On June 16, the Wayne County Star, an upstate NY newspaper, published a story on its website about a run-in between the employees of a local farmer and federal immigration authorities who were questioning their status. The report “drew an onslaught of vitriolic postings” from commenters. Many of the replies were anonymous and often racist or attacking farmers in the region for allegedly harboring undocumented workers. The newspaper has now discovered that at least three of the comments came from computers associated with the Department of Homeland Security:
One post pretended to be from a woman with a Mexican boyfriend; the other two posts insinuated the boat had come from Cuba, berated farmers, accused them of breaking the law and praised the Border Patrol for doing a good job. […]
The post from the pretend girlfriend, sent by Imaapplehog2@yahoo.com, appeared in response to another post also from a fake email: firstname.lastname@example.org.: “watcha doing to mi wifey, no checky her papeles. she no legal, but she havey benifit card. oh wait, take her and I get me a applehog till I go to Mexico. Viva la Raza!!!” […]
The response, which indicated it came from bcp3.cbp.dhs.gov, read, “That sounds like my boyfriend. Leave him alones and get your own. My boyfriend works sometimes but he is really good at getting FREE benefits from the Federal and State government.”
Another posting, reportedly linked to a separate DHS computer, read, “These farmers have a problem because the gravy train that they were riding for soooooo long is being brought to light.” According to the Wayne County Star, DHS and the U.S. Attorney Office in the Western District in Buffalo are investigating the postings.