‘You don’t think that having 10,000 officers in a violent, racist group sharing rape memes of members of Congress points to any concern of a dehumanized culture?’ — @AOC pressed DHS Sec. Kevin McAleenan after he denied a dehumanized culture within Border Patrol pic.twitter.com/MiuHgvCWJM
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 18, 2019
Courtesy of USA Today:
The intense and personal line of questioning Thursday happened as McAleenan appeared before the House Oversight and Reform Committee to testify about his role in separating migrant children from their families and worsening conditions at the migrant detention centers along the southern U.S. border.
He was also asked several times about a secret Facebook group of current and former Border Patrol agents that contained more than 10,000 members and included posts mocking migrants and the deaths of children in custody and suggesting harm to Democratic lawmakers. After the group’s existence was revealed by a ProPublica report, McAleenan announced DHS was investigating the “disturbing” and “inexcusable” posts.
“Did you see the posts planning physical harm to myself and Congresswoman Escobar?” Ocasio-Cortez asked McAleenan. “Yes,” he answered. “And I directed an investigation within minutes of reading the article.”
“Did you see the images of officers circulating Photoshopped images of my violent rape?” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “Yes I did,” McAleenan responded.
OAC then asked McAleenan if the individuals who shared those images were still responsible for the safety of migrant women and children currently being detained.
McAleenan responded that some individuals had been put on administrative duties while HHS investigates but could not really say for certain that all of the folks who shared the images were separated from vulnerable immigrant women and children.
When AOC suggested that there may be a “dehumanizing culture” within the Customs and Border Protection, McAleenan vehemently disagreed with that assertion.
What then to make of this story from the Washington Post?
Courtesy of WaPo:
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent allegedly sought out an undocumented Guatemalan woman living in California, sent her Facebook messages and asked her to watch a live video of him masturbating — all while her 12-year-old son was in custody at the Border Patrol station in Clint, Tex., where he worked, according to an April complaint filed with CBP and interviews with the mother.
The complaint, obtained by The Washington Post, outlines conversations between the agent and the woman that she viewed as coercive, beginning with his asking for her Facebook handle after she was allowed to speak by phone with her son, who had been taken into custody at the border. She said in interviews that she had hoped the communication would yield information about her son but that instead she endured sexual advances from a CBP agent at the facility where her son was detained.
“I felt like the world was falling on top of me,” said the 48-year-old woman, an undocumented immigrant who came to the country from Guatemala and now lives in California. She spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution from the agent and other immigration authorities. “I felt my son is in the hands of a bad man.”
Yeah, something feels broken inside of the border patrol community, and it seems to me that it will only continue to get worse as long as Donald Trump is running the show.