The House Oversight Committee wants documents related to the the Customs and Border Protection agency’s investigation into a Facebook group where some CBP staff made racist jokes about migrants.
In a letter to CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said the committee was concerned that staffers and officials who participated in the Facebook group were still working with immigrants. During a committee hearing earlier this month, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan told member that involved staffers were placed on administrative duties.
“The Committee is investigating racist, sexist, and xenophobic comments relating to immigrants and Members of Congress made by employees of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in ‘secret’ Facebook groups,” Cummings wrote. “On July 18, 2019, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan testified before the Committee that these posts were ‘unacceptable.’ The Committee is concerned that Border Patrol agents and other CBP employees who wrote posts disparaging immigrants may still be working with immigrants and children.”
Cummings asked for documents as far back as January 20, 2017 related to the groups “I’m 10-15,” “The Real CBP Nation” and any other Facebook groups in which CBP employees made inappropriate comments.
After ProPublica published an exposé on the Facebook groups — which included sexist and racist memes about immigrants and Latino members of Congress — CBP announced it would investigate the group and the employees caught posting in it, which included 62 current employees and eight former staffers. However, Politico later reported that CBP was aware of at least one of the Facebook groups for nearly three years before it was exposed.
Multiple CBP spokespeople did not return TPM’s request for comment about the document requests.
Read the letter from Cummings below:
- -Hiring More Journalists
- -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism