tv [untitled] January 30, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists, committed to our profession's future through our programming such as this one this afternoon while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please visit our web site at www.press.org. to donate through programs offered to the public through our eric freidham american journalism library please visit www.press.org/library. i want you to know that washington, d.c. has declared this week national press club week, so thank you all for joining us today. [ applause ] >> on behalf of our members worldwide, i'd like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's events. our head table includes guests of our speaker as well as working journalists who are members. if you hear applause from our
members, we note that the general public is attending so it's not necessarily evidence of a lack of journalistic activity. i would also like to welcome our cspan and public radio launches. our lunches are made available on the podcast able through i tunes. you can also follow it on twitter using hash tag pound after lunch. after we conclude, we will have a question and answer session, and i will answer as many questions as time permits. now i'd like to introduce our head table guest, and i'd like all of you to stand up briefly as i introduce you. ron burgess, peggy orchowski, spanish outlook magazine, eileen sullivan, associated press. andrea stone, senior national correspondent, huffi ininghuffi
aol. liz spade, managing editor of the "washington post," allison fitzgerald, speaker committee chair. i'm going to skip our speaker for a moment, and we have patty giglio, organizer, david silverberg, editor, homeland security today. david remski, buffalo news and former president. irv chapman, bloomberg, and mike amandi, director of communications and former spokesperson for u.s. immigration and custom enforcement. i thank all of you for joining us today. [ applause ] >> today i'm very pleased to welcome our featured speaker, secretary of the united states, department of homeland security,
janet napolitano. as secretary of the department of homeland security, napolitano leads our nation's collective efforts to secure the country from both terrorism threats and natural disasters. today she will deliver her second annual state of america's homeland security address. as just the third person in history to hold this position, secretary napolitano oversees the department with an evolving and wide-ranging mission and coordinates the government's responses to an increasingly complex and interrelated array of threats. the department's concerns range from border security and immigration enforcement to disaster preparedness, response and recovery as well as the growing field of cyber security. secretary napolitano's tenure at homeland security has been notable for her efforts to address all of these threats by forging new partnerships with international allies, expanding information sharing with state and local law enforcement and
building a collaborative effort to detect and disrupt threats early on. at the same time, secretary napolitano has implemented a groundbreaking departmentwide efficiency review that is aimed at reducing costs, improving efficiency and streamlining operations in order to build a leaner, smarter agency that is better equipped to protect the nation in an era where there is a growing focus on how the federal dollar is spent. vice president biden recently called the department of homeland security's efficiency review a model of effort for other agencies. before she was nominated by president obama to lead the department of homeland security, secretary napolitano was twice elected governor of arizona. she was the first woman to chair the national governors association and was named one of the top five governors in the country by time magazine. prior to that, secretary napolitano served as u.s. attorney for the district of
arizona and was the first female attorney general of arizona. please join me in welcoming secretary janet napolitano to the national press club. [ applause ] >> well, thank you for the introduction and thank you for the warm welcome. it's great to be back at the national press club. i want to thank all of you for coming. you know, established nearly nine years ago, the department of homeland security is still a relatively young agency. its creation represents one of the most sizeable reorganizations within the federal government since the department of war and the department of the navy were combined to create the department of defense. every year our air, land and sea borders and increasely our cyberspace.
they prevent against attacks, they protect the president and the vice president, they help thousands of immigrants become new citizens of the united states. today dhs has over 230,000 employees working to ensure the safety and security of the american people. and jobs that range from law enforcement officers and agents to disaster response coordinators, from those who make sure our waterways stay open to those who make sure our skies remain safe. the men and women of dhs are committed to their mission. and on behalf of the president, i would like to thank every one of them for their service. [ applause ] >> now, as i've said many times, homeland security begins with hometown security. as part of our commitment to hometown security, we have worked to get resources out of
washington and into the hands of state and local officials and spi first responders. we've made great progress in determining our domestic possibilities to protect and prevent terrorist attacks to our people, our communities, and our critical structure. we've supported our nation's network of 72 fusion centers, increasing our ability to analyze and distribute threat information across the country. we've invested in training for local law enforcement and first responders of all types in order to increase expertise and capacity at the local level. we work with a vast array of partners from local law enforcement to the private sector to community leaders across the country, all of whom are committed to doing their part to help keep america safe. and we will continue to build on those efforts. at the same time, we have worked to protect americans from natural disasters. last year our nation saw remarkable examples of resilience grounded in this
