tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 26, 2016 8:00pm-12:01am EDT
and sunday evening, a book release party for steve hilton and his book more human; designing a world where people come first. he is a former senior advisor to david cameron argues we need to redesign our economic and political systems to meet the needs of america today. and on monday, an extra day of booktv with books on the life of thomas jefferson. go to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. the state department's acting coordinator for counterterrorism testified about isis and oubt extremist groups. and then we talk about international drug trafficking
and heroin abuse. and the house agriculture looks at ways to reduce food waste. >> in addition to the graduating classes all over god's planet, i wish you to graduate into a world of peace, light, and love. but that is not the case. we don't live in a fairy tale. but i guess the 1% does. >> watch commencement speeches in their entirety this memorial day. from business leaders like ncta president michael powell at pepper dine, founder of oracle at the university of southern california, and the administrator of the small business administration at whittier college. >> you can count on yourself. what makes you special?
what distinguishes you from others? in business we call it your unique value proposition. figure out yours is key. >> politicians, senator jeff sessions at the university of alabama, senator barbara boxer at the university of berkly, and governor mike pence at indiana wesley university. >> to be strong and courageous and learn to stand for who you are and what you believe is a way that you have changed here and will carry in the balance of your life. >> and white house officials, joe biden at the university of notre dame, attorney general at spellman college, and president barack obama at rutgers university. >> is it any wonder i am optimistic? throughout our history a new generation of americans has reached up and bent the ark of history in the direction of more freedom and more opportunity and more justice.
class of 2016, it is your turn now to shape our nation's destiny as well as your own so get to work. >> commencement speeches this memorial day at noon eastern on c-span. next, officials from the homeland security department and state department testified about countering isis and other violent extremist groups. they were asked about the visa waiver program and information sharing between international partners. it is chaired by senator ron johnson of wisconsin.
>> this hearing will come to order. i want to thank the witnesses for being here and submitting their thoughtful testimony. when i took over chairman of this committee working with senator carper -- >> it was a bloodless coo. >> he is looking good forgeting back from vietnam and traveling with the president. he is looking good. on the homeland security side of the committee we established four basic priorities: border security, we have held 18 hearings on some aspect of our unsecure border; cybersecurity passing the cybersecurity enhancement act; protecting our critical infrastructure from cyber attack, emp and gmb; and finally what we can do as a
nation to protect the homeland against islamic terrorist and other violent extremist. this hearing is about that last priority and addressing islamic terror and trying to secure our homeland and keep it safe. not an easy task. every last one of these hearing's goal is to primarily lay out a reality as best we can so we can identify, define the problem, and admit we have it so we can work toward commonsense solutions recognizing in this realm the solutions are very, very difficult and they will take quite some time to finally in the end defeat islamic terror. i want to lay out a couple facts that have been developed by staff, recognizing again these are estimates. there is nothing hard and fast but it gives some indication of what we are dealing here when we talk about isis. the monthly revenue of isis
dropped from 80 million per month, which is a little less than a billion per year, to 56 million a month about 672 million a year. still significant revenue in the hands of barbarians. there have been 12 cases of confirmed use of mustered agents and three other cases suspected in syria and iraq. that ought to concern everybody. more than 42900 foreign fighters have entered the conflict zone. 7400 westerns. isis traineded 400 fighters to target europe with its external operation. at least eight of the paris plotters were foreign fighters returning from syria. the same network planning the brussels and the paris attacks in total 162 victim. 1.8 million illegal border
crossing in the european union. in 2014, 280,000 was the number. you can see as things degrade in syria and iraq that is putting enormous pressure on the european union states. isis has 43 affiliates and supporting groups globally. the fact isis has a territory, established a caliphate, other islamic terrorist groups are pledging their loyalty and isis continues to metastasize. until we defeat them they will continue to spiral, metastasize and grow and be a threat. we will continue to explore this and looking forward to the testimony from the representatives of homeland and depart of state. i will turn it over to senator
carper after i ask consent to enter my written statement in the record. >> i think that is a great idea. mr. chairman, thanks for pulling this together. justin, thank you for joining us for this important hearing, and a timely one as well. our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of belgium and france and the recent tragedy involving the crash of the egyptair flight that departed from paris' airport earlier this month. we are still learning the facts around the loss of the egyptair flight this tragedy remines us that securing the homeland is likely to be an ongoing challenge. as the chairman alluded to some of the progress on the
battlefield and in other ways with respect to isis. big coalition, 60 nations and it is beginning to work and provide leadership but it is going slower than we like but real progress is being main in terms of regaining land, reducing their capacity to be successful in that part of the world, taking away their money and ability to finance their operations. securing the border is a key element of keeping us safe and we focused on those topics. hearings on the security visa waiver and the screening efforts bear witness to our focus. we found the syrian refuge screening process takes two years and dhs enhanced the security of the visa waiver program three times in the last 18 months and this committee focused a lot of time and energy on this. we deploy special teams broad to
help detect fraud. securing the border is only half the battle. we could shutdown all travel and immigration to the country and still not be safe. every person who has been killed by a jihad terrorist in this country since 9/11 has been killed by an american citizen or reside resident. every person killed by a jihad terrorist has been killed by an american citizen or resident. the people carrying out the attacks were not foreign students, tourist, or refuges. they were americans. even in many cases they had spent much of their lives in this country; the united states. for instance, the brothers in boston spent a decade in the united statebefore carrying out the bombs.
nidal hasan was serving in the military when committing the attack. and unfortunately isis knows all too well the best way to attack america is have americans do it for you and that is why isis uses social media and the internet to radicalize americans at home. we have to do our west best to make sure when isis makes their recruitment pitch to americans the message falls on deaf ears. if isis is successful in radicalizing americans we must be vigilant that we can stop every terrorist attack well before an attack can be carried out. let me be clear, dhs, department
of homeland security, are not alone in tackling the threat of homegrown terrorism. congress must help. all americans must help. we can start by taking actions to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists here. we also need to improve the ability of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to detect homegrown terrorism by helping them work through challenges on encryption. and we need to give federal agencies the tools they need to help prevent our young people from falling prey to isis' online propaganda. i opted with legislation to empower homeland security to tackle this challenge. this legislation would create an office at the homeland security department tasked with working with community groups, families and religious leaders to develop community-based solutions for stopping the recruitment of young americans into isis.
our legislation was reported out of committee and included in the homeland security accountability act that we approved yesterday. we need to get this bill enact into law as soon as possible so we can further help communities resist isis recruitments efforts. do i want to thank you for the work you do to prevent terrorist attacks at home and broad. we welcome your testimony and appreciate your hard work, leadership, and selflish devotion. >> it is the tradition to swear in witnesses so if you would rise and raise your right hand.
do you swear the testimony you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? our first witness is alejandro mayorkas. he served as the director of the united states citizenship and immigration services at dhs. a lot of acronyms in this business. he was a partner in the law form and the youngest united states law attorney
enforcement to detect we focus resource and efforts in four areas in order to counter the deversion of devolving threats. abeation security, border security, countering violent extrem extremism and information sharing and support. we continue to strengthen programs and processes and are executing better initiatives to respond to landscape across the world. we have strengthened screening protocols at domestic airports and established policies at foreign airports that are last departure airports. we are extending our zone of security to interdict threats as far out from there homeland as possible.
we are leveraging advance passenger data, intelligence, law enforcement information, and open source information. we have strengthened the coordination with department of state. all travelers are subjects to rigorous screening before departure of the united states and throughout the travel continuum. the visa waiver program enhances our nation's security and law enforcement partnerships with participating countries and we continue to work with international partners to strengthen our information sharing and increasing our joint presence. we have strengthened the effort in the close partnership of state, local and tribal law enforcement throughout the nation. we have strengthened our relationship with communities across the country and agencies across the government through our office for community partnerships and the countering
violent extremism task force. we are working in close collaboration to develop guidance, resources, best practices and training to protect communities from violent extremism. i would like to thank the committee for endorsing our priorities. strengthen and maturing is an ongoing process and we look forward to working with the subcommittee in help. the office that leads our countering of violent extreme efforts is critical. i want to thank you, mr. chairman, and committee for your support of the department. i am proud to work alongside the men and women who work each day. >> our next witness is justin
siberell who is the acting coordinator of bureau of counterterrorism at the u.s. department of state. he joined the state department in march of 1993 and the ct bureau in july of 2012. he is a career member of the senior foreign service with the rank of minister council. he was principle officer india . >> chairman johnson, ranking member carper, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. the department of state is working closely with the department of homeland security and other agencies to counter isil and keep america safe. we have a threat that is disperse and adaptive. we have to strengthen
partnerships globally and i would like to describe some steps we are taking to do that. i submitted a longer statement for the record. partnership is a broad coalition of countries across the glow we made progress of degrading the capabilities of transnational terrorist groups. the u.s.life r-led global coalition to counter isil has made important progress in reducing isil's control of territory in iraq and syria as well as constricting the funds and foreign terrorist fighters available. but syria time they terrorist groups exploit instability with weak or non-existing governments, secretarian conflict and borders are extending their reach and terrorizing civilians and attract and mobilize recruits. isil and al-qaeda have pursued attacks on targets and public
spaces like in brussels, paris, san bernardino, and elsewhere demonstrate these groups are resilient and continue to target innocent civilians. the department of state is working to address and mitigate the threat posed by foreign terrorist and radical individuals around the world particularly in europe. we are working with increasing information sharing, augment border security and strengthen regimes to counter terrorism more effectively. this has yielded positive results. 45 countries have passed new laws or updated existing laws to address the threat caused by foreign terrorist fighters. we have agreementwise 55 international partners to strengthen efforts to enough, detract and deter travel of suspects terrorist. we have provided support to interpool to enhance sharing critical foreign terrorist data with countries around the world. 58 countries and the united
nations contribute to interpool. member states are identified in resolution 2178 developed by the united states and agreed unanimously in 2014. we continue to work with dhs to strengthen our counter terrorism policy including the terrorist travel pruvention act of 2015. the visa waiver programs gives us unprecedented level to hold partners to the highest security of issuing passports and screening travelers and vital to the security of the homeland and our closest allieallies. we have increased security after the terrorist attacks in paris and brussels. we deployeded teams composed of
experts across the counterterrorism agencies to several countries including belgium and greece. they are working on areas to identify and arrest suspects terrorist fighters. the department of state is strengthening the borders through the terrorist interdiction program. and working with the deparliament of homeland to deploy ski technology to assist governments and target suspect travelers. these programs provide the ability to strengthen borders through training. effective border security is one of the most essential tools governments poses to deny terrorist the space to plot and carry out attacks. we are making sure our international partners adopt these policies.
we are working on stopping radicalization and mobilization to engage in terrorist attacks. the department of state released the first every joint strategy on countering extremism. there is no greater priority than keeping america safe from the threat of terrorism. the department of state works with colleagues at dhs and other government agencies to counter the threat posed to the united states by groups like isil. we appreciate congress' interest in helping us. i look forward to your questions. >> mr. mayorkas, the headlines n nowadays are about the long lines at t.s.a. we had a briefing by the admiral and i want your assessment of
what is causing that? what is the root cause of lines as long as three hours getting through chicago o'hare? >> if i can, mr. chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity. let me celerate chicago o'hare and the three-hour lines that were experienced about a week ago because quite frankly was thought error on our part. that was a failure to address with appropriate staffing a very predictable surge at a peak time of travel. so that was an aberration, if you will, with respect to the agency's failure to address what it was ready for. >> we can separate o'hare but problems at the other airports. let's talk about the problem in totality. >> we would identify three general factors, if i may. they have risen over the course of time. number one, and very importantly, we have enhanced
security measures at our airports in response to an inspector general's report that was published last year. that inspector general report identified certain deficiencies in the agency's protocols and we have sense executed a 10-point plan directed by the secretary to address those deficiencies. >> let me stop you there. do you have a metric in terms of what those enhanced security measures are meaning in terms of through put? do you have an average number of passengers throughput versus what it was versus what it is today? >> i would have to report back to you on that, mr. chairman. i don't have that. >> i would ask that be submitted afterwards. >> most certainly. secondly, over a number of years the staffing at t.s.a. dropped and it dropped at a time, and
this is the third factor, that the increase in travel volume -- there was an increase in travel volume. so those three factors, enhanced security, an increase in travel volume and a reduction in the staffing of our personal. we are addressing all three of those very, very vigorously. >> talk about the staffing. >> we have had representatives from custom border protection having a hard time also staffing. i will tell you manufacturing in wisconsin, there is not one manufacturing who can hire enough people. is staffing budget related? not able to attract and recruit enough? is it attrition problem? are people leaving for certainly reasons? >> there are multiple factors and i appreciate the opportunity to explain. i should first thank you and
your colleagues for a $34 million reprogramming that alloweded us to hire additionalal additionaadditiaad -- additional personal and be ready for the summer surge in volume. there was a purposeful effort to reduce staffing over a number of years and move to a risk base methodolgy that relied on t.s.a. pre-check and other accelerates to include manage inclusion, a program we eliminated following the inspector general report and under the assessment and security imperative. we have suffered attrition because of the pay that t.s.a. employees receive and because many of them are part-time looking for full-time
opportunities. there rp multiple reasons we are tackling each one. we are converting part-time to full-time and looking at the pay structure in which we would need to partner with congress. they are not on a gs paid schedule. we are looking at the staffing models we employ. for example, we have skilled airport screenings performing functions that don't necessarily require talents. we wabt want to move those talents where needed. those that communicate to passengers in line they need not take off their shoes if they are
in a t.s.a. pre-check line or if not they need to take off shoes and coats. >> san francisco is contracting with a private firm to do the t.s.a. security, correct? >> yes, it is. >> how many other airports are using that same model? >> i know there are others but i don't have the exact number. our ability to staff the security at airports is a voluntary and it is a partnership with the local airport and a voluntary relationship. but what i think is critical from the security perspective is that even if it is a private company, they must, of course, maintain security protocols according to our standards? >> the question i had: are those private sector contract companies the same long lines at those airports? >> san francisco airport is a major hub that does have some wait time issues. they are not as acute as some of our top airports.
i should say, it is the top airports at peak times that create the wait time phenomena and we are focused on the top-20 airports at the peak times and staffing accordingly. >> we will have the admiral here on june 6th or 7th so i will go into greater detail with him. i know he is doing a top to bottom assessment of this and you talk about the layered approach with border security but i want to talk about the layered approach with the airport. the dogs of dhs was a hearing and i am a big proponent of dogs. can you talk about -- it has been a year under the admiral and he has been doing this basic assessment and how close are we toward, kind of a reengineering of airport security? >> thank you very much, mr.
chairman. the admiral is a phenomenal leader and i use that adjective advi advi advice. the admiral didn't wait to complete the assessment before implementing the reforms identified. we deployed additional canines and are looking to deploy more. they are an extroidinary tool from a throughput perspective. individuals who pass the canine review, if you will will, can go through expedited screening just as though they had enrolled and succeeded in being approved for t.s.a. pre-check. so canine deployments. from a risk based approach we engineering the t.s.a. pre-check process.
