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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Customs and Border Protection announced Monday it will launch an inspector general investigation into a private Facebook page for 9,500 current and former Border Patrol agents, following a ProPublica report revealing that members of the group joked about migrant deaths and posted racist and sexually explicit memes about Latinx members of Congress.

What we know: The group, created in August 2016 and titled "I'm 10-15" in reference to the Border Patrol code for "aliens in custody," describes itself as a space for "funny" and "serious" conversation on members' work policing the nation's borders.

  • In one post, members exchanged quips over a May story on the death of a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who passed away while being held at a facility in Weslaco, Texas. One member posted a GIF of Sesame Street's Elmo saying, "Oh well," while another wrote, "If he dies, he dies."
  • In another post on the planned visit of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Veronica Escobar, to a Clint, Texas, border facility, members encouraged agents to throw a "burrito at one of these b**ches" and referred to them as "hoes" and "scum buckets."
  • Two other posts showed false, grotesque depictions of Ocasio-Cortez being forced to perform sexual acts.

What they're saying:

  • U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost: "These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out. Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable."
  • Ocasio-Cortez: "9,500 CBP officers sharing memes about dead migrants and discussing violence and sexual misconduct towards members of Congress. How on earth can CBP’s culture be trusted to care for refugees humanely?"

The big picture: CBP has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks as reports of inhumane living conditions for migrant children in border facilities have elevated the issue. Last month, acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders resigned.

  • Members of Congress visited border facilities in El Paso, Texas, on Monday. Ocasio-Cortez said that she found migrant women being forced to drink water out of toilets at one of the facilities. She plans to visit another facility in Clint, Texas, where lawyers last month found migrant children being kept in dangerous and unsanitary.
  • "I see why CBP officers were being so physically & sexually threatening towards me," the New York congresswoman wrote on Twitter. "Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress."

Go deeper

52 mins ago - Science

COVID time warp

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic seems like a lifetime ago to some, and just yesterday to others. Scientists are beginning to unpack the way people processed the passage of time amidst the stress, uncertainty and isolation of the 1 year, 8 months and 21 days since WHO declared a pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic's global effects on how people experience time could provide new insights into the brain's ability to perceive and predict time — a fundamental feature of life.

Mitt Romney calls Ray Dalio's China investments a "sad moral lapse"

Sen. Mitt Romney walks to a Senate Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol on Oct. 7. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Thursday criticized billionaire Ray Dalio's investments in China, writing in a tweet that "his feigned ignorance of China's horrific abuses and rationalization of complicit investments there is a sad moral lapse."

Driving the news: Romney's comments come after Dalio's firm, Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, raised $1.3 billion in November for a new private fund in China, Bloomberg reports.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California — America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron — CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers.
  2. Politics: Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come — Meta removes accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  4. World: Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people — Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.