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Biden seeks funding to probe white supremacist beliefs at immigration agencies

PoliticsApr 09, 2021 08:45PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. U.S. President Biden hosts White House event to announce efforts to curb gun violence in Washington 2/2

By Ted Hesson and Mica Rosenberg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden called for funding to investigate complaints of white supremacist beliefs at U.S. immigration enforcement agencies in his first budget request to Congress on Friday, but officials offered no explanation for what prompted his request.

The Biden administration is asking Congress to increase the funding level for workforce oversight offices within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE (NYSE:ICE)) to $470 million, a 22% increase over the current level, for the fiscal year that begins in October.

The additional funding would ensure that workforce complaints - "including those related to white supremacy or ideological and non-ideological beliefs" - are investigated quickly, according to a summary of Biden's budget proposal.

It was unclear whether any specific incidents sparked the call for the increased funding. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Representatives at the border patrol and ICE unions did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Biden administration has made battling domestic extremism a priority. An October 2020 DHS report said domestic violent extremists, including white supremacists, pose "the most persistent and lethal threat" to the United States.

Border patrol agents faced scrutiny in 2019 when media outlets exposed racist and misogynistic comments posted to a private Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) group for current and former agents. Posts included jokes about the deaths of migrants and sexually explicit comments referring to U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat like Biden.

The budget summary released on Friday did not make a similar funding request for the U.S. military, which has also faced concerns over white nationalism and other extremism in its ranks. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is under pressure to show progress fighting extremism after current and former military service members were found to have participated in a Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

John Sandweg, an acting ICE director under former President Barack Obama, said while complaints should be investigated, Biden's decision to single out CBP and ICE employees risks sparking opposition from agents and officers.

"This type of language could create some concerns in the workforce that there will be political ideological tests," Sandweg said, adding that the specific language may change when the budget is enacted.

Broadly increasing funding for the internal offices that probe workplace complaints is a good idea though, Sandweg said.

'ROOTING OUT THE BAD APPLES'

Roy Villareal, a former chief patrol agent with the U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona, said he was "disgusted" by Biden's decision to single out his former agency.

Villareal, who retired in December, said he supports "rooting out the bad apples" but said there was not widespread white supremacy and racism at CBP.

Hispanics made up more than half of the Border Patrol workforce in 2016, according to DHS data.

Some advocacy groups have called for greater oversight of U.S. immigration enforcement agencies, however.

In a February report, the Washington-based American Immigration Council said the Border Patrol has been "steeped in institutional racism" since its creation in 1924. The report detailed past instances of agents using racial slurs, sexual comments and other offensive language.

The White House budget proposal is a request of Congress to provide funding in fiscal year 2022, which begins on Oct. 1, 2021. The document reflects Biden's position on the spending, which will ultimately need to be appropriated by Congress.

