tv Justice Dept. Homeland Security Officials Testify on Immigrant Children... CSPAN September 19, 2018 4:37pm-7:00pm EDT
the world to meet the current challenges and put measures in place to reduce market stresses. >> more about the 2008 financial crisis tonight at nine eastern on c-span. >> next, hearing on the detention of families at the us-mexico border with officials from the justice department, immigration and customs enforcement. this is about two hours 20 minutes . >> i want to thank our witnesses for appearing, for your thoughts and testimony, we're looking forward to hearing it and looking forward to your answering what i hope are good questions by the committee. i want to thank the audience members for attending. we got a long line out here, it's nice to have a hearing people are interested in. this isn't an audience participation so we do hope that you sit and listen to
the proceedings respectfully. this hearing really is a follow on to a problem that i think everybody recognize. obviously it became controversial but we took over the senate committee in august, had a meeting with committee to figure out what we can do to solve the issue about enforcing immigration laws without separating families. i don't think anybody wanted to do that and in that meeting i proposed for basic goals that i hope we could agree on. i'm not sure we have agreement but the goals i propose in trying to focus on fixing this problem. where not talking about comprehensive immigration reform, we're talking about trying to fix this problem. the four goals i laid out was public we all want to secure our border. a sovereign nation needs to do that. and force our immigration laws. maintain reasonable asylum standards and also keep
asylum seeking families together. i thought those were for reasonable goals and we had a good discussion in august, editor mccaskill pointed out and other people talked about we really do need to take a look at alternatives to detention . take a look at research, the cost-effectiveness of that and i'm happy to do that. weheld anyone briefings , bipartisan briefings with different groups and government, outside of government trying to take a look at that issue . so again, this is all part of that problem solving process. i'm not sure we have all the information and when we look at alternatives, it's pretty complex . but i want to start with a hearing shared by the would be complete without charts so we put out our first chart describing the problem. the first chart shows the history of uncommon children coming to this county illegally from central america and you take a look into thousand nine and 11, on
average is less than 4000 unaccompanied children from central america, in 2012, they began to searchwith 2014 being the most traumatic . but it really hasn't abated that much. this is an ongoing problem and again, i would argue there's things in our laws that have created an incentive for children to come in unaccompanied from central america. next chart area this is really the chart that describing the problem that we're trying to address today in this hearing. this is family units coming to this country. you see in 2012, a little over 11,000 families come to this country and then 13, 15,000 and 2014, together with that surge of children from central america more than 16,000 families surged across the border. the obama administration recognize that was a problem
they began paying family so they could adjudicate the claims and those that have valid asylum claim stay, those that did not have valid claims were returned and it had an effect so in 2015 the number of families still was at a high level but it dropped to 40,000, then in july 2015 record action, the floor settlements which date back from our witnesses was reinterpreted. and really applied to a accompanied children as well as other company children. open, and that really force the obama administration to make a decision, do we detain people. they simply couldn't detain, do we detain the adults and the fourth to release the child into hhs custody? it shows they were going to do that. they began a process of basically apprehending families who came to the border, not being able to defend them and releasing them into the interior. we will talk about the rates of deportation associated
with the outstanding individuals. that resulted in an's incentives for more families coming in and you can see the results, 77,000 in 2016, 76,000 in 2017 and already this year we are up over 90,000 families. this is a problem. next chart. now, i think it's pretty obvious that there are both push and pull factors at work here in terms of why people come to this country. it's a land of unlimited opportunity but there's also violence and really destruction of public institution in central america because of our insatiable demand for drugs . this is a chart that combines murder rates in central america versus asylum claims and i think what's interesting about this is even though murderers have
stayed relatively steady in terms of murder rates, it's very high, unacceptably high in central america, asylum claims have shot up in the last couple years though there's a disconnect in terms of cause and effect in terms of a push factor out of central america. there's something happening and there's incentives here and i'll talk about that, the florez decision,trafficking victims protection act and there are things that cause incentives.our next chart . again, the obama administration realized they have a problem with family units so back in 2014 and 15 i think it was, the secretary of homeland security jeh johnson commissioned a study and looking at, the name of it was decided adjudication process or nontraditional migrants. published in june 2013, commissioned by the obama administration . but what it showed is the removal rate for detained
illegal immigrants versus not the pain. you see it's a dramatic difference and how many were detained out of their sample versus not detained and you'll see for those doing the pain, 77 percent were removed, for those not detained, seven percent were removed with creation of a lot of incentive for more family units to come to the country . so i don't want to go on too much longer but we laid the groundwork for describing the problem. i would ask that my written opening statement beentered into the record . but i'll just close on saying that what we created here for customs and border patrol, for ice, for law enforcement community is they have two options when it comes to dealing with peoplecoming to this country illegally as a family unit. both of them are bad . we have to enforce the law and enforce separating
parents from children and nobody want that to happen, that's no longer the policy or weaver to obama era policies which is we apprehend, these families, we can't hold them, we can't determine parentage and release them into the interior. that's low removal rate for those that don't have valid asylum claims so i don't think that's an acceptable state of affairs. what we're trying to do is look at that one specific problem and try and fix that on i would call it a nonpartisan basis, take a look at the facts, deal with that information, try and set an achievable goal and assign a solution and that's the purpose of this hearing and our effort and i for one hopefully hope we succeed. i'm going to turn it over to senatormccaskill . >>. >> i want to recognize those that are before us first and applaud the work you do. i know from my time as a prosecutor that law enforcement officials know to work each day not thinking
about themselves and frankly sometimes not even thinking about theirfamily but rather how do we keep our communities safe . and how do we keep each other safe. that's true of law enforcement officers of both cvd, customs and border patrol and ice. the selflessness of service is also true of the immigration judges. public servants who work at doj and independent auditors analysts and watchdogs at gao. i know firsthand our federal law enforcement officers face challenges in carrying out their jobs. i've seen ingenuity of our border patrol agents as they built their own night vision surveillance vehicle by dots taping a surplus night vision goggles they got from the department of defense hole in the back of a pickup truck. i know that even though officers at points of entry are the ones that are seizing themajority of the fentanyl and other opioids , they are still understaffed . by cpb's own guidelines. i know our immigration court judges face a backlog.
i also know that while overall illegal border crossings are at their lowest level in 30+ years, following a decade long trend, that the past few years these agents and officers have been facing an increasing number of immigrant families trying to cross the border. there are a lot of different proposals for dealing with these families but i think there's one thing we can all agree on on a bipartisan basis is we cannot lose their families and we need to be dealt with as families. no one should be separating children from their parents. beyond that, this is a complex problem area and my chairman likes to constantly say we need to get the facts. i think any action on legislation at this point is premature because we don't have all the facts. let's face it, if this were easy we would have gotten this done a long time ago. i want to talk about this on the flores decision.
i will say this, unequivocally, we do not have enough staff to even consider indefinite detention of families. evenif it were the right thing to do which i do not think it is . we don't know enough. we don't know what it would cost, we don't know how many beds would be needed, we don't know how long the average detention would be. there is simply not enough information to consider indefinite detention. we've learned that flores is not the only thing standing in the way. we've learned there are enough detention facilities. it would be offensive to add more. according to the briefings, i need an additional 15,000 just to house the immigrant families for 30 days. at a cost of over 1.3 billion per year. this doesn't include the cost of additional personnel or the cost of instruction. and frankly, it takes an
average, median of 128 days toprocess an asylum case . if that is even close to how long those families remain in detention, that 1.3 billion represents a fraction of the cost we would actually pay. we also know that it cost $320 a day per person a family unit detained. it only costs $8.50 to monitor them electronically. if both programs or their alternative results in families showing up at their immigration hearings, let's just say there's a lot of other border security needs we could be spending that money on. as a former prosecutor i understand the balance we need to strike. this is all about securing the parents at court and when people appear at court, being efficient and ready for deportation if that's the decision of the board. if you look at the facts around this issue, there may have been electronic monitoring projects that were
abandoned but there is no reason to believe theydon't work . the majority of people that are arrested for crime in the united states of america are released pending their appearance in court. i have a great deal of experience with this. when i was a jackson county prosecutor, we were under a federal court order about how many people we could have in our jail so every day i had to make a decision as to who we let out of jail and who we kept in jail and i guarantee we spent a lot of time figuring out we monitor those people that got out and how wesecured their appearance. we know how to secure people's appearance at court . their technology and there is oversight and both of them are less expensive than building billions of dollars of beds to hold families indefinitely because our system is so efficient.
how effective is the monitoring? it is very effective in this country. how efficient is the system, our system on asylum determination and removal couldn't be more inefficient. we should be starting with a bill that requires electronicrecords . you know if they have to do a hearing in texas and the file is in california, they have to fedex the file? no system in this country is still all paper. no system in this country is still all paper except this one. it is absolutely unbelievable to me that we are this in efficient and we've been securing people's appearances at hearings but the last hearing when the asylum is determined, for some reason after they determine a look asylum, where not monitoring them anymore. we need to be prepared last hearing. we need to have preparations and the people coming need to know that if the case goes
against them on asylum, they're going to be deported immediately. it is about efficiencies in the system, it is not about imprisoning families indefinitely in this country. so i think what we have to do is we have to deal with the shortage of immigration judges. we have to deal with the inefficiency in the system and how long it's taking to have these claims heard. that doesn't mean we should shortchangepeople on their claims . we should give them adequate opportunity to have their claims heard but the fact that we are unwilling. we're willing to build more beds but we're not willing to hire the number of judges to fund it? we don't even have enough judges now to even fill the number of judges we have given the department of justice for asylum claim determination so we are putting the cart course. we are defaulting to the most expensive and nonsensical way to secure appearance when
there is all kinds of ways in this country that we can secure the system and i stand ready and willing to work with the chairman of this committee, making sure that we secure appearance at court . we can go on a building program, that is not the right answer and i look forward to the witness's testimony about these issues as we move forward's iq senator mccaskill. a lot of things we agree on and that's how we will come up withareas of agreement. i'd be remiss if i didn't point out the fact that we have a new member who in this issue , you're the tip of the spear in terms of this problem so i want to welcome you to the committee and look forward to your valuable input. not only to all of our issues but this one in particular.
it is the tradition to swearing witnesses so if you are able to raise your right hand? during the testimony, youwill give the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth . first witness is mister matthew alamance. had it right the first time. it's very unusual for me to get it right the first time. executive associate director for enforcement and removal operations performing deputy directors. mister alamance has 25 years of federal law enforcement experience with customs enforcement, immigration and nationalization services and the transportation and security administration, mister albence. >> chairman johnson, ranking member mccaskill, distinguished members of the
committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear to discuss the impact of the flores settlement agreement and its critical mission of securing the border and ensuring the integrity of our nation's immigration system. our nation's immigration laws are complex and in many cases, outdated and full of loopholes. moreover, immigration laws have been increasingly subject to litigation before the federal court which has resulted in court decisions that have made it difficult for ice to carry out his mission. the current legal landscape is difficult for people to understand all the dedicated, courageous professional officers, agents, attorneys and support staff do to protect the people of this great nation. to ensure public safety, our ice personnel execute the immigration laws and acted by congress may include enforcement action against any alien encounter who is present in the united states in violation of immigration law.the initial surge of
the southwest border in fy 2014, there has been a significant increase in both the arrival of family units and unaccompanied alien children . a trend which continues is like the administrations enhanced efforts. thus far fy 2018 as of the end of august 53,000 uhc's and 135 members had been apprehended at the southern border. a marked increase over fy 2017. most of these families are nationals of the central american countries of el salvador, guatemala and honduras. pursuant to the trafficking victims reauthorization act of 2008, uac from countries other than canada and mexico not be permitted to withdraw their applications for admission, further encumbrance and overburdened immigration court. with a backlog of 700,000 cases on the 19th alone, it takes years for many of these cases work their way through
immigration and a few of those received orders are ever returned to their country of origin. in fact, approximately three percent of uac from honduras, el salvador or guatemala encountered at the southwest border in fy 2014 yet to be returned by the end of fy2017 . one of the most significant impediments to bear an effective enforcement of immigration laws is the flores settlement agreement. the flores agreement which was intended to address the tension and release of unaccompanied minors as fallen through 20 years of litigation and has generated multiple court decisions resulting in expansive interpretations of the original agreement in ways that limit the government's ability to detain and remove uac's. pursuant to court decisions, dhs and generally only pertain alien minors accompanied by a family member in a residential center 28 and the td pra generally requires a chs
transfer any uac department of health and human services within 72 hours. however, when these uac's are release, by family or release from dhs custody, many failed to appear for court hearings and actively ignore lawful removal orders. notably, for family units encountering the southwest border in 2014, as of the end of fiscal year 2017, 44 percent of those who remain in the us are subject to a final removal order of which 53 percent were issued in absentia . with respect to uac, from the beginning of fy 2016 and end of june 2018, 19,000 uac's were ordered removed, an average of 568 uac firma. this issue has not been effectively mitigated by the use of alternative detention which is to be less effective and cost efficient in securing removal. while the add program after
75,000 participants in fy 2017, only 2430 of those were enrolled or removed from the country. these accounts for only one percent of the 226,119 removals conducted byice during that time . aliens released on add have their cases heard on the non-detained documents or cases that linger for years before being resolved. thus while the cost of detention is higher than the cost, because those enrolled in the atp program often stay enrolled for several years although subject to detention have an average stay of 40 days, the cost of add outweighs the cost of detention in many cases. nor are the cost of add anymore justified by analyzing themon a per removal basis. to illustrate in fy 2014 i $91 million on add resulting in 2157 removals . by fy 2017, ice pending on add had doubled to 103 million and resulted in 2400
removals of aliens increase of 273 removals or the additional $92 million investment on an average cost of 75,360per removal . is funding been utilized for detention based on averages, ice would have removed 10 times the number of aliens as did atp. moreover, because family units released from custody and place detained at a high rate, rates higher than nonfamily participants, many family units must be apprehended while large large apprehensions wasn't a danger to ice officers who are the victims of assault and alarmingly increasing rate. typically in fy 2018 through july 31, the absconder rate for families on add was 27 point seven percent compared to 16.4 percent. most of these aliens remain in the country and triggering to the more than 564,000 unit fugitive aliens. unfortunately, by requiring the release of families or
the conclusion of immigration proceedings, seemingly well-intentioned court rulings like those related to fsa and legislation like the pdp are a great group loopholes by transnational criminal organizations. these same loopholes and prepare to send their children on a dangerous journey north and further incentivize illegal immigration. as record numbers indicate, the also created a full factor. to address these issues, the following changes are needed. terminate the fsa and clarify the governance detention with respect to alien minors including myers that came as part of the family. amend the td pra to provide for repatriation for any non-victims of human trafficking who do not express a fear of returning to their home country and provide treatment for both contiguous or noncontiguous countries to ensure they are swiftly returned. amend the definition of special juvenile to require africans demonstrate the both parents are not viable due to abuse, neglect or abandonment and applicant is a victim of
human trafficking. separate legal requirement is not operational. but a threshold standard for those affected should be able to pursue asylum. the current standard through the ineffective in reading out those fraudulent claims and must create another factor in places a strain on the system that inhibits government ability to find address meritorious or violent claims while allowing both to remain in the united states. thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your continued support of life and admission. we continue to respond to the trend of family unit apprehended while illegally crossing the us and to address this humanitarian and border. the issue in a manner that is comprehensive, coordinated and humane. so dhs and ice are continuing to examine these issues ongoing litigation and recent court decisions require a permanent fix from congress
provide operational clarity or officers and create a lasting solution that will secure the border. congress must act to eliminate the loopholes that create an incentive for illegal immigration and provide ice with requisite funding needed to that families can be detained throughout the course of their immigration proceedings. family unit playing a fear of returning to home countries are ultimately not granted asylum for any other relief or protection. and it is imperative that ice can ensure that when such aliens are removed, they are actually removed pursuant to the law. i please answer your questions witnesses robert perez. mister perez, acting deputy commissioner with border protection. customs service in 1992, a customs inspector and served in a variety of leadership positions in customs and border protection, mister perez jeremy johnson, writing member of the catskill and distinguished members of the committee, it's my honor to appear before you on the half
of us customs and border protection. every day, the men and women of cvt facilitate legitimate travel, screening more than 1 million international passengers. every day we process an average of $6.5 billion worth of imported goods. every day, see bcc does 16,000 pounds of narcotics. every day we protect our borders from terrorists identifying more than 1600 individuals with suspected national security concerns. every day we guard our nations food supply, discovering 50,000 pass in more than 4300 material quarantined points of entry. every day employees work to make our nation safer and our economy more competitive. cbp has a vast and complex mission that affects the lives of americans every day. i'm honored to represent the hard-working men and women of
cbp whose work is often difficult and dangerous and critical to our national security, but i'm grateful for this opportunity to share what they are experiencing in the field. as the guardians of america's borders, the men and women of cbp are on the frontlines of our countries migration crisis. while many factors do contribute to an individual's decision toattempt a dangerous journey to the united states, we cannot ignore the role our country's immigration laws play in enticing illegal entry , subverting the rule of law and encouraging manipulation of the system. there's a perception among some migrants that children and families are treated differently than individual adults and our operations at times governed by the laws and judicial interpretations resulting in legal loopholes do not dispute this perception. as a result, we need an alarming spike in the number of family units we encounter. last month the number of family unit aliens apprehended at our border were deemed inadmissible at our points of energy by 38
percent. 3500 more than july this year and the highest number on record for the month of august. no matter how well intentioned, these laws and policies including the florida settlement agreement and the trafficking victims protection reauthorization act of 2008 or td pra as an operational impact on cbp's ability to fulfill its mission. for example, the flores settlement agreement limits the government's ability to obtain emily units through their immigration proceedings. this means the arrived in this country alone are treated differently than adults who arrived with the child. given the timeframe associated with the immigration process, more times than not, families are really custody. this is has created a business model for smugglers at times racist children into the hands of adult printers so they can pose as families with the hope of being released from immigration
custody once they cross the border. there are similar unintended consequences associated with the td pra. in order to comply, cbp prioritizes unaccompanied alien children for processing before transferring them to the custody of the us department of health and human services.however, increases in apprehension severely limits hhs's ability to quickly place unaccompanied alien children with adequate sponsors or place them in long-term shelters. in addition, elements of the td pra encourage trafficking organizations to smuggle unaccompanied alien children into the us knowing they will eventually be released to sponsors. ultimately, enforcement of our immigration laws is the foundation of a secure border and a secure nation. at times, well-intentioned actions have had unintended negative consequences on the immigration system as a whole . leaders including dvd have
worked closely with members of congress to address these immigration loopholes that affect our national security area and i look forward to continuing our work with the committee for this goal. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you and i look forward to your questions quite our next witness is mister joseph edlow, attorney general at the department of justice. he serves in the office of legal policy working on issues including immigration. these are for six years as an assistant chief counsel of immigrations custom enforcement and following that work for the house judiciary. >> you mister chairman. chairman johnson, writing member catskill and other distinguished members, thank you for the opportunity to speak today regarding the department of justice's position on the settlement agreement. the settlement agreement or fsa was reached in 1997 after 12 years of litigation. the agreement set nationwide
procedures and conditions for the care, custody and release of one of unaccompanied minorsincluding to these minors may be released . at the time, this agreement serves as the framework for handling immigration matters related to unaccompanied minors. the fsa also served as the basis for the william wilberforce trafficking victims reauthorization act of 2008 or td pra like the fsa does not address a company aliens. the agreement remain in effect through the dissolution of the imf and the passage of the homeland security which formally created the office of homeland security and transferred responsibilities for care and custody of minor to health and human services. it was interpreted several times since 1997 including in 2015 when the district court for the central district of california found the agreement was applicable to all alien minor without legal status including those encountered with a parent or
guardian. on this interpretation, the court therefore explained that the fsa required company minor must be transferred to a licensed facility as expeditiously as possible. the previous administration unsuccessfully of uv schooling. and the courts were born in 2015 that this expansion of the agreement could lead to the separation of a company children from their parents in order to comply with the new interpretation. after the initial entry of the agreement, congress passed legislation which the government argued largely superseded the agreement including the homeland security act of 2002 and the td pra. regardless of the efforts by previous administrations, the court found these statutes do not supersede the agreement. on june 21 of this year, pursuant to an executive order, the department of justice with a modification of the agreement to permit the hst detained alien
families about immigration proceedings which was ultimately denied by the district court. despite the agreements requirement that a child must be transferred from a secure ice or cdp facility as expeditiously as possible is generally legally practically impossible to complete immigration proceedings and the 28thtypically been used as a guidepost . depending immigration court case load increased by nearly 470,000 cases or 350 percent between 2008 and 2017. in part due to searches in illegal immigration which accompany changes in immigration policy and reinterpretations of prior law . nevertheless, the executive office for immigration review has taken steps to address the increased caseload including by hiring more immigration judges and moving forward with a long overdue electronic filing in case management modernization effort.
the department of justice appreciate the opportunity to work with the department of homeland security, department of health and human services and congress to address these challenges and improve our immigration system the outdated florida settlement constitutes a roadblock solutions for keeping families together once encountered at the border and the department believes that the best path forward is through legislation aimed at terminating the agreement, returning to the law and enforcing our nation's immigration laws. additionally, dhs and hhs's regulations will in the absence of legislation serve the best interest of alien minors and their families. thank you for this opportunity to speak and i look forward to your questions our final witness is miss rebecca gabler. director for homeland security and justice with the government accountability office. she leads dhs's work on immigration and election issues.
>> morning ranking member mccaskill and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss gao's work on the immigration court and the alternatives to detention program. within the department of justice, the executive office for immigration review or er is responsible for conducting immigration court proceedings to uniformly administer and interpret us immigration laws and regulations. in june 2017, we reported on yours management of the immigration court. as part of that report we took a look at yours caseload. from this the year 2006 through 2015, yours caseload grew 44 percent from approximately 517,000 cases in fiscal year 2006 to about 747,000 cases in fiscal year 2015. this increase was attributable primarily to an increase in the case backlog. from fiscal years 2006 through 2015 the immigration court backlog more than doubled reaching a backlog of 437,000 cases pending in
fiscal year 2015. we also reported on how your was overseeing and managing immigration court operations and we identified a number of challenges related to workforce planning and hiring among other things. for example, during the time of our review, your estimated that the using an informal approach that did not account for long-term factory needs or reflect your performance goals. we recommended that he or develop and implement a project workforce plan. moreover, during our review we found your did not have sufficient practices for hiring new judges which contributed to staffing shortfalls. analysis showed from separate 2014 through 2016 your took an average of 430 70 to hire an immigration judge. we recommended your
assessment judge hiring process and implement actions identified through section assessment. eeyore generally agreed with our recommendations to these areas and in taking action toward addressing them by for example working on a strategic plan that includes human capital planning and working to streamline the hiring process. we will monitor eeyore progress and responding to address the agency long-standing challenges. with regard to the alternative to detention program, in november 2014 we reported how us immigration and customs enforcement managed the program. ice implemented the program in 2004 to be a cost-effective alternative to detention that uses case management and electronic monitoring to ensure foreign nationals released into the community comply with their release conditions including requirements to appear at immigration court hearingsand comply with final orders of
removal from the country. at the time of our review the program was computer comprised of two components, one managed by a contractor and another managed by ice . the number of foreign nationals who participated in the alternative to detention program increased from 32,000 in fiscal year 2011 to over 40,000 in fiscal year 2013. the increase was attributable to increases in enrollment and average length of time for a national defense in the program. we looked at the cost of the alternatives to detention program. we found the average daily cost of the program per person was $10.55 in fiscal year 2013 while the average daily cost of 10 detention per person was $158. while analysis showed the cost of the program was significantly less than the average daily cost of detention, the length of immigration proceedings affected the cost-effectiveness of the alternatives over time. further, at the time of our report i sent to performance measures to assess programs effectiveness. one compliance with
appearance requirements and two, removal from the united states. for the first measure, for the component of the alternative to detention program managed by the contractor, data from fiscal year 2011 through 2013 over 99 percent of foreign nationals with a scheduled court hearing appeared at their scheduled court hearing while participating in the program though the second measure is the program medic met its goals for removals in fiscal year 2012 and 2013. however, we identify limitations in data collection that hindered ices ability to assess performance and in part because i did not consistently collect performance data for both components of the program. we recommended that ice -its data collection and ice took action to implement that recommendation . this concludes my prepared statement and i'm happy to answer any questions members may have's thank you miss gambler. again, i appreciate the tendency by my colleagues and i out of respect for my time i'll hold my question to the
end so turn it over to senator mccaskill . >> something correct me if i'm wrong, when folks are monitored, the majority show up, correct? >> hpd has proven to be fairly effective at getting people to appear for appearances with ice and up here for some court hearings, yes and after asylum has been denied and a removal order has been entered, the majority of them are no longer monitored, correct? >> many of them are not monitored up to the removal order. >> wine? >> first of all, there's cost . it would be prohibitive to monitor them as some of these hearings go four, five, six, seven years. many individuals get them in absentia because davis absconded . >> to take my point, what i'm trying to say is if we know
monitoring gets them to court and its if the problem is after they know they're not going to get asylum, they no longer show up, it seems tome we need to focus on monitoring at that place . let me continue. >> that's when those individuals will, if they had a brace at all and many individuals now will cut those bracelets. >> the majority of them are not only not even getting those bracelets once they've been denied asylum. the vast majority are even getting bracelets. >> we have a contractor who does work tracking these cases and monitoring them as gao indicated. our metrics are good regard to how we track these cases, how we monitor them. >> i think you do but not after the asylum has been denied. that's the point let me go further with this . mister enlow, is there any reason in the law that you could not organize asylum hearings around the country of origin?
>> i don't know that that's ever been considered. certainly, the department and eeyore take every case on a case-by-case basis and the judge makes that adjudication on a case-by-case basis. i don't know given all the factors that would be in play there that we would be able to organize it around the same country seems the vast majority of these cases are coming from a handful of countries . seems to me it would not be beyond reasonable to try to organize these court hearings around countries, especially if you have enough judges earlier than two or three years and why couldn't you monitor people until that hearing? then when they show, then there deported right there. >> they would have a 30 day appeal period duringwhich time they could appeal the ruling of the judge . >> and they could be monitored.
>> they could be monitored but our experience has shown once individuals will comply with their requirements up until the point where there is no benefit to them doing so so they once they no longer are going to obtain that benefit or have a denied asylum claim, that's when individuals will generally absconded. they will comply to the point where the benefit of compliance is no longer there. >> i guess what i'm saying is it reminds me of how we got people to court. they were charged with a crime. and we would never dream of after the jury found him guilty and they were sentenced, we would never dream of that would be the least intensive time of monitoring and the data shows there is not as intensive monitoring at that point in the process as there is for their initial appearance. >> again, we are experiencing a significant rate of transponders among the units. nearly 3 in 10 families are cutting off their bracelets at the beginning of process , when they been released within days or weeks they are
not even going to get the point where they would get a final . >> have the resources,? >> absolutely not, ice has not been getting resources to affect these arrests in many years. i have 129 operations teams and most of their time is spent going after criminal aliens and i do not have the resources to get people once their at-large in the communities. >> it seems this is a court appearance problem and we are ought to figure out a way to make court appearances more likely. and there are, believe me, when you're facing prison, you don't want to go to court . we have a very low rate of absconding in the criminal justice system compared to the system. though i think we can learn lessons there. for one, hire enough judges to handle the paperwork. and mister, can you explain why you can only hire 100 judges year? >> since the beginning of this administration, we have hired excuse me, over 128
judges. >> like that you hire more. >> a while to get the authorization, now i realize they saw what you said, we do have the authorization but i believe mister mchenry spoke to this at the last hearing. there is, it's not just a matter of getting the judges. the judges are important but it's about having the facilities for those judges, having the courtrooms, appropriation so we can have the staff. the video teleconference system if that's the way hearings are going to be handled and frankly, it's also appropriations to ensure that ice is able to provide a trial attorney so the department of homeland security is a party to these hearings and we need to make sure they're represented there as well. >> would be abetter investment than building families? >> would that be a better investment of hiring personnel ? i guarantee there's all kinds
of places . i've seen hearings in amazing places, especially when they're done with video and it seems like anywhere throwing up roadblocks in the real problem is we have not invested in a system in terms of adequate personnel to actually handle these claims, the longer this goes on, the more likely it is an absconded. i don't think anybody will argue about that. the longer this goes on, the less likely we will monitor and know where people are better supposed to go to court and this is a process that people need to comply with, it's the law. so i think we need from doj exactly what your excuses are that you cannot, and give us the numbers because if people are considering building family prisons and i know how expensive that is, that contractors as far as the eye can see. if were going to go about holding family prisons. as a new policy initiative. i would much prefer to do the hard work of getting the resources in place for the
infrastructure of the judicial system as it applies to immigration and work in a timely way. it's outrageous that people are waiting six and seven or let me be more fair, 3 to 4 years for a hearing. no wonder we can't keep track of everyone. three or fouryears is a long time . and you know, this is one of those issues that i think we need more input from justices as to why it is specifically if it's resources, i guarantee we can get bipartisan support to get you more resources. most of us would rather spend the money on this building family prisons . >> i want to interject because let me help our hearing, to get clarity on the whole judicial process here. and this is how i understand it and please correct me, i want you to clarify this . you have two distinctions, you have attained docket and the non-detained docket, correct?
and the detained docket has a priority given to it. >> we work with dhs to prioritize that. >> is a dramatic difference in terms of the initial completion. as wellas any kind of appeals and everything else . final adjudication occurs much quicker on detained docket versus non-detained. and is there a big difference between our normal criminal justice system where people havefamilies, they've got ways of finding them and a lot more resources by the way to track them down . versus the illegal population that necessarily don't have families that it's actually pretty easy for them to cut their bracelets and blend into society. >> i've not heard of any criminal justice system that has a docket over 700,000 . >> we're just overwhelmed by the numbers and there is a difference between the illegal immigration
population versus our normal criminal justice system in terms of tracking the resources down if they were to start from detention. >> there is a huge difference with regard to that and a huge difference with regard to our ability to locate these individuals. individuals in the country lawfully that we can use to law locate them. they have social security numbers, driver's licenses, that's how we conduct investigations tolocate people. when you have people here illegally, our ability to identify those people and to locate where they are is limited , time-consuming and resource intensive. >> i've seen so many numbers so i'm trying to simplify this as best i can, a very complex situation. in termsof the length of final deportation that we can remove , there's no longer appeals.
they can appeal it and that's when they. how long is that on average on the detained docket versus the non-detained docket, anybody have a good number on that? >> mister chairman, i would note if they are on the detained docket, they can't absconded if they are in detention so there's no lag time in that but currently is taking an average right now to complete a non-detained case of 52 days and after that i would have to defer to the department of homeland security how long it would take to get the travel documents and effectuate their removal. >> i've seen longer figures depending onthe court, i've seen it going for five years . >> certainly the, each docket would vary based on location support and what that court is handling. >> what about on the detained docket, what is the length of time on average? i've seen determination like the one day.
