Ahead of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s visit to a migrant detention centre, the United States Border Patrol agents as part of a secret Facebook group, allegedly posted sexually explicit images and memes, along with comments of the young lawmaker. The site also contained posts mocking migrant deaths and the group is said to have approximately 9,500 members.
It was reported that posts in the group contained statements which encouraged officers to throw a “burrito at these b*****s”, while others said “f***k the hoes” and “there should be no photo ops for these scum buckets.” Another post included a doctored picture that showed Ms Ocasio-Cortez performing a sex act on Donald Trump. The caption which accompanied the image read: “That’s right b*****s. The masses have spoken and today democracy won.”
There was also a post suggesting an image of a migrant father and his toddler drowned on the banks of the Rio Grande was fake and referred to them as “floaters”. The Border Patrol Chief, Carla Provost, called the posts on the Facebook group “completely inappropriate”. He went on to say “any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”
The group was condemned by Ms Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet, stating, “9,500 CBP officers sharing memes about dead migrants and discussing violence and sexual misconduct towards members of Congress. How on earth can CBP’s culture be trusted to care for refugees humanely? PS I have no plans to change my itinerary & will visit the CBP station today.”
The Democratic congresswoman visited a migrant centre in Texas alongside members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, on Monday. She described the conditions inside the facility as “horrifying” and said the migrants were treated “like animals”.
According to Ocasio-Cortez, the Border Patrol officers had told women in cells to “drink out of the toilets” and used “psychological warfare” to intimidate and torture detainees.
Earlier this month, Mexico reached a deal with the Trump administration to try to stem the flow of undocumented migrants travelling to the US. Since then, deportations and detentions of undocumented migrants have reportedly increased.
Last week, the US senate approved a $4.5bn humanitarian aid package for the US-Mexico border.