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Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Customs and Border Protection agents who posted violent and explicit messages in private Facebook groups faced disciplinary actions that were significantly more lenient than the recommendations made by the agency's discipline review board, according to a House Oversight and Reform Committee report released Monday.

Why it matters: The report noted that the committee's investigation found "significant shortcomings" in how CBP handled discipline and training for agents guilty of social media misconduct.

  • Of the 60 CBP agents found to have engaged in misconduct, only two were fired. Most received reduced penalties and continue to work with migrants today, the report said.

State of play: The most prominent of the Facebook groups was titled “I’m 10-15” and came under investigation in 2019. Yet the committee report found that CBP was aware of misconduct in the group since 2016 but "took minimal action" to improve social media training once reports of the group began to appear in the media.

  • A Border Patrol supervisor who "improperly posted an internal CBP video of a migrant falling off a cliff to their death, as well as an explicit and offensive comment about a member of Congress," received a 30-day suspension instead of being fired.
  • The board recommended the firing of a CBP agent who posted a "sexually explicit doctored image and derogatory comments about a member of Congress," but the agent instead got a 60-day suspension and back pay.
  • Another agent who had a "history of multiple infractions," posted a photo of a drowned father and child and referred to them derisively as "floaters" was allowed to retire with disability benefits rather than face any other disciplinary action.

What they're saying: “I am deeply troubled by CBP’s broken disciplinary process that allowed for significant reductions in discipline and allowed agents to resume work with migrants and children after engaging in serious misconduct,” House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a press release.

  • “The vile, racist and sexist behavior of border patrol agents exposed in the 'I'm 10-15' Facebook group was disgraceful and deserved severe discipline,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said in the release, adding that it is "unacceptable" that the vast majority received reduced punishments.

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2021 - World

Mexico to give visas to pregnant women and children in migrant caravan

Members of a migrant caravan walk into the interior of Mexico after crossing the Guatemalan border on October 21, 2018. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Mexico announced Thursday it will give temporary humanitarian visas to children and pregnant women who are traveling with a migrant caravan currently moving north through the country.

Driving the news: A recent caravan of Central American and Caribbean migrants is traveling towards Mexico City and the U.S. and comprised largely of families with children, per Reuters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

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