Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former U.S. Border Patrol agents joked about migrant deaths and posted sexist memes, including a vulgar photo illustration depicting Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex at an immigrant detention center, ProPublica reports. The text accompanying the illustration: “Lucky Illegal Immigrant Glory Hole Special Starring AOC.”
The Facebook group, created in August 2016, has roughly 9,500 members.
The Border Patrol, which polices the nation’s northern and southern borders, has come under increased scrutiny amid the Trump administration’s aggressive moves to halt the influx of migrants across the Mexican border. Some 20,000 agents serve under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, which has been widely accused of mistreating children and adults in its custody.
In one exchange in the Facebook group, ProPublica reports, members joked about or callously dismissed a news story of a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May while in custody at a Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Texas. One posted a GIF of Elmo with the quote, “Oh well.” Another responded with the words, “If he dies, he dies.”
In response to news of a planned visit by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — including Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Veronica Escobar — to a Border Patrol facility outside of El Paso, Texas, one member encouraged agents to hurl a “burrito at these bitches.” Another wrote, “F**k the hoes.” Said another, “There should be no photo ops for these scum buckets.”
Ocasio-Cortez denounced the posts on Twitter:
This just broke: a secret Facebook group of 9,500 CBP officers discussed making a GoFundMe for officers to harm myself & Rep. Escobar during our visit to CBP facilities & mocked migrant deaths.
This isn’t about “a few bad eggs.” This is a violent culture. https://t.co/SkFwThHElx
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 1, 2019
Another post in the Facebook group involved a photo illustration of President Trump forcing Ocasio-Cortez’s head toward his crotch, ProPublica reports. The agent who posted the image said, “That’s right bitches. The masses have spoken and today democracy won.”
The head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Joaquin Castro, reviewed the Facebook posts, telling ProPublica, “It confirms some of the worst criticisms of Customs and Border Protection. These are clearly agents who are desensitized to the point of being dangerous to migrants and their coworkers.” Castro, a Democrat who represents San Antonio, added that the agents who made the vulgar comments “don’t deserve to wear any uniform representing the United States of America.”
Read the full story at ProPublica.