Here is what the public Facebook profile of Tiana Smalls posted on June 7. It’s raw but wow, it’s real, so real that it has gotten close to 40,000 shares and growing:
Ok. Storytime: this is kinda long but PLEASE READ. It’s about my experience last night with these fucking border patrol agents.
Last night, I rode the greyhound bus from Bakersfield to Las Vegas to visit family.
When we got to the California/Nevada state line, as always, there’s a checkpoint.
(This checkpoint USED to be one where they made sure you weren’t carrying fruits into California, bc of an invasive fruit fly species).
The bus driver makes an announcement: “We are being boarded by Border Patrol. Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request”.
WAIT. WHAT THE FUCK?
So you know I’m ready to act an ASS.
I stand up and say LOUDLY:
THIS IS A VIOLATION OF YOUR 4TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOW THEM *SHIT*!!! This is illegal. We are not within 100 miles of an international border so that have NO authority to ask you for ANYTHING. TELL THEM TO FUCK OFF!
And, Since my Spanish sucks, I Google translated how to say that in Spanish and repeated myself:
Esto es una violación de los derechos de su cuarta enmienda. ¡No tienes que mostrarles nada! Esto es ilegal No cumples, y no tengas miedo. Están equivocados, y no dejaremos pasar esto
The lady next to me did not speak English. She looked terrified. I reassured her that I had her back.
The agents get on. Proceed to announce that they are about to start asking for “documentation” from people.
I Stand up and yell “I’m not showing you shit! I’m not driving this bus, so you have NO RIGHT to ask me for anything! And the rest of you guys don’t have to show them anything, either! This is harassment and racial profiling! Don’t show them a gotdamn thing! We are not within 100 miles of a border so they have NO LEGAL RIGHT or jurisdiction here! GOOGLE IT!”
The agents start to look exasperated, because they can see I’m willing to act a WHOLE DONKEY. One of them said “Fine. We can see that you’re a citizen because of your filthy mouth”. And then they just said “go ahead” to the bus driver and got off.
Point is: These border patrol officers act like they do because they EXPECT people to be afraid of them and just comply. The lady next to me spoke NO ENGLISH, but she was a very kind woman. She looked TERRIFIED when they boarded. I felt it was my duty to defend her. We DO NOT LIVE in Nazi Germany. No one should be asked to present “papers” for interstate travel. I defended her, and I defended myself. We DO NOT HAVE to just take this shit LYING down. What those officers did is WRONG and completely illegal. All it took was ONE LOUD ass Black woman to let them know WE ARE NOT WITH THE SHITS. FUCK Y’ALL. And they backed off.
Use your voice. Take a risk. Act an ASS. Because if you let them intimidate the poor Spanish speaking woman next to you, who do you think they’re coming for next?
For those wondering, this practice by Border Patrol has been going on for years. And even some civil liberties groups tell you straight up that “Border Patrol may board buses and trains to question individuals about their citizenship. Other than at ports of entry, agents
boarding buses and trains may not search or even pat down luggage without consent or probable cause.”
But earlier this year, 10 ACLU affiliates filed this letter to Greyhound, arguing that such practices are a violation of the Fourth Amendment: