tv Acting CBP Commissioner Briefs Reporters on Migration CSPAN September 9, 2019 1:02pm-1:46pm EDT
failing when often it was things outside of the control schools. and i think in education we need to safe schools can fix everything, there's a lot of things happen before school and outside of school that we need to deal with but it may not be in education policy. >> emerson georgia on the line for republicans. >> yes, ma'am. i have no grandkids but yes i had to pay school taxes and healthcare and free schooling and free tuition i don't know why the government is trained to control us and psych elizabeth warren, she got into school and i think she has to pay that money back and one more thing, my sister that works at the
school system -- >> good morning and thank you all for being here. as a commissioner, i am pleased to announce that the official release of statistics for the month of august. i said this many times, congress has failed and continued to fail the past legislation to address the crisis of the border which would ultimately stop children from being used as passports and in the car until tricks with the population as well as the laws, the trump administration has taken a number of unilateral actions. first, let's discuss the results of the ministration incredible efforts. during the month of august, cbp apprehended or deemed un-apprehensible, 64000
individuals, for july if you recall that number was over 82000 which represents a decline of 22%. moreover, the august number reflect, this is critical, the august numbers reflect a 56% reduction from the peak in may which you recall which was over 144,000 individuals. and why, why do we see in 90 days, a 56% reduction? the president has made it very clear that he is going to use every tool available to him in this ministration to address the unprecedented crisis of the southern border. we have seen historic agreements and policies put in place by this ministration. unprecedented network of initiatives from regulatory reforms, policy changes, interior enforcement efforts, the list goes on and on with this ministration has done that
resulted in the 56% decrease in addition to that let's talk with the government of mexico. the government in mexico has taken meaningful and unprecedented steps to help curb the flow of illegal immigration to our border. let's talk about a couple of numbers, mexico's apprehended approximately 134,000 people so far this calendar year, last year 2018 calendar year, the entire year of 2018, 83000, that's a substantial increase of apprehension that the government has apprehension. since june then deployed mexican troops and created the national guard within their country. 10000 troops to the southern border, 15000 troops to the northern border with the united states. again, unprecedented support and cooperation for the government of mexico.
i'm in ago a little bit more into the government of mexico what they have done but they need to do more. i'll talk about that in a second period the international outreach to the government of central american countries is also beginning to yield effective and positive results. particularly the efforts to stem the search of illegal migrants crossing the southwest border into disrupt alien smuggling organizations. additionally, the northern triangle countries specifically along with the government of mexico have joined the united states as true partners for the first time, they are seeing this as a true regional crisis that needs continuing coordination, cooperation effort and this is not just the united states problem. this is a regional crisis that needs regional support and regional solutions.
third, again, this goes to the sport that the government of mexico is providing, the migrant protection protocols i'm sure most of you heard mpp have also helped, tens of thousands of individuals arrive at the selfless board every month. many attempting to inter-hilly country illegally. these individuals because of the broken asylum laws have been released into the united states as they wait for the asylum hearings. these proceedings can take yea years, a host of reasons, a shortage of immigration judges, backlog, the list goes on. additionally, many never stick to the process and never continue to go through the final stages and even when they receive a final order of removal, they still remain in the united states illegally. those are facts. under mpp, aliens who are entering or seeking asylum in a mission to the united states from mexico, illegally or without proper documentation may be returned to mexico and required to wait outside the
united states for the duration of immigration proceedings which take place in the united states. the government of mexico has agreed to provide them while they are waiting in mexico with appropriate humanitarian protection for the duration of their stay. here's a couple of key points mpp, it discourages the abuse and expectation of u.s. laws and non-falls of filin asylum claim. it helps provide a safer process down the southwest border. and unlimited resources and helps free up time as those implement in the process to the migrants who may legitimately have a merit-based claim. as of september 1 of this year, cbp has returned more than 42000 individuals to mexico under the mpp. let me emphasize the point that i made a minute ago.
