On July 1, a ProPublica investigation revealed that thousands of current and former Border Patrol agents were members of a secret Facebook group called “I’m 10-15,” where officers mocked dead immigrants and posted violently racist and sexist memes, sometimes with graphic imagery, directed at elected officials including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The head of the Border Patrol, Carla Provost, duly condemned the posts. But according to a new report by the Intercept, Provost should have known all about them, because she had actually been a member of the group herself.
The site reported that, as a member of “I’m 10-15" (which is now archived under the name “America First X2"), Provost made at least one post in the group after being appointed as chief of the patrol. Her post, the Intercept noted, wasn’t inflammatory—she made a quick response to another member questioning her quick rise through the department’s ranks—but it makes one thing absolutely clear: the group was an open secret inside Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol.
This falls in line with earlier reports that CBP officials knew about the group since as early as 2016. If the group was visible enough for Provost herself to join and post in it, it’s a very small logical jump to assume that other senior CBP officials were at least aware of pretty much everything posted in it. This means everything CBP and its parent agency, the DHS, has said to this point—and their frantic promises of “thorough investigations”—is starting to ring pretty hollow. Sure, maybe Provost didn’t share the intimate workings of the group with her bosses at CBP and DHS, and it’s possible she wasn’t aware of some of the more inflammatory posts, but she was clearly aware enough of the discourse inside to respond to a dig at her in the comments to another post.
Here’s the only response from CBP regarding Provost’s participation in the group, per the Intercept:
Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol, did not dispute that Provost and other senior agents had commented in the group. Provost did not respond to a request for comment. In a statement, CBP said its Office of Professional Responsibility “is investigating the material provided to CBP this week from multiple sources.”
Sound like bullshit to you? Sure does to me. I have also reached out to the CBP and will update if I hear back.