U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents at a migrant processing center in Texas allegedly tried to humiliate a migrant man from Honduras by mocking his sexuality, CNN reports.
According to emails and a photo obtained by CNN, the Honduran man was forced to hold a handwritten piece of paper that read “me gustan los hombre(s),” which translates to “I like men,” while being paraded through the El Paso Processing Center in front of other apprehended migrants.
The accusations were written by an agent who witnessed the alleged March 5 incident and emailed to the agent’s supervisor at the detention center. The agent names two senior Border Patrol agents and five other agents who also saw the alleged incident.
Seeing that the Honduran man was upset by the harassment, the witnessing agent took the note away from him and gave it to a senior agent who then took no action, the emails claim. The witness also told the agent who wrote the note and another agent who was laughing that their behavior was unprofessional.
A CBP official told CNN, “I am forwarding to the Office of Professional Responsibility, the office charged with looking into these allegations.” CNN has also contacted an attorney for the Honduran man but has not received a response.
These allegations follow reports of a closed Facebook group where former and current Border Patrol agents have made jokes about migrant deaths and Latina lawmakers.
The Trump administration continues to be criticized for separating families and caging children at border detention facilities. This border crisis has become a major talking point among 2020 Democratic candidates.
A transgender migrant woman from El Salvador, Johana Medina Leon, died June 1 while in ICE custody after she was denied HIV medication.
Roxsana Hernández, a transgender Honduran woman, also died in ICE custody last May, reportedly from abuse, dehydration, and complications from HIV.
According to a report from the Center for American Progress, LGBTQ people are 97 times more likely to experience sexual abuse at border detention centers.