There is a real problem with DHS and civil rights. Not the usual nonsense about "immigrants' rights" you read about in the MSM. The real issue is that DHS has also been silently eliminating the First Amendment for employees.
Some time ago a private Facebook chat group was doxxed by advocates for illegal aliens at ProPublica. Never before the rise of social media has the Federal government investigated employees for expressing speech protected by the First Amendment. Not even during the height of anti-Communist sentiment has mere expressions of protected religious or political speech been investigated, much less punished [Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes, by A.C. Thompson, Pro Publica, July 1, 2019].
To forestall historical objections by Communists, the purges of the 50s and early 60s were not based on protected speech, but due to disloyalty to the United States, membership in treasonous and seditious organizations, i.e., the Communist Party and front groups, and lack of adherence to the Constitution of the United States.
Insults, rude humor, and contemptuous opinions about members of Congress as well as other protected speech were never a cause for investigation, discipline, or termination from Federal or any other level of government service. Only since the rise of the High Church of Anti-White Racism have opinions about politicians or low opinions about aliens been suddenly identified as disciplinary issues.
As background, there was a Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol Agents (BPA), where they expressed protected opinions about current issues. However, there were no illegal threats or other criminal activity planned or executed on the site, unlike Facebook and Twitter accounts that actively support Antifa criminal activity. Plenty of those have Federal, State, and local employees involved. (Pictured right, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison.) But those are not investigated.
Recall when Donald J. Trump was elected President, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media were inundated with new accounts professing to be representing Federal employees opposed to Donald John Trump, who openly stated that they would actively sabotage the implementation of his policies. Accounts with “Alt-USCIS,” “Alt-TSA,” “Alt-DOS,” or “Alt-DHS,” etc. were all over the place.
Twitter and Facebook refused to cooperate with investigations and bureaucrats actively sabotaged investigations into the these seditious conspiracies to obstruct the lawfully elected government of the United States. But when the Federal employees are supporting President Trump and immigration enforcement, the full force of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility (CBP OPR) and Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) comes down like a ton of bricks. However, there were no investigations of the “Alt” accounts on Facebook or Twitter that were going to sabotage the Trump Administration, which, as we saw from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, happened.
But now we have the result of the investigation of the “I’m 10-15” Facebook page; four agents have been fired and others disciplined.
The largest federal law enforcement agency has fired four employees for their participation in secretive social media groups that have featured violent, sexist and racist posts against migrants and members of Congress, the Los Angeles Times has learned.
More than a year after launching an internal investigation into 138 employees for “inappropriate social media activity,” Customs and Border Protection — the parent agency of the Border Patrol — has removed four employees, suspended 38 without pay and disciplined an additional 27 “with reprimands or counseling,” according to data provided to The Times by the agency.
Investigators from Customs and Border Protection‘s Office of Professional Responsibility determined that 63 of the cases — roughly half — were “unsubstantiated.” Six cases remain open, and the Homeland Security Department‘s inspector general is also investigating.
[Border Agency Fires 4 For Secret Facebook Groups With Violent, Bigoted Posts, by Molly O’Toole, LA TImes , July 16, 2020]
By way of personal experience, early in my career, there was an employee in our unit, a woman who was quickly promoted to supervisor because of Affirmative Action, who was a communist. Not a card-carrying member under Party discipline, but one who openly supported the Soviet Union and violent revolution against the United States and the Constitution.
She resigned while under investigation, but she was not investigated for what she said, but because what she said undermined her professed loyalty to the United States and the Constitution. That is quite different from gallows humor concerning illegal aliens who died crossing the desert and insults hurled at overly sensitive Latina Congresswomen.
If they were Communists or BLM anti-white racists, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild would have leapt to the the defense of fired or disciplined employees, but as with Derek Chauvin and Michael Slager, there is no help for white law enforcement officers supportive of Donald Trump and the principle of the right to freedom of speech.
And it appears to be getting worse; CBP OPR reserves the right to “investigate” retired and former employees for wrong-think.
At the start of the investigation, Matthew Klein, assistant commissioner of the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility, emphasized that the privacy of the social media groups does not protect current or former employees from disciplinary action.
How CBP expects to discipline retired and former employees is anyone’s guess. Aside from criminal activity, no action can be taken after an employee leaves service. One cannot go back and fire someone after they have left. There is no legal or Constitutional provision for that.
Now, the issue is not privacy, but protections accorded all Americans, including Federal employees, by the First Amendment. One would object that those protections do not cover death threats. While there is no public evidence of actual death threats, to be a crime, it has to be directed at a person, be specific, and have credibility.
An untoward and vague wish that some corrupt politician in the service of aliens, something that would be both treasonous and seditious, should come to a bad end, would not legally be a death threat, and if uttered in private, would never be considered legally actionable. Just look at all the teachers at the Portland school district that have made death threats against Federal agents as well as attacked those officers—none have been fired or investigated.
The fired Border Patrol Agents need to be re-hired and clear standards for First Amendment protections need to be established in Federal service. The First Amendment applies to all Americans. And laughing about dead illegal aliens or making rude remarks about seditious Congressmen and women is protected speech. It is precisely the political speech that the white Founding Fathers wanted to protect.