Border Patrol condemns secret Facebook group, but reveals few specifics

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. Long known for its insular culture and tendency toward secrecy, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is saying little in the aftermath of news reports exposing a vulgar and hateful Facebook group for current and retired Border Patrol agents, including supervisors. While CBP officials have publicly condemned the offensive social media posts, they’ve disclosed few details about the steps the agency has taken to identify employees who behaved inappropriately online and hold them accountable. The agency, which is responsible for policing the nation’s borders and official ports of entry, declined to say how many employees CBP has disciplined or how many remain under investigation.

Inside the secret Border Patrol Facebook group where agents joke about migrant deaths and post sexist memes

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to screenshots of their postings. In one exchange, group members responded with indifference and wisecracks to the post of a news story about a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May while in custody at a Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Texas. One member posted a GIF of Elmo with the quote, “Oh well.” Another responded with an image and the words “If he dies, he dies.”

Created in August 2016, the Facebook group is called “I’m 10-15” and boasts roughly 9,500 members from across the country.

Lujan Grisham: CHC will keep up pressure on deportations

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus won’t stop its criticism of Donald Trump’s immigration policies. That’s the word from Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico lawmaker who heads the caucus, which is made up of Hispanic members of Congress from around the country. All are Democrats (the Congressional Hispanic Conference is made up of Republican members). Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told members of Congress to “shut up” or change the law after his department faced criticism from members on its deportation practices. “If lawmakers do not like the laws they’ve passed and we are charged to enforce, then they should have the courage and skill to change the laws,’’ Kelly said earlier this week at George Washington University, according to reports.

Dems frustrated after meeting with ICE head over raids

House Democrats, especially members of the Congressional Hispanic Committee, were frustrated after a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting director following news of increased enforcement actions by the federal law enforcement agency. The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but ICE canceled the meeting in favor of today’s bipartisan meeting. At the meeting with Acting Director Thomas Homans, Democrats said in a press conference that not all those who wished to attend were allowed. “The meeting focused on the agency’s targeted enforcement efforts conducted across the nation last week,” a readout of the meeting provided by an ICE spokesperson said. The members also said they were disappointed that ICE didn’t provide all the information they asked for earlier this week.

Hispanic lawmakers ask why ICE canceled meeting to discuss immigration raids

Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement canceled a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, hours before it was scheduled to take place Tuesday. The Albuquerque Journal first reported the cancellation. CHC, which is made up of Democratic members, has been critical of ICE’s actions and President Donald Trump’s rhetoric towards those in the country illegally, both during his campaign and since becoming president. After the cancellation of the meeting, several members, including Lujan Grisham, held a press conference. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;}
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Lujan Grisham to lead Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham will lead a group in Congress representing Hispanic members of the chamber. The Hispanic members of the incoming Congress elected Lujan Grisham as chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Congress. The Congressional Hispanic Congress is a non-partisan group made up of members of Congress which says it “advocates for issues important to Latinos via the legislative process in Congress.”

“I want to thank my colleagues for entrusting me with the great responsibility of leading the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 115th Congress,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement Thursday. “As the next Chairwoman, I intend to continue building on the many accomplishments we have achieved this Congress and ensure that the Caucus is leading the fight to support Hispanic communities and protect families across the country.”

The first vice chair will be Joaquin Castro of Texas, the second vice chair will be Ruben Gallego of Arizona and the caucus whip will be Pete Aguilar of California. All members of leadership are Democrats.

Lujan Grisham makes (brief) DNC appearance

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham appeared in a video at the Democratic National Convention Monday. Lujan Grisham’s appearance came as part of a video for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which aired in the afternoon before the primetime speeches by national figures like U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and First Lady Michelle Obama. Update: Lujan Grisham announced on her Facebook page that she will speak Wednesday at the DNC. In her brief appearance, Lujan Grisham spoke about why she supported Hillary Clinton for president. “I know Hillary to be a fighter, somebody who gets things done,” Lujan Grisham said.

Luján, Lujan Grisham dump on Trump as host of SNL

Hispanic groups and others are up in arms over Donald Trump hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow night. NM Political Report reached out to Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday afternoon about the news. Both are members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Lujan Grisham is the 1st Vice Chair of the caucus; Luján previously occupied that position.