Carla Provost, the chief of the Border Patrol, was a member of racist, abusive Facebook groups that were publicized in June by ProPublica and The Intercept.
Provost, according to reporting by The Intercept's Ryan Devereaux, is "one of several Border Patrol supervisors The Intercept has identified as current or former participants in the secret Facebook group."
The chief was the most senior of Border Patrol supervisors we identified in the group — others included chief patrol agents overseeing whole sectors, agents overseeing individual stations and union officials who have enjoyed direct access to the president https://t.co/bIENw4Kkb0— Ryan Devereaux (@rdevro) July 12, 2019
"Not surprising," tweeted immigrant rights group RAICES. "At all."
As head of Border Patrol, Provost is in command of the uniformed arm of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the agency which has been in the news for the conditions it's holding migrants in and the abuse those migrants face from CBP agents.
When news of the Facebook groups first broke, Provost said that the content of the groups was "completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see—and expect—from our agents day in and day out."
"Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable," Provost added.
In a statement to The Intercept's Devereaux, CBP said the agency took action against the offenders in the group:
CBP does not tolerate misconduct on or off duty and will hold those who violate our code of conduct accountable. Several CBP employees have received cease and desist letters and several of those have been placed on administrative duties pending the results of the investigation. These posts do not reflect the core values of the Agency and do not reflect the vast majority of employees who conduct themselves professionally and honorably every day, on and off duty.
Provost did not return a request for comment from Devereaux and The Intercept. But it appears that the chief will have to answer for her involvement in the group soon. Lawmakers expressed their anger over the reporting on Twitter and called for Provost to step down.
Reports that Carla Provost, Border Patrol's Chief, not only knew about but was a member of the secret Facebook group that posted racist & sexist content are alarming. Our leaders should encourage our best instincts, not enable our worst. If true she can't continue to lead the BP https://t.co/11lKXPthAt
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) July 12, 2019
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 12, 2019
This Facebook group is a disturbing look into the toxic culture of abuse, racism, and extremism among border patrol agents and leadership, and the border patrol chief Carla Provost was a member.
Provost along with the rest of border patrol leadership must resign immediately. https://t.co/cvxcW947X0
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) July 12, 2019
In a tweet, former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub opined that Provost's membership in the group was indicative of a broader issue.
"The agency's culture is violent and racist for a reason," said Shaub.
Read the full report from The Intercept here.