Couple stopped at Rochester bus station faces possible deportation

May 16, 2018 08:47 AM

A Greyhound bus station in Rochester started court proceedings Tuesday for two individuals that might get deported to a country they no longer call home. 

These court proceedings got moved without their knowledge to another city and on another date. 

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"I said, 'here is my passport.' He said, 'no this doesn't have any weight,'" stated Jose Valdez and Teresa Oviedo. 

The couple shares the fear they experienced when the United States Border Patrol got on their Greyhound bus here in Rochester on January 31 and didn't accept their Mexican passport. 

"He said, 'come with me, it will be an hour or so.' But that turned into midnight," stated Valdez and Oviedo.  

U.S Customs and Border Patrol says this type of enforcement action away from the immediate border is an effort to prevent trafficking, smuggling, and other criminal organizations from exploiting public and private transportation.

These are operations, the agency says, that serve as a vital component of national security efforts. 

"The problem is they're doing it in a way that violates the constitutional right of New Yorkers. They are singling out people because of the color of their skin, an accent they may have," stated Jordan Wells, staff attorney of NY Civil Liberties Union.

U.S Border Patrol explains the action is legal, as immigration officers without a warrant, can board and search vehicles within 100 air miles from the border. 

"They are residents within our country. Both of them are productive residents of Newburgh. They have friends and family there," stated Paul Flansburg, Rapid Response Network. 

The thought of being deported terrifies the couple.

"I think we'll die there, I think we'll die there," stated Oviedo. 


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