News Roundup: Activists Petition Greyhound To Ban Border Patrol Agents From Its Buses

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelOctober 22, 2018 1:47 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups delivered 200,000 signed petitions to the Greyhound bus headquarters in downtown Dallas at the end of last week. As Stella Chavez with KERA News reports, the ACLU wants the company to stop allowing U.S. Border Patrol agents onto their buses to question passengers.

Gathered in a downtown Dallas park, immigrant advocates say Greyhound has the right to refuse Border Patrol agents from boarding their buses without a warrant or probable cause.

The campaign, called Transportation Not Deportation, accuses agents of racial profiling and violating passengers’ constitutional rights by asking that they prove their U.S. citizenship.

Texas Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro says the practice is happening in heavily Hispanic areas and beyond border checkpoints.

“Greyhound is doing something they don’t have to do,” Castro said. “They’re subjecting many of their passengers who have paid them a fare, who have helped them thrive as a company for so many years in this great country. They’re subjecting them to warrantless searches, to racial profiling.”

After a series of speeches, the group walked several blocks to Greyhound’s headquarters carrying boxes containing 200,000 signed petitions. Tricia Martinez, senior vice president for Greyhound’s legal department, read a statement from CEO Dave Leach. The statement said the company understood customers’ concerns but that the searches were legal. She also said Greyhound doesn’t coordinate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“CBP officers do not ask our permission to board our buses, she said. “We do not want to put our drivers’ safety or our passengers at risk by attempting to stop federal agents from doing legal checks.”

More protests are planned in the coming weeks, including one in Los Angeles later this month.

A boil water notice has been issued for the entire city of Austin, according to KUT News in Austin. City manager Spencer Cronk said at a press conference that historic flooding in the past week has inundated the city’s water sources with high concentrations of silt.

“As it turns out the unprecedented, rain, flooding of our lakes and rivers is having impacts beyond the dams and shorelines of Central Texas,” Crock said. “Our water system is the most recent infrastructure to keep up with the impacts. Yesterday, we asked our customers to reduce your use and today we are now asking you to not drink from the sink.”

The impact of recent heavy rains and flooding has been widespread, affecting parts of North, Central, and South Texas. Governor Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for more than 50 counties.

A Mexican journalist seeking asylum in the United States appears before an immigration judge in El Paso this morning.

Emilio Gutierrez-Soto’s case gained national attention after federal officers in west Texas detained him and his son during a routine immigration check-in. He was held for months before being freed from detention this summer.

Gutierrez has been seeking asylum in the United States for about a decade, after facing death threats in Mexico for reporting on government corruption.