even though mexico has stepped up unprecedented, they have enjoyed the united states as well as the northern triangle partners and really stepped up as true partners and really seeing this as a regional crisis, they've stepped up and unprecedented ways and we need them to do more, we need mexico to do more, we need to make sure that they are sustaining efforts right now in the national guard, the 25000 troops they deployed stay on target and stay on task. we need them to continue to join and expand the mpp which is a game changer right now. the mexico needs to continue to work with the intelligence folks to use information, share intelligence and develop target enforcement actions in strategic locations and their country. they are stepping up and unprecedented ways but we need them to continue to sustain and we need them to continue to do
more. lastly deterrence, president trump is making it clear that if you come to the united states of america, illegally, you will be removed, if you come here, as an illegal alien in the united states and commit crimes or illegal take jobs, you will face consequences. let me talk a minute about the border wall. just the little topic in the news, president trump has made it very clear that we will build a wall on the us-mexico border. and that of the cbp commissioner, that is exactly what we're doing every single day. together with the united states army corporation of engineers, cbp has constructed more than 6d more than a border wall, it's a border wall system and now that we have the secretary of defense authority to use additional 3.6 billion, were hoping to build between 45500 new miles of
border by the end of 2020. i want to make sure i emphasize something as a cbp commissioner, the border patrol leadership, they want this wall. this is not a vanity project in one of the false narratives out there has been. i heard it numerous times. this president has delivered to the expert to the border patrol, the leadership and ask what they needed, one of the key things they said they needed was the wall. this is not just a wall that is being built right now, it's a wall system, access roads, technology and when asked, the leadership, universally has said the wall works. where it is been used in the past, history is shown the numbers go down, facts and history show that. we've been saying for a very long time the experts have been saying when they were asked for the president, this wall is absolutely needed to safeguard
and secure our southern border. in patricia, technology and personnel. where that is implemented and effective in a strategic location, it works. the experts say it works, the experts have asked for this and this president and this ministration has delivered and will continue to deliver. as we said from the beginning, that wall is an integral part of the strategy. in closing, president trump has used every tool available to address the human attorney security crisis at the border. the entire family including ice in u.s. eis with cbp to keep secure and restore integrity to the immigration system. i as a commissioner cannot be more proud of the men women of the customer border protection who support what they do and steadfast devotion to their mission and rule of law and in
doing so with humanity and compassion. let me summarize, by reiterating, we are absolutely encouraged by the downward trend of apprehension numbers but we know these numbers could we spike upwards, history has shown that, we've seen it happen in the past. we cannot rely solely on the government of mexico or central american partners to solve the factor created by the broken system unless the law changes, these numbers will rise again next year just as we have seen in the past. we will face the same type of crisis we have for way too long. congress must absolutely act and have meaningful legislation to address the loopholes in the current system if organ have a durable lasting solution to the crisis. i will take your questions. >> can you address the complaint of minors in custody. secondly are we giving up, we
are told that mexico would pay for the wall? >> let me take your first question, the allegations of abuse, we have talked about this a lot, one of the things i did with cbp a few years ago in 2014, it was acting commissioner of the internal affairs, for my personal knowledge, every single allegation that is brought forward with any type of abuse or violation of policy is absolutely investigated to its fullest. not just investigated by cbp, they have a take at it. i am confident that i can say, every single allegation is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly and when appropriate appropriate discipline is utilized. so your second question, the wall as far as who's paying for,
as a commissioner of cbp, i don't care, that is political and for politicians to decide. as a cbp conditioner under commissioner, everything a mile that is built, this country is more safe in every single wall that is built, it allows a border agent to exponentially increase the capacity to do their job, that is what i tell you. >> the judge in california has reinstated a ban on the ministration policy that restrict migrants ability to apply for asylum at the southern border. what is your reaction to that? >> my reaction, i am frustrated the unprecedented judicial activism that we've experienced every single time that this ministration comes up with what we believe is a legal policy that we believe that will address this crisis, we end up