what about to the final point of removal? >> i can tell you where we are in terms of completing the case and i have to defer to icebut 40 days is correct . >> generally, removal to mexico or one of these northern triangle countries is quite rapid, we were close with officials in these countries and we have been on-site in many facilities. we can get travel documents between 3 to 7 days and i will confirm that our absconder rate for aliens in detention is zero. >> and magically my seven minutes are still there. we will go to senator portman. >> thank you mister chairman and this is an important hearing, it's a difficult issue because we are balancing kids coming into our country who we all have compassion for with our immigration system. families coming in, infrastructure that is inadequate to deal with it and we've talked about that today with 700,000 pending cases. there's nothing like this in
the criminal justicesystem in this country, certainly. 700,000 cases pending and with regard to unaccompanied kids , i think it's about 70,000, is that right? do you know? >> it around 80,000. >> 80,000. >> .. >> when these children come in and now when the families come in and the children are in hhs
care, they then go out to these sponsors without adequate screening. that's certainly what our research has found over the last few years. and we have a legislative initiative that some of us on this committee, in fact my two colleagues to the right -- senator carper and senator lankford -- are very involved in this, are going to be shortly introducing to help put somebody in charge, have some accountability. for two reasons. one, to insure these kids are properly treated, but second, to get them to their court hearings and to insure the immigration system is working. we learned that late are last year there was a call that went out, a 30-day call that the trump administration had initiated which, frankly, was not done in the obama administration, so that's a positive step at least to have a call going to these sponsor families to say what's going on, where are the kids. some of you heard this number that 1500 kids are unaccounted for. new data shows that hasn't
gotten much better released probably later today. a number of kids, a couple dozen, had left altogether, had run away from their families. so part of the problem is the fact that we don't have this infrastructure in place to deal with it. and again, it's not easy to put it together, but it seems to me there are two things we should all agree on. one is to deal with the push factors. particularly in the northern triangle countries. because if we continue to have this push to the united states where we continue to have enormous challenges, regardless of what kind of infrastructure we put in place. and second, we need to insure that we have more judges, more expedited proceedings as was said by the chairman and the ranking member. if you have these long wait periods, a couple years, it's far more likely you're going to have problems. and we've seen this in all of the data as we compare the detained versus the non-detained individuals and going to court. a couple questions, if i could, and, ms. gambler, you talked a little about this, the enormous
backlog, the reasons for it. but, mr. edlow, you're with department of justice, so tell us a little more about this. if we allow detention of family units together, what would that do to the detained docket? >> certainly, senator, it would add additional cases to the detained docket. as, if we did not -- if we were not bound by the flora settlement agreement, those cases could move forward on that docket as opposed to being released and placed on a non-detained docket. the department would prioritize its resources and judges to insure that we continue to not have a backlog on the detained docket. we do not have a backlog now, we would not have a backlog then. the problem in speculating too much as to how it would ultimately look, perceptions matter. so if there is a change, a legislative change or a termination of flores, that
would ultimately allow for the detention of family units together during their immigration court proceedings. that probably is going to cut off one of the pull and push factors that you just alluded to before. so that may affect apprehensions, i can't speculate on whether that would. but certainly, the department would put the resources that it has and will continue to gain to insure that we can hear those cases. and i should note that the department has been working already very, very closely with the d. of homeland security -- the with with the department of homeland security to prioritize family cases and to the insure that those cases can be expedited. not accelerated. we want to make sure that the process is there as congress has intended, and we want to make sure that the law is being enforced evenly and fairly. but we want to make sure that these cases are heard quickly. and we can do that now, and we will continue to do that. >> i think it's important to prioritize those cases for all the reasons you said, but we also have to prioritize all the
cases. in other words, we need to bring the back dog down for everybody. and, again, 700,000, you talked about the number of days you talked about which is about two years on average even to get someone to court. and you talked about the fact that there is an appeal process after that. and let me ask you this, and maybe this goes to the entire panel, have you given us a number, how much would dhs and doj need to be able to substantially reduce that backlog, let's say by half? over a period of a couple of years? what resources would be required? >> senator, i would -- >> i'll give this to dhs as well. >> i would have to work with our, with our team and come up -- >> would you do that? >> absolutely, senator. >> because, you know, that's sort of the question all of us are asking ultimately. you know, one, how do you avoid the push factor and do more in central america to avoid so many people coming here without documents and having this system that is going to be tough, as i said, no matter what.
but then just dealing with the infrastructure, what kind of resources are required? senator mccaskill said a lot of us want to put more funds into that than other things. that may be true. because if you could, in fact, expedite these cases, it's much more likely they can be handled properly and that we aren't going to lose people in the system, which is currently happening, and you aren't going to have issues that we talked about earlier of hhs actually putting kids into dangerous situations with sponsors who there is no accountability for. and, by the way, that needs to be dealt with no matter what. i'm not going to get into that in this hearing because that's a separate topic, but we've got to get somebody responsible and accountable. >> senator, if i could add, in addition to adding the judges, i.c.e. is in desperate need of attorneys to actually prosecute the cases. >> right. >> so if you only front-load the judges, you're still going to have a boltneck in i.c.e. because we need the attorneys and legal staff to help prosecute these cases -- >> on both sides. >> and we would need, obviously, officers to manage these cases.
but, in fact, the fy-18 appropriations bill that gave us some additional attorneys, i believe it was 72, the appropriations language actually prohibited them from working on immigration cases. so we've got to be able to get the immigration -- >> mr. edlow and mr.albence, just give us a number, what would that take? thank you, mr. chairman. >> and, again, i would -- total resources, you know? specified, detailed out, you know, everything you need. senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our witnesses for being here today. you know, i've been listening to the testimony, and i'm just trying to clarify in my mind some of the numbers that have been thrown around here, so if you could help me with that, i'd appreciate it. mr. albence in particular, you talked about folks who are in alternative programs and then don't show up for cases, or once there's an adjudication, immediately leave. and yet i'm looking at numbers
here, so help me through this. it shows the data that families on i.c.e.'s main alternative detention program attended 99.6% of their hearings in the first half of '17, and i.c.e. reports an overall success rate of 95.7. and a study of the family case management program which is the high-touch caseworker-based alternative fam pilot for families shows that 99% of families complied with court appearances and i.c.e. appointments. so folks, it seems at least with this data, do appear for their court appointment with 95-99% of the time, is that accurate? >> sure. it is accurate. but there are a lot of caveats to that. many of these individuals, because the docket is so long, it's only measuring their compliance with one hearing or one court appointment because they may have four, five resets or continuances that it does not measure. you're only tracking a small
period of time. so over the long run, what we know is our absconder rates for family units in this year is 28.4%, last year was 23%, in 2016 was 31% and 2015 was 25%. those are hard, firm numbers. with regard to family case management, family case management was a well-intentioned program that, again, the goal was to insure compliance be with court -- compliance with court hearings. overall, the compliance rates were a little less than our normal program and only resulted in 15 removals from the country at a cost of $1.16 million per removal. it was a very expensive program no removals attached to it at the end. >> so this figure of 99% for the family case manager program, you said, is flawed because it only has the first hearing? >> in some cases. many of those individuals the program, they probably never
even completed their case before the program was dropped because of the expense and the inefficiency with actually removing people and getting the compliance with orders. >> well, we'll have to do a deeper dive then, because these are the numbers that have been presented to me. and you talk about the measurement of the program is removals. now, these are folks who went through a court process looking for asylum? do you think perhaps they were successful because they had a good argument to make and a successful case? should we be looking at facts related to folks actually were here on legitimate reasons associate ised with asylum, that we shouldn't just look at removals as the standard measure of success or not? >> >> well, again, i.c.e. isn't in charge of the immigration enforcement. our goal is to enforce the laws and comply with the judge's order whether it's a grant of asylum or a removal. the vast majority of individuals who, even though they surpassed the credible fear threshold upon apprehension and their initial
screening by cis, ultimately a vast many of them do not ever actually file for asylum. and even those that do file, i believe the approval rate is in the 20 the percent range -- 20% range. i don't have that exact number. the vast majority of these people are not people with successful asylum claims. >> the -- certainly with the detention docket or the detained docket in 40 days we process folks, get 'em out, that's pretty quick. and i agree with what i heard from my colleagues earlier, that we've got to be able to have a process that moves that quickly for everybody by hiring judges, having the infrastructure in order to do it. but if i look at some of these costs associated with alternative programs as well that based on the significant reduction in cost that the gao has identified, that it would take 1229 days of waiting for an adjudication and an alternative program before it was more expensive than the detained.
mr. edlow, you mentioned the average is 752 days, so it seems alternative programs from just a cost benefit analysis are significantly cheaper. let's move the process along. i think we need to be moving this process along a lot quicker. in my remaining time, i just want to mention something that i think is very important, and that is what our top priority in all of this should be, and that's the welfare and care of children who are in this process. a host of medical organizations including the american academy of period yacht9 ricks, the american college of emergency physicians, the american college of physicians, the american medical association, the american psychological association and on and on to name a few have all concluded that there's irreparable physical and mental harm done to children who are placed in detention. even brief stays in detention, according to these folks, can lead to psychological trauma and lasting mental health risks. so my question to really the panel is in proposing rollbacks to the flores settlement
agreement, has dhs reviewed the extensive literature discussing the long-term health consequences that detention will have on children? mr. albence, you want to start? >> the regulation-writing process was very extensive. i was not personally involved in a whole lot of that, so i can't speak to all of the things that were reviewed during the course of that process. what i can tell you is that the family -- is not changed the standards which we currently maintain the. the purpose of the regulation is not to change the standards that we have that currently exist. the purpose of the regulation is to bring us into compliance with the flores settlement agreement which was contemplated by the court, and that is the purpose of the regulation. >> how long is too long, do you think, to detain a child in a tension facility -- detention
facility? >> i'm certainly not qualified to answer that question, sir. >> has your agency looked into that and thought about it and and reviewed the lightture associated with that? -- the literature? >> i don't know, i could find out and get back with you. >> i'd appreciate that. >> anyone else like to comment about the review of your organization as to the psychological impact on children who are detained? mr. perez? >> senator, i'm not aware with respect to cbp's particular view of the findings in the report, but we could certainly get back to you on that. i would just echo my colleague's sentiment that with respect to cbp's disposition, when it is that we do encounter children, their health and well-being is first and foremost on our mind. even ifs in our short-term -- if it is in our short-term care. we not only comply with all the standards that we have imposed on ourselves and others have, but nevertheless, go above and beyond the front-line border patrol agents and cbp officers do absolutely everything we can to assure their well-being while in our custody.
