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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 24, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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and in particular with canada, what we have found over the years, the information-sharing is really good. it gets better. i had the opportunity to have three border patrol agents embedded with rcmp in canada with a fourth shortly this year. having a border patrol agent in canned today working with the rcmp only bolsters our ability to understand the evolving threats and helping us secure the border on both sides. >> that type of model we have with canada, if we could implement something similar with mexico would make a tremendous difference? >> yes, mr. chairman. it would.
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>> thank you, chief fisher. senator carper? >> i think the question the chairman raised really important one, really important one. to the extent, strengthen our relationship with mexico and prove our confidence in the information that they can provide, then that, they can provide us, will only help. i think one of the best force multipliers on the canadian border is our relationship with canada. i want to just throw in force multipliers for a while. one of you maybe a couple of you, talking about force multipliers, i mentioned that assets we're able to deploy between the ports of entry. we have drones on the border of mexico. drones, at least a couple, up on our border with canada. we have fixed wing aircraft with the border with mexico. we have fixed-wing aircraft with the border in mexico. what we find out is an inspector general's report couple month ago raised serious question
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about efficiency, the effectiveness of drones on the southern border. we already have problems. if the wind is above a certain velocity, can't fly or great. certain kinds of with they can't operate. they have radar systems on board which make them more effective as a plat form. we saw some aircraft, used along the mexican border that fixed-wing aircraft, send them out with binoculars, as opposed to have evader system onboard. i, talk about how effective some of those force multipliers are not so much along the southern border. let's talk about how effective they are on the northern border. what can we do to make sure they're more effective. i don't know we need to add a lot of people on the northern border. we add ad lot of people on the southern border. we need to be able to deploy them more effective.
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>> senator you raise an interesting point and important in terms of our strategy along the northern border. you're right a lot of people look at northern border deployments with an eye towards the south to say how come you're not deplying that way. i tell you in terms of technology handheld equipment ground sensors the surveillance systems, the type of technology we deploy on the southern border is the same along the northern border. our response to some of those tips and cues may be different. situational aware necessary is theness is same. what is exciting for us on the northern border, because of the vast terrain because of remoteness in some of these locations and our inability to access the immediate border whether because of lack of infrastructure or roads or because of the impediments the terrain provides, we have, start this year the collection effort we're doing along the southern border which in fact we started in march of 2013.
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utilizing unmanned aerial systems. utilizing additional evader technology and synthetic aperture radar. we have targeted about 80% of the northern border, from the field chiefs identifying very remote locations for us to start doing collections in those areas to do a before and after picture. think of it in terms of 30-mile stretch along the northern border. aerial system will deploy and take a system of aerials. 24 hours later that unmanned aerial system with same technology will do same flight. the before and after videos will be sent into a computer. what we call processing exploitation and dissemination cell. there very smart and very talented analysts will look to see if there is any change, incursions, if you will, across the border from the first picture and the second picture.
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whether we have incursions whether those areas are emerging threats or equally important along the southern border areas where there is no activity for variety of reasons equally important where not to deploy technology and border patrol agents. so we focus areas we know, based on intelligence, based on experience where those crossings are more likely to occur. >> i mentioned in my opening statement, 4,000-mile border with conditioned today, plus another 1500 miles with alaska and canada 5500 miles. any idea how many drones we have up here. >> we currently have approximately nine unmanned aerial systems within the cbp inventory. there are currently two assigned to north dakota. that doesn't necessarily mean we can only fly to there. we do what is called federated flights. so we move unmanned aerial systems from the northern border to the southern border based on identified threats. because of the capability to run federated queries we also have
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through the faa certificates of authorization to be able to move across from the northern to the southern border based on threats. >> at any given day we might have two or three or four drones along the border of canada, does that sound right? >> primarily would be two. in the event we need to plus that up we would be able to augment. >> how long do we have them up in the air. >> that i don't know, sir. weather permitting like any manned system like helicopter or fixed-wing, the weather will be a limiting factor readiness rate when those can fly. >> i will ask you to answer that for the record. >> i will do that, senator. >> let me ask each of you just, starting with you mr. hartunian. giving us good advice, what should we be doing more of us in our roles that would be helpful to you in the work that you do? i must say i'm very impressed by
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work you're doing. give the legislative body here. we'll take up appropriations very soon. anything you would especially bring to our attention would be helpful? >> senator, thank you for that question which is important. the first thing i think you're doing, call attention to the northern border, we're grateful for the committee's attention on this issue. there are a lot of challenges we face up there. as you can tell i think we're doing some good work. we have great geographic challenges, a lot of big space but as i think about many so of the things that could be helpful to us and our work with the canadians we've had great challenges that come about in recent years as a result of the explosion of requests for information formally, the mlap requests. we're seeing more and more of those. information and investigations is frequently needed from computer systems and emails and while we're taking great steps to improve our informal information sharing efforts and
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protocols, we're still seeing an explosion in mlat requests. support for perhaps our office of international affairs in that effort congress working with us. >> thank you. my time expired. let me ask the other witnesses to respond to the same question if you will for the record. >> let me for the record. >> for the record, please. thank you for that response. >> thanks, senator carper. senator booker. >> thank you chairman, i want to thank the chairman and ranking member for working with my team in hosting this very important hearing. i'm grateful for it. i want to thank the panel for your extraordinary service to our country your dedication and your leadership is essential to our safety and security as a nation. it's clear as was stated already by the chairman and ranking member that the scale differences and challenges and threats between the northern around southern border is just not the same scale on the northern border and we understand that. this committee's held numerous,
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numerous hearings that tended to focus on the southern border. i'm happy we're having one here, because there are still as you all have enumerated in your various written testimonies there is still tremendous threats along our northern border. and the fact that it is so porous, and i asked for that picture to be put up, there this vast, over 5000-mile border with incredibly diverse terrain has areas that are tremendously porous as this picture right here demonstrates how it easy it is to cross undetected really illustrate the need for the urgency for the threat. i for one am not calling for any friends but also what really looking for a proportionate focus on our northern border threats. and, mr. hartunian you illustrated a lot of terrorist nature of the threats.
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whether recent train incident. we can go back to numerous ones, 1997. he was convicted of conspiring to detonate a bomb in a new york city subway station. 1999, the there was millennial bomber ahmed rasam was stopped at port angeles washington with components used to produce a bomb. the list as you all know as i do of terrorist threats and incursions from the northern border are real are substantive and should be taken seriously. and so, we have tremendous cooperation. i've been grateful for our northern canadian borders. our governments really work well together but i'm also concerned that cooperation is not going as far as it could be. for example canada does not share the no-ply list information with us. which to me raises concerns for people they have put on the
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no-fly list. i want to ask that question specifically. about the no-fly list. what efforts are we taking to obtain the information from canada to assure the safety and protection of americans from terrorist who is may try to enter our country across that northern border? that could be answered by anyone >> well, senator, i can't speak to that issue directly but i can tell you your point is well-taken. that is, public safety and the threat of terrorism, that is our number one priority. we ought to be mindful of that. we're very concerned about it every day. to address it i think we've been working closely with the canadians. one of the things we're doing is intigrate more closely to the canadian prosecution teams. we're talking with them more frequently, meeting with them and sharing information not just between the agencies but with the agents and the prosecutors. so it's a very important point that you make. >> wouldn't that list just knowing who they have put on a
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list to stop them from flying, seals like something that would be common sense to share with us people they might have concerns about? >> you know, senator, i'm not really familiar with their position on that but i will tell you that, that in the realm of criminal cases and criminal work we've had good luck with interaction and sharing. >> mr. fisher, do you know about that issue, about the sharing of that information? >> with respect, senator, i believe john wagner is prepared to answer that question. >> thank you, mr. wagner. >> thank you, senator. >> the fbi owns the watch list for the u.s. government. as users of that watch list or any other information we could glean from another country certainly as the operator we would welcome that information. we do have a fairly robust sharing procedures with our counterparts in canada, cbsa the canada border services agency. we have officers embedded in each of our different targeting centers where we go through
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airline reservation data and manifests to identify national security threats and we have protocols to exchange information when we see that. moch of the watch listed individuals we see traveling are still with commercial aviation. preponderance of watch listers are coming through commercial aviation. we've seen past number of years focused on primarily commercial aviation underwear bomber, but we've seen a number cross through the northern border as well. >> are canadians coming through with their watch list or are we not getting that information? because not only do we have a northern border issue proportionality between the southern border but 40% of are so-called undocumented immigrants are coming airplanes airport, overstays on visas in general. i think that would be important information to share. >> we set protocols to exchange when each of us identify a threat through commercial aviation targeting.
