Travelers in Bangor, Maine, this past Memorial Day captured a video of Customs and Border Patrol asking passengers boarding a commercial bus if they are United States citizens. As they approached the bus, a passenger asked the driver, who stood to the side watching, if they had to be U.S. citizens to ride the bus.
The bus driver answered “yes.”
The bus was from a private company, Concord Coach Lines. As a private company they have no legal obligation to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
New Hampshire American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in connection with Maine ACLU released the video on their Facebook page June 13, 2018.
People are outraged and sharing their thoughts on Facebook and Twitter. They’re also drawing parallels to different points in history.
Your service should be provided to everyone! Do you really want to be remembered for such behavior? Shame on you. Remember the Nuremberg Trials?
— Peter Simm (@PeterSzym) June 16, 2018
Devastated that a service I use or used embraces racist policies.
— Mia Kerick (@MiaKerick) June 16, 2018
They’re doing this throughout New England and NY! I took a bus fr Worcester Ma to Rochester NY and agents approached everyone that looked Hispanic,started asking questions about their travels and for IDs! Anyone w an accent was asked to remain seated & not allowed to de board
— viti (@kenvitiello) June 16, 2018
I can't help but feel like these ICE agents are a precursor to a Nazi-like police force, if we don't vote Trump out of office.
— Dalia (@daliagirl33) June 16, 2018
Concord Coach Lines released a statement on both Facebook and Twitter, stating they do not have any sort of agreement with Customs and Border Protection.
Concord Coach Lines has no partnership with CBP and US citizenship is not a requirement to use our service. Please see attached for full statement. pic.twitter.com/7hAIqIu85D
— Concord Coach Lines (@concordcoach) June 16, 2018
But to many people, their response to the incident is not enough.
Well, CBP is the main problem, and on further thought, focusing on the driver is a waste of resources. But a driver ought to know whether his bus bans non-citizens or not.
— Gary McGath (@GaryM03062) June 17, 2018
What about an apology? @concordcoach
— Kizzski (@Kizzski) June 16, 2018
Everyone else thinks you are lying and are Actively working with ICE.
— Michael Mitsuda (@mmitsuda) June 16, 2018
Until you can prove to your customers that your employees are not creating an unfriendly and threatening atmosphere.. we must #BoycottConcordCoach– that employee should be fired. I'm sure his ignorance goes beyond this issue #ShameOnYou #ShameOnHim
— JasonJobson (@JasonJobson) June 17, 2018
This isn't a response. What do you mean he “made a mistake that we share.” This isn't sufficient. Make it difficult for CBP/ICE operate in your facilities, stand up for your passengers, do more. Have interactions with them, tell them to stop harassing your passengers.
— mistress aquafaba (@SargeDonovan) June 17, 2018
The ACLU is hoping to work with Concord Coach Lines to end their complicity with ICE and CBP. They also encourage anyone who experiences similar issues with Concord Coach or any other private companies to contact their local ACLU affiliate.