An IG review of offensive posts on a social media site for CBP employees found that the agency took disciplinary actions including firing of employees but found no evidence that senior leaders were aware of the posts before they were revealed in media reports in 2019.
The posts “included images of dead migrants, sexually explicit images, and threatening language, some of which was directed at Members of Congress,” a report said, leading to requests from Congress to investigate the situation.
The report said that the CBP’s investigation sustained allegations against more than 100 employees, resulting in four firings, 36 suspensions, three retirements before a final disposition of the case, and other forms of discipline such as counseling or reprimands to 25 others. The agency also issued new social media guidance and required all employees to take social media training.
However, the IG found no support for allegations that some senior leaders who participated in the site were aware of the offensive posts but took no action to address them until they were publicly reported.
But it added: “Interviews also indicated a few senior leaders do not believe CBP policies related to social media are constitutional, or they questioned how the policies should be applied, despite the fact that a CBP senior official stated the policies are legally sound. This uncertainty may undermine CBP’s enforcement of these policies.”