Border Patrol to investigate agent Facebook group with racist, sexist posts

Border Patrol on Monday afternoon launched an investigation after racist and sexist posts in a Facebook group for agents were uncovered by news organization ProPublica.

ProPublica on Monday published a report about a Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents filled with derogatory posts targeting migrants and lawmakers.

While Customs and Border Protection (CBP) did not respond to multiple requests for comment before the ProPublica story went up, the agency on Monday said it has informed its watchdog of the posts and initiated a probe into the situation.

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"Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection was made aware of disturbing social media activity hosted on a private Facebook group that may include a number of CBP employees," Matthew Klein, assistant commissioner of the Office of Professional Responsibility, said in a statement released by CBP. 

"CBP immediately informed DHS [Department of Homeland Security] Office of the Inspector General and initiated an investigation," he said, noting that the conduct reported violates CBP's standards of conduct. 

CBP chief Carla Provost condemned the posts, calling them "completely inappropriate."

“Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable," she said in a statement.

The CBP statement came after multiple Democratic lawmakers Monday condemned the agency, saying the posts were rooted in a larger culture of bigotry.

The Facebook group unveiled by ProPublica is called “I’m 10-15,” a reference to the code for "aliens in custody." Its status is set to "secret" and it has about 9,500 members.

ProPublica verified that some of the posts were by agents, but it could not say whether all of them worked for CBP.

One post featured an illustration of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, while another showed President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE forcing Ocasio-Cortez toward his crotch with the comment, "That's right bitches. The masses have spoken and today democracy won." 

In response to a post about a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May at a Border Patrol station, one member wrote, "If he dies, he dies" while another posted an Elmo GIF that read, "Oh well."

One member encouraged agents to throw a "burrito at these bitches," referring to an upcoming CBP visit by Ocasio-Cortez and fellow Hispanic Caucus member Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarLawmakers, social media users praise photo of Pelosi confronting Trump Hispanic voters push campaigns to address gun violence Trump impeachment calls snowball, putting pressure on Pelosi MORE (D-Texas.)

“F--- the hoes,” wrote one member, who ProPublic reported appears to be a patrol supervisor. 

The Facebook page is allegedly filled with other hateful and bigoted language about immigrants and Hispanic members of Congress, according to the news outlet.

Ocasio-Cortez on Monday tweeted her disdain, writing, "9,500 CBP officers sharing memes about dead migrants and discussing violence and sexual misconduct towards members of Congress. How on earth can CBP’s culture be trusted to care for refugees humanely?"

Later in the day, she followed through on a plan to visit a CBP facility.

"I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me," she tweeted. "Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress."