Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 2, 2016 8:30am-10:31am EDT

8:30 am
immigration and customs enforcement director sarah saldana testified before the house oversight and government reform committee. members questioned her about why those convicted of violent offenses were released back into the u.s. rather than deported to their country of origin. this portion of the hearing is almost three hours. >> the committee will come to order, and without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. preparing for this hearing has, i'm telling you, it's hard to keep your cool in preparing for this meeting. and let me tell you the heart of why we're here today. immigration customs enforcement, i have met with the men and women who work there, the wonderful, hard working, dedicated people who do a hard and difficult job.
8:31 am
but i've got to tell you, what's going on in homeland security, what's going on with immigration customs enforcement is one of the most infuriating things i think i've seen in this government yet. in a three-year period, immigrations and customs enforcement has released more than 86,000 criminal aliens into the american public. these are people that were here illegally, got caught committing a crime, or were convicted of that crime, and then instead of deporting them, they were just released back out into the united states of america. all told, they had more than 231,000 crimes that they were convicted of. 86,000 of these people. in 2015 196 of these people were convicted of homicide, and i.c.e. released them back into the public rather than deporting
8:32 am
them. 124 of those that were released between fiscal year 2010 and 2015 went on to commit homicide. let me give you some other stats. in 2013 i.c.e. released 36,007 criminal aliens, criminal aliens, who were here unlawfully present in the united states. as of september 2014, 5700 of those individuals went on to commit additional crimes. in march of 2015, i.c.e. director sarah saldana testified before this committee that during fiscal year 2014 i.c.e. released another 30,000 individuals with criminal conviction withs. in fact, i.c.e. released 30,558 criminal aliens in 2014 who had a combined 799,059 -- 79,059 convictions instead of deporting them.
8:33 am
of those 30,558 criminal aliens, 1895 were charged with another crime following their release. their convictions included sex offenses, assault, burglary, robbery, driving under the influence. and i.c.e. told us that in 2015 the agency released 19,723 criminal aliens with a combined 64,197 convictions including 934 sex offenses, 804 robberies, 216 kidnappings and 196 homicide-related convictions. and that's on your watch. they were under -- they were here illegally, they got caught committing a crime, they were convicted of the crime, and instead of following the law and deporting them, you released them back out in the public, and they commit more crimes. how do you look those people in the eye? how do you go back to a family and say, you know, they were in
8:34 am
our detech, and we just thought it'd be better to let them out into the united states of america. that is so wholly unacceptable. this is notre dame football stadium. you've released more people that were convicted of crimes that should have been deported than you can fit into that stadium. you'd still have people waiting outside in line. those are the criminals that you released instead of deporting. now, one of the people that's very passionate about this issue and spent a lot of time on that is our colleague, mr. desantos, of florida. i'd like to yield time to him. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you know, we in this country, the government at all levels, has a responsibility to protect the safety of the american people. for the federal government, most of the crimes that are committed, particularly violent crimes, are handled at the state level. and i wish we could prevent every crime from happening. i wish we could. but the fact of the matter is we rely on deterrence, we rely on penalties in certain instances.
8:35 am
but in this case, this is an example of where government could have prevented all of these crimes. you have somebody, and the story that came out, i thought, was just shocking where between fiscal year 2010 and february of 2015 there were 124 individuals who were in the country illegally, had been previously detained by i.c.e. and were released that were charged with homicide. you look at the number of convictions that we've seen for people who have been released by i.c.e. even after being convicted of rape, of homicide, of domestic violence, violence against women, other sex offenses. this is putting the american people at risk. something is wrong. something needs to change. we've tried to highlight this over and over again. we get the numbers of convictions finally given to us for 15, and it's startling
8:36 am
because we're told that, oh, we're going to focus on really getting these criminals, but yet you have criminals in your possession, don't have a right to be here, they should be returned to their home country, and yet they're released into american society, and then they reoffend. so, mr. chairman, i thank you for having this hearing. this is immensely, immensely frustrating issue to see this because some of these crime victims, the families, you can say to them had the federal government simply done its job, maybe your loved one would be here today. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. director saldana, who's about to testify before us, has testified before. she said, quote: we welcome any amount of resource -- any amount of money that we have. we can always do more with more resources. we are just doing the best we can with the resources we have right now, end quote. except in june of 2015 department of homeland security leadership took $113 million
8:37 am
from i.c.e.'s enforcement budget and asked congress to reprogram it to other dhs components with no role in immigration enforcement. further, in the latest budget justification homeland security seeks $185 million less, less for deportation and transportation. despite a mandate in the law requiring i.c.e. to maintain 34,000 detention beds, i.c.e. only wants funding for 30,913. this administration's failure to secure our border, enforce immigration laws and hold criminal aliens accountable creates an ongoing threat to our public safety and sometimes delays consequences for innocent americans. and many of those losses are preventable. the numbers became real in february of 2015 in a national security subcommittee hearing. we heard testimony from mr. jamiel shaw whose 17-year-old son was murdered by an alien living in the united states illegally.
8:38 am
he had been released from jail on a conviction for brandishing ooh weapon before the shaw slaying. this was a weapons conviction. we also heard from mike -- [inaudible] the uncle of grant. grant was 21 years old when he was killed in mesa, arizona, while working an overnight shift at a local convenience store. guy's just working at the convenience store late at night, trying to do the right thing. the alleged killer was in removal proceedings due to burglary conviction. but released on i.c.e. on a $10,000 bond. grant was killed. the families are not the only victims of crimes committed by aliens unlawfully present in the united states. today we continue to put names and faces with individuals whose lives were changed forever by the death of a family member killed by a convicted, convicted criminal alien. the common thread among these stories we're about to hear today is that each of them were preventable. if i.c.e. had only followed the law, it's highly likely that
8:39 am
these witnesses would not be sitting here today grieving the loss of another loved one, and i thank the family members that will be joining us on the second panel. they are heart-wrenching stories, and it was preventable. it didn't have to happen. you could have deported them, and you chose not to. and it's just infuriating. my time's expired. let me recognize the ranking member, mr. cummings, for his opening statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me, first of all, start off by expressing how very sorry i am for the families of casey chadwick, sarah root and marilyn ferris. the crimes that were committed against them were brutal and bar bieric, and they -- barbaric, and their lives were stolen away
8:40 am
from them all so soon. their lives were stolen away from them, their parents, their friends and relatives. and so to mr. root, mr. hartling, i want to thank you for being with us today. i thank you for something else though. i thank you for taking your grief and turning it into a passion to make sure that it does not happen to anybody else. i really appreciate that. thank you. i know how painful it must be to relive these nightmares, especially before a congressional committee. and when i read your testimony, mr. root, i gotta tell ya, you said over and over again a parent should never have to do this. identifying a child who has been harmed and murdered.
8:41 am
so only you can truly know what losses mean to your families. i also lost a loved one five years ago almost to the day, a nephew at old dominion college. folks busted into his room, blew his brains out. 20 years old. and then to go there a few days later and to see his brains splattered on the wall, i tell ya, when i read your testimony, i could not help but think about all of that. and a lot of people don't understand when someone, when you have somebody who's murdered. i tell people it's hard to mourn. properly. because you always are wondering why it happened, how it happened. sometimes in my case who did it.
8:42 am
but at the same time, you mourn for what could have been. every time a friend of the folks get married, you think about your own, you know? what her marriage would have been like, or you hear about a child being born. and so it's just constant. when the birthdays come, when christmas comes, everything. it's like it just replays in your mind mourning over and over and over what could have been. and so i know you want answers, and you deserve those answers. and so i want to thank you also, mr. burbank and chief martin, for being here, for dedicating your careers to combating all types of horrible crimes in your communities. and it is, it should be the business of this congress to
8:43 am
help you be able to do your jobs effectively and efficiently. after all, you go out there, you put your life on the line over and over and over again. and so often you run into crimes that you can't even solve. you try, you do the best you can, but you don't get the cooperation. so i am committed to making sure we get to the bottom line. and, director saldana, i want to thank you for your testimony and for your work as a public servant. it is crucial that we hear what immigration and customs enforcement has learned from these cases and about your ongoing efforts to improve the agency's procedures. you can understand why people are upset. everyone on this committee wants to help improve public safety and enhance the security of all of our communities.
