tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN May 1, 2015 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT
the whole time i was there, our classmate was the head of the saudi version of the cia. later ambassador to the united states, the united kingdom. i was here with fascinating people at a fascinating time. but it affected me mostly because of the teachers i had. and the people i went to school with and the conversations we had about what was going on in our class we had. it was very different than now. we did not have, my class, foreign service an elective course until the second semester of our junior year. a big controversy. but i loved it. it, i doubt very seriously if i ever would have become president had i not come to georgetown and i'm certain i would not have
done whatever good i did do, i would have done less well if i hadn't been here. >> thank you. this is from dorea a sophomore in the college. sort of two pronged. where do you see this generation of young adults going in in what way is our path going to be dirnt than before? >> what has happened in technology to this day, it will look like child's play. over the next 20 to 30 years. i think most of you will live to be 90 years old or more, unless some accident where you have an environmentally caused cancer we don't know how to treat yet. i think that you will live in a time where the technological
revolution will extend into artificial intelligence and we'll be able to do things we've never been able to do before. i think the combination of nano technology and improvements and the continueing -- of the genome will lead us to have affordable four times a year health exam that will basically involve going into a canister and being scanned and i think one of the biggest debates in medicine within 20 years will be for example since we all have cancerous cells moving around in our body all the time and most of them are just destroyed, one of the great questions will be now that we can see this microscopic tumor, should we zap it out now or wait till later. your life will be dramatically different. i believe that you will be given one final chance to figure out
how to avoid the most calamitous consequences of climate change and i think there will be more economically beneficial ways to do it than there are now. i think you'll have to worry a lot about water. i think california's a canary in a coal mine. i think that will be a big issue. i think you'll have to worry about how to feed a planet of 9 billion people if we go that far. if we modernize enough in the modern world, we may stop at 8 billion because one thing that across all religions and cultures that slows the birthrate is the education of women and the economic development of the poor. so, i think you live in an exciting time. i think that it is unlikely that
these id logically driven conflicts we're having now with nonstate actors will be fully resolved. i hope and pray that we will leave behind a system where we can say with some confidence that we can keep really big, bad things from happening. that's why this negotiation with iran is so important. maybe for reasons that haven't been much in the press. for example, if they get a bomb, then there's four or five arab countries that can afford one. we've got six more people with nuclear capacity, they're expensive to build, maintain and very expensive to secure and if you're going to have a bomb that you've got to have excess material and that's what you'll have to watch. when you grow up. what about the excess? because any country that uses a big bomb knows that it can be annihilated. but that material it's i
consider it a minor miracle of the modern world that the fis l stocks of pakistan as far as we know even though mr. khan gave all the nuclear technology to north korea and others, as far as we know, their materials have not been stolen, sold or given away. so, i think you'll have to worry about all that. but i believe that you'll live longer have more options and you will we will probably not have fully resolved the problem between growing productivity and adequate employment. but i do think we'll do a better job in the time you're raising your own kids and living your own lives. i think we will do a better job in figuring out how to more fairly apportion the waelt we are creating. i think there will be more shared prosperity, but what
nobody can really tell you is that if we've entered a period where the technological changes are so rapid that we won't be able to create enough employment in a conventional sense for 40 hours a week to keep the populous employed so if that happens, we'll have to think about some radical changes in the arrangement of labor. carlos slim said the other day, he's pretty smart. that he thought some time in this new century, we would maybe be down to a three-day workweek because of the breathtaking increases in productivity. if so, have at it. have a lot of fun on your leisure time. not forget to surf. >> this may be the easiest question or the toughest. what was your most difficult decision as president or otherwise?
we can pass. >> the ones i had to make? >> yeah. >> well, interestingly enough they weren't the ones that were the most politically unpopular. like i said, 80% of the people are against what i did in mexico. easy decision. 74% of the people were against my first act which was to put together a big aid package for russiaful they were then so poor in '93, they couldn't afford to bring their soldiers home from the baltic stalts. a majority was against what i did in bosnia when we started. the most difficult decision were my version of the aids crisis. i ran for president because i
thought trickle down economics was wrong. we had a robust economic climate for most of the 1980s. and ordinary people weren't for that at all. poverty had gone up. wages were stag nat. and i wanted to give the middle class a tax cut and right before i was elected, the government said oh, by the way, we, the deficit's going to be twice as big as we told you it was. oh, by the way. i could play like it didn't happen and present my original plan or go back to the core strategy, which was to get america growing again, we had to bring interest rates down. we had a normal economy inflation, interest rates were getting high. and they were higher than inflation.
so my gamble was if i could get interest rates down, there would be this huge amount of private investment which would overcome the contractionary impact of the plan i presented, which called for spepding cuts and tax increases, but i hated to give up something i really wanted to provide and i had to choose that or doubling the earned income tax credit. which benefitted lower income workers and i just don't think a society as rich as ours should allow anybody to have kids in the house and work full time and still be in povrerty. i just think that's wrong. so, i did it, all i heard for two years he broke his promise on the middle class tax cut. the interest rate declined to $2200 to the average family in lower mortgage rate, college loan rates and credit card rates.
and when we passed a balanced budget bill, we passed a middle class tax cut, but that was a hard decision. it was hard for me not to act alone in bosnia. we all knew what serbia was doing in bosnia and i sent my then secretary of state warren christopher around europe and asked them to help and they didn't want to do it and thousand reasons why. and i decided i shouldn't do that because it wouldn't be sustainable. the europeans had to buy in. they had to own the fact that if they wanted europe that was united, democratic and free for the first time in history, the balkans were going to be part of it and so, i waited until we could get a unified response. it was a painful wait. a lot of people died in that
wait. some of the decisions i regret most were not hard, but were wrong. we didn't even talk seriously about whether we should send troops to rwanda because the public was exhausted with what happened at black hawk down. and somalia. and because we were involved in bosnia and that was much more in the news and frankly, we didn't have any idea they could kill 10% of the country in 90 days with machetes essentially. so, sometimes, the things you regret most were not hard at the time. we should have been a little harder. i'll always regret we didn't have a long drawn out debate on it. didn't even really discuss it
and i spent my life trying to make it up to rwanda and i'm about to get there, i think. i'm working on it. >> this is a question i wanted to ask. earlier on, you committed yourself to public service. you outlined your fundamental purpose. vocational commitment like that did you ever go through a time when you really questioned, say, what am i doing here? and tempted to withdraw? >> just to give it up? >> public service. >> well, i did a couple of times when i was governor. i was governor a long time. at least i proved i could hold down a job. but i, you know, i served a very long time and people of my native state were good enough to elect me five times. based on recent events, i don't know if i could win again down
there, but so, there were times when i just got burned out, you know? but i never wanted, i'd always find something new to do. and i told people one reason i loved being in public life it was like peeling an onion that had no end. there was always another lair. it was always something new, interesting. always something to engage the imagination and stretch your capacities. so i did and when, when the president were hot on our white water business and i realized i knew it wasn't on a level, there was nothing to it and that there couldn't have been, i invested in a land deal and lost money. the guy later went in the business and failed the smallest
in the country and i didn't ever borrow any money from them. it was a made up deal. it was heartbreaking to me to see otherwise sensible people treated like it was something, but it never made me want to quit. i was raised had an unusual upbringing, but i was raised not to quit. we're not big on quitting in my family. you may notice that. the -- and -- so, it was awful. but i learned to kind of just wall it off. and i think you know i also felt maybe this was arrogant and i shouldn't have felt that way. but i spent a lot of time when i was president reading the history of other presidencies including not well-known presidents.
