Sep 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Greyhound to pay $2.2 million to settle lawsuit over immigration sweeps

A Greyhound Lines Inc. bus station

Photo: Maranie Staab/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Greyhound will pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Washington state over the company's practice of allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to board and search its buses without warrants, the state attorney general's office announced Monday.

Why it matters: The money will given to passengers who were "detained, arrested or deported" after immigration agents performed an immigration sweep on a bus at the Spokane Intermodal Center, as well as to covering some of the litigation costs incurred by the attorney general's office.

The big picture: Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the deal just a day before his office's lawsuit against Greyhound was set to go to trial, per the New York Times.

  • The amount passengers receive from the settlement will be contingent on the number of claims they have lodged and the extent of damage suffered due to the company's conduct, the statement noted.
  • Greyhound has also agreed to implement several policy changes, including denying CBP agents entry onto buses without warrants or "reasonable suspicion" and providing training to drivers on how to communicate its policy to CBP agents.

What they're saying: "[O]n the eve of trial, Greyhound’s evasion has come to an end, and now it must pay $2 million for the harm it caused Washingtonians," Ferguson said in the statement.

  • "Greyhound has an obligation to its customers — an obligation it cannot set aside so immigration agents can go on fishing expeditions aboard its buses.”
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