8:44 am
our committee is not just about oversight, and i emphasize this over and over again. it's not just about oversighting, it is also about reform. -- oversight, it is also about reform. if we identify a problem, our goal is to address it. for example, in one of the cases we will discuss today i.c.e. repeatedly attempt today deport the perpetrator to haiti before his release in 2012, but the haitian government refused to accept him. not once, not twice, but three times. even after haitian officials agreed to allow him to the board a plane bound for haiti, they reversed themselves and refused to accept him. i'm sure these facts offer little solace to mr. chadwick's family. so we need to ask what i.c.e. could have done, what i.c.e. could have done differently and what i.c.e. can do in the future to improve these procedures. we also need to -- and i think the chairman made a good point.
8:45 am
we realize that there are issues that go to resources. but the question is, is are we using the resources that we have effectively and efficiently? we also need to ask what more we as a government can do to force recalcitrant countries like haiti in this case to honor their treaty agreements and to accept their own citizens. this process is already underway thanks to senate richard blumenthal and senator christopher murphy and representative joe courtney of connecticut. on november 24, 2015, they sent a letter to the inspector general of the county of homeland security requesting an investigation to determine what more i.c.e. could have done, and i quote: to overcome the objections of the haitian government to the removal of this individual, end of quote. so i ask unanimous consent to enter their letter into our
8:46 am
official hearing record today, mr. chairman. >> without objection, so ordered. >> the inspector general has agreed to their request, and this investigation is now underway. i absolutely support these goals. what i absolutely do not support, however, is the hateful rhetoric we have, we hear and have heard coming from some of my members of the republican party who disparage all immigrants with false condemnation. donald trump has labeled mexican immigrants as rapists. he's also called for shutdown of muslims entering the united states. these were not accidental lapses of off-the-cuff remarks. they are genuine statements from the leading republican candidate for president of the united states of america in 2016. if you think his rhetoric is just words and does not cause actual harm, consider the brutal assault of a 58-year-old
8:47 am
homeless latino man in boston last august. two brothers, scott and steve leader, who have extensive criminal records, hit him in the face, urinated on him, punched him, hit him with a metal pole and then walked away laughing. when questioned by the police, one of the brothers said, and i quote: donald trump was right. all these illegals need to be deported, end of quote. and when donald trump heard about this brutal attack, he said that it was a shame but that his supporters are very passionate and, quote, want this country to be great again, end of quote. so as i close, if we remain silent, if we remain silent in the face of these actions, hate will become our new normal. what we are hearing is racism pure and simple. i do not like to use the word because it can sometimes be difficult for people to hear anything else.
8:48 am
it can become a distraction. we're trying to work towards real solutions like tackling criminal justice reform, immigration reform and gun violence. unfortunately in this case, it is warranted. so i've lived too long and fought too hard. i will not sit by silently as some have tried to plunge our nation into a hateful division where we turn against each other. and so i hope our committee ultimately will do more than just hold hearing, a series of hearings on immigrants who commit crimes. i hope we will, we all will take heart and that we will examine all of the legitimate questions -- and there are a lot of legitimate questions here. we are facing as a nation and that we will act to develop the bipartisan solutions needed to address them. we must come together to reject racist rhetoric and work to make
8:49 am
our communities safer in a comprehensive and constructive way. and again, i want to thank our witnesses for turning your pain into a passion to do your purpose. thank you very much. and i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the criminal alien report released by homeland security this 2015 and also enter into the record a letter from senator grassley and senator ernst regarding the case of sarah root. without objection, so ordered. we'll hold the record open for five legislative days for any member who'd like to submit a written statement. i will now recognize the distinguished witness on the first panel. we have two panels today. pleased to welcome the honorable sarah r. saldana, director of united states immigration customs enforcement at the department of homeland security. thank you for being here. pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses are to be respond before they -- sworn before they testify. if you will please rise and
8:50 am
raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> i do. >> thank you. let the record roadway frequent the witness -- reflect the witness answered in the affirmative. your entire written statement will, obviously, be made a part of the record. ms. saldana, you are now recognized, director, or if five minutes. >> thank you, members of this committee. i cannot tell you how disheartening it is to sit here and hear an issue and a very important issue related to the topic of immigration reform being bandied about as a political football. i'm a former united states attorney. i was a prosecutor for ten years. i am about the law and law enforcement. i'm about identifying problems and correcting them. i am here to get -- to tell the public what the situation is with some of the issues we face, inform the public, and i would really appreciate we focus on
8:51 am
solutions, solutions as opposed to political banter. along with our sister agencies at the department of homeland security, i.c.e. has no smaller mission, no smaller mission than the national security, border security or and public safety of our citizens. like any law enforcement agency, we deal with serious and difficult matters every day. in the area of immigration, recent estimates are that there are about 11.2 million illegal immigrants in the country. there are approximately 2 million, 2 million undocumented immigrants who are involved in some form of fashion in i.c.e.'s administrative process. there are about a half a million, 500,000, of those who are part of active cases in the immigration courts. i.c.e. detention program booked in approximately 300,000 individuals last fiscal year, and as you know, we've been funded at the 34,000 bed level for the last couple years.
8:52 am
you, the congress, have not only provided the funds to carry out our responsibilities for which we're very grateful, but you've also set forth the framework to execute these responsibilities. and it's all right here in the immigration and nationalization act. you tell us who we are required as a mandatory matter to detain, and you tell us who we exercise our ability to release someone and not detain, make a decision about not detaining or bond for that matter. given the numbers i've just cited, obviously, a very small percentage of individuals are detained while an immigration judge -- under the system that you, the congress has provided -- are detained while that judge makes a decision in their removal proceedings. i am deeply mindful that this is not simply a discussion of statistics, capacity, policies or procedures. there are families whose lives are personally affected by these decision decisions. as a human being and a mother,
8:53 am
never mind my prosecutorial experience, i feel very strongly anytime someone is injured or murdered or killed, otherwise killed by any person. and certainly those within the immigration system. i know that the women and men of i.c.e. work tirelessly to enforce the law and protect the public, and they steadfastly bear the enormous responsibility that they are charged with. when the chairman, respectfully, sir, says we just decided -- that's being i.c.e -- to let them out on the streets and, quote, we chose not to detain people, that is misleading the public and particularly these victims about the immigration situation and the entire picture. i think this committee well knows that this year over two-thirds, over two-thirds of the criminals released --
8:54 am
something i wish you had pointed out, over two-thirds of the criminal releases were as a result of the supreme court telling us we had to release someone. it wasn't i.c.e. choosing to do so. and another portion of the courts otherwise telling us that we had to release the immigration courts who have overall supervisory responsibility over this system. so to sit there and say that the proud women and men of law enforcement and i.c.e. are choosing to release criminals is absolutely unforgivable. i am very proud of representing those men and women. many of them are former police officers, sheriff's department members. and they do not go around trying to put criminals on the streets. so i want the record to be clear, and i want these victims' families to know exactly what i.c.e. is facing. and i want them to have an accurate picture of that. so when i.c.e. makes a custody determination upon an alien with a criminal conviction, we act in
8:55 am
accordance with the law, a law that you have given us. we are committed to carefully reviewing the circumstances of each case to insure we make prudent decisions and to use the tools at our disposals including supervision and conditions of release. further, we include in our data set things over which we have no control when somebody's claiming to be as or an lpr. there are additional requirements on us. this is a very complex law. and every time or virtually every time i have been before a committee i have begged, i have asked, work with i.c.e., work with me, work with the secretary for comprehensive immigration reform. we can't kick this down the road or afteran election. we need to -- after an election. we need to fix this, and i implore you to help us. so this issue has been of great importance to me since i started at the agency about a year and a half ago. in march of last year, i set up
8:56 am
a system that i think i've testified about to this agency to look, review every criminal release that there is. we have a panel that i've actually visited with. i'm in the process right now, like i do with any policy, of revisiting the policy. we see how effective it's been over the last year. because we started in march. and to see what we can do better with that, in that regard. i am willing to learn, and i do listen. so as you're aware, we're proud of the fact -- and i think it's as a result in part of this panel -- of going from 36,000 releases in 2013 to in 2015 a little over 19,700. so you know, i want to be sure it's clear, that while two of thirds of the criminal releases in 2013 and 2014 were characterized even here as a result being from i.c.e. determinations, that ratio
8:57 am
actually is reversed in 2015, and as i said earlier, we have about two-thirds of our criminal releases being required of us by courts. and with respect to what congressman cummings pointed out and that is the recalcitrant countries and getting people to take back their criminals, this world is a chaotic world. we have countries with great instability, countries that have suffered tremendous even and a halfal disasters -- natural disasters like haiti and are in turmoil x trying to deal with them is very hard. but i am working with the department of state, quite frankly, this afternoon i'm meeting with michele bond to talk about what more we can do with respect to recalcitrant countries. and i'm glad to do that. let me conclude by saying that having heard directly from families over the last 11 years
8:58 am
of victims of crime who suffered tremendous loss, i personally remain committed, mr. chairman, i personally remain committed to implementing i.c.e.'s priorities in a smart and strategic manner and to safeguard our communities and maximize the agency's success. i thank you for the opportunity to address the group, and i await your questions. >> thank you. i'll now recognize myself for five minutes. the numbers you gave us just in the last two days, discretion their releases by i.c.e., were 54%. the total is 46,422. the rulings, you said, were two-thirds of the reason, and yet the numbers you gave us show that it's less than 10%. your microphone, please. >> i don't know which numbers you're looking at -- >> you're the one that said that two-thirds of the reason you release people is based on the supreme court decision. the numbers you gave us just two days ago show that number is actually less than 10%.
