Just one week after numerous racist, sexist, and abusive comments were discovered in a secret Facebook group for former and current border patrol agents was exposed by ProPublica, a second, equally disgusting group has been discovered.
What is profoundly disturbing is that the Border Patrol agents and leadership who posted these heinous things have power over migrants — including vulnerable women and children. This is truly a broken agency in desperate need of complete reform.
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) July 4, 2019
Memes disparaging Latino and Asian people were found in the group as well as posts taunting legislators, including sexually explicit remarks and memes. Abuse reported at these detention camps indicates that the situation is long since out of control, and leaving racist, misogynistic men in charge of vulnerable migrants, including women and children, is suddenly occuring to some as a terrible idea.
CNN reports that:
‘The existence of the group “I’m 10-15” was exposed by the investigative reporting group ProPublica earlier this week.
‘It is unclear if the 2018 memo is referring to “I’m 10-15” or a different Facebook group, or what the specific impetus was for issuing a notice to the workforce at that time.
‘When asked about the memo to the workforce, a CBP spokesperson Michael Friel told CNN, “With the rise of online social activity by employees, the agency provided guidance related to how agents should conduct themselves on and off duty.”‘
The news comes as some agents have begun speaking out against their co-workers, including one agent who reported that agents forced a Honduran man to carry a sign indicating that he is gay in front of other men in the detention center. Children have reported sexual and physical abuse, and lawmakers heard from migrants who described horrifying conditions when they visited these facilities at the beginning of July.
‘Politico reported on Tuesday that US Border Patrol leadership knew, as far back as 2016, about images that show agents engaging in conduct that includes simulating sex acts and taking selfies while defecating.’
So far, the response from senior officials has been to warn agents about their behavior on social media, which entirely misses the point. Being racist and abusive in secret is not anymore acceptable for government officials in charge of fragile lives than doing it publicly. With a president like Trump in charge, though, can anything else really be expected?
‘In response to the Politico story, Friel told CNN that “posts of concern were sent to CBP leadership at the time and those posts were then referred to the Office of Professional Responsibility for further investigation and the investigation was done and completed.”
‘Additional information on the investigation could not be provided because of employee privacy concerns.’