a maximizing of the marketing of the t.s.a. pre-check. it is a security imperative and a throughput advantage. we went last year from a daily average of 3,000 enrolees who close to average of 15,000 now. i think two days ago we reached the 16,000 mark. those are two examples of reforms he has instituted while the assessment is under way and not waiting until it is completed. gl i will be highly supportive of beefing up increasing use of canine units. i think it is one of the best things we can do in terms of layer approach. senator carper? >> mr. chairman, i planned to address that. and connected in san francisco and landed at dulles yesterday.
what i witnessed there yesterday and in the month of may and april, most folks on the committee have t.s.a. pre-check. i saw the long lines of people who were not t.s.a. pre-check reports. and talking with the admiral sever times, one of the things we have to do is get more people in the trusted traveler programs. and the numbers are up triple and we want to continue to do that. t.s.a. used to have a marketing program and use media programming but they haven't used that for a while and i think they are ramping that up to get the message out again. pretty good tv commercial or put it online. people waiting -- could be like 40 minutes to get through regular checks and people
zipping by going through t.s.a. pre-check. it is great and easy to understand. there is a problem we have at t.s.a. they have a tough job and all kinds of people wanting to get through security to get on the plane and go somewhere. but we have to make sure nobody gets through that will create mayhem on an airplane. there is an attention we have to deal with. you have a terrific leader. i don't know who figured to ask the admiral to the head of t.s.a. but he is a great leader. some problems in chicago were management problems. they should have staff for the folks coming and failure of leadership and leadership thaeb changed i understand and that is good. -- has been. at heathrow they are doing interesting things in terms of modernizing the procedures you go through for the security checks. i understand delta is funding a
couple lanes that are 21st century lanes at the airport in atlanta and that is good. we want to encourage other airlines to do the same thing. we cut the processing times in regular checks by 25% there. jeh johnson, our secretary, sent a letter to fortune hundred companies and asked them to consider paying for t.s.a. participation for their employees particularly the more senior ones and that is something i would urge us to do. we have fortune 500 companies in our state, why don't we as members of the committee send them a copy of jeh johnson's letters with a cover letter of our own. private sector pilots. there are a number of private
sector at half a dozen airports around the country. i think there is authorization for three more. leadership is most important element in every organization i am a part of whether it is this organization or the ones you are part of at state and dhs. we need strong leadership and you have a great leader and we look to having the admiral before the committee. i want to say the to people at t.s.a., when i go through t.s.a. i thank the people that work there. i cannot tell you how many times people say nobody has ever thanked me before. i tell them who i am, what i do, and people appreciate that. two of the most important words when someone is doing a good job is thank you. i want to pick up, we have had a number of hearings, secretary mayorkas, on visa waivers. people are concerned visa waiver is the soft underbelly.
they don't understand how it morphed to a travel facility program to where we get more information from the 38 countries we partner with. can you mention ways we have tightened up the visa waiver to make sure we have all of the information to protect us and at the same time protect our security? thank you. >> thank you very much, ranking member carper. with respect to the visa waiver program i would answer in two parts. one is with respect to the individual traveler. an individual traveler who seeks to avail him or herself of the visa waiver program must submit an application beforehand and we strengthened that to capture more data so we know more about the individual travelers before they arrive in the united states. we added 22 additional fields to the application and those
additional fields have in fact elicited data that has been very material to our security determination to allow a visa applicant to be here. we have strengthened the form in significant ways. for a country to qualify as a visa waiver program there are statutory requirements that are critical to the homeland security mission and additional requirements we ourselves have imposed and secretary johnson has strengthened those requirements. the participating country must have a visa refusal rate that is under a particular percentage to insure they are not a source of visa fraud. we have critical homeland security and law enforcement
partnership agreements that a country must sign and implement in order to qualify as a visa waiver program country. we use the visa waiver program has a mechanisms to drive better cooperation, better information sharing with key international partners. from a macro and micro level it enhances security. >> thank you. i think we provided 10 million for grants to counter violent extr extremism and that is not a lot of money. how is dhs going to make sure it has ample resources to deal with the threat and how can we help further? >> thank you very much, senator. the challenge of violent extremism is windup of the top priorities and the secretary
made it one of his top five priorities. we created the office for community partnerships to strengthen our efforts in this critical mission area and its name is very significant. what we used to do frankly is we used to have discreet lines of effort throughout the department, separate agencies, and separate offices at very important and very effective work underway but we were not united in our effort or aligned in our allocation of resources. under the secretary's umbrella initiative, we brought all of the resources and efforts together in the office for community partnerships. why the name is important is that ultimately the community itself is the most effective means of countering violent extremism. what we do is we equip, we
assist, we train, and we empower local communities in the struggle. and under saline's leadership we are going to allocate the $10 million, for which we are very thankful, in a grant program that fema will administer. we are tapping into the fema's grant to administer and make sure we employ those funds as useful as possible. we are engaging with sta stakeholders to make sure the plans we develop the plans the communities themselves are the most prudent and effective. it is a very difficult challenge. isil is extroidinarily sophisticated and extroidinarily focused on its propaganda internationall
we cannot do this as a government alone. we need to partner not only with communities but also with the private sector. we are working with technology companies, students, universities and colleges, to really engage in the counter violent extremism messages in a peer to peer forma'. >> senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for holding another hearing on a critical topic. i will say we haven't made much progress. you know, with all due respect to what we heard about the new approaches being taken, it is hard for us to sit here this morning and say isis is in fact being contained which is what
the administration has said on occasion. isis was called the jv and a bunch of guys in a truck. i think that was misleading rhetoric and if you look at what happened isis is continuing to grow. it continues to grow in a lot of respects. one is destabilizing affect in the middle east well beyond syria now. obviously we are once again trying to retake fallujah and we have more military assets going into the iraq after pulling out of iraq. i think we ought to also say they further destabilized europe. the chairman talked about the number of refuges moving to europe, many illegally, and we see what happened with the attacks in paris and jell belgium but it is beyond that. isis poses a greater threat to the united states based on everything we are hearing in public testimony. i assume you two would not disagree with that; that it is a
greater threat than it was last time we held a hearing. their ability to reach out to people continues to grow. when you look at what is happening on the internet we are loosing the battle. mr. siberell, i don't know you but it looks like you have a good background and are doing your best. but i don't think there is a sense of urgency here. i think it is right we have passed legislation here out of this committee that can be helpful. it is correct we did provide more funds for the important uses but on all three levels, the military going after isis in syria and iraq. i do not believe we are doing what we should to be aggressive and take out their ability to attack us and europe and other places. on the border security front, we
continue to have gaps and as the fbi director told us in this committee we have serious gaps in intelligence to know who the syria refuges are and yet they are coming. and finally, i think perhaps the most important area is the one we have not yet been able to figure out is this, what i would say, counter terrorism communication to put it broadly and specifically online. i looked at recent data, we are, you know, facing a very effective peterson online. they have a very slick narrative. we see when we are asked to look at some of the isis propaganda online we tend to see the stuff that has to do with violence and extremism. here is a report we got recently, a single month this summer, 52% of the propaganda isis messages were on quality of
life issues and only 2% touched on brutality or violence. they have sophisticated. they are reaching out to al alienated youth. i think the number of foreign fighters is increasing. i guess what i would say this morning is what are we doing that is -- what would you say st the most important thing we can do? we talked about the counter violent extremist effort and the office of community partnerships and the director salem this morning. i know these groups are all about a year old or less at the state department. i assume the state department
started this new group because the center for strategic terror communication wasn't working and providing the message you hoped. are we working together? i think it is great there is un unity of effort with homeland. will you say we are effectively countering the message we talked about this morning? >> thank you, senator. the coordination within our government on this issue is definitely strengthening. it is a major challenge and i would agree isil's use of social media and the internet to propagate their message and to use the internet as an effective tool is unprecedented and not something we have seen used effectively. i think the message has been blunted. that narrative of victory they
relied upon so successfully in thaur early period of recruitment if you think in the 2014, early 2015 era, there has been significant losses that isil has suffered. that narrative of victory has been blunted somewhat. they are not delivering effectively on governance and you noted 52% of the messaging is focused on quality of life. they have suffered in their ability to provide that quality of life. and the global engagement center is a new effort. it is intended to build broad networks globally to coordinate messaging. >> how long has it it been up and running? >> just since earlier this year. >> do we still have the center for strategic counterterrorism? >> no. it is folded into the global engagement center.
>> you are suggesting the narrative is less compelling because of viewer victories and they cannot focus on quality of life issues. does this mean fewer foreign fighters have being attracted to the middle east? >> this is something we have never seen -- >> let me restate the question. are you saying it is effective in what why looking for which is fewer foreign fighters, fewer alienated youth being attracted. is that happening? >> we believe there is a decrease in the number of foreign fighters, yes. >> you think there is a decrease in the number of foreign fighters? >> yes. >> can you give me information in a follow-up communication on why you think that and what your numbers are based on? >> i would be happy to do that. these are numbers and conclusions that come from our intelligence community and their observations of less force strength. >> you think we are turning the tide and fewer foreign fighters
coming into the middle east and therefore less of a risk to the united states? >> i think there is a decrease in foreign fighting in syria and iraq but an increase in other places like libya. there are places where they continue to attract followers and continue to associate themselves with existing insurgency: that is a problem. it is a global phenomena we have to confront around the world and not in one single place. >> i think it is misleading based on other administration officials who have testified in public, not talking about classified briefings, to say we are making progress and it is decreasing but i would love to see your statistics on and where you get them. secretary mayorkas, would you say dhs is communicating directly and coordinateing with this new global engagement center?
>> senator, i am not particularly familiar with that aspect of our communication on the international front. my focus has been domestically countering the violent extremist message of isil as it is target today the homeland. i would have to defer to my experts in the international are arena. >> my time is expired. this committee would be interested in knowing the coordination between state and dhs. social media is not subject to boundaries. so the same people you are trying to address in those communities are the same people who are hearing this message overseas and i would hope we could have better communication within our government with the unity of purpose. >> senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate our witnesses today on this very important topic.
i think it is important to remember isis is responsible for the death of tens of thousands of muslims and we have to engage the muslim community abroad as well as the muslim community in our own states and country. as a senator from michigan, i can blessed to represent a vibrant muslim community in michigan. some of the most patriotic individuals are within that community. mr. siberell, i have a copy of a new report that came out, i believe, yesterday, on the department of state and joint strategy on countering violent extremism. the panel, could you summarize what you think are the key parts of this new strategy and how does it differ from the past and
why do we believe it will be more successful than anything in the past. >> thank you for the question. we this is the first time the state department and isd released a strategy. it gets at the essential conclusion that our effort in confronting violent terrorism globally needs to be more comprehensive. we need to scale up the efforts to understand the drivers and roots of the radicalization that is leading to recruitment into these terrorist groups. that is enabling these groups to continue to recruit and identify and attract new members despite the fact that they offer only misery and death and destruction in their own communities they control. we understand that we have had significant success in blunting the capabilities of groups over
time and certainly great success through intelligence, military, law enforcement efforts in removing terrorist leadership yet these groups attract you followers. this strategy is an acknowledgment of the fact that our approach, and when i say our, it is the united states working in partnership with countries around the globe, needs to be expanded to better understand what is driving people to be attracted to the ideology that these groups propagate and what can be done to address those factors in a more effective fashion. it lays out strategic objections and the first of which is to invest more seriously in the research and understanding what are these drivers and the factors leading to radicalization. then it discusses the importance of building international understanding of effective measures that can be adopted by
governments at the national and sub-national levels. it addresses the importance of orienting capacity building and development efforts toward those drivers beginning to blunt the radicalization process. also, helping countries deal with those who may have been radicalized to de-radicalize is provide off ramps effectively to joining up with these organizations. it also addresses the importance of effective counter narratives and that is an area where we are investing and the global engagement center will be leading in that effort. it is a -- the global engagement center, just to address the senator's earlier question, it is an inner agency housed at the state department but representation from across the federal government. and the strategy addresses the importance of rehabilitation and reintegration efforts.
these are for efforts related to those who have, for instance, entered into the prison system and what governments can do to better reintegrate or rehabilitate those who renounced violence. so coherently implementing programs around the world to develop a comprehensive approach we believe is narrative. >> thank you. that is the overview of what is happening overseas. if you could talk about what is happening in the local communities as i mentioned at the outset of my time of vibrant muslim-american communities we have in the united states and particularly in michigan. i know your department engage would the community and secretary johnson has been in the community. can you give us an assessment of where we are, how important those efforts are and what we should expect in the future. >> thank you very much, senator.
secretary johnson has visited and engaged with quite a few communities. i visited detroit a number of years ago at u.s. citizen and immigration services for the same purpose, from a different perspective, at that time. of course, i have visited minneapolis, boston and new york. our efforts in the community are vital. one thing we are focused on as a department is being in the community and finding and identifying and empowering and equipping local trusted voices to be the critical messengers to counter violent extremism.
our office for community partnership equips communities with tools and tool kits and messages. also helps them identify the symptoms of an individual on the path to radicalization across the administration. we created the interagency task force to counter violent extremextre extremtr extremtrextre extremism. we have harnessed the federal bureau of investigation, the national counterterrorism center, and other agencies focused on the security and safety of the american people. we work in the communities with the communities partnering with them to really amplify the voices and employ to tools to reach the people who are on the path to radicalization. ...
tell monopoly on the best ideas on how to work with and impacted communities that we are trying to develop is very much a collaborative effort. >> thank you. my time is expired. >> thank you, chairman, secretary, when we have a waiver application, is that application cross checked with our terror watchlist and no-fly list? >> senator, yes, that application, data in that application is run through multiple databases, and i should say it is better that a number of different points. >> so beyond the fly list i assume there is a criminal
database, the record-keeping process for records, what other databases? >> the watchlist, the no-fly list, and also other intelligence databases. provide subsequent to this hearing, but it is a full complement. >> here is my question, when we look at the attacks that happened in paris and then subsequently in brussels, my question is this, we know that many of the european countries in particular poor countries, the unit -- four countries, the united kingdom, france, belgium have some of the greatest
number of foreign fighters that have gone back and forth. and my question is pretty straightforward. out of those that we know were involved in the terrorist paris attacks, or any of those individuals not on our lists or our other databases? >> i would defer to our experts and follow up with you, senator. >> so this is an important question, and the reason is, we are only as good as the information that we have. and we can add questions on to the visa waiver list, but we don't want to interview with those that apply for the waiver program, correct? >> we do not.
