Concord – The ACLU affiliates in Maine and New Hampshire today applauded the decision from Concord Coach Lines to stop allowing immigration agents to board their buses without a warrant to question and search their passengers.
The ACLU and rights activists have long called for bus companies to refuse consent for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to engage in warrantless searches of bus passengers. The ACLU argues these searches subject passengers to racial profiling and invasions of privacy. A recent memo from CBP confirms the ACLU’s position that bus companies “do not have to allow Border Patrol agents on board to conduct routine checks for immigrants[.]”
In a statement today, Concord Vice President Ben Blunt said, “Effective immediately, Concord Coach Lines will no longer consent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s warrantless entry of our buses for immigration checks.”
The following statements can be attributed as noted:
Emma Bond, staff attorney, ACLU of Maine: “We are thrilled that Concord is joining other bus companies in doing the right thing to protect their passengers. The ACLU and partner organizations and activists have been calling for this change for over a year. Today’s announcement shows what happens when people join together and stand up for what they believe in. This change will go a long way toward protecting people from racial profiling and government overreach.”
SangYeob Kim, immigration staff attorney at the ACLU of New Hampshire: “With this new policy, Concord Coach is doing the right thing and disallowing Border Patrol from conducting warrantless searches of their passengers. We commend Concord Coach for their swift handling of this issue.”