Things That Matter

A Secret Facebook Group For Immigration Officers Mocking Dead Migrants Has Been Exposed

customsborder / Instagram

It’s been revealed that members of a secret Facebook group for Border Patrol agents have been sharing jokes about migrant deaths, sexist memes about lawmakers and making racist comments. According to an investigation published by ProPublica, the secret Facebook page, for former and current Border Patrol officers, was called “I’m 10-15,” which refers to the Border Patrol’s code 10-15, for “aliens in custody.”

The page became a place for members to make racist, sexist, and inhumane comments about migrants, and government officials. Now, U.S. Border Patrol is facing backlash for the uncovered Facebook group.

Here’s what we know about the Facebook group.

Created in August 2016, the group described itself as a forum for “funny” and “serious” discussion about work with border patrol. “Remember you are never alone in this family,” the introduction said. There were roughly 9,500 members in the group, which according to Propublica, is nearly half the current number of Border Patrol officers.

The investigation also revealed that many of the people in the conversations on the group were “apparently legitimate Facebook profiles belonging to Border Patrol agents.” At this time it’s unclear if ProPublica was able to verify how many of the members are actually current or former border patrol agents.

Images show comments mocking drowned migrants Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria.

Credit: ProPublica

In a disturbing post, group members joked about the Salvadoran father and his 23-month-old daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande while trying to cross into the U.S. The image, which shows their bodies floating in the water, was the center of uproar against the Trump administrations asylum laws after being published by news organizations last week.

“I’m not trying to an a$$ but I HAVE NEVER SEEN FLOATERS LIKE THIS,” one member of the Facebook group wrote, suggesting the photo could have been edited. “We’ve all seen the dems and liberal parties do some pretty sick things…”

Another post shows a group member making fun of the death of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez-Vasquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in custody at a Border Patrol station in Weslasco, Texas. A member responded to the news of his passing with a GIF of Elmo shrugging. “If he dies, he dies,” commented another.

Members of the group shared derogatory and sexist comments about lawmakers, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas.

Credit: ProPublica

Lawmakers were a big target of the Facebook group. Users called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Veronica Escobar both “hoes” and “scum buckets,” this included a comment that agents should throw a “burrito at these bitches.” Both lawmakers had planned visits to a Border Patrol facility outside El Paso on Monday but didn’t know of the group until after.

Ocasio-Cortez has been on of the most vocal and high-profile voices against the separation of families at the U.S-Border. She’s also spoken out about conditions at holding facilities and has compared migrant detention centers to concentration camps. Shortly after the story broke, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted the story with the comment, “This isn’t about ‘a few bad eggs.’ This is a violent culture.”

“9,500 CBP officers sharing memes about dead migrants and discussing violence and sexual misconduct towards members of Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “How on earth can CBP’s culture be trusted to care for refugees humanely?”

There has been immediate backlash since the story broke.

Credit:@funder / Twitter

There has been swift and immediate condemning of the Facebook group from advocacy groups and fellow lawmakers. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus said the comments are unacceptable and demanded the offending officers be let go.

“Unfortunately, there are many within [Customs and Border Patrol] who have become desensitized to the point of being dangerous to the migrants in their care,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said at a press conference in Clint, Texas. “I expect there will be a congressional investigation to get to the bottom of it.”

Many are calling the Facebook group a product of the culture within the border enforcement community. Customs and Border Protection is now undergoing an investigation into the group.

“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out,” Carla Provost, Border Patrol chief, told NBC News. “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

Daniel Martinez, a sociologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson who studies the border, told ProPublica that the Facebook group reflects what “seems to be a pervasive culture of cruelty aimed at immigrants.”

“These comments and memes are extremely troubling,” Martinez said. “They’re clearly xenophobic and sexist.”

READ: This Is The Emotional Cartoon That Got An Artist Fired From His Job For Criticizing Trump’s Immigration Policies

In A Major Plot Twist It Turns Out That #IceBae Is A Registered Democrat And People Are Confused

Things That Matter

In A Major Plot Twist It Turns Out That #IceBae Is A Registered Democrat And People Are Confused

kiarace24 / Twitter

Turns out that ICE Bae, the viral sensation who works as a Border Patrol guard, is actually a registered Democrat.

The viral Internet sensation known as #IceBae is back in the news.

Kiara Cervantes, 26, identified herself Sunday on Twitter as the Internet sensation who was snapped during Vice President Mike Pence’s recent visit to a border detention center.

She went viral on social media this week for both her beauty and as a Latina working for Border Patrol.

People can’t stop talking about the fact that Cervantes happens to be a Democrat.

Well, it turns out that the Latina Border Patrol guard continues to shock people. According to a report by the New York Post, she’s also a registered democrat.

Though, according to voter registration records she didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election. She last exercised her right to vote in March 2014.

Regardless of her political views, people from all sides have been coming for #IceBae.