and i realized that the success of a given president is it's first, determined by the time in which you live. i mean you're going to be a great president or flop depending on whether you try to be a gave or he gave us a democracy. he made the right decision therefore even though government had nowhere near the range of things to do than it does now, he was a great president and made really good decisions on the big things. lincoln became president when the whole question was whether or not the union would survive or not. a lot of people thought it wouldn't. a lot of people thought the south -- we wouldn't hang around. the union wouldn't hang around long enough to do it. he was an roosevelt had the depression and world war ii but it also depends on whether the
skills and the psychological of a person in a given leadership position actually fit well with the challenges of that particular moment. and when i read the, all these histories of the lesser known presidents, i realized some of them were really well suited to govern when they did and others might have been quite successful had they governed in another time, but not then. like if you, just an example, a lot of people think franklin pierce is one of the worst presidents we had. and if you measure that because he was elected right before the civil war and he couldn't stop the country's drift toward war and couldn't figure out how to stop the spread of slavery and this and that, that's absolutely true, but he was an immensely successful soldier in the mexican war. he was a successful member of congress and went home and
became governor of new hampshire. only other governor of a small state to be elected president. and he was on his way to be inaugurated with his only child. presidents were then inaugurated in march. he took a train to washington. on the way, there was a train wreck. nobody was hurt very bad. there were a couple of broken bones, except his 11-year-old son, who fell on his neck, snapped it and died. nobody else would have gotten more than a broken bone and that's how he began his presidency. with his wife in a virtually catatonic state of grief so i always wondered and he had different circumstances he may have quite a successful president. ruled in a calmer time and i'm not sure that it was in the cause for anybody to succeed before the country split apart. so, any way, that's what i think
about, but i don't by and large, i think when you get tired, you want to bag it unless you're old and you think i've got three years left and i'd like to spend it doing something else, you ought to hang in there and do it. if you believe you made the right decision in the first place and you ought to go somebody will push you out one way or the other. but you ought not to open the door if you think, if your vision has not been fulfilled. i'm not big on quitting. i'd rather hang around and fight it through and if you need to go, somebody will kick you out. >> all right, mr. president, we're allowed one more question. you've obviously read very widely over a long time. if you had to recommend one book, what would it be? >> one book? >> that's all you get. >> you mentioned one earlier but -- >> the metations of marcus --
she embraced the role of first lady and wroer the finist fashions and looked like a queen, hosting afternoon parties for politicians to help our husband's political agenda and during the war of 1812 when british troops invaded the capitol, she's credited for saving a portrait of george washington and other valuable frs the white house. dolly madison, sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on first lady ladies ladies, influence and image. examining the public and private lives of women who filled the image of first lady. from martha washington to michelle obama, sundays at 8:00 p.m. eastern. as a compliment, cspan's new book is is available. the lives of 45 iconic american women providing lively stories
of these fascinating women, creating an illuminating, entertaining an inspiring read. it's available as a hard cover or an ebook through your favorite bookstore or online book seller. >> on capitol hill yesterday independent vermont senator bernie sanders announced he's seeking the democratic nomination for president. also yesterday house minority leader nancy pelosi was asked about his presidential campaign. >> senator sanders is is entering the presidential race today. do you believe that the democrats should have debates even if it is just a two-way race? >> just a two-way race? between bernie? i thought you asked me about chafey last week?
when you said debate, you mean debate of ideas, yes. formal debates, that's not up to me. but the fact is i think it's healthy for a party to have an exchange of ideas, to have a bench. especially when we're talking about leadership that comes after. and so i don't think that anybody is is running for president should fear having someone else run for president. so they can gauge in the marketplace of ideas, which is what an election is is all about. and i have every confidence that any person you have named and others who have named themselves are yet to come will enlivan the debate and that will be wholesome if we have it. if we don't have it we'll just get moving with what we have then. i'm very excited about this time because i think the distinction
is so very, very clear and the distinction between middle class economics and trickle down economics, which is what the republicans have proposed and has failed every time they had implemented it is really a debate that the public should hear. i hope it can be done in the most respectful way so that one of the things that democrats stand for is respect for other people's ideas. so rather than having analysis of whether it's good for somebody to be in or not, let's just hear what their ideas are for the future. i think that the country is enriched by that and i think our party is as well. >> republican presidential candidate jeb bush yesterday spoke at a conference hosted by the magazine, national review. one of the topics he talked about was the recent violence in baltimore and approaches to dealing with poverty. >> first, i think it's important to reflect on the fact that young man died and that's a tragedy for this family and and
this is not just a statistic. this is a person who died. secondly, there were a lot of people who lost their livelihoods because of this. and i think we need to be respectful of private property and i think the beginning allowing the riots to kind of happen was disturbing. you can't just push over that and go to the grand societial problems. i think that public safety is the first priority for any city of government jurisdiction, in this case, there are a lot of people who were going to suffer because what's happened. thirdly, i think it sends the wrong signal to have a baseball game not with people in it. i think we need to recognize that life doesn't just get paralyzed when these tragedies occur. you can't allow that to happen because it might create more of them. now that i got that out of the way, i do think the tendency
particularly on the left is to blame, to create a set of reasons why this happens. the president's view on this i thought he started pretty well by talking about, he had one sentence in his response about the decline of families in urban core america and i think that is absolutely true. but there's much broader issues that go along with dh. the pathologies that are being built of people stuck in poverty where you're born here today and you're more likely to stay poor and we need to deal with this and i believe conservatives have the better approach. his approach is to say conservatives haven't offered up enough money to give me to be able to create programs to let people be successful. well, at what point do we go past 10 trillion? a trillion a year? at what point do you have to conclude that the top down drif p poverty programs have failed.
i think we need to be engaged in this debate as conservatives and say there's a bottom up approach and it starts with building capacity to people can achieve earned success and having higher expectations and accountableility and dramatically different kinds of schools and the kinds of things that will yield a chance for families to be able to survive in a really difficult time. here's the big challenge i think for people born in poverty today. if you're born poor today, by the time you reach 18, it's possible you'll never have a job in your entire life. and that's the world we're moving towards. of dramatic disrupted technologies putting the first rung on the ladder higher and higher and higher, so if we don't get this right we're going to have an america that is radically different than what created its greatness and the ability for people to rise up i think will be challenged in ways we can't imagine. so, you know having this
conversation in the broader sense i think is probably not appropriate completely today but i hope conservatives don't feel compelled to pull back. we don't need to be defensive. it's the failed progressive policies that we need to address and we need to offer compelling alternatives to it. gl let me circle wak on the rioting specifically. i know you're not going to run for any municipal office but mayor julian said the first person who throws a rock is arrested. >> i agree that the broken window policy has been proven successful. you don't have to take it to the extreme of police brutality, but there needs to be a certainty of punishment to create order and security. who are the people that get hurt by this? it's the shop owner. it's the person who now may lose their job in a business they can't reopen. it's the nursing homes. it's the church.
these are people this is the, the community that you know, creates the vibrancy to allow for these communities to be successful are always hurt the most in these kinds of events so i think the mayor's record when he was mayor of new york creating this strategy with the police department was the right one. >> 150 years ago this weekend, a grieving nation gathered along the root of lincoln's funeral train as it made its way from washington, d.c. to his final resting place in springfield, illinois. this sunday afternoon at 2:30 on american history tv on cspan 3, we're live from oak ridge cemetery in springfield with over 1 is,000 reenactors and a real estate kreegs of the eulogy speeches and musical performances, as well as historians and authors on the funeral journey and a tour of the new funeral car. also on cspan this weekend,
saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern, the grand prize winners in our student cam documentary competition and at 8:00, the festivities of the state individual of prime minister abe including his arrival at the white house and a toast at the dirn in his honor. and sunday morning at 10:30 the supreme court of the united states on the issue of same-sex marriage and whether the 14th amendment requires the state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and on book tv this weekend saturday night at 10:00 peter sleven looks at the life of michelle obama and sunday at noon on in depth, our live three-hour conversation with documentary film maker and author, jon ronson. join the conversation with jon ronson. he'll also be taking your phone
calls, e-mail facebook comments and tweets. get the complete schedule at cspan.org. >> sunday night on q and a, "washington post" national security reporter walter pinkus on the situation in the middle east and his opinion on the 200 o 3 invasion of iraq. >> i think one of the things about the bush administration and who never claimed to be an expert on the middle east or on iraq e and proveded it and history's proved it is that we look at things from our own point of view and get deceived by it. you can go back the vietnam is a great example of the first time we sort of did it openly, but we have a history of trying to think other people are like us. our standards and the world is different.
and particularly in the middle east, totally different culture. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pascific on cspan's q and a. >> the senate homeland security committee last month looked at security along the u.s. canada border. the witnesses included the chief -- wisconsin is that right ron johnson shared this two and a half hour hearing. >> this hearing will come to order. senator carper is on his way and his staff informed me that we could get underway here. i would like to without objection enter my opening comments into the record.
hairing no objection, so ordered. as i was talking to the witnesses before the hearing here, this is our fifth in the series of four hearings on border security. we're trying to lay out the reality and i think senator booker will agree with me. it's not a pleasant reality. it's an enormously difficult problem. in terms of illegal immigration, in terms of drug trafficking, the biggest problem is no doubt about it, it's on the southern border. as my ranking member says repeatedly, and i completely agree, we really need to analyze the root cause of the problem. we had an extremely good meeting with general kelly yesterday just discussing the problems in central america. and the problems with the border security and the drug trafficking. and looking for that root cause, you know, we were discussing, it's really america's demand for drugs and how that demand has created these drug cartels that have really corroded, been so harmful to the societies in central america.