getting -- it's frustrating but we will keep going. we will continue to work within the current legal framework to address it. here's what's frustrating to the market people, this ministration, we keep having to go outside the box, within the current legal framework to come up with new initiatives and policies and regulations because this congress will not do their job. this congress, i've talked to multiple people on the hill, i told them exactly what they need to do to pass meaningful legislation that would in 85% of the crisis, if you could put on one piece of paper in half hour and they refused to do so. that's what should frustrate the american people. >> first of all, no one asked about using resources like personnel and finances related to the united states military. is that making a difference that you thought it would and are you sensitive to the pushback, we heard from a number of people that engage in the military in this particular fight is not the best use of their time. >> what i would say, it would be
way outside mailing to talk about the impacts of the military or the funding, that needs to be left up to the secretary of defense. here's what i will say, i have full confidence that he would not approve either the utilization of resources or funding that will impact his job to carry out the security mission. but what i will say, cbp were doing a mission to. the crisis at the southwest border is not just a humanitarian crisis, it's a national security crisis. again, every trip that is assigned there, we are helping with the national security crisis along the southwest border. every mile is helping as well. [inaudible question]
>> i think that's a great question, that shows this a ministration effort, as congress continues to fail and put anything out there, ever brought anything to the floor so mr. kershner as well as a team, they are trying to put together, has a plan that hopefully get traction. the justice is working with that, i personally am having a dialogue and discussion so that, it would be great to put something together that is meaningful that we can get bipartisan support to in the crisis, i applaud his efforts. >> thank you, sir. two questions,. >> only one question. >> you attribute the drop in apprehensions to the president's policies but isn't it also true that apprehensions always drop and also,.
>> let me take the question, that's a good question, that's a false narrative out there. the past five years, due to seasonal reasons, we have seen on average those numbers drop about 80%. so if you look from the june to july. we've seen them drop 40%. generally from july to august, last year from july to august, an example the numbers went up 16%. this is a season where they start going up. this year, down 23%, absolutely with this president and this ministration is doing has to do with seasonal trends. >> the second question, you just complained about judicial activism and having policies enjoyed by the courts, isn't it also just as possible that the
policies that are being allocated don't comply with the law? is it that the judge's job to decide what is legal and what is not. >> the judge's job is not to make law, but the big thing in this country, i believe it's a big problem in this country. we can disagree an illegal premises and have argument. that's what courts are there for. not to make the law and the judicial activist decisions, the trying to make law instead of interpret that. n[inaudible] >> reno central american families, how has the policy affected that? >> at the height may, we saw 144,000 staggering catastrophic numbers and redo between 65 to 70% where family units around the company minors. because of the broken law, that meant that mean six affected 75% into the united states, never to
be heard from again. and the numbers continue to drastically decline 57% in 90 days, so has the demographic of this month, this month and fell from 65 to 75 -- 70% ivy. >> i understand the ministration has 65 miles of new border wall bill. is that smaller more course border system? when can we expect the ministration to break ground on border wall where the has not previously been any barrier? >> i'm glad you asked that question, there is a false about that no new wall has been built. i'm here to tell you that the commission of cbp is a lie. every mile of wall that is being built is a new mile of wall it's a wall system and a curated lighting, technology and access roads. if you go to those areas where there is pedestrian barriers in
the landing mat where they can knock over car or cut a hole in it in seconds. and you asked the agent, that's the new wall. i think the fair way to categorize this, where are we building new linear miles. it is not just where the physical barrier. by 202400 to 500 miles, right now we have current projects that are slated which will easily reach 100 new walls under mile of linear wall. [inaudible] >> is a ministration considering offering -- >> i think that is a good question. there is a little bit of confusion out there, this is off the immigration in the southwest border, i think it is clear, cbp
is an integral part of the response framework, part of that is when people are affected by an area of crisis like this, like the hurricane, how can we get them to the united states if that's the best decision. cbp with the entire united states government to support the government of the bahamas is absolutely first and foremost life and safety of individuals. we have deployed cbp of a norma's amount of resources to southern florida to make sure that we can effectively receive people that are coming in from the bahamas already we received two cruise ships, thousands of folks that we have processed, flights are coming, constantly, we have deployed additional folks to the small airport in reaching out to the aviation companies and corporations to coordinate incarnate with the court should enter cruise ships everyday and to do that effectively in a timely process. i want to be very clear, i