8:59 am
>> the numbers we gave you, sir, were for 2015? >> we have 2015, 2014 and 2013. >> okay. let's just focus right now on 2015 as an example, although we can do each year if you'd like. 19,723, there was 19723 criminal release -- >> let me ask you another -- >> no, let me -- >> no, no. >> you left the question that more than that has happened. >> no -- >> 11% were salve das releases. and ij orders, the immigration courts that oversee the entire immigration system were 52% -- >> okay. we will hash out the numbers with your own numbers, but what is unacceptable is even unone discretionary. why do you even release one? why do you even release one person? >> because of the statute that congress -- >> no, it's not. >> it's discretionary on your part, and you're not doing -- you took more than $100 million and let it go to other purposes outside of the immigration customs enforcement. you're not maximizing the amount of money that you want in order
9:00 am
to get to the beds that is mandated under the law. and you've asked for -- 185 million -- $185 million less for detention and transportation. yet you're not going to be convincing us that you're dedicated to removing these criminal aliens. >> if i may answer your question? >> well, yes. go. >> you have said here only a certain number of convictions even, they're primarily convictions, offenses with convictions are subject to mandatory detention. >> this is where you're totally wrong. >> let me finished. >> you have somebody that committed homicide? we want them deported, put it in the law. ..
9:01 am
you will decide which ones can be released. >> there's a whole list of categories that are hard to public safety including those who commit homicide that you released anyway. that law is crystal clear. you are making these discretionary choices in releasing these people out in the public and they're committing more crimes. i don't understand why you don't deport them. you use this as an excuse, these countries who will not accept them. the immigration nationality act, how many times have you recommended to the state department in writing that these countries are, according to the lock on being notified by the attorney general that the government of the foreign country denies or unreasonably delays accepting and alien, and
9:02 am
it goes on, the secretary shall order the officers into a foreign country to discontinue granting visas or non-immigrant visas. how many times have you made that recommendation to the attorney general or to the state department? >> i don't have the precise number. number. >> have you ever? >> we have. >> which countries have the recommended? >> i get killed off the top of my head. >> one-way ticket me that information. >> within a week. >> just to make sure we're on the same page you will get me the letter should give in either to the attorney general's office or the state department regarding the problems you are having and the recommendations you're making about the countries that will not accept these aliens speak with yes. you understand i have to talk to department of state because some of these are sensitive areas that i believe we can talk about this further in chambers but i believe speed we will talk about in the public. i want to know which countries are not, they shouldn't be
9:03 am
getting federal aid and we shouldn't be giving them these is so the more people can come to the united states. i don't know what you think is so sensitive about that but i want you to prioritize americans rather than the other countries. i want to note the citizens of our states are your number one priority. put it in the public. let's to understand which countries are not take effect the criminals decade are illegally and should be deported back into the country. >> let me remind you to department of state is the one that issues visas, withholds, with a bunny to give aid to countries. it's not what we do. we have a member of understanding wit with the department a state where we say we're going to recommend to you the certain steps a we have any step step procedure. because this is a complicated world i think you all understand. we have to look at each country separately. syria and iraq, that's a pretty speedy you think that is your job -- >> trying to turn this
9:04 am
immigrants to those countries. >> do you think that your job and your responsibility to make a determination? here's what the law says, on being notified the government of a foreign country denies or delays accepting and alien who is a citizen subject national or resident of the country after the attorney general asked whether the cover looks at the alien, the secretary shall, in so to go to the first part of it, shall order consular officers in the foreign country to discontinue granting immigrant visas or not immigrant visas or both, the citizen subject national president of the country, until the attorney general notifies the country has accepted the alien. what is and -- what is incumbent upon you in your duty and your responsibility is to make the notification to if your time to take even one aliens and deport them back to a country, these are criminal aliens, the one who committed crimes and were convicted, if you're trying to deport even one of those and the country will not take that back,
9:05 am
you need to get the notification to the state department. >> and the state department makes the decision. >> under the statute it's as if the secretary shall to get start with you and if you don't give them that notification it doesn't work. my time has expired. i want to have within a weeks time all of those letters that you've been in office that you have sent to the state department and/or attorney general telling them where there's a problem. i don't want to hear about this excuse any further. now recognize the gentleman -- >> let me take up for the chairman left off. when the letter goes to the state department of what happens? who makes the decision? what happens? >> there is a leadership group, the council affairs assistant secretary michele bond is a person i begin with. she makes recommendation to the secretary of the department of state and a look at the whole picture with respect to the country to make a decision and notified. >> that is the decision speak with yes. >> you can't change the?
9:06 am
>> i.c.e. is not in the business of issuing visas. >> i want to make sure we put all this in some kind of context because remember what i said in my opening statement about reform in china and find solutions. we have these families who have suffered greatly at by the way i hope i know you may be leaving after your testimony as is usual -- >> i am staying. >> good because of what you hear from them. they want you to hear their pain. and again they have, could distance and i thank you very much for doing that. >> and the offer to both families to meet with him personally. >> thank you. thank you very much. we need to eliminate any misperception as a group, more likely to be criminals or commit acts of violence. let's start with the likelihood of landing in jail.
9:07 am
the census data from 1980-1990, 2,010,000 incarceration rates for native-born, central u.s. citizens, were two to five times higher than that of immigrants. were you aware of that? >> yes. >> the fact contradicts a misconception that immigrants are inherently predisposed to be criminals. would you agree with that? >> yes. >> so studies have widely shown that recidivism rate for immigrant criminals is lower than for the general population, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> race on the data submitted for fiscal year 2014, less than 5% of the immigrant criminals committed new crimes after release compared to more than 20% of all criminals across 30 united u.s. states. you understand that? >> that sounds right. i've looked at the studies and the statistics. >> given this information do you believe it is fair to say that a
9:08 am
person's immigration status is not indicate an increased likelihood they will commit another crime? >> yes. >> i've got to tell you that if i were the family of a victim, i would say cummings, i'm not interested in hearing that. because i suffered a loss that will never be replaced. but i'm trying to just put all of this in some kind of context because i think it would look at the total picture, then we have a better chance of coming up with a solution that truly addresses the problem. i would like to discuss the cases in which i.c.e. has discretion to determine talk about discretion. i think he was absolutely right to address that. i.c.e. has a thing in the past that some criminal immigrant detainees are released after posting bond set by career i.c.e. law enforcement officers.
9:09 am
can you please tell us why not simply deport all criminal alien detainees that you have discretion to deport? is a question of resources? >> it's not so much a question of resources as it is the statute. congress in its wisdom gave people who were found in the country and determined initially to be in the country illegally a very complex set of rights and ability to appeal and to have their cases heard by immigration courts. let me just make this really clear. we cannot, we would be violated the statutes which i think no one here wants me to do. we cannot deport somebody without a final order of removal from a court. i.c.e. doesn't deport people on its own motion. it has to have an order from the court. and we've got to have the ability to put the person in the country of the organ. >> i.c.e. has reported having
9:10 am
the resources to support only about 4% of the 11 million undocumented immigrants? >> that's right. i think you've seen the studies that indicate if we try to deport 11.2 million people and would cost anywhere from $650 billion, $650 billion-$750 billion. >> discretionary release typically occur when individuals associated with less serious offenses based on your experiences as a prosecutor, and you were a former u.s. attorney? >> yes. >> i have tremendous respect for u.s. attorneys. why is it important for law enforcement agencies in general to have the discretion to release individuals? what it's about about? >> again, it's important for us because we have to manage that money that this congress has given us, but i want to repeat, the bond procedure, the decisions to detain all come or
9:11 am
not detain, are all outlined in the. we must look at flight risk, threat to public safety would make those decisions. but you have given us that authority. it's important for us because we've got to manage the number of beds we have and, obviously, the entire fund you've given us in order to remove people from the country. >> i only have a minute left on my time. i understand the determination are based on risk evaluations, given consideration the fact like age, physical and mental health, talk to public safety, whether any mandatory detention factors apply. can you please explain why it's important that these evaluations are conducted on a case-by-case basis? and then knowing what you know in hearing what you know you're going to hear, i want you to tell us things that we could do as congress folk to help you do the job that your trying to do.
