March 4, 2020
No grounds for cross border passport checks – Anderson

Foyle MLA Martina Anderson questioned Translink at the Infrastructure Committee today about passport checks on its cross-border buses.

Martina Anderson said:

“Since 2019, concerns have been building over the increasing number of passport and identity checks being carried out on cross-border transport routes.

“It has been reported that these checks have, at times, been conducted on the basis of racial profiling.

“These checks are also contrary to immigration law, north and south.

“Both British and Irish immigration law exempts people travelling over the partition border in Ireland from carrying and producing passports, yet immigration checks are occurring on our cross-border bus services.

“In a democratic society the powers of law enforcement officers to stop persons and seek papers confirming their identity and status are to be strictly controlled and clearly provided for by law.

“Under what obligation is Translink under to facilitate these checks?

 “Additionally, Translink is a public body and is obliged to equality test policy decisions, so why has the facilitation of passport checks not been equality screened?

 “A harder border must not be allowed to creep into Ireland, and all people on this island must be free from such potentially discriminatory profiling practices.” 

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