Border agency deactivates regional Twitter account that promoted homophobic Tweet

A U.S. Border Patrol vehicle drives near the U.S.-Mexico border in 2019 in El Paso. The agency deactivated the Twitter account for its West Texas region after an unidentified employee liked a homophobic tweet about U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

A U.S. Border Patrol vehicle drives near the U.S.-Mexico border in 2019 in El Paso. The agency deactivated the Twitter account for its West Texas region after an unidentified employee liked a homophobic tweet about U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Mario Tama/Getty Images

The agency shut down the Twitter account for its West Texas regional office, saying “unauthorized and inappropriate content” was posted on the account last Saturday.

The El Paso region of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is deactivating its Twitter account after it was used Saturday to promote political and homophobic content.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection has become aware of unauthorized and inappropriate content that was posted to the @CBPWestTexas Twitter account. CBP will take action to deactivate the account and has referred the matter to the Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate. The tweets do not reflect the values of this administration and our work to rebuild a humane, orderly, and secure immigration system,” the agency said in a statement.

The Twitter account for CBP West Texas region, which is based in El Paso, retweeted and liked a number of tweets Saturday from former Trump administration adviser Steven Miller, as well as from other accounts criticizing the Biden administration.

The CBP West Texas Twitter account liked a tweet that used a homophobic slur in mentioning U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is gay.

Government social media accounts generally are run by agency employees in communications and community roles. Government accounts generally are used to promote agency programs and initiatives and usually steer clear of political statements.

CBP did not identify which employee was using the agency Twitter account at the time of the controversial retweets and likes, including whether the person was based in El Paso.

CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus took to Twitter to condemn the retweets and likes on the agency's West Texas account.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, said the person who shared and liked the tweets should not be working for the government.

This article first appeared on El Paso Matters and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

This article was published first on GovExec, a FederalSoup partner site.

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