The practice was an effective way of finding illegal immigrants. The Obama administration said they wanted to take pressure off the immigration system. They want to spend more time finding and deporting illegal immigrants who have committed crimes.
Border agents are opposed to the change. Illegal immigrants often go directly to transportation hubs after entering the country. The government said that local commanders can still go after illegal immigrants when they have intelligence that the immigrants got into America illegally.
The change in policy is very controversial. There is little doubt that agents going aboard buses and trains and asking suspicious people for identification detained many illegal immigrants. Immigrant advocacy groups said the practice was racial profiling and a violation of their civil liberties.
Border agents are now saying they now have little work to do. Managers of transportation hubs are saying there is less security in their terminals.
A representative of the American Civil Liberties Union said: “If the Border Patrol is not boarding buses and trains and engaging in the random questioning of people, that’s a step in the right direction. People should not be questioned by government officials when there’s no reason to believe they have done anything wrong.”