>> it is pretty large. so we are not doing it. it is really -- what comes in and what goes out and how valid, how we are doing in the individuals we know that have been involved with paris, where they on the terror was -- chair watchlist, on any of our databases? if not we better understand why not and look at the countries of origin to see if there are gaps in our information sharing, and the reason i ask is, it has been highly publicized, for example, the belgium has very serious issues with their law enforcement agencies here.
as we know, the information shared about at least one of the individuals involved in the attacks, and so would you agree this is important? only as good as the information we have. >> if i may, senator, this is absolutely important. whether or not an individual is on a no-fly list is not positive of whether our security vetting would prevent an individual who would pose a threat of danger. >> i agree, but if they are not on the terror list, the broader list, no-fly, or not in our fbi database or not on these other databases, if they are nowhere, it is a
lot less likely that we are going to discover them. do you agree? >> senator, not necessarily. >> tell me why. >> if i may. and i will keep it specific to the visa waiver program. the application that a traveler must complete, our effort to strengthen the weak -- visa waiver program applications have become more complicated. they have picked up data of individual travelers, but we have picked up data about that traveler that is revealed information that has enabled us to deny the individuals ability to travel -based -- >> let me ask you this, how many are in the program? how many people? i think it is important to understand that. and how much individual investigation is done on each of those applications?
if ii am an investigator how much follow-up is done on each? >> senator, what i would appreciate is the opportunity to have our experts preview i classified setting how we address the extraordinary amount of information we receive. >> this is what i am trying to get at here. we know there were inconsistencies in belgium. i know the secretary is looking at countries of concern, but information sharing is the critical piece here. whether it is the visa waiver program or not. with this category of individuals because they do not have to take the extra step visa. i think it is important whether classified setting or not that we understand, a, the individuals involved in brussels or paris, if any of them were on the intelligence database. number two, how many have visa waivers.
number three, on a hard paper application, how many of those dewey have individually aspects of data on each application. presumably with the numbers we cannot assess individual applications. what worries me is you have a significant amount of foreign fighters returned to european countries. it is the critical piece to how effective we are with the waiver program. my time is up, but i hope that we will have an opportunity to break this down so that we can understand fully how thorough the vetting program is. >> mr. chairman,. >> i'm going to seek your intelligence next. >> allow me to make a number of point's.
every single application of the visa waiver program traveler, every single one. >> what does that vetting involved? >> databases, not only the name of the individual but also against our databases and our extensive information that we collect. and so sometimes information that is of secondary importance, if you will, not necessarily pertinent to the individual but other individuals identities has proven to be quite material in our security vetting, and i can explore further with you in a different classified setting, number one. number two, the ease with which an individual my travel from one european country to another, for example, very different than
the ease with which or the difficulty with which someone my travel from a european country to the united states. our security protocols at last.of departure is extraordinarily robust. we have multiple layers of security. and so to travel from one country to another is not to be synonymous with the ability of an individual to travel from a foreign country to the united states specifically. thirdly, there is a difference between a refugee -- to give a particular example -- being processed across the border from one european country to another and what we consider as aa security threat. the difference between a processing of an individual that allows that individual
to travel through is a very, very different process, multitier rigorous screening >> well, that is why i want to know how many folks are in the database, and the refugees are obviously a separate issue versus i am a citizen of belgium. you know, back and forth and how good our information is is important. how much we are able to get given the volume, i would like to know how much follow-up is done. thank you. >> i do not normally interject myself into a conversation like this. thirty seconds. we have not talked much about the preclearance program.
the idea of preclearance pushes our borders further and further. they actually have interviews, their biometrics taken, and the other thing, everyone who comes to run a visa waiver, we collect their biometrics. they are fingerprinted. it has gotten better and better and better as time goes by. can we do better? yes, of course. a lot of work has been done, and i think we must acknowledge that. >> i want to chime in. i believe the greatest that we have in terms of risk factors rank foreign fighters or isis operatives coming to america, threatening the homeland. the least risk is a refugee program because with proper vetting we can really take
no risk. that is the lowest. i would say the visa waiver program is the next highest. but our greatest risk are foreign fighters were operatives going through africa and central america. that is my ranking in terms of risk assessment. lowest risk refugee program. highest risk visa waiver program. your ranking and yours, just the ranking, no rationale. what do you think is the lowest to highest risk? >> i have not rank them. i think all of the -- >> that is fine. think about it because i will come back to it in my question. do you have an answer? >> i do not have a relative ranking either. with the visa waiver program , as i think we discussed previously thought
this is a program that enables us and provides us use leverage over the visa waiver program partners to require improvement in strengthening of their own processes and therefore makes, is a border security program effectively. >> i think honestly the ranking is kind of obvious. think about it and i will come back to my question. >> gentlemen, thank you very much for the incredibly difficult work you have and do every day. there were colossal and consequential intelligence failures in our european allies that allowed some of these to take place. for instance, we understand there were a lot of gaps in theitaly -- in the ability of member countries to collect information about
people who travel to fight with isis in syria, iraq, and libya. even some of the countries themselves, and we now know the belgium has problems internally the federal system. they were a different security agencies, three languages, seven parliaments. in brussels 1.2 million, 19 communes, each with its own administration comeau muslim communities are very different from ours in europe and that a muslim muslim americans will define themselves as americans that feel integrated into society. there are a lot of challenges. within the eu gen. in has said that they share more with the united states, which is a good thing, then with each other, but this allows challenges and problems to fester and explode, as we have seen. information sharing is often
compared with where we were pre- september 11, which has a lot of overlapping stove piped security entities. i would just like to put a 2nd work -- 2nd look at what happened and to see if they are starting to change their procedures and policies and do you believe there is political buy-in for sharing across borders in european countries really around counterterrorism, adequate coordination, information sharing and the like. and either of you can respond. >> i am happy to jump in. thank you. the issue information sharing is critical, as identified in my opening remarks. of course, critical to homeland security in terms of the sharing of information with us, and it
may be true that they share more information with us than each other because we demand that information in order for travelers to arrive either through the visa waiver program or otherwise. they have, in fact, advanced considerably in the sharing of information understanding , and, and i can cite specific examples. we are encouraged the european union passenger name record the passenger name record data, information that is critical snapshot of who the individual is well in advance of the travel within the european territory. number one, number two, they have empowered and equipped equip your opal as a central repository of information and cooperation, really a coordination hub which we participate
considerably in the collection and dissemination , the sharing of information. they have a european counterterrorism center, a european human smuggling center in your opal serving as aa great hub. i think we're making tremendous advances in the collection and sharing of information. they have a ways to go. they do not necessarily collect and share passenger name record information with each other. they are marshaling through the privacy and other interests that have served as a challenge in the past. the eu pnr agreement is frankly a milestone in that effort. >> well, i do not agree with all of that. there is political will within the europeans, within europe for improving their
own system, integrating watch lists, beginning to collect pnr data and use that. i think that this political will is there today. it is somewhat late in coming, but it is a factor of the fact that they have large numbers, as we all know, of foreign terrorist fighters who have gone off to syria. this has been a crisis for some time. we have seen certainly a change in the way that they are approaching these issues , greater willingness and understanding that they need to improve their systems to work more closely with us than they had been. >> we, after our september 11 attacks11th attacks created the fusion centers which have been very effective. you are mentioning things like your opal, but are they replicating what has been successful in terms of the
fusion centers? are we seeing them move rapidly in that direction? >> what we have seen them do is lay out a series of steps that they need to take to better integrate systems. the aspiration is for ultimately unified list, like we have developed, but what they need to do is build data integration and ensure you can have a single.of surge against all of their holdings. we are prepared to provide technical assistance. >> the house just recently passed hr 4314 to accelerate our role, and my question is there is a lot we have learned, resources we have, technology we develop. how can our systems better help prove capabilities? other things that we should be doing to help share best
practices and provide technology that this body year should be acting on with great, deliberate urgency? >> senator, i would say absolutely yes. but me see if i can't give you a bottle mind your question. they are improving in the sharing of information. they are on the right path. they are not where we need them to be, but we are working to make sure that they are. i have actually joining the attorney general, the leader of our intelligence and analysis office who is here today, we are going to europe on tuesday to address the very issue. we have offered our technological advances in this area to secure real-time platforms, our automated targeting system
is global and we have offered critical systems. we want to assist in this security imperative. >> imperative. >> and i do not have time for this line of questioning, but i want to reiterate term of effort, there is a problem with government run efforts because they delegitimize, really the kiss of death when it comes to our involvement in the messaging being brought up in earlier questioning, and i want to encourage the efforts that i have seen that are going on that are allowing more authentic voices, and one of the most authentic voices his former foreign fighters who themselves have been disillusioned with the toxicity and the hatred and what they have seen and experienced, often are persuasive as a buffer were
any doubt to the toxins let i would like to say that and encourage you. i was happy about the state department and usaid unveiling their joint strategy, but i hope we are investing substantively command i said this to secretary johnson. it should not been law enforcement. it should mean other efforts going on empowering local communities, helping to elevate authentic voices and do things that work to counter violent extremism. >> sen., we could not agree more, and that is the ethic that we are frankly executing. it is not our voice that will move the mountain of this challenge but rather the voices in the community. i attended an extraordinary, quite frankly, peer-to-peer challenge where students all over the world competed in developing programs that came from students and were
focused on reaching students , facebook was aa critical partner in that endeavor. we are working with technology companies so that they service platforms for these flowers to bloom. we are working with philanthropic organizations, community-based organizations, faith leaders , teachers, schools, parents, peers, and you have identified an extraordinarily powerful voice in those who once were on the wrong path and realize the great problems of the prior ways. >> that is music to my ears. thank you very much. >> senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for joining us. i wish to start with a comment because we have had a lot of great discussion in regards to isis propaganda and actually combating that.
i know senator portman mentioned earlier in his comments that we really need a government wide coordination in combating the propaganda, as well as, i think, work in the communities. i share those concerns. i have joined the chairman johnson and senator booker and introducing a bill that would require the president to combat terrorist use of social media, where we see so much of this coming out. i hope we are able to move that bill forward in the senate, and i want to thank you both for partnering on that. we hope to move through these processes. and then deputy secretary, if i could start with you, i understand the benefits of a visa waiver program. i know that we have it, but still security concerns,
senator ayotte was echoing some, but we have 38 countries that participate in that from what i understand. all of the meeting the necessary requirements as they go through their vetting? >> thank you very much. the requirements are prerequisite to joining the visa waiver program, and two remaining in the visa waiver program. we have strengthened that undersecretary johnson's leadership. if, in fact, a country, if we determine or assess the country is falling short of its obligations under the visa waiver program, then we develop a mediation program with a timeline and strict requirements to ensure that no traveler that is arriving in the united states poses a threat to the united states. we have deployed that mechanism when a country has
fallen short, and we are quite rigorous and the requirements of the program. >> are any countries not meeting the requirements by now? >> senator, there are. we have them on programs, and any further details i would be happy to share with you in a different setting. >> i appreciate that because i think that it is something the public is concerned about. there are number of countries involved, and the public does not know what is being followed up on. i think as long as we stay on top of that, they are meeting security requirements, how do we check that and know that? >> and i should say, this underscores one of the critical benefits of the visa waiver program, which is that we do have this leverage with another country, country that wishes to remain in the program. we use it as a tool to
ensure compliance with extraordinarily stringent obligations that serve the security of our homeland. it is a perfect example of how the visa waiver program serves as a tool of security rather than otherwise. i do wish the name was changed because the term waiver would suggest some sort of relaxation of the security requirement when the opposite is true. not only do we capture an enormous amount of information about the individual traveler wishing to avail him or herself of the program, but we also use the program and other nations desire to participate in it as a driver of information sharing, information collection, and greater security partnership with the united states. it dovetails with the question that senator booker closed with, how a european country doesn't it security
mechanisms. perhaps it does better with us than each other by virtue of their participation in the visa waiver program and their desire to avail themselves of said program. >> thank you. i appreciate that explanation. media reports that we sent a foreign fighters urged him to brussels one month ago -- excuse me, one month before the attacks there. what challenges prevented us in the belgian authorities from preventing the attack? additionally, it is our surge team still on the ground there? >> thank you. the surge team that was deployed to brussels, i should say that that followed on cooperation that has been to -- we have had undergoing since 2013 when the problem of individuals traveling to syria 1st
manifest itself, before isis was a factor. we have had a long diagonal -- dialogue. after the paris attacks, we had discussions within the government to determine what other things we can do now to push our european partners to aa heightened level of cooperation. we put together interagency teams who went out to brussels and had a very -- it is a dialogue that is quite mature and open. and across issues like documents integrity, passport issuance integrity, targeted screening, techniques that we have developed, helping to instruct the belgians on new techniques, better integration of watchlist and improve information sharing; all these were identified in
the work plan. they are in an initial visit as a group to identify where we would have expanded cooperation and are ongoing. the work plan has been developed, what and we are continuing to send individuals back and forth. it is an elevated partnership effectively. >> is there anything that could have been done by our surge team to assist before the attack happened? is there any way to close that gap? >> i am not aware of any specific piece of information that would have been provided a revealed by our surge team members. >> okay. and as you know, i will jump to the iraqi kurds for a moment. the iraqi kurdish forces are one of our critical partners, if not the most
critical partner in our fight against isis. i understand the administration allocated 415 million in financial assistance. can you provide committee with additional detail on where the assistance will come from, who will go to, and what purpose it will be for? >> i will have to take that question back and get you an answer. i agree that the kurdish forces have been among our closest partners, and in coordination with the government of iraq provided critical counter to isil and it pushed isil out of critical areas, including northern iraq and they continue to play a critical role, but i will have to get you an answer back. >> i appreciate that. thank you for being here today.
>> thank you, senator. mr. justin siberell, and the opening statement by mr. alejandro mayorkas he talked about how isis has done from directing activity to inspiring. i would agree that al qaeda directed so that that was a centralized operation of direct activity. my take on isis is that their method has been to inspire. outside of the caliphate they are inspiring, but what concerns me is the progression has been -- is it not true there are reports that they had a hand in directing the brussels attack? we will call them and external operations unit beginning to direct. they have this external operations unit that is starting to direct attacks. >> i think you pointed out
the essential difference and why isil poses a new kind of challenge than al qaeda previously. individuals who had to become a member, vetted by the organization and then or operated in aa clandestine manner secretly in a number of locations around the world isil works on a completely different model. very disciplined military structure. pursue their efforts there. but at the same time they make use of the internet, social media to inspire others, individuals who may not have become members of the group but to act on their behalf. and that reflects the time difference from when al qaeda was to where isil is today, social media.
but if i could, just answering your question, it is true, yes, isil has identified among the foreign fighter contra those with skills that could be useful in infiltrating back to home countries to carry out plots. the external operation network that isil has developed is a real danger, and we have been working against it and have had success in doing so, but they have also not only trained operatives but trained individuals to inspire attacks using social media deliberately including individuals in the united states. >> we may be nibbling around the edges. but they are growing, and evolving, metastasizing, and starting to send out operatives.
the 1.8 million refugees flowing into your command i will go back to my question because i think the answer is quite obvious.obvious. the refugee program, literally we can assure whatever the number is, those refugees should pose no risk. the financial capability of supporting them, 10,000 out of 4 million displaced refugees, we can make sure we take no risks. the same with the visa waiver program. i think that it is combined with preclearance something that can reduce risk. in the order of what concerns me of potential isis operatives coming to the country, the least concern i have is the refugee program, the next the visa waiver, and by far greatest concern is the
southern border. in central america i heard a new ackerman, sia, special-interest a lehman -- special-interest alien. doesn't that.to the fact we have to secure our border? >> i will defer on the southern border issues. those are categories of concern that we must be assured our border security measures are effective in preventing any of those categories of individuals from threatening the american people. >> isis is very strategic. you do not take your little foreign force and take over vast territory and iraq without planning ahead and being strategic as we watch them dangerously evolve, i am highly concerned. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. we are focused on
special-interest aliens, individuals from designated countries that seek to enter the united states illegally. we are extraordinarily focused. we may not agree today on the level of security on the southwest border. that border in our estimation is more secure than it has been a long time. one of the primary areas of concern -- >> let me stop you right there. unaccompanied children from central america -- let me get it here, in 2014 the enormous surge year to date through april, 25,500 unaccompanied children. as of april 2016 25,359, the exact same level year to date of unaccompanied
children. in terms of family units we are ahead. in terms of total number of apprehensions on the border, and 2014 year-to-date 261,000. last year down to 182. right now we are at 223. i do not see improvement in terms of security of the border. it just has not improved, and it represents an enormous risk. >> thank you very much. first of all, unaccompanied children and family units pose a unique challenge because by and large those individuals fleeing that free central american countries do not seek to evade law enforcement. >> okay. i do not want you discussing that. i was pointing out that fact in terms of lack of security at the border. the total apprehension.