9:12 am
>> if i may stop with the last part of the question first. i would love to sit down with this committee a group of this committee to go through this statute and talk about comprehensive immigration reform, what we can do with respect to some of the every complicated part of this. let's not forget this is just the statute it would rulings left and right from all over the country literally going left and right that we have to abide by, ma even though we may be appealing to them. but with respect to overall question regarding discretion, we have committed to deal with each immigrant on a case-by-case basis because we don't have, i don't think we have the will nor do we have the funds to deport 11.2 million people. we have to make decisions on a case-by-case basis. bright line works -- right liberals don't work too.
9:13 am
we don't have time to do what we've been trying to do and very successfully done and that his focus on criminal aliens. so this is why we need to have that discussion and ability to make the decisions we do. and i will tell you, are we perfect? i have great, i have great faith in the judgment of our law enforcement officers in making these determinations. they are experienced, well-trained and they care about the safety of our community. are we perfect? i can say first hand i am not, and neither are our officers, but we do the very best we can. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> now recognize the gentleman from florida for five minutes. >> thank you, how do i get to go the director's remarks. our customs and border patrol are some of the most
9:14 am
professional, accomplished, hard-working individuals in the federal government. they work day in and day out to do their job in protecting our borders, but we do hear that things have affected their ability to control our borders. first of all, the number of deportations total is down fairly dramatically and -- and this administration? >> the numbers -- >> we have a chart. can you guys put the chart up? so at the end of the bush administration we were deporting about a quarter of a million. we are down to about 100,000, 2014. maybe even lower than that. that's total deportations, right? >> no, sir. i think you see -- >> its total deportations. and then if we turn to -- >> your chart says interior deportation as total.
9:15 am
there's also on the border removal. >> right. again, in this case i'm taking in the united states in the interior, not at the border. in any event criminal deportations were 110,000 in 2013, and now they are down to 63,000. i don't have a chart on that. those are numbers provided by you, is that correct? 63,000 in 2014. i don't know what 2015 is. i'm sorry, 2015 is 63,000. i don't have 2014. 2013 was 100. in any event -- >> those are not the numbers i have. >> again, all i can go is by what we got from you all. you have said the law prohibits some of your actions to deport. but actually the agents tell us, two things. first they say they are hamstrung by the president's executive order that is granted
9:16 am
amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. that's what the agency. have you heard that? >> our agents or four -- >> from your agents. >> i have read reports of that. >> again that they are telling us that. they also say some of those people even, again, that there was a court decision and eyes has admitted, however, -- i.c.e. -- of the 2000 of the 30,000 really sees, that would be the number affected by the court decision which was the court case, so that 57% were actually released at iced discretion, at our discretion. so we have more than half of those at your discretion. we've had hearings. we've had to folks here and this is what they are telling us. the other thing is you the right
9:17 am
to deport people, and again, the discretion is given to you. again, your agents have told us. but in more than half the cases you have not exercised that discretion. you also have, he do that some folks out on appeal, these criminal aliens have committed act. how many times have you appealed the bonds? >> bonds? some occasion to i don't have the precise number. number. >> could you provide that for the record? i think it's fairly limited. >> i can. >> you have that discretion. 57% of the time we have discretion you have not exerciseexercised it. they were exercised it. been what people have committed it, they are out on bond and you could appeal and go after those folks. you don't do it. one of the other things that was brought to my attention, we've lost total control of the
9:18 am
border. this is most disturbing. got this yesterday. this is the customs and border patrol system, the entire system that deals with passport control. this is just the last two months from march until april 17. the system has been down almost to total days and this is the record of the time the system has done. the system we have to control our border in whose content is encoded. i don't know what's going on, and i would ask maybe the chairman of government operations or whoever is in charge of this area in our subcommittee to look at this. we've lost control of our borders, enter system that protects us, the main computer system has been down, down, down. i think this is something that needs to be looked at. i'm going to hedge a copy of this and i would like you to respond to these statistics.
9:19 am
>> are these i.c.e. or custom and border protection speak with custom and border. >> that's another agency. >> but this is the system that controls the passport into into the united states. you are also at dhs. i'd like to have a response for the record. >> we should get to witness best able to answer -- >> and you will help me with that and i appreciate that. >> the gentleman's time has expired. now recognize the gentleman from new york for five minutes. >> okay. thank you. first of all i would like to thank director saldana for your public service, first as u.s. attorney in texas, and now as the director of i.c.e. and i would like to understand the challenges that you and i.c.e. face in trying to deport criminal aliens back to their
9:20 am
country, and the countries refuse to take them. i want to understand what the challenges are. and more importantly, what can we do to force a country to take back their own citizen when we are deporting them for serious criminal crimes? as you know the chadwick family is here. they lost their beloved child, and they rightfully want to know why a convicted, really convicted, threatening terrible felon was not deported when he served his conviction in the united states. he was out on release. the loss that we can deport him. we should deport them. and as i understand it, his home country, haiti, refuse to taking. and i want to understand how
9:21 am
this happens and what to understand what we can do about it. in this case the guy's name was jean jacques of haiti. as we review the record in this particular case, it is stunning and shocking how many times the haitian officials approved his return to haiti and then reversed themselves and essentially told the rug out from under u.s. officials and would not let him come home to his own country. to give a specific example, october 1, 2012, u.s. officials submitted a request to haiti to deport them. haitian officials gave the verbal confirmation that he was approved to go back to haiti. and are you aware that haitian officials approved his removal to haiti on october 1, 2012? >> yes. and you have cited i don't know if you are don't -- >> yeah, yeah, yeah.
