Lori McAllen is the Oregon DMV employee who has been suspended after writing on Facebook that immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border should be shot. McAllen wrote, “I personally think they should shoot them all at the border and call it good… it’ll save us hard working AMERICAN’S billions of dollars in taxes.”
The image spread on Twitter and caused the Oregon Department of Transportation to tell one user, @GirlHoneey, “We’re aware of the photo that has been circulating. This matter is currently under investigation and the statements in the photo do not reflect our agency’s values. Thank you for sharing your concern.”
Since the image of McAllen’s Facebook page went viral, her page has been deleted.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McAllen Also Wrote on Her Facebook Page That She Has ‘No Room in [Her] Heart for Hate’
In her Facebook intro section, McAllen writes, “I don’t have room in my heart for drama, disrespect or hate… Either love yourself or make a change.” Responding to McAllen’s controversial remarks of, “I personally think they should shoot them all at the border and call it good. It’ll save us hard working AMERICAN’S (sic) billions of dollars on our taxes!! ;),” one person responded saying, “Ignorance lives loud and proud. Disgusting.” To which McAllen responding saying, “FAKE news!! Haha.”
On February 16, McAllen wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, “Last day of advanced classes at headquarters… Thank you baby Jesus!!!” Can’t wait to be back at my office with my work family!!!!”
2. McAllen Makes $2,883 Per Month
The Portland Tribune reports that McAllen, who lives in Lebanon, Linn County, has worked as full-time transportation service representative. McAllen has worked for the department since August 2017 and is paid $2,883 per month, according to the newspaper. The Oregonian reports that before it was scrubbed, McAllen posted photos on her Facebook page showing her in an office with a department of transportation badge on. A spokesman for the agency, Dave Thompson, told the Oregonian, “This is as viral as anything I’ve ever seen.” Speaking separately to CBS News, Thompson said, “We received thousands of posts online and probably more than 100 phone calls.” The social media posts were coming in fast and furious — it went viral.”
3. McAllen Told a Friend in That the ‘Winky Face’ Shows She Was Joking
In a conversation with a friend after the Facebook post went viral, McAllen wrote that her post was a joke. McAllen says this was indicated by her use of the “winky face” after the controversial statement. Oregon DOT spokesman Dave Thompson told CBS News that authorities are still trying to validate the post. Thompson said, “HR is talking to her to determine if that was really her who wrote it. When I looked for [her Facebook page] at about 7:30 yesterday morning, it was already gone. I don’t know if she took it down or somebody else did, but it’s gone.” Thompson added, “We are offended and hurt by such a post — no matter who made it — that does not reflect the values of the people who work here.”
4. Twitter Users Are En Masse Demanding That McAllen Be Fired
Twitter users are demanding that McAllen be fired from her role. Speaking to the Portland Tribune, lawyer Scott Hunt of Busse & Hunt, who handles free speech issues said that McAllen’s case is complicated. Hunt said that if McAllen was fired, she could sue the department in retaliation for free speech.
Here are some of the most passionate arguments for calling for McAllen to be further disciplined:
5. There Are at Least 2,300 Children Spread Across the U.S. Separated From Their Parents
CNN reports that there are 2,300 children spread across the U.S. who have been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. In May 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that it would be the policy of ICE to separate parents from their children if they were caught entering the U.S. illegally. After widespread condemnation, on June 20, Trump rescinded the policy in an executive order. The order does not say if or when the 2,300 children will be reunited with their parents.