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The head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is promising an investigation after a regional Twitter account retweeted criticism of President Biden’s “eradication of our border” by a former top Trump official.
“Totally unacceptable and disappointing that any CBP Twitter account was used to [retweet] offensive, unauthorized content,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus tweeted. “We’ve removed the content and will deactivate the account.”
“The Office of Professional Responsibility will investigate,” he said. “This must not happen again.”
The CBP’s Twitter account for the West Texas region retweeted two tweets by former Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller.
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“The media’s greatest power is its ability to frame what is a dire national crisis (eg “cops are racist” summer ’20) and what is not,” Miller, a top immigration hawk, had previously tweeted. “Biden’s eradication of our border means we are no longer a Republic—he’s ended nearly 250 years of constitutional government. The media is silent.”
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Miller’s second tweet that was echoed by the official account was not explicitly about the border.
“Violent criminals lay waste to our communities undisturbed while the immense power of the state is arrayed against those whose only crime is dissent,” Miller tweeted. “The law has been turned from a shield to protect the innocent into a sword to conquer them.”
The retweets were noted by journalists over the weekend, before they were removed. CBP West Texas’ account appears to have been shut down, with its current bio describing itself as an “archived account” and urging followers to “follow @CBP for current agency information.”
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There has been significant dissent within CBP, specifically among Border Patrol agents, about the Biden administration’s tackling of the crisis at the southern border. While multiple Biden officials — including Vice President Kamala Harris — have claimed the border is “secure,” agents have smoked about the state of border security.
The administration has focused its response to the border crisis, which has seen more than two million encounters this fiscal year alone, on targeting “root causes” like poverty, violence and corruption in Central America. It has also touted increased DHS funding, regional cooperation and anti-smuggling operations.
But critics have pointed to reduced internal enforcements, broader catch-and-release, the stopping of border wall construction and the end of policies that kept migrants out of the US as drivers of the unprecedented migrant surge.
Border Patrol agents have criticized the administration’s actions to Fox News Digital on multiple occasions, while the Border Patrol’s union is a regular critic of the policies.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has encountered that criticism first-hand on trips to the border. He described a “tough trip” in February during which he noted “struggling” morale and complained about the alleged unprofessionalism of some agents.
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“I really appreciated the openness with which the agents expressed their views,” he said after the trip. “A couple of guys might have expressed to them what I felt was unprofessionally — which was surprising to me because it’s something I’ve never seen in the Border Patrol in my… eight years of person-to-person exposure.”
Morale is likely only to have worsened after an investigation into false allegations that Border Patrol agents whipped Haitian migrants confirmed that those claims (which were echoed by President Biden) did not happen. However, the investigation still recommended punishments for the agents based on other alleged offenses.
The office behind that investigation, the Office of Professional Responsibility, is the same office now investigating the rogue Twitter account.