Ocasio-Cortez condemns ‘violent culture’ of CBP following report of secret Facebook group

Rep. (D-N.Y) on Monday slammed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers following a report that found they had a private Facebook group filled with derogatory posts targeting migrants and several lawmakers, including herself.

In a series of tweets highlighting a ProPublica report, Ocasio-Cortez said it showed “a violent culture” within CBP, which includes the U.S. Border Patrol, and was not limited to “a few bad eggs.”

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“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? PS I have no plans to change my itinerary & will visit the CBP station today,” she wrote.

The first-year progressive lawmaker was slated to visit migrant camp facilities near El Paso, Texas, on Monday.

In the private Facebook group, Ocasio-Cortez was reportedly the subject of vile comments and images, such as one illustration of a smiling  forcing her head toward his crotch.

Other posts included jokes about migrants who died in CBP custody, according to ProPublica.

It is not immediately clear how many of the group’s 9,500 members are current or former CBP officers.

Ocasio-Cortez seized on that number, noting that nearly half of the 20,000 CBP agents were reportedly involved in the group.

“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,” she wrote. “They’re threatening violence on members of Congress. How do you think they’re treating caged children+families?”

CBP in a statement Monday afternoon said the posts were “disturbing,” adding that it notified the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General to have an investigation started.

“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the how and integrity I see—and expect—from our agents day in and day out,”  Border Patrol chief Carla Provost said in the statement. “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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