>> mr. edlow? >> senator, thank you. the department of justice's role in this process is to enforce the laws that congress has passed. certainly, if congress amends the law to the take that into account, we will enforce those laws. but i can't speak specifically -- i'm not able to speak specifically to the reports themselves. >> well, i would like to follow up, mr. chairman, with all of you to get a sense of where, what sort of analysis has been done by each of your agencies to take a look at this, and i'm going to propose for the record, if i may, mr. chairman, a letter here signed by, i think, over 100 professionals -- 1200 professionals and health care officials who believe even short-term detention can have significant impacts on children. certainly, i would hope that this is something all of you would take a look at, and i think we've got to find out who exactly is even considering this as these proposals come forward. from the testimony i've heard today, it doesn't sound like anybody is giving any kind of
comprehensive, thoughtful analysis of this situation. thank you, mr. chairman. >> without objection, that will be entered into the record. by the way, while you were talking about asylum claims that have been granted, i do have a chart which i'll enter into the record, and we have staff making a copy and distributing it. just to give you the ten-year averages, 25% of asylum claims are granted, 28.2% were denied, 30.8% other closure rates, and that is abandonment, nod adjudicated, other or withdrawn, and finally, administrative closure rate, 16%. and there are some trends involved here too. the actual denial rate has spiked up in the last couple of years. again, that's just asylum as mr. albence was talking about. there's a lot of information, a lot of data, and that's what we're trying to do is try and accumulate all of it so we can get the exact picture of what's pulling off.
with that, it's senatorlandford. >> -- lankford. thank you all for your work. you are carrying out the law and what you've been asked to do, and there are a lot of families across the country that are incredibly grateful for the work that you do. i want to get a couple definitions here. the number has come up, over9 0,000 family are apprehensions. is that 90,000 individuals total or is that 90,000 families, not -- families but we don't know what the number is within that family? let's do a clarification there. >> thank you, senator. actually, for thisfirst car year cb -- fiscal year cbp apprehensions at the ports of entry and between the ports of entry through august is now over 130,000 family units, and that is actual individuals, individuals that -- >> 130,000 individuals that came as a family unit coming through. >> yes, senator. >> do we know how many actual families that is?
so does that represent 75,000 families or groups of individuals, or do you just have a number that's broken up into 130,000? >> it's more typically broken out in the manner which i just mentioned, but we can get back to you. >> that's fine. how do you determine family relationship there? as you've mentioned before in your prior testimony, there are adults that are coming across the border carrying a child with them or bringing a child with them so they can say they're family unit. how are you determining who ises a family unit and who is not? >> thank you, senator. we're using every resource at our disposal. so not only are biographic and biometric databases, our interviews with the actual families themselves, if they are not carrying documents, we will reach into the contacts that we have also. our colleagues throughout the law enforcement community and, again, leaning on the behavioral analysis and skills of our front-line agents and officers to make those determinations, ultimately, whether or not the family unit is, in fact, or the
parentage that's being claimed is, in fact, a valid one. >> do you have to resort to dna testing at times to determine that? >> we don't do dna testing at the border, sir. >> is there an additional penalty for an adult bringing a child with them claiming to be a family member, but you determine they're not, is there any additional consequence for that individual adult? >> typically -- yes, senator. so if we find that fraudulent claim be made, then we will refer that individual for potential prosecution as well as, of course, take great care -- as i mentioned earlier -- of the safety and well-being of the child. >> because at that point that child's being trafficked or that child's being used by the adult for whatever purpose to be able to try to get across the border. then we've got to actually try to find their family. >> and those are the determinations that, again, uniquely case by case that are subsequently made and investigated.
whether or not it was a trafficking organization that was simply trying, you know, to gain profit as many of them will do in marketing themselves to these migrants to take this very dangerous journey, or whether or not it is a serious and more, you're, alarming case at times of human trafficking. those are subsequently then investigated both by ourselves and our colleagues at i.c.e. to make those determinations. and then again, as you asked, determined what end state and/or disposition we will collectively have with the individual that's found to be, you know, perpetuating these illicit acts. >> okay, thank you. thank you for the ongoing work y'all are doing all the time for those kids and those families. we talked about push and pull factor some to do. over the -- some today the. congress has allocated about $650 million in economic assistance for the northern triangle for economic investment there to be able to increase jobs for anti-corruption efforts, for criminal justice efforts to try to help reduce the crime rate.
the murder rate has dropped some in the northern triangle. there has been some economic development that's there, but we have made tremendous investments of around $650 million a year each year into the northern triangle to be able to help them have a more stable environment that people aren't having to flee. at the same time, i'm concerned about the pull factor here because most of the children that are coming as unaccompanied minors, and many of the individuals that are coming as family units are coming because there's a family member already here. is it our policy currently if there is a family member already present in the united states even if they're not legally present in the united states, that unaccompanied minor can be placed with someone not legally present in the united states? >> those determinations are made by hhs, but i can tell you that the policy of that agency is the immigration status of the sponsor is not relevant to their determination as to whether or not a child can be placed in
that household which, from our data that we've seen just recently, you're looking at close to 80% of the people that are sponsors or household members within these rez -- residences are illegally here in the country. >> so that has not always been so. if you go back 15, 20 years ago, someone came into the country illegally as a child, they were not placed in the home of someone who was also didn't have legal status in the united states. the sponsor had to be someone who had legal status or was a united states citizen if you go back in time. so my question is, is that a reasonable standard to be able to have and to be able to go back to, is that we do not have sponsors that do not have legal presence in the united states? >> you're getting me way out of my lane here because that's really an hhs decision. i wouldn't want the weigh in into how they manage their resources. >> mr. perez, what effect do you think that would have on the pull factor?
>> thank you, senator. i think, you know, from cbp's perspective pecking away at any of the potential pull factors that we're seeing that create this spike of movement one that is, again, wrought with danger, wrought with exploitation, wrought with abuse and abandonment at times is something that we're interested in, in seeing. again, as mr. albence suggested, it really is hhs to answer in depth the question that you're posing, but i think a very important point that i'd like to make from the cbp perspective is that in my opening i talked of the complexity that often times i think gets overlooked of what it is is being done at the front line of the border. the national security mission, the trade and travel mission, the drug interdiction mission, the trade enforcement mission, all critical missions that are taxed, if you will, by the surge in migrants.
>> mr. chairman, there seems to be some very obvious things that we can do. senator mccaskill's brought up again the judges, you've brought up the judges and expanding the number of judges. i think that's something we really need to continue to be able to press in on. we've got to have a faster adjudication and due process than two years, two and a half years. one of the issues that we've got to address is this issue about sponsorship. we tend to, quote-unquote, lose children when they go and are placed in the home with someone who's already not legally present who's been living under the radar for years, and then we're surprised when they both disappear. that shouldn't surprise us. that is something, if we're going to take care of children, we've got to be able to find a way to take care of children and not put them in the home of someone who's not legally present here. but that also discourages people from saying you're 14 years old, your dad is already in the united states working, it's time for you to go join him and to encourage that activity and connection point. and the last thing we haven't talked about is the licensing of
the facilities, and i'd like to be able to do some follow up on that because the flores agreement requires a licensed facility, but that has been a barrier to actually get licensed facilities from a state for a family facility, and i think it's created an artificial barrier, and i'd like to follow up on those in the days ahead. >> appreciate that. i think there are some common sense things we can all agree on to start us off on this problem. we do need to agree on the data. 70% of the unaccompanied children are male, 70% are 15 or older. you know, they're not 3 years old. the other thing, mr. perez, we've been tracking this very carefully, you know, month by month for a number of years. a family ap apprehension between the borders. again, this is our blue chart here, and you responded to senator lankford it was 130,000 individuals between the borders and at the ports of entry through august. we've got 90,000 family units between the borders. so, again, i want you to check because, again, we've been tracking this very carefully.
i think potentially -- my guess is it's 130,000 family units, average number in a family is 2.1 is what we have from dhs, so if you'd kind of check that. again, we need to make sure that we're actually talking about the same things and using the same figures, okay? is so maybe you can have somebody find in terms of what you just told senator lankford. >> glad to, mr. chair. >> senator hassan. >> thank you, mr. chair, and thank you and ranking member mccaskill for holding that hearing. thank you to all the member witnesses here today and to the members of law enforcement represented here today, i want to thank you for your work. i had the opportunity to visit some of the ports of entry that cbp runs last spring to look at your efforts around drug interkick, and -- interdiction, and we are very grateful for the hard work and risks that your officers take. i wanted to get down to what i think senator peters began to get to which is what this
hearing really is all about. what this hearing comes down to for me is whether the federal government should be keeping children in detention indefinitely while waiting for a judge to review their case. we are talking about the indefinite detention of children. that's, frankly, not who we are as a country, and it's not what the united states should become. senator peters referenced the american academy of pediatrics. it strongly opposes long-term detention of children. a march 2017 report from the academy notes that such detention, and this is a quote, "can cause psychological trauma and induce long-term mental health risks for children." the report dose on to say that detaining children can lead to physical and emotional symptomses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, behavioral problems and difficulty functioning in school. i'm going to ask mr. albence and
mr. perez to clarify your answer to senator peters. are you aware of that report from the american academy of pediatrics? first, mr. albence? >> if i could just clarify, we don't have indefinite detention -- >> i want -- my question is are you aware of that report from the american academy of -- >> i think i've seen media reports on that report. >> okay. and mr. perez. >> i am not, senator. the -- someone else in the agency may be, but i am not. >> thank you. we'll make sure that you get copies of it. in addition to the american academy of pediatrics, two physicians who work for the department of homeland security came forward in july as whistleblowers. they had both visited detention centers housing children that provided an appalling lack of care including finding -- and this is a quote -- "an infant with bleed of the brain that went undiagnosed for five days." those same physicians stated publicly that detaining children risks permanent psychological harm, placing children at risk
of post-traumatic stress and depression later in life. so, again, mr. albence, have you seen these statements from these dhs whistleblowers? >> i don't believe i have, no. >> and, from perez? >> i have not, senator. >> beyond the pediatricians and the whistleblowers, immigration and customs enforcement itself set up an advisory committee of subject matter be experts to review family detention, and here's what the agency's own advisory committee found. it said that dhs could, "discontinue the general use of family detention." and that in cases where detention was absolutely necessary, families should be detained for, "the shortest amount of time possible." now, given that it is dhs' own findings, i'm going to assume that you guys are dollar with that. are familiar with that. mr. albence, given these findings, dhs whistleblowers and your agency's own advisory
committee, why does immigration and customs enforcement continue to the support modifying the florence flores agreement to allow for the indefinite be detention of children? >> okay. as i previously stated, we do not have indefinite detention. the supreme court has ruled on that -- >> but you are recommending the modification or overruling of the flores decision which would allow the indefinite detention of children. . ..
