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A Bus Ride Lands an Immigrant in Detention

August 15, 2018 | by Arun Venugopal

Alfredo Flores, a Queens resident, boarded a Greyhound for Seattle in July. Little did he know that the bus would cross the border into Canada, and that he’d end up in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Flores, 36, is originally from Mexico and is undocumented.

“I was on my way to visit my brother for a work project,” he said at a press conference organized by Catalina Cruz in Jackson Heights.

Cruz is a candidate for State Assembly and a former Dreamer. She’s running against Assemblywoman Ari Espinal in the Sept. 13 primary, and argued that the Greyhound company didn’t adequately communicate its route, putting Flores at risk.

“I absolutely think they should be protecting the folks who ride their buses,” said Cruz.

Flores is now out on bond, paid for in large part through a Facebook fundraiser set up by his wife, an American citizen.

Update at 11:00 p.m.:

A spokesperson for Greyhound provided the following statement and image:

“We have a schedule that travels from New York to Seattle that stops in Toronto and London, ON before it continues on to Detroit and finally reaches Seattle. We believe this is the schedule on which Mr. Flores was traveling. On every schedule that crosses the border, there’s a mandatory transportation check. Customers are required to have a passport or proper documentation authorizing them to enter the other country, as with any transportation carrier crossing borders.”