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we have protocols established to exchange the information and request additional information from each other to do that. that is where we have our liaisons situated and physically present at each of the different targeting centers to facilitate that exchange of information. we do what we call rule sharing or joint rule creation. whereas we sift through the reservation data and airline information we create rules what we're looking for what we would consider to be activity we want to look closer at. we sit down with the canadian government. come up with joint rules between the two of us so we go through a north american approach how we do that. >> because i have limited time i will submit records i have, of questions i have for cbp regarding racial profiling racial profiling specifically, excessive force issues looks like i won't have time to ask here but i would like to submit them and get those responses but the last question i really want to ask is, just again the resources we're applying to the
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challenges. you all again are exhibiting extraordinary leadership and commitment and our canadian partners extraordinary partnership. the canadians should be praised but i just really am concerned about the personnel challenges including only 2093 border agents stationed on the northern border compared to the 18,000 again, understandably on the southwest border with the sizes of that challenge. that means only 2,000 border agents are responsible for roughly 300,000 people that cross the u.s.-canadian border each day. do you all share my concern we need more resources targeting security of the northern border given the vastness of terrain and large amounts of people are coming through just in general? are we resource short on our northern border? >> yes. and we've articulated those needs in the administrations '15 and '16 budget request. we have work load staffing model that measures activity at least
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at ports of entry and volume and attribute as staffing number to accomplish that we have to follow up afterwards how that methodology works and what those numbers are. >> thank you. >> if i may senator one of the things that homeland security investigations is looking at is that when there are plus-ups along either the southwest border at northern border from either our sister agencies and our counterparts in office of field operations at the port or between the ports under chief fisher a plus-up in cbp border patrol or inspectors is logically going to result in more interdiction shuns which could also result in more refer ales need for investigators and more investigative work. we would ask that the committee oh and wouldn't just affect us. because as we undertake more border related or transnational criminal organization related investigations then that would affect mr. hartunian and the doj
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prosecutorial resources as well. we would ask the committee to look at it as, integrated agencies how each one affects the other. >> thanks, senator booker. senator sasse. >> thank you chairman johnson and senator carper for hosting this hearing. thank you for all of you making time for us. chief fisher, i would like to talk about the term operational control. in 2011 the gao found that cbp had operational control of 32 miles of the canadian border. we since abandoned that definition. i wonder if you could explain what operational control meant then, why we abandoned it and if we had the same metric today would we be at 32 miles or would we be in a lot healthier place. >> thank you, senator. that is a excellent question. first of all operational control was denined in 2004 in our previous strategy the extent we would identify, develop and track and bring to law enforcement resolution all entries along the border.
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fundamental premise within the 2004 strategy was predicated on deterrents. you wanted to prevent the entry in the first instance all across the board. we started getting additional technology which like border mile fence we with measure in linear fashion. we started deploying border patrol agents and tall in in the same manner. operational control defaulted to amount of deployments we were doing. in other words five more miles and fence of cameras it was acceptable based on internal definitions of level of control to count that as operational control. the difficulty came in two different areas. first and foremost we were actually measuring inputs the we were not necessarily measuring outcomes as a result of those deployments. an secondly, at some point in time which it did those resources capabilities run out. we could not as an organization come back to the committee or others to say we can't gain anymore operational control
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based on our definition unless you give us more stuff. we abandoned it because it didn't measure what we needed it to measure and switched to risk based approach. look at measuring probability of individuals coming across the border versus mere possibility with previous strategy was predicated to be able to secure the border in that fashion. >> if we had a lot more than six minutes i would want to unpack whether or not the last point you made which i completely concur with, we want a risk based approach. whether or not that is really reconcilable, sounds like you're saying we have kind of a baseline budgeting approach around here. many of us are new. so gary peters and i can ask new guy questions. whether or not really you think that the threats are driving your budget requests or whether or not a year-over-year, what would the congress tolerate drives the request? i think senator booker asked great questions about the relative threats between the northern around southern border. i wonder if that is place to
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pivot to the radiological concerns. in 2009 secretary napolitano that dhs deployed radiation detection equipment across all ports of entry. yet two years later in 2011, the same gao report found at that it wouldn't be difficult to get nuclear material across the northern ports. i wonder if dhs is using same equipment. i wonder if the technology should be called failure from that point because of the experience of 2001 and 2011? if better technology exists today is that something you're requesting of us? >> senator, again i would defer that answer to that question from john wagner who is responsible for the port of entry operations. >> thank you. yes, that equipment is still in place and we're working with the domestic nuclear detection office as part of dhs to look at recapitalization of that, what is the right equipment to purchase and design and build and deploy to build into that we're looking at calibration settings of the equipment reducing what we call the
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nuisance alarms, to really better focus on what the threats are and when our operational procalls in response to them are. >> what would you say to the gao 2011 report? that it would be easy or not difficult i think was their term to get nuclear material across the northern border and is that the case today as well? >> i don't necessarily agree with that. >> what would you give you comfort? >> the equipment is designed to detect what it is designed to. i'm not familiar with the report how they drew that conclusion that it would be easy to do. whether open or concealed or how it would be detected. i really have to go back and look at that. >> i think we'll follow up with a formal question on that as well. when you think about the sources of canadian threat one way to think about the problem what can we deter at the border. another is is the nature of the potential terrorist threats originating in canada changing?
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so you could have illegal immigration into canada. you could have legal immigration into canada. and you could have homegrown terrorist threats inside canada. after the ottawa attacks the canadian government said they thought homegrown terrorism in canada was real and potentially prevalent problem. how do we respond strategically after the ottawa threats and potential threats in the future if there were another instance of domestic terrorism inside of canada? strategically inside dhs where would that threat be assessed and how would it change our behavior? >> well, senator my experience as the department has matured since 2003 we have heard so far this morning in terms of integrated planning and execution, sharing of intelligence and information the more as time goes on the more dependent all of us are fighting the same fight on each other to be able to do this. no component within the department of homeland security owns corner market on protecting
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america. we're so dependent. each and every day, it becomes clearer when john and i sit up, get intelligence briefing about evolving threat. that is key thing as takeaway. this threat he changes all the time. we have to be as responsive and perhaps more predictive as we start seeing those changes. which is a reason why a couple years ago cbp transitioned into integrated counter network operations as a strategic philosophy, which basically means we're not putting border patrol agents every 25 meters and fences in front of them and cameras behind them to try to deter somebody from coming across. pragmatically in my 28 years of experience that does not work for couple reasons. one, if you have deterrence as a goal, one you are always going to fail because somebody will always come through. number two it is very difficult to measure. if you try to figure out if you're deterring more people this year than last year it gets very difficult to fad
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understand. i get mired up in the fact whether we're winning. you look at intent and capability which defines threat of adversaries be it transnational criminal organizations or terrorism or as 2011 strategy to combat transnational organized crime introduced the convergence of tcos and terrorism. those are the things that our organization within the department of homeland security are trying to get better each and every day. >> thank you. we're up with my time but i will follow up with more strategic questions by letter, thanks. >> thank you senator sasse. senator peters. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for hosting this hearing which is so important for the northern border alongwith ranking member carper. being from michigan we are at the center of an awful lot of trade between canada and transactions across our borders. in fact if you look at the volume of trade that goes across ports of entry of the top five
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in the country detroit's number two and port huron is number four. so we are definitely the tip of the spear so to speak when it comes to border patrol. it is important issue for my state as well as industry. i want to certainly thank senator johnson for cosponsorship of the amendment i put forward in the recent budget bill to make sure we're fully funding ports of entry that they have security they need and ability to process trade and travel efficiently. that's why i'm going to make a brief pitch to make sure we continue to get funding for the international border crossing, particularly with our new bridge we're constructing between detroit and windsor and port huron. port huron does a great deal of traffic. they have been promised improvements in the customs plaza which have not occurred. we need those and it is vitally important to our economy. i want to thank all the panelists here. this is a interesting hearing.
