FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Customs and Border Safety patch is seen on the arm of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Mission, Texas, U.S., July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photograph
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Division of Homeland Safety officers knew in 2016 a couple of personal Fb group the place border brokers posted racist and misogynistic feedback, appearing DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan stated on Sunday.
McAleenan stated on ABC’s “This Week” that he had been instructed about an allegation in 2016 “that was investigated, adopted up on, and that self-discipline was meted out on an agent that made an offensive publish on that web site.”
The Customs and Border Safety (CBP) service got here underneath hearth over the difficulty final Monday, when the nonprofit information website ProPublica reported that offensive content material had been posted on a non-public Fb group for present and former CPB officers.
Posts included jokes in regards to the deaths of migrants and sexually specific feedback referring to U.S. Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the information outlet stated.
McAleenan stated the Fb web page was a non-public website run by a bunch of people of their off-duty hours and never underneath CBP management. He stated DHS did put out a social media coverage encouraging border brokers to keep up requirements and a code of conduct on social media.
When the newest Fb posts emerged, he stated he directed a right away investigation. “It had already been reported to our inspector common. They have been already trying into it,” he instructed ABC.
A number of brokers have been positioned on administrative duties and stop and desist letters have been despatched to extra, McAleenan stated. “This investigation is constant, and the brokers might be held accountable if they’re CBP workers who did inappropriate issues,” he stated. “I don’t suppose it’s reflective of the women and men we’ve.”
On Friday, the chairman the Home of Representatives’ Homeland Safety Committee requested an inside watchdog to research whether or not prime officers at DHS and CBP knew in regards to the Fb group.
“Such vile and threatening habits from brokers of america authorities is solely unacceptable” and “must be grounds for instant dismissal,” U.S. Consultant Bennie Thompson stated in a letter to the DHS’s appearing inspector common.
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Modifying by Lisa Shumaker