>> and 2014 was far different and lower in prior years, but if i may, to the point of how we ensure the security of the border and specifically with respect to the terrorist threat, one of the challenges in the smuggling of individuals is the transnational criminal organizations and their participation. we have no evidence to suggest that they are willing participants in the smuggling of individuals who are members of terrorist organizations and in fact have quite the opposite, that they wish no part in the overt smuggling participation in the smuggling of terrorists and perhaps it is an makes sense that it is for fear that they would bring even greater force of the united states to bear on their organizations. the question is, are there low-level organizations and
-- low-level individuals in these organizations who unwittingly maybe smuggling individual who is infected terrorist, and we are focused on that. law enforcement, border patrol is extraordinarily focused, and we have not observed any increase in concern, but that does not suggest we do not have an increase in vigilance. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to return. the last part of the conversation. i want to go back. i quoted mr. berg in a moment ago. we have begun, as we know, the reason why families, it is dangerous, lack of hope
and opportunity. the chairman has put his finger on cause, our insatiable demand for drugs. we send money and guns down, and mason drugs. the gangs and folks they get our money and guns use them to make life miserable. if we lived down there and had kids we would probably want to come up here as well. the needle in the haystack problem, we can finally make -- find ways to make the needles bigger. force multipliers. but we also need to make the a sack smaller. the work we are doing with partnership and the partnership that they have established and that we are helping to support.
i want to go back to the chairman a few minutes ago, a number of important questions. the order of the threat. he said wisely, stupid to bed down and the most toughly vetted program, and on the outside chance, they will not do that. able to make that more and more difficult, and some of the other things that we have talked about. want to go back to what peter bergen said. i think it was last november. every person who has been killed in this country has been killed by an american citizen or resident. they killed by an american citizen -- citizen or resident. our focus wisely needs to be how we reach out to folks in this country and make sure
they do not become radicalized, and we cannot do it by ourselves. we need to grow this partnerships, and continue to work to fund it and make it as effective as possible. i have talked to folks in other countries to see why they are so challenged in europe by the folks within the muslim community. there has been an incredible amount of people going from syria and other places in the europe command a lot of times they are not warmly welcomed. they end up leading isolated lives and communities by themselves and perceive they are not welcome, not much hope for opportunity, and they are susceptible to radicalization. one of the keys to tamping down on threats, they are
not gone, but we want people when they come from syria or other countries with a have been fleeing core, we want to, once we make sure they are not a threat, to feel a part of this country and the american dream. we can continue to keep them alive and provide safety and security for people than the other things you're talking about here today. i just asked my staff to pull together metrics. and i just want to hit a couple of bullet points. recent losses by isis has been severe. coalition forces killed more than 10,000 fighters and leaders in recent months including the chief propagandist and executioner ..
down as two and 50 million per year that's half of what these to be. are we done wax is a time to spike the football? is what we are doing working? esm we need to continue to do more of that. i know what works and do more of that. a couple of questions and i just asked for a short answer. mr. siberell can you describe the kind of improvements the foreign fighters search team is helping belgians to implement? additionally is there possibility for these teams to be deployed to other countries in europe? just very briefly. >> yes. increased and enhanced information sharing integration of watch lists, risk-based traveler screening, techniques we have developed in the united states that would be helpful to the belgians and other governments and we are looking at european counterparts. >> thank you in your testimony
reference a method by which homegrown extremists support on line hacking and can you explain in more detail how this works and how they department can help counter this? >> thank you very much senator carper. it is the practice of taking the names and whatever information is available about an individual and publishing the name and that information and identifying that individual as a potential target of terrorism. so isil and other terrorist organizations will essentially take for example information about military personnel that they pick off a web site and they will publish it and they will identify those individuals as potential targets. >> one last question for you all. with respect to soft targets, protecting soft targets how would we increase secure areas
of an airport and in a way that does not further encumbered the waiting times for air travelers? can you give us a step or two good dhs has taken towards a goal please? >> soft targets have been an area of our focus for quite some time. the airport specifically even before brussels as a matter fact i was at the los angeles international airport a little over a month ago and met with the leaders of airport security there to talk about how they secured the perimeter. this was post-brussels but they had started long before. they had visited israel and has a great deal of experience in airport security as they lace lease of mass assembly and institute of quite a number of safeguards. the equipment at the airport in the manner in which the airport is designed and built had very
much security in mind. we work through national protection programs directorate mvpd. i knows you don't like acronyms but the national protection. >> i like dhs. >> as do i, as do i. that organization under the leadership of katelyn. [cheers and applause] and their critical infrastructure arena has worked with mall operators theater owners restaurant owners throughout the private sector to ensure that they are well-trained and well-equipped to respond as soft targets to a potential mass casualty event. >> thanks very much. and i think you both for being here and i thank you for your work and your devotion to our country's leadership. this has been a good hearing. this will be a threat around our country and around the world may be for us on as we are around.
have we figured out entirely how to deal with a? know, over time we have to change what we are doing in response. there are some smart things we need to do and when i get back mr. chairman in vietnam early this week talked to a number of folks where we have a much better partnership. the spirit of working together almost as a team in many respects is pretty amazing given our history there. i do use this phrase and i think it probably is germane as well. if you want to go fast, travel alone great if you want to go far, travel together. if you want to go far, travel together and it's really what we are trying to do. not just in our country. congress the executive branch of
the military but all across the world. folks know this is a cancer on our planet and we have got to deal with it. if we go together, work together and pull together it will go a long ways. thank you so much. and thank you senator carper and unfortunately what you are saying is true, we are going to be living with this for quite some time and it's unfortunate unfortunate. we are open after member with the world felt like before global islamic terror raised its ugly head and started slaughtering people. it's a reality reality or wished it exists but is one that does exist. i think this hearing as i mentioned to the witnesses beforehand is the purpose and the goal of every hearing is to deepen our understanding of layout the realities whether we like them or not. we have to face them and that's kind of what i've been trying to point out. here's the reality situation. we have to face is so we can deal effectively with it so again i certainly appreciate the witnesses time and your
thoughtful answers to our questions and we will keep working forward three of this is going to be a long struggle that we will shorten it if we figure out the problem and face it. we have to as a committed coalition of the willing of the civilized portions of the world. this is an attack on civilization and it's got to be defeated. the hearing record row remain open for 15 days until june 10 at 5:00 p.m. for submission of statements and questions for the record. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] the "time" magazine cover story at today, how far will bernie go the reporting of phillip elliott washington reporter for "time" magazine. he's joining us on the phone. thank you for being with us. how do you answer the question? >> that's a question that really only bernie sanders can answer. it's really his choice and his choice alone and at the moment
it seems like he is leaning towards continuing this fight all the way through the democratic convention in philadelphia. he is not ready to pack up his bags and go home. he feels he owes it to his supporters, his donors and to himself to keep the site going. this has been an investment of a lot of time and effort, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of sacrifice for everyone involved in this campaign and he's not ready to say it's over. he we spent some time with him in california watching him campaign and sat down for an interview with him and talk to supporters and it's clear that there is a deep sincerity to his belief that he really thinks the system has conspired against him and everyone is not giving him the sufficient respect that he commands. he wants to continue to talk about what he sees as in the injustice from the political system itself toward an idealist like himself.
keep in mind though that the political system, he only just recently became part of. years in the house and then in the senate. he caucused with the democrats but he was not a member of the democratic hardee. he only became a democrat so he could run for the nomination. he has not built up the reservoir of goodwill and loyalty that ellen hillary clinton have over their decades of politics. >> it's obvious in reading your piece that not only does he have the passion that he has supporters and whether or not those supporters can unite the democratic party is as it looks hillary clinton is the democratic nominee once the convention gathers in philadelphia. >> that's a question of senator sanders is going to have to wrestle with. eight years ago we saw this when hillary clinton very strong supporters initially said that they were not going to go with barack obama. actually called them the plumas
and it was, took a lot of work from then senator clinton to get them to come around. she did the campaigns for him and recorded ads with him. it was a lot of yes i would off, yes it was disappointing but we can't let john mccain be in the white house. in may the end 84% of clinton supporters threw their support to block -- barack obama's first campaign. was it easy and it required a lot of, a lot of humility on the part of clinton. bernie sanders doesn't seem to be heading in that direction. he can't bring his supporters into the procleansing campaign is going to be a tough road for the clinton campaign. for his part senator sanders has said he will do everything he can to defeat donald trump but that's a far cry from saying
everything that shall shall do if you can't elect hillary clinton. it's the negative instead of the affirmative and it's going to take his supporters are going to follow his lead. even then not all of them well. >> seek miller is in california covering the race. can bernie sanders when the california primary on june 7? >> it's very possible but is not probable at this point. senator sanders is out there campaigning and there's talk of him having a one on one debate with donald trump. senator sanders has made up a bit for a lot of the paid advertising accounts away from grassroots organizing. it takes a lot of hotties to cover ground. and many ways more efficient and that's how you win on california's television.
hillary clinton is doing a lot of events really putting in the elbow grease out there trying to do it. win or lose california secretary clinton is probably still the undeniable nominee at this point but an embarrassing loss and the loss in california would be embarrassing to her in a way that if she can avoid itchy would rather. >> you take away in reading this piece which outlines the relationship or lack thereof between senator sanders and hillary clinton it began if you want to call it a friendly rivalry but it has gotten nasty and personal. >> it has. i talked with senator sanders longtime top of visors and at the start of the race they really actually like each other. heat is -- he never wanted to run attack ads but his papers a photograph of the two of them
from 1993 sign for him. thanking him for his work on health care reform. they had a mutual respect for chen they were both wonkish when it comes to the secretary. we talked in the piece that they ran into each other in a train waiting station back in june of last year and clinton shouted out bernie and they greeted each other warmly and he told and eight at that moment he knew he shouldn't have said it because he likes her. that's no longer the case. their relationship has soured in a way that perhaps is beyond repair. where they used to call each other congratulate one another on their victories they don't make those phonecalls anymore. their staff is at work here. donors for both of them, there is little prospect for overlap here and you throw into the mix
of volatile democratic national committee that in bernie sanders mind has had its thumb on the scale from the start. it's going to be a very difficult road ahead to imagine the two of them sitting down breaking bread. >> bernie's evolution now senator sanders facing a choice and the tests. the reporting of phillip elliott. he's available on line at time.com. thank you for being with us. >> of course, thank you. defense secretary ashton carter will speak at the commencement ceremony with graduating midshipmen of the u.s. naval academy.
next the senate panel looks at drug trafficking and heroin abuse. topics include international drug cartels, interdiction strategies and the increase in use of fence and all. an official of the state department's bureau of international marcotte x. office was among those testifying. florida senator marco rubio chairs the senate foreign relations subcommittee hearing. >> good morning. this hearing on the subcommittee of the western hemisphere transnational crime civilian security democracy human rights
global women's issues will come to order. thank you for being here today. the title of this hearing is cartels and the u.s. heroin epidemic combating drug violence a public health crisis. before we begin the meeting on the matter personal privilege i want to notice a loyal staffer. behind every one of us in the senate is loyal and hard-working people. they literally sat behind us in behind us in meetings and all the hard work behind the scenes to make sure we are briefed and prepare to cast votes and advance public policy that makes a difference. since 2011 maggie dougherty has been a stroke mental part of our policy logging combo sours working on complex and important issues for office rage is also logging countless hours sitting behind us and committee meetings but no longer. today is maggie's last senate foreign relations committee meeting and in a weeks time she will depart our office for a bigger and better opportunities i briefly want to thank her for everything she has done for us.
we are very proud of her work. [applause] the title of this hearing the cartel of the u.s. heroin epidemic epidemic we have to panel testifying to the first is an official panel that will feature mr. daniel foote the deputy assistant secretary of state for the bureau of international narcotics and mr. mr. kemp chester the associate director for the national heroin coordinate a group of the office of national drug control policy. the second panel will present the honorable theresa jacobs america orange county florida and mr. steven dudley the code director inside crane. we appreciate your time. we appreciate your dedication and i would also like to thank all of those who worked alongside my staff in making this hearing possible. drug cartels operate out of countries in the western hemisphere and they do so by using sophisticated sister vision systems that move narcotics into and across the united states. heroin supplied by these cartels has created a public health
epidemic that is fueled drug violence across the country. heroin epidemic are in force in becoming part of everyday events in our society. it's our duty to find the best possible avenues and allocate resources to provide the best tools to equip those on the frontline to fight this public health crisis. we need to examine what the united states mexico and other regional partners are doing. promoting the efficacy initiatives to stop the spread of heroin and combat the drug cartel should be one of our top priorities. here are some facts. when the primary culprits in this fight is called benson l. it's a synthetic of opium that is 25 to 40 times more potent than heroin and a baby used to treat pain associated with advanced cancer. the cdc states most cases of fence about related overdoses are associated with nonpharmaceutical fontanelle,
the type used as a substitute for heroin are mixed with heroin and other drugs sometimes without the users knowledge. in 2015 the dea to national drug threat assessment summary reported that mexico and china have been cited as the primary source in the country though some are manufactured in china. these are trafficked into the united states across the southwest border or delivered to mail couriers. much of the illegally diverted and produced arroyo seco is found found where heroin is found according to the substance abuse and mental health services administration the estimated number of individuals who use heroin was 914,000 people in 2014. in addition there are about 586,000 individuals basically to to -- .2% of the over pot placed at the heroin disorder in 2014.