vote why are you here recommending a set of changes that would allow the indefinite detention of children? >> what we are doing in this regulation is implementing a process as contemplated by the court in its ruling, which is requiring the licensing the children could be held and licensed facilities. we been unable to get state licensure most places, but we've requested and are proposing under this regulation to establish a federal licensing thing which will be similar to what we currently utilizing our standards that would enable us to have the authority to hold these individuals. no one is arguing is not an humanitarian crisis. the numbers show it. >> i have limited time so i'm going ask you to stop for a second because what i'm concerned about is your own agency says that there shouldn't be indefinite or long-term detention of children that it should be as short as possible and instead of going toward the
remedies that could help us, and some that senator mccaskill suggested, some that you've heard other mammals are the panel suggested. instead of those remedies to deal with the immigration surge, you are instead recommending something that experts in child development and welfare ask you not to do. i want to go on to mr. perez. why does cbp continue to support indefinite detention of children? >> thank you from senator. i respectfully explain that from cbp's perspective the modification of the agreement is more so a deterrence and the ability to help deter in marietta that exist throughout the entire immigration container by creating a legal framework that does not create disparity and the treatment of adults. >> i'm running out of time.
i will follow-up with you further. i will suggest her will suggest are often subject to various reports about the impact on children of long-term and a kind of detention. earlier this year we were faced with the humanitarian crisis that president trump created on our southern border. the administration decided the best course of action was to forcibly separate thousands of children from their parents. it was affront to american values and americans all across the country from all walks of life objecting to it. and now the proposed solution that i'm hearing today is to keep children in detention indefinitely. we know that that is harmful to these children just as forcibly separating children from their parents is. pediatricians are telling us ths whistleblowers are telling us that based on the conditions they see on the ground that this is wrong and not for children in the immigration and customs enforcement on advisory committee is telling us that.
not to mention that any parent can tell you how harmful detention and separating us to children. i will support this committee looking forward to this legislation that allows the federal government to indefinitely detain children. i encourage my fellow members of this committee and fellow members of the senate to do that. we've heard lots of suggestions of important part to go ways to deal with the backlog in nature people come forward not only for their first hearing, but also for all subsequent hearing in the immigration process. it is absolutely unacceptable to detain children and have the united states of america, the strongest best country in the world treat children this way because we don't want to do other things that are more difficult. that is not who we are. we are stronger than that. we are better than not and we are far more capable than not. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator hassan, i want to
give mr. albence at a chance to talk. i don't want to see indefinite detention. we are seeing come to give i.c.e. the ability to detain longer than 20 days so they don't have it make a gut wrenching decision is not the father or the sex trafficker, because the whole point would be to provide the resources so we can adjudicate those claims as quickly as possible. those family unit that are eligible for asylum, that is where you do some alternate detention. those that really have no claim that looks pretty much like they're going to be removed, remove them as quickly as possible. i'm certainly not supporting indefinite detention. i don't think that's what i.c.e. is trying do with this administration. >> researcher respectfully without deadlines, without caps, without ceilings coming detentions can become indefinite. we are already seeing and hearing from these witnesses how long it takes for those who were
in detention to be heard because we can't get around to hiring immigration judges were trial attorneys fast enough or paying them enough or resourcing it enough. as soon as we licensed detention facilities that allow children to be detained for longer, they are going to be by definition indefinite detention. >> something i'm more than happy to discuss with you. probably a reasonable proposal. senator heitkamp. thank you, mr. chairman. i think the common interest for everyone here is number one, children. if we can just kind of take away all of the layers and say we are going to focus on keeping children safe. children have no choice on whether they come to the border. they were brought by their parent and now we have a situation matter border where people have legally applied for asylum and we have to decide
what's going to happen. what i will tell you is this movement towards more permanent detention if we are going to call that of minors, what would recommend us that we do that when i look at our current record of what is happening to kids in detention. so let's just for a minute say that we are going to basically allow extended detention of children. i have a couple questions. i raise this issue last time we were all here on the permanent subcommittee on investigations. the issue of sex abuse, sexual assault and rape of immigrant children who were detained under the contract of the federal government. where we have been investigating? where we are reviewing our contractors?
so we have this problem already fits well reported and well-documented here now will put more children in harms way? so where are we at with these -- i think maybe for the department of justice we will start with you. this problem started with you. i think we all know that. started when you decided you were going to separate is that the border. now we have all these kids we don't know what to do with them we can find their parents or their parent may have left without them in there and facilities where they're being abused, sexually assaulted. whose responsibility is it to fix that problem and investigated and prosecuted. >> senator, if i may start, i'm not sure i agree with the premise that the problem started with the department of justice. the department of justice issued a memo involving prosecutorial exercise.
what the department was doing was stating that the federal prosecutors along the southwest border would be prosecuting and accepting referrals for prosecution for the department of homeland security matters involving unlawful entry under 1325 of the act, which is -- >> i'm more interested in what you're doing to investigate instances of sexual assault and otherwise abuse of children in our custody. >> senator come i would defer to the department of homeland security and health and human services. i can't seem to at the department of justice is doing especially if it involves ongoing investigations. >> too big of a federal crime if they're in a federal facility? you should figure that out. you know? i think it would be appropriate to at least ask the question of who has jurisdiction. so maybe we will turn to the
department of homeland security. who's investing his claims and can expect indictments and prosecutions anytime soon? >> i'm not aware of any allegations involving sexual assault in any of our agencies. >> okay. you know, maybe we are lucky not federal government facilities. mr. peres, can you help me out here? >> thank you, senator our office have potential responsibilities is looking into the allegations, some allegations a relatively small number when you consider the half-million annually and admissible that are temporarily detained in the facilities that are meant to only hold people no more than three days. nevertheless comply with the present scepter elimination standards and our transport expert and detention standards.
i mentioned earlier it's quite typically not only designed for the short-term detention, but our front-line agents and officers go over and above to make sure we are complying and we are vigorously looking into the allegations made by glad to share with the outcomes of the investigations are. >> another fairness we are talking about what we will do to resolve this issue of separation of kid, which is a catch-22 appeared barely knowledge with the chairman is saying. we want these kids to be kept with her parents. the american public wants appropriate reactions to people seeking asylum in not letting people get a free pass and because they show up at the kid. i get that. i get we have a challenge here. a common purpose should be preventing children in our custody from being abused either physically or sexually appeared the person not at the podium
today is hhs. right? but yet, they are the entity and they are the organization who's going to be responsible for some kind of extended detention of children and families. so we are caught in this spot where we are trying to figure out how we can best enforce our law and we all agreed that should happen and how we can protect kid. it's always the kids do seem to take a back seat here. and i don't think that's right and i don't think it reflects american values. i don't think it reflects the values of who we are. i don't care if you're a democrat or republican. no one thinks kids should be put in harms way. the department of justice doesn't know that the federal crime if it occurs in a federally contracted facility. that is disturbing to me. >> senator, what i should say is that there is an investigation and there are allegations and that's referred to the appropriate u.s. attorney's
office for prosecution, based on the specs the u.s. attorney's office will make that distinction whether prosecution is appropriate. >> to think it's appropriate to investigate contractors where this has been systematically revealed and discussed and reported? >> again, and the department of homeland security, if cbp is reviewing its through their professional responsibility, certainly favoring the justice department in. >> amount of time. i will tell you this. until someone tells me how they are going to be better regulated and how were going to get these facilities into compliance so that children are not abused either or physically, it's going to be really hard for us to expand any kind of detention jurisdiction. and so, it is really important for me to understand how we are going to create a systemic system of protection of children
whether they are detained for two days or three days in an i.c.e. facility whether they are basically part of the apprehension process or whether a part of a longer-term detention in a college foster care. but the federal government to hhs is advancing. these are not partisan questions. in any scoping of detention. >> senator daines. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the witnesses coming here for the important work you do for a nation. the reinterpretation of the florida solomon agreement that the crux of this catch and release for those apprehended families and presents a hurdle to immigration laws.
we need a solution that secures our border, uphold the rule of law and accomplish these goals without separating children from their parents as a default policy. the administration has made it clear that congress must act and i hardly agree. i'm a father of four, rates for children understand the rule of law is a fundamental part of the foundation and also needs to be protected. i helped introduce two bills that address family separation offer enforcing the law and protect kids. both of these would require families to remain together while the adults illegally cross the border face legal action. furthermore these bills would authorize additional immigration judges and provide mandatory standards of care for family residential centers for suitable accommodations. mr. albence, you needed to close the loophole of the immigration system. how would fixing that better
allow i.c.e. and immigration to the energy there job? >> unfortunately i'm limited to what i can speak based on the fact that the rule is out there right now for public comment. someone at to what i can do and say with regard and i have to limit my answers. from an enforcement to, the transnational smuggling organizations bringing these people are very good at messaging in the triangle in other countries if they come to the united states that they will be processed quickly and released it may never need to appear for court and never have any repercussions or know it's going to be out there looking for them and finding none. that is why you have a continual search of individuals coming to a border. when we had 2014 graded family detention, we saw a market drop of almost 30%, 40% and the
number of apprehensions by cbp because of the fact there were consequences to illegal activity individuals are engaging in. >> yesterday the senate passed legislation that will help combat the menace and appeared crisis crisis in our country before the vote. i went to the senate floor and spoke about the devastating attacks as messing up your use is having in montana. we've seen drastic increases in massive heroin use in montana. 2011 and 2017 there was a 415% increase in mass in the 1042% increase in heroin found in controlled substance cases in the state. furthermore 375% increase in meth found in postmortem cases during the same timeframe. keep in mind my tan is a long way away from our border but the drugs are coming through our southern border. as you point out in your testimony, and increasing numbers of individuals held
divert resources from addressing a number of threats to a nation including transnational criminal organizations and dangerous narcotics that are wreaking havoc in places like montana. cbp has a vast mission i understand it's a balancing act with limited resources. the question is how do we ensure stopping the flow of illicit drugs at the border remains a top priority and how to better preventive strikes for reaching communities communities in places like montana? >> thank you on a senator. first i'd like to tell you that it is for cbp and absolute top priority amongst the complex mission said that we have. that is to stop this terrible scourge of not only narcotics in general being trafficked by these transnational criminal organizations across our border, but in particular the two you mentioned, the ongoing synthetic opioid crisis with sentinel and other synthetic drugs like meth.
this is again an ongoing daily challenge of one that would bring all of our resources to bear. again, all the training and expertise of our agents and officers in the technology we have at our disposal, our canines and our advanced information, targeting techniques. again, working alongside her investigative arm and i.c.e. to subsequent these transnational criminal organizations to the best degree we possibly can. that is why i circle back with this particular topic. cbp is particular interest in what it can possibly and probably do with respect to eliminating a pull factor. we just as soon see those numbers of illegal migrants drop. people again not choosing to take a long arduous and sometimes very dangerous journey but also exposes again to being exploited by human trafficking organizations by other criminal elements and again, criminal
organizations that have only profit in mind and then comment these folks end up becoming victims themselves even more so than where it is they are fleeing from. and so that is why it is so critical for us that these loopholes be addressed in order to bring those numbers down as far as what is actually arriving between our ports of injury. >> every moment you're spending here addressing the issue of illegal crossings is time spent there could be used to stop the flow of illegal drugs. >> thank you from a senator from a senator. as i mentioned earlier, legitimate trade and travel, national security concerns, past the threat or agriculture, economy, all amongst a myriad of missions they cbp has, including
dealing with migrants, which was mainly and carry them as they possibly can particularly when children are involved. it's a delicate balance. >> thank you. thanks for your work to secure our borders. mr. albence, i want to know if alternatives in detention work. >> alternative detention aren't fairly effective tool at getting people to appear at some or all of their immigration hearings. it's a woefully ineffective tool that actually allowing i.c.e. to the removal order issued by an immigration judge. >> ankle monitors come effective or not? >> again, getting people to a hearing they are fairly effective. enforcing a judge's removal order, woefully ineffective. >> last question. has the implementation of the mla hope tice remove criminal aliens?