rarely seen false narratives, that does not mean we do that for the blind eye. we sought to balance the humanitarian need in the systems of those that need it versus the safety of this country. we still will go through the process over expediting the process, putting more resources down there, we mean the normal fee, i go on and on what we are doing to expedite the process but keep in mind, there are still people that are in immiscible to this country, so people that could have criminal convictions, we will process them and handle them normally to make sure the country is safe. >> in the back. just a quick question about -- [inaudible] >> the dialogue continues, the vice president is going to meet with senior officials from the government of mexico this week, to have the exact dialogue, to
talk through what has been done, what still needs to be done as we continue to go. those negotiations are ongoing. >> are you going to be part of the meeting with mexico? >> if i mastere i'm asked i wil. >> there expecting 450 - 500 miles of wall, they reported that the president would like the wall to be playing in black, by doing that extra cost would shorten the wall that you're hoping to build by 4 miles per hour have you objected to this to the president? and with this make the country less safe? >> i think there's a lot that goes into it. that's why i say 450 - 500 miles cummins there's a lot of factors that go into that. among constant communications with the general that is leading the army corporation engineer efforts and a lot of factors are going there.
the train with a hit when they start getting, the factors go on and on. there's a lot of factors that go into that. to include adding anti-climbing features to the wall as well. painting is one of those, i'm sure they'll be a cost associated and that may impact the number of miles. >> your supporting painting the wall? >> i think we need to strike a balance between making sure that the miles that we build is the most effective wall system that we build with respect to also the number of miles. it's a balance we need to strike and that's what we are doing. >> can you detail how long in the process persons who are leading the miniature crisis, how long are they allowed to stay, can you give more detail on that and also, where specifically is a new area of wall that they're building? >> to question show, with
respect to the bahamians coming in, it really is dependent on the level of reconstruction and recovery, we will make that determination as that goes on, it depends on how long it takes them to rebuild, the united states government including cbp and the first concern is the safety and well-being so we do not support returning people to a place where it's not safe for them to be. with respect to the wall, again that is being built in strategic locations along the southwest border. yuma, california, rjd, laredo, the list goes on. we are working with the army corps of engineers to make sure we striking the balance of our strategic needs and locations and where we can get the most mileage out of what we have.
>> in july in order of congress the hiv test is being used to justify family separation of the border. [inaudible question. >> what the policy is, we are going to look at first and foremost the health, safety and the well-being of the child. we will use a circumstances to make that decision to determine any separation in that the policy, it has been and continues to be. >> specifically on the bahamas, there's instant where there's 100 people fleeing the bahamas jump on a ferry and were kicked off the ferry because they don't have documentation, the cbp has a lot of criticism over that. i just want to get your reaction on that,. >> what i would say about the bahamas, you can imagine any type of natural disaster like
this where you have a huge disaster, a lot of resource going on and responded, there is going to be some confusion. what i will say, that's what it was, so cbp, we are not working intel the crews line that you cannot allow anyone without document, that is not being done. so there isn't confusion there. we will accept anyone on humanitarian reasons that need to come here and we will process them expediting the again if they are deemed to be in immiscible, if they have a long criminal history and been denied entry into the united states previously we will not allow that person into the country, we will process them like they normally would. >> you said, you think families will be kept between 50 - 60 days and they won't be indefinite, those were your words, electrical ministration
damage indefinitely given the report of the children being held in danger personal, will when roaming and general to return that the being held in dangerous conditions. we need to do a little bit more deeper dive to see what you mean in that. here's two things, one is history shows that, history shows about a non-detained document that those released into the united states the backlog takes years. history shows that under detained daca it takes about 40 - 60 days to get to the process and then you think a common sense perspective, why would we want to drag the process out, it's more costly to the taxpayers, intensive resources from all the agencies that could be doing more, law enforcement action for this country. it serves nobody's purpose to make certain drag it out, to
include the immigrants that are here, both on if you're here and you're playing is false, let's determine that quickly in return you to your home country, more importantly, if your claim is found to be merit, then let's get that process quickly so you can be returned and released. [inaudible question] >> i want to stay away, we use the united states as a third country, we are reaching across the aisle just as we did with the government of guatemala to come up with a cooperative agreement to return individuals water model whto guatemalaand o.
