ProPublica journalists have exposed a secret Facebook group with 9,500 members created by and for former and current Border Patrol agents, the contents of which are shocking decent human beings across the U.S. and beyond. Screenshots show said agents joking about migrants who have died in custody or while trying to cross into the U.S. and “memes” depicting sexual violence against Latina women, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

These disturbing revelations come alongside equally disturbing accounts of the treatment of migrants kept in concentration camps along the Southern border and all over the country. Interviewed children describe filthy conditions and a lack of running water, children stricken with flu and left untreated, pregnant mothers being left to sleep on the cold floor without so much as a blanket, and toddlers being cared for by children only a few years older than them.

Comments in the secret Facebook group show indifference at best to migrants such as the 16-year-old boy who recently died in ICE custody and sexist vitriol aimed at Latina politicians and activists visiting the camps, calling them “hoes” and “scum buckets.” Others have suggested that the gut-wrenching photo of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Angie clinging together after drowning while attempting to cross the Rio Grande were faked.

Joaquin Castro, head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and brother to presidential candidate Julián Castro, says that the Facebook group “confirms some of the worst criticisms of Customs and Border Protection.”

“These are clearly agents who are desensitized to the point of being dangerous to migrants and their co-workers,” he said.

Southern Border Communities Coalition Director Vicki Gaubeca pointed to the misogynistic and sexually violent comments and images as the reason why Border Patrol has “the lowest percentage of female agents or officers of any federal law enforcement agency.”

According to ProPublica, the United States Border Patrol has responded to these revelations by promising an “investigation.”

They’re going to have to do a lot better than that to silence the outcry by decent Americans going on right now.

Mass protests against the U.S. migrant concentration camps are set to take place throughout July.

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*First Published: July 1, 2019, 12:03 pm