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Leaked Emails Expose Border Patrol’s Use of Slur

via CBN News
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Border Patrol agents commonly used the derogatory term “tonk” to refer to unauthorized migrants, despite warnings and reprimands from higher-ups.

The term’s origin is debated, but it’s often associated with the sound of hitting a migrant’s head with a flashlight.

“My initial reaction was that’s an abuse of authority,” former deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Alonzo Peña said.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, when you’re dealing with illegal immigrants that you detain, they’re generally compliant. They don’t resist or anything like that. You don’t need to hit them in the head.”

The term was used in various communications, including emails and text messages, and was sometimes paired with racist or discriminatory comments.

“The terms ‘wetback,’ ‘tonk,’ etc. will not be tolerated,” a chief patrol agent said. “Any deviation from these instructions will be considered grounds for counseling and/or disciplinary action.”

Despite official warnings against such language, the term remained ingrained in the agency’s culture and was used casually in paperwork and routine communications.

The use of derogatory terms has been a longstanding issue within law enforcement, and efforts to address it have been ongoing.

The documents provided were part of an interim release, indicating that such language may be more pervasive than records indicate.

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