Tiana Smalls shared how she fought verbally against border patrol agents after they demanded to see everyone’s visa documentation while on a bus from California to Nevada.
She explained that she was riding the Greyhound to Las Vegas on June 5 when the argument occurred.
Smalls wrote on Facebook how she confronted the agents for having no authority to inspect documents so far from the border, after which they got off the bus.
The dispute happened at a border post which used to be for checking fruits being delivered into California due to invasive types of fly. But this time, when the bus halted, the driver announced: “We are being boarded by Border Patrol. Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request.”
Smalls said that she shouted: “This is a violation of your Fourth amendment rights. You don’t have to show them s***! This is illegal. We are not within 100 miles of an international border so they have no authority to ask you for anything. Tell them to f*** off!”
Because some passengers are Spanish speakers, she used an app to translate what the remark meant to them.
When the agents boarded the bus, she yelled: “I’m not showing you s***! I’m not driving this bus, so you have no right to ask me for anything!
“And the rest of you guys don’t have to show them anything, either! This is harassment and racial profiling!
“Don’t show them a gotdamn thing! We are not within 100 miles of a border so they have no legal right or jurisdiction here! Google it!”
She also claimed that after seeing that she was willing to cause problems, the agents backed off. Smalls also said that one of the agents told her: “Fine. We can see that you’re a citizen because of your filthy mouth.”Daily Mail
She also continued: “These border patrol officers act like they do because they EXPECT people to be afraid of them and just comply.
“The lady next to me spoke NO ENGLISH, but she was a very kind woman. She looked TERRIFIED when they boarded. I felt it was my duty to defend her.
“We DO NOT LIVE in Nazi Germany. No one should be asked to present “papers” for interstate travel. I defended her, and I defended myself.”Law and Crime
Smalls has been praised online for having the courage to stand up against the agents and defending other passengers who couldn’t speak English.
According to ACLU, customs and border officials are allowed to operate within a reasonable distance of a US land border. ‘Reasonable’ was defined by a 1953 federal regulation to be within 100 air miles of a border.
The Fourth Amendment only lets law enforcement officials enter business areas that are open to the public for their duties. Going anywhere else requires a consent or warrant.
Because Greyhound busses require tickets to enter, they are not considered to be open to the public. Agents’ legal authority doesn’t extend there.
According to the statement on ACLU’s website: “ACLU affiliates in Washington, California, Arizona, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Florida have reported multiple incidents involving Border Patrol agents boarding Greyhound buses without a warrant or consent, and terrorizing passengers by demanding their papers.
“These reports indicated that Border Patrol agents routinely engage in racial and ethnic profiling, singling people out for the color of their skin or accents.”
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