9:22 am
and then they changed their mind. they told you, u.s. officials that the was denied for removal. they pointed out that he was approved three days earlier. do you know why the haitian officials decided on a whim he should not be allowed or would not be allowed to come back to his country of origin? >> we have not been given a response. it is tremendously frustrating. we want to send this person back. we wanted to. to our others in that same position. as i said with respect -- >> i want to go on. this is critical because if we had succeeded in removing them and deporting him, we would've saved an american life. we would have saved an american family and it was the right thing to do. so one week later, unbelievably on october 10, haitian officials acknowledged to u.s. officials that they had approved a flight to haiti that included mr. jacques. but that on the very same day
9:23 am
they reversed themselves again. they said he could not board the plane. what in the world is going on with these haitian officials? with a just playing games with this? this is the second time they denied that deportation request of united states government. and by treaty, they had approved illegal aliens and certainly criminal aliens would be accepted back into country. spent what's extraordinary, congresswoman, is actually the haitian government has worked with us in many instances before. so it is a very arbitrary granting and in denial and then granting and denying its extraordinarily frustrating. just like the kind that requires people to travel documents when they come through the united states. all these other governments require that. >> my time is almost up. this is almost unbelievable. i didn't like that would 22nd of this year u.s. officials tried again to send them back to
9:24 am
haiti. and on this day haitian officials informed us, u.s., that mr. jacques was once again approved for removal and then again on the very same day deportation officials withdrew their approval. what i want to know is what do we do about it? this is something i would like to work wit with a majority parn the publishing. i personally support universal reform on immigration, but if we can't reach a quick approval on that, we should get a quick approval on how we can deport someone back to their country, especially when they are quote allies, when we of treaties, when we are literally giving this country aid. and yet three times they really made fun of the american government and said no, we are not taking him back, reversing a verbal confirmation that they
9:25 am
would take this criminal back. now, i feel very strongly about this. i have my own two daughters. i can't imagine the grief pakistan is facing. this is such an injustice. not only to this american family into this young girl but also to our whole country, that they will not abide by the treaty. they will not take their felon back again are illegally. and my question is, and it is a serious one, how can we enforce this and that can we stop this type of abuse of the american government? >> we have a system in place and we have an understanding with the department of state, department of state, and memorandum of understanding -- >> but if they refuse to take them what do we do? >> exactly. what we need to do is have department of state at the table. what we need to talk about how we accelerate the process. right now it is very, very slow. speed but you accelerated it. he was ready to be deported and the country said no. we've got to get a way to force
9:26 am
these countries to be responsible. >> i agree. >> that your notes the presence of mr. courtney from connecticut and i ask unanimous consent that the be allowed to fully participate in today's hearing. without objections order. i would also like to introduce for the record a cdp system downtime log. without objection to order. pitcher without recognize the gentleman from michigan for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director saldana, thanks for being here but let me reiterate the fact that, number one, we support the proud enforcement officials that you work with and that you lead. we expect that although a majority of them are as frustrated as we are in trying to do with the problem. but our frustration goes up to leadership aspects, even above you in concert to making sure
9:27 am
our citizens are safe. we are also concerned of the facts are plenty of desiring immigrants who want to come to this country for all the right reasons. it's more difficult for them to come because of what's going on with these illegals. and especially the ones perpetrating the crimes and the murders in our society, and to get to the competence of having comprehensive immigration reform taking place with to make sure that our systems are working to keep this terrible, cruel element out of our society. so let me ask you a question, information that i have come statistics say as of august 2014 the administration indicated over 375,000 aliens come and wonder 21,000 level one convicted criminal aliens through the obama administration deems, adequate, the worst of the worst end quote were removed as a result of the secure
9:28 am
communities. instead of continuing to utilize that successful existing system, the obama administration indicated implemented the priorities enforcement program. they are under right now. why did the administration and the successful program that flags criminal aliens once they are booked into jail's? >> we may have to have a discussion about success actually means fo but i think yu are aware of the fact -- >> people living and not dying. >> i think you are aware of the fact that we the united states have been said many times because of securit security coms that and the fact that there are people that have claims that they served in federal court in some ended up being successful in the we challenge them with respect to the application of the program, many people are concerned that result of the secured communities as a way implement that was in place before i was actually gone
9:29 am
before i got there, that there was tremendous controversy about it. >> let me jump on here. during the secure communities program that's been ended, how many detainees were issued by vice but ignored by local enforcement? >> i don't have that number in front of me. >> do you have the number of how many of those ignored detainees resulted in aliens been released and subsequent committing a crime? >> no, sir. under secure communities of you are asking? >> how many ignored result in additional crimes being committed? >> i don't have it. >> you indicated you want solutions but seems like we would want these numbers in order to get to the solutions. >> i just don't have them on the top of my head. are unavailable. we can probably find that the m.a. take a manual search of her records and sometime but we can. the fact that i can't answer that right now should not
9:30 am
undermine my point about wanting to do something positive in this area. >> i would like to have those numbers provided for our committee. whether it is the we do initiate you said about the letters or not, i would like them as quick as possible. why is the federal government satisfied with local, low countrie
9:31 am
9:32 am
9:33 am
9:34 am
9:35 am
brushes with the law before this horrible drunk driving incident. he had had a history of skipping out on other charges when the judge considered deal, but what i read, and i want you guys to -- what i read was the trial court judge, the one charge with
9:36 am
setting bail never even heard that this was an illegal immigrant or never even heard of his history with the law. and most importantly never even knew that he had skipped out on other charges before. this was the poster child for somebody that out of a very, very high bail set. the judge never even knew it and it was because the prosecution which new all these things never inform the judge. that's what i got from his account. if it's wrong that's why i'm asking you i want you to come if it's wrong. but we saw in the news accounts the douglas county attorney acknowledged that his office could've handled the matter better you will talk about it later but if you're familiar with the case, director saldana, ma am i getting the facts right speak was more or less although i can't speak to exactly what the judge had in his mind when he made the decision to release him. >> in a case like that doesn't
9:37 am
require an i.c.e. detainer for a local judge to set a high bail in a case of probable flight risk? >> no. he just needs to know the facts. and we were not in the courtroom at that time. it was a distinct matter and should all know when it comes to this kind of activity. and i want to kill mr. root, express my sympathy special was expected as. you said earlier that the da had said that things could have been done better. there's a lot and forcefully, there's a lot of different things that could've been done better. i am going to use this as, which i said i was revisiting our criminal review process, i'm going to use this as an example of what could we do differently in this case. because i don't want this to happen again obvious. neither does the officer or the agents involved in this case.
9:38 am
>> thank you, director. i do look forward to and from the families later today. yield back. >> i thank the gentleman and recognize the gentleman from arizona. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. saldana, he reached out to the families but want to make sure it's for the record that you reached out to the families around april 22 only upon finding out about this hearing and their testimony. out what to make sure that for the record. >> at the want to make sure for the record -- >> i made a statement. let me tell this is my time not yours. >> you understand its beauty once again it's my time spent and you instead i would like the record to be clear. i am meeting with ms. hartling this afternoon. >> i find it, i find it, i find it, i'm going on. i don't think you ought to be picking a fight with arizona ofn of all places you better not go there. operation streamline go away.
9:39 am
incarcerations over and over again. it's not the men and women in i.c.e. and border patrol. it's leadership just like you, like the president, like the attorney general all the way across the border to put a face on this. are you aware in january 2015 of a young man in my home state of arizona who shot and killed by an illegal alien who was facing deportation who was out on bound? argument over murder by an illegal alien in mesa, arizona, speak with yes. >> i want to make sure you under agency know about their numbers you cite and all these reckless lawless policies have real consequences. murderous consequences for real people and their families. one life lost in this manner is way too many, wouldn't you agree? >> absolutely. >> a man who murdered him was an illegal indian who instead of being detained or deported was out on bond. in fact, he was a self-proclaimed drug cartel
9:40 am
member, ha had deportation proceedings dragged on more than two years after he was released on bond following a conviction, a conviction on a burglary charge. while out on bond this illegal alien had to harassment charges similar to what my colleague on the other side was talking about in the previous case. against in which one of the victim said she could for her life several times and climbing to the court he pointed the gun at her and her boyfriend. yet this man remained on the street. here's this thing to talk about the this discretionary issue you're so that on january 19, 2015, he walked into a convenience store, then added a pack of cigarettes in exchange for an jar of change. went a clerk hesitated, he pointed a gun at grant and shot him. fatally shooting them, 21 years old. director saldana, iran's murder is a direct result of their
9:41 am
agencies failed policies. y. gillett murderous people like this into our committee? once again, all the discretion i have pointed out, he is a history and a rap sheet. tell me why. >> i can tell you what i said earlier with respect to the fact that -- >> you keep pointing to that code. it's not that code. this band come there's no reason why this didn't -- >> what you do choose a? >> it's not about that code. >> statute. >> it's not about that. this man, the whole rap sheet, suspension been incarcerated. unfortunately, grants murder is not unique and to situations that i slated case, is it? >> is not an isolated case, is it? >> what is? >> yes. >> there's come we are one for mr. cartwright. spent i think the numbers are in the record. >> how many aliens enter the united states illegally were charged with felonies in fy