People from both the liberal and conservative side have come for her with hate, support, and, of course, plenty of thirsty comments.

One Twitter user just couldn’t understand how a person that believes in Democratic values could take a job like this.

And she wasn’t alone. Many on Twitter expressed shock that a Democrat, a Latina one no less, would be willing to take a job that involves separating families and locking children in cages.

In fact, she has gotten a lot of hate.

Cervantes fired back Sunday at one social media user who tweeted that her family will disown her and “shame on any Hispanic working for ICE or anything of that nature.”

“I think that’s really rude and naive of you to say,” she tweeted. “You have no idea who my parents are and no idea what goes into my job on a daily basis… before speaking on something you know nothing about…. DONT. Regardless I’m blessed and thankful for the career I have.”

It seems the entire Latina community has cast her out.

Many called were a traitor and said they she has betrayed her own community.

Though some questioned whether it was actually racist to think a Latina should have specific political views.

What do you think?

How do you feel about #IceBae? Do you think she’s just a Latina doing her job? Or are you upset that a woman of color would take a job that involves the widespread abuse of members of our community?

READ: #IceBae Has Blown Up The Internet. Meet The Latina Border Patrol Agent Behind The Viral Hashtag That Has Latino Twitter Freaking Out

#IceBae Has Blown Up The Internet. Meet The Latina Border Patrol Agent Behind The Viral Hashtag That Has Latino Twitter Freaking Out

Things That Matter

#IceBae Has Blown Up The Internet. Meet The Latina Border Patrol Agent Behind The Viral Hashtag That Has Latino Twitter Freaking Out

A Latina Border Patrol agent has gone viral as #IceBae and from the looks of her new account on Twitter she seems to be enjoying the new found fame.

The agent, who identified herself as Kiara Cervantes, was photographed providing security for Mike Pence during his visit to a migrant detention center in Texas. From that photograph came #IceBae with thirsty fans calling her out for her beauty. But it also attracted many people who were appalled that a Latina would participate in the mass imprisonment of largely Latino men, women, and children.

All this started when a Latina Border Patrol guard was photographed providing security for Mike Pence at a migrant detention center.

Credit: @theprovince / Twitter

So, who is the Latina officer in the photograph? The female officer has since been identified as Kiara Cervantes.  Many of the original comments were focused on her good looks, which kicked off the pretty bizarre hashtag #IceBae

Since the photo went viral, Kiara has started up her own Twitter account and has already racked up nearly 37.5k followers in less than 2 days.

It looks like Cervantes enjoyed the new found attention and decided to create a Twitter account to capitalize on all the fame. She posted a video (which has since been deleted) introducing herself as the #IceBae.

Apprently, Ice Bae has all sorts of ‘supporters’ that she had to thank on Twitter.

Credit: @kiarace24 / Twitter

Because of the response to the original photo and that #IceBae was trending on Twitter with thousands of thirsty comments, Cervantes decided to create a Twitter account. One of her first tweets was to thank everyone for all the ‘support’ and to tell her ‘supporters’ how much she loves them.

She’s also taken to Twitter to share some selfies of her in uniform with her new found supporters.

Credit: @kiarace24 / Twitter

Because when you work at a detention center that houses migrants in overcrowded cages and is at the center of an international scandal, of course selfies should be on your list of to-dos.

At least a few people on Twitter tried to help her out with some caption ideas for her new photo…

Credit: @kiarace24 / Twitter

I mean that is pretty clever if it wasn’t so depressing.

And this person who kept her caption suggestion poignant yet simple.

Credit: @kiarace24 / Twitter

What would you caption her photo with?

Seriously, the people are not here for it.

Credit: @rates_by_me / Twitter

Apart from all of #IceBae’s supporters, her detractors are definitely speaking out on social media. Many pointed out how by sexualizing Cervantes they were also sexualizing the dehumanization of the very people being held in the detention centers.

Rapper Fat Nick, called her out as ‘literal scum’, that her family would be ashamed of.

Credit: @_FatNick / Twitter

Cervantes fired back Sunday at rapper Fat Nick who tweeted that her family will disown her and “shame on any Hispanic working for ice of anything of that nature.”

“I think that’s really rude and naive of you to say,” she tweeted. “You have no idea who my parents are and no idea what goes into my job on a daily basis… before speaking on something you know nothing about…. DONT. Regardless I’m blessed and thankful for the career I have.”

Another Twitter user pointed out what pretty much most of the Latino community is thinking.

Credit: @hcapd / Twitter

One Twitter user, among thousands of others, called #IceBae what many are thinking: a guard at a concentration camp. For people to be idolizing a person who is supporting a system of injustice, racism, and bigotry, has many people across social media very upset, particularly those in the Latino community who feel #IceBae has turned her back on them.

READ: Sickening Screenshots Show Border Patrol Agents Laughing About Migrant Deaths

Paid Promoted Stories