Immigration Enforcement on Buses: the Open-Borders Crowd’s Next So-Called “Outrage”?



After schools, hospitals and most recently courthouses, are intercity buses and bus stations the next place the open-borders crowd has decided should be immigration enforcement free zones?  Where upholding our country’s laws would, for some reason, be yet again some kind of inhumane outrage?  It sure seems like it.

Unlike the airlines, the bus lines don’t always check ID, or have ID requirements as strict as air travel.  They’re cheaper than flying.  They don’t typically scan baggage.  And according to a spokesperson for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), “transportation centers, including bus terminals, are often used by alien-smuggling and drug-trafficking organizations to move people, narcotics and contraband to interior destinations throughout the country.”  To a reasonable observer, that sounds like a dangerous law-enforcement priority, not somewhere that should be off limits.

But on October 1, the Spokane, Washington, City Council’s Public Safety & Community Health Committee considered a proposed city ordinance (pgs. 82-95) that would try to keep federal immigration authorities out of “nonpublic areas” of city property “absent a judicial criminal warrant” signed by a judge.  While the ordinance is much broader than just one building, all the documentation supporting it and news coverage surrounding it focused entirely on the Spokane Intermodal Facility, a city-owned building that houses the local intercity bus terminal.  And while the terminal’s interior is open to the public, the council claims “[t]he bus platform [itself]is a restricted area of the facility[.]”

Since 2013, CBP indicates they’ve made nearly 200 arrests there.  According to the city council, “[i]ndividuals who are detained are interrogated in an “Employee Area” inaccessible to the public.”  So the ordinance would be far from academic, and set up the immediate possibility of a serious and potentially dangerous conflict between federal and local authorities.  It appears to be the first of its kind, though it almost certainly won’t be the last.

That’s because illegal alien supporters have been gradually building up and pushing out their “outrage” narrative on the subject for a while now, presumably expecting local legislation like this to spring up at some point as just the next step.  In January, CBP boarded a bus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and arrested an illegal alien from Jamaica; in part because it was recorded on cell-phone video, the incident went viral and was immediately taken up as a cause celebre and deemed an outrage by all the usual suspects.  In May, the ACLU sued the agency over immigration checks at a bus station in Maine.  And in June, Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckert claimed Greyhound might already be violating the city’s anti-discrimination law by allowing immigration authorities access to their buses at the Intermodal Facility, which led both to the drafting of the proposed ordinance as well as yet another predictable ACLU lawsuit.

Spokane City Councilmember Breann Beggs say the full council could consider the proposed ordinance before the end of October.  But how’s this for a crazy idea instead?  Federal immigration law applies everywhere in the country, and law enforcement officers should be allowed to enforce it everywhere.

About Author

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Dave joined FAIR in 2017 after more than ten years as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County, Florida. His prosecutorial experience covered trial litigation at the misdemeanor and felony levels, drug court and mental health court, and two years as an intake attorney in the juvenile division working closely with law enforcement. Before this, he was a legislative analyst/staff attorney with the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where he assisted state legislators in ensuring the effectiveness and constitutionality of legislation on a wide variety of subject matter. In both capacities, he often dealt with the interaction of state law and immigration. Dave holds BAs in History and International Relations from American University and a JD from Tulane University Law School.

5 Comments

  1. avatar
    Gloria Jimenez-Ross on

    what do immigration laws have to do with “discrimination,” which in essence is “RACIAL” rather than “NATIONALITY.” When are people in this country going to learn the difference between “race” and “nationality.” As stated above, Federal Immigration Enforcement should be able to have access to all areas of the country when there is reason to believe that “illegal aliens” and/or “illegal drugs” are being smuggled into the country. Discrimination is directed at a particular “ethnic group” where. and Immigration Enforcement has nothing to do with any particular race. It is time that local officials stopped tying the hands of our Federal Law Enforcement units and stop them from performing their jobs; It’s a matter of National Security and not one of Personal Prejudice or discrimination

  2. avatar

    If someone is in the US illegally immigration officials should be able to question and/or arrest them ANYWHERE in this country! It is against Federal laws and these sanctuary idiots have no say in the matter. This must be stopped or we will be overrun by illegals and they will destroy our economy and our country.

  3. avatar

    They should be able to check any one anywhere. If you are an honest ,law abiding person it would not bother you, the ones that are doing all of this are protecting criminals. Send

  4. avatar
    janetta prussia on

    Of course the “city Leaders” don’t want anyone messing up their way to get their drugs in the states cause they are dirty taking bribes