A recent incident at the Fort Lauderdale Greyhound bus station has put a spotlight on the practices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Florida. ICE officials removed a passenger from a Greyhound bus on January 22, 2018, after entering the vehicle and asking for proof of citizenship from all individuals on board. According to ICE, this practice is normal and legal under U.S. regulations. The incident was captured on video and disseminated widely on social media networks, leading to questions from members of the public about ICE activities and practices.
Passenger Accused of Overstaying Visa
The passenger in the video has been identified as Andrew Anderson, a business owner from Miami Beach. He was taken into custody on charges of overstaying a Crewman visa, which is a nonimmigrant visa issued to individuals who work on seagoing vessels or airlines. Anderson had been in residence in the Miami area for 12 years.
The Second Incident in One Week
Anderson’s detention comes on the heels of another highly publicized action by ICE against a Jamaican grandmother who was in the country visiting her family in the Fort Lauderdale area. This incident occurred on January 19, 2018, and received widespread attention from social media networks and members of the press. In both instances, ICE officials boarded a bus and demanded to see proof of citizenship or legal residence from all persons present at the time.
Proximity to the Border Cited as Justification
Federal law allows ICE and other customs and border patrol agents to conduct checks on all forms of transportation within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Florida’s geographical layout, however, means that these checks can take place at any time or place within much of the state. Opponents of the practice note that this allows ICE to conduct searches and seizures without due process and represents a serious threat to civil liberties within the state.
If you or someone you know has been detained by ICE, consulting with a Miami immigration lawyer can be a good first step toward resolving your issues and remaining in the U.S. legally. At Pozo Goldstein, we work with you at every stage of the process to ensure that your rights are protected. Choosing a Miami immigration lawyer from our office can provide you with the most assertive representation and the best outcomes for your case. Call us today at 305-856-0400 to discuss your case with us. We are here to serve your immigration needs.