More than 9,000 US border patrol agents have exchanged on a secret Facebook group messages making a mockery of migrants and have made sexist insults and threats against congressional officials, revealed Monday an independent news site.
According to ProPublica, this “secret” group created in 2016 brings together 9,500 people, or half of the current workforce of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), responsible for monitoring US borders.
Called “I am 10-15”, a the code name which means “foreigners in detention”, the group describes itself as a “fun” and “serious” forum allowing the customs officers, former or current, to discuss “only” of their work .
However, comments in the group are usually insensitive and insulting, according to ProPublica, which has published several messages.
“If he dies, he dies,” a member says after the death in May of a 16-year-old migrant in a Texas detention center.
Another post even offered donations to the customs officer who will be “brave enough” to launch a burrito on the elected Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Veronica Escobar, during their visit scheduled Monday in the center of CBP in Clint.
These centers, which have recently been the target of a controversy over the conditions of detention of migrants, have been compared to “concentration camps” by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
A third message questions the authenticity of the photo of the body of a migrant and his young daughter found last week lying on the edge of the Rio Grande. The shot provoked excitement and anger in Mexico and the United States.
“You’ve already seen floating bodies as clean,” wonders the author of the message, saying that the photo could have been manipulated.
Border police methods have been decried since the mass arrivals of illegal migrants on the border with Mexico, which saturated detention facilities.
“There are 20,000 TOTAL Customs & Border Patrol agents in the US. 9,500 – almost HALF that number – are in a racist & sexually violent secret CBP Facebook group. They’re threatening violence on members of Congress. How do you think they’re treating caged children+families?”, denounced Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter.
CBP boss Carla Provost denounced the “completely inappropriate” and “unethical and unethical” messages by agents.
The Federal Border Agency announced that it had launched an investigation into this group.