The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling for the immediate firing of Customs and Border Protection agents who joked about migrant deaths and posted vulgar images of freshmen Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a secret Facebook group.
The caucus, led by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), condemned the “derogatory and sexist comments regarding immigrants and members of Congress” and called for a full investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.
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The Facebook group, whose existence was first reported by ProPublica, is run by current and former border agents who mocked dead migrants — including the recent photo of a drowned father and daughter — and referred to Ocasio-Cortez and other Latina Democrats as “hoes” ahead of their planned trip to a Border Patrol facility.
“9,500 CBP officers sharing memes about dead migrants and discussing violence and sexual misconduct towards members of Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “How on earth can CBP’s culture be trusted to care for refugees humanely?”
Members of the group posted multiple illustrations of Ocasio-Cortez in suggestive positions, including one that also shows President Donald Trump. One person also urged the Border Patrol agents to hurl a “burrito at these bitches,” referring to Ocasio-Cortez and another freshmen Democrat, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas).
Ocasio-Cortez is among more than a dozen Democrats taking part in a trip to the border Monday, which was organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. They plan to visit a facility in Clint, Texas, which a group of lawyers recently described as a “public health emergency.”
The New York Democrat added that she will not cancel plans to visit the Customs and Border Protection station despite the crude attacks on her, her colleagues and migrants.
The private Facebook group has existed for three years and has roughly 9,000 members that appear to be both current and former agents, according to ProPublica. There are 19,437 current Border Patrol agents, according to a May 2019 agency document.
“When we talk about agencies that are rotted to the core THIS is what we mean,” freshman progressive Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) wrote on Twitter. “Don’t doubt I’ll be raising this today at Clint. Loudly.”
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), a member of the Hispanic Caucus, also called for the “immediate removal” of the agents in the Facebook group.
“They are in no way fit to serve and present a danger to vulnerable migrants and their own colleagues,” she wrote on Twitter.