Sandusky Bay agents profile Hispanics, use slur 'wetbacks'

Three very large corporate farms in Huron County "harbor wets."
Jessica Cuffman
Jan 19, 2013

So said Agent in Charge of the Sandusky Bay U.S. Border Patrol, Cory Bammer,  according to court documents filed in federal court Thursday.

"Wets" is a shortening of the term "wetback," a derogatory racial slur used against people of Hispanic or Mexican descent.

In the email reviewed by attorneys suing the Border Patrol and Bammer, he allegedly told his agents in an email that cooperation with Huron County law enforcement is important because of the three large farms — and the people who work there.

"That doesn't meet my view of the way that we should be in the United States of America," said attorney Leslie Murray, one of several lawyers representing five individuals and two organizations in a lawsuit filed against the agency in 2009.

To read a copy of the brief filed in an appeal to keep courts from dismissing the case, click below.

To read more about the history of the case and Murray had to say about the appeal, pick up a copy of Saturday's Register.



What a surprise to see a murray involved in a lawsuit! Hopefully any money won will be paid in pesos.

Floyd P

What professionalism. Not setting a good example as a representative of the US Government. But a fine example of not using good judgement where everyone knows by now that anything written on a computer is subject to public display.


Good point. Think of emails like post cards - anyone can potentially read what you wrote.


Why do I feel that recently the PC police have been everywhere?


Maybe because you send a lot of racist emails?

John Harville

Good one!!!


Not sure how you equate lazy people living off the system a race?


Not sure how you equate farm workers and laziness!

Swamp Fox

Clearly this was a lack of judgement on the officer's part but a law suit, give me a break. Classic case of creating litigation for monetary reward and not much else. Would the Murrays file a lawsuit if someone called them a "McTigue" a term used to refer to Irish Catholics? Germans were referred to as "krauts", Italians, Poles, and persons of Jewish decent were referred to as various derogatory terms, yet they came into this country legally.

The present administration now refer to illegal immigrants as undocumented workers, what ever they are called they are illegal....

The various derogatory terms some people use to refer to law enforcement officers, but are protected under free speech, which must now must be a one way street.


Tell us some of your favorite derogatory terms for Jews?

John Harville

it wasn't just one comment.... but pries the can of worms open farther.
Recall a summer or two ago when a group of teens was stopped near Border Patrol offices... but only one was held for questining? The Hispanic youth? Ooops. He was born here - but looked 'wet'.
As for other nationalities: Archie Bunker was the only one who got away with K..., S...., P......, - but he wasn't a federal agent.


Lack of judgement? Sounds like standard operating procedure to me.


lets worry about if the cops are getting the job done instead of them calling people names behind their back


Is racial profiling part of their job?

Second Opinion

In the trade we would call masons 'brickies', not a slur but a defining of the work they performed. Name a person out in the field working that doesn't get a wet back! 2cents hit the nail on the head.


The term does not refer to being wet from work. It refers to being wet from crossing the Rio Grande. Thus, it is not a description of a work activity, it is a slur against national origin.


...or merely a shortened form of the crime committed. "Oh, look, he has a wet back from crossing the Rio Grande in the dark of night to gain illegal entry into this country where he can steal welfare benefits, jobs, public schooling, and other goodies from hard-working LEGAL citizens."

Do I approve of name calling? No. But at least calling people names doesn't cost anybody anything and, despite the lawsuit, isn't illegal. WHO's the criminal here? Really?

John Harville

Oh Samantha... being in the United States illegally is NOT a crime - not even a misdemeanor. Just ask the dead pilots who flew the planes into the Towers. Just like using your mother's gun at the firing range isn't illegal until you use it to kill her and 25 other innocents.
The crime - if indeed there be one - is failing to determine the status before employing ANYONE, even you and me.


Sorry, nope: Being in the country without permission to be in the country (whether it's a tourist visa - which several of the 9/11 hijackers had but then overstayed - or a green card) is, indeed, a crime. That's why people can be deported. Those who are supposed to keep our borders secure often don't BOTHER with the deportation, but they COULD.

Hiring someone here illegally is also against the law. Enforcement of that statute would result in Mitt Romney's much-maligned notion of "self deportation" in relatively short order. But those who are supposed to keep our borders safe frequently can't be bothered with that kind of thing either.

And for the record, using my mother's gun at the firing range MAY be illegal. Depends on my own eligibility status, now, doesn't it?

John Harville

@Sam Adams... It depends on what 'is' is.
ENTERING the country without permission IS illegal and punishable by deportation.
However BEING in the country is not illegal. Pizzes u off does't it? Check state courts and Supco. California Supreme Court ruled illegal alien could get in-state tuition break. SUPCO refused to hear case.
The only lawbreakers are the owners who hire persons who entered illegally - regardless of race or point of origin.
If YOU ever fill out a job application, YOU will be asked if you have a right to work in this country.


"or merely a shortened form of a crime committed" You sound absolutey RIDICULOUS. These farms and landscaping businesses bring these people here to do a job. Stop trying to blurr what is really going on here.


Sam , If your ok with humiliating people to make yourself feel better I guess it doesn't cost you anything .

John Harville

Don't feed the racists. Oooops. Now they're gonna get offended.


(wet from crossing the Rio Grande)

There is a boarder crossing, be legal and use it!

John Harville

How would their backs get wet crossing from Canada?


Perhaps the agent should be taken to task for actions and not what was said.
If the very large corporate farms harbor Illegals, is it not his duty to do more than talk about it?. If he is Agent in Charge and does nothing about it, what good is he?


Yes, most people do their jobs better when they can freely use racial slurs.

John Harville

He can do his job without racial slurs. He cannot even call the workers 'illegal' He CAN refer to the 'possible' or 'alleged' presence of illegal immigrants.
The Patrol can question the owners of the farms to present papers (you know, those applicatins we all fill out?) on all their workers.
Unless, however, they have demonstrated cause, they cannot ask for identification or Green Cards from individuals any more than they can ask you for ID because you're parked on The Pier.


Ever heard of "stop and frisk"?

John Harville

deer... ever heard of the Fourth Amendment? Due cause? Right to be secure in your person? The 10th Amendment?
Because cops do it, doesn't make it legal. Probable cause applies - as even Mayor Bloomberg is finding out.
While everyone is jumpin' to defend the 2nd, the other nine are going to hall.l