Border Patrol Agents Are Searching Buses for Undocumented Immigrants

Video from Jan. 19 shows CBP agents boarding a Greyhound bus and asking passengers for proof of citizenship.

Federal law allows for Border Patrol agents to "board and search for aliens in any vessel within the territorial waters of the United States and any railcar, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle", but public knowledge of such occurrences has grown in the age of cell phone video recording.

For the second time in two weeks, a Florida Immigrant Coalition video shows U.S. Border Patrol agents taking someone into custody off a Greyhound bus at the Fort Lauderdale station.

According to a WSVN-Channel 7 report, the man in the overhead-shot video is Andrew Anderson, a 12-year Miami resident and Miami Beach business owner from Trinidad, and he’s being held at U.S. ICE’s Broward Transitional Center after not being able to prove citizenship.

Earlier this month, a woman was detained after CBP boarded a Greyhound, asking for proof of citizenship. The Jamaican woman, who was in the U.S. visiting her granddaughter, was alleged to have overstayed her visa. (Video above.)

But as the Herald notes, this is not new behavior on the part of Border Patrol:

Checking buses long has been everyday practice for U.S. Customs and Border agents. What hasn’t been common: the checks being captured on video and posted online during a heated time for the immigration issue.

More than a dozen House members issued a statement decrying the actions as an "abuse of mandate and authority", saying:

“While the law gives U.S. CBP officials the authority to conduct transportation checks within a reasonable distance from the border, this event and others like it across the country show that Congress must conduct a comprehensive review of what ‘reasonable distance’ means. The 100-mile border zone established by U.S. regulations arbitrarily extends CBP jurisdiction and undercuts the rights for citizens and legal residents to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. In Florida, this arbitrary zone puts everyone in the state under constant threat of stops, interrogations, and searches without even the most basic due process protections.”