tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN May 13, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
steps to address the factors it brings to the borders. to me that means passing comprehensive immigration reform. and also means trying to identify what are the factors causing tens of thousands of people every year, every year to try to get out of honduras guatemala and salvador. and i said many times, we're contributing to the misery by our addiction to meth amphetamines, crack cocaine and so forth. lack of hope lack of economic opportunity, president's -- i think, good plan there, and the vice president is sort of deserves our support. the other thing is i think we need comprehensive immigration reform. made a good stab at that a couple of years ago. i hope we'll come back and finish the job before long. and so that would that would pretty much sum up what i want to say. i'll close with this. we care a lot, i think almost everybody on this committee would be described as fiscal
conservative. and if you look at the size of our budget deficit go back about six years budget deficit peaked out at $1.4 trillion. and it's been coming down since then. it's down by about 2/3. but we still have a big deficit by historical standards. and we need to continue to work on that. three things, i think, we need to do. we need tax reform that lowers the rates, broadens the base and helps raise money for deficit reduction. we need entitlement reform that serves old people, poor people, frankly saves these programs for our kids. find way to save money in the entitlement programs so they'll be around for our children and grandchildren. the last thing we need to do is look at everything we need to do and get a better result for less money. everything we do. including how to secure our border in a cost-effective way. this is going to be a good hearing. thanks very much. >> thank you, senator. you'll enjoy our hearing next week talking about the 30-year deficit and those projections and certainly address those issues you were just raising.
as i was speaking to the witnesses, again and appreciate your thoughtful testimony and all the time you've put into it. if you're going to solve any problem you really do need the information. that's really the basis of all these hearings is just to lay out that record. lay out the reality. a number of times in testimony we've already talked about having the data. we've had a number of office inspector general reports. we had one on an oam and we'll get into that a little bit later. just had one issued today on the lack of data driving decisions based on prosecutorial discretion. and deferred action on childhood arrivals. those are serious issues in terms of not having the information. i'd say one of the things frustrating to me this committee has really delved into the whole issue of immigration reform and border security is just, you know especially as an accountant, as a guy from manufacturing background. just not having good, solid information and data.
recognizing those, it's pretty difficult to obtain that. but we try and do it through testimony, from getting good opinions chief, i do have to start out a little housekeeping because we were made aware, i think earlier today that one of our witnesses border agent chris cabrera received notice to appear before a cbp and internal affairs for this thursday. they want to talk to him about his congressional testimony. you know, my lutheran catechism tells me to put the best structure on it. i'm hoping the reason they want to talk to agent cabrera is they're a little concerned about some of his testimony that might vary with, you know, some of the information that we get from dhs in general. potentially talking about the fact that you know, he testified to us on the got aways. that there's a certain level of, i guess, informal potential intimidation if they report more than 20 people coming through.
the only apprehend ten and all of a sudden the supervisor's there and providing a lot of scrutiny. again, i'm highly concerned about that. we bring people before the committee, swear them in. we swear them in to tell the truth. and i'm -- i do hope that this is an effort to you know, understand what his testimony was and try to determine whether there are some real distortions in terms of the information, the data we're going to need to solve this problem. i hope i have your commitment and custom border protections management that this is not any kind of intimidation or retribution. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for that observation. the question. it is, in fact, your impression is correct. we were very concerned about chris's testimony. we're very concerned about the numbers. we want you. we need ourselves to have the data to be as accurate as possible. and chris, we work with him very well. we work with the national border patrol council to the extent that we need to and have to. they're good partners they have
been for us. and we want their testimony to reflect accurately what happens in the field. and he left the suggestion and impression that there was intimidation or misconduct going on in with regards to how the data's collected. that's not my impression, i'm quite sure that the agents and their supervisors and management of the area were chris was discussing are focused on doing the right thing for the right reasons. and so we did, in fact, refer the remarks to the office of internal affairs for getting to the bottom of whether or not there was misconduct in that area. again, it's my impression, that's not what our leadership and our managers do down there. but it helps. >> okay. good. that is very good news. and we'll be watching that. you know, we're talking about all the technologies, the forced multiplier, when we were down on the border. certainly, we hear the aerostats, only up 60% of the time, which means down 40% of the time. same with the uavs. obviously -- and i'll give you a chance to certainly respond to
the office of inspector general report. but do we have any information in terms of what percent of individuals were actually detecting? or what percent situation awareness do we have? we have secretary johnson here, i think it was two weeks ago. and he made the blanket statement, i appreciate the honesty that is that, you know, by the end of this administration, we will not have achieved 100% situational awareness. i understand that. what percent are we at right now? is there any estimate of that? can anybody speak to that? >> i can't be precise as it relates to the situational awareness across the 2,000 miles of the southwest border. we do have a very well understood, it's very well understood what activity levels are, where the hot spots for activities are and how our deployments support that. so as you know, appropriate for this hearing, the technology is very important. we are -- the data that we collect as it relates to that activity and our observations and the recording of the
outcomes of those individual interdictions feeds information where the assets and the agents give us that realtime information. so in a place like downtown where you visited in downtown brownsville where we do have surveillance technology, a very robust deployment of agents in the downtown environment. so in realtime you can collect information about activity and the results of the activity. the results which includes the people who are rested ran back and what we call got aways. in other locations, we use other methods to try and do that. there's a lot -- there's lots of space along that 2,000 miles where we don't have that kind of deployment. so we use things like change detection technology to help inform overall. there's also a piece of situational awareness that us having to understand what the capabilities of the criminal network are, how we interact with our fellow law enforcement agencies, our international partners to understand what's happening on the other side of the border, and putting those pieces together along with the observations of people who live
along the border that tell us this is out of the ordinary, this is not. if you start to put all of those things together, it gives you an idea of what's happening across the entire border. >> okay. but, again, we're always looking for some kind of metric. and certainly laws we've passed call for a metric, you know call for a goal of 100% situational awareness, 90% of operational control. so the question i have is as long as a lot of laws have been passed that way or that's certainly the idea behind some of these laws. are we not calculating that? are we not trying to track that metric now in anticipation of having potentially comply with the requirement for 100% situational awareness? >> so we look at a suite of data that says, these are the arrests arrests we look at things like recidivism, there are other elements we're trying to bring in, the secretary is focused on, in the unit of effort of tying the data together. we've struggled with the idea of
combining situational awareness. i think it's one of those phrases for a title that we seem to all understand. but when you get down to it, how do you measure something with a different connotation for a different environment? >> so would the position of department of homeland security be, then, they would just really reject or certainly resist having piece of legislation where you got that metric 100% situational awareness? >> i think we would all enjoy having a defined set of circumstances that says if you have these four criterion met, you do have situational awareness. we think it's broader. it's obviously if you have technology, a piece of machinery that surveils the border in realtime 24/7 that's an element of situational awareness. there are other pieces to that. it becomes difficult to decide exactly where you're at and what what the actual definition is. but -- >> so while we're on this topic before i turn it over to the ranking member. anybody else want to comment on this?
ms. gambler? >> we've, as i've mentioned reported on the need for cbp to put in place you know, measures to assess progress made in securing the border. and we've, you know, reported, as well, you were asking questions about sort of estimating flow and things like that. our understanding and certainly the chief can speak to this perhaps better than i can, but those are -- those are estimates. when you're talking about things like that. the border patrol does record apprehensions. but the other data points that go into estimating flow turn backs and got aways as we discuss are estimated by the border patrol. >> thank you. senator, carper? >> thank you, mr. chairman. the time line that i am -- i have all the time in the world. so i'm going to yield to my time for a while and maybe i could pick up in a little bit. thanks. >> thank you, senator carper. following up on the chairman's
questions, did any of you have a concise definition for situational awareness? okay. that's good enough. i would just say, i think before we can even talk about situational awareness and how important situational awareness is, i don't know what the hell we're talking about, you know. and so the next question is is situation awareness a prerequisite for having a secure border? chief? >> i believe if we can come to terms on the definition for situational awareness, then you can constructively then go from there, recognizing what the data is and say whether you have situational awareness or not, and based on the activity levels capability that cbp and others bring then you can leap from there or jump from there or work out from there to that secure border definition. >> all right. so, moving forward here i think
we all want to have a secure border. and, look, if we want to get hung up on terminology we can get hung up on terminology. how many people are getting through and how many people are being apprehended? and how secure is it? how safe is it? and are we spending the money in ways that make sense? whether it's on drones or radar or ground sensors or fences? and so the next question i have, and most of these are going to be to you, chief. but mr. murkowski you feel free to jump in if you feel and assess the two. are drones used on the northern border? >> yes, sir, they are used on the northern border. >> in concert with the canadians? >> no, they are used in conjunction with the border patrol, sir. >> it's not a joint effort? you guys? >> it is not. >> how about radar in the northern border? >> we do pull in all faa radar
feeds dod feeds. >> how about radar under 5,000 feet on a northern border? >> the coverage is limited. >> okay. >> what about ground sensors? >> yes. on the northern border. and those feeds are directly shared across international -- >> okay. that's good. how many miles would you say on a northern border ground sensors are utilized? >> i could be precise to the record with some data -- >> that'd be fine. >> each of the sectors. >> when we're talking about a technology like drones and ground sensors in particular, less on radar, but when ground sensors and drones in particular particular, is there -- is there some reduction in manpower when they're yut liszutilized? or is that not the case? >> in making us more efficient? >> well, what i'm saying do you need as many people underground or get by and still have a safe border? >> correct. both the sensors and the aircraft allow for us to do more with fewer.
