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Greyhound facing serious Ca. lawsuit over Border Patrol tactic

Nov. 11, 2018

OPINION:

There hasn’t been a more serious challenge to the free flow of interstate bus travel since authorities betrayed the Freedom Riders in the 1960’s; civil rights activists rode Trailways and Greyhound buses in mixed racial groups with the purpose of breaking up Jim Crow travel laws in the South.  Then, as now, the promise of interstate carriers to not discriminate nor allow prejudice of our precious passengers regardless of their race, skin color, national origin, age, gender, or language (accent) is at a crossroads. In particular, there is no federal requirement, nor has there ever been a federal requirement, for a passenger who boards an interstate bus to retain on his person a document that proves citizenship, or permanent residency, or visiting rights to this country.

The only time that an interstate bus operator checks for such type of border crossing documents is if the bus is intended to go through a border crossing.  To think, or consider, that a bus, any bus, can be halted and inspected by Customs and Border Patrol agents at any location within 100 miles of the US border which encompasses surface square miles of roughly 22 percent of the nation – and covers the densest populated areas, over 200 million people! – without a specific probable cause of a felony, is outrageous and wrong. These actions must be held to a higher standard and should not be the original intention of the 1953 law that established a 100-mile border zone. ACLU publishes a brief explanation of this law: The Constitution in the 100-Mile Border Zone

This week, a passenger, Ms. Rocio Cordova from California, has filed a lawsuit against Greyhound, also seeking class-action status, with a high profile law office. Ms. Cordova, as plaintiff, accused Greyhound of violating state consumer protection laws barring unfair and unlawful business practices by allegedly consenting to racial profiling by law enforcement officers despite promises not to discriminate on the basis of race, skin color, national origin or language. Córdova said she also suffered economic injury from delays, and the suit seeks a court order barring the alleged practice. Lawsuit targets Greyhound over warrant-less stopping of buses by border agents. Washington Post (Nov. 8, 2018).  This lawsuit will be a landmark case. This should not be a politically-charged issue. All interstate bus operators recognize and respect the importance of police protection and law enforcement.

Our union brothers and sisters at ATU 1700 have encouraged their employer to “send an official letter to Department of Homeland Security saying that Greyhound will not consent to agents boarding company buses without probable cause or a warrant, the Fourth Amendment’s legal standard for domestic routes that don’t cross formal check points.” Read more: ATU 1700 Oct. Bulletin  Karen Miller, President of Local 1700, says it best: “For us this is about passengers, not politics…management must stand up for constitutional law enforcement that respects all of our customers’ right to travel with dignity.”

WBUR-Boston Public Radio Podcast

 

 

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New Flyer of America opening $30 Million bus parts factory in KY

Sept. 30, 2018

Sherperdsville, Kentucky. New Flyer of America, a subsidiary of NFI group which owns  MCI International, New Flyer/America and two other entities opened a new $30 Million facility here in Kentucky, expecting to employ over 550 employees.  The main mission of the factory is the manufacture of motorcoach and transit bus parts and components. The 300,000 sq. foot factory will be a state of the art addition to one of the largest bus manufacturer companies in the world which began in 1930. NFI also owns New Flyer of Canada which is where the MCI J-4500 is assembled (in Winnipeg, Manitoba). 

New Flyer of America opens Kentucky manufacturing plant

New Flyer Bus home page

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