U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on Tuesday that it will investigate the shocking Facebook posts of some employees, the same employees who oversee the vast network of concentration camps that have been described by independent observers as “torture facilities” at the U.S.-Mexico border.
CBP is under fire after it was revealed by ProPublica on Tuesday that 9500 current and former members of the law enforcement agency were members of a Facebook group called “I’m 10-15,” Border Patrol code for an “alien in custody.”
The Facebook group included vulgar comments about dead migrants and photoshopped depictions of President Donald Trump committing sexual violence against Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an outspoken critic of America’s concentration camps.
“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, head of CBP’s internal affairs unit, told ProPublica.
The investigation into the Facebook group will reportedly be conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, a department in the agency that has previously found “egregious violations” of health and safety standards at ICE facilities across the Unites States. Those violations include rotten food being fed to detainees and inadequate medical care.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of several Democratic politicians, along with Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, who all toured two concentration camps in Texas on Monday shortly after the ProPublica report was released.
One member of the CBP Facebook group, which was started almost three years ago, encouraged any Border Patrol agents who saw the members of Congress to throw a “burrito at these bitches.”
Another wrote, “Fuck the hoes,” according to ProPublica in a comment posted by a supervisor at the concentration camp agency. Ocasio-Cortez said that even she wasn’t safe in the facility on Tuesday.
“In the last facility, I was not safe from the officers in that facility,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN after visiting a concentration camp in Clint, Texas. When asked about the Facebook group, she said, “It’s just indicative of the violent culture that we saw on the inside.”
Members of the Congress were told by CBP not to take photos and were also instructed not to speak with the detainees. But some members spoke to detainees anyway and heard stories of systematic and sadistic torture.
The members of Congress were told that the detainees had been sleeping outside and were brought indoors and given blue sleeping bags shortly before the politicians arrived.
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro captured illicit video of the discussions against CBP’s instructions.
This moment captures what it’s like for women in CBP custody to share a cramped cell—some held for 50 days—for them to be denied showers for up to 15 days and life-saving medication. For some, it also means being separated from their children. This is El Paso Border Station #1. pic.twitter.com/OmCAlGxDt8
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) July 1, 2019
The women inside the facility also reported that detainees are given very little food, their medications are confiscated, they’re forced to sleep on the floor for weeks on end, and they resort to drinking from the toilets, a charge that CBP specifically denies.
“Drinking out of the toilet is completely untrue,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief of Operations Brian Hastings told CNN.
President Trump was asked about the Facebook group in the Oval Office on Monday and he seemed to excuse the behaviour while also signalling to his most hate-filled supporters that he wouldn’t give up his campaign of terror against migrants.
“Well, I don’t know what they’re saying about members of Congress,” Trump said on July 1 in statements aired by Fox News. “I know that the Border Patrol is not happy with the Democrats in Congress. I will say that the Republicans do want border security.”
“The Border Patrol, they’re patriots, they’re good people. They know what’s coming in,” Trump said as a racist dog whistle to his supporters.
President Trump also said that deportations would be expedited after the July Fourth holiday.
“After July Fourth a lot of people are going to be brought back out,” Trump said, according to NBC News.
“So people that come up maybe here for a short while, but they’re going to be gone, they’re going back to their countries. They go back home. ICE is going to be apprehending them and bringing them back.”