>> with fewer. okay. that's -- that's good to know. can you tell me other than sharing the ground sensor information. you know canada's a pretty good ally of ours. is there anything else you do besides border crossings in a joint way? >> yes, under several frameworks by each leadership in the department at higher levels we work with canada in every area as it relates to border security. >> there's private land public land, there's national parks, indian reservations. typically, we're on the border everywhere, both private and public land. there's a recognition from
landowner, and within 25 miles, you know, as the job demands -- >> yeah. >> we enter private land. >> that's better than i got for information last week. i appreciate that. when you -- i want to talk about partnerships for a second. i think the border patrol did a poor job as far as building partnerships and this was eight or nine years ago. you've improved with highway patrol, local police folks. with ranchers, with farmers hopefully with other agencies, too. i'm talking about federal agencies. how do you feel those partnerships are working? and is there anything we can do to make those partnerships work better? >> we -- i believe that we've recognized that's part of how we're going to be successful in the environments that we work. having partnerships, leveraging each other's authority, exchanging information so that
people are recognizing where threats are. that's always going to be part of the future. we've adopted that as a way forward. we interact quite a bit with leadership and law enforcement, and the stone garden program that congress gave us several years back after the department was created is a very useful tool for us and is very well thought of by state and local. >> could you give me your assessment of border security in the indian reservation, for example. i don't want to single those out. with the reservation compared to others areas on the northern border, would you say it's equivalent, better, worse? >> i'm not aware of any deficiencies we have specifically. >> how about with the park? glacier national park? >> same. we have an ongoing working relationship to be present and understand their concerns as well as being present on the
border and patrolling. >> so the need for additional tools and i don't want to put words in your mouth. need for additional tools, you've got it with operation stone garden, with the park service relationships memorandums, whatever? >> correct, we do. >> well, i just wanted to say, thank you for your work. all of you. most of the questions were to ron because i like him, you know. but the truth is i appreciate all your work and you've got people behind you that work very, very hard. and i appreciate them, too. the key is, we have limited money here, at least i think that's across the board. i'm not sure it's across the board. we have to make sure it's spent correctly and appropriately. and i know we might want a knee jerk reaction to things when they happen. but the truth is, if we listen to you folks, i think we make better decisions. thank you for your service.
>> senator carper? >> thanks. thanks, mr. chairman. sometimes -- let me just ask, how many of you have testified on this subject before before either a house or senate committee subcommittee? raise your hand. okay. mr. garcia, where you been? doing your day job? >> testifying on other things. >> okay. good enough. if you've been before this committee, probably want to ask you what works. what i'm going to do is flip that question and ask each of you to give us an idea or two about some things that don't work. and we really shouldn't do that. what are some things you think that don't work? especially if we had all the
money in the rld woworld, getting in debt, a lot more. what are some things we ought not do? you don't think they work? they're not worth the money? mr. hollis? >> good question, sir. >> i'm full of them. that's my best one today so. >> i'm struggling with that one. in terms of -- because most of the stuff is, i think that does not work is stuff that we actually stop doing. so one of the things we went through in our own office was to analyze across all of our offices which ones were most effective, most efficient and reorganize our structure based on that. so what we actually look at that pretty regularly year-over-year to see what's not working and then to either adjust our organization and our assets to rid ourselves of those things. we're in the process of downsizing aircraft. we're getting rid of about 40, 50 aircraft. reorganizing our offices along the north and the south. so we have our agents in the right places and getting --
>> hold it right there. i want you to take a couple of minutes and think about that question. think about some things that don't work that we shouldn't be doing. go ahead. mr. murkowski? >> yes, sir, thank you for that question. i think there are a lot of lessons we learn about things we shouldn't do. for example, we shouldn't treat technology or any other capital asset as an end. it's a means to an end. and we often get attracted by the bright shiny thing. and we don't think about why or how it will help us do our jobs. sometimes it's difficult because we don't always have metrics. we don't have history. we're doing things that are new to us. we have to understand how to do things that are new to us and collect data and reiterate on that. technology's a means to an end, it's not an end in to itself. we can't impose technologies on people who use it. we have to involve them. and they have to invite us to bring technologies. that's a classic mistake. we can't aspire to immature
technologies before they're ready for us really to start to use them. and we do that very often. so those are all sort of acquisition lessons learned that i would say that we've done in the past that we need to remember not to do in the future. >> those are good ones. those are good ones. >> thank you. >> hold on just one sec. >> my phone just went off. my phone went off and it says rahm emanuel who used to be the president's chief of staff, but he's now the mayor of chicago. i don't think it's him calling. but whoever has his old job over there is probably calling. we'll figure out who that is. >> i agree with my colleagues. assistant commissioner this is a challenging question. and i think we have learned. >> excuse me. i've got a phone call for the chief of staff's boss.
i'm going to ask you -- excuse me for a second, i'll come back and try to reclaim my time. i apologize, i'm still going to ask that question. excuse me. >> understood. >> shouldn't take long. >> let's talk about fencing. you know, when we were preparing for this meet, we got a chart up here showing the different types of fencing. but one of the charts i wanted to produce was -- i wanted to lay out the border, and i wanted to you know, specify. here are the different type of fencing along the lines, and i found out i can't show that because it's law enforcement sensitive. i'll first ask the chief, why would the fencing and the quality of the fence and type of fencing along the border be law enforcement sensitive. i mean, that's a secret that isn't exactly a secret. >> i really don't understand that, as well. i think that the documents that we sent over that we were trading back and forth that we
were trying to approve late in preparing for today's testimony were marked. i'm not sure the origination of those markings. i agree with you, if you live in a community that has the benefit of fencing as a -- >> kind of know where it is. >> that people nowhere it is. >> if you're a drug smuggler you know where that is. got that mapped out. >> as you start to aggregate data like that or images you start to show a picture across the southwest border and it's easier to pick out some of the vulnerabilities. that may be the origination of the markings. but we will certainly provide what we can. >> which is of course why i wanted. i wanted to see where we have our strength and is weaknesses. talk to me. maybe trying to think who would be best here. how effective can fencing be? and what has been the real problem in constructing it? we have environmental laws,
eminent domain, lawsuits. we've passed laws that exempt ourselves from those. but what's been the real reality? because, you know we have built close to 700 miles of fencing. but you can tell by the different types of fencing, there's some that works pretty good. and some that, you know, obviously might stop a truck. but certainly going to stop a human being. so just -- who is the best just to kind of talk about the history of, you know, multiple laws we passed to build fencing. and then we relax them, set them up for discretion. they're not crystal clear we don't, i mean, do we really need, do we have to build 700? there's no time horizon on it. what's happened? we'll start with mr. garcia and then -- >> mr. chairman if i understand, the first question you had was about possible impediments, legal impediments to legal fence construction.
>> when congress expressed barrier deployment in 1996, although there was barrier deployment before that it provided a waiver, dhs or i guess at that time, the immigration naturalization service could waive two laws. nepa which concerns environmental assessment and the endangered species act. those two waivers that waiver authority in many observers' mind was insufficient. the i.n.s. was required to deploy essentially complete a triple layered fencing project in san diego. and over the course of nine years, that project wasn't completed because of impediments caused by other environmental laws. congress responded to that pursuant to the real i.d. act by providing dhs with broad waiver authority to waive all legal requirements that may impede the
expeditious construction of barriers and roads. not a specified place like san diego but anywhere along the u.s. border. >> did it work? >> that -- that waiver authority was exercised in five instances in i believe, five in between 2005 and 2008 in that certainly assisted border patrol in expeditiously constructing hundreds of miles of fence along the southwest border. there were legal challenges brought to a halt. certain border projects. but courts would dismiss those challenges. i will note it is not absolute. besides the constitutional limitations, you cannot waive the tuesday. another thing is that it refers specifically to the construction of barriers and roads.
there is certainly some question as to whether it would apply to tactical infrastructure that is not a barrier or a road. like sensors or cameras. dhs when it has exercised waiver authority to border projects it has often mentioned things like radio towers and cameras in addition to the fence. but whether waiver authority could be used exclusively for a project to install towers or sensors along a particular stretch of the border dhs has never done that, and that would raise a question, is that a barrier? >> okay. chief, why don't you finish out and i'll turn it back over to the ranking member? >> so i think we've used fencing. and it's been part of border deployments for my entire career. in the images that you're showing here in the top left, that was designed, procured and
developed by mostly by border patrol agents. a lot of the national guard deployments we've used over the years along the southwest border to build that fencing. effective for a short-term, you know, surge operations when you're adding other things that technology, et cetera. it did us very well. the fencing that was brought to us by the changes in the act and the mandate to do 700 miles or more of the other images that you show there, and then the vehicle barrier also represented there is strategically placed in locations where it's very difficult to get to the border afoot. and so necessary to have a -- it's not necessary to have a pedestrian fence in places where it's -- the infrastructure doesn't support people walking toward the border. and so all of them have contributed to higher levels of security. i think on the other side of the equation, it's a lot more expensive than we expected when we started. and it was much more difficult. i was in texas as the chief of the rio grande valley in
2007-2010. and so when i arrived on duty there, we helped validate and set a requirement for fencing. as i recall about 75 miles. most of that fencing was built. and it has made a difference. but it wasn't without lots of -- excuse me? most of it is in place, yes. most of it is in place. oh, it absolutely has made a difference. yes, it has. but it wasn't without lots of challenges. difficult with hydraulogy. and we're still in court about condemnation, et cetera. that's part of the history. that's part of the lessons learned as we went through that whole project. >> thank you, senator carper. >> thanks so much. i had to leave the room for a moment. right in the middle of asking a question. i was asking a good question.
