforcement has a bunch of powers that wouldn't exist if it were parked on bus company property.
I dunno.
Tom

ETA ~I kinda feel bad for Greyhound. They're caught in the crossfire of a culture war. All they're trying to do is make a buck providing cheap, efficient, long distance transportation. ~


Whether the bus is sitting at a privately owned terminal or driving on a public road is largely immaterial. The government does not have the right to detain anyone without a reasonable suspicion that they are committing/have committed a crime. Simply riding on a bus does not provide sufficient grounds for acquiring such reasonable suspicion, and detaining people simply for riding on a bus is a violation of their rights. Furthermore, the government cannot require a person riding on a bus to provide identification documents and proof of legal status, unless the bus is crossing a US border, or some controlled area where such identification is needed to gain entry.

Greyhound cooperated with the illegal government detentions and searches in an effort to make their own lives easier, instead of taking a stand to prevent the government's illegal actions from taking place on their buses. The public's right to be free from warrantless searches and seizures cannot be taken away by Greyhound, and they have effectively become a co-conspirator and enabler to the government's illegal actions.
 

crazyfingers

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The same thing was going on on the East Coast. Concord Coach was allowing border agents onto busses to question passengers. Big uproar. Bus company agreed to stop.

https://wgme.com/news/local/concord-coach-lines-stops-warrantless-immigration-checks

https://bangordailynews.com/2019/07...s-by-allowing-immigration-searches-aclu-says/

https://www.wmur.com/amp/article/ac...-lines-to-deny-bus-access-ice-agents/28485773

Customs and boarder protection can pretty much stop and question anyone within 100 miles of a boarder and that included the oceans. About 2/3 of all Americans live within that!
https://www.aclu.org/other/constitution-100-mile-border-zone

Border patrol agents have frequently basically stopped traffic on Interstate 95 which runs along the Atlantic coast from the Maine boarder with Canada to Florida. Think you don't need your US citizenship papers driving on I 95? Think again... As Vox noted, these I95 checkpoints in increased under Trump. Anyone surprised?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/22/us/border-checkpoints.html
https://www.vox.com/2018/6/21/17490904/customs-border-protection-patrol-checkpoints-100-miles-legal
 

Loren Pechtel

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Good, but I don't think they were really at fault in the first place. It's the sort of situation where saying no can cause problems. Now, with a lawsuit to point to they'll be able to say no more effectively.

They were at fault - they actively cooperated with the government's efforts to violate the civil rights of paying customers. They were not legally required to cooperate, they thought they could get away with it because many of the said customers don't have the financial resources to take them to court.

You miss my point. The police are capable of retaliation in the form of being extra strict in observing the company's vehicles. The searches weren't fully voluntary on Greyhound's part.
 

crazyfingers

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Good, but I don't think they were really at fault in the first place. It's the sort of situation where saying no can cause problems. Now, with a lawsuit to point to they'll be able to say no more effectively.

They were at fault - they actively cooperated with the government's efforts to violate the civil rights of paying customers. They were not legally required to cooperate, they thought they could get away with it because many of the said customers don't have the financial resources to take them to court.

You miss my point. The police are capable of retaliation in the form of being extra strict in observing the company's vehicles. The searches weren't fully voluntary on Greyhound's part.

Risking a derail, this is true. My daughter was stopped on I95 by the Corrupt Massachusetts State Police. She was going 75mph in a 65 zone where almost everyone goes 85mph. He asked to search the car and before my daughter could even answer he did search the car. What is she to do? Complain that he has no right to search the car on a speeding stop? He does not by law have the right to search just for that. But if she complained she'd get a ticket. So she didn't tell him he had no legal authority to search and she was lucky to just get a warning. But if she had complained the Corrupt Massachusetts State Police trooper would undoubtedly have given her a ticket.
 

Loren Pechtel

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You miss my point. The police are capable of retaliation in the form of being extra strict in observing the company's vehicles. The searches weren't fully voluntary on Greyhound's part.

Risking a derail, this is true. My daughter was stopped on I95 by the Corrupt Massachusetts State Police. She was going 75mph in a 65 zone where almost everyone goes 85mph. He asked to search the car and before my daughter could even answer he did search the car. What is she to do? Complain that he has no right to search the car on a speeding stop? He does not by law have the right to search just for that. But if she complained she'd get a ticket. So she didn't tell him he had no legal authority to search and she was lucky to just get a warning. But if she had complained the Corrupt Massachusetts State Police trooper would undoubtedly have given her a ticket.