we bear some responsibility for that. these are not going to be easy problems so solve. i come from a manufacturing background. nothing is ever perfect. you have to continuously improve. the purpose of this hearing is to get the people watching admitting we have the problem by trying to lay out that reality properly. my ranking member has joined us here. i'd like to turn it over to you. >> i'd love to. not too long. thanks for pulling this together. important hearing and we appreciate those members including the senator from new jersey who has been encouraging to have this kind of hearing. over past couple months we spent a fair amount of time on this
committee, some of you know because you've been here, focused on trying to understand the challenges we face along our southern border with mexico. the border with canada is even larger. our shared border with canada is the largest in the world. it spans some 4,000 miles. when you add in alaska, it goes up to about 5,500 miles. it's huge. it's also an economic power house for both of our countries. some 300,000 people and $1.5 billion in trade cross the u.s. canada border every day. that's something to celebrate even as we pay close attention to addressing potential border threats.
i had the pleasure of visiting michigan and north dakota. and memorable visit. we sat -- we went to this mexican restaurant and listened to the opening game, the tigers beat the twins. i won't forget that. great day. great day. the risks along the northern border include northbound and southbound flows of drugs and potential exploitation by terrorists. we've increased border staffing technology along the northern border. they're back to 2,000 border patrol ees stationed on the northern border today. almost a seven-fold increase. and there are about 3,700 cdp officers at the northern ports of entry. is there more we can do to better secure the northern border? sure. sure there is. we can't close our border.
having said that, we need to better understand the risks associated with it and implement the most cost effective strategy. not unlike our southern border, aerial surveillance, underground sensors, cameras on mobile towers can greatly help. good intelligence and strong information sharing networks can also make help the best use of limited staffing and resources. fortunately our relationship with the canadians is perhaps the best we can hope for.
share our shared prosperity. we look forward to hearing more about how this relationship is working under the 2011 beyond the border framework and any areas of progress still needed. i hope the witnesses will address whether there are successful practices at the northern border that we could replicate and use on our southern border with mexico. i continue to hope our focus on border security will become part of a larger conversation. with that, we look forward to your testimony. thank you all for coming and for your service. >> this committee really is pretty well populated with senators from those border states. by have senators from wisconsin. senator ayotte from hm hm. you're welcome as well. it's all part and parcel of the same problem. we're glad to see you mr. chairman. i do want to welcome the witnesses.
thank you for your very thoughtful testimony. it is the tradition of the committee to swear in witnesses. if you'll rise and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you would give before this committee would be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god. >> i do. >> thank you. by the way, we do have votes starting at 10:45. i asked you to keep the five minutes. we have good attendance by our commiter. first is michael j. fisher. he joined june 1987 and served in numerous services and sectors since then. deputy chief patrol agent, assistant chief patrol agent in the tucson sector. mr. fisher.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member carper and members of the kplit tee. it is indeed a privilege to appear today on behalf of the united states border patrol to discuss our strategy to secure the northern border. our approach supports u.s. customs and border protections over our themes of collaboration, integration and innovation. collaboration at all levels, including information sharing and operational coordination. it's critical to the shared security of the border. enhanced information and intelligence will always be the key to minimizing risk along our borders. the operational integration center located at south ridge international guard base in michigan is an information sharing demonstration project to enhance the informational awareness of cpb and our mission
co-partners. state and local law enforcement as well as the royal canadian mountain police and the canadian border services agency. it consolidates a wide range of information including radar and camera feeds, data base queries, remote sensor inputs and surveillance system feeds and video from various ports of entry. local traffic cameras will be added in the near future. our joint efforts to improve existing surveillance technologies that can overcome terrain and environmental challenges. they are collaborating with canada along with us in a sensor sharing pilot to demonstrate the common surveillance picture between the cpmb and rbmt. our situational awareness on the northern border is enhanced by technological capabilities.
cbp's office of air marine has 41 fixed wing and rotary aircraft equipped with sensors stationed along the northern border. they operate out of the grand forks air force base in north dakota. it improves our situational awareness and border security in areas that are difficult to reach. we are expanding the coherent change detection technology along the northern border this year. this is the same methodology that allows us to cover approximately 900 miles along the southwest border without having to deploy technology or border patrol agents. each month, cbp produces the state of the northern border briefing which provides a multi-agency intelligence report for identifying, monitoring and addressing emerging trends and threats along the northern border. it's produced in direct
collaboration with our canadian partners. the state of the northern border provided a broader avenue for information sharing and greater intelligence up sight. it is also an active participant in several targeted joint operations which are called the integrated border enforcement teams. they are comprised of u.s. and canadian personnel. the teams designed to increase information and intelligence sharing capabilities among the appropriate u.s. and canadian authorities. by incorporating integrated mobile response capabilities in the air, land and marine environments, they provide participating law enforcement
agencies with a force multiplier. chairman johnson, ranking member carper, again, thank you for the opportunity to appear today. and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, chief fisher. i do want to note that the deputy assistant commissioner of the office of field operations, john wagner. you've been assigned to the cbp headquarters since 1999. mr. wagner began his federal law enforcement year in 1991 when he joined the u.s. customs service. also worked at the new york, new jersey sea port in the port of laredo, texas. our next witness will be james sparrow. he's a special agent in charge for the buffalo new york area. he was also the deputy assistant director of ice. unit chief of the identity and acting assistant special agent in charge for hsi, their washington field office.
am i pronouncing that right mr. spero. >> yes, senator, spero. >> mr. spero. >> chairman johnson, ranking member carper and distinguished members, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you discuss ice's efforts to improve security along the northern border. as dhs principal investigative agency, this position to lev ranl broad statutory authority to enforce border enforcement. we work with u.s. interagency partners as well as counterparts in canadian law enforcement targ targeted in travel, trade and finance. hsi provides a full range of
techniques including leading and participating in joint u.s. canadian task forces, undercover operations, controlled deliveries, asset identification and removal, informants and title 3 electronic intercepts. to identify and disrupt criminal operations. we have nearly 1,300 special agents and 100 intelligence research specialists operating along the northern border. in fiscal year 2014, hsi's seven special agent enforced officers covering the northern border koorpt in investigation with state, local, tribal and canadian law enforcement seized more than $237 million in cash and monetary instruments. nearly 26,000 pounds of marijuana.
2,000 pounds of cocaine. 146 pounds of ecstasy. 719 pounds of heroin. 949 pounds of methamphetamine. nearly 1,400 weapons and firearms. over 55,000 rounds of ammunition and about 8,400 weapon components. hsi special agents made over 5,700 criminal arrests resulting in nearly 3,800 indictments and approximately 3,500 convictions. these statistics reflect the impact of our coordinated law enforcement investments and investigations along the northern border. additionally, hsi maintains the largest investigative footprint of any u.s. law enforcement agency in canada. hsi officers located in ottawa, vancouver, toronto and montreal further enhance national security by serving as ice's
liaison and counter parts to local government and law enforcement. our partnerships are essential to join operations and information sharing along the northern border and beyond. one example is how hsi participates in the fbi-led joint terrorism task force. it brings unique authorities and experience to the task force to help protect the homeland from threats to national security. hsi's flag ship task force program, bes, created in 2005 as a mechanism to address the threat of cross-border crime. in 2007, ice began to deploy bes units along the northern border. it provides a proven and
flexible platform from which dhs investigates criminal organizations at our nations border. bes units differ from other task forces due to their proximity to the border and focus on currently, there are four units operating along the northern border. one significant advantage is the participation and integration of foreign law enforcement personnel who have the ability to conduct cross-better border investigations with hsi and our federal, state, local and travel partners to address criminal activity on both sides of the border. one successful collaboration with our international law enforcement partners is operation primed which is an hsi
buffalo investigation that target add cocaine smuggling organization involving the illicit movement of cocaine within canada, the united states and mexico. investigators estimated that this organization was responsible for the smuggling of 1600 kilograms of cocaine into canada a with a street value of over $60 million. through successful collaboration with canadian law enforcement, the high level target was sentenced in may of 2014 to 82 months of incarceration. this individual was arrested in september of 2010 when attempting to export 97 kilograms of cocaine port of entry from new york into canada. the 97 kilograms of cocaine seizure is to this day the largest seizure in the history of the port of buffalo.
