Trump's new Border Patrol chief previously lied to Fox News about the administration's family separation policy

Scott was also reportedly a member of a secret Facebook group in which his fellow Border Patrol posted extremely vulgar, racist, and sexist content about immigrants

On January 24, CNN reported that President Donald Trump selected Border Patrol agent Rodney Scott to lead the agency as the current chief steps down at the end of the month. As with many Trump appointees, Scott has appeared multiple times on Fox News to provide pro-Trump spin and in 2018, lied on-air that Trump’s family separation policy actually did not exist. 

Scott’s lie is an iteration of a right-wing media lie that was common at the time and was relentlessly pushed by former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, as well as some of Trump’s favorite Fox News shows like Fox & Friends

It is, however, a lie: As Vox reported, Trump’s policy did not explicitly state that all families entering the United States without documentation must be separated, but rather that “all adults caught crossing into the US illegally are supposed to be criminally prosecuted — and when that happens to a parent, separation is inevitable.” 

Video file

Citation From the June 19, 2018, edition of Fox News' The Ingraham Angle

LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): What about the media coverage that we've seen over the last -- especially the last couple of weeks? We have this crush of family units, some of them posing as family units, now we have unaccompanied minors. Kind of a similar crush as we had in 2014, 2013. And the characterization of what you were doing and your men are doing and women are doing is just horrific. It's like you guys might as well be in Nazi Germany and, you know, you know, members of the SS. 

RODNEY SCOTT (CHIEF BORDER PATROL AGENT, SAN DIEGO SECTOR): The misinformation that's going out --

INGRAHAM: That's a nice way of putting it.

SCOTT: I'm trying to be polite. It's actually very frustrating and it's extremely insulting. So a lot of it's just flat-out lies. So the family separation being a policy is a lie. We're leveraging the prosecution, the tools that we've had in place for years, we're leveraging them better than before. And that requires when someone goes to jail, that they're separated from society, to include their family. The allegations that we would actually put people in dog cages is a lie. 

INGRAHAM: So those images that we're seeing are the temporary processing facilities, right? When you're processed in, that's a temporary thing. Because we keep seeing the cages, you see like in McAllen, Texas, those are the cages. But those aren't the -- those aren't the long-term holding facilities for children, that's a different scenario. People keep mixing up the images. It drives me crazy. 

SCOTT:  I couldn't agree more, but even further than that, they're looking at chain link fence. The same chain link fence that's around the schoolyards, where most of your viewers probably send their kids to school. The same type of chain link fence that's around basketball courts, tennis courts, every play yard, and then they're referring to that as a dog cage. So where is the equitability in that? It's not a dog cage. It's one of the most cost-effective ways that we can keep a visual of all of those kids, the families and everything, to maximize their safety. If those walls were solid and I couldn't see through them, it would require 20 times the agents to actually maintain safety and security in that area. That is the right tool at the right place, and those are processing centers.

Additionally, according to a 2019 report from The Intercept, Scott was a member of a secret Facebook group in which his fellow Border Patrol posted extremely vulgar, racist, and sexist content about immigrants, as well as members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY.)