rather than talking about what's working, i asked to talk about what's not working so we can do less of that. and he's still thinking about it. i had to slip out of the room. so you want to pick up where we left off? >> so as i was saying, i was agreeing with both of my colleagues. some of the lessons we've learned with trying to fit technology in without the proper kind of awareness with all of the capabilities or lack of capabilities. one of the lessons we've learned is as we move into this. >> give us some examples of that. >> we have this process, capability gap analysis.
border patrol agent, well known in this environment. it allows us to go to the field and do surveys and walk the ground and understand what threats are faced at a station level. right, so the agents on the ground who are challenged day-to-day. and patrolling the border. where are the biggest problems and what kinds of technologies that they have or think are available will help them solve those problems. we can do that station by station. rolled up in a sector and rolled up in headquarters. we're in the process of baselining the data. we've got about 3/4 of the workforce and the station level data coming to us. and we'll use that to help inform the plans that we've already made with otia. we are in the inventory, the things that work now being installed in places like arizona will give us a hint of where to go next. what might be coming available that we can help do research on the dhs side.
>> what country does your family come from? >> vietnam? >> i knew it. what area? >> the south. >> i served a little time over there. >> thank you for serving. >> loved doing it. it was an honor. >> thank you for keeping me safe and free all those years. >> thank you. you're welcome. same question. >> yes, sir. from an standpoint, i would say that the biggest challenge always has been how do we transition from an rnd effort into acquisition. and it's a challenge, it's not unique to just dhs. dod has the same challenge. it's been in existence a lot longer than dhs, as well. >> have you seen some instances where folks have overcome that challenge? is there anything to learn from that? >> yes, sir. what i'm trying to say is it's a
challenge in a sense that that in the way the budget is structured. uh just talked in my opening remarks. these are undergoing operational assessment right now. our two organizations sat down, and tried to put in the budget on my side ready for acquisition in that time frame and delivered in that time. and the cost is the acquisition and maintenance of that.
i frankly doubt that the budget that he put in will get get approved. it's the way the structure, the budget is structured. being an operational department, cbp have many urgent needs. and if otaa come up and ask for budget for a possible technology that may or may not be successful three years from now, it doesn't come as a very strong argument against other very urgent needs. so the problem of what we call wedging the budget, if we don't do that then of course, therestthere there's no smooth transition. to deliver a technology in fy '18, if by that time we pass all the assessment, and let's say obp asks, mark yeah, we want a technology, we want our technology. and if mark doesn't have it in his plan at that time then he would have to scrounge for money. because we cannot wedge the
budget. >> okay. >> that's the problem that does impact most of us who are trying to bring very innovative technology into acquisition. >> all right, thank you. where do you work? you don't work at gao, do you? >> i am -- >> you probably never thought of the idea of what doesn't work have you? >> i think two points senator, coming from gao's work on border security. >> okay. >> and acquisitions more broadly. one is determining what the user needs are up front before moving forward with deploying technology. and it's important and we've reported on this as it relates to the surveillance technologies in arizona. for cbp to better document the underlying analysis and justification for what it's deploying, you know, where it's deploying it, and in what quantities. so we think that's important, and then the second piece of that is to conduct robust
testing of what's being deployed to ensure that you're identifying any risks as early on in the process as possible so that cbp's best positioned to be able to address those risks before moving toward full procurement and full deployment. so i think those are two key themes emerging from our work. >> okay. good. thanks. any ideas? i bet you do. >> i should begin by saying i'm an attorney not a policy analyst, so i simply defer to my co-panelists on that issue. i'd also be happy to put you in touch if necessary of any of the border security experts. i could make an observation, though, and this is more in terms of the legislative role. and that's simply that a central issue for congress has been what is the appropriate level of discretion? and what is the appropriate level of guidance that should be proffered to dhs through the
legislation. and issues of border security. and sometimes congress has been specific sometimes very general. sometimes it's re-evaluated where it's provided a general authority and later imposed a specific requirement. or other times, it has had specific requirements that it has later deemed to be too onerous and provided a more general framework for dhs. so the two observations would be, number one, the appropriate level of discretion in guidance may be different in congress' view depending on the particular issue related to border security. and number two, it is not necessarily guaranteed that just because congress believes that a particular moment a certain level of discretion should be given or specific amount of guidance should be given that they cannot change it at a later date. >> okay. that was good. it was very helpful. i'll close with this thought. i usually get a better result in the end if i'm trying to figure
out how to do something by asking a lot of other people. what do you think? what do you think? and at the end of the day, we probably end up coming up with a better idea. and we also, even if we don't use their idea, i think people feel good about having been asked. did i ever give you a chance to briefly comment? i know you tried to at the beginning and you swung and missed. >> second chance sir. >> real beliefly, please. >> one thing i think we struggled with in the past when we procure new assets, make sure they're provisioned properly. that's been an issue for us in the past and it's one thing we don't want to continue in the future. we want to make sure that affects our readiness. that's key. >> makes a lot of sense. thank you. >> senator langford. >> thank you. let me ask a couple of general question and i'm going to drive down some specifics, as well. let me ask you. do you need more people? do you need more technology? i understand it's a little bit of both. but if you're going to weigh up between the two, what are you
needing more than others? >> so you absolutely have to have the right mix depending on the terrain, depending on the activity, threats, et cetera. right now, i think our challenge is finishing what we started on the technology piece. i think that would do more for us. if you're just looking at the border environment, at the immediate border, the technology would be my priority would be our priority for the agency. >> the type of technology most of the agencies met with the -- it's just kind of grown up organically over the years. how many types of helicopters are we using? >> that would be my area, sir. goodness.
>> would it help us are there one or two of the platforms more effective than others that as we determined efficiency, effectiveness for what we're trying to accomplish with it. maintain the parts maintenance of five different types of aircraft on that. has its own unique dynamic and cost on it. >> the direction would be to go to two aircraft, medium lift helicopter. >> what would it take to get there? >> procurements of new helicopters to replace the ones that are the odd types. >> is that something we need to help with or y'all are in process with right now? >> part of it we're in process with, some of them we can't entirely deal with the budgets we have. >> okay. you mean you can't retire the old ones or replace those that need to be replaced. >> can't replace all of them. some of it we can, some of it we can't. >> okay. >> so other technologies that are out that we have multiple platforms of. is there a need to be able to shrink down to one or two types that are more effective that
have been tried and tested. now we need to zero into a couple. are there any efficiencies of scale we can gather from that? >> yes. actually, we sort of went the other way with the ground-based technology. because what we had was this very large, very expensive system which was overkill for a lot of areas. it made sense to have us have a multiple number of these technologies from small to large. the way that we're handling that is we're designing a strategy where we can centralize our workforce that does maintenance on those so we can take advantage of the economy of scale to workforce. that's a work in progress. it does continue, though, to be a concern. if we have multiple kind of radars cameras downstream, we may want to make the cameras the same on different systems. but that will be a plan going forward. >> okay. tell me a time period on that. make those decisions. again, the more people we have on maintenance the fewer people we have -- >> we don't use border patrol to do the maintenance, first of all. >> dollars. >> that's correct. >> and by the way, i know this
is counterintuitive the cost has gone down because we're sustaining lower cost systems. that doesn't mean we can't drive efficiencies as we go forward and drive those costs further down. so far this has been a good trend. i think the way we deal with more combination is in technology refresh. >> what percentage we cannot address, then, get something to them in a matter to actually interdict. >> the fixed in mobile technology does really well on ground targets. people crossing the border afoot or vehicles, we have -- the assets brought by vader has been
very good at that. i think our biggest challenge collectively with marine trying to procure is this low, slow radar detection for small what they call ultra light aircraft that's been a challenge for us. we've tried a couple of different systems had some success, but not as far along as we'd like to be. the other big challenge based on terrain and conditions is tunnel detection. >> actually headed to my next question. where are we technology wise being able to pick that up? >> so we have a system that's we've borrowed from dod and we've done testing with and had some success with. but the terrain varies so much along the southwest border that it's been very difficult to find a box or a machine, if you will, that will give us the kind of fidelity that you would like to see the kinds of things we get with aircraft or fixed towers, mobile scopes et cetera. >> okay. what kind of interchange with
ideas do we have with dod and other folks to swap what we've learned, gained, how is that working? are there impediments to that we can help correct as far as communication? are you finding any walls of celebration? separation. >> we have a great and increasing relationship of dod at all levels. from secretary down to the colonel and lieutenant colonel running. i have an office that does that, and ms. duwong has an office that does that. we have all kinds of programs to bring that into our environment and check it out and test it, and in some cases use it to support operations. very extensive. >> one thing i would comment is we do have extensive collaboration. taken to buy the systems to them. so before excess military systems were passed over to us for use in homeland security, now we're having to purchase those. >> eke o. okay. are you getting walmart prices
or saks 5th avenue prices? >> well, they do what they can, but there's been a big process of charges on the dod side. >> one other thing on the aircraft, the aerostat and how that's working. our blimp, am i using the right term on that? >> so first half to specify, two aerostat systems. the system i work with is tar system high altitude 15000 feet detects aircraft very well. needs to be recapitalized, it's an older system. and let mark talk about the lower systems. >> all right, the lower altitude systems, the ones we've borrowed from dod, those we call tactical aerostats. five of them flying in texas. they are relatively expensive. we are leasing them from dod. but they've been extraordinarily effective there. now we're in the process of deciding at that cost how often should we use them? that's where that's -- >> this is the cost actually, the item itself or sustaining it? >> it's the operations and maintenance and sustainment of
it. we are leasing the crews that operate those. we have been able to get dod to transfer us four of the small ones as well as towers. we've gotten transfers of them. but right now, paying for the operations and support. >> and one more thing to wrap up, if i may. i want to come back to a percentage that i talked about before. percentage of people in just a guess that we can detect but we're not actually interdicting. >> so one of the suite of measures we collect is called effectiveness. and effectiveness is designed to get out how many people across the border last night and how many were apprehended. and so the data we collect again, this is an estimate. but the data for last year shows that we're in the 75 to 78% range on effectiveness across the southwest border. >> those are individuals that we saw, that we were able to actually. pick up. >> through aircraft an individual agent or for what we call sign, footprints in the desert, if you will.
