Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Border patrol checking train and bus stops

The last time I wrote on the topic of travel I focused on air travel. I neglected to write about other forms of travel such as trains, buses and cars. I get car sick so when ever I have to be in a car for an extended amount of time I'm always next to an open window, the same goes with buses. I've been on road trips before and having to deal with immigration or getting arrested never became a concern. Not having a car or a friend with a car, riding a train became the only manner in which I cold safely travel without any fear of being deported or arrested. After receiving an email a couple of days ago I gave riding the train a second thought. New American Media reported that riders riding Amtrak rail ways or Greyhound bus lines have been getting stopped by immigration officials/border patrol and checked for proper documentation. The majority of these checkpoints have been near the Canadian border in the northeast and even in the midwest. Agents are basically checking for proper documentation like the police checking to make sure people riding the train or bus have proper fair. All this means to me that even traveling on trains and buses is becoming just as dangerous are air travel. I wanted to go visit my family by taking the train or even going to the San Diego comic-con, but reading this story makes me think twice. In the story they write that the bus companies and train companies knew about the check points and border patrols presence at its boarding stations. They answered that despite knowing that border patrol will be on hand, they have no need or responsibility to warn their passengers of their presence. Of course there's racial profiling because they are trying to find people who aren't in the U.S. legally. This just goes to show you that the immigration battle continues to grow everyday and the longer it carries on without any positive legislation, it's only going to keep getting worse and worse. It might even reach the point of, God forbid, immigration officials checking regular bus stops. The story also had a video of the incident to go along with it by Andrew Burton

Caught in Transit: The Rochester Border Patrol Station from Newshouse on Vimeo.