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you have a extremely difficult job in the fact that you have dual purpose particularly when i look at my border crossings in michigan. we're asking you to keep us safe. we're also asking you not to delay us while we cross the border so that we can move trucks for just in time delivery for our manufacturing facilities which rely on that. we have substantial agricultural interests that crops on those trucks that can't rot. they have to go across a very expeditiously in order to get to the markets. so that is a conflicting role, one that you do well but we're asking you to do even more when it comes to moving traffic more efficiently. so i want to ask mr. fisher and mr. wagner, you mentioned in your testimony a number of things that are happening to expedite some of the movement of goods in trade. make sure trade is moving efficiently. >> thank you. it is a couple of programs that
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we have that we really need to push in further get participation in. you know, in the trade environment it is our trusted trader programs. it is linking to canadian programs. getting more companies and more businesses and more trucking companies enrolled in them. but it is also building infrastructure to support the crossings and allowing us to deliver on the promise that we can expedite those low risks and secure supply chains. we can't be over, say the bridge structure or border crossing. you have to have resulting highways to feed into that, to support that. getting high percentage of transactions into those programs on a traveler environment. it is nexus program. it is getting more travelers into those nexus lanes. getting preapproved so you can go back and forth much easier. less time we spend on these enrolled populations as we call them. allows us to better focus on everyone else. getting percentages up, also having infrastructure to support and allowing us to then deliver
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on promise we make of facilitated or expedited crossing to do that. working closely with the canadian government looking at ways to increase the use of facilitative technology, most notely, like rfid enabled traveler documents. looking at can we get a higher saturation of those types of documents because those save us time at the border. save us resources. we don't have to physically handle the card to read it through the reader. it reads automatically. we've seen great strides on the u.s.-mexico border getting a higher saturation of rfid enabled lanes. allows us to do watch list queries as cars pull up. it allows to segragate traffic according to risk or facilitative technology. like to booths with easy pass and exact change. we have nexus easy pass lane or century is the easy pass lane.
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exact change is something we call the ready lane. that is somebody with rfid document but not necessarily vetted and preapproved like the trusted traveler program of nexus or century. everybody else goes over to the side. it might be a longer wait there because of, we know less about them. or they have a travel document doesn't allow to us facilitate the crossing. really just pushing that, getting more people enrolled into them and infrastructure to support it. >> well we continue to have delays in port huron and detroit. we know you're making great strides to expedite that it costs money, and a lot of money with delays based on how the system works now. are there additional resources you need or matter of time to implement the systems? >> no, additional resources. we have a work load staffing model that takes all of activity an officer does at port of entry, takes average time it takes to do it. takes how many times a day typically done and comes up with the amount of hours to run a
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port of entry and divide available work hours of a officer. we come up with a staffing number what we need to run based on work load for that port of entry. we can mitigate that need for new staff by some of our business transformation improvements that we make. so things like one of our current efforts trucks pull up and are still paying cash, a couple of dollars in change to pay user fees across the border rather than buying decal. we're looking for ways could they pay that in advance online and not collecting cash in primary booth and making change to deliver back to them. resulting savings and workload savings and time savings translates into staff at some point. the facilities piece we recognize facilities are extremely expensive. just between the facility itself staffing new equipment needed and highways to connect it. a lot of coordination needed. a lot of, we would like to see a lot of regional planning to look at crossings as systems of
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crossings rather than individual bridges or tunnels or crossings that sometimes compete with each other for traffic and for to revenue. we really -- toll revenue. we like regional planning efforts to take them as system of crossings for canadian partners to move the traffic on both north and south borders. >> thank you. i have questions also related to racial profiling in the justice department's exemptions of cbp for racial profiling, with some of the border patrol's activities in the michigan as well, a number of my constituents have raised. i will do that in writing. look forward to your response to some very serious concerns that have been raised to me and i would like to hear your response. thank you. >> thank you senator peters. senator mccain. >> thank the witnesses for being here chief fisher, last month congressman salmon and i introduced legislation that
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would provide border patrol for access to federal lands to conduct routine patrols an install needed surveillance equipment to detect illegal entries across the border. gao testified that border patrol's access to some federal landses have been limited because of certain land management laws. for example the oregon pipe national monument they did not approve the land manager did not approve of the border patrol's request or plan to install detection equipment in this case, a tower but we see this time after time with a land manager is making the final decision on the installation of this equipment as opposed to the border patrol. can you explain to me why that should be?
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one, if it is true. and two why that should be? >> well, senator i don't know for a fact that is true. i'm not going to dispute your report and what gao may have found. i imagine in some locations along all of public lands there are decisions made within the department of interior, fish and wildlife that perhaps are antithreat call to the policies and or to the approach we would take in terms of border. >> it seems to me there should be clear definition of who the final decision-maker would be which seems to me should be your organization, not the land manager. during a hearing chief fisher last month ago general kelly who is the commander of the u.s. southern command issued a warning about the threat that budget sequestration poses to security along our southern border. general kelly warned that the potential threat of terrorists
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crossing our southern border, quote is extremely serious and called the budget cuts under sequestration a catastrophe which could effectively put me out of business. mr. wagner and chief fisher do you agree with general kelly's assessment on effect of sequestration on the ability to control our borders? >> senator, i would agree with the general's assessment in terms of how the assessed threat is really serious in terms of identifying risk along our border. i think that is accurate. >> how about being able to carry out your duties? under sequestration. >> yes sir, there are challenges each and every budget cycle with or without sequestration. we have finite resource. >> so it doesn't matter to me. >> no, sir tell. >> tell me whether it matter or not. >> senator, thank you it matters. >> how serious is the impact? >> at times it can be very serious.
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>> mr. wagner. >> i concur with the chief. it is something we manage through. it is an additional challenge that can be distracking from the mission. >> you can just manage through it, right. >> we have to. we have no other choice. >> again i don't know, am i not making myself clear. i want to know the effect of equestions operation of ability to do your job? >> makes it more difficult. >> how much more difficult? >> the entire process, getting a budget six months into a fiscal year makes it more difficult. looking at cuts arbitrarily across the board makes it more difficult. >> how about your ability to secure our boredders? >> we do the best we have with the process we go through. >> i'm asking how it affects your ability to enforce our borders. what is the matter with you today? this is pretty straightforward question. i want to know what sequestration, how it affects your ability to enforce our borders? >> i said it makes more difficult and more challenging. i have a number that i can put
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on it. >> okay. chief fisher, general kelly also said, and i quote terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens, or even bring weapons of mass destruction into the united states. that's general kelly the commander of southern command's testimony last month before the armed services committee. do you share that view? >> yes, senator i do. >> would you elaborate? >> yes senator. i had mentioned earlier in terms of the 2011 strategy to combat transnational criminal organizations and in particular the convergence wherein that strategy looked at the possibility of organized crime and terrorism basically coming together to be able to exploit vulnerabilities along our border and other areas as well. we see that as an emerging
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threat. that is, our shift to, taking a look at risk and risk mitigation as opposed to just putting border patrol agents and fence everywhere was the reason for that as well. >> are you seeing apprehending people coming across, particularly our southern border but also our northern border, that are not from the traditional countries that we usually see immigrants? i'm talking about mexico, central, america? are you seeing people coming from many other parts of the world that you're apprehending? >> yes senator. on average over the past three years along the southern border in particular, just because of the volume all we see individuals that are represented from over 140 different country. >> 140 different countries? >> yes senator. >> and could you give us some examples of the kind of, would surprise the average citizen? >> auto although the vast majority is with contiguous countries of mexico obviously on
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the southern border, central and south america. we saw some of that increased activity predominantly countries like guatemala el salavador and honduras in particular. >> chinese. >> i beg your pardon? >> have you seen chinese come across the border. >> yes sir. >> africa sub-saharan can? >> yes sir. northern africa. i have list of 140. i don't have the list with me right now sir. >> would you please submit that for the record and numbers from these -- part of this obviously is international human smuggling operations but also it could be disturbing to all of us to see how far away many much these illegal immigrants are coming across the border. obviously does that concern you as well? >> it does, senator. i would be happy to provide that list to you. >> thank you. finally, mr. chairman, are you expecting another large number of children showing up on our border on our southern border
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in the next couple months? >> senator i'm confident at this point that based on where we are halfway through this year that we will not see the level of unaccompanied children and levels of family units we saw last year. >> but you will see significant number? >> again, if you're defining significant as if you compare that to 2010 and 2011, it will be up above those levels. but it is going to be down over the preceding two years. >> i thank the witnesses. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator ernst. >> thank you mr. chair. gentlemen, i thank you for being here today. thankthank you for your service protecting our great country. today we heard a lot of testimony about shared efforts between canada and the united states. and i do believe that they are a strong partner for us. i know senator booker had mentioned, sharing the no-fly list information. that would be very important. but are there are there any
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other specific initiatives that we need to look at, as far as joint activities with canada? anything that in your mind, maybe chief fisher, if you could address this, or mr. wagner but specific initiatives that we really do need to take a hard look at and implement? >> yes, senator. i would say i briefly mentioned the ibet teams where we're are working very closely embedded many places physically in space where we can share information. equally important not just the sharing of the information but for them to figure out what we collectively will do about that information on a particular threat and if you take a look at the two countries and the different jurisdictional authorities and associated authorities that go with that we're a lot stronger doing that. to the extent we can expand not just the concept of those teams in some of these regional concepts i think we'll be better
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for doing just that. >> continuing to work with our cbsa and other colleagues in canada as they develop additional targeting and information-sharing systems. they're working on a system much like our esta system for visa waiver travelers and preapproval for that. working with canada to build a similar system so we have north american approach and consistent identification of national security factors. then sharing and exchanging the ways and protocols how we can address those at the earliest possible opportunity. >> go ahead mr. spero. >> thank you senator. just to expand on chief fisher and commissioner wagner's answer one of the things that i would like to call attention to, is we had talked about, i believe it was mr. hartunian who talked about a lot of the leadership committees and collaboration that's going on, whether beyond the border executive group.
