Immigration

Why was a 2nd Greyhound passenger taken into custody? Border Patrol just gave a reason

Another immigrant taken into custody at a bus stop in Fort Lauderdale

Agents from the Office of Customs and Border Protection detained another immigrant during a check carried out at a Greyhound bus stop in Fort Lauderdale.
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Agents from the Office of Customs and Border Protection detained another immigrant during a check carried out at a Greyhound bus stop in Fort Lauderdale.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said the second recent video of agents taking a passenger off a Greyhound bus at the Fort Lauderdale station showed the arrest of a man who had overstayed a Crewman visa.

The emailed statement also reiterated that the video from advocacy group Florida Immigrant Coalition showed common actions that are legal.

Wednesday’s email from U.S. Border Patrol’s Miami Sector on Wednesday: “While performing an immigration inspection at a Ft. Lauderdale bus station, Border Patrol agents identified a passenger who was illegally residing in the United States. The subject was an adult male from Trinidad & Tobago that had overstayed his Crewman visa. He was arrested and transported to the Dania Beach Border Patrol station for further investigation and later turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) for removal proceedings.”

A WSVN-Channel 7 report identified the man as Andrew Anderson, a Miami Beach business owner and 12-year Miami resident.

The U.S. State Department website defines Crewman visas as “nonimmigrant visas for persons working on board sea vessels or international airlines in the United States, providing services required for normal operation and intending to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days.”

The Border Patrol email also included: “Agents routinely conduct law enforcement activities at transportation hubs as part of a layered approach to preventing illegal aliens from traveling further into the United States. These operations are conducted at strategic locations that serve as conduits for human and narcotic smuggling, disrupting criminal organizations from further exploiting this mode of transportation.”

After a Jan. 19 video showed Border Patrol agents on a bus at the Fort Lauderdale Greyhound station taking a Jamaican grandmother into custody for overstaying her tourist visa, Border Patrol stated, “The Immigration and Nationality Act 287(a)(3) and CFR 287 (a)(3), state that Immigration Officers, without a warrant, may within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States … board and search for aliens in any vessel within the territorial waters of the United States and any railcar, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle.”

“Reasonable distance” has been defined as 100 air miles from the border. That covers the entire state of Florida.

On Friday, January 19, 2018, U.S. border patrol officials boarded a Greyhound bus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and demanded proof of citizenship from every passenger.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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