A Black California woman wasn’t here for what she called an illegal search of a Greyhound bus by U.S Border Patrol.
The San Francisco Gate reported that Tiana Smalls, who owns a makeup company, said she was traveling from Bakersfield to Las Vegas to visit family on June 6 when the bus driver made an announcement near the California-Nevada state line that customs would be asking for passengers to provide their papers.
In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Smalls describes the alleged Fourth Amendment Right violation.
“We are being boarded by Border Patrol. Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request,” the driver reportedly said.
Smalls then jumped out of her seat and said: “This is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. You don’t have to show them s—. This is illegal.”
She then used Google to translate the message into Spanish for the non-English speaking passengers, including the woman who sat beside her that “looked terrified.”
“I reassured her that I had her back,” Smalls wrote.
She explained that customs and Border Patrol officers didn’t have the authority to enforce certain activities because the bus was not within 100 miles an external U.S. border.
“They have no authority to ask you for anything,” she said.
Smalls added that Border Control retreated and told the bus to drive on once they realized what Smalls had told the passengers.
Smalls ended her post by urging others to speak out and up.
“Use your voice. Take a risk,” she wrote. “Because if you let them intimidate the poor Spanish-speaking woman next you, who do you think they’re coming for next?”
Of course, many people on Twitter praised Smalls for her act of bravery.
Interestingly enough, Border Control officials deny this incident ever happened, the San Fran Gate noted. However, a statement on the ACLU’s website says that this treatment has been happening through the country for while.
“ACLU affiliates in Washington, California, Arizona, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Florida have reported multiple incidents involving Border Patrol agents boarding Greyhound buses without a warrant or consent, and terrorizing passengers by demanding their papers. These reports indicate that Border Patrol agents routinely engage in racial and ethnic profiling, singling people out for the color of their skin or accents.”