9:42 am
'2015? >> i will have to look up that number. >> coming in 2016? >> how many aliens were in a system or out in the public? >> intravenous the illegally were charged with felonies. if you don't have those numbers i would like them for the record, 2015 and 2016 spirit as i said the as i said to our 11-point to illegal aliens in the united states spent i don't care about 11. i'm talking about those who come in with felonies, that were charged with felonies. >> would have an encounter there is no way we have information on them. >> how many aliens who enter illegally were charged with felonies in fy '2015? you have those numbers. >> we don't have those numbers. >> after they got here. don't you get it? you are -- >> many of them are not trying to be found. we don't have any record of failure in the country. the 11-point is an estimate. >> yeah. they are illegal here and
9:43 am
charged with a felony here. you've got those numbers. >> no, sir. they wouldn't be complete. >> you have got to be kidding. these are illegals. they come into this country. they are illegal. they have been charged with a felony. what are those numbers in this country? are you kidding me speaks i am not kidding you. i asked you to listen to answer. for our 11.2 million in the country illegally. >> i am asking about those that are here -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you. >> i recognize the gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> unbelievable. >> and let me first say to the families, thank you for being here and i apologized for your loss. i would like to follow up on ms. maloney's question about haiti and mr. jacques. no one disputes that he had a legitimate court order for deportation and the haitian
9:44 am
government three times rejected accept him back to the country. are you aware the u.s. has been the largest federal aid donor to haiti since 1973 speak with no, sir, i don't know about. >> so we are the largest federal aid donor in history to haiti. are you frustrated that countries such as haiti don't take back their citizens after they commit crimes in the united states and have a valid order for deportation? >> absolutely. if we have that order we want to remove that person. >> would you support a law or a memo that says countries like haiti should no longer get foreign aid or get reduction if they do not accept a system backup committed committed crimes in the united states? >> i would support look at that and working with the department of state to see if that is a reasonable and logical thing to do. >> has haiti apologized to i.c.e. over the family at all? >> i don't know about the
9:45 am
family. i don't know -- >> have they apologized for the u.s. government or i is? >> not that i'm aware of. >> so what hope someone from the haitian government launche watcs history because now they have got bipartisan outrage about the government of haiti. is not a good place for the government of haiti to begin. they could lose federal aid and i would like to know if i.c.e. come as you've already gotten a letter from u.s. senators, if perhaps you could communicate to department of state or the government of haiti and say that their behavior was unacceptable and we need them to change? >> iowa raised the subject again this afternoon. >> i would like to talk about the case of sarah root, and how the person that killed her flood by posting bond -- fled it is my belief on the system is in drastic need of reform and the
9:46 am
united states. only two major civilized countries have a major bail bond industry of foreign profit industry gets views in the philippines the other one to many other countries actually ban money, bond. that's because there's very little relationship between how much money someone can have posted wit or the cash in hand y happen to have, and how dangerous they are. at in this case it's a good example where someone posted money and then fled. it seems to me it would make a lot more sense if we eliminated money bond and instead with the risk assessment system which is what the district of columbia has done for many years. they simply they say, look, if you're at risk of flooding or dangerous, the judge will not wish to it if you are not and you can't post the bail we were really she. i think what happens often is
9:47 am
these judges and the whole system tends to look at the money factor and if they can post $50,000 we will release them. in real life bears little relationship between money and how dangerous the person is or whether they can flee. often it just depends can get someone to post the 10% for the rest of the bar. appreciate if you would look at how the bond system in the federal government may be helping to release of people that are quite dangerous or at risk of fleeing and maybe we should reverse the held at the risk assessment system. i know this is not a partisan issue. the state of kentucky is looking at moving toward a risk assessment system, and so could you look into the issue and let us go? >> it's supposed to be a risk assessment. i don't know the -- >> here's the problem. when you attach or profit money to the system, it warps and for the judges don't give a proper risk assessment. i think judges would do a better risk assessment if they thought,
9:48 am
hey, it's on me, it's not how much money this person can post. it's my decision whether to release the outcome is totally on the judge and the factors. if you look, which released look at the issue of? >> i certainly can't. >> thank you. and with that i yield back. >> i now recognize mr. grossman for his five minutes. >> you write that were supposed to fill an average number of beds, 34,000 a day, correct? >> that's what we've been authorized for, yes, sir. >> are they filled now, about? >> excuse me? >> are they filled now about three? the last time i checked average daily population. right around that number in terms of like the last time i looked. >> of those 32000 how many are people who have been found guilty of the crime and how many
9:49 am
are people who are maybe just whatever reason grabbed out of the border of? >> it would be some fair because of having been charged with a crime. and others that a recent border entrants that came into the country after january 1. >> about how much of each? >> i can get you those percentages. >> half, 80/20? >> hateable something out of you but i can look at that. >> okay. so you have extra beds space available no? >> about 200 if i am right. and, of course, that number varies from one day to the next because -- >> you said about 32000 your authorized for 34,000. >> did i say 200? let me add an extra zero, i'm sorry. >> right now what percentage of criminals who could be deported do you think are being deported? >> every criminal who has a final order for removal and travel document is in the process of being removed.
9:50 am
>> there are criminals right now who are arrested for crimes who are not removed, correct? >> yes. >> to you know percentagewise are being removed? >> any given year, no, i don't have. not right now. >> could you guess widely? >> it's a portion of it. i would think it would be, i don't want to guess. i will give you a proper percentage. >> okay. could you tell us what type of crimes we don't remove people for now? >> traffic tickets. >> drunk driving? >> that's not a crime obviously, it's a civil matter. it could be for minor offenses, gosh, the list is long and depends on state-by-state. >> well -- >> let me put it this way. with the offense has a sense, possible sense of less than a
9:51 am
year probably, those are often misdemeanors. >> and you would not remove somebody for that? >> it depends. our priorities to allow us to move people with multiple misdemeanors. they are a priority. we just have to look at every case on a case-by-case basis. >> do you have a databank of all the people have committed a crime who are here illegally? >> we have a criminal history on anybody we have touched who's in the removal process. >> okay. this is kind of difficult or i'm going to ask the chairman if we did have another follow-up hearing so we could come back with more answers. but right now if someone is charged with two burglaries in wisconsin, convicted, are they going to be part of your database? >> the offenses they are charged with? >> yes. >> probably so because we'll be drawing on criminal history spirit so you have a databank somewhere in which are try to keep track of all illegal immigrants who have committed crimes? >> those that we know about.
9:52 am
>> okay. do you feel there's a lot you don't know about? >> well, i said there were about 2 million people in the process and the guess is either about 1,120,000,000 here who we may or may not know about. -- 11.2 million -- there are 9 million or so that we don't know about. that are in the shadows. >> the question is did they commit crimes. do you feel -- >> about people i don't know, we don't know, if we don't know who that person is, we don't know whether criminal -- >> this is the question of how to get at. if an illegal immigrant commits two burglaries in this country, will you find out about it? >> yes, we may get it depends on -- >> everyone of your questions, everyone of your edges is yes, we may. will you are will you not? >> it depends on the local
9:53 am
jurisdiction. if they keep records well and they have been put into the system we are part of them i can't give an unequivocal answer. it's not a simple matter. >> can you give us any public policy reason why, if somebody commits a burglary why they should not be deported? >> no. it depends on the cases and the facts relating to the case but if it's a burglary come to the person has been never 25 years, they have three u.s. citizen children and the burglary was 24 years ago, that looking at it on a case-by-case basis, we may make a decision not come not to remove them but not to detain them. >> i have no more time. >> the gentleman's time has expired. that you're not recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, the ranking member of the national security subcommittee, mr. lynch. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
9:54 am
want to thank you and the ranking member for holding this evening. i want to associate myself with remarks of the gentleman from pennsylvania and also the written comments to the gentleman from connecticut. i want to express my condolences to the families as well as, and thank you for turning your tragedy into something that may eventually help the families from the same tragedy that has befallen your family, so thank you for taking something very, very bad, something very painful and try to make something positive out of it. i appreciate your courage and your willingness to do that. i just want to make a couple of observations. ms. saldana, you are aware of the case where the supreme court back in 2001 said that if you are holding a person, an illegal alien charged with a crime that
9:55 am
has a deportation order but there's no foreseeable opportunity for the person to be deported, you've got to release in? >> and fully aware. >> i'm just pointing back to congress. -- painfully aware. >> you got to witness the context in which all of this is happening and is happening in the absence of a coherent and workable immigration policy. had a chance with my colleagues on the other side of the of the go down to central america, downed honduras, guatemala, went down to el salvador. and like it or not because of the executive orders that are out there, these human traffickers, they call them coyotes but i think it's to a predicate term, these are human traffickers, are capitalizing on that, for $7000 they will give you three shots to get into the united states. we visited some of the centers
9:56 am
where if they get caught trying to cross the border, they get sent back. spirit and we are targeting those. >> i know the underside to make a point. everyone of us kids that was returned, and there were hundreds that get caught at the border and get returned because, in mexico they support that. sometimes. every one of those kids was picked up by their family within a couple of hours. an organized attempt. it's not that people are just desperate. if they are economic refugees and they are trying to have a better life. the point i'm trying to make is the last numbers we have for south and central america, the art 61 million people living on less than a dollar a day.
