A large framed photo of right-wing commentator Tomi Lahren posing with officials of the US Border Patrol is hanging prominently on the wall of the agency's headquarters in Washington, DC. A person with access to the area described the frame and shared a picture with Quartz.
Lahren, a vocal partisan US President Donald Trump called the immigrants "devious and adaptable" and claimed that they were carrying the disease to the United States. She regularly defends right conspiracy theories and believes that an "alien invasion" is "overwhelming" for the country. She also criticized Black Lives Matter, comparing the social justice movement to the Ku Klux Klan. She now hosts a talk show on the Fox Nation streaming service.
In the photo, Lahren poses (from left to right), Benjamine "Carry" Huffman, Assistant Commissioner for Business Services at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Deputy Border Patrol Leader Scott Luck unidentified man in suit Carla Provost, border patrol leader, unidentified senior border patrol officer (on trial), and Richard Hudson, acting chief of police for CBP.
The photo further testifies to the anti-immigrant sentiment prevalent at Border Patrol, whose members are often the first agents of the US force to interact with migrants as they cross the border. The fact that the photo is hanging at the agency's headquarters in Washington suggests that culture exists at the top of the agency.
A ProPublica survey revealed a private Facebook page used by border patrol agents, where some 9,500 members publish and interact with racist and xenophobic memes about migrants and members of Congress who raised concerns about human rights in US immigration detention camps. "Scumbuckets", "beaners" and "subhuman" were among the least offensive words used in the Facebook group to describe migrants.
The photo of Lahren and Border Patrol officials was until recently the first to greet everyone entering the Border Patrol Headquarters on the sixth floor of the Ronald Reagan Building and the International Trade Center at 1300. Pennsylvania Ave., about 800 meters from the White House. He was hung in the reception area, next to the border patrol badge, just beyond a glass entrance to the office. He has now moved further back into the wing, where he is hanging in a hallway near the offices of several agency heads.
A spokesman for CBP said the agency was printing and rotating "hundreds of photographs" to hang them on the walls of his office.
"The photos describe a wide range of operations, training exercises and external engagements with parties, including government officials, members of Congress, the press, international partners and others, "said spokesman Quartz.
Lahren tweeted the photo in august 2018.
The building in which the Border Patrol offices are located also houses other branches of CBP, as well as the US Agency for International Development.
Lahren's affinity for the Border Patrol is no secret. She called her agents "humanitarian".
At the same time, she has always humiliated immigrants in her commentary, calling for support for Trump's controversial immigration policy.
"You do not come to this country with little skill, little education, no language comprehension, but enter our country because someone says it makes them feel good," he said. Lahren told Fox News host Jesse Watters last year. "This is not what this country is based on."
However, as a genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn pointed out the day after the appearance of Lahren, this is exactly how the Lahren family arrived in the United States in the late nineteenth century.
The records reviewed by Mendelsohn revealed that Lahren's great-great-great-great-grandmother spoke only German when she arrived in the United States and, according to the 1930 census, still did not speak English after 41 years. The great-great-grandmother of Lahren did not speak English after a whole decade in the United States and the baptism of his great-grandfather in 1895, which took place in Minnesota, was recorded in Norwegian.
"What is worrying is that the intolerance and contempt of migrants within the agency was only encouraged by Mr Trump, whose constant disregard for migrants is a feature of his rhetoric, "wrote the Washington Post editorial board this week. "Nothing surprising that he found echoes in the far-off bureaucratic limits of his administration."
While the Trump Administration's new "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting all illegal immigrants continues, tens of thousands of migrants are being held in overcrowded detention centers, waiting for overcrowded courts to treat their business. Conditions in the camps have been closely examined.
Migrants are packed in overcrowded cage-like housing, living in unsanitary conditions in the face of outbreaks of mumps, scabies, chicken pox and shingles. One doctor observed "months of extreme cold, lights on 24 hours a day, insufficient access to medical care, basic sanitation, water or adequate food" in a health center. detention in McAllen, Texas. The conditions, the doctor writes, "could be compared to torture facilities."