you wrap those all up, and we try to do a 24 by 7 estimate of that activity across the southwest border. and also that effectiveness ratio counts for the people who came in, people apprehended as well as the people who ran back. >> okay. >> thank you. >> thanks, senator. that is, you know, in terms of testimony before the committee there's discrepancy there. and maybe that's if you're looking at detections and measuring verse, you know, how many people you detected versus apprehended, it's 75%. but you're not detecting everybody, which is one of the reasons i asked the question about some level of understanding of what situational awareness is. is there any sense of what percent you're not detecting? >> we're also attempting at the departmental level, they're also attempting to look at the probability of apprehension, which would start to estimate the actual flow that would give
you a scientific estimate, but still an estimate about the number of people who are crossing. we're in the technology and the deployment support realtime information. you can be very confident in specific zones where there's enough agents and technology to show you what's happening in realtime and record the responses in realtime and the effect. the effectiveness in those locations is very well documented. again, not scientific. sometimes you don't see the people cross in realtime. you can use that camera data, you can use the agent data and wrap those shift by shift day by day and start to look at trends across. in the places where we don't have that kind of deployment, we're using this change detection technology. for instance, something that hangs off of the uac that can fly the border take a digital snapshot, if you will and interval later, maybe an hour, maybe a shift maybe a day and look at that land, again and you can start to recognize change based on the way the pixel look in the picture. and that can tell you and verify
when you don't have threat or don't have crossings. and it'll give you a lead to find out if there's change in the specific areas to go and investigate what it is. and so that has been very useful for us in these locations where we believe based on the people who live there there's not a lot of traffic. and we've been able to validate some of those locations don't see cross border elicit traffic. >> again i'll definitely acknowledge, this is very difficult to wrap your arms around in terms of what the data is, what the information is what the truth is. but, you know, we started this series of hearings on border security certainly dhs pointed to a number of apprehensions down which is a quasi metric for you know, how effective were securing our border. but at the same time we started our first panel. people on the border themselves. and to a person. they're very emphatic making the point that the border is not secure. and another pretty interesting
metric, i think depressing metric. and we had general mccaffrey here in his testimony before us only interdicting 5% to 10% of illegal drugs. there's a pretty big discrepancy. 75% apprehension rate of people coming into this country illegally, only 5% to 10% interdiction rate of drugs. as i grapple with that. plus border patrol agents talking about the people on the ground 30% to 40%. i realize this is very difficult to grapple with but i take a look at that interdiction rate of drugs as pretty indicative of how not secure or border is. can you comment on that in terms of how that all relates? >> i think as we get better with these deployments as we start to fill out the arizona technology plan, as we start to move into the other locations, the next for us is south texas we'll get better in all
categories. we'll get more effective at the immediate encounters on the border and we'll get more effective at the drug interdictions. looking at the worldwide estimate of production, which is an estimate, and looking at our seizure data there's a wide discrepancy. but if it's out there and our agents get wind of it if they can follow it and track it down and make an interdiction they're going to do that. say for air and marine. same for the state and locals. there's a lot of help out there. >> but do you dispute that estimate in the 5% to 10% range? do you think it's higher? >> i can't dispute it. i'm not familiar with how they do worldwide production. the aggregate of all the drugs that are produced. i assume we're in a small percentage of interdictions that are actually made. >> reason i really point that out as we explore this problem i'm from a manufacturing background and our ranking member always talks about root cause as well. if i were to really put a finger on the root cause of our insecure border it's really our insatiable appetite for drugs.
and the drug cartels that have spawned the destruction of public institutions in central america that has created. this is a huge problem. and the drug cartels aligning themselves with international criminal organizations, potentially aligning themselves with terrorists. this is an enormous problem, which is why we're spending so much time on it. commissioner alice i really do owe you the ability to just respond to the office of the inspector general's report on the drone program. i know when we were down there at mcallen you were pretty emphatic you did not agree with that. i just want to give you the opportunity to give you some perspective on that inspector general report. >> part of our discussion this afternoon has been on the whole issue of situational awareness or what we will call domain awareness. and i think that was one of the key things missing from the inspector general's report. the predator uas system helps with domain awareness, has sensors on it i never had before, we've never had in cvp
before, that work over land and over water to detect movements of craft and also personnel. and they seem to have missed that for some reason. we had 18000 detections in the tucson sector alone the year they did that report 2013. so that's a pretty substantial detection rate for the technology. i think the other part of it is they did not consider the actual value of the system in terms of seizing contraband. i just mentioned we just finished a deployment in el salvador that netted us $370 million in contraband. that's pretty impressive considering for this half of a year that we just completed with the predator system it's got $370 million of seizures. for the year they did the report we had a 444% return on investment. versus their flight calculation the cost per hour versus what we returned in contraband. so i think it's been a very successful system for us overall and i look forward to better performance out of it in the future. >> and i think one of the biggest problems cited in the
inspector general's report really was just hours of operation and just the inability to get it up as often as possible to drive that cost per operational hour down. can you speak to that at all? >> i do think this is an area we need to still work in. it's not achieving the number of hours i wanted to achieve per year. part of that has to do with the weather. but that's not all of it. there's other factors in there too. we need to build out in the system in terms of personnel, maintenance, satellites, those kinds of things we're working on. we want to hit 6,000 hours every year. i want to get it up more toward 9,000. i'm not looking for the numbers they put out 23,000 hours frankly as i mentioned to you guys down at corpus, the systems will wear out in a few years flying at those kinds of rates and not be available. >> chief tell, because this is detection, you're in charge of apprehension. so you speak a little bit to the uav program and how useful that's going to be and what are the drawbacks, what are the advantages? >> so i take the general's description about vader. this is something we had never tried before.
and there were people projecting on to it something we weren't even sure it was capable of doing. it turned out to be a very useful system and we now are on our way to procure more of them. so we think it's going to be part of the future. it's obviously something that makes the uas much more capable. already a robust system with eor, et cetera but having the vader and being able to see moving targets in real time is going to help us and has. we've learned a lot with it in tucson. we're starting to experiment, if you will and use operational tests in south texas and we look forward to its success there as well. >> thank you. and again, we saw a pretty amazing demonstration of that too when we were down there. senator carper. >> that was good to hear. very encouraging. maybe we can talk about effective budget cuts. if you would respond to this, it's my understanding.