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or the cross-border crime forum or, or both. those are, i said before very, you know, those are great ways for us to strategize identify the threat, both, interacting with our community partners. one of the things i wanted to expand on what chief fisher said, was in addition to the ibets, our hsi border enforcement security task forces are doing they're making a big difference. and one of the they're the operators on the ground who are actually out doing the conducting the investigations making the search wants on both sides of the border and making the arrests and identifying it and disrupting and dismantling the transnational criminal organizations. it's a great model. it is a model where we're allowed to where we give our title 19 cross designation or essentially deputize canadian
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law enforcement and local canadian law enforcement as customs officers. they can come into the united states and actually conduct side by side with us joint investigations under our close supervision but to have that connectivity investigator to investigator agent to agent of coordination collaboration and just working the cases together, it is proven to be a very successful model. >> and these are all initiatives that canada is open to and they are working well with the united states, is that a correct assessment then? >> yes senator, they are. >> okay, are there, yes sir go ahead, please. >> i would like to highlight some of the other work that is going on in the pacific northwest, specifically operation ship rider. basically rcmp-u.s. coast guard initiative where different officers are cross designated to operate in each other's waters.
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i also want to highlight the fact that the state of washington and problems of bc doing yearly meeting with law enforcement trade representatives to share issues, problems and resolutions on our crossborder trafficking. so i think those are unique to how we operate. we also engage in a mutual discussions with them on a quarterly basis in our joint management team which has the oversight of the best of the ibet programs and we have a yearly meeting coming up, called project north star in spokane in which we will again sit down with our canadian colleagues as well as our state and local officials and federal agencies again to strategize and implement those strategies in the near future. >> that's great. i appreciate the collaboration we have with our neighbors to the north. through this process have you seen any joint initiatives where the canadians have actually pushed back, or they don't wish
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to collaborate with u.s. authorities? are there any of those instances out there? anybody? none that you've experienced? >> no, i wouldn't say -- the only reticence sometimes is on sharing of targeting information. they have certain privacy rules which they have to abide by. and so, sometimes that can be a little bit difficult. i think we talked about the mlap and the information that is promaded -- provided via that type of format. so i think those are overcome in the field with operational matters and between the different agencies. >> okay. >> senator, from a prosecutor's perspective, we have made great efforts and i think great strides to bring our prosecution teams together to address some of the challenges we chase when we do crossborder operations and
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investigations. sometimes there can be challenges sharing information. we have to make sure we're in compliance of the rules of each country. sometimes we have to make charging decisions who are we doing to charge and what jurisdiction are we going to charge them? there are different situations that come into play based on the law in the u.s. and the law in canada. we've come a long way bringing our prosecution teams together. bringing our canadian provincial prosecutors and federal crown prosecutors together with our u.s. attorneys to work some of those differences out. >> that's very good. i appreciate it. good to know what works and if there challenges as well. thank you, gentlemen, my time has expired. >> thank you chairman johnson for, mr. chairman. for the introduction and for the opportunity to talk about a border that we don't talk a lot about, in this committee which is the northern border and it is interesting, senator mccain is still here as you because as i
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think one of the challenges we have on the north and south border. as we put and deployed more resources at ports of entry we have opened up rural america whether it is on the northern border or the southern border to mischief. things that used to happen through the port of entry now could in fact are happening on the southern border in very remote locations which creates huge disruption to local communities, to rural america. i recently hosted, the deputy secretary in north dakota and i want to applaud blue and green. we gave them a great look at how cooperation works in north dakota. and your folks have been just absolutely fabulous on the northern border and cooperating with local law enforcement. cooperating with canadian officials. cooperating with local believes and sheriffs. it is seamless. and the applause is all around but there is challenges. in minnesota the challenges are wooded. in north dakota it is open
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prairie, miles and miles. if i took you up there farmers are farming around the boundary posts. this is not what you see typically on the southern border. one of the big challenges we have is getting staff in remote locations. and i think you both can say that the challenge i think we're down a number of custom and border protection officers in canada, and we continue to struggle to get border patrol to stay on the northern border. my question, what are you doing want department of homeland security, to secure additional incentives for workforce to stay on the northern border? >> thank you. so recently, commissioned an internal work group to look at exactly that we have a lot of places hard to fill and hard to retain staff at. we're looking what is, what are the options at our disposal now as far as relocation incentives retention bonuses bade moves
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promises of you know, limited assignments there of couple of a years. then looking at what is the right, the right options to offer from -- >> are you meeting with any resistance internally making pay adjustments or incentive adjustments to secure staff on the northern border? >> no, we haven't. just a matter of finding budget funds to do it and figuring out what is the right approach at each one of the location. >> once again we're back to budget constraints, giving us a less secure border. i think is the point senator mccain was trying to get at. >> well, we've -- >> i know you don't want to say that -- >> no, i'm happy to say that. because -- >> okay. we would like it if you say that. >> we submitted staffing needs as part of the annual budget for the last couple years. we did receive 2,000 more cbp officers two years ago. we're in the process of hiring them. but the need still remains for 2624 more. and it is just finding ways to
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pay for that. these would be distributed in amongst the workload staffing model to do that. >> i think we would be foolish to say lack of, that we can manage the borders either the northern borders or coastal borders which we haven't talked about, or the southern land border without additional resources, be it additional aircraft that can monitor the border basically transport folks in north dakota, we don't have any capacity for detention. we have a huge number what i would tell you undocumented workers working in construction in north dakota, who are pulled off roofs and pulled off construction projects only to be on the construction projects the next day. i understand the lack of capacity. but i also think that we have to be realistic about the squeeze we're putting on rural borders. we'll trying to take care of it whether it is san diego or
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mcallen or el paso. we see the problems there and we ignore cochise county and pembda, to the west. you guys have to help us work through this because as we push the envelope and put more and more restraints on those border crossings, we're going to move the bad guys to rural america whether it is on the southern border or the northern border. the other question that i just want to broach quickly because i think the focus here is all people coming to this country but we have a fair number of people who are crossing into canada from this country and that causes concern for canadian officials. mr. wagner, i was interested in your exchange with senator booker because it seemed like we were maybe two ships passing in the night. do canadian officials not share their watch lists with us? >> i don't believe we get their actual watch list? >> why is that? >> i don't know. >> is that because we won't give them ours or because they have
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privacy regulations that we can't work through? >> fbi manages it for us and we're users an consumers of it and we contribute to it but we're not owners of that. >> but what i heard all of you talking about is this extraordinary cooperation you get from the canadian officials. sometimes laws don't allow it to be seamless but i can tell you as former attorney general from my state, when we used to do intel briefings on the northern border with local law enforcement, whether break-ins, burglaries drugs the royal canadian mounted police were always at those events. i can tell you locally it works very well. sounds like you believe it works pretty well, kind of country to country. if you were going to make any changes in that relationship what would you recommend, any of you? >> i mean it is really strengthening the information exchange. the access to the information that you have internally within,
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you know your organization or your country. you know, we exchange a lot of information with the canadian government at the land border. our entry records are serving as their exit records and vice versa so we can start the exchange and identification of who is overstaying. we can see who left the country. in the commercial aviation environment we're doing joint rules creation and joint targeting efforts to look at threats to north america, not just necessarily the u.s. or canada in between. but it is, what access do they have to be able then share with us which brings up the watch list. >> are we sharing lists of folks who were on the list for deportation with the canadian officials? >> not aware of. i don't know. >> mr. chairman, i will submit some additional questions but i do want to, once again give you a high-five for all the great work that is done in north dakota with constraints on resources and for the extraordinary cross-border
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cooperation and, local government cooperation. you guys are doing a great job up there. your folks should make you proud >> thanks, senator height cam. i wish i would have been here for your questioning. this obviously affects your state quite a bit, what's happening on the border. chief fisher, i do want to go back a little bit on the question from senator mccain in terms of what will happen this year with the unaccompanied children. we shouldn't be minimizing this. yeah, it is down from last year but last year was a humanitarian crisis. i don't know what you call, you know 60% level, where are we at in terms of the total number, that have come compared to last year? we're somewhere of 60 to 70% of last year's problem, correct? >> well senator just so i'm clear, it was not my intent to minimize that flow with what happened last year by any stretch.