>> absolutely. >> i will not speculate, were still in the negotiation which is early and i'll leave that up to the vice president and his discussion this week. think about this from a pragmatic standpoint, somebody is fleeing their country because they feel they are being persecuted for a list of legitimate reasons, it's in their best interest to apply for asylum for the first country that they've entered outside the country that they are being persecuted. that is our design and we believe it's in their best interest. >> with the numbers going down, is there a point in which there down far enough that the national emergency or crisis at the border will be over and in the same relation, back to dhs secretary, why would he promote it pushed mark. >> let me take the second one first, that is out of my lane or pay grade. what was the first question?
[inaudible question. >> what i would say, that is tricky i been asked a couple of times. trying to be honest in transferring without from cbp, if i see daily apps around 500 today, that is manageable, i think what i say, that is the magic number, the magic number is 0 but we have to be realistic but even saying 500, that is not that easy because is not just about the numbers it's a demographics. one thing we agreed on, the dangerous conditions, here's one thing we agree on, we've said from day one that children should not be in border patrol facilities that were designed for single adults, we said that from the beginning. if the majority of the numbers are 500 are kids, no i would not say that is manageable, we still do not have the proper conditions and border patrol in the structures to do that, we will have to maintain the
facilities to provide the conditions that we are providing now which is what we should be. >> i want to clear up what you said to my colleague, about the status, you said yes, are we specifically talking about being granted pbs -- >> thank you for following up. there has not been a formal grant of tps. >> you have the conversation with president trump? >> not yet. >> deplane to? >> i think that the appropriate have that. history shows we've done that before, the history shows that it is taken a lengthy time to get the bahamas back to where these people can return to, i'm sure that discussion will be having. [inaudible] >> following up on the dangerous
conditions, there's reports of explosion and kidnapping is your agency tracking this and are you doing anything? >> you're talking about those waiting in mexico under cbp? yes. >> let me address that, i have read the same report, heard the same allegations, to the state, mexico has provided nothing to the united states to collaborate verify the allegations. here's what i would say, the mere fact that the allegations are here, this does not drive us to want to have intellectually and honest conversation about the core diverse of this crisis, what is at the core driving this crisis, we know that but we are not talking about it, the cartels start exploiting and abusing these vulnerable population before they leave their home country, they are
promising, you mortgage or home, you give us thousands of dollars and we will take you on this dangerous trek through multiple countries because we will promise you that america has broken loss, you'll be allowed in this country, the cartels are exploiting them from day one, taking their money, we heard from independent sources that up to 33% are abused, 33% and once again into the united states, that does not start, there to continue to extort them to pay off the bill for taking them through whether sex slavery or whatever that is. that is the core issue, that's what we want to stop in mpp is doing just that, let me finish this, mpp is one of the most significant things that mpp is doing, they are telling the cartels and the vulnerable population that the game has
changed, if you come here even with a kid, a used to be you could come here and that was your prospect to the united states, mpp is saying that is done, that is a lie, you cannot and you will not be allowed into this country even if you bring a kid, do not mortgage or home, don't pay the cartels, don't risk your life or the risk the life of your family. don't allow yourself to continue to be exploited. [inaudible] >> the council found cbp in violation of dna collection laws for individuals in your custody. when we start complying with those laws? >> remember, i want to clear a false narrative out there, that they violated the law by not doing this and that is inaccurate. previously -- all explain why.
