Protesters marching into Port Authority during the heart of the Friday evening rush, calling on Greyhound, the national bus system, to stop allowing Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents to search their vehicles.
“People are scared to travel and that is why we are here. We don’t want ICE to go and check into the busses,” said one protestor.
Advocates say under the Trump administration, Border Patrol searches have increased on Greyhound and other bus systems across the country.
According to the ACLU, under the Fourth Amendment, passengers cannot be detained or questioned by Border Patrol without reasonable suspicion.
Flyers with information about immigrant rights were handed out during the rally.
“It is an actual instruction on how to behave and how to protect yourself and that is the most important thing we can do right now is take care of each other and take care of ourselves because our government is not doing it,” said another.
But they were met by counter protesters who believe immigration needs to be policed.
“If people are here illegally, than yes. All countries have immigration policies, why shouldn’t we,” said a counter protestor.
Under immigration law, Border Patrol agents may search for non-citizens on any “railway car, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle” that is “within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States.”
That boundary is interpreted within 100 miles of any land or water border encompassing the majority of the country.
Immigration lawyer Luis Mancheno advises undocumented immigrants to remember three things if they encounter an ICE agent.
“I have my right to remain silent and I am going to remain silent, the second thing, I will not talk unless I see my attorney and three I do not consent for you to search either anyway in my clothing or anywhere in my bags,” said Luis Mancheno, Supervising Attorney, Legal Aid Society.