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just looking at it, because it is more of a statistical anomaly. for us people coming across the border for variety of reasons. we see what happened, for instance, last year and in south texas, with the department of homeland security did this year, by the way i should also mention each and every year over the last three years we have seen increases from individuals from central america coming between the ports of entry. what changed last year was noters inly the seasonal trends. that continued almost exactly the way it has been over the years. what did change was the volume. what we tried to do, what we did do with the secretary's leaderships, is start looking at after july, when the numbers started going down, was really looking back one how can we be better prepared not just to react to it, but really behter predict it. the other interesting, at least it was interesting for me, to see in how the secretary approached this is the department of homeland security was one of three departments that had equities and
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jurisdictional authority to respond to this. when you take a look at health and human services, that is a very big piece when it comes to unaccompanied children. you look at department of justice in terms of not just prosecution but what do we do across the board between the three different departments? that i think was the first time in my experience we started seeing peaks of volumes along the border. >> i just have to stop you you used the word, statistical anomaly. it was far more than a statistical anomaly. >> i don't disagree with that. >> one fueled by the actions of this government, this administration. i don't have the chart here we used in other hearings but we have a chart that shows really number of unaccompanied children coming from central america declining. called a manageable level. i think under 10,000. again i don't know the exact numbers, i don't have the chart, but you had deferred action on childhood emissions shot up.
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there was cause and effect t was very clear. in our trip down to mcallen texas, i want to commend the customs border patrol and really tremendous effort that they put forward to address that humanitarian crisis, but it continues. at what, 60 or 70% level. it is still a problem. and, you know just having met with general kelly i don't want to put words into his mouth. he is certainly confirming what is my sense is that no matter what deferred action, childhood admissions says, no matter what deferred action on parents no matter what those those memorandum those executive actions say it is what is the reality? and the reality is if you're a parent or a child in central america, and you send your child or you come up and you get into america, bottom line, is you're staying. that is what the coyotes are
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telling them. even though we have a counter communications strategy to say no no this doesn't apply to you, reality it does apply. i have to admit as i delved into this problem i know you are custom and bored he protection the conclusion i'm really coming to, you could almost be renamed customs and border processing. because that is certainly what i saw in mcallen texas. as long as we continue to apprehend these individuals incentives for people to come into the country they realize when they get here they are going to be able to stay detech them apprehend them an process them with a notice to appear, and then, disperse them around america, into the shadows, we're going to continue to have that problem. so we need to recognize that reality. we need to start addressing it. i guess this is pretty good staff work here. they have given me my chart. which pretty well shows the reality ever the situation.
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so this is far more than statistical anomaly. this something that our immigration laws, executive actions, actually caused. until we're actually, until we're willing to admit that reality, we're not going to stop it. we'll continue to have this human crisis occurring maybe only 60 or 70% level. but still a humanitarian crisis from my standpoint. you want to respond to that at all? tell me if i'm wrong? >> senator i do want to thank you for complimenting the men and women in rio grande valley and greater south texas. i've been down there and proud of the work they do every day to protect this country. thank you, sir. >> okay. i do want to, really get back to the northern border and the drug trafficking there because again, if you really take a look at the root cause of so much of our border insecurity it is the insatiable demand for drugs in this country and what that has
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spawned over the last 50, 60 years. . . there is a real disparity, whether the custom's borders protection talked about the apprehension rate versus 30%, 40%. again, some sense what is
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happening on the northern border specifically. i realize you don't have exact information. is the drug smuggling, human trafficking with a potential terrorist we are concerned about, will they come through the ports of entry or are they coming to the areas between the ports of entry? can anybody address a basic question? mr. spero. >> yes, senator. thank you. you know from our investigation then again, we get a lot of referrals and a lot of case or comes from referrals from the ports of entry or the custom border patrol, but not all investigations are referrals. some are firmer on confidential in irvine or other federal state and local part is even we understand one day the vulnerability could be a support. one of the ways we look at national security is it is our job to make sure we are
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investigating criminal fraud cases when it comes to people at either pretending or making themselves appear to be eligible for an entry visa, whether that is a student who is coming in under a different name or doesn't intend to go to school or whether it is a worker who claims they are going to be working not a particular job in a particular interest tree and purchased the visa or whether it is in the interior where the frog sirs are trying to go to one of our other sister rations these to obtain a permanent residence or eventually u.s. citizenship by any kind of fraud. the right document, through our participation in the joint terrorism task force where we can bring our title eight immigration authority, abilities to investigate fraud rate title
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19 customs fraud. we are looking on all types of vulnerabilities and we are not just focusing on one. whether that is people directly into the country but maybe on a fraudulent visa who applied for asylum was some sort of roger went application. that is a big vulnerability and something that we take seriously. also some of our national security strategy is there to make sure the sensitive technologies are exported in a proliferation program to make sure technologies are not outside of the country. >> again, what i am not getting what i am not hearing it some sense for how much of the problem come through ports of entry and whether we had to leave for personnel and funds them in a deficit neutral fashion or whether they come in between the ports of entry and i realize it is not the volume so
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we are not calculating apprehensions or anything else. chief feature, wouldn't make sense to utilize what drones we have and what protection capabilities we have. what expense based on the anecdotal apprehension rate to do some statistical sampling. some measurement with information so the policymakers who are attached with allocating resources have some sense of where the problem does lie on the northern border. we understand the issue, the information i am looking for in terms of where the problem lies in what we need to do to assess the extent of it and to write proper solutions. >> i believe i do, senator. one of the things for the sake of time i offer the briefing to you or your staff as was mentioned earlier it is not a simplistic to say it's happening
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at the ports are the metrics that we use between the ports of entry, there are 12. we take a look at trends. not just the southern border. we look at the northern border and we get, for instance, try to figure out, say for instance that dynamic in the business model of the illicit networks that operate in canada exported to the u.s. border. that scenario is likely to be different than washington or detroit. for us, at least for me to simply equate saying is that the ports of entry between the ports of entry depends on the area of the border family to have methods to an armory judgment on where those redeployment should go. >> first of all, i'm not asking for simplicity here. this is incredibly complex in its sector by dirt and area by area and state-by-state.
