Border Patrol is rotten from top to bottom. We know this because Border Patrol chief Carla Provost was a member of the secret Facebook group where agents mocked migrant deaths and shared racist and sexist memes, The Intercept has found. “Provost’s comment was innocuous—a friendly clapback against a group member who questioned her rise to the top of the Border Patrol—but her participation in the group, which she has since left, raises serious questions.”
Responding to the initial reports of the secret Facebook group—which officials had actually known about since 2016—Provost had said, “These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see—and expect—from our agents day in and day out. Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”
But The Intercept found she’d commented in the group three months after being promoted to her current position last year, with several other Border Patrol supervisors joining her as members. “It is technically possible that someone else posted in the group using the individuals’ accounts,” but that’s giving them all the undeserved benefit of the doubt.
Among the vile images shared by group members was a doctored photo of Donald Trump sexually assaulting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In another post, “group members responded with indifference and wisecracks to the post of a news story about a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May while in custody at a Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Texas,” ProPublica reported, with one posting a meme of the muppet Elmo that read, “Oh well.” That child, Carlos Gregorio Hernández Vásquez, likely died alone, in a Border Patrol cell.
This is the culture of Border Patrol: racism, violence, and death. Remember the federal government has already had to pay out tens of millions of dollars in settlements because of border agents’ actions. We’ve funded that, and we’re also funding the current cruelty we’re seeing directed at vulnerable migrant children. It’s not a matter of a few bad apples. It’s a rotten agency, from top to bottom.