while there has been increasing heroin overdoses and deaths across united states the midwest and the northeast regions of the areas are particular concern. demonstrations efforts heroin related, to this day despite the demonstrations efforts heroin related overdose deaths increased by 244% between 07 in the year 2013. the u.s. has responded to such mines by launching a heroin response judge of leveraging upon the 15th i intensity drug trafficking areas across the country. mexico aren't original partners has displayed willingness to cooperate with u.s. authorities but despite these operations international narcotics control strategy report estimates that less than 2% of cocaine comes to mexico and is seized by this country's authorities. congress has provided billions in funds to the mexican government to improve american security and the rule of law and i applaud the continued efforts of the mexican government to eradicate drug efforts and
arrest drug kingpins. i think the congress king contained a working instructor ways to promote legislation addressing opiate abuse. i'm proud to be the co-sponsor the conference of addiction and recovery act of bipartisan bill with overwhelmingly passed the senate. so applaud the house tool -- working to address this issue and i hope we will soon be a lucentis legislation to the president's desk. it's my hope today's hearing was shed light on the consequences that this epidemic will have in our society and future generations if left unaddressed and not given proper attention but i'm optimistic this hearing will service the opportunity to learn about the administration's priorities in combating the heroin epidemic in drug violence and i hope you will adjust these in your testimony as well. with that i would now turned over to ranking member senator boxer for her opening statement. >> mr. chairman thank you so much for holding this important hearing. first i would ask if i could put in the record senator cardin's
opening statement. the abuse of the legal and illegal drugs in america is an absolute crisis and despite we need to act on many fronts. take the case of opioids prayed these are legal prescription drugs that are killing approximately 125 people every single day here at home. the cdc says that in 2014, 47,000 people died from opioid abuse and just imagine now. we need to do much more than we have done so far to put real dollars behind the effort to stop this madness. then there's the issue will focus on today is illegal drugs being transported into this country. recently i visited costa rica and they learned that this peaceful country is very alarmed about drug cartels infiltrating their population. he must help them stop this real threat and i hope to ask a question about that.
while we are working collaboratively with the mexican government specifically an initiative called america initiative and while we have to date seized more than 4 billion and are caught etc. licit currency let's face it, that is a drop in the bucket. we simply have to address the demand in the united states for these lethal products. i know that is not your job and i'm not going to even ask you about that but i'm making a statement as a united states senator. we have to address the demand in the united states for these lethal products. supply and demand go hand-in-hand through the long time ago it was an economics major, like economics 101. when people demand it products we know what happened. the supply will calm and win when even more people demand a
product the price will go up and it goes around in a circle. years ago too many to even mention, i don't even know where my chairman was at that time it so long ago, very long. when i first came to congress i wrote a bill called treatment on demand because what i found out mr. chairman and members is that when there's a person in america with a terrible addiction at that time it is still chew today they wake up one day and they say i've had it i needed new life. they can get it so people say very good comeback in two weeks. this is an emergency circumstance in many ways but it's not considered that so they will will go in and maybe get a pat on the back come back in two weeks and by then ap they have even overdose. i know we are working with colombia and guatemala helping farmers develop alternatives to
opioid production but again we need to be even more aggressive in our policies regarding drug production trafficking and here at home consumption. california we have for those areas that the chairman spoke about that are designated high intensity drug trafficking areas by the obama administration. i'm extremely grateful to the administration. we had that help under george bush as well. when you identify an area that means you are going to get federal dollars in federal help because a lot of these local people are police forces and so on and really do need that help. i'm very grateful for that. we have also discovered mexico to san diego which act as conduits for thousands of pounds of cocaine and this points to the continuous challenges we face dealing with these dangerous cartels. they are really good at what they do and they intimidate everyone.
that's why this fight is so critical. we need even stronger partnerships with mexico and other countries in the region. and i want to say this, alienating our latin american neighbors and their latinos here at home is the worst possible thing we can do. first of all in the human level because in my view it's prejudice and bigotry but it doesn't make sense if we are really trying to crack down on these cartels we need our friends to work with us if we don't need to escalate some kind of ridiculous debate about walls and all the rest. i do want to thank our witnesses for being here. there is a lot of burden on you and this is very difficult. the war on drugs is not a success and i think the reason is we haven't done enough on the demand side or on any side. we need to do much better and i want to thank my chairman because i think this is really
well-timed given what we have done with the opioid crisis. >> before it began with the testimony did want to recognize the senior senator who has done a lot of work on issues regarding transnational crime if you wanted to give any opening comments. with that, please join me in welcoming our first what is mr. foote. thank you for your testimony before us here today. spina chairman rubio senator boxer senator hernandez senator gardner thank you for this opportunity to appear before you to discuss the work at the state department's borough of international affairs bureau of international narcotics and law enforcement affairs to combat the production trafficking of heroin particularly via mexican-based drug trafficking organizations that are responsible for the vast majority of heroin on american
streets today. we face an epidemic of opioid abuse. domestically produced controlled prescription pain relievers or heroin which is -- other drugs such as fentanyl. drug trafficking organizations have killed tens of thousands of citizens and these organizations continue to foam at violence, instability, corruption and addiction. this scourge is broader than just the united states and we will not solve the lumpy the overwhelming majority of the heroin and u.s. is produced or distributed by mexican drug trafficking organizations. for many years they have been trafficking not only heroin but also cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs that enter our country. most of these drugs enter
through our border with mexico. the united states and mexico developed the merida initiative in 2007 with a major focus on combating the production and trafficking of illicit drugs across their borders. today the obama administration and penatel are committed to sticky chick goals. our merida partnership which brings together investments and capabilities of both countries continues to help told mexico's capacity to fight narcotics trafficking, organized crime and violence. together we are aggressively responded to the threat of putting the leaders of drug trafficking organizations in jail by seizing their drugs and money and by dismantling their organizations. today through merida professionalizing and building the capacity of law enforcement agencies supporting the mexican government efforts to strengthen border management security and helping advance reform across
mexico's justice center. bilaterally we have agreed the target in the production and trafficking of heroin as well as fentanyl and other dangerous substances as a top ready to do that and dea's providing training to on for some officers investigators and analysts increasing mexico's ability to identify, investigate and dismantle clandestine heroin and fentanyl labs. with our interagency partners are also improving information sharing between our governments on heroin and fentanyl working together to get their sustenance on opium poppy cultivation and heroin and fentanyl reduction in mexico and continuing to explore other avenues to enhance or bilateral cooperation and effectiveness. building strong effective mexican institutions capable of confronting organized criminal enterprises is a difficult
long-term challenge. this work must be sustained for it is only through committee coordinated effort that sustainable capacity to deter the cultivation, production and trafficking of illicit drugs will be strengthened. the significant investments of both of our governments are producing results and with your continued support for successful collaboration with mexico will continue. thank you. >> thank you mr. foote. mr. kemp chester associate director for the coordination group. please begin your testimony. spina chairman rubio ranking member boxer and members of the subcommittee thank you for inviting me here this morning to discuss the public health and public safety issues resulting from heroin use. the governor of mexico's efforts to reduce the availability of heroin in the united states and u.s.-mexico cooperation to address heroin issues in both countries. 2014 most current year for which we have data more than 47,000
americans through approximately 129 million people -- 129 people a day die of a drug overdose. 22% involve heroin. the threat posed by heroin has continued to grow dramatically for the past several years and since 2007 deaths involving heroin have risen. a 40% from 2402 and 2007210574 in 2014. heroin use is spreading to suburban arra anything crying out among most socioeconomic classes age groups and races. mexico is currently the primary supplier of heroin to the united states with mexican drug traffickers cultivating opiate poppy producing heroin smuggling the products into the united states. poppy cultivation in mexico has increased substantially in
recent years rising from 17,000 in 2014 to 280,002,015 which could yield potential production of 70 metric tons of pure heroin. the heroin crisis is being compounded by the reemergence of fentanyl. a visit fentanyl fentanyl sometimes takes a powdered heroin to increase its effects are mixed with synthetic airline. incorporated recently recently fentanyl is being pressed into bill form and sold as counterfeit prescription opioid pills. the majority of the illicit fentanyl ... and is only produced in mexico or in china. fentanyl is extremely dangerous and deadly. in 2014 there were more than 5544 drug overdose deaths involving synthetic or conducts other than methadone a category that includes fentanyl. this number has more than doubled from two years earlier.
u.s.-mexico engagement regarding heroin has been robust. in october 20150 nbc director participate in the bilateral security dialogue for the importance of increased popular eradication efforts by the government of mexico as well as drug interdiction clandestine laboratory destruction and the disruption of precursor chemical trafficking. in early march director botticelli ambassador william brown to the assistant secretary of state for international marcotte exam law enforcement affairs and i met with the mexican attorney general gomez and she announced her role as the synchronizer of mexico's efforts to disrupt the production of heroin and illicit fentanyl. importantly we agreed then to jointly develop a focused plan to concentrate mexico's efforts against heroin. there is a need to sustain progress toward addressing the nation's heroin in a democracy
is requires increased collaboration between federal agencies and with our partners working at the state local and tribal level where the crisis is felt most deeply. november 2015 the team that i'd be the national heroin coordination group was created within the office of national drug control policy to form the hub of a network of interagency partners who will leverage their home agency resources and harmonize interagency activities against the heroin and fentanyl supplied chain to the united states. the ondcp funded high-intensity drug trafficking areas the locally-based programs the response to drug trafficking issues facing specific areas of the country has also been instrumental. in august of 2015 ondcp committed $2.5 million in hidta funds to develop a heroin response strategy. this innovation -- innovative project provides education intelligent enforcement resources to address the heroin
threat through seven original states and the district of columbia. while the have laid a firm foundation to address the heroin crisis much remains to be accomplished. for example we do have gaps in our capability to detect illicit fentanyl that orders and are mexican partners could certainly do more in the areas of old pm copy or revocation in clandestine laboratory neutralization. while my remarks are focused on addressing the supply-side of the opioid crisis we must address opening a disorder to of the bounce approach the records addiction is that public health matter producing substance abuse prevention and treatment strategies and recovery support services. in his budget present upon a proposed $1 million of new mandatory funding to expand the availability of evidence they strategy such as medication to assist treatment and extend the availability of substance abuse treatment providers. ondcp will work with our
international partners federal government departments and agencies and our partners at the state local and travel levels to reduce heroin and komsomol trafficking and the profound event these dangerous drugs are having in our committees. thank you for the opportunity to testify today and i would be happy to answer any of your questions. >> thank you and i'm going to defer my questions. i will basically be here throughout the duration so i i will turn it over to the ranking member for questions. >> i just have two questions for mr. sub i've and mr. chester. mr. foote in 2000 mexico's congress passed a series of significant reforms to its criminal procedures. to promote greater access to justice and combat organized crime. measures that would make the mexican justice system look a little bit more like our own. these reforms were intended to
be implemented by 2016. where does the implementation of these additional reform stand and how has the united states assist in this process and how do you feel about whether they are really doing what they committed to do? >> thank you senator. as you know mexico committed them pass legislation to implement a new criminal justice system which is an accusatory of justice system buts like ourselves. at this point up to 32 mexican states, 24 have implemented this with federal level crimes and i believe nine have implemented it at state level crimes. obviously this is a long-term process and some of the states in mexico will not meet next month's deadline. we remain can committed and
contained to work closely with them on a number of issues things to the gracious appropriations of congress. we have dedicated approximately $250 million to these efforts between the department state and usaid, through issues such as training judges, prosecutors, courtroom personnel, law students, over 4000 have been trained to the department of justice's prosecutorial training program. we also have a number of law schools and institutional exchange programs like the american bar association and number of universities here in the united states. we are preparing law enforcement for their new role in the accusatory of justice sector. for instance the department of justice partners have trained thousands of law enforcement and crime scene investigations
provided equipment for forensics, fingerprinting and other collection so mexico can comply with international standards. >> thank you. what i'm getting from you is that there is progress being made although not everyone will meet the deadline and second optimistic report. that leads me to my final question which i alluded to in my statement. as we continue to work with the mexican government, and that's just critical. we have to work your come to reduce the demand that we had to work across the border to reduce the supply and that is where the rubber meets the road in both of these areas. we need to work with mexico. i'm concerned about the rhetoric in the presidential campaign describing a relationship with mexico. i know it's a tough question for you. i just wanted to say what you feel in your heart because we need to know.
mexican officials have said on the record that some of the proposals mentioned on the campaign trail and we know who we are talking about here candidate talking about building a wall and having mexico do it, insulting mexican-americans here at home. some of the proposals would have a cataclysmic effect on our bilateral commissions. has this divisive rhetoric affected diplomatic relations with mexico and at this point has it impacted in nine states ability to work with the mexican government to combat drug trafficking and are you concerned that type of rhetoric could just completely and of mine what we are trying to do here? >> just for the record she is not talking about me. >> i am so not talking about you >> excellent. i will try to strike a balance between answering your question and not answering too deeply
into our own domestic politics here. >> i know it's a tough one but you know what, when people talk it has real-life impact especially a presumptive nominee >> you have all seen some of the reactions from south of the border from our mexican brothers and sisters. you have seen president vicente fox's reactions. from the embassy's bilateral level we continue to work very closely together. in my personal opinion i do not believe it has greatly affected our ability to do business together. mexico in the last several months has reiterated its commitment to continuing with the merida initiative where the populace of mexico stands and this may be another matter but we continue to be able to work closely together bilaterally.
>> with the words haven't had an impact on what is going on at the very top level in your opinion on the work that you were doing at this point? >> not in their dealings with us. >> and we have to make sure those policies come into effect. thank you very much. >> thank you senator boxer. senator menendez. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for your service to our country. mr. foote how many agencies are involved in the eradication efforts with perspective mexico's border with us in our efforts to stop interdiction, stop flows, how many agencies are involved? >> u.s. agencies, i hope that's what you asked. the department state coming of the department justice, dea at the eye to a certain extent the department of homeland security is heavily involved. customs border protection
immigrations and customs enforcement, homeland security investigations, our military supports some of the border efforts. mexico's military and then we have some ancillary agencies based in mexico city. while their chief focus isn't the border they do peripherally work on it such as atf and u.s. marshals. >> if you had to guess how much money has been spent on interdiction and eradication efforts in mexico since the start of the epidemic that we are experiencing? >> my understanding is 2.50 yen dollars has been appropriated of which approximately 1.5 billion has been obligated or committed to specific projects of which we still have at this point the new
initiatives for about $700 million. >> are you speaking just of merida specifically? >> largely. there is money spent far beyond merida areas. >> are certainly a senator. i'm not in a position to comment on that. >> i wasn't looking to senata pro-creation that i look at all the agencies you mention your own inl at the iphone and security immigration military alcohol tobacco and firearms. i think to myself it has to be billions collectively. and i was one of the architects of the merida initiative which i support but what .5 billion later billions between the all of our respective agencies and what we have is an opioid
epidemic. so one has to as a policymaker one has his take a step back and say themselves what is not working because something is not working. if billions of dollars later what you see is a spike versus a trend in the other direction than something is not working. if i were to say to you what's not working, what do we need to change your answer would be? >> first of all senator i think we have in the past few years come to the realization that it is a shared responsibility between the united states and trafficking countries. i am heartened -- heartened by the senate racing passing of the opioid legislation. something that is going to help us but certainly mexico's capacities are far greater than they were when we started the merida initiative in 2007. information sharing and
collaboration has led our own u.s. law enforcement agencies to interdict significantly more on our southern border do to mexico's cooperation. we still do have a ways to go. i think we also need to get better here in the united states at demand production and treating the health issues of addicted people. it is a shared responsibility that is no longer just a supply-side issue. >> as i listen to your response everything that we are doing but a more significant effort on demand reduction. it is suggesting there is anything that we are not doing. all i can look at is if you are spending billions and instead of a trend going the opposite direction it is arising, you have to raise the question what is it that we are either doing wrong or what is it that we are
not doing that we need to do in order to meet the challenge? otherwise you can appropriate billions and billions but still find ourselves in a trend that is undesirable. the only thing i heard from you and your response to me was doing more in reduction what i certainly believe is true but i didn't hear anything else. you have to question whether or not the continuation of this type of expenditure in this manner is the right policy. >> let me ask you this. you believe there is sufficient coordination, seamless coronation on our side of the border has to relate to all the h. and sees in this fight? >> senator obviously we can always get better at everything we do. the department of state works from the southern border south so i don't feel that it's our
position to comment on interagency coordination north of the border. south of the border we have robust interagency coordination through embassy mexico city. weaponize get a little better there. >> your mexican partners, are they doing everything that they can in order to meet the challenge on their side? >> during the beginning of the administration there was a cause in the plan and merida which is a mutual assessment of the security relationship particularly on their side and over the past year and a half we have seen much closer collaboration and openness and frankness in our bilateral dialogue. it is mexico doing everything that they can? they could improve.
some of their efforts are not yet at the optimal level but we remain optimistic and positive that they are moving in the right direction. >> i appreciate the optimism but seeking a dose of realism into it. part of the challenge is that you have lawless states and some of the northern part of mexico where i heard u.s. citizens who have come to talk to me say that many who had businesses and long-term relationships on the media side of the border that basically cannot operate there because the federal government's presence, i.e. the federal mexican government's presence is not there. if you have lawlessness and if you have uncontrolled states then you have the opportunity for drug traffickers to avail themselves of that. it seems to me that while i am an incredibly strong and have
been for many years strong of these u.s.-mexican relationship we need to be honest in order to make sure we are making the progress and for mexico to regain its sovereignty and parts of the northern mexico presently hasn't happened. >> let me use some of my time to follow up on that. mr. foote secretary foote how would you address the assertion made by another bus involved in the incident which 43 students disappeared and mexico bound for the u.s.? >> senator thank you for that question. given that we have not seen the results of the final investigation from mexico i am not in a great position to answer that question right now. we would be happy to answer that for the record in writing. >> okay. senator kaine.
