As we reported in April, Grey Hound has approved the entrance of border patrol agents on their buses even if they’re not 100 miles from the border. Grey Hound’s reason for allowing this is that they are “complying with the law.” It’s legal for border patrol agents to request documentation from people if they’re within 100 miles of the border.
One Grey Hound passenger stood up against Border Patrol boarding her bus. Tiana Smalls was on a bus from Bakersfield, California to Las Vegas when she reminded passengers about their Constitutional rights.
At least three people have already been detained by immigration officials as they were abroad a Grey Hound bus.
A Southern California woman was recently on a Grey Hound when border agents asked for documentation.
CREDIT: Tiana Smalls
Tiana Smalls was on June 6, she was on a bus from Bakersfield, California to Las Vegas to visit family. She said, in a Facebook post, that there was a checkpoint when they got to the California/Nevada state line — which is typical.
She said the bus driver made an announcement: “We are being boarded by Border Patrol. Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request”.
That’s when, according to the Facebook post, Smalls knew that she had to speak up.
She said she stood up and said loudly: “This is a violation of your 4th amendment rights. You don’t have to show them sh*t.”
Smalls said in her post that her Spanish isn’t good, so she used Google Translate to tell other Spanish-speaking passengers that what agents intended to do was illegal.
“Esto es una violación de los derechos de su cuarta enmienda. ¡No tienes que mostrarles nada! Esto es ilegal No cumples, y no tengas miedo. Están equivocados, y no dejaremos pasar esto.”
She went on to say that there was a woman who didn’t speak English and looked terrified.
“I reassured her that I had her back,” Smalls wrote.
Once the border agents entered and asked for ID, the woman told them: “I’m not showing you sh*t.”
Please read all 4 of these screenshots from Tiana Smalls.
— T. Thorn Coyle (@ThornCoyle) June 8, 2018
“I’m not driving this bus, so you have NO RIGHT to ask me for anything! And the rest of you guys don’t have to show them anything, either,” Smalls recounted in her post. “This is harassment and racial profiling! Don’t show them a goddamn thing! We are not within 100 miles of a border so they have NO LEGAL RIGHT or jurisdiction here! GOOGLE IT!”
She alleges the border agent responded by saying: “Fine. We can see that you’re a citizen because of your filthy mouth.”
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 9, 2018
Smalls said once they realized she would be giving them a hard time, the agents got off the bus.
“These border patrol officers act like they do because they EXPECT people to be afraid of them and just comply,” Smalls wrote. “The lady next to me spoke NO ENGLISH, but she was a very kind woman. She looked TERRIFIED when they boarded. I felt it was my duty to defend her.”
Smalls asked: “Use your voice. Take a risk. Because if you let them intimidate the poor Spanish speaking woman next to you, who do you think they’re coming for next?”
Greyhound has the right to say no when Customs and Border Protection wants to board its buses. Here's why they need to use that: pic.twitter.com/CbZLxORrj1
— ACLU (@ACLU) March 29, 2018