There’s been an increase in the presence of immigration agents in the country, including our valley. This comes as part of President Trump’s immigration crackdown. However, instead of watching people live in fear, some ACLU volunteers decided to help. Dozens of flyers were distributed today at the Indio Greyhound station, in an attempt to educate people on their rights if they are ever confronted by ICE or border patrol agents.
Luis Nolasco, the Community Engagement and Policy Advocate for ACLU says it is very important to keep the community informed and up to date on changes that are happening in our country.
“We are trying to prevent any more detention and deportations on Greyhound buses. There’s been an increase in sighting of border patrol presence in Greyhound stations across the country. Particularly in this station here. We’ve already had two cases of two folks that were detained by border patrol.”
So he, alongside of other volunteers, decided to do something about it.
“We had about 15 volunteers and we engaged a crowd of about 30 folks, either passengers or people who were picking up tickets.
They gave folks flyers, informing them of their rights if ICE or Border Patrol agents were to stop and ask them questions.
"Generally, they’re reception was great. We even had a woman who said she was undocumented and she wanted more to distribute to her friends and family.”
So if you’re wondering what those rights are:
“What we are telling folks and what’s on this card is that you always have the right to remain silent, searches are consensual, you don’t have to allow them to search you, and any information you volunteer to the immigration agents can and will be used against you. Again, remaining silent is super important.”
While this may be unsettling for some people, Luis says folks shouldn’t be scared.
“Border patrol and ICE agent presence shouldn’t be a deterrent for people traveling, just taking the precautions that if you are going to travel…making sure that you know your rights and that you exercise your rights.”
The flyers also have a hotline that you can call to report a sighting of border patrol or ICE agents at or near your bus, train, or station. The ACLU of Southern California number is 909-291-4739.