Chairman Thompson Requests DHS Inspector General Investigation of CBP Leadership After Racist Facebook Group Revelations
(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to the Acting Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) commence an investigation into current and former U.S. Customs and Border Protection leadership after it was discovered employees allegedly posted violent, racist, misogynistic comments and pictures on private Facebook groups. Specifically, Chairman Thompson requests the OIG investigate Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, and Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost and find out what leadership knew about the groups, when they knew it, what action they took, if any.
As has been widely reported, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees allegedly posted violent, racist, misogynistic comments and pictures on a private Facebook group entitled “I’m 10-15” and at least one other similar group. Such vile and threatening behavior from agents of the United States Government is entirely unacceptable, should be grounds for immediate dismissal from service, and is the subject of an investigation by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility. I am writing to request that you investigate (1) what the leadership within CBP knew about this Facebook group or groups, (2) when they knew it, (3) what action they took, if any and (4) was such action appropriate.
It has been reported that recently named CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan knew about the group as early as 2016, when he was Chief of the Border Patrol. If accurate, this report calls into question Mr. Morgan’s fitness to hold any office in the United States Government. Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost have attempted to distance themselves from the individuals engaged in posting on the “I’m 10-15” Facebook group, but a report released on July 3rd suggests that high-level CBP officials were not only aware of the group, but in fact treated it as a source of useful information.
The report, posted on Politico’s website, cites screenshots of email communications provided by a current DHS official that allegedly demonstrate that Mr. Morgan knew of the group’s existence and had some awareness of the type of content frequently posted to it. Another DHS official also stated to reporters that DHS and CBP leadership had been repeatedly notified of the existence and character of the group but took no action.
This information demands an immediate investigation. As such, I am writing to request that you investigate Acting Secretary McAleenan, Acting CBP Commissioner Morgan, and Border Patrol Chief Provost with respect to their knowledge and handling of the “I’m 10-15” group and any other social media group that was a platform used by large segments of the workforce to engage in misconduct.
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Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978
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