>> am away with regard to hhs and fingerprinting of sponsors? >> yes. >> regressive 41 individuals thus far we've identified pursuant to the moa. it helps indicate that close to 80% of the individuals that are reverse sponsors or household members of sponsors are here in the country illegally and a large chunk of those are criminal aliens. we continue to pursue those individuals. >> thank you. >> senator jones. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you two other witnesses for appearing here today on this really important topic. i want to talk a little bit about procedure to mr. albence and mr. edlow. are you familiar with the 2016 study that the aba did this that immigrants with counsel or five times more likely to win their cases than those without counsel? are you familiar with that?
>> i can't say i'm intimately familiar. >> again, i've seen some reporting on that is that that nature. >> it seems to be important because that study i have no reason to doubt that study that immigrants have counsel or five times more likely to win their cases. i think it is a testament to who was crossing the border and why and we may be sending the folks in deporting folks that have legitimate cases simply because they don't have access to counsel. so my question for both of you with the department of justice and his homeland security doing anything -- you taken into account in your process is the ability of folks to be able to get counsel because right now there is no constitutional right to counsel. they either have to get a pro bono counsel or try to get retained counsel which is difficult to do. if the ability to get counsel factory under consideration.
>> we have an extensive legal orientation that we work with many nongovernmental organizations to provide legal counseling and pro bono counseling to her detainees. we have them on sight in her family residential center. they actually have office space in one of the first things the aliens booked into that facility experience is that legal orientation program and they have a private room to me to go over asylum claims before they speak with the assignment officers from cas. an individual rearrest, families or otherwise we take into custody with or provide them at free legal services or opportunities for which to avail themselves. >> if you get more lawyers come you mention more lawyers to prosecute these cases i believe also try to expand the legal services ability for immigrants coming in? >> will certainly do whatever we can to provide individuals that they will avail themselves of.
>> thank you from a senator for raising this topic. with regards to counsel as i'm sure you're well aware, the immigration laws do not allow for government-funded councils. certainly if congress could change the law, certainly at this stage the government cannot provide counsel. the role of the immigration judge during the immigration court proceedings is to ensure a fair hearing for both sides. often times that means that the alienist unrepresented. the judge has to step in and ensure that the alienist getting their entire claim out. >> but that also bogs down the process. my experience in court proceedings up almost 40 years of practice now people represented by counsel, the proceedings move in a better pace and much more efficiently.
when you agree with that? >> i would. but you've got to make sure it's an immigration lawyer. a lot of times when pro bono counsel commend there's a learning curve that they need to figure out. in these instances, first of all the judges gave continuances to allow sponsors to detain the non-detained a tennessee council. non-detained get a significant period of time depending on the city where the court is it could be several months. ultimately if the judge decides that the case has to go forward unrepresented common there is a painstaking process that is taking to ensure that alien gets a fair hearing and that those claims are fleshed out to the degree they need to be. >> wouldn't you agree though that someone being detained as a harder time to retain counsel.
the proposed rules to take the ability to get counsel. >> two separate questions. let me take the second one first. so you are aware that department of justice is not a party to the proposed rules. i can't comment on those rules as we are in the middle of the notice and comment. in terms of the attorneys coming into the courtroom, though, there are a significant number of organizations that regularly go to these detained facilities to make themselves available to detained respondents. that may include representing these respondents. it may also be that they put
these respondents in touch with other available pro bono attorneys. so there's a process in place. there is a process in place. i think in a lot of cases it may be easier for detained individuals to meet with a pro bono attorney or even should be legal organization to provide service than a non-detained. to ensure a swift ability to get counsel because i think it will speed up the process. it will help the process and particularly consider doing more to get to these children advocates regarding our court system no matter if a child is injured or whether it's a part of an adoption proceeding, they always have guardian ad litem's to protect their interests and protect their safety. the last thing, mr. edlow,
besides assume you have good equipment to electronic trailing. in 2001 amid your also decided they would go back and implement a filing system. but as of today it is still not out there. we will stutter deal in the dark ages with paper. i have books instead of my ipad sitting here. i've been practicing law in a long time and i know how efficient it can run when you have an electronic filing system. what is going on? why the delay but every court in america is doing these days to speed the process and make it more efficient? >> senator, thank you for your question. you know, i can't speak to a previous administrations did or did not do, what action they were able to take to move this along. i can tell you from. would've been helpful to have a
filing system. and to figure out the kinks were out. >> given a timeline on that? >> senator, i would contact you on that. i'll get you to read information. >> please do for that. >> senator jones, i have a piece of legislation the access to counsel or. the folk should not be denied access to counsel when they arrived. they been previously and been colleagues providing position of medical ex-earth including american pediatrics association and the american medical association. you told us in july i believe, quote, with regard to the family residential center the best way to describe them would be more like a summer camp.
when pressed on the state may come you said that you, quote, were very comfortable with the treatment of the immigrants at the centers. you stand by that statement? >> absolutely i do. i believe the standard over which they are kept are very safe. they are humane. >> to have children or do you know children that attended summer camp? would you send your children to one of these detention centers? >> i went to a code three weeks ago. what we saw there they were receiving excellent medical care. we saw children playing in the gymnasium. we saw families sitting at computers in the library that was well stocked. we saw a cafeteria that was spotless with unlimited amounts of food with regard to when they eat. they live in dormitory settings with televisions, xbox and a host of other recreational opportunities. >> you can understand the
concern and they would voluntarily send their child to a place like that to have a good time. >> the point is they put themselves in this position. they may be illegal entries. that is why they are fair. >> you are here because this is an oversight committee hearing. i'm asking specific questions to gauge your ability to conduct oversight over the operations of your agency. moving on, mr. peres, i'm sure you're aware of the great public outrage seen images of young children, cbp custody in large amounts of cases. they apparently have been given miler blanket and concrete floors for most of the night. in 2018 regarding family separation. have any family's been at the border and if so how many?
>> thank you am a senator. we are not separating families at the border at or between the ports of entry. as i mentioned earlier, the temporary detainment facilities act of the ports of entry run by the border patrol for short-term holdings and they go above and beyond not only close standings on the condition and the care of the family units. >> i just want to be clear we are thinking the same thing. i'm asking, are you saying then that no families have actually been separated since the executive order was signed on june 20th? >> the only instances in which families would be separated as if there is an element of false heritage, a criminal situation with the actual adult and the
child, a health concern or a safety concern for that child. >> since june 20th 2018? >> we could get back to you on that, senator. those would be the only circumstances of the safety and well-being of the job first and foremost in our mind were a family would be separated. >> other than that there were no families that have been separated from the executive order? >> yes, ma'am. >> i've asked repeatedly for information on the number and the data is of any cases if they exist for your agency has referred an adult to accompany a child to prosecution for trafficking and is still not receive that information. so when you're briefing i'm sure you are prepared to answer the question because i ask it every time. how many cases has your agency referred to the department of justice for prosecution or even investigation of trafficking so that appears to be the basis for some of your policies they can
earn the trafficking exists. >> so, thus far homeland security investigations within i.c.e. has initiated 778 human trafficking investigations, has made 1410 human trafficking arrest, criminal arrest, has obtained 759 indictments and 425 convictions. >> since what date is that? >> up through august 31st. >> are those cases where the concern with an adult who was accompanying a child, that's the specific question. adults accompanying a child will arrive at our border, how many of those cases have been referred for trafficking prosecution? >> would have to get back with you on not an look at our records to see. >> when can i expect to get the information you should mark a >> i wouldn't think it would take more than a couple weeks. >> by the end of next week is that doable? >> i'm not quite familiar with the icm and how searchable it is, but what if i know we'll
certainly let you know. >> appreciate that. also, i don't know if it mr. mr. albence or mr. peres, but i'm sure where the affidavits filed december alleging children face limited access to food and modern experience boiled food, freezing temperatures in verbal and physical assaults in cbp custody. mr. peres, are you aware of that? >> thank you am a senator. is mentioned earlier are office of professional responsibility alongside dhs office of inspector general has been investigating any and all of those allegations. we take those investigations in those allegations very seriously as we do with any other allegations of misconduct by either contractors or employees. nevertheless, very confident that given the amount of intake and allegations of cases that there are, again, almost half a
million and they are relatively modest -- [inaudible] 's >> thank you. a few seconds left. i've asked on april 22nd and may 15th dhs officials announced cbp training other pertains to the handling of children as well as training that pertains to the handling of the youngest children in your detention facilities and have not received a response. can one if you tell me where that information is or if it exists at all and that is what you are doing to train your employees or having direct contact with children and their parents on how they should be approached in the least dramatic manner. >> absolutely, senator. i will make sure we respond to you at the laydown of the training we provide. i can tell you briefly are
agents and officers annually are required to take training both with respect to the potential human trafficking concerns, expectation of children are the care and custody of the children in our temporary detention facilities for transportation expert and detention centers. >> information on april 26 and again on may 15th i'd appreciate your sister response. thank you. >> senator carper. thank you, mr. chairman. welcome one and all. i want to turn to a subject that i've turned too many times on this committee. as my colleagues affirmed and that is root causes. i've long been a proponent of common sense comprehensive immigration reform to fix a broken immigration system. it seems to me that a proposal to hold families to address incredibly important part of the equation that is the push factor. so many to see given here in the
united states. it was a privilege to serve as chairman and ranking member of this committee that make any number of trips to mexico to honduras, guatemala and salvador in order to better understand the root causes of migration to the u.s. joined by a number of members of this panel including our chairman and senator heitkamp. what i learned on the trips as many people in this country live in fear for their lives. gang violence is to me ranting. government officials are too often on accountable and many people have no hope -- little hope of a better economic situation for themselves and their families. i think unless we work with our neighbors to the south, working effectively with our neighbors to the south to address factories that these so many to seek safe haven in the west including rule of law unmanageable violence, the lack of economic opportunity --
[inaudible] the trump administration asked for about $480 million to support the a strategy for engagement in central america. i think that is less than half of what was initially sought by the obama administration. it's almost a third last thing this year's appropriation. this despite the fact that some in the administration and commissioner and thankfully they restored president trump scouts. parents and children facing sure death at home are likely that saddam would continue to make this dangerous journey to her borders despite nearly any
