Homeland Security Chair Rebukes Border Patrol Over Secret Facebook Group

July 1, 2019 by Dan McCue
An Illustration of Facebook logo, on May 9, 2016. Facebook won a court case in China against Zhongshan Pearl River Drink Factory for using the name face book. (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)

WASHINGTON -The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee rebuked the Border Patrol Monday after a published report revealed the existence of a secret Facebook group in which border agents have posted lewd and derogatory content involving migrants and Democratic elected officials:

“This Facebook group is beyond sexist and racist – it is truly abhorrent and shameful, and there is no excuse for this depraved behavior,” Representative Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a written statement. “The agents found to be responsible for these vile comments should no longer have the privilege of representing the United States of America in uniform.”

The existence of the three-year-old Facebook group, which has roughly 9,500 members, was revealed Monday by ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigating abuses of power.

Among other things ProPublica found on the group’s site — called “I’m 10-15,” Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody” — were derogatory comments about Latina lawmakers who planned to visit a controversial Texas detention facility on Monday, calling them “scum buckets” and “hoes.”

Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to ProPublica’s screenshots of their postings.

In one exchange, group members responded with indifference and wisecracks to the post of a news story about a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May while in custody at a Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Texas.

One member posted a GIF of Elmo with the quote, “Oh well.”

Another responded with an image and the words “If he dies, he dies,” ProPublica said.

The group described itself, in an online introduction, as a forum for “funny” and “serious” discussion about work with the patrol.

“Remember you are never alone in this family,” the introduction said.

On Monday it was clear Representative Thompson saw nothing on the website a laughing matter.

“It is clear these Federal law enforcement officials seem empowered by President Trump and seem all too willing to take his anti-immigrant rhetoric to the next level when they think no one is watching,” the congressman said. “It is also clear that DHS, CBP, and the Border Patrol have serious and systemic problems that must be addressed immediately. The chaos within DHS needs to end and proper leadership needs to be put in place.”

Homeland Security

Espaillat-Rooney Bill Boosts Funding and Cooperation in the Caribbean
Drugs
Espaillat-Rooney Bill Boosts Funding and Cooperation in the Caribbean
November 24, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan measure increasing funding to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative to help combat corruption and illicit drug trafficking between the United States and Caribbean nations. Introduced by Reps. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and Francis Rooney, R-Fla.,... Read More

Government Election Officials Say Voting by Mail is Secure
2020 Elections
Government Election Officials Say Voting by Mail is Secure
October 7, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- State and federal election officials advocated for aggressive measures to prevent foreign influence and voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election during a congressional hearing Tuesday. They also denied President Donald Trump’s assertions that a big increase in mail-in voting to protect voters from... Read More

Countering Trump, US Officials Defend Integrity of Election
2020 Elections
Countering Trump, US Officials Defend Integrity of Election

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four weeks ahead of Election Day, senior national security officials provided fresh assurances about the integrity of the elections in a video message Tuesday, putting them at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to discredit the vote. “I'm here to tell you that... Read More

Voter Beware: US Tells Public How to Avoid Election Mischief
Homeland Security
Voter Beware: US Tells Public How to Avoid Election Mischief

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity agency have issued a series of advisories in recent weeks aimed at warning voters about problems that could surface in the election — as well as steps Americans can take to counter the foreign... Read More

US Remembers 9/11 as Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions
In The News
US Remembers 9/11 as Pandemic Changes Tribute Traditions

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans commemorated 9/11 Friday as a new national crisis — the coronavirus pandemic — reconfigured and divided anniversary ceremonies and a presidential campaign carved a path through the observances. In New York, victims' relatives gathered Friday morning for split-screen remembrances, one at... Read More

Tear Gas and Rubber Bullet Spending Jumps After Protests
In The News
Tear Gas and Rubber Bullet Spending Jumps After Protests

Federal agencies are bolstering arsenals of tear gas, sponge-tipped bullets and other crowd-control gear after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. agents to assume new policing powers in cities to quell protests that he said threatened government monuments, statues and property. The Justice Department, Homeland Security, and... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top