somewhere around $39 billion, maybe a shade over that. this amount is $350 million a year below the appropriation, almost $2 million below what the president requested for 2016. and let me ask each of you if you can take a moment these potential budget cuts you work with to secure our borders. >> it's obviously potential. don't know exactly where they'll fall out. but first area of concern in the flight hours area, we would like to maintain ourselves flying the 95,000 to 100,000 area which is what we're projecting here in the coming years. if we're cut back obviously, then that is going to suboptimize our force. we're really situated aircraftwise and peoplewise to operate at those levels. if we don't we're not being as
efficient or effective as we can be. i have limited pro kurmts. the only current procurement we're buying is an enforcement aircraft at two per year. >> what kind of aircraft? >> multirole enforcement aircraft. built up here at gaithersburg -- i'm sorry. not in gaithersburg. hagerstown. >> king air sn. >> it's a king air. it's a beach king air. that's our only procurement. if that would for some reason stop because of money more than likely that line would close. >> okay. >> obviously i'll leave it to the chief to talk about the operational impact but in the acquisition system there's also a huge impact. first of all we can't buy as much. oftentimes that means we cut back on contracts. for example, what that can mean is i have an arrangement with a industry. the arrangement is an up to but not necessarily all the way up to and you can imagine what industry does. they project based on that and take some chances on the early
part of it. if i cut some of that down stream effort out they don't get the return on the investment. now i have a tough relationship with them. the other thing is all the competitions become winner takes all. they get down and dirty and nasty. they increase protests. it delays the process. that also has a huge effect. it also affects their ability and nirnt investing in what they call independent research and development which is investment we all need to provide for the future. and going to ms. duong's point it makes it difficult to do this long-term wedge planning for the next system that allows us to have a smooth transition including with industry from the snt arena into the acquisition arena. >> okay. chief? >> senator, it remains to be seen where those cuts are. we're obviously very concerned. this gives us a chance -- gives me a chance anyway to amend my answer about what not to do. one of the challenges we have in -- >> we don't get a lot of second chances in life, do we, guys? >> appreciate that. one of the challenges is at cvp
as a component we have over 70% of the budget is applied to salaries. that's people in the field. almost everybody that is employed in cvp. that's 65-plus thousand. big mission support group here and smaller numbers in each of the field locations. but within the border patrol specifically, enormous amount of money provided by you all and the taxpayer. but 93% of it goes to salary. so it becomes very difficult to decide what things you need to make that workforce capable that you cannot do without specific levels of cuts. that's our challenge. 93% labor. 7% to do everything else we have to do. all the cars and all the radios and all the phones and all of the equipment that agents need to be capable. that becomes a very difficult challenge for us. >> okay. thanks. different subject. life cycle costs. and this would be you, miss
gambler, miss duong and if we have time for some of these guys as well. but i think congress -- not just congress, others as well but we're often better about nyingbuying new technologies than we are at paying to get the full value of those investments. it doesn't make a lot of sense. for example, we talked a little about this already. advanced ufshls surveillance technologies if we're not prepared to pay for their ongoing maintenance cost to keep them running well and at full capacity, people trained to do that stuff. could each of you comment starting with you, miss gambler, on whether this is a challenge for the department in terms of border security investments and what advice do you have for us, for congress, on how to improve matters? >> with regard to the arizona technology plan, we -- when we did our report last year on that plan we did assess the cost estimates that cbp had in place for the plan and some of the highest cost programs under the
plan and found that cbp could take some additional actions to ensure those life cycle cost estimates better meet best practices. a key area we reported on was the need for cbp to verify and validate its cost estimates against independent estimates to make sure that those estimates would be fully reliable and credible. and we made recommendations to cbp in that area to ensure that their life cycle cost estimates more fully meet best practices, and we understand that -- and mr. borkowski may be able to speak to this more, that they are in the process of updating the life cycle cost estimates for some of the technology programs under the plan going forward. >> okay. thank you. miss duong? >> from the standpoint of technology that we in snt are developing we make sure we do a good job at estimating a life cycle cost before we submit that information to mr. borkowski, for example, for potential
acquisition. it's a process we keep improving. as you know, before we start a project we already consult with operating component in estimating the return on investment. and when return on investment, it's their r&d investment not my r&d investment. if we pursue this particular technology let's say we could find ten more tunnels per year. what does that mean in terms -- and we estimate throughout it would cost x dollars to buy a new tunnel detection system that we're developing does that mean five years ten years? so at first it's just an estimate. and as we move further into the development of the solution then we try to come up with a better and better estimate, and in the end when we get to operational assessment that's when we try to come up with a
much better return on investment and estimate to help cbp make the decision. so it's not just about oh look what great this capability could do, what great things this capability could do for you, but if you were to buy one or three or five systems, and we estimate it would help you find five or ten more tunnels, just be conservative, per year then what does that mean in terms of cost saving? we try to do that from an snt standpoint to help them make the right decision. the other part is about acquisition programs. as you know, snt, it's not in our responsible to do acquisition. that's otia's responsibility. however, the department does employ us as an adviser and we try to make investments to help acquisition programs better understand the implication of the maintenance cost. the tale of anything. just like you pointed out, senator, a lot of time the
acquisition cost is actually the lowest cost. but it's the easiest one that everybody look at. so snt always say that we want to be able to spend millions in order to save billions or hundreds of millions. so it's always a goal that we strive to achieve. and the department has become more and more -- has become more and more -- in recognition of our role and i'm glad to say that snt has become a trusted adviser for the department along that line. >> well, my time's expired. we're going to have one more round so i can let these guys answer that question or not? >> no. i've got a couple more questions also. >> good, good. great. chief teshlgsll, i've got a few more questions. i want to go over the inspector general's report that came out
today about the lack of the department collecting data on prosecutorial discretion. in the report it says as of september 30th, 2014 cbp's office of border patrol reported it had released 650 dock-eligible individuals. so you are keeping track of that? in what organized fashion are you tracking that? >> when we process someone who is encountered by an agency and then we refer them either to deportation proceedings or in the case of unaccompanied children to the hhs system and then all of the encounters that we make are documented in a system. the enforcement system. so if it's appropriate, fingerprints biographical data photos, et cetera. >> but if you're apprehending somebody illegally crossing the border how could they qualify under doca? >> they won. >> but you released 650 under that.
>> that's a cbp number. i have not seen the report. we've had very few encounters with doca eligible individuals in our context. >> yeah. according to this report you've released 6 50. i.c.e. released about -- your percentage is quite low. how could anybody qualify under doca coming into this country illegally? >> we do have environments we operate in such as checkpoints or people at the border who haven't crossed the orderer and they're encountered by our agent and they have eligibility under the standard. not everybody we come in contact had w. has crossed the border. >> i believe the department has agreed with the office of inspector general to collect more data. have you already been contacted in terms of the kind of data they've been looking for as relates to prosecutorial discretion? >> specifically to that i have not seen that. we are always looking for ways to identify where there are gaps
in the system. so the issue with unaccompanied children last year we struggled mightily with understanding how our data connected with data that i.c.e. keeps as it relates to detention and further on to removal proceedings within the justice department. that's been a struggle for us for a couple of years. >> do you deal much with just the prioritization of who we're going to try and remove? i know the aliens pose a danger to national security. those that violated immigration control. aliens, fugitives, otherwise. is that something you deal with or you apprehend them and somebody else deals with those criteria? >> so all the agents -- there's a training regimen for everyone to understand what the priorities are as it relates to the memorandum. but obviously, most of the work we do, over 190-some thousand arrests or apprehensions made so far this year those are all recent border entrants. they fall well within the priorities for action. >> those priorities really don't affect you as much as they obviously affect i.c.e. or justice or hhs.
>> correct. >> you did mention border patrol agents, the numbers. i want to get your assessment. i know the texas department of public safety engaged in "operation strong safety." and they surged a lot of manpower to the border. i just want to get your evaluation, how effective that was. because we talked about technology. different technicians or detection systems. fencing, that type of thing. in the end we need manpower. and so just give me your "operation strong safety work didn't -- i believe it's in mcallen, texas. is that all texas borders or is that -- >> it's mostly south texas. i've actually seen directly the deployments in the rio grande valley. and obviously as an operator i'm going to tell you that more boots on the ground is always better. is it the most efficient way and those kinds of things? that would really be for the state to tell you how effective their deployments have been. but i know we've worked closely
with them. most of our deployments especially in south texas are near the river, and having the department of public safety, they have some capabilities in role enforcement on the river et cetera but most of that is related to hard top on the highways. and they've been an asset for us with regard to helping chase smugglers, et cetera. >> operation strong safety-s that continuing? >> as far as i know it is. >> have you measured -- do you have kind of a before and after now? >> i can look at all of the data that we've developed. i'm not sure -- obviously locally we're aware of their contributions directly. but again, it's a situation where there are more boots on the ground et cetera, in that particular location. and in their deployments they help us in the areas where we know traffic is going to eventually try to make it if it's made it past us. >> we were down there particularly the sunday the extra day i stayed down there you see their presence. i would never try speeding
around the rio grande valley. i would really be interested in any kind of analysis your agency, your department can do in terms of what was the apprehension rate, what was the detection rate prior to the "operation strong safety" and what is it now? i think it's just a really good test case of additional manpower and we can kind of measure how much we've increased the manpower because of that. >> we have seen -- you know, obviously in the prior testimony you that mentioned we've seen lower levels of activity across the southwest border. that does include where strong safety is deployed. what's their contribution, what's the contribution of the other assets that we've been able to procure and send to the agents for use and their capability there, that's the part that we struggle with. that's what you hear about data. that's what you want us to do better at. >> please look at that. when we talk to the people where those things were deployed, it
shut down illegal crossings but they just went someplace else. >> that's often the case. i think what i've heard from the agents on the ground that are the benefit of that capability, they went from not having you know, high altitude persistent surveillance situational awareness, if you will, to vik a very capable system. we're advantaged in the sense we don't have to use agents to monitor those sensors and run those systems. the other side of that coin is it's very expensive to do. >> the other side too is when the wind's blowing and they're down let's face it i would cross when the wind's blowing. >> correct. that's why we're very in favor of the ift deployments, the refresh and the additional rvss the cameras and sensors, the fixed and mobile technology. we know those capabilities work. we've got a long history with some of it. we know that's part of the future and you won't be subject to the vagaries of the weather. >> thank you. i was trying to be shorter but
i've got so many questions. senator carper. >> so many questions. so little time. i'd like to ask chief, if you and mr. borkowski and mr. alice will just go back to my last question about life cycle. just do a minute, no more than a minute apiece. but could you just comment on whether this is a challenge for the department in terms of border security investments and what advice if any do you have for us on how to improve on this. >> yeah, i think we have -- this is the data question. this is refining the assets that are available and recognizing what life cycle costs. as an operator what we try to do is say this is the requirement, this is the problem we're trying to solve and we leave it to the acquisition professionals to understand what's out there, how much does it cost. and i think we've gotten really good at learning from the acquisition folks how to establish requirements and then recognizing that life cycle, what we call o & m, operations and maintenance, is crucial for us to understand before we make
the final decisions on deployments. >> thanks. mr. borkowski? >> senator, we've got some pretty good process that's have grown in the department that put some discipline to check the affordability which proves whether or not we can pay for o & m. but there's a continuing problem, and i'll just be frank that when i challenge people they blame it on congress. let me tell you what that is. >> no. >> they do. i'm not sure that's true, but i'll tell you what they say. what happens is we buy more technology. you would expect that the operations and maintenance costs would go up. so what our budget plan is -- let's say i have $100 and i start with $80 to buy it and $20 to operate it. over time as i spend that $80 after i've built all of my technology, maybe i'm down to zero and i've moved all of that money from buying to operating and maintaining. what happens is the budget people don't look at that as a total of 100. they look at it as money to buy and money to operate. they see the money to buy going down and they say that's great, we love you, you've saved money. that's not really true but
that's what they say. but we hate you for operation and maintenance because that's gone up and you need to make it flat. that's the real problem we tend to have with operation and maintenance, is getting people to understand that if you buy more stuff you need to operate and maintain it. we have to look at the totality of the budget not the individual pieces. >> thank you. mr. alice. >> senator langford asked kind of a key question about numbers of different types of airplanes. we compute life cycles across each of your platforms. but if you think about kind of the big picture, five different kinds of airplanes that means five different pilot training programs, five different maintenance supply chains, five different maintenance training programs, those kinds of things. so one efficiency we need to keep working on on life cycles is these numbers of different platforms. >> good. excellent. we for chief vit yello. it's my understanding cbp is doing an extensive gap analysis.
