In a shocking revelation, Chief Carla Provost, head of the U.S. Border Patrol, admitted on Wednesday that she was part of a secret Facebook group that posted derogatory comments about lawmakers and mocked migrants just so she could see what personnel had to say about her.
During a congressional hearing in Washington, Provost said she knew little about the group and that she rarely ever logged into Facebook, saying, “I joined Facebook in 2016 mainly to reach out to friends and colleagues.” She also claims she reported the membership to the Facebook group to an oversight division of U.S. Custom and Border Protection and said “July 1st was the first time I saw those highly offensive and absolutely unacceptable posts in the ProPublica report.”
“In 2017… a colleague invited me to some groups, they had mentioned to me that in my acting role as chief at that time that some of the agents were discussing how I was doing and it was something that I was certainty interested in.”-Chief Carla Provost
Currently there are sixty two Border Patrol employees and eight former employees being investigated for their membership in the Facebook group called “I’m 10-15”. The group features agents posts questioning the graphic picture which recently surfaced of a migrant father and his child who drowned during their journey. The group also posts pictures of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with crude comments and photoshopped to look like she is performing a sexual act on President Trump.
During the hearing, Provost said she also gave her login and password info to the Office of Professional Responsibility. Oddly enough, though, she also claims some ignorance of the group saying, “I didn’t even know at the time what group I was on” even after admitting that she had posted comments in the group. Provost said her comment was on a post about the TV show “Jeopardy” and that she only got involved that day because there were specific comments about her there.
Provost claims, “I am as outraged as everyone else when it comes to the statements that were made on that page.”
The congressional hearing addressed a number of other issues including funding for the Border Patrol and the high number of migrant families arriving at the border. Resources are incredibly tight and being pushed tighter all the time since detention facilities are so horrifically overcrowded that five children have died in custody since December.
Committee members were critical, questioning whether or not there is s a pattern of abuse with the Border Patrol. Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger from Maryland said, “You’ve got a long way to go now to rebuild your reputation to the average person in this country.” Provost defended the Border Patrol, though, saying, “A few bad apples are not representative of the organization.”