One of our basic rights as Americans is the right to travel around our country freely. But Greyhound has made it hard for Americans of color and Americans with accents to enjoy that freedom.
In recent years Greyhound has beefed up their security measures. But instead of making their passengers safer, the company has allowed invasive searches & racial profiling on board their buses. As it stands now, Border Patrol can stop any bus at any time, board and force passengers to go through questioning.
Border Patrol agents even keeps records of the complexions of people arrested on buses. No really. Medium, fair, brown, pale, and yellow (yellow?!) are some of the 10 choices that border patrol agents can tally up after harassing passengers. Border Patrol’s own numbers show that the vast majority of people pulled off of buses had medium/black complexions. This is not a coincidence.
I would know, because I was on a Greyhound bus that was boarded by Border Patrol agents. I am a US Citizen, but as a first generation Latina, I was terrified. I watched as agents asked people what country they were from. Anybody who responded with an accent -- aka the people of color -- were asked additional questions. A third of the bus, including some terrified children, were kicked off for not being able to immediately provide documents that proved they had the right to be on the bus.
People of color make up a large portion of Greyhound’s client base, but they don’t inform any of their passengers that they could be racially profiled, and even arrested, if they don’t produce the right documents.
The thing is, Greyhound doesn’t have to comply with Border Patrol’s requests to board, just like passengers can refuse to answer any questions agents ask them while on board. In fact, Border Patrol even agreed to stop randomly targeting buses on the Northern border, due to the outcry of racial profiling and passenger harassment. But Greyhound doesn’t tell passengers this, instead they make racial profiling possible, and even probable, by allowing agents to board buses at any time.
Tell Greyhound you don’t want to live in a country where traveling means being asked to show your papers -- they should stop allowing border patrol to board buses & harass passengers.