“As I followed hundreds of protesters down the escalator to the Greyhound ticket counter, our lively chant ‘ICE off the buses! ICE out of New York!’ engulfed the sound space of the Port Authority.” –Dovar Chen
On Friday, August 23rd, members of the Jackson Heights Immigrant Solidarity Network attended a spirited protest against Greyhound Bus at the Port Authority Building in Manhattan. Although Greyhound is not legally required to let ICE or the Border Patrol onto a bus without a signed judicial warrant, which they almost never have, Greyhound has been allowing immigration agents to board buses. Agents walk up and down the aisles demanding documents from passengers to prove their immigration status. Some people are pulled off buses and detained.
Friday’s protest was part of a growing nationwide campaign to force Greyhound to change their policies and stop assisting the administration’s attack on immigrants or allowing the government to intimidate passengers.
Dovar Chen, a member of the Jackson Heights Immigrant Solidarity Network, attended the event. “I found the experience empowering and uncanny. Exactly one week before, I was accompanying a person who was just released from a NJ detention center to Port Authority to catch his Greyhound bus. We spent hours at the Port Authority waiting for his phone to recharge from months of no use; to buy a prepaid SIM card, so he can reconnect with his family via cellphone; to stand in a long line to print out the bus ticket for his upcoming two-day journey back to Texas to reunite with his family.”
Greyhound has argued that they let immigration agents board buses for the “safety” of their drivers and passengers. This excuse has been exposed by the drivers’ union, which argues firmly against the company’s policy of letting ICE and the Border Patrol onto buses.
Grassroots groups will continue to keep the pressure on Greyhound. The ACLU is sponsoring a national petition campaign. Please sign their petition. As Dovar Chen said, “People’s solidarity and voice empower us—we are not alone in this struggle. Not me, and not you. Together is the best way to fight injustice, and inhuman and oppressive government practices.”
Freedom for Immigrants has posted resources for individuals and their families facing detention or at risk of deportation, including:
- ICE Detainee Locator – To locate a person currently in ICE custody or who was released from ICE custody within the last 60 days
- A phone number to find out a loved one’s U.S. Immigration court date
- Directory to find a U.S. Immigration Attorney
- Information that describes what a U.S. Immigration Bond is
- What to do if you’ve been granted asylum in the United States
- What to do if you or a loved one has been wrongfully deported
- How to find a host or sponsor for someone in ICE detention
- What are the rights of people with disabilities in immigration detention
- How to find people detained anywhere in the world
Click here for further information.
A letter from Nick Gulotta, Director of Outreach and Organizing, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs:
Dear Community Partner,
As you know, the Trump administration has released the “Public Charge” rule change. This rule change has not gone into effect.
As Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bitta Mostofi of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs said in a statement, this rule is another attempt to instill fear and concern among countless working immigrant families. But as we know, New Yorkers are fighters and the City will do everything in our power to ensure people have the resources they need at this critical time. The City of New York will be bringing legal action and will have more to share in the coming days.
Update you should know about the public charge rule:
- It will go into effect on October 15, 2019. (Anticipated litigation over the rule may change this timeline.)
- The rule will penalize low and middle income immigrants applying for a Green Card or certain types of visas, for using certain public benefits for which they are eligible.
- Immigrants who are concerned about how the public charge rule might affect them or their loved ones can call ActionNYC at 311 or 1-800-354-0365 and say ‘public charge’ to access City-funded, trusted legal advice.
Please share this update with your network. Resources in multiple languages will be made available shortly on nyc.gov/publiccharge.
We are committed to helping all New Yorkers access the public benefits and services they’re entitled to.
Director of Outreach & Organizing
Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
BUSES ARE NO PLACE FOR BORDER PATROL
Sign the Petition HERE.
From the ACLU:
Throughout the country, people rely on Greyhound to get to work, visit family, or to simply travel freely. But Greyhound has been letting Border Patrol board its buses to question and arrest passengers without a warrant or any suspicion of wrongdoing. The company is throwing its loyal customers under the bus.
For more than a year, we’ve been urging Greyhound to stop letting Border Patrol board its buses, but the company is refusing to issue a policy protecting its customers. So now we’re taking our fight to the next level.
Greyhound is owned by FirstGroup plc, a multi-national transport group based in the UK, whose own Code of Ethics and Corporate Responsibility contradicts what its subsidiary has been doing to passengers.
“We are committed to recognising human rights on a global basis. We have a zero-tolerance approach to any violations within our company or by business partners.”
Greyhound’s complicity in the Trump deportation machine is a clear violation of the human rights values that FirstGroup professes to uphold. We must raise our voices: Sign the petition to demand that FirstGroup direct Greyhound to comply with its code of ethics. Greyhound must stop throwing customers under the bus.
Sign the ACLU’s petition to FirstGroup plc, the parent company of Greyhound, to demand that they comply with their code of ethics and stop allowing Border Patrol to board and search its buses without probable cause or warrant.
Sign the Petition HERE.
From Wilson podcast magazine: “On the heels of two national tragedies of domestic terrorism in a single weekend that seem to stem from a hatred of immigrants, this week’s issue is an education on immigration. These five episodes talk about the basic steps and policies of immigration, the moral debate on whether it’s a human right, and touching personal immigration stories.”
Access the podcast here.
Thank you to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the Immigration Town Hall, held on Saturday, July 20th, in Corona. Thanks, also, to Amaha Kassa, Jennifer Sun, Roksana Mun, Yatziri Tovar, Lupito Romero and everyone else who contributed to this amazing event.