Chapter 2 of the border elements on the offensive positions

In a public report detailing the episode that cast a shadow on the agency’s reputation, investigators said Monday that two of the 60 Border Police agents who committed moral misconduct by participating in a private Facebook group that mocked immigrants and lawmakers have been fired.

Punishments for most officers who were part of the group were well below those recommended by the Internal Review Board, according to a task force report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

In the end, another 43 people were suspended without pay, 12 were reprimanded and three were punished in other ways, such as suspension from work for pay.

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Disciplinary Committee proposed firing 24 of the 60 clients after various news outlets reported the existence of this group in July 2019, but only two were fired. 135 allegations of moral misconduct were investigated.

A fired Texas agent, who spent 10 years on the Border Patrol, posted a photo of Pepe the Frog, “a symbol of the far-right, far-right movement and white supremacy,” and fake photos of President Joe Biden touching Representative and the report cited Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The other agent, based in California — who had been with the agency for 20 years and was punished in 2005 for undisclosed reasons — posted anti-gay memes and an altered image of then-President Donald Trump raping a congressman.

The report did not name the lawmaker, but Ocasio-Cortez said a Facebook group called “I’m 10-15” used a photo of her that looked like she was being raped.

According to the report, “My Age is 10-15,” the border guard code for detained immigrants, had about 9,500 members who were active agents and former agents, including two agency heads.

Carla Provost, who was in charge from August 2018 to January 2020 after more than a year as interim director, joined in 2017 and told authorities she used it to get an “unfiltered gauge” of reaction to your statements. Rodney Scott, who served as deputy dean until he was forced out in August, said the group allowed him to connect with staff and “see what they’re talking about.”

According to the report, CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, similar to the police’s home affairs office, did not find sufficient evidence to discipline Brigadier General or Scott.

The provost conducted “I’m 10-15” searches on Facebook and was active on the social network around the time of the offensive posts, but did not contribute inappropriate content. Scott said he has seen questionable content about immigrants on two occasions, but not enough to consider it reportable ethical misconduct.

House investigators noted that the images and content “contradict the ethics and values ​​of CBP and undermine the work that dedicated CBP officers do on a daily basis.”

“Unfortunately, the agency did not take appropriate steps to prevent this type of behavior or discipline the officers involved, creating a significant risk that this behavior will continue,” the researchers wrote.

Customs and Border Protection, which oversees border patrols, said a ministerial review ordered by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas is tasked with “identifying and ending intolerable bias, policy reform and training.”

“Customs and Border Protection will not tolerate hateful, misogynistic, racist, or other conduct inappropriate to the honor we enjoy as public officials,” the agency said in a statement.

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