May 2, 2018

ACLU files suit over bus citizens harassed by border patrols

The ACLU of Maine has filed a lawsuit against Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security after the agencies flouted their responsibility under the Freedom of Information Act. The ACLU charges the agencies ignored a FOIA request for records about investigations into the citizenship status of bus passengers in Maine.

The ACLU filed the records request in January, after learning that CBP agents were questioning passengers boarding a Concord Trailways bus in Bangor. The government has failed to turn over records or respond to the request in any way, in violation of FOIA law.

CBP claims the authority to question people, for any reason at all, within 100 miles of any national or coastal border. This zone encompasses the entirety of Maine. Across the country, there have been increasing reports of CBP stopping bus passengers to check their citizenship status, without a warrant, reasonable suspicion or probable cause. This includes multiple reports in Maine.

“We shouldn’t have to prove our citizenship just to ride the bus,” said Bond. “Allowing government agents to demand that we ‘show our papers’ any time they feel like it is a threat to our freedom and democracy.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand...

While born in the U.S., if I were travelling by bus (or car, or plane) and stopped by somebody and asked to prove my citizenship; I don't know if I could.

All I have is my driver's license, my VA card, a FOID card, some credit cards / debit card. Man, I'd be out of luck!

I don't remember if I had to show my birth certificate to get my driver's license. According to recent News, people from foreign countries can join our military and then get kicked out of this country because they weren't born here. Maybe the FOID card would save me...? I think anybody can get a credit card.