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News That Border Patrol Chief Was Part of Racist Facebook Group 'Not Surprising': Critics

"The agency's culture is violent and racist for a reason."

USBP Chief Carla Provost testified before the Judiciary Committee hearing on the subject "The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership, its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Federal Efforts to End the Threat" at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on June 21, 2017.

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost testified before the Judiciary Committee hearing on the subject "The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership, its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Federal Efforts to End the Threat" at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on June 21, 2017. (Photo: Donna Burton, CBP, cc)

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."

"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.

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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. 

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.

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