for border security that involves identifying what else we need to better secure our southwestern border with mexico. could you just take a minute and give us a preview of what might be in that gap analysis? and when do you think it might be done? how could it be used? >> so describing the process, what we've tried to do in the capability gap analysis, is gone to the field, asked them what their challenges are where they have specific things they would like to solve with technology, with additional kinds of deployments or other innovative ways to solve problems at the immediate border and in specific zones, specific stations, specific sectors. so what we've done is we've gone to the workforce we've -- i explained to them what the process is. and gone out and taken surveys from the agents who are there. and gotten their ideas about what is required. what we try to do is take that data, that information at the station level, roll it up to the sector of the 20 sectors that are out there and that will be
fed up to us at the headquarters. right now we're in a situation where the training is out for the bulk of the workforce, like 95%, 98% of it. and we've got about 70% of their ideas and invaigss with how to go forward with specifically on the technology side. we have about 75% of the data in. once we get all of the data we'll have a baseline. we'll start to have conversations both with otia and snt to find out is technology available, is it the best available resos for solving the problem as stated? and then we'll be able to iterate that process as we learn about new things that are coming on board what the future looks like using the success we know we have with other things and try to fit a program together that says how many of these things you need. then you could go down specifically into locations and say for instance the agents at carizo springs need the brush cleared or additional rvss.
that's the kind of capability we look to have once the first iteration is in as we move forward. >> and last -- thank you for that. last thing i wanted to touch on briefly is when we think of force multipliers we think of a lot of stuff we talked about here today. and it's important. sometimes i think in terms of our being able to better ensure that our borders are not so porous is to use a needle in the haystack analogy. say, the needles are folks trying to get into our country. it could be human traffickers. it could be drug traffickers. it could be just people trying to flee a hellacious situation at home. but there's a couple different ways to find those needles in the haystack, and one of the ways is to make the haystack smaller. another way is to have better
equipment to detect the needles. and maybe another way would be to make the needle bigger. i think to some extent if we do immigration reform do it smart we can actually make some progress on this front. if we do better with intelligence -- i think one of the reasons we do better on the northern border is the great information we have with the canadians and sharing of intelligence. the other thing we keep coming back to, and the chairman and i talked about this. we talked with general kelly southcom, about it and that is to figure out how to convince a lot of people who live in honduras guatemala, and el salvador that they want to just live there and somehow figure out how to make them less likely to want to flee their country to come up here.
if you have any thoughts on any of this i'd welcome briefly any thoughts. please. just very briefly. you may not have. that's fine. okay. it's okay. miss gambler. >> i would just add on the unaccompanied alien children issue which i think we've touched on a little bit today, gao has a body of work looking at the unaccompanied children issue. a couple of reports will be issued this summer including looking at u.s. programs in central american countries to address some of those issues as well as a report looking at screening care and custody for the children when they're -- when they come to the u.s. we'll have some work on that this summer to help inform some of those points. >> we'll welcome that, thanks. miss duong. >> focus of this hero is not about cargo -- >> i'll ask you to be very brief. >> or p.o.e.
but when we talk about needle in the haystack, that problem is exacerbated at the ports of entry because we know that trade and travel is increasing by 5% at least per year. so the strategy of reducing the size of the haystack is indeed one of the main strategies snt is pursuing technology for. >> excellent. thanks. chief? >> i would just echo your comments as it relates to our partners in canada. i think that relationship is a very good one. the local law enforcement and the federal law enforcement as well as our partners in canada that makes a big difference. we're increasingly having those kinds of conversations in mexico and as we get more smart about how the unity of effort and the joint task forces roll out it will give us another opportunity to use the whole of government approach at the southwest border. and as mexico -- our relationship with them matures it will be of benefit to awful us. >> >> very very brief comments. >> technology attempts to make
the needle grow and if it deters it can reduce the haystack so we agree with you but we also agree with you technology is not the only -- or not necessarily the best way to get there. >> thanks. >> briefly joint task forces help intelligence coordination is key, and then i think working with mexico better is going to help us. >> thank you all. great panel. appreciate it. >> thank you senator carper. i think one of the advantages of me not making long opening statements, i'll make a closing one because i've got a comment. if you want to reduce the haystack what you should do is try and reduce, maybe even eliminate the incentives for illegal immigration. one chart we have been putting up is a history of unaccompanied children coming from central america. and prior to deferred action on childhood and arrivals we were somewhere around 3,000 to 4,000 per year. and then we issued those memoranda in 2012 and that number jumped to 10 thoub,000, the
next year 20,000 the following year 51000. i know it's come down but it's still way above historic level. looking at the reality of the situation, what causes these things things, we need to reduce those incentives. i've always been very supportive of a functioning guest worker program. 8.1 million of those individuals here in this country illegally are working. it's a rational decision. when you have wages that are so much lower in central america and mexico than they are here in the united states, it's a rational economic choice. particularly when the reality of the situation is regardless of what the memorandum says if you get into america people are staying. particularly if you're a minor. so i think we need to relate take a look at our policy. i want to sofrl the problem. i think realistically we're not going to have a comprehensive -- we don't do comprehensive very
well. what i've certainly asked the secretary, change hopefully ask my ranking members work with me, let's identify those incentives, let's reduce them and start approaching this on a step-by-step basis. i come from a manufacturing background. you don't solve problems other just like that. i'm perfectly willing to engage in continuous improvement. let's take the step-by-step incremental improvements let's identify the things we can do. if all of you would be willing to work with this committee to identify those incentives, identify those steps, maybe the small little piece of legislation -- we reported one out of our committee yesterday -- or last week in a business meeting. just allowing cbp on federal lands in arizona. i'd like to do it across the border. probably some resistance there. how about we take a look at arizona and see if that would actually work. i really do hope that the administration the department, your individual agencies will work with us. let's identify those.
and take a step-by-step approach and improfve border security. with that the hearing record will remain open for 15 days. i forgot to thank all you folks. again, thank you very much for your thoughtful testimony for sitting here in answering in very thoughtful manner. we really do appreciate it. i know how much time and effort goes into this. thank you very much. the hearing record will remain open for 15 days until may 28th, 5:00 p.m., for the submission of statements and questions for the record. this hearing's adjourned.
the house appropriations committee today voted to cut $260 million in funding for amtrak. that committee vote coming the day after a deadly train crash in philadelphia that killed seven people. philadelphia congressman chaka fatah offered an amendment to restore that $260 million in amtrak funding. but his amendment was voted down by the committee. the national transportation safety board, which is investigating the train crash in philadelphia, is planning to hold a news briefing today at 5:00 p.m. eastern time just over a half hour from now. we plan to bring that to you live here on c-span3. and from the house transportation and infrastructure committee, a statement from the committee chairman, bill shuster and the chairman of the subcommittee on railroads, jeff denham. they said in part, "we are saddened by the tragic accident last night on amtrak's northeast corridor in philadelphia. while we don't yet know many details, we need to know how this happened and ensure the
safety of the system and the millions of americans who rely on the northeast corridor." the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress, with color photos of every senator and house member. plus bio and contact information. and twitter handles. also, district maps, a foldout map of capitol hill and a look at congressional committees, the president's cabinet, federal agencies and state governors. order your copy today. it's $13.95 plus shipping and handling through the c-span online store at c-span.org. attorney general loretta lynch and education secretary arne duncan were among the speakers at yesterday's national summit on preventing youth violence. attorney general lynch called for an end to the so-called school to prison pipeline, and education secretary duncan talked about the role of
after-school programs and summer jobs for young people. first we'll hear from an assistant attorney general. [ applause ] >> thank you so much there. and i am so pleased to be here today and just thrilled to join our distinguished speakers in welcoming everyone to the national summit on preventing youth violence. i'm especially happy and really very humbled and honored to be joined by attorney general lynch. she's had a very busy first couple of weeks and i'm delighted that she's taken the time to be with us here today. on behalf of assistant attorney general carol mason, who wasn't able to join us today i'd like to thank all of you for making the trip to washington. your commitment to reducing violence in your communities.