work. we saw communities across the country bounce back from a historic number of disasters, from hurricane irene along the east coast to fires in the southwest, from flooding along the mississippi and missouri rivers to the devastating tornadoes that hit the midwest and the south. the tornado that struck joplin, missouri last may leveled countless houses and businesses, destroyed most of the schools and killed more people than any tornado since 1953. yet within days, the school superintendent announced that school would start on time this fall. and it did. and local health officials announced that the hospital would be rebuilt. and it will be. and the city manager was already drawing up plans to rebuild the city's downtown, currently underway. i could relate similar stories from alabama to connecticut from new england to north dakota. as we have seen time and again,
americans are by nature a resilient people. our role is to be part of the team that fosters that resilience and strive to continue doing our jobs better and more efficiently. our experience over the past several years has made us smarter about the terrorist threats we face and how best to deal with them. we've learned that we can apply different protocols in different cases depending on the information we possess about both the individual situation and the threat environment as a whole. for instance, not every traveler or piece of cargo poses the same level of risk to our security. the key to evaluating potential risk is information. by sharing and leveraging information, we can make informed decisions about how to best mitigate risk. and the more we know, the better we become at providing security that is seamless and efficient. we can also free up more resources to spend on those
threats or individuals we are bound to encounter but may not know much about. the known unknown. think of it this way. if we have to look for a needle in a haystack, it makes sense to use all of the information we have about the pieces of hay to make the haystack smaller. this approach not only makes us safer, but it also creates efficiency within the system for travelers and for businesses. good, thoughtful, sensible security by its very nature facilitates lawful travel and legitimate commerce. simply put, our homeland security and our economic security go hand in hand. and accordingly, security measures should, to the greatest extent possible, be designed to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods while securing our critical infrastructure. the movement of people and goods and ideas has always driven the development of nations and
provided opportunities for economic growth and prosperity. in recent years, globalization has brought more diversity to world trade. within the american economy, trade with our international partners accounts for roughly one quarter of our gdp. in other words, our economy is dependent on our ability to secure and facilitate the flow of people and goods to and from our shores. and a crisis or vulnerability in any part of the world has the ability to impact the flow of goods and people thousands of miles away. a passenger originating in ghana or a piece of cargo from yemen can threaten a plane bound for o the united states. massive flooding in yemen can slow things down, just as a tsunami in japan can grind things tie halt.
we must be able to look beyond our physical borders and develop strategies that can originate both here from home or the other side of the world. now, as the federal department charged with regulating the flow of people and goods in and out of the country, dhs has been transforming how we approach the relationship between security and trade. this transition will be a keyon goi -- key, ongoing focus for the department in 2012 as we supply an information-driven security. being able to identify things helps us identify the risk at every possible moment. we must recognize that are not exclusive. we can enhance security while decreasing wait times, expediting travel and keeping costs down. we know we can because we're
already doing so. this year alone, dhs will help facilitate about $2 trillion in legitimate trade while enforcing u.s. trade laws that protect the economy, the health and the safety of the american people. so how are we going to go about strengthening security even more while expediting trade and travel? one key way is through trusted traveler and trusted shipper programs. these programs rely on mutually agreed-upon information sharing which allows us to know more about a traveler or piece of cargo before it begins its journey. at the same time these programs provide an economic benefit for the individuals, countries and companies involved by expediting the movement of the goods and people that are critical to their business. for example, global entry is a program that allows us to expedite entry into the united states for preapproved low-risk air travelers.
more than 1 million passengers have already joined global entry. and president obama recently announced that we will be expanding the program in 2012 as part of the administration's efforts to foster travel and tourism. we've also been expanding tsa precheck, a domestic, trusted traveler initiative that enhances security by allowing us to focus on passengers we know less about and those who are considered high risk while providing expedited screening for travelers who volunteer information about themselves prior to flight. precheck is currently available to u.s. citizens who are already members of existing cbp trusted traveler programs as well as eligible airline frequent flyers. precheck passengers may be referred to a lane where they will undergo expedited screening which can include no longer having to remove shoes, laptops, jackets or belts. efforts like tsa precheck
represent an important evolution in the way we handle airline security as we shift away from the one size fits all model of passenger screening to one that is risk based. and what's critical is that both of these initiatives strengthen security while expediting travel for those travelers we know the most about. we're applying these same concepts in the area of cargo security. as part of a broader cargo security initiative, we now allow participating shippers to screen air cargo following the strict standards to support the 100% screening requirements of the 9/11 act of cargo transported on passenger aircrafts. we're reviewing our foreign partners' cargo screening to determine whether their programs provide a level of security commensurate with the united states air cargo security standards. those who meet the requirements officially recognize and conduct screening for traveling through the u.s.