9:57 am
they are desperate, extreme poverty, less than a dollar a day. so if we have a system computer going to treat north and south america as a borderless region, that i think if we want an idea of what might happen, i think we look at germany and we look at europe. because in that case, and i spent a fair amount of time in germany and the middle east into refugee camps in the middle east. we are asking for the exact same problems where people are in desperate situations, and we do not have control of our border. we do not. and it is not, it is not the fault of customs, immigration and customs enforcement that we don't have control of our border. it's the problem other of your willingness here in congress to grapple with the problem. and we have a series serious problem. we can't have a so here in the
9:58 am
western hemisphere. we can't and we just can't sustain it. that's not a system that is going to provide the safety of our citizens and it's not going to be a system that will adequately address our need for legitimate and legal immigration. and i think it is, you know, at one point you were pointing back to congress and saying, you know, you've got a responsibility here, too. i think you are absolutely right, ms. saldana. congress is responsible. we are responsible, and i think there is a solution out there. i think we've got to just let cooler heads prevail despite the vitriolic language which are elsewhere about painting every single person south of the border with the same brush. that's not helpful. it's not right. but at the same token we have a prime responsibility of protecting our people. and this is a national security
9:59 am
issue. we've got to get control of our borders, north and south. the faster we do that, that opportunity would have to come up with a cogent and sustainable and responsible immigration system. so i thank you for your a tendency today. i see i have exceeded my time and i think the chairman for his indulgence. i yield back. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chairman recognizes the gentleman from ohio. >> i think the children. i thank him for his hard work on this issue and a number of other members of the committee. i was struck by the director's statement. in fact, she was looking directly at the acting chair when she talked about republicans taking his political. it's not about politics. it's about enforcing the law. >> i didn't say republicans. >> your comments were odyssey directed to mr. desantis the entire time i was you. but that's fine. you didn't say republicans
10:00 am
though but that's fine. you did say i think a little bantering was the term you used. i wanted to try to dissect these numbers. i can, from my perspective following the law is not politics. it's the rule of law. is what america supposed to do and what america is supposed to be about. let's look at some of these. it seems to me there are four categories of individuals that i is probably interacts with the you have people who are here on a visa and to overstate what they violate their visas. ..
10:01 am
yeah you commit a crime in u.s. custody. my understanding is he really 86,000 of the subset over the last few years. and over half of that 86,000, were released at your discretion. less commonly called prosecutorial discretion. is that accurate, direct or? >> that is correct. the >> that is all correct.
10:02 am
when you break it down, people came here illegally convicted of crime, or in your custody. the lessons they are supposed to be deported and that your discretion, not because their country when they come back, notwithstanding other reasons, but over half of the 86,000 where you just decided you were going to not follow the law. you're going to release. >> i guess disagree. we do follow the law. other than the subject to mandatory detention about decision must be made. despite the factors we consider what you are familiar with the penal system. >> the fact remains you release them. >> after careful analysis of each case. >> careful analysis. i also want to express my condolences to what is to grow with your analysis.
10:03 am
>> over 100% accurate every time looking at? as i said earlier, we strive for perfection, but we do fall short sometimes. >> half of the 86,000 where the way i described it. is that accurate? over half. >> i think so. that's right. >> what are the other 45%? >> somebody on their death bed and is going to, you know, something from a doctor that says there's no purpose in putting this person in detention, they will die in a few months. some went to a tilted toward a flight it have to be transported by air. someone who was pregnant. those are some of the reasons. >> well, i am struck by the four different categories. we are focused on the most, what
10:04 am
i think american citizens would say the most dangerous category and the fact that over half of them are released. just because you can do it. >> congress i said we can do it here we would do it if congress hadn't provided, bond for those not subject to mandatory detention is >> my understanding is your capability to hold more and you're not doing that. >> we do. i am telling you -- we exercise our judgment. >> you can't have it both ways. your judgment capability and blame it on congress. >> i'm not blaming it on congress. that's what the law says. >> you can't be your judgment. you can't have it both ways. >> you given us that judgment. he said there are things that are mandatory. >> you the capability to hold more people the final category. illegal entrant have the capability to hold more and you're exercising your judgment
10:05 am
to release them in some of those people did violent crimes and actually to the life of an american citizen. >> today we have 2000 available. based on what you authorize for us to do. >> i think we are saying let's use them good >> tomorrow maybe 34. it may be 36 >> i yield back good >> legitimate time expired. mr. connolly from virginia for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, ms. saldana. my heart also goes out to the root family. i am a dad with a daughter. i cannot imagine. it was the failure of the system. that may do the dems, the major daughters that the spirit we've got a problem with immigration and i.t. director saldana has
10:06 am
been tried to point to that in front of her saying i need your help fixing that because there are problems in the current system that affect american citizen who count on it to protect them, but also immigrant families who want to make sure that they are treated with respect because overwhelmingly, most of them are not criminals. i want to enter into the record, mr. chairman, two pieces of correspondence. one is from the southern law center of some of the problem is that you linked to immigration raids and another one for my part of the country, northern virginia from the arlington public schools direction given by the supreme tendon to schools to offer families and staff because of growing anxiety about these raids in northern virginia. >> without objection.
10:07 am
>> i think the chair. ms. tran five, i entered those letters into the record and one of those letters states that i.c.e. quote trampled legal rights, subjected mothers and children too terrified and unnecessary police encounters and families apart and also says these raids have turned to schools including students on their way to schools. are there indeed i.c.e. rates on students on their way to schools? >> no, there are not raids. we conduct operations and i've really worked very hard to community. i've met with lots of organizations that you not understand what i.c.e. does. when the term rate has gone around, it implies a thoughtless repeat of people. the people we targeted in both these operations that occurred
10:08 am
earlier this year, operation order resolve, operation border guardian were specifically targeted to people whose status was determined to be illegal, who had read their game at of appeals and right and the process afforded them by the immigration naturalization statute to have a final order removal and were ready to be rude note. the >> okay that's all right. you don't call that a raid. they do. and it's looking to the super in 10 minutes schools feeling he needs to buy counsel and assurance to the entire school system. maybe that's justified. maybe it isn't. maybe one of talk to the schools. >> if i could just brag amendment, we have set up a network.
10:09 am
we are setting up a network of community relation officers, people who meet with law enforcement, school super in payment of a rotary club, whoever will listen to us so we can lay out exactly how we go about our business. attacks a recent title ii know that. >> fair enough. so astute on the way to school school -- supreme court sold irrespective of status, if you are a student you show up at your title ii public education. >> i'm not sure. i take your word for it. >> as a matter of case law. that's a supreme court ruling. i'm not making that up in the display local governments have to educate children irrespective of status. so whether the document is material to a local public school industry into targeting based on documentation on the way to protective education.