Biden seeks funding to probe white supremacist beliefs at immigration agencies
 

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Comments (28)
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Apr 11, 2021 10:08AM ET
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Biden's Border will be his ultimate undoing. It's worse than Trump ignoring the virus.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 11, 2021 12:02AM ET
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The war against white people continues.
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 10, 2021 11:51AM ET
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I wanna throw up looking at Joe's evil face
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 10, 2021 11:51AM ET
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You should seek medical help for your problem.
Stew Preston
Stew Preston Apr 10, 2021 7:56AM ET
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All I read was facts and quotes and there are people on here crying that it’s not fair and balanced. This country has a serious brainwashing problem that has plagued a portion of our population. People are living more in bubbles than ever before due to algorthms giving them thier biased opinion to the point that they don’t recognize a factual news article free of thier own bias.
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 10, 2021 7:56AM ET
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Well said, Stew.
Sam Caroni
Sam Caroni Apr 10, 2021 7:56AM ET
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"factual" news article. OMEGALUL cope harder ?
Diddl One
Diddl One Apr 10, 2021 2:44AM ET
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The US is a strong country. But this government is running it into a wall at full speed. At the next election (If non-POC/LBTGQ..... are still allowed to vote by than) D.Trump will win by a landslide. Not saying that would be good but it will happen.
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 10, 2021 12:14AM ET
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Biden should probe himself
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Apr 09, 2021 11:48PM ET
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I think the authors of most of these stories are democrats. Not fair not balanced and definitely not journalism
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 09, 2021 11:48PM ET
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Most dont have college degress and hop from one newspaper to another. Losers
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 09, 2021 11:48PM ET
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journalists is a dirty word now
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 09, 2021 11:35PM ET
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Wow lmao at the snowmelt below. All triggered snowflakes crying like babies.
Sam Caroni
Sam Caroni Apr 09, 2021 11:35PM ET
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still waiting for the day that libt4rds come up with literally ANYTHING original or funny on their own without stealing from the dissident right
Frank Taylor
Frank Taylor Apr 09, 2021 10:19PM ET
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and why would this require a vast sum of money...oh yeah he can put all the failed socialist art history majors to work persecuting those they dislike (hate).
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 09, 2021 10:19PM ET
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Scared of truth coming?
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 09, 2021 10:19PM ET
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Benjamin McIntire  benny-girl, do you even know what you're talking about?
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 09, 2021 10:18PM ET
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More ghost hunting, This is getting ridiculous. Last week our transportation secretary told us that crossing the street was racist.
Kris GE
Kris GE Apr 09, 2021 10:18PM ET
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It gets even better. If you say that 2+2=4 you are racist. Because according the official WH math curriculum policy says 2+2=5. No wonder Joe is frequently mixing millions, billions and trillions. C'mon man, it's just the number.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Apr 09, 2021 9:23PM ET
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This article is beyond ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as paying central Americans to not cross the border illegally . Bidens other great idea
American Truth
American Truth Apr 09, 2021 8:41PM ET
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another Made Up crisis that doesn't exist. Democratic playbook 101
The Great
The Great Apr 09, 2021 6:59PM ET
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People who constantly talk about racism are the true racists.
Thomas Trump
Thomas Trump Apr 09, 2021 6:59PM ET
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👏🤣
Tenemos Avoir
Tenemos Avoir Apr 09, 2021 6:58PM ET
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A profoundly mismanaged President.
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 09, 2021 6:58PM ET
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the majority Americans don't recognize him as the prez
American Truth
American Truth Apr 09, 2021 6:07PM ET
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Not sure who is driving the car but it's definitely not the "big guy".
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Apr 09, 2021 3:50PM ET
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84 million people voted for Joe? Not.
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 09, 2021 3:50PM ET
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84 mm ghosts voted for pe/do joe
Mark Albury
Mark Albury Apr 09, 2021 3:26PM ET
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Here you go, another racist effort to conquer while dividing this Great Country even further than the MSM has already done. Who's feeding him this malarkey? Satan?
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 09, 2021 3:26PM ET
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the media profits from hate and division
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Apr 09, 2021 12:43PM ET
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White supremisists- look no further, here they are Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Scheumer, Joe/Jill/ Hunter Biden
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Apr 09, 2021 12:42PM ET
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Another waste of money. Welcome to Joe's world.
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Apr 09, 2021 12:30PM ET
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War with white people continues.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Apr 09, 2021 12:24PM ET
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Another well played distraction from more prevalent problems.  Whether it exists or not, don't expect much for the money spent, as usual for government bureaucratic spending.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Apr 09, 2021 12:24PM ET
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As a rule in the real world a business or organization either just fixes the problems or fire the people in charge, money is typically not wasted on "investigating".  Government waste to placate naive supporters.
Notvery Goodathis
Peteymcletey Apr 09, 2021 12:24PM ET
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He should seek money to buy a clue
Thomas Trump
Thomas Trump Apr 09, 2021 12:24PM ET
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he would waste it on a hunch
Yellow Drill
Yellow Drill Apr 09, 2021 11:38AM ET
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meaningless talk
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 09, 2021 11:31AM ET
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conservatives will soon be labelled as extremists and terrorists
Thomas Trump
Thomas Trump Apr 09, 2021 11:31AM ET
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Right and that would be very Danforth liberals everywhere.
Thomas Trump
Thomas Trump Apr 09, 2021 11:31AM ET
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dangerous* 🙄 sorry liberal phone acts up at times.
ben sc
ben sc Apr 09, 2021 11:30AM ET
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Reuters, how porder patrol agents are Hispanic? Maybe a good journo would give some facts about the makeup of CBP.
 
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