in conclusion, ice remained dead cased and committed to this mission. and we look forward to continuing to work with this committee on these efforts. questions. >> thank you. i have been informed that mr. wagner does have an opening statement. would you like to give that now or wait until the very end? >> i thought i was off the hook. >> oh, no. would you like to give it now or -- >> i'll give it now, if that's okay. >> okay. >> chairman johnson, ranking member carper members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today on behalf of cbp's office of field operations to discuss ports of entry along our northern border. the u.s. international boundary canada delineates two friendly nations with ties that have contributed to a high volume of cross-border trade and travel. amounting to $2 billion a day. cbp ensures the northern border operations protect and secure
the vital flow of commerce through trade and travel of the two countries. the u.s. and canada connected by more than 120 land ports of entry, 750 daily flights and numerous commercial and recreational vessels that cross the maritime border. ensuring the security and sufficient flow of activity, cbp has more than 3,600 cbp officers and 190 agriculture specialists stationed along the border ensuring dangerous good, contraband and individuals are intercepted and cargo is expedited. at many northern border ports of entry, we continue to invest in and deploy radio frequency identification technology. this technology along with the 2009 implementation of that western hemisphere travel initiative, which allows cbp to clear nearly 100% of travelers against databases. we also continue to deploy license plate readers, large scale and small scale images technology as well as a variety of portable and handheld
technology including radiation portal monitors. additionally, dhs and canadian agencies are collaborating to develop tests to enhance cross-border operations. as part of this effort we've also made significant investments in infrastructure. since february of 2009 the u.s. government invested over $400 million to rebuild and improve more than 30 ports of entry along the northern border. our northern ports of entry experience a high volume of international trade and travel. approximately 72 million travelers enter the united states through the border with canada. many of our initiatives to facilitate lawful international travel simultaneously increase security. cbp develops effective security operations designed to be contributors to travel facilitation, not barriers. security measures vitally protect travel and tourism. identifying and separating low risk travelers from those who may require additional scrutiny
is a key element in our efforts to facilitate international travel. the volume of trade crossing in northern borders is equally significant. in 2014, the combined two-way trade and investment between the u.s. and canada totalled $759 billion. the u.s. and canada are the largest export market. cbp is committed to a coordinated approach working with our federal, private sector and canadian partners to reduce transaction costs and promote economic growth along the northern border. in 2011, the u.s. and canada signed the beyond the border initiative. cbp is the primary lead and has significant interest and participates in seven others. i'd like to highlight a few of our accomplishments to date. we've completed the first two phases of the entry-exit pilot which involves an exchange of entry records of travelers. land entry into one country will
serve as the exit record from another. we've launch add pilot program to reduce wait times and congestions. phase one of the pilot was completed in washington and british columbia. phase two in ontario also recently concluded. in march 16th, dhs concluded negotiations of new preclearance agreement for land, air, marine air modes of travel. over 1.1 million travelers, an increase of approximately 80% since 2011. canada and the united states are striving to provide a secure and trusted global supply chain. a key means of achieving this objective is through the integrated cargo security strategy which seeks to address risks at the earliest opportunity.
we were testing the ability to use advanced data and inspecting inbound marine cargo at the first point of arrival in north america. canada and the united states continue to align. and harmonize tier one trusted trader programs, and in u.s. the custom trades partnership. we're expecting to launch a fully automated process allowing a joint application for the cross-border highway carriers by fall of this year. this will allow companies interested in joining both programs to submit a single application and manage only one partnership account instead of two. we also engaged with local entities and authorities. to increase security through private/ private/public partnerships. for example, cbp and the dhs domestic nuclear detection office have partnered with buffalo to replace 18 radiation portal monitors in northern new york. this agreement was reached in
november of 2014 and just recently completed. it will increase security and efficiency by supporting new calibration procedures. chairman johnson, thank you again for the opportunity to testify today and i'm happy to answer any of you questions. >> thank you. our next witness is david rodriguez. he began his career in 1970. from 1973 to 1977 mr. rodriguez worked at the dea. in 1997, he was selected as the director for the northwest high area program in seattle, washington. if 2013, the nw hita-- you get used to acronyms this this business, received national awards for the program on the u.s./canada border. >> chairman johnson, distinguished members of the committee, my name is dave
rodriguez from seattle, washington. we coordinate and do joint operations with more than 115 international, federal, local and state agencies throughout the northwest. we help these agencies to identify drug threats and implement strategies to address them. the transnational criminal organizations operating on both sides of the u.s.-canada border continue to move proceeds from illegal drugs sold in the u.s. and canada and as well as drugs, weapons and bulk cash. these organizations include caucasian groups, ethnic east indians, asian organized crimes groups and members of the hell's angels motorcycle club. also of prominence are the mexican drug trafficking organizations, particularly those headed by consolidated priority organization targets.
we have gained a strong foothold of the pacific northwest. these include but not limited to the knights templar and another organization. washington's topography and location render it susceptible to drug smuggling and production. the washington sector of the u.s. border is approximately 3400 miles long. a significant portion of the international border is secluded dense forest. and particularly large scale cannabis cultivation. public lands adjacent to the u.s./canada border serve as routes for drug and currency smuggling. they also serve as routes for drug and currency smuggling. most of it is sparsely populated and encompassed by densely forested public lands. other threats include illegal
alien entry, human trafficking, money laundering, firearms trafficking, maritime and smuggling and terrorist at this times. the corridor is the main transportation route into the pacific northwest and into the british columbia, canada. multi-agency investigation shows that dtos continue to exploit the remote areas along the washington border often throwing duffle bags or hockey bags containing drugs directly across the border. in some areas, there's just a ditch that separates the u.s. and the canadian part of the territory. dtos and transnational criminal organizations in the eastern regional state take advantage of the remote areas of the border and the lack of critical infrastructure to increase the use of these rural routes.
narcotics are often concealed on board commercial trucks, cars, truck compartments and commercial and private trailers. helicopters, airplanes and boats are used to smuggle drug loads. cocaine and marijuana seizures along the northern border and idaho consider -- declined in 2014 compared to previous years, there was demonstrated increase in the quantity and frequency of methamphetamine loads. mdma seizures total over 48 kilograms in 2014. ecstasy smuggling from british columbia to washington state will continue as canada is a primary source of mdma in north america. they're smuggled from china into canada. recent investigation in the
northwest indicate that mdma is also being smuggled in powdered form. 121 kilograms were ceased in the northern border of the state of washington. compared to over 800 seized in 2008 and 2009. shipments are also known to be sent directly to canada outside the u.s. all cash seizures in 2013 totalled 3.1 million and the year before it was less than half a million. in 2014, it was approximately a million. demonstrating the fluctuation seen. our efforts are guided by the 2012 national northern border counter narcotics strategy updated in 2014 which articulates the u.s. framework for the ongoing effort to reduce the threats on both sides of the border.
the strategy addresses joints efforts in the area of intelligence collection, information sharing, as well as in the air and maritime domains. investigations and prosecutions disrupting and dismantling drug organizations. we will continue to foster cooperation among federal, state, local, tribal and international law enforcement agencies along the washington/british columbia border. we also believe we share in this important role in both intel sharing and the enforcement initiatives, training, interdriks interdiction and analytical support. >> thank you, mr. rodriguez. our next witness is richard. he's the u.s. attorney for the northern district of new york which covers 300 miles of the u.s. canada border.
