New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the culture within Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “violent” in response to a report that a Facebook group of CBP agents posted derogatory content directed at her and illegal immigrants.
“This just broke: a secret Facebook group of 9,500 CBP officers discussed making a GoFundMe for officers to harm myself & [Democratic Texas] Rep. [Veronica] Escobar during our visit to CBP facilities & mocked migrant deaths. This isn’t about ‘a few bad eggs.’ This is a violent culture,” the first-term lawmaker tweeted Monday.
“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?” she continued.
Ocasio-Cortez was reacting to a ProPublica report released Monday about a secret Facebook group run by former and current Border Patrol agents. The group, first created in August 2016, is made up of over 9,000 members across the U.S. who have posted inflammatory pictures and comments, according to ProPublica.
In response to a post about Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers visiting a child migrant detention center in Clint, Texas, one member reportedly suggested a GoFundMe be launched to raise money for any person willing to throw a burrito “at these bitches.” Another commenter wrote: “There should be no photo ops for these scum buckets.” The members were reportedly irate at Ocasio-Cortez for comparing their facilities to Nazi concentration camps.
One image, according to ProPublica, featured a doctored photo of Ocasio-Cortez performing oral sex with a migrant inside a detention center. Another photo reportedly featured in the group depicts President Donald Trump forcing Ocasio-Cortez’s head toward his crotch, with accompanying text that read, “That’s right bitches. The masses have spoken and today democracy won.”
The name of the Facebook group is called “I’m 10-15.” The number refers to Border Patrol’s code for “alien in custody.” The online description of the group reportedly states that it’s intended to be a platform for “funny” and “serious” discussion about Border Patrol topics.
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee June 26, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Ocasio-Cortez has been a fierce critic of immigration enforcement since entering Congress. The self-identified Democratic socialist received enormous criticism after comparing illegal alien detention centers to concentration camps. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Holocaust Museum, the largest Holocaust museum in the U.S., publicly condemned her statements.
The New York Democrat also protested a bill that gave emergency supplemental funding to immigration agencies that are buckling under the weight as tens of thousands of illegal immigrants reach the U.S. border every month. (RELATED: Judge Rules Doctors Must Visit Child Migrant Facilities)
“How on earth can CBP’s culture be trusted to care for refugees humanely?” Ocasio-Cortez wrote Monday. Despite talk of a burrito possibly being thrown at her, she said she still plans on visiting the migrant detention center.
“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out. Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable,” Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation after publication of this article.
Matthew Klein, an assistant commissioner with the Office of Professional Responsibility, informed the DCNF that CBP immediately informed the DHS Office of Inspector General upon learning about ProPublica’s report and has since launched an investigation.
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