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Lawmakers ask CBP for documents on 'secret' Facebook group

By
Clyde Hughes
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle drives along a stretch of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Ariz., on February 8. File Photo by Art Foxall/UPI
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle drives along a stretch of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Ariz., on February 8. File Photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo

July 31 (UPI) -- The House oversight committee on Wednesday asked for documents connected to a scandal involving U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, over a Facebook group where some agents made insensitive comments about lawmakers and migrants.

Panel Chairman Elijah Cummings sent a letter to CBP chief Mark Morgan requesting documentation about the social media group called "I'm 10-15." The committee began looking into the scandal after a ProPublica report this month outlined the 9,500-member group, which it said included a Texas-based CBP supervisor and racially and sexually derogatory remarks. "I'm 10-15" is a CBP radio code for "alien in custody."

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"The committee is investigating racist, sexist, and xenophobic comments relating to immigrants and members of Congress made by employees of Customs and Border Protection in 'secret' Facebook groups," Cummings wrote in the letter.

"Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan testified before the committee [this month] 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."

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The panel asked for copies of all posts made to the page, member information, CBP correspondence related to the group, details of the investigation, employment information of agents involved and training information on CBP social media procedures.

Cummings also sent a letter to Facebook this month requesting information on the group.

The agency said it's investigating 62 current and eight former employees who were followers of the Facebook page. U.S. Border Patrol chief Carla Provost called the some of the posts "completely inappropriate" and "contrary to the honor and integrity" of most agents.

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