>> thank you mr. chanting to get witnesses. to get an idea of the scope of this challenge on the mexican side in terms of the black tar heroin is the poppy production for this heroin still significantly -- by the state of nayarit or is it more broadly distributed? mexico is a big country. i worry that we are not being specific enough. >> yes, senator. our latest crop estimate that was produced about two months ago shows two major growing areas in mexico, one in the state of guerrero and another in what is called the tri-border region and the northern part of the country. those are the two major growing areas in mexico. with very very small sporadic spots in other parts of the country but they are basic to concentrate in those two areas. >> and the fentanyl is made in
labs and i gather most of the fentanyl is made in china and may be transmitted through mexico were made in labs in mexico? >> that is correct. and i will tell you our understanding and our awareness of the fentanyl traffic has evolved dramatically over the last six months as we have seen the crisis rise. in order of magnitude i cannot tell you that what i can tell you is china is a significant supplier of fentanyl to united states or his order by individuals on the internet and using parcel post or the postal service shipped directly. we also know that fentanyl is shipped into mexico. in some cases mixed with dilute things and smuggled across the southwest border. there are precursor chemicals that are shipped into mexico that can be used for the production of fentanyl.
clandestine fentanyl in northern mexico. if you look at the two main ones that we see for finnish fentanyl coming to an end states or manufactured in mexico. >> i want to talk to you mr. chester by your written testimony and i'm sorry you didn't get here for your entire oral testimony. there are several factors and shooting to the heroin prices increased availability of availability performs apparent that is relatively low-priced and relatively open at prescription drugs transitioning to heroin. i'm trying to unpack that statement and i'm wondering if your statement puts enough of a finger on the prescription of the problem? >> i have heard through michael botticelli and others that 80% of those total od'd's started
their addiction to opioids by being addicted to prescription opioids and then transitioning to heroin because they could get it for a lower price. >> is at an acra statement? >> no senator and i'm glad you asked that question. of the numbers of individuals who are not medically use opioids and then transition into hair when that number is relatively small. >> non-medically. >> outskirts of the nonmedical use of the prescription opioids like saucy cotton and the traditional got it -- oxycontin and got it from the medicine cabinet or friends and family members with her senate of those who transition to heroin use is relatively low but conversely of these individuals who are not cheap and users of heroin 80% of them actually abused a
prescription opioid in the past. while there is not a direct causation between the two, the nonmedical use of opioids is a strong risk or for eventual hair in use and even the medical use of opioids can be a risk factor for eventual heroin use. >> yes sent her that's right. and opioid and enough itself and its affect on the body obviously is very addictive drug and affects the body and unique ways as an opioids. those individuals take opioids whether they get them from a doctor or whether they get them from a friend or family member for non-meta-reasons are at risk for eventual opioid addiction is not used properly, that is correct. >> he said the testimony is the relatively low price of heroin and that's relatively low compared to past but also compared to the cost of opioid-based prescription drugs. that's correct so the street
price of a-gram of heroin compared to the street price if you will of an opioid bill or an oxy bill or something of that nature, that is what we consider to be one of the kuchar putting factors. cibula bill of the end of price and the purity and all the contributing factors. >> mr. foote talked about the work. then the spot and we are trying to harmonize with a house on this comprehensive addiction recovery act. we really believe it here and it's now bipartisan we are seeing it in all of our states that if we don't get ahold of the culture of overprescription of opioid-based prescription drugs where hollowing out the urban suburban rich and poor. this is an issue that came out of the medicine cabinet and many insisted it was someone he trusted handing them a prescription saying this is going to do you good in this not going to do you harm driven by
inadequate science and driven by frankly marketing scams and that is inextricably related to this heroin issue. i think it's hard to deal with the heroin issue in the object without talking about this culture of overprescription that hopefully we are working on together to end. it's probably too early to know this but in terms of the growth of the number of hectares of poppy production in mexico do we have any evidence to suggest whether that is connected with marijuana legalization in the united states quickly actually like this notion of the states as labs and they can experience to see what happens but i have heard it said it might don't know whether there's any evidence to back it up to legalization of marijuana in some state that is loud marijuana to be grown has taken hector's of land that were used for marijuana cultivation and there's no market for marijuana because there's competition.
is there any evidence of that? >> we have actually looked closely at the crop transference to see if there's anything there and i can tell you we at this time whether it's too early or doesn't exist we can't definitively stay -- say the farmers have decided to switch from one crop to another mexico. we can't say that with any degree of authority at this point. >> but that's something you'll continue to monitor? >> is something we will watch. >> to interject on that point it's my sense and you are both experts that very few people wake up in the morning and say i'm going to shoot heroin for the first time. there's a gateway to the heroin use. a lot of it is being driven by people who were prescribed prescription opiates. the prescription opiate is cut off and they are going through withdrawal and the only thing is access to treatment. absent that how does someone get
dependent on heroin minus the scripture and drug gateway which we have already discussed? >> senator is a difficult question just because you are dealing with a number of variables at the individual level as to the reasons why people engage in the behavior that we do. heroin in general terms is kind of at the end of a trajectory of long-term drug use and the high number of heroin users are -- drug users. they are not an exclusive heroin user. they get the drugs available to them because the high appellate appellate -- high availability of the drug that's heroin. the other thing that we have look at and we do a number of surveys to look at this but what we realize is the ages of 13 to about 18 is a very strong factor in terms of risk-taking behavior in terms of underage drinking,
tobacco and marijuana things of that nature. i think both can say is we can put a finger on this or that particular reason why a person does something but we do know the availability of drugs in society obviously increases the chances that an individual who is inclined to use them is going to intercept some particular point and it's like the discussion we had about the availability of heroin. >> we understand the bill problem that leads to that but what you are basically saying if someone especially some point earlier in their life begins to use the substance, alcohol, whatever it may be an intoxicant of some sort. it now starts at potential trend where the next thing is what is out there that's better? once you cross that barrier you unleash this cycle basically a
set of dominos that leads to the heroin. >> again it's not as direct causation but it is risk-taking behavior and patterns of behavior. that's why the prevention strategies particularly through programs like the drug-free communities program that ondcp manages are incredibly important because they are locally based and they allow trusted individuals to be able to speak to people at young ages about things just like that in their attitudes about foreign substances in the body and things of that nature. they are able to through evidence-based prevention strategies be able to talk to people at those young ages when they are vulnerable that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for this hearing. i think this is the most important hearing we are going to have on our relations with
mexico and with china this year in congress and i thank you. this issue of fentanyl is to my way of thinking kind of the most important threat that we have two families in the united states at this time. i will just give you some numbers. in massachusetts in 2015, 57% of the opioid related overdose deaths in massachusetts had a positive screen for fentanyl specifically 1319 individuals whose deaths were opioid related in 2015 for toxicology screen was available, 754 had a positive screen for fentanyl per week and talk about prescription drugs and talk about heroin but fentanyl is now the issue and we, new england is at the epicenter of it create it comes
up from a sicko to lawrence massachusetts and then it goes out into new hampshire. other states but massachusetts as well. the pathway is china, into mexico and then into lawrence massachusetts in two ohio virginia into florida. when it's over half of the deaths in massachusetts, it's clearly a looming threat. it's a preview of coming attractions to every single city and town in our country. that's why this hearing is so important because it gets to the question of what is mexico doing and with china. we will start with that prayed mr. foote what is specifically mexico and china the highest government levels doing in order to interdict this new synthetic formula that is wasting heroin
with a drug 50 times more powerful than heroin, so powerful that the dea doesn't even let its dogs any longer sniff for fentanyl for fear that the dog will die with the first sniff of fentanyl. 3 grams, three equivalents of salt grams could kill a human being if they gained access to it. what is mexico and china doing in cooperation with you to interdict that drug? >> senator first i will touch on mexico and china's bilateral relationship on this. mexico and china are meeting and discussing fentanyl regularly every year. they are both involved in multilateral side of things. just last month at the u.n. general assembly special session
on drugs they were both there. china their minister of public security led the conclusion statement they were fully on board and they are a member of both countries international drug conventions. we also sponsor in the united states annual fentanyl and precursor chemical conferences with mexico and china. >> how successful is this effort so far like. >> that's a good question senator. fentanyl is a new problem for the department of state and it's one where we are applying lessons we have learned with other substances and other crime areas over the year and at this point we are working as hard as we can to have success but i can't quantify. >> with human rights and copyright infringement, is this
issue now at the highest level of negotiations with the chinese government and with the mexican government? >> it is. mr. chester went in march with our folks and spoke to a large interagency group to the -- we regularly engage with china. art diplomats are going to china next week at a very high level diplomatic engagement. we raise it regularly in a joint liaison group. law enforcement which has a counternarcotics working group throughout the year and we have actually seen some positive signs from china. >> if you were point to convict them of doing something but would the evidence be to convict china of actually doing something to block this from coming into mexico?
what would the evidence be of doing good? >> of doing good. we have seen encouraging progress. last year their ministry of public security officially controlled 160 new substances including several analogs of fentanyl and they have expressed high activity in continuing to receive information on new synthetic substances to efficiently control them. they are doing something. there is more that can be done. >> clearly we have the evidence in 2015 and going to be worse this year. there's evidence that this is being slowed down and it's very clear sentence of five and it's going to kill ultimately tens of thousands of americans every year. every year. there is no other threat to our country that even matches that. every single year fentanyl is going to be a lot to do that.
we don't stop it it dwarfs every other issue. every other issue will be a footnote compared to the magnitude of the impact on american families. mr. chester what is the level of cooperation that you are getting from the mexican government and interdicting fentanyl? we know it's "el chapo" and his gang that is responsible for the traffic that comes to lawrence massachusetts with ready much the whole country. would assure success level with the mexican government and getting them to understand the magnitude? >> senator i personally have been down there twice d they have dealt with the mexican embassy in the united states. united states. i will tell you that they understand how seriously we take this issue in the united states. they understand that this is our top illicit drug party and they also understand it's not just heroin but it's heroin and it is
spent now. a meeting in february i put fence now on the table and i won't say that it was first with them but they weren't familiar with how serious the issue was the united states. by the time we had gone down with dr. botticelli and ambassador bromfield that was part of the problems that they agree to work with us moving forward on. i will tell you that the mexicans are understanding the importance that we place on this issue. they are very engaged on it and they're willing to conduct china planning with us on the issues not only on poppy eradication which addresses the heroin issue but also lab identification and neutralization specifically on issues of fentanyl creation or the knowing -- melting with delete and send other matter if it's transported across the border.
>> so little to irving to me from your testimony that they are just hearing about fentanyl and is just getting on their radar screen and it's just a boy of 2016. given the fact that more than half of all the people who died in massachusetts related had fentanyl in their system. it's a little bit disturbing to me. i'm going to be very honest with you. i don't like it to have been introduced that level. i would like like to further like to have hurt the person obama has raised this issue in the present of mexico that president obama has raised this issue with president xi and china just because of the incredible level of fatalities across our country. we know specifically what the source is and so do you mind if i just continue a little bit?