he sits on the u.s. attorney general's advisory committee in which he leads the northern border working group. prior to this he served as the assistant u.s. attorney and the northern district's narcotics chief and organized crime drug enforcement task force coordinator. mr. hartunian. [ inaudible ] >> sorry. thank you. the u.s. attorneys for the 16 federal judicial districts along the northern border know well that border security is a critical component of our national security and work with federal, state local and tribal law enforcement agencies and our canadian counterparts to combat the transnational crime that threatens it. the four districts with the largest border related criminal activity are western washington, eastern michigan, western new york and my district. the northern district of new
international border with canada and eight ports of entry. a huge volume of people and goods pass through the northern district from the major population centers of eastern canada by road, rail, force, field and water way. the territory of the st. regis mohawk tribe straddles the border with portions in new york, ontario and quebec. smugglers exploit the circumstances in the large rural areas to cross the border surreptitiously. all along the line, criminal organizations try to take advantage of the nature of the border, the volume of traffic, the bi-national commitment to accelerate the flow of trade and travel. the prevention of terrorism remains of course our number one priority. my family and i have personally felt the impact of terrorism having lost my sister in the
december 1988 bombing of pan am 103. the terrorist threat is current and real. two men conspiracy for murder for the benefit of a terrorist group. they plotted to derail a passenger train. but were thwarted by investigation. to spot and stop terrorism, understanding that our vigorous enforcement of the federal criminal code prosecuting human traffickers, child exporters and those that export guns, immigrants and crash. our efforts includes initiatives promoting coordination and collaboration such as the integrated border enforcement
teams, the task forces and ship rider all led by dhs and dea-led drug task forces. each has the best and ship rider is expanding eastward. drug organizations use boats, helicopters, snowmobiles and vehicle compartments to cross the border without detention of their elicit cargo. ecstasy or marijuana moving south, and cocaine, firearms and cash moving north. in northern new york, we recently dismantled a ring that transported hockey bags filled with 250 pounds of marijuana across the sea way and seized 16 handguns headed for canada. another group we dismantled obtained ecstasy in montreal and
regularly delivered 50,000 pills to wholesalers in new york and boston returning with cash and several kilos in cocaine. in the fight against human trafficking into the smuggling of young romanian women recently resulted in charges in canada and the u.s. we cooperate to combat child exploitation like the case where defendant was charged in canada when he tried to bring in child pornography but did not show up for trial. we took the case and the defendant was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 225 months for transporting nearly 4,000 images and graphic child pornography. these cases illustrate the existing enforcement team and task forces have had significant successes. but mandates have left them short of true integration. the beyond the border declaration included the commitment to develop the next generation of integrated
cross-border law enforcement operations. with our canadian counterparts we're addressing the issues. meanwhile, the vital work goes on and now includes the border operations leadership team which brings together operational leaders from law enforcement and prosecution agencies with border missions for their insights and action on our efforts to eradicate cross-border crime. we're confident that our commitment to border security and our shared tradition of protecting both public safety and individual rights will strengthen our efforts to achieve more integrated cross-border enforcement. we're committed to continued vigilance using a full range of investigative tools and laws available to us. with the operational charge, the northern border u.s. attorneys and federal law enforcement
agencies are poised to capitalize on opportunities. thank you for the opportunity to describe for you the challenges we're facing. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. thank all the witnesses for your testimony. certainly one of the purposes of the hearing is to try and get some sense for where our main problems occur. we have limited resources. we have the southern border, the northern border. i'd like to go to you, chief fisher. first talk in general about the basic extent of the problems. the stats i have, on the southwest border we had 480,000 apprehensions. on the northern bord, a little over 3,000. obviously we have a much larger border. the bigger problem is coming through the southern border in testimony, we've had contradictory testimony on this,
that that apprehension according to the customs border control, about 75% is what we believe we're apprehending. we've had cbp agents say it's somewhere between 30 and 40. do we have some sense of what the apprehension rate is on the northern border? >> the effectiveness rate is primarily used along the southern border. we had defined the threat among other things as flow, flows of people. on the northern border, the threat is defined as different ways. so using a effectiveness rate really doesn't make a lot of sense to us. we take a look at our strategy. we looked a few years ago, if you take a look at approximately 90% of the canadian population lives within 100 air miles of the border. you look where the density of population areas are
where are transnational criminal organizations and people need to operate. it's very concentrated in some of these areas. our resourcing deployments and redeployments try to match those areas and it is driven primarily by intelligence. >> is your sense that we really apprehend a higher percentage on the northern border versus the southern border or less? >> we don't measure that in terms of the effectiveness rate, sir. my sense would be it is at or higher than the southern border. >> what about in terms of drug trafficking? do we have any statistics in terms of the total number of tons coming from the southern border versus the drugs trafficked through the northern border? is it 10%, 5%? >> i don't have the percent. it's considerably less on the
northern border than what he withwe see on the southern border. >> again, we've had testimony from a general on the southern border estimated somewhere between 5 to 10% of all drugs interdicted which means 95% are getting through. do we have a similar rate on the northern border? anybody that want to answer that that might have some sense of that? or do we simply not know? >> i'm not familiar with the general's methodology on that. generally we look at seizure rates along the northern border versus the southern border, we don't measure that in terms of the comparison to differentiate threat. >> in terms of the drugs that are flowing through, we've had contradictory testimony on the southern border. one witness saying that the majority of those drugs flow through the actual ports of entry. others say they go around the ports of entry. do we have any sense on the
northern border where the primary drug smuggling is coming? are they coming through the vast unmonitored parts of the border? anybody want to try that one? >> yes, senator. one of the things that i would say about the flow of drugs on the northern border is it's certainly bi-directional. certain types of drugs are still coming in from canada and other drugs are being exported from the u.s. and going from the u.s. into canada. as far as the difference between whether or not we're making investigations at drugs being incident interdicted at the port interdicted at the port of country or between the ports, we're seeing both. the case that i spoke about during my oral statement was a case where the tractor-trailer
that was being used by the drug smuggling organization to get cocaine from the ontario, california -- where the drugs were being stored at the warehouse was actually being transported across the u.s. and through the port of buffalo and supposed to be delivered to canada. that particular method was in a trap or a concealed compartment. it was under the floorboards of the tractor-trailer. had that particular delivery been successful, that would have been the case of drug smuggling going into canada through the ports of entry. like wise, we still see smuggling -- i believe it was mr. rodriguez talking about the hockey bags coming in between the ports, whether those are hockey bags of marijuana or some other kind of drug, we get
referrals from both the border patrol as well as the field operation. so we're seeing a mix from homeland security investigations, sir. >> one huge difference between the borders is the cooperation of the bordering country. and we obviously have far greater cooperation between u.s. and canada than we have with u.s. and mexico. on march 16th, 2015, we signed an agreement on land, air, marine transport preclearance which is going to require legislation on both sides of the border here. chief fisher, can you speak to the difference between the cooperation we have with mexican government versus the canadian and what an enormous difference that makes. >> flsks for us is the key to reduce any vulnerabilities,
regardless of what border we're talking about. with canada, what we found over the years is the information sharing is really good, it gets better. i have three border patrol agents embed in canada with a fourth to come along shortly this year. that only bolsters our ability to understand the evolving threats and helps us secure the border on both sides. so that type of model, if we could implement something similar with mexico would make a tremendous difference? >> yes, mr. chairman, it would. >> senator carper? >> i think the question the chairman raised is a really important one. to the extent that we can grow, strengthen our relationship with mexico, improve our confidence in the information they can provide and that they can provide us, will only help. i think one of the best force multipliers on the canadian
border is our relationship with canada. i just want to draw on force multipliers for a while. one of you, couple of you, mentioned the assets that we're able to deploy between the ports of entry. that we have drones on the border of mexico, couple on the border of canada. we have fixed wing airport on the border with mexico and canada. we had an inspector general report come out and raised some serious questions about the effectiveness of the drones on the southern border. they have problems if the wind is above a certain velocity, they can't operate and certain kinds of weather they can't operate. they haven't always had data sensors on board. we saw some aircraft used along the mexican border that -- fixed
wing aircraft that just had binoculars as opposed to like a vader system on board. let's talk about how effective some of those force multipliers on, how effective they are on the northern border and what can we do to make sure they're even more effective. i don't know that we need to add a whole lot of people. we need to be able to deploy them more effectively. >> senator, you raise a really interesting important and very important point. you're right. a lot of times people look at the northern border deployments with an eye toward the south and say how come you're not deploying that way. in terms of technology, handheld sensing equipment, remote video surveillance systems, the type of technology along the southern border is the same along the
northern border. our ability to increase that situational awareness is the same. what is very exciting on the northern border because of the vast terrain, because of the remoteness in some of these locations and our inability to access the immediate border, lack of infrastructure or roads or the impediments that the terrain provides. we have a collection effort. we started back in march of 2013 and utilizing the unmanned aerial systems. utilizing additional vader technology and radar. we have targeted about 80% of the northern border from the field chiefs identifying those very remote locations to be able to do a before and after picture. think of it in terms of a 30-mile stretch along the northern border.
unmanned aerial system will go out and deploy and take a series of videos. 24 hours later that unmanned aerial system will do the same flight. those before and after videos will then be sent into a computer, what we call a processing exploitation and dissemination cell. their very smart and talented analysts will take a look and see if there's been any change across that border from the first picture to the next picture. that gives us a sense on whether those areas are emerging threats or equally important we find them on the southern border, areas of no activity. which tells us -- which is equally important, where not to deploy technology and border patrol agents so we can focus on the areas we know based on intelligence and experience on where those crossings are more likely to occur. >> we were talking earlier, 4,000 mile border with canada,
plus another 1,500 miles with alaska and canada. 5,500 miles. do you have any idea how many drones we have up there? >> we currently have nine unmanned aerial systems within the cbp inventory. there are currently two assigned to north dakota. we do what's called federated flights. we can move those manned aerial systems from the northern border to the southern border based on identified threats. we also have through the faa the certificates of authorization to be able to move across from the northern to the southern border based on threats. >> at any given day we might have two, three, four drones along the border? does that sound about right? >> primarily it would be two. >> and how often do we have them up in the air? >> that, i don't know, sir.
