Greyhound Lines Inc., the country’s largest intercity bus company, has come under fire from immigrant groups for threatening to fire employees who sell bus tickets to undocumented immigrants.
The ‘Transportation of Illegal Aliens’ policy warns Greyhound’s customer service employees to beware of people in large groups, moving in single file and traveling with little or no luggage. It says other telltale signs include people “trying to hide or stay out of plain view” or large groups led by a “guide” who holds everyone’s tickets.
Greyhound also says immigrant smugglers give themselves away by calling bus stations to ask if immigration authorities are present, and by loitering, repeatedly buying large numbers of tickets for other people and using phrases like, “These guys just crossed the line,” “my cargo,” and “I’ve got to move my people.”
The policy warns that failure to comply could result in the employee’s firing and possibly arrest.
Immigrants Without Borders, a Phoenix-based advocacy group, is encouraging passengers not to buy tickets on Greyhound or its two subsidiary lines, Crucero USA and Autobuses Americanos.
“We are protesting the fact that they are doing racial profiling,” Elias Bermúdez of Immigrants Without Borders told The Arizona Republic.
John Trasvina of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund in Los Angeles, who also joined the call, took issue with Greyhound’s requirement that employees deny tickets to “anyone you know or believe to be an illegal alien.”
“On what basis does someone know it or believe to know that?” Trasvina said. “There’s a great risk that the employee will go overboard.”
Large Latino groups are more likely to be targeted than a Japanese or German tour group, he said.