give me some hope here. if there is an aggressive strategy in place on fentanyl and that it has been elevated to a level where there is a no-nonsense conversation going on in terms of what the expectations of our government is. .. fifty times more powerful and has been showing up in majority of deaths. you are not sure? >> and i need to make sure that fentanyl was part of that. >> at the highest levels. we continue to raise it at
the highest levels of dialogue. next week i get the secretary will be in china, and this is high on the agenda, if not top on the agenda. i cannot promise that president obama raised it with the chinese president, but certainly it has been raised with the chinese government. >> a couple of points, 1st of all, why are these communities specifically targeted, florida, for example, central florida, how florida, how does a community wind up targeted by these criminal gangs? as opposed to some other part of the country? >> senator, there are number of variables, one of which is the existing trafficking structure in place. in some place. in some places transportation networks, in some places the traffickers from mexico have personal or
business relationship with traffickers in a particular area or geographically a place lends itself to further distribution. there are many reasons why. >> the northeast is far from the us-mexico border. why didn't they stop somewhere along i-9 five and target there? existing structures? >> there is strong evidence, the existing structure that was there before. and only specifically talk about fentanyl one of the things that we have looked at as we have tracked the fentanyl crisis is why the northeast, the eastern united states and we believe one of the strong currents -- strong contributing factors is that fentanyl is more easily mixed into the white powder heroin that it is in the black tar heroin. and that is traditionally
the heroin market in the united states, and so fentanyl introduced being mixed in the powder heroin and therefore landed in the us, and increasingly we are seeing it pressed in the bill form and as counterfeit artsy or opioid, but fentanyl has found the market probably because of those two reasons. >> i spent some time in new hampshire and found myself in many small townships throughout new england that faced an overwhelming problem almost as if they were specifically targeted perhaps because of trafficking i was new. you will not have a thousand officer department. is there evidence that some of that is in place? where they can overwhelm local law enforcement with numbers and capabilities? >> senator, i don't know whether that was -- the size
of the population or law enforcement was a particular reason why, but to your point, it is a matter of deep concern that you find increasing numbers of heroin or fentanyl users in rural areas who are starting to use the product alone. and they are far from treatment and tend to be farther from 1st responders. those are all things that make this particular prices particularly pernicious is the fact that it has moved in the rural areas which is not something we have seen in previous outbreaks. >> i know what i'm asking is more appropriate, but some of the stuff we used to hear are increasingly because supply is driving demand, and to related. one of the things i capturing a lot, specifically targeting treatment centers, especially where they knew people were getting treatment because of addiction and were waiting
for them outside to tempt them to buy, specifically targeting recovering individuals for the sale of this, and this is a pernicious, disgusting industry we are dealing with here, and in that realm i wanted to ask, since the recent arrest, this is part of mexico's concerted policy to conduct high-profile arrests of drug lords. while i am positive these organizations are being capitated, have we seen any evidence that the rest of the high-profile individual impacts the ability of these individuals and organizations to function? is it one of those things that is now functioning the way corporate entity would irrespective of who is at the top? >> my personal experience is far more robust with columbia. we have seen where the
kingpin being arrested the certainly affect an organization. the question is, how big is the structure, howstructure, how organized is it? how quickly can it recover? that is a question far better posed to our drug enforcement administration guys. >> let me ask you about will be a, nota, not directly related to the opiate issue, but nonetheless cocaine. they suspended their aerial eradication program ostensibly for fear of the impact that it was going to have on the population environmentally. there is a counterargument that has been made in which i find credibility that this is also part of the peace process, in essence the deforestation effort was an irritant in the process with other elements. as a result we see numbers were for the 1st time in a long time there has been a
massive increase in the amount of cocaine production that we had not seen in a while, and the assumption is that that cocaine will get sold, go somewhere, and we should expect to see a spike ina spike in cocaine sales in the united states. do you have a view irrespective of the reason why you're doing it, aa view of what these new numbers mean for the us in the years to come? >> we are concerned about the suspension of aerial eradication. it is a sovereign decision of the colombian government. we believe eradication and aerial eradication are not magic pills, they are valuable tools in the supply-side intervention, narcotics that has long been a big part of our strategy in columbia comeau we continue to work closely with the colombians which is peaceful and beer or in kos
to have close contact to see which direction they decide to go if and when president santos gets the peace process resolved. >> and my final question for the panel command ii thank you both for being here, your testimony and your work. we now have two separate but interrelated problems. the senator just pointed out a moment ago, the production of synthetic fentanyl, the growth of opiate poppies. up my understanding is that the amount of opiate -- poppy -based opiate grown in the western hemisphere is a small percentage of the overall production in the world. how much -- if a poppy-based a poppy -based opiate is produced or fentanyl is produced somewhere in the western hemisphere what percentage of that is destined for the united states in particular?
>> senator, we believe that mexico is the primary supplier of maryland to the united states and that the united states is the primary customer for mexican heroin. that arelationship in the western hemisphere is fairly solid. we do not see any evidence or widespread evidence of southwest asian heroin, afghan heroin, burmese heroin coming to the united states, although it does believe southwest asia is the primary supplier of heroin, so one of the things that we have discovered is a risk and that we have identified as a risk is if we are successful against the mexican drug trafficking organizations and breaking down the supply. three open up the door for others? >> it is clear that if you see a heroin overdose that heroin or phenyl -- fentanyl came from mexico or china to
the mail. my question, is the opiate being grown or produced being sold anywhere else in the world or, basically assume that all of it being grown there that you can see from the camera pictures taken from all of that is headed to a city near you? >> that is the assumption we make, senator. yes, that is correct. >> i want to thank you for being here. >> thank you. this is the top topic. it does not get bigger than this. these are the gentleman responsible. they have them here to know they are the principal people working on it, absolutely essential. so, let me ask, your title is associate director for the national heroin coordination group, do you
think it is time to just change the name to the national heroin and fentanyl coordination group? just so it advertises correctly what is going on to the american people? >> senator, after the director so that thisstood up this group in order to provide a focused effort against the heroin in the sentinel problem set, what we determine is that we're going to handle heroin and fentanyl as part of the same problem set for a lot of different reasons. what has evolved over time and ii work and planning is that we have discovered the incredible importance of fentanyl more so than what was identified six or eight or nine months ago. the emergence and visibility is driven almost entirely by
the postmortem testing done on individuals, and in those areas were testing is done you begin to see more. he leads us to believe that in looking at the heroin and fentanyl problem we have a significant problem that we believe was being masked by an increased available -- increased availability and heroin. the same problem set because it allows us to deal with the trafficking, supply chain, and affects our communities in the exact same way. >> i appreciate that. should we add fentanyl to your title in your opinion? does that make sense? given how little it turns out mexico knows when you have the conversation in february of 2016 about fentanyl? same thing is true for the chinese.
>> the issue being raised to the chinese. >> am talking about about mexico. they did not know. >> by the way,way, even when isaiah 57 percent, many experts think that is an understated number because of the poor reporting that goes on in terms of the total number of deaths. so by the way, it is no secret why they do it. at 300 percent markup. you know in terms of their ability to make money off of it as opposed to heroin or other drugs. again, from my perspective this is the issue. this dwarfs any terrorist threat. this is what is going to kill people, tens of
thousands, ultimately hundreds of thousands of americans. you are the front line on this. mexico just heard about it. i am not sure the chinese understand the priority that we expect them to deal with this issue. maybe earlier today in your testimony said that there are gaps, gaps in the interdiction of sentinel -- fentanyl from mexico. could you explain in more detail what those gaps are? >> picking primarily about gaps in our ability to be able to detect fentanyl at the borders, and what we brought up earlier is the ability of dogs being able to detect fentanyl because it is so deadly. we work very closely with cbp in terms of intelligence and policy to address those gaps, to better detect
fentanyl not only of the southwest border the thanbut than our air freight locations, u.s. postal service or commercial companies. that has been an area of ongoing discussion so that we can better determine how much fentanyl -- fentanyl is getting in the country and to be able to detect it would address -- does arrive. >> we have to move to the next panel. have to preside over the floor and turn into a pumpkin here. >> i strongly recommend that when the president meets with the presence of canada and mexico that he raises fentanyl to the highest level with them and lets them know that that is a threat to our country, and the same thing is true in any communication with the chinese government. and it has to be at the highest level.
>> thank you. this is an important issue. we will now welcome our next panel. we keep the record open for a few days. if you receive any questions in writing, respond as quickly as possible. >> as they are getting seated and situated i will reintroduce the members of our 2nd panel,, the honorable teresa jacobs is the mayor of orange county florida which we hope will be the site of the pro bowl in 2017. we are excited about it. if you are ready for your testimony, we look forward to hearing. >> thank you, chairman. thank you for calling this
important hearing and allowing me to share a local perspective. the conversation has been informative. a little background on orange county, nothing you do not know, but home to the city of orlando and 12 other municipalities, a strong economy and exceptional quality of life, a population of 1.2 million people that call orlando home and 66 million people on an annual basis and continue to shatter national records are tourism. the bad and sad news is that we like many others have seen alarming increase in the number of heroin overdoses and related deaths when. when i say heroin, i mean opioids, opiates, fentanyl come all combined. last year we lost 85 lives to heroin, 52 to fentanyl.
we are testimony with the increase in deaths related to opioids and opiates of anywhere from 240 percent since 2007, and orange county a staggering 600 percent increase since 2011 alone and already this year we have had 90 reported opioid overdoses, one in ten resulting in death. as far as fighting against this current wave, it began about five years ago. in 2010 florida was known as the pell-mell capital of the country. practitioners were prescribing oxycodone levels that exceeded all other states in our nation combined. at a state and local level we responded, yet today the battlefront is moved. today we fight heroin and fentanyl. given the dramatic rise, one can only surmise that drug cartels perceived as says a
right marketplace. it is impossible to accurately assess the size of the threat in florida and across states in the nation. last year approximately 2,000 heroin users moved to york county jail alone. we know they housed 100 expectant mothers is babies almost certainly be born tragically addicted. over 60 percent of patients are uninsured. for all four counties in the region with a combined population of two and a half million. we know our county jail has become the treatment center of last resort.
i get of our citizens we are fighting back command here is how. the passage of the 2016 florida legislature. there are some universally effective approaches, but we must recognize that we must address the demand side while we attacked the supply side. an either or policy simply won't work. we have joined forces with our k --dash 12 support system, universities, faith-based communities, medical communities to launch a social media campaign to educate the public on the risk of this highly addictive and deadly drug trying to convince
citizens and one them in advance that this is something they want to avoid at all costs, and also not only treating addicts in jail but implementing a new medically assisted treatment program using the virtual which is an option for all of our addicts that are leaving jail, but we need the federal government's help to treat more addicts. addicts. as i mentioned, we are woefully short on beds and resources. on the supply side we are doing our best to arrest traffickers on the street. local efforts are simply no match for the drug cartels and organize traffickers to me across the country's borders which is why we need your help to help stop the influx of drugs, todrugs, to end the crisis, save lives, safe communities. we each have a role to play. local governments have a crucial role to play. but efforts need to expand beyond government. we need government.
we need every citizen that is a mother or father or friend of an addict, our entire communities engaged, doctors, clergy, counselors, teachers, all of them to be informed which is why i think we also need a nationwide awareness campaign. we talked briefly about kayfive. it needs to increase the high risk and low cost of fentanyl. it is less expensive for many of our addicts to get high on opioids that it is to going to the happy meal. that is a sad state of reality that must be addressed. thank you for this opportunity, mr. chairman. thank you for you and your commitments continued service and leadership. >> and thank you for your work on this. we will talk about that. thank you forthank you for being here. we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you.
as we know, us consumption of heroin has increased significantly, the us portion of the world heroin market is quite small by comparison, but outsized in terms of potential earnings. the rand corporation estimated us consumer spend as much is $27 billion on heroin each year increased from 20 billion in the year 2,000. criminal organizations have reacted to changes by producing more heroin. as noted already in the earlier panel mexico accounts for the bulk of poppy production in the region. seizureseizure data of heroin along the southwest border also indicates mexican criminal groups are moving increasing amounts into the market. criminal organizations are the crete -- key transport is a colombian heroin and manage and purchase the heroin produced in guatemala
or opium gum wholesale and process it themselves. the trend appears to be the same. >> can groups are seeking an increasing demand of the market share and distribution, displacing other wholesalers. the picture is one of an increasing lucrative vertically integrated market managing the product from the point of production to the point of sale and seeking a greater market share and sale. the reality of the supply chain however is much more complex. it helps us to you well worn monikers been talking about organizations, the truth is they are not nearly as strong or monolithic as they once were , some names may still invoke fear and sometimes i'll call but there not organizations is much as brand names and in many cases the individual ports have as much contact with the bosses as a local coca-cola bottling plan manager might have with corporate headquarters.
even this and although it cartel is more horizontally and vertically integrated. before they were arrested the floor as brothers were said to be set a lower distributors in chicago. they were, but as federal intercepts of the conversation show, the two brothers negotiated independently with each of the top two members, obtaining different prices for the product they were selling, even after a war started between the solo a cartel and the rival group, thegroup, the floor as brothers continued to purchase drugs from portions of the organization. the case cuts it to different myths about the cartels, number one that it is a single organization and number two, that it is tightly controlled by a single leader or group leaders. as shipment gets further and further from mexico's wholesale points loyalties
become more dispersed in some cases completely disappear especially true in the us market or violence is not a viable long-term option. may the distribution chain is more demographic. this is evidence in other ways as well. more heroin available the single kilogram. a ten to 12-pound shipment. the laredo brothers recently indicted in the eastern district of pennsylvania, indicative of these trends, charged with moving a ton of heroin over six years, but 14 kilos per month. so subtle and as one put it
mom and pop the mexican authorities ride and aware. this brings us to mexico, the horizontal nature of the distribution chain makes it is difficult law enforcement problem in mexico as well. as noted, the once monolithic organization are shells of what they once were in part due to infighting of the type mentioned earlier but also mexican law enforcement efforts and many pieces have formed their own criminal organizations and brand names. the chain of production is broken and numerous pieces including small and large producers of opium poppy plants, the gum producers, processors, all sale purchasers and transporters. they may all be different organizations. the laredo brothers were purchasing gum and processing it themselves and distributing it in small
quantities in the us for years without running into trouble with the large supposedly all controlling cartel. to be sure the violence is viable option in mexico, so the pendulum may swing back, but for the moment the reality is there are literally dozens of small criminal organizations involved from the point of production to the point of sale. the level of control exerted is clear but we are not talking about one or two criminal groups but dozens of interlocking organizations whose alliances constantly shift. the supply chain appears to be a largely horizontal, diversified organization with multiple actors obedient to market forces rather than one or two single integrated distributors. the result is law enforcement efforts are
largely muted. you are hindering a small part of the overall production and distribution chain. even if you didn't slow the heroin you are facing insurmountable task stopping the flow from other countries which would undoubtedly fill the void and account for the bulk of worldwide production anyway. canada gets up to 90% of its heroin from afghanistan in the united states once got all of its heroin from the asian markets. thank you for your time and attention. >> thank you both for being here. i want to begin with a question i alluded to during testimony. it has been anecdotal, but the notion that these criminal groups are specifically targeting people recovering, in essence, basically stationing themselves
outside of a rehabilitation outpatient center, even in patients under knowing that people are vulnerable and intestine in the fall back into addiction. .. >> certainly i look to the increase in harrowing coming into our communities, the increase of fentanyl at the same time we were restricting access to prescription drugs suspecting
that there is a strong correlation between those two. i do not have direct evidence of it, just seems hard to imagine that there would not be a direct relationship between them. >> thank you senator. i also do do not have direct evidence of this activity. i will say, in mexico criminal groups have targeted recovery facilities but more as recruitment centers. >> recruitment centers? >> to build out their own criminal operations. >> you me for like dealers? not for dealers, for membership. people who would participate in the criminal organization. that has really happened especially in regards to a very famous group there. the upshot of this is to say
whether or not they are targeting, their pushing drugs in certain areas i'm not sure is as relevant for the whole picture which is what the mayor alluded to was this idea that this is largely driven from people who use pharmaceutical drugs. those people you you can find all over. that accounts also for the dispersed nature of this epidemic as opposed to the 1970s where you had a very concentrated in urban areas. now it is spread out through different parts of the united states. >> so i want to share with an anecdote, i've a a personal friend was a police officer in miami-dade county. he pulled up to a car that is on the side of the road and there is a woman in the driver see, she was lumped over and it caught his curiosity. he pulled over and knocked on the window. it was a nice car, by the way this is a person with financial means. next on the window and the