and for expanding opportunities for young people. we are grateful for your participation and very proud to be your partners. now let's just take a moment and see who's here to represent. can i hear it for my east coast sites? [ cheers and applause ] all right. now, where my heart is on the west coast do we have any -- [ cheers and applause ] all right. loud and clear. now how about our southern sites? [ cheers and applause ] >> and the heart of the nation, our midwest sites. [ cheers and applause ] all right. and a final shout out to our international representatives. all right. yay. we are so happy to have all of you here. we have a busy day ahead. and i know you're all eager to
hear from our speakers. but i'd just like to take a moment to thank those who had a hand in organizing our program. for any of you who have put together a big conference, you know how much work it is. and it all looks smooth today but it takes a lot of effort behind the scenes. so three people in particular deserve our recognition. fehrin pride who just opened the conference. [ cheers and applause ] fehrin is carol mason's chief of staff and my very good buddy. we have a lot of fun in the office together. and he's the department's point person for the national forum and he does just a fantastic job. georgina mendoza mcdow. [ cheers and applause ]
and jerome avoy. [ cheers and applause ] both from our office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. oversee the forum's day-to-day activities. and they handle the countless lojs tical matters that went into making this summit possible. so thank you georgina and jeroma. the agenda looks fantastic. [ applause ] i also want to thank our federal partners both within and outside the department and on capitol hill. great support all across the government. and as you can see, this commitment to the effort runs to the highest levels. and behind each of these leaders is a host of dedicated staff working hard to make our vision a reality. and finally i want to thank all
of you who have joined us from across the country for a real dialogue about how we can prevent youth violence. i had the pleasure of meeting the youth representatives this morning, and i know our country is in great hands. they are a fantastic group of young people. you are on -- [ applause ] you are on the vanguard of our nation's work to protect our communities and our kids and we are grateful for all you do and very glad to have you here with us today. now i have the great privilege of introducing our next speaker. in her first week on the job our attorney general defined the challenge we all face every day. moving forward the national conversation about civic trust while ensuring our communities are safe and our law enforcement officers are supported.
this is not new territory for attorney general loretta lynch. as the u.s. attorney in the eastern district of new york she worked hard to see that our laws were respected and upheld while ensuring that they were justly applied. she has pledged to continue that commitment as our attorney general. we are very fortunate to have a leader of her experience and vision vision. i know i speak for all of us when i say how excited i am to have her with us at the department of justice leading the administration's efforts to reduce youth violence. please join me in giving a warm welcome to attorney general loretta lynch. [ applause ]
>> thank you. thank you, thank you. good morning, everyone. okay wait. see, i was backstage. i heard you. good morning, everyone. that's it. that's what we need. energy, right? commitment. that's what this cause takes. and that is what i see here in this room today. so good morning everyone. and i want to thank you, both, for that very kind introduction. but i also want to thank you for your exemplary leadership that you've shown at the office of justice programs and for your steadfast commitment to preventing youth violence and improving public safety. it's truly, truly outstanding work that you do. i also want to thank carol mason, our outstanding assistant attorney general, for the office of justice programs. the work that ojp does each and every day, strengthening partnerships with state, local, and tribal justice officials,
ensuring a focus on evidence-based approaches and fungd innovative and groundbreaking projects is a vital part of our nation's effort to to build the more just society that all americans deserve. but i also want to take just a moment to acknowledge dr. william bell, the president of the casey family programs for his long-standing commitment to this very important issue. now, let me begin -- thank you, yes. [ applause ] and let me tell you again what an honor it is for me to be here with all of you this morning. it's a pleasure to join with all of you. so many devoted public servants engaged private leaders, and passionate civic leaders. as we rededicate ourselves to the safety and security of our nation's children and youth. i want to acknowledge in particular the young people who are here today some of whom i had the privilege of meeting with this morning.
and i want to thank you in particular for your activism and for your advocacy on this compelling issue. as we have seen from recent events, preventing violence in our communities is not just an abstract concept but it is a clear and a pressing need. and it is a need that requires more than a prosecution strategy but rather an approach that sees all sides of the challenging issue. healing our neighborhoods. building mutual trust. and promoting well-being are not just lofty goals and are not unreachable goals. they are the tangible pieces of the more prosperous and peaceful society that we all seek. now, as you know last week i traveled to baltimore. in my first trip as attorney general. to meet with public officials, law enforcement officers, and community representatives. i spoke to women and to men who had taken to the streets after the unrest to clean up trash and
debris. i spoke to police officers who had worked 16 days without a break and were concerned not for their own safety and security but for the safety and security of the residents of baltimore. but i have to tell you, i think i was most impressed with the young people that i met within baltimore. about nine of them. who were working within their community and with their peers to make their city a better place for everyone. a few of them seem to have read more about civil rights law than most lawyers that i know. and they were optimistic despite all that had happened in that great city. they were optimistic about the future of their city. now, they are a testament to the strength of our young people. even those who live in tough neighborhoods and face real economic challenges. they and so many youth like them are making a real and a positive difference, and they're serving as an example to others. and i told them that i hope that they would challenge their peers
to do the same because in many communities in baltimore and communities across america it's all too easy, as we know, for our youth to get caught up in drugs, gangs and violence and give in to a troubling status quo. but our youth are more than a statistic. they are our future. in fact, it is a distressing reality that not just a sizable minority but in fact a significant majority, yes, a majority over 60% of our nation's youth have been exposed to crime, violence and abuse either as victims or even as witnesses and this violence can take many forms. it can occur virtually everywhere. from the streets of our neighborhoods to the far reaches of cyberspace. from the schools where our children learn their earliest lessons to their homes where they should feel most secure. it is clear, however that regardless of how or when it
occurs exposure to violence can have real and devastating consequences for growth and for development. research has shown that whether children observe violence directed at others or become the victims of abuse themselves, the exposure to such behavior will make them more likely to fall behind in school, more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, more likely to struggle with drug or alcohol abuse later in life, and ultimately more likely to perpetuate the cycle of violence in what dr. martin luther king jr. called a descending spiral of destruction. but that my friends is why summits like this are so important. it's why the work that you are doing to rally local stakeholders to improve law enforcement, to increase support for violence prevention efforts and to expand access to family and social services is so critical. and it's why the obama
administration, led in part by this justice department has dedicated itself to these efforts, making an unprecedented commitment to this critical issue. at the heart of our commitment is our national forum on youth violence prevention, representing a network of 15 communities and federal agencies that work together that share information and build local capacity. these communities, from boston to san jose, from seattle to baltimore, use prevention intervention enforcement and re-entry strategies to stop violence and to spur progress. through their innovative and collaborative efforts we've already seen homicides and juvenile violent crime drop in nine out of the ten cities that participated in 2014. and some cities even reported changes in quality of life measures. like increased school retention and better police practices. the national forum's success has been complemented by the
community-based violence prevention program, which currently operates in 16 cities nationwide targeting youth gang and gun violence by building partnerships among law enforcement, service providers concerned residents and community and faith-based organizations. after implementing the evidence-based determinates and public health practices recommended by this violence prevention program, cities have reported reductions in gun violence and increases in community engagement. now, outstanding efforts like these are not only noteworthy, they can be duplicated. and we are striving to bring them to more cities across the country. but beyond these efforts we are also supporting evidence-based interventions for children expanding our base of knowledge developing comprehensive strategies under our defending childhood initiative. led by ojjdp and the office of justice programs represented here so well. we are working with our partners
in the private sector and across the federal government including secretary of education arne duncan whom you'll hear from later today and secretary of labor tom perez, to end the school to prison pipeline that sends too many children on a well-worn path from the schoolhouse to the jailhouse. and we are standing up and speaking out against so-called zero-tolerance school discipline policies that bar the doors of opportunity for children who need support leaving them stigmatized and marginalized, left out and left alone. now, as many of you know some communities are particularly vulnerable and they require a special targeted effort. through the task force on american indian and alaskan native children exposed to violence we have worked with leaders in tribal communities as well to bring down the alarmingly high rates of violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, and even suicide and to develop fresh data-driven
strategies to address these problems together. under an array of programs to reach the more than 100,000 children who are victims of human trafficking each and every year, we are working to end the scourge of modern-day slavery. our office for victims of crime just recently released a $14 million solicitation that's focused on supporting the male survivors of violence and their families. and with the president's my brorpth's keeper initiative we are rallying a coalition of government and private sector leaders to create and expand opportunities for youth across the nation. demonstrating to young men of color and to all our young people that their country cares about them values them, and is determined to help them reach their full potential. in fact, just last week the president announced the my brother's -- a new independent non-profit focused on providing
invaluable support to boys and young men of color at every point of inflection from early childhood learning to high school graduation to lifelong development. now, of course these are vital and in some cases truly groundbreaking efforts. but while we have made important progress, my colleagues and i also recognize that we have much more work to do and that government cannot conquer these challenges alone. that's why your efforts are so important. and that's why the work that this forum is helping to institutionalize must go on. it must go on until every young person's neighborhood is a place of safety and not of danger. it must go on until a child's zip code does not dictate that child's future. and it must go on until every child has the opportunity to grow, to learn, and to succeed. free of violence, free of abuse, and free of fear.