10:10 am
>> no, just adult. they are over 17 i believe or older. we don't target children. >> i've got a few seconds left. while you do your outreach i urge you to numbers of congress as well. in my district, probably my number one subject now is immigration given the demographics of my district. we need a partner in your agency. we are not tried to make your life more difficult, but we are trying to sometimes solve through difficult problems that our family related and confusion in all kinds of other things. >> if we don't have your cooperation, we can resolve problems in trying to make sure from the top down caseworkers
10:11 am
know co-operate with members of congress to do their jobs, too on behalf of the kitchen is always welcome. i think the chair for the hearing. my profound sympathies go to the families. there are words to describe how we feel. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate your service in previous light and i must confess to you i was surprised and used the phrase political banter in your opening. it is not only surprised, i was disappointed. you seem to direct that tories are republicans. solicitor general not two weeks ago before the supreme court talk about the damage wreaked by the separation of families and he wasn't talking about joshua
10:12 am
wilkinson family. he was talking about the families of people who were not here legally. it's not as on our side with sanctuary cities which is quintessentially a political analysis that we are going to allow state and local officials to decline to follow federal process, but at the same time we don't trust state and local cops enough to actually enforce immigration laws. that is a political calculus. that is not done by folks on our side of the aisle. my friend from maryland, mr. cummings went to great lengths to quote from episodically from a single republican secretary castro has come before committees of all 12
10:13 am
millions americans. not a single one of them can does a background check. if we are going to talk about political pandering and use your phrase and you are the one who used it, they will acknowledge plenty of political pandering going on your side as well. >> let me make myself really clear. i was not referring to one party or the other. i is for everyone to drop the political banter and fighting and help me get a system that worked. i want the record to be clear i'm not. >> one other thing i am vexed as to why mr. visio was not retained. can you tell me why the killer
10:14 am
of sarah root was not detained. >> they had this individual had no criminal convictions, previous criminal convictions and make a determination based on his judgment that he did not being the country need to be detained. >> is more than you and i disagree with that. that individual was in fact wrong because medea has failed to appear in court. >> it's easy to look back. >> i'm looking back so we can look forward to prevent the next day that's all we can do unless we have a crystal ball to see what facts we were given. the only two things you look at in a bond analysis or danger to the community and flight risk. those are the only two things you look at. so help me understand what
10:15 am
someone driving three times the legal rate of impairment was not your legally, did he have any arrests at all? >> we did not find criminal history. i've been a bias by senator ernest fair traffic violation previously but criminal convictions, our records indicate that he had. >> has a failed to appear for court appearances question eric >> subsequent to what? >> subsequent to his killing of sarah root. he's failed to appear. >> absolutely. >> the discretion of exercise was wrong. >> these are tough decisions, sir. >> this one is not that tough. >> federal judges -- >> which are granted a $5000 bond? >> i don't think the bond was set at 5000. >> it was 50,000 which means you
10:16 am
deposed by thousand. >> i believe that was the judge of the state court system have made that decision. another fact or that the officer perpetrated to and i have looked at in making the decision. i will tell you, judges make tough decisions every day and we can point to judges. as on the receiving end of many of these as a prosecutor asking for bond, asking for detention and a federal judge that no one later the person absconded. unfortunately, it irks me every time. unfortunately it happens a lot. >> sometimes it's a tragic consequence. i'm out of time, so time, so i'll close off with time, slow close-up with this. a previous life you work with state and local law enforcement in addition to federal law enforcement. >> the enforcement we trust them
10:17 am
in child or not a few cases. cases including traffic enforcement. why do we trust them in immigration cases? >> we do actually. we have a program that we must help of local law enforcement in helping us with immigration enforcement. a number of jurisdictions and i've asked people to expand the program. >> it seems like its ranking. >> no, sir, other than a jurisdiction drawing. we beg them to stay the sometimes they withdraw based on whatever consideration. >> you trust state and local law enforcement and do not die into the that somehow racial profiling prevents them to enforce the category of crime but not any other category of crime. >> that's a fully loaded question i would like to break down. there is racial profiling, sir. i'm not saying it happens every
10:18 am
day, but there is. for me to agree with your general proposition would require me to agree with parts of it i don't agree with your >> i liked out the conversation more because they would be racial profiling and narcotics cases, traffic stop cases and that doesn't stop from partnering. i'm trying to understand the immigration cases are different. >> i think i said they're not different. >> you may set it, but my democrat colleagues have not. >> the gentleman's time is expired. the chair recognizes delegate norton for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. i'm less interested in you profiling then i end the racial sensitivities raised by this issue. i want to thank you, director saldana are being here, and like those who have spoken before me, i don't have the words to offer to parents who have lost
10:19 am
children, particularly when the confederate could have perhaps been prevented, i have only the deepest condolences. i get into how you do law enforcement when the rhetoric with racial overtones. look, i grew up in the district of columbia, and minority group that was a deeply segregated city. i went to segregated schools. i couldn't go in public accommodations because i was black. even the best newspapers with say, john jones, lack, committed ex-crime in northeast washington. this had an effect on me and how i felt about criminals to tell you the truth.
10:20 am
john jones, black. john jones company grow. i don't know whether he was guilty or not. all i know is that pointing out his race, my community, minority group in the city felt that law enforcement was pointed at all of us. so i want to ask about the delicate task of law enforcement when those that are chiefly involved to happen to be from a minority group. for example, donald trump when he announced he was running for president said something that if i put blacks were mexican fire, people would know how i and others who are from minority
10:21 am
groups felt when mexico's census people come that they are not sending its best. you have a delicate task of going mostly after, perhaps mexican-americans come essential to americans who are coming in to this country and operating under the specter number of racial profiling, but from the highest levels on television every day, hearing ethnicity called out in relation to your work. how does that affect law enforcement from the point of view of those charged with carrying it out, with out, with kerry now by enforcement that most about the very names we called out with cheering from
10:22 am
the grandstand. how does that affect bond for a snack? >> we go to without respect to race. i will tell you this immigration enforcement is a little different in the sense that the very definition of who we are after is determined by their country of origin, the fact they are not from the united states. >> the country of origin would be where people are located. i understand where they come from. the point is they have many relatives in these countries, to. somehow von enforcement has to handle the delicate task you heard talk about the race, perfectly legitimate to do and somehow making sure it is not caught in the rhetoric we hear.
10:23 am
we heard from mr. trump apart from the ignorance of the state and, it's completely sealing our borders to any group possible and is it an effective way to combat terrorism? >> well, that is a huge issue, but i would say no. that is why everything we do, starting with the secretary and his priorities is based on a case-by-case basis. >> sealing the borders would involve what? >> i can't imagine how you would go about that. there's been discussion about building a wall and that kind of
10:24 am
thing. that doesn't sound like it would secure anything actually because i see the video. >> as you issue something for people coming overseas, saying if you're muslim don't travel to the united states, you will not be excepted. >> we would not do that. from the highest points of leadership, they understand that the galaxy so while i think of the relatives of those laws, my second thought are with those who have to carry out the difficult mission necessary. >> the chair now recognizes himself for five minutes. thank you for coming. i echo some of my colleagues. i appreciate your service, but to dismiss what we are trying to get to the bottom of the political banter, that's not what we are doing. we see reports where you were even intrude into.
10:25 am
we see 124 people had been in custody and were here illegally and ended up getting charged with murder when you see things like kate stanley was going about her business and she got killed by somebody who had no business being in the country. that is something that concerns people here in the congress, that the american people and our government is involved in a lot of different things. the health insurance, how much water a toilet and flush. and yet a core function of the government is to ensure the safety and security of the american people and it's frustrating when government fails at its core function. we are absolutely serious about it and it's not political theater. it's frustration with families who have to go through this. you need a removal order to deport someone without that can't be deported it is that correct?
10:26 am
either administrative removals, stipulated removals in an expedited removals, correct? >> yesterday person can volunteer to go back. we can move through the process a little quicker. >> said there are ways to do it. heart of the frustration is we've gone through the numbers a lot about the numbers that were discretionary versus white i.c.e. would say because of a supreme court precedent. but even there, that is a six-month window. you have somebody in custody of that see how got out of prison who committed a sexual assault against the child and that individual is being held. you have time to repatriate the individual back to their own country. what we are told by dhs if they don't get the paperwork to us in time. they don't do all this and then the six-month relapse in the individual is released when
10:27 am
there's clearly a danger to society. you guys can work through this quicker and some of these other countries and i get that they are not always going to come by immediately but we have not used leverage against them. the state department has not suspended a single visa for any countries of salt. we have the ability to do that. they depend on us more than we depend on the says. what can you do to move through the process quicker so people who are clearly dangerous have been conveyed to it, don't have any legal right to be here, can be repatriated before the time limit expires. >> i'm all about procedures and institutionalized in the process to make sure it works. my interest is in the procedure -- >> what you need to do to do that. mr. gowdy has a legislative fix. is that something you're familiar with?
10:28 am
>> i'm not. working with you on that total subject. >> here's the issue anew praised the statute and said they are not mandated to be deported, even if they've been convicted of bad crimes because congress congress has made decisions. while some crimes may not be mandatory, that doesn't mean the law does not provide you a beast authority to detain them. in other words, just because it's not enough, does not and they have to be released. it does not follow the case. >> that is true. in terms of the immigration courts. just so the american people understand the immigration courts are not article iii courts, correct? >> they are article ii cores so they are within the executive branch. >> so with an immigration judge
10:29 am
orders somebody's got to be released and you feel very strongly that is bad for the safety of our country, you can then go take a higher up in the executive branch and try to change that. >> circuit courts have to do that. >> rate. you know when we first did this issue in fiscal 13 there have been 36,000 individuals release who had been convicted of crimes illegally. as of last year there have been a thousand people who utter it been convicted of new crime. do you guys have the figures on anybody for meth later through fy 15 who has been an ice custody, previously convicted of a crime and got released and convicted of a new crime? >> i don't know about 15% play. we do have those numbers generally. >> that would be important. that's obviously changed since the last time we had it.
10:30 am
my time is up in the chair now recognizes mr. hice for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. bottom line, when we all come to this that everybody involved when it comes to the issue of criminal aliens, the public safety is paramount. for past but dumbs as well as potential future big guns. do we agree on that? with these criminals under the custody of i.c.e., either commit it sex criminals? >> yeah. >> t. have any idea how many? >> i think the numbers available but i don't have been in front of me. >> be to provide that i would appreciate it. >> in 15 ,-com,-com ma sir? f

25 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on