CBP Branch Retweets Disgraced, Bigoted Trump Advisor, Gets Account Locked Down By CBP Commissioner
from the this-is-the-part-where-we-remove-our-masks dept
Government officials may say acceptable things when pressed for comment by journalists, oversight, and members of the public. But if you really want to know what an agency thinks, just keep your eye on the rank-and-file.
So, when the West Texas branch of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started retweeting one of the Trump administration’s resident bigots, it showed nothing but CBP West Texas’ entire ass.
Let’s take a brief moment to reacquaint ourselves with Stephen Miller, the man who became the breathy, white voice in Trump’s spray-tanned ear when it came to immigration policy.
Stephen Miller has been subpoenaed by the January 6th committee, which is still trying to determine who in the government assisted in the attempted undermining of the election certification following Trump’s loss at the polls.
Miller started out as the “national policy director” for Trump’s 2016 “transition team.” Shortly thereafter he became the face of Trump’s increasingly ugly, increasingly xenophobic immigration polices. Let’s review a few of Miller’s greatest hits, recited here in the dry language of a Wikipedia article any dumbass at the CBP west wing could have accessed before retweeting someone whose opinions on immigration mean less now than ever.
In the early days of Trump’s presidency, Miller worked with Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, and Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, to enact policies through executive orders to restrict immigration and crack down on sanctuary cities. Miller and Bannon preferred executive orders to legislation. Miller’s and Sessions’s views on immigration were influenced by anti-immigration groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies.
In September 2017, The New York Times reported that Miller stopped the Trump administration from showing the public an internal study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees had a net positive effect on government revenues.
In October 2018, the Financial Times reported that Miller sought to make it impossible for Chinese students to study in the United States. Miller argued that a ban was necessary to reduce Chinese espionage, but that another benefit was that it would hurt elite universities with staff and students critical of Trump.
Miller also advised Trump not to openly embrace mask-wearing to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
In November 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center acquired more than 900 emails Miller sent Breitbart News writer Katie McHugh between 2015 and 2016. The emails became the basis for an exposé that showed that Miller had enthusiastically pushed the views of white nationalist publications such as American Renaissance and VDARE, as well as the far-right conspiracy website InfoWars…
This is the person the West Texas CBP office felt worthy of retweets: an affirmed xenophobe who acted as a hype man for Trump’s anti-immigration actions.
The retweets, screenshotted here by Adam Isacson, show exactly what this CBP branch felt was worth amplifying with its official government account — one with nearly 17,000 followers.
If you can’t see the screenshot or read the CBP-amplified Stephen Miller tweets, this is what they say:
Violent criminals lay waste to our communities undisturbed while the immense power of the state is arrayed against those whose only crime is dissent.
The law has been turned from a shield to protect the innocent into a sword to conquer them.
We’ll take a brief break to applaud the man who turned the law into a sword to punish innocent immigrants while burying evidence of their positive contributions to the American way of life — one who actually claims a government that goes after people who participated in an unprecedented raid of the Capitol building cares less about the public’s safety that one that wielded the “immense power of the state” to persecute browner people just wanting a shot at the American dream.
And here’s another inconvenient fact standing in the way of Miller’s shitposting-but-I’m-serious tweeting: immigrants are far less likely to commit crimes than natural-born residents of the United States.
Moving on to the second tweet:
The media’s greatest power is its ability to frame what is a national crisis (eg “cops are racist summer ’20) and what is not: 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.
This is the kind of word salad that will only be appreciated by like-minded connoisseurs of this particular type of word salad. The rest of us will consider it as comprehensible as jello salad featuring suspended pasta and Vienna sausages: yes, it may resemble something a person could theoretically consume in extremely dire circumstances, but no one in their right mind would actually consume it voluntarily.
Biden has not “eradicated” the border. (Notably, both Miller and his retweeters have nothing to say about the northern border, which is equally in danger of being “eradicated” by policy changes.) Cops are, in fact, pretty fucking racist.
Fortunately, the CBP has decided this is something that needed to be addressed, rather than ignored. As Axios reports, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus stepped up to inform the public the agency as a whole did not approve of this rogue action and has seized control of the regional account.
As of the writing of this post, the Twitter account is alive but inactive. The retweets of Stephen Miller have been memory-holed, something that has undoubtedly resulted in dozens of FOIA requests. But when CBP Commissioner Magnus says these tweets “do not reflect the values of this administration,” he’s only partially correct. They obviously reflected the values of the CBP West Texas employees, who decided Miller’s anti-immigration rants were worth amplifying. And that’s a problem he’ll need to address if he expects the nation to believe border enforcement agencies aren’t just playgrounds for bigots.