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i realize the border is completely different than the canoe area up in minnesota and lake superior and detroit. this is a vast border and all kinds of differences. i guess what i will ask you let's do a briefing. i want to understand the complexity and exactly what you know about any totally. are they flying small planes? are they catapulting drugs across the border? it is unbelievable. i have delved into this situation. the number of netscape, the ability to avoid detection with the drug cartels blocking off bridges so they can funnel them and put pressure over the system over here so they can divert customs and border patrol so they can local the drugs
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someplace else. i understand the enormous complexity of the situation, but i don't have the information. i know it is complex, but i am not sure anybody does. if we are starting to drop solutions to provide tighter border security, we need to better understand complexity of it. i was kind of hoping senator ayotte wanted to come here and offers some questions. if she doesn't get here in time let me first offer all of you the opportunity to make a final point. this is something senator carper has done. if i was a witness i would be sitting here saying i want to make this point. here's your opportunity to make the final point. if senator ayotte gets you a letter question otherwise will start closing. >> thank you for the consideration in the opportunity to be here today. it was brought up a couple times this morning alluding to some of the effect of mass in terms of
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what my office reports versus what may have been in the recent past articulated specifically by mr. corvette ad. let me say this. one, i have seen what was mentioned in terms of a host of things he had the effect of ms. rate, what he is hearing, what the policy is based on presumably what i have directed to the work force in the field among other things. let me state for the record none of that is raised on true. it is true however mr. cabrera is entitled to his opinion. he is not however entitled to his own set of facts and i would not now, but with your staff be able to clear that intel you what the policy is by my handwriting with the transition has been over the last couple of years and what i expect from each and every border patrol agent in uniform as it relates
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to data integrity and reporting if in fact there are any allegations of misconduct. thank you again for the opportunity. >> thank you. i have a keen understanding of how difficult it is to get the information. this is the least study at all right there. this is enormously difficult and complex. we are going to try to the best of possible describe the reality and ascertain the truth knowing you will never get the full reality. we certainly do appreciate your service to the nation into it what you can to grapple with a difficult situation. deputy commissioner. >> it is really a recognition of the economic activity of what it means to the economy in the united states and canada, looking within the office of field operations a huge workload is not necessarily just the enforcement work. there's regulatory functions
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the processing like you mentioned. the commercial vehicles across the border, welcoming citizens home, welcoming visitors, tourists travelers and ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations. the maturity of the transaction every truck, every cargo, everything has to be seen by cbp officer and admitted and released at the great majority of transactions are good law-abiding companies and good law-abiding citizens and visitors and is layering our first processes on top of that without topping or hindering the movement back and forth and getting out the back tears from coming in and that is where we try to apply a dedicated and targeted effort based on intelligence, based on analysis and cooperation with foreign partners and partners within the federal state and local levels to best do that so we don't stop
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the commerce as that would be just as devastating as an attack. >> i agree. thank you for your service. special agent spero. >> thank you senator. for my final point, i would like to add that i understand your frustration with our annuity to pin down exactly or identify exactly what the threats are. in immigration and customs enforcement on homeland security investigations point of view where our focus is to attack transnational criminal organizations no matter what they are doing because what we find is these organizations are smuggling guns drugs people what didn't. it is the routes we are trying to identify and that is why we feel like our tax strategy put us on the right path.
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we are not focusing on the individual committing the crime. when we stop that and make that big future, we get a referral. that the beginning of the investigation for us. but our strategy is by the whole scope of these global organization whether it is a terrorist organization or other criminal organizations. that is reaching back and using our international footprint to identify the data as the numbers of organizations in the transit countries. the united states that the united states also working with canadian partners. we are kind of changing the way that we measure success. i understand the old method of street indictment, conviction and comparing them to the previous years are matching up
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with what the resources art isn't necessarily the best way to determine success. we move towards the model where we are lucky not what are the cases we are doing that are having the biggest impact on border security, public safety and national security. i absolutely want to thank you for holding this hearing and bringing the attention and for the opportunity to represent the men and women of immigration and customs enforcement and homeland security investigations. they are out there everyday to do the best they can to enforce immigration and customs laws. >> we thank them in thank you for your service. mr. rodriguez. >> thank you senator. again, when we talked about the resources i want to make sure we don't overlook our intelligence capabilities and the challenges that we face. to that aspect, the most
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critical support we provide us with intel analyst. i know we talked about aging but i don't want a laid-back component out as far as the need of a critical role in our investigation. certainly i want to point out a few gaps and that is interoperability on the border. this continues to be a problem especially the remote areas you are familiar with as well as radar coverage especially where we have these deep canyons we can't look down. so that is one of the gaps we still need to address. finally as far as lucky not specifically drug trafficking organizations, we measure our success with the dismount and disrupt and again a third of our numbers are multinational poly- drug organizations that are impact they not only the
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southern border, but also the northern border. we see more and more of our southern border coming up and again as i mentioned, trafficking more math and cocaine into canada. >> they are businesses. they are finding it rolling and it's an enormous problem. i also want to comment on what we hope is complete operability interoperability. it is consistently mentioned to us as a problem. probably not the sexiest technology, but it's an incredibly important one. we have heard that message as well. mr. hartunian. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would agree. we face other threats you describe and it can be frustrating threats from potential terrorist drugs like lawyers alien smugglers human traffickers, you name it.
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those are the threats that we face. we should think about it in terms of how we address those threats we do it in a couple ways. first we have to have really robust prosecution regimes and i think are u.s. attorney offices along the northern border. i know them all, they work hard and bring the case is and now that we are staffing after some of the lean budget years of experience things are looking up in the future is bright for us. robust enforcement certainly very important. the second thing that we need his close collaboration between law enforcement agencies and with our canadian counterparts and we could use some assistance perhaps with some of our doj law enforcement agencies having resource is to work within some of these tasks or is formats atf and dea in particular. we have to work towards integration with our canadian counterparts and we are taking
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steps to get there. as you described a very important point we have to address causes and take a comprehensive approach to the drug problem that we have and the crime problem we have. that means to do other things other than prosecute and incorporate people. we can do just that. they have to take a more well-rounded approach. we have to spend effort on reentry and prevention and the attorney general smart on crime program is i think well designed to take a comprehensive approach. thank you for the opportunity to be here today. >> thank you. we are working on right now a field hearing on high levels of incarceration rates. talking about the issue that you raised there. i did want to ask you a question because as a district attorney when we were down we just did a
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sunday driving around with people and local law enforcement is telling me that the fight over prosecutorial jurisdiction is simplified that i would've expect it. normally people want to prosecute the criminal. that is not the case in the southern border because it is so expensive to prosecute in people's budgets are strained. basically fighting over not having to prosecute individuals and as a result anecdotally we were told unless, for example there's at least 500 pounds of marijuana they don't even bother prosecution. on the northern border, what is the jurisdictional battles? what is the prosecution threshold in the discretion you use? >> we do have threshold and typically large drug quantities are prosecuted in federal court
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primarily. we work closely with local district attorneys particularly the northern district of new york. when we have a case that doesn't rise to the level of a federal prosecution, we will consult the state counterparts in the case may end up being prosecuted in state court. we work collaboratively with them. i wouldn't say there is a competition or desire to hand cases off. my experience is that we work very well and we have a particular interest in need and priority and i think we can all those together quite well. >> i've got four minutes left to go. you have voted. can you close at the hearing? i am kind of a rookie here. let me say again thank you for the time you took. i read the testimony. it is all very thoughtful. thank you for taking the time to
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come and testify your thoughtful answers and questions. this is a very well attended. which indicates how important we view this problem. it also speaks of complexity. there's an awful lot of questions and we need some answers. those are difficult to get to you. i want to thank you an alternate over to her ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for hanging in with us. at this point in time the finance committee has been in a markup on the trade legislation trade promotion so i'm trying to be in two places at once and not doing too well. a full morning. i want to ask a question that goes back to something that i don't know if mr. wagner or somebody said. he mentioned may be
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mr. hartunian it with you the native american lands was mentioned. the border of our country and canada. we have a similar situation along the border of new mexico. at times i have heard that the smugglers -- drug smugglers and human traffickers use that land as a conduit to get through and try to get cooperation to the folks who owe not. whoever raised this, which you chime in about how this is of interest to us? >> yeah senator, thank you. that is true. there certainly are some complexities when conduct an investigation of crime on the
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native american reservations. one of the complexities on the northern border and the area of the mohawk indian reservation in and i shared jurisdiction is the geography. it is tough terrain up there and it is right for smugglers to exploit. in all seasons and certainly you have -- >> which country is again? >> the indian reservation has territory on the canadian side and on the u.s. side. the geography poses a lot of challenges to law enforcement. there is some political sensitivities with the native population wanted to maintain as much sovereignty as they can and
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so it is difficult for us to overcome the challenge. as gaining their trust. in some cases it is a very close knit, small population and it again poses some issues or challenges that are somewhat unique. on the other hand, one of the things that is getting better from our standpoint and we are making a lot of progress -- are border enforcement security task force, we actually have the aqua side of the police force representatives participate on the task force as well as the saint regis police officers. there are members that have been designated with title 19 authority. they reduce the vulnerabilities.
