The president CEO of Greyhound has written to the head of the Department of Homeland Security, calling for the agency to provide proof that any undocumented asylum-seekers boarding its buses after release from DHS be COVID-free.
“Our top priority is the safety of our employees and passengers,” Greyhound’s David Leach wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
A Greyhound spokesperson confirmed the letter was sent to the agency and that the company "requested its assistance with the potential surge of migrants at the border."
The letter came during the same week that more than 100 migrants tested positive for the virus at a Brownsville, Texas, bus station as they prepared to board buses to northern U.S. destinations, according to Border Report.
“We need assurance that any detainees released by ICE have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, similar to the proof required for international airline passengers who arrive at US ports of entry,” Leach’s letter continued. “Greyhound already asks our customers to stay home and NOT travel if they are not feeling well or have been diagnosed with COVID. However, migrants simply do not have that choice unless the government or their sponsors house them while they quarantine. Therefore, it is critical to public safety that ICE provide 100% assurance that no one released that can be reasonably expected to ride a Greyhound bus be infected with COVID-19 (or mixed with other potential passengers that have tested negative).”
Leach noted that during previous surges of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014 and 2019, Greyhound worked with regional partners and charities to help transfer migrants “with dignity and humanity” but he added that the coronavirus had helped create a “much more serious challenge” for the company.
“We simply do not have buses and drivers ready to meet surges in demand without emergency funding,” Leach said. “In order to properly serve immigrants coming into the southern border and traveling to their sponsor destination, Greyhound will be operating one-way moves throughout the country and in order to get the resources back (buses and drivers) to the border to continue operations, Greyhound needs funding assistance to cover the costs of repositioning buses and drivers from other parts of the country to wherever they may be needed.”
Whether Mayorkas or any other DHS or Biden administration official responded to Leach this week was not immediately known.
Earlier this week, Mayorkas urged would-be migrants to “wait” before trying to enter the U.S. as the Biden administration worked to rebuild an immigration system that he described as “gutted.”
He claimed the migrant situation posed a “challenge” for the Biden administration but not a crisis.
Meanwhile, hundreds of migrants have been gathering near the U.S.-Mexico border, with one group in Tijuana, Mexico, reaching about 1,000 people, according to FOX 5 of San Diego.