Warrantless searches on Greyhound buses is just wrong

Greyhound Lines Inc. is having to dig into its pockets, courtesy of a federal court consent decree, to make a problem of its own making go away.

The Associated Press reported that the venerable company has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit over the bus line’s practice of allowing U.S. Customs & Border Protection agents to board its buses in Washington state to conduct warrantless immigration sweeps, the state attorney general said Monday.

The money will provide restitution to those passengers who were detained, arrested, or deported after immigration agents boarded buses at the Spokane Intermodal Center, said AP.

The bus company failed to warn customers of the sweeps, misrepresented its role in allowing the sweeps to occur and subjected its passengers to discrimination based on skin color or national origin, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.

In a brief statement, Greyhound, which based in Dallas, said it was “pleased” with the settlement.

So are we.

We believe this is exactly the kind of company policy that places people — specifically persons of color — in no-win situations.

The government has an easy remedy at its disposal: obtain a legal search warrant.

No warrant? No search. Period.


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