New Document Shows CBP Cut Deals with Border Patrol Agents Who Engaged in Misconduct
Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, released a new document that outlines how Customs and Border Protection (CBP) negotiated deals to lessen discipline against employees who engaged in misconduct in secret Facebook groups.
“I am very troubled by CBP’s response to this abhorrent conduct, including its decision to significantly lessen numerous recommended disciplinary actions. In one case, an employee who was recommended for removal had their penalty reduced to a seven-day suspension. CBP continues to obstruct the Committee’s investigation by refusing to lift redactions, hiding names and roles of CBP employees as well as employee conduct, which is preventing the Committee from determining whether the specific employees who made these threatening and repugnant posts continue to work for CBP in positions of power over immigrants and children.”
According to the document, a Chief Patrol Agent upheld an employee’s removal for unprofessional conduct and unauthorized disclosure, but the penalty was reduced to only a seven-day suspension with a probationary period for two years. The redactions in the document prevent the Committee from learning the identity of the CBP employee who committed the offense and the supervisor who decided not to remove that employee.
On July 18, 2019, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testified to the Committee that CBP’s internal investigation was “proceeding very aggressively.” He added: “I would say probably this month or early next month; we’ll be able to update on the result of those investigations.”
On July 31, 2019, then-Chairman Elijah E. Cummings launched the Committee’s investigation into racist, sexist, and xenophobic comments by CBP employees directed at immigrants and Members of Congress in secret Facebook groups.
On February 18, 2020, Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney wrote a letter demanding that CBP stop obstructing the Committee’s investigation.