sunny.png
Tuesday August 20th, 2019 10:01AM

Graphic, sexually explicit Facebook posts roil Border Patrol

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CLINT, Texas (AP) — The head of the U.S. Border Patrol slammed as "completely inappropriate" sexually explicit posts about U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and comments questioning the authenticity of a photo of a drowned man and his young daughter in a secret Facebook group for agents.

The existence of the group was reported by ProPublica as roughly a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Democrats Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Veronica Escobar of Texas, toured border facilities where attorneys said they had found migrant children living in fetid, filthy conditions.

Some of the posts were graphic, doctored images of Ocasio-Cortez, including one that shows a smiling President Donald Trump forcing her head toward his crotch. Other comments refer to Ocasio-Cortez and Escobar as "hoes," and one member encouraged agents to throw a "burrito at these bitches."

Ocasio-Cortez said she wasn't surprised by the posts, especially after the treatment of migrants she said she witnessed at the facility.

"It's just indicative of the violent culture that we saw," she said.

The revelation about the Facebook posts only added to the vitriolic atmosphere surrounding immigration and the treatment of tens of thousands of migrants who have crossed the border, vastly straining the system that has been struggling to keep up amid Trump's hardline rhetoric.

The Democrats delivered an emotional denunciation of what they saw inside the border facilities as protesters shouted that they didn't believe them.

"When we went into the cell, it was clear that the water was not running ... in fact, one of the women said that she was told by an agent to drink from the toilet," said Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas and twin brother of presidential candidate Julian Castro.

The Texas visit came the same day as Trump signed a $4.6 billion emergency aid package that Congress passed on Friday. The Democratic-led House had pushed for more restrictions on how the money could be used and stricter oversight, but ultimately lost the battle.

Trump said he hadn't seen the postings, but claimed Border Patrol agents were not happy with Congress.

"So the Border Patrol, they're patriots, they're great people. They love our country. They know who's coming in," said Trump.

Lawmakers who toured the facilities shared their experiences widely on social media. Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts called them "jail-like. No way to keep a child or innocent human being." The head of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, California Rep. Judy Chu said "what we saw was appalling and disgusting."

Castro said there would likely be a Congressional investigation into the Facebook posts.

Billed as "fun, serious and just work related," the group of about 9,500 members of current and former Border Patrol employees states: "We are family, first and foremost," according to ProPublica.

Another thread involved the image published last week by The Associated Press of a migrant father and his toddler, drowned on the banks of the Rio Grande. One commenter suggested the image was doctored because the bodies were too clean.

"We've all seen the dems and liberal parties do some pretty sick things," the comment read.

Facebook wouldn't say Tuesday whether the offensive posts had been taken down. But in statement, the social network said it was cooperating with the government in its investigation.

They marked a sharp contrast to accounts of Border Patrol officers spending their own money on food for migrants in their care, or rescuing migrants from the Rio Grande , or from a bombing range in Arizona. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of Border Patrol, said an investigation into "disturbing social media activity" was underway.

"These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out," Border Patrol chief Carla Provost said. "Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable."

Ocasio-Cortez raised hackles last month when she tweeted: "This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying."

Her tweet set off a firestorm of criticism from GOP lawmakers and others over her use of "concentration camps," with some saying she was unfairly comparing the southern border to the Holocaust. The Border Patrol's union, while condemning the Facebook posts, also took a swipe at her.

"Whether one agrees with the politics of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Escobar, they both must be treated with dignity and respect," according to a statement from the union. "Similarly, when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez refers to CBP facilities as concentration camps ... she does nothing to improve the political discourse."

___

Long reported from Washington. Associated Press Writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report from Washington.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Washington playing stellar defense during winning streak
Washington Mystics playing stellar defense during 5-game winning streak
1:11PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: EU top job favorite pulls out of the race
German European Union lawmaker Manfred Weber says he's resigning as lead candidate for the center-right European People's Party, the biggest group in the EU parliament, ending his run for one of Europe's top jobs
1:02PM ( 17 minutes ago )
To boost milk, dairy groups see hope in lattes in schools
Coffee bars are popping in high schools, and not just because students want to cram for tests
1:00PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Graphic, sexually explicit Facebook posts roil Border Patrol
The head of the U.S. Border Patrol says sexist and insensitive posts in a closed Facebook group are "completely inappropriate"
12:45PM ( 35 minutes ago )
EU leaders battle to end embarrassing top jobs impasse
European Union leaders are huddling again to try to overcome a very embarrassing public deadlock over a series of job nominations to key posts at the helm of the bloc for at least the next five years
12:41PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Jury deliberates case of Navy SEAL charged with murder
Military jury resumes deliberating decorated Navy SEAL charged with murder and other crimes in Iraq
12:36PM ( 43 minutes ago )
AP National News
NASA launches Orion crew capsule to test abort system
NASA launches test version of its Orion capsule to demonstrate the abort system meant to save astronauts
11:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
Chileans and Argentines ready to gaze at total solar eclipse
Tens of thousands of tourists have flocked to cities and towns across northern Chile to stake out spots in one of the world's best locations to witness Tuesday's total solar eclipse
11:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
Girl recalls poor care in Texas border station
The Associated Press has obtained video that shows a 12-year-old girl talking about mistreatment in a border station in Clint, Texas
11:10AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
GOP political donation tool to rival Trump's preferred app
A Texas company is launching a new political donation app for Republicans that will rival a similar platform endorsed by President Donald Trump, potentially complicating GOP efforts to match Democrats' online fundraising success
11:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
Buttigieg says black voters 'need to see me in action'
Democrat Pete Buttigieg says to gain support for his presidential bid from the black community he needs to meet more voters and they "need to see me in action."
11:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
Bernie Sanders says he raised $18 million in second quarter
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders raised $18 million during the second fundraising quarter, his campaign says
10:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Protests mar the opening of the European Parliament
Some legislators from right-wing parties, Brexiteers and Catalan independence backers have disrupted the formal opening session of the European parliament
4:49AM ( 8 hours ago )
EU leaders look to set aside embarrassing top jobs impasse
European Union leaders are gathering yet again to try to overcome a very embarrassing public deadlock over a series of job nominations to key posts at the helm of the bloc for at least the next five years
4:28AM ( 8 hours ago )
Chinese state media take hard line on Hong Kong protests
A ruling Chinese Communist Party newspaper has taken a hard line against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, saying demonstrators who broke into the local legislature showed their "arrogance" and had no regard for the rule of law
3:09AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: EU top job favorite pulls out of the race
German European Union lawmaker Manfred Weber says he's resigning as lead candidate for the center-right European People's Party, the biggest group in the EU parliament, ending his run for one of Europe's top jobs
1:02PM ( 17 minutes ago )
To boost milk, dairy groups see hope in lattes in schools
Coffee bars are popping in high schools, and not just because students want to cram for tests
1:00PM ( 20 minutes ago )
House committee files lawsuit for Trump tax returns
A House committee has filed a lawsuit after being denied President Donald Trump's tax returns
12:59PM ( 21 minutes ago )
UK bank chief: trade war may 'shipwreck' global economy
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned that the British economy could be slowing down by more than anticipated in the wake of mounting Brexit uncertainties and intensified trade tensions
12:48PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Big business to Supreme Court: Defend LGBTQ people from bias
More than 200 corporations urge US Supreme Court to rule that federal civil rights law bans job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
12:46PM ( 33 minutes ago )