under the department of justice, the attorney general, i'm answering the question if you allow me too. so the attorney general has stipulated there is a waiver and he is allowed the secretary of dhs to decide whether they want to apply the labor. this is the former secretary for a whole host of legitimate outcries of concerns and when they granted the waiver. and to make sure there's no violation of the law, let's fast-forward into today. i believe personally that we need to take a look at this and we need to figure out a meaningful and thoughtful way of where we can begin to look at words appropriate to start. we are currently under discussion with the dhs and department of justice to come up with a meaningful thoughtful strategy to begin that. >> what is the timeframe for
complaintcomplying. >> i don't have a timeframe because we need to make sure if you want let me answer your question without interrupting. we do not have a time because there is a lot that goes into that. it is not just a simple as one day saying let's do it. it's very complicated and this is a dhs issue in a continuum of the immigration process, there's multiple agencies involved, we need to figure out where it would be the most appropriate we could talk about budgetary issues, the impact to operation, ripped a night with the unions, it's very complicated into enter question, we will do this in a meaningful, thoughtful way and were ready to execute effectively then that's when we'll do it.
>> marco rubio said the policy in the bahamas -- i'm not entirely sure. [inaudible question] >> i thought i just that, this is a humanitarian mission, with respect to this, if your life is in jeopardy, even in the bahamas and you want to get to the united states you'll be allowed to come to the united states. whether you have travel documents or not, we've already process people that have travel documents and don't have travel documents. were trying to do that in the most expeditious way we can to support the human term mission. again as i stated before, were
still going to the process, if you look at the time of the process that the first ship came in, had over 1400 individuals, we did that and a couple of hours. it was amazing work that the folks at cbp did. we will still do our jobs and still need the process that we are not letting dangerous people in taking advantage. another example, we had some individuals that brought children with them from the bahamas who lost their mom and dad. so we need to make sure, was there any nefarious activity or doing it out of humanitarian reasons, so for that's what we've seen. we still have to get that out. >> do expect numbers to go up next or, if congress does not act to expect mexico's support to wing in 2020 or workaround for the new policy and rules? why do you expect it to go up. >> that's a great question, i am
skeptical, again make no mistake, mexico has stepped up to be partners and see this is a regional crisis, as i said we need them to do more, their specific targeted areas and we continue to talk that they need to do more. i am concerned with the government of mexico inner partners of the northern tranquil countries will sustain at the level of a commitment that they have. in addition to that, as a country, we cannot rely on other countries, no matter how great their support is to fix the laws, if you think about it cannot be sustainable, that's why a stick to that that we need congress to act, they know what to do in the field the emergent people but not doing so. >> just to clarify you said anyone who is deemed a threat will they be dropped back off in the bahamas? >> of course not, that's why we do the normal procedure, when we see somebody normally outside
the humanitarian process, we will bring them in and have the immigration continued with multiple agencies involved, they can come in, they can claim fear, the normal process, everything will be available to them, if we have somebody that is in immiscible they came from the bahamas we will not return them because it's unsafe but for us, cbp we will turn them over to ice and they will detain them appropriately and continue with the procedure. >> one more question. >> you just mentioned, the administration reached with guatemala, last week questioning the disagreement in the documents yet. what to think about this agreement, is actually like a functional agreement, and also, what other countries are you talking to or having talks to reach an agreement?
>> yes, for a moment of clear vacation, we have the agreement ready to go but it has not been ratified by guatemala. we hope it will be because we think it'll be significant and we continue to talk to not only the northern triangle countries, obviously guatemala, hunters and el salvador, any country that can step up in really a part of the immigration system that is a regional issue. thank you. [inaudible conversations] can you come up to the podium? germany concealed? okay i will. [laughter] [inaudible conversations]
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