Border patrol agents upstate are increasingly arresting New York City undocumented immigrants aboard Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses, raising questions that the government sometimes resorts to racial profiling, immigration advocates and attorneys said.
The arrests have been an authorized practice for decades but seem to have hit a fevered pitch recently, according to advocates.
The patrols have sparked protests in the city as well as upstate, most recently last weekend in Syracuse, where a group said that agents have even targeted U.S. citizens who look "foreign". Immigration attorneys say witnesses have said that agents sometimes question only people of color.
"We are a nation of law, but is their enforcement money better spent going after criminals and youth gangs?" asked the Rev. Brian Jordan, of the Franciscan Immigration Center in Manhattan, who has counseled one Irish and 12 Mexican and Central American undocumented immigrants who were taken off Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains in the past year.
Word of the patrols has broken out in some immigrant communities, and people who have overstayed visas or who never had one are staying off trains.
"Certainly it sent shockwaves through the Irish community," said a Manhattan Irish pub owner, whose bartender was recently deported after Border Patrol agents found him on a bus without identification. "You're not safe anywhere."
BY ANNIE KARNI - Special to the Sun
April 20, 2007
Amtrak is planning to roll out new service on its much-maligned and often-delayed Acela route this July, providing nonstop service between New York and Philadelphia for the first time. The new route would also provide nonstop service to Washington from Philadelphia.
Cutting three New Jersey stops from the trip and shaving down commute times between New York and Philadelphia to about an hour could help solidify the "sixth borough" status of the City of Brotherly Love, real estate brokers and developers said.
About 1.5 million passengers a year use Amtrak to commute between New York and Philadelphia on a regular basis, and the number is growing, particularly among people in their 20s and 30s seeking more affordable housing, real estate brokers said. Amtrak expects the new line to boost its business clientele, a spokesman said.
Dream, Necessity, Or Both?
March 11, 2007
PHILADELPHIA -- To many people across America, the historic Northeast Corridor -- Maine to Virginia -- has an old, cold, crowded image. But could it be young, green and creative, a cutting-edge region of 21st-century America?
That question, posed by Petra Todorovich of the New York Regional Plan Association, engaged a Northeast Climate and Competitiveness Summit convened here March 2.
A close geographic match to many of the 13 colonies that formed the United States more than 200 years ago, the Northeast Corridor today is 50 million people strong and can boast a $2.7 trillion economy, 27 percent of the nation's output. In finance, media, health care and higher education, it still trumps many newer regions of the nation.
Posted on Mon, Sep. 18, 2006
Amtrak fares up; ridership adapts
With monthly commuter pass increases as high as 59 percent, some commuters have sought alternatives.
By Larry King
Inquirer Staff Writer
To Amtrak officials, squeezing out holders of discounted monthly passes to open more seats for full-fare occasional riders is smart business - especially when it is under pressure to cut its deficits and lacks the cash to add more trains.