BANGOR (NEWS CENTER Maine) - A video recorded by a Concord Coach Lines passenger appears to show Customs and Border Patrol officers demanding the citizenship status of passengers before they board the bus.
The video was taken on May 28 by passenger Alec Larson as he boarded the bus at Concord Coach Lines' Bangor bus station.
"Are you folks U.S. citizens?" a border patrol agent says as he walks down the line of passengers. "I'm not answering that question, sir," Larson responds.
Moments later, passengers ask a Concord Coach Lines terminal employee if they must be U.S. Citizens to ride the bus, to which he responds, "Yes."
The company, however, says U.S. citizenship is not a requirement to ride the bus, for which tickets cost anywhere between $20 to $75.
In a statement, the company says Customs and Border Protection arrives at its facilities typically "without any forewarning," and that Concord Coach employees have "very little interaction" with CBP officers.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of both Maine and New Hampshire sent a letter to the company in April urging it to create a formal policy to refuse CBP presence on busses without a warrant, except at the border.
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says the department has increased its transportation checks around the country "to reinforce CBP's world-class approach to border security." She says transportation centers are often used by "alien smuggling and drug trafficking organizations to move people, narcotics, and contraband to interior destinations throughout the country."
Although most border patrol work is done close to country borders, the spokesperson says border patrol has the authority to board and search any vehicle within 100 air miles from the border.
Read U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's full statement here.
This story will be updated.