THE SCRUBBING BEGAN QUICKLY. At 10:55 a.m., ProPublica published a story reporting the existence of a secret, invitation-only Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents that featured vulgar, violent, and misogynistic content directed at migrants and lawmakers.
A little over two hours later, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called for active-duty agents responsible for the posts to lose their jobs. Minutes after that, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol, said in a tweet that the inspector general’s office at the Department of Homeland Security was “immediately informed” of the “disturbing social media activity,” and an internal investigation has been launched.
Back in the “I’m 10-15” Facebook group, evidence that might inform such an investigation was quickly disappearing. The name of the group — radio lingo Border Patrol agents use when they take a migrant into custody — was changed to “America First X 2,” and the group was archived.
But the archived group, the version that investigators might examine, was not the same one that existed prior to the ProPublica article.
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