Thank you--a good illustration of what I was talking about. Standing on the 4th is generally not the best idea.
 

atrib

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The same thing was going on on the East Coast. Concord Coach was allowing border agents onto busses to question passengers. Big uproar. Bus company agreed to stop.

https://wgme.com/news/local/concord-coach-lines-stops-warrantless-immigration-checks

https://bangordailynews.com/2019/07...s-by-allowing-immigration-searches-aclu-says/

https://www.wmur.com/amp/article/ac...-lines-to-deny-bus-access-ice-agents/28485773

Customs and boarder protection can pretty much stop and question anyone within 100 miles of a boarder and that included the oceans. About 2/3 of all Americans live within that!
https://www.aclu.org/other/constitution-100-mile-border-zone

Border patrol agents have frequently basically stopped traffic on Interstate 95 which runs along the Atlantic coast from the Maine boarder with Canada to Florida. Think you don't need your US citizenship papers driving on I 95? Think again... As Vox noted, these I95 checkpoints in increased under Trump. Anyone surprised?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/22/us/border-checkpoints.html
https://www.vox.com/2018/6/21/17490904/customs-border-protection-patrol-checkpoints-100-miles-legal

The BP cannot legally stop and search people without reasonable suspicion and probable cause even within the so-called "100-mile border zone". From the ACLU webpage you cited:

Border Patrol, nevertheless, cannot pull anyone over without "reasonable suspicion" of an immigration violation or crime (reasonable suspicion is more than just a "hunch"). Similarly, Border Patrol cannot search vehicles in the 100-mile zone without a warrant or "probable cause" (a reasonable belief, based on the circumstances, that an immigration violation or crime has likely occurred).

The fact that they do so from time to time does not make their actions legal, as the ACLU site goes on to explain. People often concede to their illegal demands because they are not aware of their rights, or are unwilling to take a stand in the matter. When their (BP) illegal roadside checkpoint detentions are challenged by car passengers who know their rights, they almost always back down, likely because they understand that their actions will be seen as illegal in a court of law. While federal regulations give U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority to "operate" within 100 miles of any U.S. "external boundary" (whatever that means), the regulations cannot supersede our 4th Amendment protections - that can only be changed by Congress.
 

atrib

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Good, but I don't think they were really at fault in the first place. It's the sort of situation where saying no can cause problems. Now, with a lawsuit to point to they'll be able to say no more effectively.

They were at fault - they actively cooperated with the government's efforts to violate the civil rights of paying customers. They were not legally required to cooperate, they thought they could get away with it because many of the said customers don't have the financial resources to take them to court.

You miss my point. The police are capable of retaliation in the form of being extra strict in observing the company's vehicles. The searches weren't fully voluntary on Greyhound's part.

Nonsense.

First, Federal agents do not have the authority to pull over vehicles for moving violations - that authority rests with the Sheriff's office, and is also often delegated to local police departments. If Greyhound is operating their buses in accordance with the appropriate regulations, they have nothing to fear in terms of retaliation.

Second, Greyhound absolutely has a right to stop Federal agents from boarding their buses and searching their passengers if the agents don't have the appropriate search warrants or lack reasonable suspicion. For exactly the same reason you have the right to deny police warrantless entry into your home. They admitted as such in their settlement:

Under the settlement, Greyhound is also required to:

— Create a corporate policy that denies CBP agents permission to board its buses in Washington state without warrants or reasonable suspicion.
 
Last edited:

atrib

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You miss my point. The police are capable of retaliation in the form of being extra strict in observing the company's vehicles. The searches weren't fully voluntary on Greyhound's part.

Risking a derail, this is true. My daughter was stopped on I95 by the Corrupt Massachusetts State Police. She was going 75mph in a 65 zone where almost everyone goes 85mph. He asked to search the car and before my daughter could even answer he did search the car. What is she to do? Complain that he has no right to search the car on a speeding stop? He does not by law have the right to search just for that. But if she complained she'd get a ticket. So she didn't tell him he had no legal authority to search and she was lucky to just get a warning. But if she had complained the Corrupt Massachusetts State Police trooper would undoubtedly have given her a ticket.