inhumane policy this administration might pursue. to take a moment and react about, do you agree that an effective strategy to secure our border would suggest the root causes of migration these rga owes as an indicated senator we found that there can be a mix of fact there is contributing to unaccompanied children they been their country and the united states to include risk factors in their country as well as factors here. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. certainly in terms of the root cause of the migration, you're going to see full factors with what's going on here in this country. we saw that in 25th team when
interpretation came out and included accompanied minors. we saw an increase in apprehensions of families along the border saying that the only reason they were coming, but also when there appears to be a consequence, there does appear to be a drop-in misapprehension numbers, too. we saw dr. president trump's inauguration that there is a 40% decrease in apprehensions for a period of months. certainly, there are so many varied push and pull factors that would have to be addressed in the department welcomes legislation to address those to come up with a more equitable solution moving forward. >> thank you. mr. albence. thank you, mr. chairman. i can assure you that cbp alongside our dhs colleagues continue to invest in put forth
significant comfort in working with our counterpart agencies throughout the hemisphere, particularly in mexico and the northern triangle, dated units, systems and information sharing, capacity building to the extent even modernizing and helping them to modernize their trade functions to address the different push factors. so that does certainly remain a priority for cbp and something we'll continue to put forth an effort on. i would just echo my colleagues, and that for us it is so critically important given the entirety of that like to call it immigration continue and that it is an effort to push and pull factors, which are many that we -- when we ever so have the opportunity to address some of those to again present someone from ever embarking on what is oftentimes a very, very dangerous journey that we would
again welcome those discussions. >> thank you. the speaker a briefing a response. >> i would echo the sentiments of my colleagues. i.c.e. has investigated on its homeland security investigations as well as removal operations in the central american and mexican regions to help to assuage some of the travel. i will often say it is a humanitarian issue and i think it's incumbent upon a to limit those polled thought errors that exist to stop people from making most dangerous journeys. if individuals in those countries know they're going to spend their life savings to get here and run the risk of going through cartels and smugglers and all sorts of horrific abuse on the trip and when they get to this country if they had no lawful right to be here, they will actually be ordered to remove the removal order will be effectuated in a timely fashion. that humanitarian issue will decrease significantly because people will stop making the trip as we've seen before. >> i don't ask a lot of yes or
no questions. i'm asking now. not a trick question. just yes or no would be helpful. would you i'll support a proposal that provides funding to address the root causes of migration from central america which includes ensuring law enforcement they are as resources it needs to fight organized crime, drug cartels and gags? >> mr. peres. >> yes, senator. >> i'm sorry, but a permanent look of the legislation make a determination whether to be supported. >> thank you. would you care to take a gamble on that one? >> of course spending decisions are within congress says authority, this certainly we agree that there are fact there's in the central american countries that are contributing to some of the migration. >> amount of time. >> and we do have a vote call. >> i understand. i just got to say one thing and
closing. we have been funding this prosperity for think maybe 30 years and the chairman has been found in the same place the same places sometimes with us together. i have watched with interest over the last 20 years what has happened in colombia, a place where 20 years ago they rounded up their supreme court and shot them all to death. to go from that point in time to a country that is stable, not perfect, but economically strong and vibrant, and an adult is like to say it's just like home depot. you can do it. we can help. and that's what we've done with columbia and that's what we need to continue to do with honduras, guatemala and el salvador. we can do it -- they can do at the window.
>> before you leap a couple points that you can put my chart up there for my next question. you know, we have traveled down there and we've done a lot of hearings and i think we agree the drug cartels and destroyed public institutions down there we bear responsibility. i want to ask mr. perez roque click the exacting detention facilities run a nonpartisan bipartisan basis praising in 2014 at the height of the receipt crisis, and those are the exacting detention facility cbp is using to just handle it in the continuing flow of unaccompanied children and families, correct? >> they are, mr. chairman. >> they are not designed to keep people in cages. you are finally people through these detention facilities were you to louse them, provide them medical assessment and train with them out of their within 24 hours. >> as quickly and safely as we possibly can and effectively.
>> i want to make sure because right now 2014 we are praising cbp's efforts. now we are calling them cages in the exact same facilities. real quick, that chart i think is pretty telling. a picture says an awful lot. what it tells me is detention did work. we had secretary chertoff in 2008 with the brazilian crisis where there is 80 apprehensions in 1992 and 2005 because of a number of reasons. there were 32,000 then secretary chertoff began apprehending, detaining and removing them back to brazil and a year later there were less than 1500. the obama administration kind of recognize the same point in 2019 precise search as well as family unit that began detaining with the whole process of those that didn't qualify for asylum be returned. from my standpoint it's pretty
obvious that work. anyone want to dispute that? mr. albence, do you think that served as an effective deterrent? >> detention coupled with removal inconsequential they collect survey serves as an effective deterrent. >> i am saying detention and removal. mr. perez. >> i believe the data speaks for itself, mr. chairman with reese back to what it is they can possibly be realized when there is a consequence that are delivered for illegal activities. >> mr. edlow. >> i would echo what my colleagues have already said. certainly in a the a consequence we see immigrations respond to that. >> ms. gambler. >> we haven't specifically studied the issue to be able to make an assessment one way or the other. >> this is like essential human
beings means. >> i would have more broadly not just as it relates to families, but certainly border patrol and cbp have implemented programs to apply consequences to individuals who are apprehended crossing the border and those consequences in part to address which are speaking to. >> mr. perez, you talk about perception in central america. this is reality. the drug cartels, human traffickers, transnational criminal are using these loopholes. they are talking about back in 2012 about daca, come to america and you can stay, correct. the mac thank you, mr. chairman. that's why followed up with my comments about the perception be at times the reality that the loopholes that exist by virtue of judicial decisions and/or
legal loopholes in effect have had and made these perceptions and operational reality by not being able to deliver uniform consequence throughout the entirety of the immigration process. >> mr. albence, do you concur with the fact that the decision whether it is the human trafficking in 2008, these created a circumstance being used in being exploited by drug cartels and human traffickers, correct? >> certainly. not only does our intelligence tell us that committee individuals we we interview, the cbp tells us that the numbers speak for themselves. >> ms. gambler, in your testimony talked the administration had meant it schools in terms of alternatives to detention. that was set at 2899 under the approximation of 840,000. in the program? that is not exactly a stretch
goal, isn't it? >> no, it's not. that measure in particular was fairly new when we looked at the program that had only been in place for two years. i would also add that at least at the time we were reviewing the alternatives to detention program which was a few years ago. that was measuring removals and it was counting whether or not aliens who had been an alternative to detention program at any point during the same fiscal year in which they were removed. i know that mr. albence was mentioning some more recent data and it if it would be helpful i would take a look at that as well. there's some intricacies in terms of the data associated with alternatives to detention program and its performance that might be helpful to the committee for us to provide information on. >> i would say for preparation of this committee for this hearing, all the information i got bottom line we need more information in terms of real
data on detention. sounds a good idea, but there's some real problems we need to flesh out here. these types of statistics may show up to a hearing, and so they give the removal order and then it doesn't behoove them. it makes license to show up to a hearing, but the minute you find out you're not going to get asylum youths gone. those are just commonsense human behavior and of course a very low-level goal. underpromise, a deliverer. that's good business but we need to point out that fact. the final point, the administration is undergoing a rulemaking procedure. this is really a sales pitch to pass legislation. hopefully the course would overrule. they would respect the fact that congress has spoken. to fix this, the administration has undergone a rulemaking which was contemplating, correct mr. edlow? >> correct, senator. in 2001 there was added into the
florida settlement agreement that specifically contemplated the agreement terminating within a certain period of time following promulgation of recognition. >> a couple laws have been passed in when they pass the laws they probably figured they were taking care of the settlement of course they have it recognize those laws basically. >> that's right. specifically dede pra. this is enacted to interpret the agreement. it probably would've at that point. >> okay. i guess my final point and this is why think congress has to act. i know you can't answer that but i'm going to ask you to anyway. is the probability when the administration issues a ruling is going to the process, the administrative procedures act will be challenged in court and not be able to put into effect in basically have the same problem but would overrule the rulemaking. >> i really can't comment. >> anybody want to comment from a commonsense standpoint? i know my view on that.
it's an extremely heightened probability. the courts will intervene in the rulemaking will never be put into effect. >> i would just add that should the rule be challenged following the notice and comment. but i'm fully confident the department of homeland security and health and human services lovers onto those comments that come out of this process. the department will stand ready to defend the challenges as they come forward. >> would be whole lot cleaner and more certain of congress would act to pass law to fix this particular problem, correct? >> certainly. legislation would be preferable. >> customers looking for. >> onto thank you for taking the time in answering our questions. this hearing has definitely been helpful. it's moved us forward. we sell of information and i'm looking forward to future cooperation summit and all the facts and information weekend set an achievable goal, which is this is a more than achievable goal to design a solution on a nonpartisan basis. with that committee hearing record remain open for 15 years
>> it's been 10 years since the collapse of the u.s. housing market and a financial crisis that was close to a second great depression. tonight at 9:00 eastern will say what government officials were saying during the months of september and a sober 2008 followed by a recent event featuring some of the same officials. but in the speakers as henry paulson has served as treasury secretary under president bush. >> you know, morgan stanley is
liquidity hot than bleeding away. john mack was on the phone with me sunday night. i was in my hotel room. i got on the plane and flew back to washington and john mack was saying i don't know how long we can live. they're going to be all around us. so i flew back and i got, you know, i found myself standing up in the white house press room and i felt like if i should just let him understand a single power in the united states of america that will say the disintegrating investment bank that we did not have the authority to do it. morgan stanley would've gone down immediately. i tried to put as good a face on it as i possibly could.
>> good afternoon, everyone. i hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. [laughter] >> yeah, yeah, as you know were working through difficult. in our financial markets right now as they look off her past excesses. the american people can remain confident in the soundness of his lives of the financial system. i commend the sec in the fed for their work over the weekend in communion leaders of institutions for around the world to meet the current challenges and put measures in place to reduce market stresses. >> state department officials were on capitol hill recently testifying on the current date of u.s. cuba relations in the federal response to the attacks on u.s. embassy personnel in havana.