now, my friends, i have no illusions that this work will be easy or that the complex challenges will be resolved overnight. but as i look out over this gathering of extraordinary individuals and motivated organizations, i can't help but be optimistic about all that we can accomplish 2349in the days ahead. i actually have no doubt that we will meet these challenges we will overcome these obstacles and we will create the safer, more just society that all our young people deserve. and i'm confident that with the passion and hard work of the individuals here in this room along with our partners and our friends around the country we will make new progress, reach new heights, and expand the circle of opportunity for young people across america. i want to thank you once again for your dedication to this vision, for your commitment to this cause and for your
unwavering devotion to the future of our nation. i urge you to keep up the outstanding work. and i wish you a very, very productive and successful conference. thank you for allowing me to share a few minutes of it with you today. thank you so very much. [ applause ] >> thank you so much, attorney general lynch. we appreciate those tremendous words of support and we're very grateful for your commitment and leadership. now i'm pleased to introduce another one of the administration's leaders in the national forum. under the direction of secretary arne duncan the department of
education has been one of the justice department's closest allies in reducing youth violence and expanding opportunities for our young people. from the forum's inception secretary duncan has made the full range of his department's resources, funding staffing, and expertise, available to support our collective efforts. and we are especially grateful for his leadership in addressing the school to prison pipeline, promoting support of school discipline, and providing educational services to youth and correctional facilities. secretary duncan has put the department of education front and center in making sure our kids are given the support, education, and guidance they need to get on the right path. i'm so delighted he could join us today. please welcome secretary of education arne duncan.
[ applause ] >> thank you so much. good morning. i'm thrilled to be here. and i just want to let you guys know personally how much i appreciate the difference you're trying to make in this extraordinarily hard and difficult but important work. and i'll tell you why this is so personal. growing up on the south side of chicago, playing basketball in different neighborhoods too many of the friends that i looked up to and who mentored me and frankly helped protect me sometimes lost their lives due to violence. and when you're a 13, 14 15-year-old kid growing up there, when you see that kind of stuff, it scars you and it stays with you. eventually when i left the chicago public schools, obviously when i got much older by far the hardest thing i had to do was to go to the funerals of our public school students
who were shot and try to talk to their families and try to go to a classroom where there's now an empty desk and try and say something to those children that made a little bit of sense. on average we lost one child every two weeks due to gun violence. on average. and the vast majority of these students were not gangbangers. this was a young girl, starkeesha reid, who was shot at 7:30 in the morning in her living room from 100 yards away by an ak-47. this is a young man on the bus going home at 2:30 in the afternoon after school. and i thought things couldn't get worse. then when i came to d.c., those numbers continued to go up. and i think there's been some reduction there. but whether it's my hometown or it's anywhere across the nation what we're seeing is just absolutely staggering. and the loss of human potential and the loss of leaders, we as a nation can't afford to continue to let that happen. we are thrilled that high school graduation rates are at all-time highs. we are thrilled that dropout rates are going down. but as a nation we are nowhere
near where we need to be. i always think if we want to talk about going to college and a.p. chemistry and physics there's a set of fundamental foundational building blocks we have to put in place. our children have to be fed. if they're hungry, it's hard to concentrate we have to take care of our children's physical needs, if they can't see the blackboard when they get the eye glasses. it's hard to have the dreams of the future. when i was in chicago i kept a picture too many kids around nation that's their thought if i grow up. that's what you're thinking every single day, hard to plan for the future. as hard and difficult and daunting as it is, i just want you to know how much it means to me personally. i want to quickly reflect going to ferguson recently and i went
to baltimore last week and for all the very real challenges we have some extraordinary young people across the nation in all of our communities, and what i heard from the young people, frankly, more so than from the adults was simply stunning and the leadership the creativity, the courage, and the sense of what they can accomplish, their resilience despite all the challenges, it gives me real hope of where we can go. in ferguson candidly i never heard the depth of fear of the police department itself and just story after story that you heard from young people. one young girl talking about how her father was beaten and it was just the norm how things happened there. if we're serious about reducing youth violence we have to be serious about reducing adult violence as well and we have to look at all of these things at the same time and challenge ourselves as adults when ear' not doing the right thing. last week in baltimore some extraordinary young people and they're clear i'll walk down the
list of what they are looking for. first top of the list is jobs, summer jobs, and after school jobs and a chance to do something positive, and so many people end up selling drugs not because that's a choice first choice, it's a choice of last resort and when you're trying to survive, trying to eat, maybe don't have all the family supports at home we have to have jobs for young people. probably shouldn't say this in a room like this but occasionally i'll sit down with some of the gang leaders back home in chicago and i ask them what's the biggest -- trying to create peace, trying to become productive and positive. what's the biggest impediment to getting your guys off the streets is jobs. we have to think about what we do at scale to create those kinds of opportunities for young people who have to make some money, want to do it in a positive way, in too many places, and they don't exist. [ applause ] community centers, afterschool programs, we talked about not
enough extracurricular problems. the debate team in baltimore had no coach no, transportation and couldn't go to any of their debate competitions. it doesn't make sense. we talked about community centers old, broken dun, decrepit decrepit, i think all of our schools should be community centers, open 12 13 14 hours a day with a wide variety of afterschool programming. thankfully in the vast, vast majority of communities around the nation our schools are safe havens very little violence happening at schools really happening the vast majority is on the streets so if we could keep our kids there longer we think that makes a lot of sense. more vocational programs, more chances for folks to figure out what they're learning in school, how is that relevant to where they go the rest of their lives. one idea i threw out that wanted to road test with the kids the idea of public wordboarding schools. that's a controversial idea. the question is do we have some children where there's not a
mom, mottnot a dad not a grandma, nobody home. certain kids we should have 24/7 to create a great environment and give them a chance to be successful. there are a small handful of public boarding schools including one in d.c. something i thought about, chicago didn't quite get it done. just want to challenge folks to think differently. the final thing i'll say that i'm just increasingly convinced that our young people have the answers, and i think for us as adults in terms of how -- [ applause ] [ applause ] for us adults getting more simple, less complicated. we should be held accountable for two innings had, one accountable for listening to really listening and a deep and authentic and ongoing way to what young people are asking for and we should be held accountable for delivering as best we can what they were asking for. we can't go and listen to young people saying they desperately
need summer jobs and not find a way to create some, because all we do then is just perpetuate exacerbate the cynicism in the sense we don't care. we can't listen to those things and not create community centers and afterschool programs. we can hold ourselves accountable for ongoing partnership, ongoing listening and month by month, quarter by quarter, year by year, delivering what our young people are asking to help them live productive and positive lives, i think we can go a heck of a long way to eradicating the huge challenges. thank you for your hard work. thank you for your commitment. whatever me and my team can do to be good partners, please hold us accountable and if we wandt our kids to be as successful in life academically not just graduate high school but go to college if we don't solve the problems we're not in the game. this is the gateway this is the ticket. this is the key to get our students where they need to be, so again, thank you so much.
we want to do everything we can to support your hard worker single day. thanks for having me. thank you secretary duncan, we appreciate your ongoing support, delighted you could be with us today, and i hope we all can accept his challenge to listen to youth and act on their recommendations. so we've got a lot on your agenda, and so i hope we have a lot to show for it at the end of this conference. our next speaker is another one of our close federal partners from the department of health and human services. senior adviser in the
administrator's office of policy, planning and innovation at the substance abuse and mental health services administration. she provides leadership on national policy related to mental health and substance use issues for children adolescents and families. she's dedicated her career to improving the lives of children families and communities and she's also been a super great supporter of our work on the forum. please welcome lark wong. okay, good morning. for the third time. still a good morning. thank you deputy assistant, attorney general mcgary and gracious welcome and thank you
to attorney general lynch for opening this very important meeting. i have the honor of welcoming all of you on behalf of the department of health and human services, there are a number of services agencies, hrsa, my agency, samsa that are actively partnering with the youth violence initiative with the department of justice. as the previous speakers before me have done i'd like to also express a special welcome and thank you to the young people and the young leaders here who are representing their cities. your courage, your resilience inspires us to be better public servants. you work to end youth violence in your communities motivates us to be more conscientious members of ours. and your continued optimism in the face of struggle gives us the confidence that by working together we can create better futures and opportunities. in fact let's have these young people and young leaders from
the community stand up so we can acknowledge them. [ applause ] >> the timing and urgentcy couldn't be greater. it continues as explosions of violence, trauma and racially charged events are occurring around the country on a much too regular basis, the latest events occurring 30 miles away from here in baltimore. i'd like to share three themes with you. first it's with urgency outrage and necessary specific action steps that we need to disrupt the finding that your zip code is your destiny.
life excel antsy could be correlated with the metro routes, the further you travel from the heart of the inner city y the greater your life expectancy. just last week it was reported that in washington, d.c., ward 8 has ten times the rate of infant deaths that ward 3 has. two wards, nearly five miles apart. ward 8 residents are primarily poor residents and people of color, and a just released study from the census data reported that geography plays a significant role in shaping a child's chance of future success. some counties dramatically improve a poor child's odds of moving up the social ladder. others exert a kind of negative pull on children where every year in that community whittles away at a poor child's odds of thriving with an adult