person immediately pops to attention and he can see in her arm there is a needle. she was basically shooting up on the side of the road in the luxury vehicle. he not in the window, and she rolls down the window, they begin to interact. i've easily he has a decision to make us to how to treat her. ten years ago he would've arrested her and taken her in as a criminal using drugs in the street. today his perception has changed because he has had several interactions including this interaction with a person who, by the ways a member of the florida bar, is a successful, functional attorney, whose hudson husband also has a problem. the fundamental challenge he faces as he does not want to take her to jail doesn't view her as a criminal. he. he views her as someone who has a disease and -- and her gateway into heron was a pharmaceutical painkiller for surgical or siege or six to seven years ago and she lost access to medicine and this is what happened. the concern i have is this,
number one, if today you are dependent upon opiate substance, your respective of how you got there, less in the case of this person because of the use of a pharmaceutical that led to this point. there is still in a store near a stigma associated with it. you're a bad person doing a really bad thing and needs to be punished for it. second, even if that stigma were to change so we can get more people in to treatment and accepting the fact that i am physically dependent on the substance, in many communities there is nowhere to take them. the only place you can take them potentially is to a jail where you hope there withdraws our management may not be. in essence, there is nowhere to go. many places many places don't have the capacity to meet that reality. that leads to the third problem and that is the number people
who end up in a jail cell for 15 days, go through withdrawal, do not realize they have lost their tolerance even in that short period of time, and when they fall off the wagon they go back to using the level they were using before they went through withdrawal, and it kills them. because they lost their tolerance for an opiate. so given that perspective, i'm that perspective, i'm sure there are hundreds if not thousands of cases like that, what are the impediments to getting someone who faces this, but they could be them i don't think so but they could be watching c-span, not many people watch c-span but what's out there today, what is missing for someone who needs this treatment and doesn't know what to do about it next? especially for the uninsured. they're not uninsured. they're not many options for my understanding. >> thank you mr. chairman. i think that is a key part of it addressing the demand side. part of it is educating people and helping them make the right choices to avoid overuse of prescription drug. the other part is, how how do we provide the resources to treat people that are addicted? the
treatment options are very limited. for the uninsured as i pointed out, 26 beds for 2,400,000 people. our jail alone, one out of four jails in the region, we have on average 200 in the region, we have on average 200 people that we are treating for withdrawal system symptoms and offering them a treatment program when they leave. we need more treatment facilities. when he asked the question our traffickers, our dealers preying on people coming out of treatment centers, the reality reality is we don't have enough treatment centers to pray on. >> you said in your testimony that you believe florida was specifically targeted because they knew we had the pill mill problem and what once i was cut off the folks were going to need -- >> exactly. that's what i believe i don't have have empirical evidence. what i have is the evidence of the increase in the flow of heroin and the increases in death related to herod in correlation to our cutting off the pill mills. while we were dispensing more
oxycodone than the rest of the country combined out of florida, most of that was leaving our state. most of these pill mills you could drive up and you could look in the parking lot in the parking lot would be full and only small percentage of those were local license plates. so so the cartels may have missed judge the appetite, but no question they have flooded us with very cheap drugs and the number of youth that i have seen that are struggling with addiction and have turned the corner and have had the good fortune of money to find treatment. the insured portion of that population to see that there actually is life after heroin addiction is very encouraging. what is very discouraging is that most people that are
addicts have idea that there is life. most addicts have no opportunity to get to the treatment center. >> just to fill the gaps of those who may not be aware of the florida pill mill problem. we had these the facilities and you would say mina kurtz, my back hurts and by routine they would give you a package you a package of prescriptions, it wasn't just oxycontin it was other also other stuff in there. you you had have busloads of people come in sometimes. it was a huge problem. the florida legislator close that loophole, just to be fair we're not talking about ic prescription being driven by a dr. at the office, it was a specific facilities that are of this. did you want to add something on the trim a part of it? at one more question. >> this is obviously framed as a law-enforcement debate and certainly i was asked to talk about the criminal organizations. as you pointed out, this is a public health issue. at the heart of it this is a pharmaceutically driven epidemic and it is a public health issue. that is really the difficulty in facing up to this. it is not necessarily strictly law-enforcement. were not in talking about throwing people in jails. we need to be talking
about how to get them better treatment. >> my sense of the human side of it is that i do not leave anyone wakes up in the morning and says today's the day day become a heroin addict or an opiate addict. it's not something someone wants to happen. you be throwing evidence. there's no responsible way to use this. its impact on everybody is different. we know some people are more sensitive or susceptible to addiction than others. it basically restructures the brain chemistry in the way a disease does. i i look at the statistics, for example in florida, orlando has 83 heroin deaths in 2014, other communities have large numbers, miami at 60, 60, sarasota 55, but that number pops out of you as a place that is been targeted. then he see see the rising death some spike we have seen across the country in heroin and opiate deaths where the takeoff point has been is the introduction of fentanyl. as we have seen from testimony
today it is an incredibly powerful and lethal substance. in fact, for my understanding it is not prescribed outside of a hospital setting to begin with a pharmaceutical side. it is not being laced into -- and i want to go to senator keynes i wanted to leave with this thought. i read a report were someone who was a former and recovering addict was asked about this and say, when you hear that someone has died from an overdose, that was sold by a particular dealer, it makes you want to buy from that particular dealer because you know what they are selling is the strong stuff. now maybe that was just one line, one interview but it tells you the point that we reached where it's very difficult and debilitating condition that we have to try to understand here. i think a key key is to remove the stigma associated with it. many of us would be very surprised at the number of people we interact with on a daily basis that on some level
have a dependence problem. maybe not street heroin but some sorts as a result of what we have seen happen in this country. hopefully. hopefully we can make advances in pharmaceutical so we can draw the line and we will be able to treat pain effectively in this country without putting people at risk. >> thank you. and thank you to each of you. i'm sorry mr. opening testimony although i read your written testimony. i was the mayor two in richmond, it was only when i was mayor that i fully grasp the demand side of this challenge. you can arrest the dealer and arrest the dealers, but if the demand for drugs is so potent, if it has its hooks and people so deeply the next dealer will appear tomorrow. we have a really tough problem enrichment. a lot of drug related homicides were taken place in this neighborhood near where the
church i go to. the number of stories that would appear in the front page of the paper about someone from the suburbs coming into by drugs and getting shot, you think about five of the stories people would quit driving into drive by drugs there. they would keep driving into by drugs and that's evidence of how powerful addiction is. we would have this objective evidence that says this is going to be dangerous much less the drugs could be dangerous, could be shop at that need is so intensive that i'm gonna go. it sounds like you've seen that in your community. i was a mayor 20 years ago the drugs were different, but is the same thing of this addiction per that's why the treatment issues are so important. the the other thing we used to hear anecdotally, i'm not an expert in this field, when someone is under the grip of addiction says i want treatment, that is a window that opens that if it's not there at the window can close. a month
from now with the bed opens up the individual might be past the point of wanting treatment, may have od but or lapsed into other behaviors. i do appreciate what the chair was saving you are saying about the need for treatment. i'm curious curious if you could talk about, as a mayor, the way to sell some of the challenges is definitely through having partnerships, state, federal, talk about what you have done in your county on the partnership side, do you have the right stakeholders around the table, other things we can do from the federal level to ensure that we are issuing funds and we do it in a way that requires regional cooperation or multilevel strict holder cooperation. >> red is on. red is off in orlando. i will get through this. in orlando, what we have done very effectively is a regional cooperation and i think that is
crucial in tackling any issues such as this. one of of the reasons we pull together the task force would it is we brought in so many different disciplines to make sure that we could attack this problem from all angles. so i would suggest that as it so important that we have limited resources at government levels. it always seems that the demand for resources outpaces supply. it is important that programs are structured in a way that funding is put to the best use. i do think that collaborative effort is important. we have have metropolitan bureau of investigation that pulls together, the fda, or local law enforcement, our sheriff, our state attorney's office, that has been very effective for us on the enforcement side. in terms of your comments about that window of opportunity for addicts, i cannot understand it either because i have never
experienced a feeling of needing something so badly that i am willing to risk my life to have it. i do understand that is the reality. i know enough people, enough people came forward, literally walk up to me on the street, you know what is like being a local mayor. people recognize you and they come up, they pour their heart they for the heart and soul out too. it's a blessing to be at that level where you can really hear firsthand. i have seen young people that you would never in your wildest imagination thought they were heroin addicts tell me their stories. what i also side think i mentioned before you walked in here is i also saw the other side. i i saw that they came out the other side of heroin addiction and their living full lives and getting college degrees. they're going to to be productive members of society.
i think that most heroin addicts do not believe that is a possibility. if they have that moment, if it's 15 minutes, and it's two hours, two days, where they say gosh i want to kick this, reality is kick this, reality is they're not going to be waiting for two weeks. where month. they're going to be waiting a lot longer and most of our communities to get into a treatment facility unless they have a substantial amount of money. that is a huge problem. as i said in my testimony, the best option is our county jail, right now. that is a lousy option. not to say we have a bad gel, we do our best, but having a record does not help the situation. so we really need to have options available. we need to have education, we need, we need to have hope we need to have the in tire community engage. as you pointed out is destroying more than lives, it's and destroying community. >> thank you sir. >> mr. chair, we had a chart recently recently placed before us in another hearing about ods per capita, the 50 states and it was unlike any chart i have ever
seen, ever. if you look at a chart that is usually about some kind of problem or crime or social breakdown, high income states will be at one part of the states and low income will be at another part. if you looked at the top ten most effective states that included some of the poor states in the country and some of the richest states. if you looked at the bottom effective states they included some of the poorest states in the country and some of the richest. this is really unlike any similar epidemic or law-enforcement problem i've ever seen in the traditional demographic is not a predictor. it is a rural, urban, suburban, it is all regions, i went to a drug court graduation, the founding drug court in virginia and the judge who founded it, he was a super, farsighted thinker
about the need for drug courts had a child too, many years later was killed in a drug related incident. after i spoke at the graduation, one graduation, one of the probation officers who helps the court run and has done so as a spectacular advocate said this is my second drug court graduation this week and i said did you have never class and he said no i went to my son's graduation in a community two hours from here. this affects every level, that that is why we are now spending the time that we are, but we have not spent time in this committee on it and it's important that we do so. this is not, just like it doesn't have demographic borders, this is not a problem that has national borders and we have to get a hold on some of the dimensions, mexico, china, some of the other nations that are experiencing this and build the partnerships, not even in a metropolitan region but we have to build law-enforcement internationally. thank you for your testimony. >> thank you senator. i just wanted to ask you about the transnational groups that are targeting us, i think in your
testimony talks and i wanted to reiterate, again, wethers button all being produced synthetically or poppy -based opiates being grown in the western hemisphere, in particular in mexico, they're coming here. this is almost exclusive market for these trafficking networks, is that correct? >> that is correct. absolutely. there is a small market, local market that they can satisfy but it's minimal. >> you heard the testimony before so you would think logically they are crossing the border you think the easiest, from a logistical point of view is still flood into texas, california aboard a state but what you're hearing is where the outbreaks are this is a national problem, there's no community in the nation that doesn't face it, you see these outbreaks in the northeast, new hampshire, massachusetts and central florida, so it what is your
view, how is it wanting up in these pockets. what are the distinguishing characteristics. what in your view is the distinguishing characteristics that turn a community into a high propensity, high risk area? >> it is such a new phenomenon because it is so dispersed. the fact that it is so dispersed is really what leads to the criminal organizations being so dispersed. the notion that we have one, single all-encompassing enemy is called the cartel and once we incarcerate el chapo everything will be resolved and that's not correct. just because the dispersed nature of the market in the way in which the criminal
organizations will satisfy that market. it's not thing because in a way there certain elements of this epidemic that we are victims of our own success. the fact that you would create ways so that you cannot tamper with oxycontin for example. you can't snorted anymore, the way in which it's distributed, will then that makes it less available to people so then they they start to search out other things. the way in which the mexican government with the united states government has captured or killed several of the larger leaders of the criminal organizations that has led to a fragmentation of these groups. so you have groups like you referred to earlier there's a group that was the group responsible for the massacre or supposed massacre of the 43 students that disappeared, this
is a group that was an offshoot of a larger group and there are several like them. so in order to wrap your hands around this says law-enforcement issue it's incredibly difficult because the train is so horizontal than vertical. even when you take out the larger leaders what you're left with is a fragmented criminal landscape. a landscape that doesn't necessarily come in the cocaine market they might depend on getting product from another country, in fact they do from the andes. they need to get their product from other criminal organizations. but they don't have that dependency when it comes to the poppy production which is local and the heroin production which is local. so they can produce this themselves which makes it much more difficult to wrap your hands around as well.
>> to have anything further senator? i want to think about her being here and were going to the previous testimony. i hope that was insightful as you go back and continue work. thank you for coming today and be a part of this hearing as well. it's an important issue in there's been a lot of debate about what's being done domestically on this issue. am glad we touched on the. i think it has to be dealt with. there's not one law that can deal with this it has to be dealt with comprehensively whether it's on the treatment sigh, prevention side, and also by targeting these organizations who are in the business of murder. which is basically what this is, not just murdering each other for territory, but the direct murder of americans by targeting us with the distribution of these products in our country. i want to thank all of you for being here. i also want test consent to enter a statement for the record of jack riley, the acting deputy administrator. the record for the syrian is going to remain open until the close of business on tuesday, may 230 to 31st. you may receive some questions in writing what's possible i ask you to respond so we can close
>> republican presidential candidate, donald trump has enough delegates to clinch the gop nomination according to the associated press. mr. trump campaigns tomorrow in san diego and we will have live coverage at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> the libertarian party will hold its national convention this weekend in orlando florida. watch live coverage is saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern would party presidential candidates will face one another in a debate on sunday at 9:45 a.m. eastern the libertarian party chooses it's a presidential and vice presidential nominees. here's a video from libertarian party presidential candidate, gary johnson who served two terms as new mexico's governor.
>> i want to make a pitch that i'm the guy to vote for. i have been been an entrepreneur my entire life. i know how to put 1 foot in front of the other, i know what it is like to climb uphill and i know what it is to persevere. just keep after it. you can either persevere or you can roll up on the couch and say that's the end of things. health and wellness is something that is really important to me. i understand what government can do when it comes to regulation. i understand what it takes to make a payroll. i think people want to vote for somebody as opposed to not voting for someone else. give people a reason to vote for you. as governor, i was labeled the most dangerous politician in america. i believe the biggest issue facing this country right now is that government is too big, it tries to do too much, and it spends too much. tiny trillion dollars in debt
and rising is unsustainable. money is freedom. the ability to do what i want to do when i want to do so when government takes away my money, they're taken away my freedom in my ability to spend my money the way that i want to spend my money. government is for sale, crony capitalism is alive and well. democrats and republicans are both responsible for this unsustainable debt. i'm planning to rise and divide. the libertarian party will be on the ballot in all 50 states, i applaud each and everyone of you for your activism, you make a difference in all of i lives, you make a difference in your communities. people look to for guidance. you for guidance. i am running for president of the united states. i am a fierce competitor. i am a fierce contender of civil liberties. i advocate balancing the federal budget now.
i heard from many that they did not want to waste your vote. wasting your vote vote is a voting for someone that you do not believe in. i think people need to be able to make their own choices in their own lives, the rewards will be 100 fold. you will never regret it. take whatever it is you know and apply it. it's amazing when you share in the process, how the pie gets so much bigger. single local local local ♪ ♪
>> congresswoman shelley has introduced legislation called the food recovery act which attempts to reduce the amount of food wasted across u.s. economy. that that is next on c-span2. after that, officials from the homeland security department and state department testify about combating isis and other violent groups. >> c-span's washington journal, live every live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning todd, from the center of congress will join us and criminal justice efforts to reform the system such as the sentencing reform and corrections act. an author and and george mason school of law foundation, professor frank buckley will talk about his new book which details how americans ability to move up the economic ladder has been hampered over the last several years. and what can be done to reverse that trend. watch "washington journal" beginning live at seven eastern on friday morning.