You should contact a lawyer in Mass and discuss filing a lawsuit for violation of your daughter's civil rights. The lawyer will request the trooper's dashcam and on-person camera footage (assuming they still exist) and review what happened. If the police searched your daughter's car without her consent, and assuming your daughter had nothing illegal in plain sight within her car (which is obviously the case since she was not arrested), you can sue the city and/or the state depending on the jurisdiction. The city will settle, and depending on the aggravating factors, this could easily be in the low six figures. Your lawyer will keep about 30 to 40% of the settlement unless you are willing to pay him for time and materials.
 

atrib

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You miss my point. The police are capable of retaliation in the form of being extra strict in observing the company's vehicles. The searches weren't fully voluntary on Greyhound's part.

Risking a derail, this is true. My daughter was stopped on I95 by the Corrupt Massachusetts State Police. She was going 75mph in a 65 zone where almost everyone goes 85mph. He asked to search the car and before my daughter could even answer he did search the car. What is she to do? Complain that he has no right to search the car on a speeding stop? He does not by law have the right to search just for that. But if she complained she'd get a ticket. So she didn't tell him he had no legal authority to search and she was lucky to just get a warning. But if she had complained the Corrupt Massachusetts State Police trooper would undoubtedly have given her a ticket.

Thank you--a good illustration of what I was talking about. Standing on the 4th is generally not the best idea.

Spoken like a true ignoramus. Any good lawyer will advise you to never consent to searches of your person, your car or your home, without a warrant. This is exactly the kind of attitude that gets people into trouble. In the above example, if the daughter had a boyfriend who had left/dropped a joint under the seat that was found by the trooper, and the daughter consented to a search, she would likely be indicted for possession or worse. Fighting a moving violation in court is far, far easier than defending yourself against a felony or misdemeanor charge. The Federal government has over 10,000 laws on its books, and this doesn't even include local laws and ordinances. It is unlikely that even a trained lawyer is familiar with all these laws. Voluntarily giving up your rights just for the sake of a small convenience is never a good idea.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Thank you--a good illustration of what I was talking about. Standing on the 4th is generally not the best idea.

Spoken like a true ignoramus. Any good lawyer will advise you to never consent to searches of your person, your car or your home, without a warrant. This is exactly the kind of attitude that gets people into trouble. In the above example, if the daughter had a boyfriend who had left/dropped a joint under the seat that was found by the trooper, and the daughter consented to a search, she would likely be indicted for possession or worse. Fighting a moving violation in court is far, far easier than defending yourself against a felony or misdemeanor charge. The Federal government has over 10,000 laws on its books, and this doesn't even include local laws and ordinances. It is unlikely that even a trained lawyer is familiar with all these laws. Voluntarily giving up your rights just for the sake of a small convenience is never a good idea.

It's the certainty of the ticket costs + insurance hit vs the very low probability of contraband unknowingly being in the car.

And you're assuming she would have a boyfriend that would have a joint.
 

atrib

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Thank you--a good illustration of what I was talking about. Standing on the 4th is generally not the best idea.

Spoken like a true ignoramus. Any good lawyer will advise you to never consent to searches of your person, your car or your home, without a warrant. This is exactly the kind of attitude that gets people into trouble. In the above example, if the daughter had a boyfriend who had left/dropped a joint under the seat that was found by the trooper, and the daughter consented to a search, she would likely be indicted for possession or worse. Fighting a moving violation in court is far, far easier than defending yourself against a felony or misdemeanor charge. The Federal government has over 10,000 laws on its books, and this doesn't even include local laws and ordinances. It is unlikely that even a trained lawyer is familiar with all these laws. Voluntarily giving up your rights just for the sake of a small convenience is never a good idea.

It's the certainty of the ticket costs + insurance hit vs the very low probability of contraband unknowingly being in the car.

And you're assuming she would have a boyfriend that would have a joint.

You have the right to voluntarily give up your constitutional rights for the potential benefit of not getting a citation. Most lawyers would tell you that consenting to a warrantless search of your car or home is a bad idea, but you clearly know better. Its not like cops and prosecutors don't make mistakes, or sometimes go out their way to plant incriminating evidence on innocent people, or that you may have something in the car/home that might implicate you in a crime - that never happens. Well, almost never. So you go right ahead - that is what the cops want, and that is what keeps criminal defense attorneys employed.
 
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