we're also working with 80 countries to prevent the illegal theft or diversion of precursor chemicals that can be used to make improvised explosive devices or iuds. through these efforts, we've already confiscated 62 million tons of these deadly weapons. for companies that undergo extensive vetting and meet stiff criteria. just last week, i announced a miniscule wide. this allows a whole new approach to global systems with two sufficient goals. our efforts will be guided by three principles. we'll find smarter, more cost effective ways to address security threats and maximize
resources. we'll follow private sector partners in strengthening supply chains, and we will enhance our coordination with the international community and international stake holders who also have key supply chain roles and responsibilities. >> like the aviation system, our physical borders, both land and sea, serve not only as a crucial line of defense when it comes to our security but also as a critical intersection of international commerce. the obama administration has undertaken one of the most serious and sustained actions to secure our borders in our nation's history. and it's clear from every measure we currently have that this approach is working. on the southwest border, illegal immigration attempts as measured by border patrol apprehensions that decreased 53% in the past
three years and are less than 20% of what they were at their peak. while seizures of illegal drugs, currency and weapons are all up. we've increased our border patrol to 20,000, more than double the size of the border patrol in 2004. as we work to combat illegal crossings, violent crime in u.s. border communities has laid p d plid. aerial surveillance and cameras and sensors along the land borders, these kind increased with land power and infrastructure, gives the partner a chance to look at activity. we've invested heavily at our ports of entry, including over $400 million in recovery act
furnds to facilitate and. ports like san ysidro and ugallis. last year we stepped up coordination with canada, to speed inspection of goods like car parts so factories on both sides of the border can operate more efficiently. we continue to work closely with our mexican counterparts, to ex continu continued. these efforts are not only speeding legitimate trade, they're also stopping illegal goods from entering the country, gooz that could undermine that went into the rules. in 1979, we found goods worth
$200,000 after sending them a mobile watch. it increases 410 fiscally in 2010. when it comes to people, our torture balance. while urpd the greatest law possible under current law, fostering his. the bottom line is our current immigration laws are sorely outdated and in need of revision. president obama views such revision both as a matter of fairness and economic necessity. while we clearly need them to act on immigration reforms.
we've reduced -- you have recognizing. we have approved and -- we're ending practices that break up american families by shortening how long the spouses and children of american citizens must wait abroad for a u.s. visa that we know they're going to obtain. for the first time, we've actually prioritized our enforcement resources so we can concentrate first on those individuals who are in our country illegally and who are also committing other crimes. we're also focusing on the removal of repeat immigration violators and recent border crossers before they enter our country's interior. this year we began reviewing the hundreds of thousands of immigration cases languishing on the immigration court document
to speed the removal of criminal aliens while mysteriously closing, such as student who were brought here through no fault of their own or members of the military. we've also focused on employers who hire illegal and incomplete who follow the rules. none of these beds meets statutory reform. it need to both meet our need and ideals. today in high security and. thaet why the area of sib ermsecurity and helping to secure a marketplace for the exchange of goods and ideas. we're deploying the latest tools across the federal government to protect critical systems while
sharing timely and actionable security information with public and private sector partners to help them protect their own operations. and beyond protecting the computer networks of the civilian side of our government, we're leading the systems and et networks that provide the federal telecommunications industry. we've now demonstrated relatives from other -- we continue to work with the government and law enforcement agencies and the international community to mitigate the risks and reduce the potential for a malicious actor to be successful. last year our computer emergency readiness team responded to more than 100,000 incident reports
and released more than 5,000 actionable cybersecurity alerts to our federal, state and private sector partners. and we are working with our international law enforcement partners to share expertise and resources to combat electronic crimes such as identity and intellectual property theft, network intrusions and arrange financial crime. these efforts show results. the resemp service shows $5.6 billion and $1.5 billion through cybercrime investigations. at the same time, i dismantled more than 140 transmantle criminal investigations, keeping them from taking $1500 the control technology. one break and the supply chain
can put an entire company at risk. small businesses are inextricably linked to the smaller energy world. and in many instances are seeking entire renovation. in fiscal year 2011, dna recorded almost billion in prime contracts. our investment in businesses of all sizes is paying for the development of new tools. our commercial approach and elevations done by industry is to support the. the initial facilitates action among industries to develop technology and more cost
effective. businesses are also central to rebuilding a community after a disaster or other tragedy strikes. it's why, led by fema, we have changed how we work with businesses before, during and after ave. we have seen that the more we do to make sure for disaster, and that will rebound. >> that has to do with major consequences. last year we investigated many disasters, record fires across the southwest, record fires in the southwest and record storms. we have shown we're dedicated to helping communities rebuild after disaster strikes, and one of the many new ways we do this is by rewarding contracts to local small businesses and then
adhering to this principle. high local, bilocal, and helping communities get back on their feet. last year i had the opportunity to attend the opening of the memorial at new york city. that remind and the other one stands as a memory of those we lost and we'll never forget. but the memorial must serve another purpose. they must stand in a dangerous world and as our signal that we will always come back stronger with adversity of the we've learned a great deal about how to better serve our country but remain aware of how a terrorist attack or national disaster can
afflict people far beyond our control. dhs must continue to evolve as well. and while we resolve to remain ever vigilant against another 9/11 style attack, we also commit ourselves to deploying security members that promote the movement of goods and people and that build on our national resilience. today we're bringing new strategies to this effort, not only to confront an ever, and protect what makes our nation great. >> we will do even more in 2012 and beyond. so thank you for your attention today and your continued engagement. thank you very much. [ applause ]
>> what do you think is the biggest threat america faces snowed. >> i don't rank them in that way. it's not like top ten basketball teams. i think we have to constantly be vigilant against a range of threats. you know, terrorism didn't begin with bin laden, it's not over with his death. there are other al-qaeda-related groups and we have the growth of homegrown extremists. so working on counterviolent extremism. the whole range of treatments that can interfere with the movement of people and goods, which i just explained, or cyberspace. i think cyberspace is an kre increasingly busy area for all of us. you never know what mother nature is going to do. that national capacity building. that means that when you have a