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in reality the challenge is an organizations know what they are. they do their best to exploit everything. we are trying to do a better job on the indian reservation and with the native american police reservation and working together to do everything we can to mitigate the threat. >> chief, go down to the southern border with mexico. do we have a similar situation and have we figured out how to work with the native americans to be able to secure that portion of the border? >> yes senator as described on the reservation on the southwest border, which the geography takes on the western portion both in tucson and what we call
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the west as they are. i tried to extend into the united states and mexico. part of -- when we look at the border in terms of identifying and shri. over the years as we have built vehicle barricades it is always challenging to work with the tribe and letting them know it will allow us to put some impediments along the border are bringing infrastructure technology to increase their situational awareness. early in those discussions it was difficult to make the case. until the infrastructure and technology started to manifest around the reservation, which obviously the path of least resistance came through the nation. up until the middle of 2013, the vast majority of trafficking
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across the southern border came through arizona and the vast majority of the traffic came to the desert to the nation. they realize the vulnerability and we are working better with them. we are currently in the process of developing integrated fixed towers. the first phase of that as you well know is in no palace. we are in the process to transition into phase two and we currently have authorization from the tribe to move into deployment to cover a vast region of the reservation. that will be for a something a long time coming. >> thanks very much. the last question i will present to all of you here today goes back to something i often times they. find out what works, do more of that. find out what doesn't work in dubai said that. the advice was presented to the
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finance committee a couple years ago at a hearing by alan blinder when he was asked what should we do with respect to health care and he said serious what i would do. find out what works. i said you may find out what does the work and do less of that? he said yes. with that in mind could you i'll just take a minute or so and just talk to us again what is working on the northern border that appears to be working that is replicable particularly along our southern borders. what is on the northern border worth replicating and maybe some of the best track essays from your experience and observation on the southern border.
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>> yes, thank you, senator. what is working, robust enforcement. that is not happening on the southern border. the u.s. attorney's office is working very hard. they are working hard to get the job done but it is certainly a critical period when that is challenging in mexico, it can be done in close collaboration between the prosecutors and that is something we see happening more and more working to improve bat and make that happen more frequently and that is certainly an important approach we can take. >> is one of the reasons we work better with the canadians in terms of sharing of a nation as we have left is earned about the information in canada? >> well, you know i think there
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is cooperation with the mexican authorities. i think in all cases we have to be careful how we share law enforcement information. that assert a not a barrier that can't be overcome. >> mr. rodriguez, please. he will be here for a while? >> for 27 years. >> that's great. thank you for that as well. >> it is not a one meeting, the one event the one policy discussion. we have a number of conversations with federal partners on the border as well as canadian year round case specific. it could be program specific. and if we have to we follow up on these discussions where we will put a working group to gather to work on some ship breaker issues were sent intel issues that we need to look at specifically with mdma or
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ecstasy. i think those are the best practices that work well with us on the northern border and i think is unique and we need to keep going and hopefully eventually have those types of processes in place on the southern border. >> same question please. >> senator carper, i appreciate the question. i actually had a little bit of extra time to formulate the answer. i guess the best way for me to describe the way i look at it is that it is not necessarily how do we take what is working on the northern border and bring it to the southern border but it is an exchange of best practices across both borders as well as the interior of the united states. i use the security task force as an example. it was originally created in the radio in 2005 to combat the
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violence associated with the transnational criminal organizations that were a fact in the southern border. with the success of that model and the collaboration and cooperation of working together on the cases then got up to the northern border and now we have for northern border best practices. i have been to oversee two the port of buffalo. but at the same time, it doesn't just stop there. we don't bring what we learned from the southwest border to the northern border. we had a framework to start with. then we take that to the next level so our abilities to expand just about 43 members now of our best team in the cnet. our abilities to incorporate our
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canadian law enforcement counterparts at all levels, whether the rcmp the regional police office says and having as much not just information sharing because of course information sharing is extremely important. but we are able to actually take the information and the collaboration session and put them to use in our investigations and that is how we complete the last piece of identifying disrupting and dismantling the organizations that are the biggest threats to the homeland. >> mr. wagner. >> the ports of entry we focus on the risk segmentation of the workload and looking at ways to better utilize the physical infrastructure that is fair in getting the most efficiency out of it. how we define something as lower
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risk for higher risk is dependent upon what access they have, the analysis and targeting capabilities enhanced by what foreign partners are sharing with us. we have very good exchange information with the government and the mexican government. they have different capacities as to what access they can get what information they collect within their own privacy constraints but they share with us. it is a little different but in both countries, but we do with this information exchanges that helps us make that risk segmentation determination. >> chief, my time has expired. would you answer the question for me? >> yes, senator. you mention briefly the institutionalization of what we see in terms of shared information, integrated planning and execution, which then you have a degree of sustainability in the affair. we could do a lot better in that regard. >> thank you all appeared great
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job. >> thank you. i found somebody on the senate floor. senator ayotte. >> thank you all for being here. i appreciate it. representing new hampshire northern border is pretty important to us. i am not sure if you have been asked this question yet but one of the directors of the national intelligence has identified drug trafficking. obviously a major transnational organized crime. in my state, we are seeing a heroin epidemic and a lot of that is coming over the border. what is the biggest issue on the northern order and can you help me understand how the information shared with canadian authorities because that is where my local law enforcement and state police and even federal officials to work in new hampshire would be working on
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the canadian side. whoever is best to take that question. >> thank you senator. with the specifics to heroin, you are right. we are cnet coming up through mexico and the intelligence we are developing in our ongoing criminal investigations is we are seeing it there precursor chemicals are heroin coming from china being imported into mexico under the control of the cartels. the cartels are using the existing smuggling networks to get them into the united states through the southwest border and whether those networks -- the smuggling networks to smuggle anything. whether it is people or drugs the cartels have control of the networks and the pathways and they are using that to get
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heroin into the country for alternate consumption here in the united states or in some cases into canada as well. one of the things we were talking about what our ability and need to make sure we do everything we can across all levels of blunt force meant whether it is federal, state or local law enforcement where my particular neck of the woods travel law enforcement and international law enforcement as well as canadian counterparts on the canadian side of the border. where we have the biggest issues , did mussina point area we use the security task force is as a mechanism to share information back and forth with canadian counterparts. so we actually have cross
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designated. we have given essentially title 19 or customs authority basically making state and local law enforcement designated customs officials, but also able to do that with local law enforcement officials for and they can come work the networks on the side of the border. the idea here is to open up information sharing, worked sharing, work the cases together and instead of -- not only trying to remove the u.s. canadian border as a potential barrier to law enforcement where in some cases we are actually able to use it to our advantage. we understand that it is a problem. heroin seems to be on the rise. one of the things that we think is the best way to conduct and
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identify disrupt or dismantle the transnational criminal organizations, whether it is heroin, cocaine marijuana or firearms for that matter to identify the organizations. in the destination countries and work together with law enforcement at all levels to share the nation and work the cases. >> so i get all of that. just thinking how we drive up the price of heroin. one of the problems we have right now is that is so cheap. the more we could make it tougher to transport this stuff, it is so cheap that some people are addicted to prescription drugs. they go over to heroin. it is feeling this public health epidemic. not just new hampshire, but across the country. do we need to give you bigger tools? what do we need to give you to help you drive up the price to come down on the people
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transporting heroin? >> one of the things we look at whether it is heroin and i should have mentioned the newer trends we see with respect to heroin is heroin laced with vents and all. >> on steroids. >> absolutely. almost as with any business model, if we can be more effective at reducing the supply, that would drive up -- that would be one way to drive up the price. another thing we are trying to do with almost every enforcement program that we have a homeland security investigation is also a public outreach or public service announcement message that goes along with it. so what we do have a particularly big seizure or a big sentence we try and get out to the public that if it is the
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kids using the heroin laced with sentinel to say you don't know what you are using or what the impacts are on you. not only did we conduct this investigation and made the arrest, but this is why it is important that you don't use it. >> we got to do a better job overall. i have a question in terms of canada. as i understand it right now, i don't know who is best to answer the question. right now if they understand that, canada doesn't have a place to screen inbound airplane passengers against the terrorist watch list. and so they are moving towards the capability. is this true? if so those on the terrorist watch lists have presumably entered canada on the airplane. is that true? who knows about that. can you help me understand not because i am worried we have these foreign fighters that have
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gone to syria iraq yemen. some of them are canadians. we have had some americans, too. we have a great relationship with canada, so if you get to canada without getting to the watch list, it is not that hard to get to the united states of america. what are your thoughts on this problem? >> i don't know if they have direct access and that they screen directly. they have a similar system of screening airline passengers against the airline manifest before the person comes into the country. we work closely with them and identify similar approaches to how we screen now. we set up rules against our scrub the data and identify national security or any other concerns. we do both exchanges and certain protocols in place that we will exchange information and ask each other additional
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information. >> do you know if they have the equivalent of the watch lists? do you know the answer to that? >> they do have a national security list. immigration lookouts. >> can i ask you a question? when you think of a friendly neighbor like canada, why couldn't we join forces on some of that in terms of terrorist watch list information? i know we do information sharing, but it seems to me we have got -- we can't trust canadians, we are in trouble. any thoughts on that? >> it would be ours to exchange with them. we would certainly welcome access to any additional sources. >> maybe i'm asking the wrong person. i serve on the chairman aviation committee and this is perhaps a question i should direct to tsa or something.
