Report reveals ‘disturbing’ secret Border Patrol Facebook group
by Harvest Prude
Posted 7/02/19, 12:13 pm
Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents made racist, sexually explicit, and callous comments about migrants and Hispanic members of Congress, according to a report published by ProPublica on Monday. Close to 9,500 current and former Border Patrol members were members of the group, the news site noted.
Some of the posts made light of the recent deaths of migrants, including a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May. One agent wrote, “If he dies, he dies.” Other posts were sexually explicit or made racist comments about members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas. In one post, an agent volunteered to throw burritos at Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers in response to their planned visit to a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees Border Patrol, said it will investigate the “disturbing social media activity.” U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said in a statement, “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the report by tweeting, “This isn’t about a ‘few bad eggs.’ This is a violent culture.”
Nearly a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other lawmakers on Monday visited facilities at the U.S. southern border following news reports of the detention of migrant children in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions. One 12-year-old girl said in a video obtained by the Associated Press that in one facility, children were unable to bathe, had to sleep on the floor, and care for other children.
Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted that migrants were forced to “drink out of toilets.” A CBP official denied the allegation, saying that the locations lawmakers toured had appliances where the sink dispenses safe drinking water but is attached to the toilet.
President Donald Trump on Monday signed a $4.6 billion emergency aid package Congress approved to improve conditions at the U.S. border with Mexico.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.