again, as you indicated, weather permitting, just like any other manned system, helicopter or fixed wing, the weather is going to be a limited factor and the readiness rate on when those can fly. >> i'm going to ask you answer that for the record. >> i will do that. >> let me ask starting with you, giving us good advice, what should we be doing more of in our roles that would be helpful to you? i'm very impressed by the work that you're all doing. we're going to be taking up appropriations really soon. anything you would especially bring tour our attention that would be help sfl? >> senator, thank you for that question which is important. the first thing i think you're doing which is to call attention to the northern border. we're grateful for the committee's attention on this issue. i think we're doing some good work.
we have great geographic challenges, a lot of space. as i think about something the things that could be helpful to us in our work with the canadians. we have great challenges come about in recent years as a result of the explosion for request for information formally. we're seeing more and more of those. information in investigations is frequently needed from computer systems and e-mails. and while we're taking a great steps to improve our informal information sharing efforts and protocols, we're still seeing an explosion in mlat requests. so support for perhaps our office of international affairs in that effort. congress working with us. >> my time's expired. let me ask the other witnesses to respond for the record. >> let me, yeah, for the record. >> and thank you for that response. >> senator booker.
>> thank you, chairman. i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for working with my team in hosting this very important hearing. i'm grateful for it. i want to thank the panel for your extraordinary service on our country, your dedication and leadership is essential to our safety and security as a nation. by the chairman and ranking member that the scale differences between the northern and southern border is just not the same scale on the northern border and we understand that. we have held numerous hearings that have focused on the southern border. i'm happy we're having one here as you -- there are still tremendous threats along our northern border. and the fact that it is so porous, and i ask for that picture to be put up there. this vast over 5,000 mile border
with incredibly diverse terrain has areas that are tremendously porous as this picture right here demonstrates how easy it is to cross undetected, really illustrate the need -- the urgency for a threat. i'm not calling for any fence, but also what i'm really looking for is a proportionate focus on our northern border threats. you illustrated a lot of the terrorist nature of these threats. we can go back to numerous ones. 1997, convicted of conspiring to detonate a bomb. 1999, the bomber was stopped at port angeles, washington. with components to be used to
produce a bomb. the list as you all know of terrorist threats are real, are substantive and should be taken seriously. so we have a tremendous cooperation and i've been grateful for our canadian -- northern canadian borders. our governments really work well together. i'm also concerned that it's not going as far as it could be. canada will not share its no-fly list information with us which, to me, raises some concerns. for people they put on the no fly list. i just want to maybe ask that question specifically about the no-fly list. what efforts are we taking to obtain that information from canada to ensure the safety and protection of americans from terrorists who may try to enter our country. >> well, senator, i can't speak to that issue directly. but i can tell you your point is well taken.
that is public safety and the threat of terrorism, that's our number one priority. we're very concerned about it every day. to address it, i think we've been working closely with the canadians. one thing we have been doing is integrating more closely with the canadian prosecution teams. meeting with them and sharing information not just between the agencies, with the agents and with the prosecutors. it's a very important point you make. >> wouldn't that list, just knowing who they've put on a list to stop them from flying, seems like something that would be common sense to share with us of the people they might have concerns about. >> i'm not really familiar with their position on that. but i will tell you that in the realm of criminal cases and criminal work, we've had good luck with interaction and sharing. >> mr. fisher, do you know about the sharing of that information?
>> with respect, senator, i believe john wagner is prepared to answer that question. >> thank you. >> the fbi owns the watch list for the u.s. government. as users of that watch list or any other information, we certainly as the operator, we would welcome that information. now we do have a fairly robust sharing procedures with our counterparts in canada, cbsa. we have officers embedded each of our different targeting centers where we go through airline reservation data to identify national security threats and we have protocols to exchange information in cases when we see that. most of the watch list individuals are still commercial aviation still. the preponderance is still coming through commercial aviation. we've seen the incidents over the past number of years focused on primarily commercial aviation.
we do see a couple hundred a year cross through the northern border as well. >> is the canadians as forthcoming with their watch list or are we not getting that information? not only do we have a northern border issue, but 40% of our so-called undocumented immigrants are coming from airplanes, airports, overstays on visas in general. so i would think that would be important information to share. >> yes so we set protocols to exchange when each of us identify a threat through our commercial aviation targeting, we have protocols established to exchange that information and request additional information from each other to do that. and that's where we have our liaisons situated and physically present at each of our different targeting centers to be able to facilitate that exchange of that information. we also do a lot of what we call rules sharing or joint rule creation where as we sift through the reservation data and the airline information, we create rules on what we're
looking for what we would consider to be activity we would want to look closer at and sit down with the canadian government and come up with joint rules between the two of us so we can go through an north american approach on how to do that. >> just because i have limited time, i'll submit the records i have, questions i have for the cbp regarding racial profiling -- racial profiling specifically, excessive force issues, which looks luke i won't zs like i won't have time to ask here but i would like to submit them and get responses. the last question i want to ask is just, again, the resources we're applying to the challenges and you all again are exhibiting extraordinary leadership and commitment and our canadian partners, extraordinary partnership, the canadians should be praised, but i really am concerned about the personnel challenges including only 2093 border agents on the northern border compared to the 18000 again on the south border the size of that challenge.
that reel that means about 2,000 border agents are responsible for roughly 300,000 people that cross the u.s. canadian border each day. do you all share my concern that we need more resources targeting the security of the northern border given the vastness of the terrain, and the large amounts of people that are coming through, just in general, are we resource short on our northern border? >> yes. and we have articulated those needs in the administration's 15 and 16 budget requests. work load staffing model that measures the activity, at least at the ports of entry and work of volume and attributes a staffing number to accomplish that. i would be happy to follow up afterwards on how that methodology works and what those numbers are. >> thank you. >> if i may, senator, one of the things that homeland security investigations is looking at is that when there are plus ops along southwest border or the northern border from our sister
agencies and counterparts in office or field operations at the port or between the ports under chief fisher, a plus up in cbp border patrol or inspectors is logically going to result in more interdictions, which could also result in more referrals for the need for investigators and more investigative work. so we would ask that the committee and it wouldn't just affect us, as we undertake more criminal related investigations, that would affect mr. hartunian and the prosecutorial resources as well. we would ask the committee to look at it as a -- as integrated agencies, how each one affects the other. >> thanks, senator booker. senator sass. >> thank you, chairman johnson and senator carper for hosting this hearing. thank you to all of you for making time for us. i would like to talk about the term operational control. in 2011, the gao found that cbp had operational control of 32
miles of the canadian border. we have since abandoned that definition. i wonder if you can explain what operational control meant then, why we abandoned it, and if we had the same metric today, would we be at 32 miles or in a lot healthier place. >> thank you, senator. that's an excellent question. first of all, operational control was defined back in 2004 in our previous strategy as the extent to which we were able to identify, develop and track and bring to a law enforcement resolution all entries along the border. the fundamental premise within the 2004 strategy was predicated on deterrence. wanted to prevent the entry in the first instance all across the board. so we started getting additional technology like border mile fence, which we measured in a linear fashion, and started applying border patrol agents in the same manner and technology in the same manner. operational control has a default equaled the amount of technology deployments we were doing.