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>> one final point if someone wants to drive across the border, we run the same database checks that the land border as we do in commercial aviation in the same database. >> so you catch it there. >> correct. even if canada didn't catch it. >> okay great. >> thank you senator ayotte. my understanding is the same as yours. they're not using the watch list and that is something we need to see what we can do to cooperate between two government. [inaudible] >> correct. thank you for coming. again, thank you all for your testimony. the hearing record will remain open for 15 days for submission of statements and questions for the record. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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>> our staff is 8000 team
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members and maybe about 300 on-call banquet service. that evening is about 700 staff on site. about 200 banquet servers. we have about 50 managers that service graders throughout the building to get everybody where they need to go. we have nothing but focus on the types of people. >> some of the staffers i understand, fairly often in the past several years tell us a little bit about that. >> the executive chef on draco today, this'll be his 11th dinner he will be serving. he began 11 years ago in the first night working was for the white house correspondent association dinner. we broken and well. we'll search our liver grew so our longest-serving team members celebrated 50 years of the hotel. he served all 47 dinners.
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>> tell us about the menu. he said there's a process in choosing it. what is it this year? >> the menu is very unique every year. we are looking to source local ingredient as much as possible from 150 miles of the hotel. honestly we are really interested in what is going to serve well for 2600 people in a ballroom and knowing the time constrained and the schedule that involves secret service timing, the show timing of the event and all of that. it is about mobile move quickly on to the table and what will be fresh and hot in front of the gas. >> how thoroughly does the staff start preparing? >> the kitchen staff prepares a day or so in advance. some ingredients we work on a few days in advance. stocks in things like that. they are on-site at about 4:00 a.m. beginning the final
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preparation process.
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>> earlier this week, defense secretary ashton carter delivered remarks on sexual assault prevention. he spoke to 250 members of the rotc at georgetown university and stressed the need for leadership in the military as it pertains to sexual assault crimes. here is a look. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage the china general of the rotc georgetown university.
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>> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. students, faculty, officers, noncommissioned officers and cadets of the joint wars, distinguished guests. on behalf of the battalion welcome to the hilltop and thanks for joining us with accreditation. three decades of service to the nation from academia to government service, secretary carter has been front and center as our military has tackled her most difficult challenges. for redefining america's engagement abroad in the wake of the collapse of the soviet union as president clinton's secretary of defense for international security policy to tackling acquisition reform and modernization of the under secretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistics. including spearheading the push for critical life-saving mine resistant ambush protected vehicles. spearheading the department more than 3 million men and women, families, military and civilian
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now for sequestration as the deputy secretary of defense in the department's chief operating officer. secretary carter has anticipated a much changed and seized upon opportunities never shied from a challenge. he has a relentless dedication to the safety and well-being of the men and women and families who serve the nation. for those reasons and to commemorate sexual assault awareness month and discuss about the challenge of assault is joining us this morning at georgetown. it is my distinct pleasure to introduce secretary of defense ashton carter. [applause] >> good morning, everybody.
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thank you colonel donahue. appreciate the kind words and for your leadership of the battalion. it is a great crowd. big crowd for many universities and the student body but not for you all. certainly not for me. we have cadets here. we have shipment from georgetown come university of maryland, howard university, george mason and george washington university all year today. wonderful. it is a privilege to be with you. the reason our military as the finest fighting force the world has ever known. taking care of our people whether in afghanistan or bases around the country are studied here in the nation's capitol, taking care of them is my
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highest priority. i want to thank you each and every one of you and your families for your hard work on service. do you know there is a lot going on in the world. a lot on my plate as secretary of defense. we had challenges in afghanistan with isil russian provocations, cyberattacks. we are also working to reform how the pentagon spends money, recovered from 14 years of war and at the same time build the force of the future, all of that in front of us. serious business. i know all of you in all of those american men and women all over the world who will hear this message take it seriously. and we can't let problems
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including the scorch of sexual assault in the ranks undermined that important work and our vital mission. instead we have to confront them. and in sexual assault in the military won't be easy but none, but then if you sign up for ebay. instead you signed up for rotc. in doing so you can't tear for early mornings, plenty of friends on the mall on the mall, weekends in the field and classwork on top top of already demanding course is. and in sexual assault in the military will require theaters like you. you're part of rotc programs with rich leadership. those commission out of your programs have led troops into battle become flag officers, served as army chief of staff chief of staff and advise presidents and secretaries of defense.
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you've made clear you were a theater the moment you chose rotc and you will be some of our greatest and best prepared junior officers when you are commissioned. because you are studying in washington at a time when sexual assault has gotten much deserved attention on campuses and to permit military conversations you will have the understanding and the urgency to be leaders on this issue as well as theaters in every other way for years to calm and i am counting on you to become one of those leaders. even though sexual assault, a disgrace in any form it happens too often across the country including college campuses, it is a particular challenge and a particular disgrace to our institution, the military for a few very important reasons. the first day is the military is
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based on an ethos of honor and this is dishonorable. second, the yard waste on trust. we have to have trust. you have to trust and of the soldier in the foxhole next to you. you have to have trust in the air and then on your wing and you have to trust the marines on your flank. these violations and assaults are not just violations of law. they are violations of the trust which is essential to our mission. next, we of course have put people in situations that are unlike any other. you all serve in a rigid chain of command and for good reasons.
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you will likely be separated from your families for extended periods of time and you will probably at some point live and work in ostia conditions. those types of environments are essential, but unfortunately they present opportunities for predators to put our people at risk and compromise their mission and values. and so, our institution has a particular reason to combat sexual assault. last, we need to recruit the force of the future and sexual assault is an issue for many potential recruits. i was at my old high school a few weeks ago in an auditorium like this talking to students and one of the students asked me about the issue. she asked whether it was safe for her.
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she wanted to know if it was safe for her to do. i was sorry she had to ask the question. anyway, it is an issue that we can't let sexual assault but our all volunteer force of a less attractive path for the next generation of talented, dedicated individuals that we need. for all these reasons the threat of sexual assault poses to the well-being of men and women, the department of defense has been working on this issue for several years implementing 100 congressionally mandated provisions and 50 secretary defends directions we made some progress. they seem to have seen a decrease in the estimated number of assault and we seem to have seen some increase in reporting the assault. we estimated 18,900 service members 10,400 men 8500 women
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experienced unwanted contact and two of them too few of them particularly men reported these incidents as assaults. altogether that 18,900 too many. no man or woman who serves in the united states military should ever be sexually assaulted. one reason the military is among the most admired institutions in the united states is because of our code of honor in our code of trust and also because we are known as a learning organization. we strive to understand and correct our flaws and as we spend more time and resources to better understand assaults, we have learned some lessons in here are a few of them. we have learned prevention is the most important way to
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eradicate assault and we've learned that prevention requires us not just to stop assaults, but to stamp out permissive behaviors like tolerance for degrading language inappropriate behavior and harassment that too often contribute and lead to assaults. we learned the perception of those trying to prevent responding to an assault may be retaliated against, they be retaliated against if they challenge for all of us. we have also learnt in addition to all of our institutional efforts eliminating sexual assault requires action. we need leaders with a curse to stand up to the behaviors that contribute to sexual assault the courage to step up stepdad
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and stop assaults and the courage to act when others try to retaliate against those reporting, responding to or preventing an assault. ..

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