On July 1, ProPublica published an exposé of a secret Facebook group where 9,500 current and former Border Patrol agents mock the deaths of detained immigrants and post racist and sexist content. The three year old Facebook group is just the latest evidence of a disturbing culture of white supremacy and sexism among Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) employees.
While the Trump administration has dramatically escalated the detention and abuse of immigrants crossing the border, CBP agents’ culture of racist cruelty is longstanding. In 2014, a group of 116 unaccompanied immigrant children held in CBP detention filed a complaint alleging that agents denied them adequate food and water, blankets, and essential medical care.
Inexplicably, members of Congress, including Democrats, have approved a massive funding boost for CBP without adequate provisions to ensure the money is spent on aid rather than expanding Trump’s detention of asylum seeking immigrants. Instead of perpetuating CBP’s atrocities, Congress must demand a robust investigation of CBP and the termination of all active agents posting racist content online. Further, Congress must commit to opposing any additional funding for CBP as long as the agency continues to hold innocent people in appallingly dangerous conditions.