and the MTA a month ago saying they "felt harassed and very fearful of
riding the bus because of the saturation stings," says Hillary Ronen,
Campos' legislative aide. Ronen says some immigrants thought
that the MTA fare inspectors were immigration agents.
Ronen says she
understands that regular fare inspectors will continue checking for
fares, but MTA will halt the sting operations in which "the
police and fare enforcement officers will descend on a particular bus
at a particular time and pull people off the bus who don't have proof
of payment. My understanding is that it's the saturation that was so
terrifying, especially to people who don't know what's going on."
Update 5:20 p.m.: The SFMTA announced in a press release that it suspended its Proof of Payment saturation deployment on Friday, May 7. The decision was made after the May 5 meeting with the Immigration Rights commissioners Angus McCarthy and Lorena Malgrejo and the Executive Director of the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, Adrienne Pon.
According to the press release: "In light of the continuing national discussion on immigration and the confusion surrounding the 'uniform' presence with saturations, the SFMTA and the IRC have agreed to suspend saturations and work collectively in developing a training and outreach program for SFMTA Transit Fare Inspectors and Supervisors." The training will have an emphasis on "cultural and linguistic competency in serving immigrant communities." The release confirmed that the fare inspectors have been mistaken for ICE agents or police officers.