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You drift until you brutalize


Couldn’t call it unexpected:

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. (10-15 is Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody.”) The group described itself, in an online introduction, as a forum for “funny” and “serious” discussion about work with the patrol. “Remember you are never alone in this family,” the introduction said.

An army in Donald Trump’s image.

In related news:

Women held in rooms without running water, sleeping bags set up on concrete and children left apart from their families: That was what Democratic lawmakers said they heard about on Monday as they toured two Texas border facilities.

Their emotional, and graphic, descriptions came on a day when ProPublica reported the existence of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents. Posts on the group’s page included jokes about migrants’ deaths, obscene GIFs and doctored images of Hispanic lawmakers, the report said. Some of the most offensive posts were directed at Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York.

Monday’s visit to the border by more than a dozen members of Congress — including Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas — was a specific focus of some of the abuse on Facebook, ProPublica reported. One post used vulgar language to encourage agents to “hurl a ‘burrito’” at the two women.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez fired back at the group on Monday night in a series of tweets describing the visit. “These officers felt brazen in there,” she said, pointing out that members of the congressional delegation were asked to surrender their phones before the visit. “While mgmt was telling us it was a ‘secure facility’ where *members of Congress* had to check their phones, we caught officers trying to sneak photos, laughing.”

Just make sure not to call the camps where people are arbitrarily detained and concentrated in inhumane conditions “concentration camps.”

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