Authorities Detain Immigrants Riding Greyhound

Anecdotal evidence suggests authorities are increasingly apprehending unauthorized immigrants on Greyhound buses, the Miami Herald recently reported.

Sara Van Hofwegen, who works with the immigration services organization Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, told the Herald she has seen an uptick in cases stemming from public transportation checks, mostly on Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains. A Central Florida immigration attorney concurred, saying about a fifth of the firm’s current clients were detained while riding Greyhound.

The paper also spoke to immigrants taken into custody while riding the bus. Juan Ordones Lima, a 22-year-old immigrant from Guatemala, was taking a Greyhound bus from Pennsylvania to Florida when authorities boarded, asked for passenger IDs, and took him to the Broward Transitional Center, where he is still detained. Lima’s wife told the newspaper he said many other BTC inmates were apprehended in the same way. A 20-year-old Mexican immigrant named Acuena told the Herald a similar story. And Van Hofwegen said she recently spoke to 12 BTC detainees, five of whom were apprehended on a Greyhound.

Steve Cribby, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told the Herald that public transportation checks are legal and have not increased in number this year.

Deportation raids have decreased since President Barack Obama took office, but many unauthorized immigrants have lost their jobs due to a crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers, the Wall Street Journal recently reported.