Immigration Chief Covered Up Racist Pics, Dems Say

Myers report highlights worries about diversity
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 2:20 PM CDT
Julie Myers, assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) , speaks during a news conference in Houston in this June 14, 2006 file photo. Myers defended her record Wednesday,...   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
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(Newser) – The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement tried to hide pictures of her giving an award to an employee in a racially insensitive Halloween costume, House Democrats say. Julie Myers was photographed smiling and standing next to an employee in prison garb and wearing blackface, whom she awarded the night's "most original costume" prize, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"There was a deliberate attempt to cover up the fact that pictures were taken but ordered destroyed," one lawmaker said. Myers' agency is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which has been criticized for its lack of diversity. Myers' confirmation had also been blasted as cronyism, since she has little experience but several family connections with the administration.