if you add five more miles of fencing cameras, it was acceptable based on our internal definitions of the levels of control to be able to count that as operational control. the difficulty came in two different areas. first and foremost is we were actually measuring the inputs. we weren't necessarily measuring the outcomes as a result of those deployments. and secondly, at some point in time, which it did, those resourcing capabilities run out. and so we could not as an organization then come back to this committee or others and say, well, we can't gain any more operational control based on our definitions, unless you give us more stuff. we switched to a risk-based approach to then take a look at measuring the probability of individuals coming across the border versus the mere possibility, which the previous strategy was predicated to be able to secure the border in that fashion. >> if we had a lot more than six minutes, i would unpack whether or not the last point you made,
which i completely concur with, that we run a risk-based approach, whether that's reconcilable with -- it sounds like you're saying we have a baseline budgeting approach around here. many of us are new. gary peters and i can ask new guy questions. whether or not you think the threats are driving your budget requests or year over year what would the congress tolerates drives the budget requests. senator booker asks questions about the relative threat between the northern and southern border. and i wonder if that's a place to pivot to the radiological concerns. napolitano testified that dhs deployed radiation detection across northern ports of entry. yet in 2011, the same gao report found it wouldn't be difficult at all to get nuclear material across the northern ports. i wonder if dhs is still using the same equipment. i wonder if that technology should be called a failure from
that point because of the experience of 2009 to 2011 and if better technology exists today, is that something you're requesting of us? >> senator, again, i would defer an answer to that question from john wagner, responsible for the port of entry operations. >> that equipment is still in place and we're working with the domestic nuclear detection office as part of dhs to look at the recapitalization of that and what is the right equipment to purchase and design and deploy to do that. we're looking at the calibration settings of the equipment. reducing what we call the nuisance alarms, to really better focus on what the threats are and what are operational protocols in response to them are. >> what would you say to the gao 2011 report that it would be easy or not difficult, i think was their term, to get nuclear material across the northern border and is that the case today as well? >> i don't necessarily agree with that. >> what would give you comfort? >> -- equipment functions as it was designed to do.
it looks at, you know, it looks at detecting what it was designed to do. i don't -- i'm not familiar off hand with the report or how they drew that conclusion to say it would be easy to do whether it would be open or concealed or how it would be detected, really have to go back and look at that. >> okay. i think we'll follow up with a formal question on that as well. when you think about the sources of canadian threat, one way to think about the problem is what can we deter at the border. and another is the nature of potential terrorist threats originating in canada changing. so you could have illegal immigration into canada, have legal immigration into canada, and you could have home grown terrorist threats inside canada. after the ottawa attacks, the canadian government said they thought home grown terrorism in canada was a real and potentially prevalent problem. how do we respond strategically after the ottawa threats and potential threats in the future, if there were another instance
of domestic terrorism inside canada, strategically inside dhs, where would that threat be assessed and how would it change our behavior? >> well, senator, in my experience, as the department has matured since 2003, we have heard so far this morning in terms of integrated planning and execution, sharing of intelligence and information, the more as time goes on, the more dependent all of us are fighting the same fight on each other to be able do this. nobody -- no component within the department of homeland security owns the corner market on protecting america. we are so dependent, each and every day, it becomes clearer when john and i stayed up and get our intelligence briefing every morning about the evolving threat, that's a really key thing to -- as a take away. this threat changes all the time. and we have to be able to be as responsive and perhaps more predictive as we start seeing those changes, which is it the reason why a couple of years ago cbp transitioned into integrated
counternetwork operations as a strategic philosophy which means we're not just going to put border patrol agents every 25 meters and fence behind -- or in front of them and cameras behind them and we're going to try to deter somebody from coming across. pragmatically, in my 28 years experience, that does not work for a couple of reasons. one as a strategic objective, if you have deterrence as a goal, one, you are always going to fail because somebody will come through. and number two, it is very difficult to measure. so if you try to figure out if you're deterring more people this year than last year, it gets very difficult to really understand -- i get mired up in all the statistic to remember whether in fact we're winning. when we look at the intent and capability, which defines the threat of the adversaries, it be organizations or terrorism or as a 2011 strategy to combat transnational organized crime, introduce the convergence of tcos and terrorism, those are the things that our organization
within the department of homeland security are trying to get better each and every day. >> thank you. we're at my time, but i'll follow up with more strategic questions by letter. thanks. >> thank you, senator sass. senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for hosting this hearing, which is so important for the northern border, along with ranking member carper and for michigan we're at the center of an awful lot of trade between canada and transactions across our borders. if you look at the volume of trade that goes across ports of entry of the top five in the country, detroit is number two, and port huron is number four. so we are definitely the tip of the spear, so to speak, when it comes to border control. and so it is a very important issue for my state, as well as for the industry and that's why i certainly want to thank senator johnson for his co-sponsorship of the amendment that i put forward and the recent budget bill to make sure we're fully funding our ports of entry.
that's why i'm going to make a brief pitch to make sure that we continue to get funding for the international border crossing, particularly with our new bridge, that we're constructing between detroit and windsor and port huron. they do a great deal of traffic. they have been promised improvements in that customs plaza, which have not occurred. and we need to have those. and it is vitally important to our economy. and i want to thank all of the panelists here. this is -- an interesting hearing and you have an extremely difficult job in the fact that you really have dual purposes, i look at my border crossings in michigan. we're asking you to keep us safe. and we're also asking you not to delay us while we cross the border, so that we can move trucks for just in time delivery for manufacturing facilities, which rely on that. we have substantial agricultural interests that crops on those trucks that can't rot. they have to go across the very expeditiously in order to get to
the markets. and so that is a conflicting role, one that you do well, but we're asking you to do even more when it comes to moving traffic more efficiently. i want to ask mr. fisher and mr. wagner, you mentioned a number of things happening to expedite the movement of goods in trade. what is working and what is it that you need for you to do your job of protecting us while also making sure we can make sure trade is moving efficiently? >> thank you. and it is a couple of programs that we have that we really need to, you know, push and further get participation in. in the trade environment, it is our trusted trade programs, it is linking it to the canadian programs, getting more companies and more businesses and more trucking companies enrolled in them. but it is also building the infrastructure to support the crossings and allowing us to deliver on the promise that we can expedite those low risks or secure supply chains and it just can't be over, the bridge
structure, or through the border crossing. you have to have the resulting highways to feed into that to support that. so it is getting higher percentage of transactions into those programs. on the traveler environment, it is the nexus program. it is getting more travelers into those nexus lanes, getting preapproved to go back and forth much easier. it is less time we spend on these enrolled populations as we call them, allows us to better focus on everyone else. so getting those percentages up, but also having the infrastructure to support and allowing us to then deliver on the promise we make them of this facilitated or expedited crossing to do that. it is working closely with the canadian government, looking at ways to increase the use of facilitative technology, most notably the rfid enabled traveler documents, looking at can we get a higher saturation of those types of documents. those save us time at the border. they save us resources.
