Some people cower in the face of terror, Tiana Smalls gets in it’s face and tells it to keep stepping. After boarding a Las Vegas-bound Greyhound Bus in Bakersfield California, the Southern California resident became a paragon of resistance when Border Patrol agents got onto her bus and began to ask riders for identification.
During the interaction, Smalls reminded passengers of their constitutional rights, the importance of allyship, and that when it comes to ICE she does not come to play.
According to a post to Small’s Facebook account, agents requested passengers to show them proof of documentation.
Last Thursday, Smalls posted a story to her personal page recounting the moment Border Patrol agents boarded her bus. The Greyhound had reached a California/Nevada state line checkpoint and because the company has granted Border Patrol permission to board their buses and ask for identification at random, the bus was then ascended by agents. The driver of the bus soon made an announcement to travelers that launched Smalls into action. “We are being boarded by Border Patrol,” Smalls claims the bus driver said in her post. “Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request.”
It didn’t take long for Smalls to clue into what was about to take place or that she had to speak up. Smalls says that she took it upon herself to tell fellow passengers that the request was a violation of their 4th ammendemnt rights. But Small’s light bulb moment wasn’t over. She knew that the Latino passengers around her were more likely to be targeted by the agents than others. So, she took to Google Translate and read the message she had for them in Spanish. When she finished, Smalls says that she took to assuring a nerve-wracked woman beside her. “The lady next to me did not speak English. She looked terrified. I reassured her that I had her back.” Smalls wrote in her post to Facebook.
When the agents finally boarded, and announced that they were ready to make their checks, Smalls spoke out again. She says, that she promptly replied, “I’m not driving this bus, so you have NO RIGHT to ask me for anything.” She also asserted that because the bus was not within 100 miles of a border the agents had no legal right or jurisdiction in their location.
In her post, Smalls claims that it didn’t take long for the border agents to bow out. According to her, they left telling her “Fine. We can see that you’re a citizen because of your filthy mouth.”
Smalls closed her post reminding friends and those reading the now-viral post, “Use your voice. Take a risk. Because if you let them intimidate the poor Spanish speaking woman next to you, who do you think they’re coming for next?”
Read Smalls full story in her own words below.
Ok. Storytime: this is kinda long but PLEASE READ. It's about my experience last night with these fucking border patrol…