/Schumer calls for firing of Border Patrol leadership over toxic culture

Schumer calls for firing of Border Patrol leadership over toxic culture

Chuck Schumer

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Customs and Border Protection leadership is “too callous about the way in which children and their families are treated.” | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday called for the firing of top leadership at Customs and Border Protection, saying the conditions at detention facilities and a secret Facebook group featuring lewd posts from border agents highlight the agency’s “toxic” culture.

“Internal investigations aren’t enough because the leadership at CBP, particularly Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, are too callous about the way in which children and their families are treated, which is why we need untainted professionals to be brought in from outside the CBP structure immediately,” Schumer said.

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The New York Democrat’s remarks come one day after the Office of the Inspector General released a report describing “dangerous” overcrowding and “prolonged detention of children” at migrant detention centers. The inspector general called for the Department of Homeland Security to intervene immediately to improve conditions.

Meanwhile, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), all 2020 presidential hopefuls, demanded Wednesday that the Office of Refugee Resettlement “ensure that the custody and processing of [unaccompanied alien children] is meeting the minimum standards required by domestic and international law.”

In response to the inspector general report, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee have summoned Morgan and Kevin McAleenan, the acting head of DHS, to testify before the panel on July 12.

The controversy over the condition of detention centers comes days after the House passed the Senate’s version of an emergency border aid bill, which many House Democrats viewed as a concession to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Progressive and Hispanic caucus members are still privately fuming at Schumer, who they put the blame on for the bill’s passage last week.

Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.