we don't have to physically handle the card and read it through the reader. it reads automatically. we have seen great strides on the u.s. mexico border by getting a higher saturation of rfid enabled lanes. it allows us to do the queries automatically as the car pulls up and building the infrastructure and segregating the traffic according to risk and/or facilitative technology. just like the toll booths do with ez pass, exact change and everyone else. we have the nexus to ez pass lane or the century is the ez pass lane. the exact change is something we call the ready lane. that's something with an rfid document, but not necessarily vetted and preapproved like the trusted traveler program of nexus or century. and then everybody else goes over to the side and might be a longer wait there because of the -- we don't -- we know less about them or they have a travel document that doesn't allow us it facilitate the crossing. it is pushing that and getting more people enrolled and the
infrastructure to support it. >> well, we continue to have delays at port huron and detroit. you're making great strides to expedite that. it costs money. it costs a lot of money with the delays and based on how the system works now. are there additional resources you need or just a matter of time to implement the systems? >> it is additional resources also. we have mentioned earlier we have a work load staffing model that takes all of the activity an officer does at a port of entry, takes the average time it takes to do it, takes how many times a day it is typically done and comes up with the amount of hours to run a port of entry. and divide that by the available work hours of an officer and we come up with the staffing number of what we need to run based on the work load for that port of entry. we can mitigate that need for new staff by some of our business transformation improvements that we make. so things like one of our current efforts is the trucks pull up, and are still paying cash, couple of dollars in change to pay the user fees to cross the border rather than
buying the decals. we're looking at ways to pay that in advance online so we're not collecting cash in that primary booth and making change to deliver back to them, and the resulting savings in the work load savings and the type of savings, that translates to staff at some point. the facilities piece, we recognize facilities are extremely expensive, just between the facility itself, the staffing, the equipment needed and the highways to connect it. a lot of coordination needed, a lot of -- we would like to see a lot of regional planning to look at crossings as a systems of crossings rather than individual bridges or tunnels or crossings that sometimes compete with each other for traffic. and for toll revenue. we really like to see regional planning efforts that take them as a system of crossings working with our canadian counterparts to move that traffic north and south on both borders. >> great. i'm running out of time. i have questions also related to racial profiling and the justice
department's exemptions of the cbp for racial profiling and with some of the border patrols activities in the michigan as well that a number of my constituents have raised. i will do that in writing and look forward to your response to some very serious concerns that have been raised to me, and i would like to hear your response. thank you. >> thank you, senator peters. senator mccain. >> i thank the witnesses for being here. chief fisher, last month congressman salmon and i introduced legislation that would provide border patrol with access to federal lands to conduct routine patrols and install needed surveillance equipment to detect illegal entries across the border. gao testified that border patrols access to some federal lands has been limited because of certain land management laws. for example, the organ pipe
national monument they did not approve the land manager did not approve of border patrols request or plan to install detection equipment, in this case, a tower. we see this time after time where the land manager is making a final decision on the installation of this equipment as opposed to the border patrol. can you explain to me why that should be? one, if it's true, and two, why that should be. >> well, senator, i don't know for a fact that is true. i'm not going to dispute your report and what ga may have found. i can imagine in some locations along all of public land there are decisions that are made within the department of the interior, fish and wildlife that perhaps are antithetical to the policies and the policy we would take. >> it seems to me it should be
clear definition of who the final decisionmaker would be, which it seems to me should be your organization, not the land manager. during a hearing, chief fisher, last month ago, general kelly, the commander of the u.s. southern command, issued a warning about the threat that budget sequestration poses to security along our southern border. general kelly warned that the potential threat of terrorist crossings our southern border, quote, is extremely serious and called the budget cuts under sequestration a catastrophe which could effectively put me out of business. mr. wagner, and chief fisher, do you agree with general kelly's assessment of the effect of sequestration on your ability to control our borders? >> senator, i would agree with the general's assessment in terms of how the assessed threat
is really serious in terms of identifying risk along our border. i think that is accurate. >> how about being able to carry out your duties? >> there are challenges. under sequestration. >> yes, sir there are challenges each and every budget cycle with or without sequestration. we have finite resources. >> it doesn't matter to you? >> no, sir. it doesn't matter to me. >> then tell me, for the record, tell us whether it matters or not. >> senator, it does matter, yes, thank you. >> how serious is the impact? >> at times it can be very serious. >> thank you. mr. wagner. >> i concur with the chief. it is something we manage through. it is an additional challenge that can be distracting from the mission. it can have detriment -- >> you can manage through it, right? >> we have to. we have no other choice. >> how -- again, i don't know what -- am i not making myself clear? i want to know the effect of sequestration of your ability to do your job. >> it makes it more difficult. >> how much more difficult? >> the entire process, getting a
budget six months into a fiscal year makes it much more difficult. looking at cuts arbitrarily across the board makes it more difficult. >> how about your ability to secure our borders? >> we do the best we have with the process that we go through. >> i'm asking how it affects your ability to enforce our borders. what's the matter with you today? it is a pretty straightforward question. i want to know what sequestration, how it affects your ability to enforce our borders. >> i said it makes it more difficult and more challenging. i don't have a number i can put -- >> okay. chief fisher, general kelly also said and i quote terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause great harm to our citizens or even bring weapons of mass destruction into the united states. that's general kelly, commander of southern command's testimony last month before the armed
services committee. do you share that view? >> yes, senator, i do. >> would you elaborate? >> yes, senator. i mentioned earlier in terms of the 2011 strategy to combat transnational criminal organizations and in particular the convergence where that strategy looked at the possibility of organized crime and terrorism basically coming together to be able to exploit vulnerabilities along our border in other areas as well. we see that as an emerging threat. that's our shift to strategy -- to taking a look at risk and risk mitigation as opposed to just putting border patrol agents and fence everywhere was the reason for that as well. >> are you seeing apprehending people coming across, particularly our southern border and also our northern border that are not from the traditional countries that we usually see immigrants?
i'm talking about mexico, central america, are you seeing people coming from many other parts of the world that you're apprehending? >> yes, senator. on average over the past three years along the southern border in particular, because of the volume, we see individuals that are represented from over 140 different countries. >> 140 different countries? >> yes, senator. >> and could you give us some examples of the kind of surprise -- that would surprise the average citizen? >> although the vast majority is still with the contiguous countries of mexico, on the southern border, central and south america, i think we saw some of that increased activity predominantly from countries like guatemala, el salvador and honduras in particular. >> chinese? >> i beg your pardon? >> have you seen chinese come across the border? >> yes. >> africa. sub-saharan africa? >> yes. north africa. i have a list of 144. i don't have them with me right now, sir.
>> would you please submit that to the record and the numbers of those from these -- part of this obviously is international human smuggling operations. but also it could be disturbing to all of us to see how far away many of these illegal immigrants are coming across the border. does that concern you as well? >> it does, senator. i would be happy to provide that list to you. >> thank you. are you expecting another large number of children showing up on our border on our southern border in the next couple of months? >> senator, i'm confident at this point that based on where we are halfway through this year that we will not see the level of unaccompanied children and levels of family units that we saw last year. >> but you will see a significant number? >> again, if you're defining significant as -- if you compare that to 2010, 2011, it will be up above those levels, but it is going to be down over the
preceding two years. >> i thank the witnesses. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator ernst. >> thank you, mr. chair. i, gentlemen, i appreciate you being here today. and thanks for your service in protecting our great country. today, we have heard a lot of testimony about shared efforts between canada and the united states and i do believe that they are a strong partner for us. i know senator booker had mentioned, you know, sharing the no fly list information that would be very important. but are there any other specific initiatives that we need to look at as far as joint activities with canada? anything that in your mind and maybe chief fisher, if you can address this or mr. wagner, but specific initiatives that we really do need to take a hard look at and implement? >> yes, senator.
i would say i briefly mentioned the ibet teams where we're working very closely, embedded in many cases physically in space where we can share information. and equally important, not just the sharing of the information, is then being able to figure out what we collectively are going to do about that information on a particular threat. and if you take a look at the two countries, and the different jurisdictional authorities, and associated authorities that go with that, we are a lot stronger in doing that. to the extent we can expand not just the concept, but those teams and some regional concepts, i think we'll be better for doing just that. >> continuing to work with our cbsa and other colleagues in canada, as they develop additional targeting and information sharing systems, you know. they're working on a system much like our esta system for visa waiver travel, preapproval of that and working with canada to build a similar system so we have a north american approach
and consistent targeting and identification of national security factors. and then sharing and exchanging the ways and the protocols on how we can address those at the earliest possible opportunity. >> okay, yes, go ahead, mr. spero. >> thank you, senator. just to expand on chief fisher and commissioner wagner's answer, one thing i would like to call attention to is we had talked about, i believe mr. hartunian talked about a lot of the leadership committees and collaboration that is going on, whether the beyond the border executive group, or the cross border crime forum or bolt. those are, as i said before, very, you know, those are good -- great ways for us to strategize, identify the threats, both, you know, interacting with our canadian partners. but one of the things i want to expand on what chief fisher said, in addition to the ibets,
our hsi border enforcement security task forces are making a big difference. one of the -- they're the operators on the ground who are actually out doing the -- conducting the investigations, making the search warrants on both sides of the border and making the arrests and identifying and disrupting and dismantling the transnational criminal organizations. it is a great model. it is a model where we're allowed to -- we give our title 19 cross designation or essentially deputize canadian law enforcement so they can come into the united states and conduct side by side with us, joint investigations under our close supervision, but to have that connectivity, investigator to investigator, agent to agent, coordination, collaboration, and just working the cases together,
it is proving to be a very successful model. >> these are all initiatives that canada is open to, and they are working well with the united states. is that a correct assessment then? >> yes, senator, they are. >> okay. are there any -- yes, sir, go ahead, please. >> i would just like to highlight some of the other work that is going on in the pacific northwest. specifically operation ship rider. basically it's an rcmp, u.s. coast guard initiative in which different officers are cross designated to operate in each other's waters. i also wanted to highlight the fact that state of washington and the province of b.c. do a yearly meeting with their law enforcement trade representatives to share issues problems, and resolutions on our cross-border trafficking. and so i think those are unique to how we operate. we also engage in a mutual discussions with them on a quarterly basis in our joint management team, which has the
oversight of the best and the ibet programs and we have a yearly meeting coming up called project north star in spokane, in which we will again sit down with our canadian colleagues as well as our state and local officials and federal agencies, again to strategize and to implement those strategies in the near future. >> that's great. i appreciate the collaboration that we have with our neighbors to the north. through this process, have you seen any joint initiatives where the canadians have actually pushed back or they don't wish to collaborate with u.s. authorities? are there any of those instances out there? anybody? none that you've experienced? >> no, i wouldn't say -- the only reticence sometimes is the sharing of targeting information. they have certain privacy rules which they have to abide by.