Greyhound Agrees to Pay $2.2 Million Over Immigration Sweeps on Buses

Greyhound Rains will pay $2.2 million to settle a Washington state lawsuit that allowed U.S. customs and border officials to make unjustified immigration movements on buses, government officials said this week.

The Washington Attorney General will reimburse the number of passengers detained, arrested or deported after the immigration board boarded a bus at the Spokane Intermodal Center and reimbursed part of his office’s legal fees. He said that the settlement would be used for this.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the settlement on Monday, the day the Hound case was heard.

Ferguson’s office estimates that in 2013, there could have been up to 57,000 passengers on immigration service buses at the Spokane Intermodal Center. The office said about 250 of these passengers could be arrested.

Individual payouts will depend on the number of claims filed and the extent of damage suffered by each person as a result of the greyhound’s actions, Ferguson said.

The agreement is contained in a consent decision filed in the Spokane County Superior Court. The greyhound is finalizing a lawsuit filed by Ferguson in April 2020 to allow the clearance of immigrant buses in violation of state consumer protection and state anti-discrimination laws. The greyhound publicly approved the cleanup in 2018, Ferguson said.

In addition to paying $2.2 million, the greyhound agreed to several policy changes. The company said some of them went into effect last year.

Greyhounds should develop policies that specifically prohibit customs and border officers from boarding buses in Washington without an order or “reasonable suspicion,” Ferguson said.

Greyhounds must also put a sticker on or near the front door of the bus to notify passengers of the policy and give the driver a sign explaining the policy that can be provided to immigration authorities. He says.

“My office was the first to ask the greyhound to reform this company in 2019,” Ferguson said in a statement. “If greyhounds take our rational demands for granted, they will avoid production.”

“Now, ahead of the trial, the greyhound evasion is over and we must now pay $2 million for the damage that the people of Washington have done,” Ferguson continued. “Greyhounds owe their customers a debt. It can’t be ruled out so that immigrant agents can get on the bus and go fishing.”

Greyhound said in a statement that he was satisfied with the deal.

“By receiving the approval decision, the company will provide its customers with more complete information about the policies and procedures it has implemented to serve Washington residents,” the company said in a statement.

For years, greyhounds allowed immigration officers to board buses without an arrest warrant, citing laws against them.

During the Trump administration, as the White House attempted to cross illegal immigrants, domestic bus and train passengers crossed immigration, and border guards worked on private land without permits at up to 100 checkpoints. I found that I installed. A few kilometers from the border.

In February 2020, the greyhounds announced that they would not allow border officers to enter buses without orders.

Last year the greyhound would put a sticker on the bus that said “explain our position” and would send a letter to the Ministry of the Interior formally stating that it “disagrees with unjustified searches in bus and terminal areas”. It was planned.” Not open to the public. ”

The company made the announcement a week after the government notice expired, and it became clear that agents couldn’t board the bus without their approval.

In a note first published by the Associated Press, Border Patrol confirmed that agents on buses are not allowed to ask questions of passengers without direction or approval from the bus company.

“If the bus is checked outside the control point, the agent must prove that he or she has had access to the bus with the approval of the company owner or company employee. I wrote in a note.

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