tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 28, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
gives us the confidence that you evaluate with or without a tragedy, figuring out how you can securely and safely and effectively, given all the other things that you've got to control, including other countries' did the points, to do a better job? give me one that you're doing since the last tragedy in san bernardino. >> first of all, let me say that we all agree with you 100% that there is nothing that is more important than getting it right, and there is never a point when anybody would say, okay, this is good enough, we've got it, we've nailed it. we are always looking for ways to improve the vetting and to improve the screening and to identify a trigger that indicates we should look more carefully at this case. that is what we did not see in this case of malik, that there wasn't anything in that case that was a flag.
so one of the things that is under way since the tragedy in san bernardino is a careful examination of what else could we look at -- >> can you be specific about that? >> all right. for example -- and there's a review process, so people are talking about the. so for example, would it make sense to interview someone after arrival in the united states, after marrying the fiance as promised, and they get to the point where they're going to change status, should they be interviewed again at that point, or should we be looking at is there some other database we could be looking at, maybe social media, i don't know. so that's an example of what we're looking at -- >> you go outside your agencies and tell me how you are using that same evaluation process
with all of your international partners. do they get to weigh in? do we take their ideas credibly too? again, this is after the fact, and while i don't want to dispute that idea, i appreciate the notion that someone's here, let's continue to the degree that we can to look at that individual, but what could we have done better to maybe not approve that ms. malik came to the united states in the first place? because she's not going to be alone. we know that other folks are going to try to get here, or frankly are already here. what are we doing about that? >> well, i'll give an answer, and then i think mr. bersin will probably want to speak to this. >> i've got 20 seconds, unfortunately. >> absolutely, talking to the government of pakistan, because she was a citizen of pakistan, to say what more could we do in terms of our collaboration to try to share information about people who might be a threat to
our citizens or to pakistan's, what information do you have, what information do we have and are we sharing it effectively. we are of course having that conversation with other governments too. what more could we be doing to share information. >> mr. chairman, with your indulgence, i would really like, without creating a written record that's problematic for national security, of course, but i want specificity. what's transpiring after these conversations that would give us, this committee, and our constituents a sense that we're doing better all of the time and this is a constant process that's meaningful. because i'm not there. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, may i just add one -- >> very briefly, go ahead. >> we're the people who actually do the vetting. and what you rightfully said, how do we actually get additional information, i would suggest, if the committee hasn't, remember, with regard to
the domestic affairs, the federal bureau of investigation has the principal counterintelligence and intelligence function. and with regard to abroad, it's the national security agencies that do that. i'm not just passing it along. we use that information. but i would think a classified hearing in which you would understand exactly what the fbi is doing in a classified setting, and what the intelligence agencies are doing, i think would be of great utility in answering your questions. >> we might want to arrange that. >> we've all participated in all of those high level -- i want to make sure that the viewers recognize that members of congress have been invited to a series of significant classified briefings. we take that very seriously. and we still have questions. >> well, for all the witnesses, and sort of in conclusion as we get to the end of the hearing here, we basically have lost control of our borders. we have somewhere between 11 and
i've heard 15 million people here who are illegal entrants; is that correct? anyone? >> is that the range? >> the usual number is 11 in my. >> 11 to 15? >> yes. the number that i've always heard is 11, and actually declining, sir. >> okay. 11 to 15, everybody pretty much agrees. we'll just take it added 11. and about half of those people here overstayed a visa or a tourist thing or student, i'm told, just round numbers, and the others just came across the border illegally, in that range. mr. rodriguez, about that range? >> that's consistent with what -- >> okay. thank you. the president's executive -- and ds we're talking about a visa -- controlling our visas and the visa waiver control.
and we have here about 4 to 6 million people, in that range, who have overstayed their visa. the biggest visa overstay in the history of mankind is the obama waiver. he gave an executive order to allow those people to stay in spite of their being here illegally. isn't that correct? >> the president -- >> yes, it's correct. the president gave an executive order -- >> well, we -- >> no. >> we're not implementing -- >> we had to go to court. but he implemented -- again, we've got -- you've got hundreds of thousands of them that are illegals. it's your job, mr. rodriguez, to deport some of those people. and i see that numbers of people, the removals, has actually -- where are me figures here? let's go. 2008, 244,000 were removed.
2014, last year, we're down to 104,000. are these figures basically correct? >> they sound right to me. we are exercising our -- >> it's not a question of resources. we provided enough money to deport up to 400,000, which is the request we had from you. so i.c.e. is doing less with more resources. criminal alien arrests have declined by 11% between 2012 and 2013, are you aware of that, mr. rodriguez? is it your job to deport those people? >> no, it is not my -- >> under your -- >> department of homeland security. >> so we've got illegals here. ms. bond, we interviewed that lady, the council official interviewed that terrorist from san bernardino how many years ago, a couple of years ago? >> in 2014.
>> last year? >> yes. >> okay. and -- but she came here and she was fully vetted, according to the process that we have now; is that correct? >> yes, it is. >> okay. and she thwarted that process. is there anything you could recommend to us that we could do to stop that? and if she thwarted it, and we've got hundreds of thousands of people who enter the united states illegally, and then we have them coming in and you approving them legally, you see why the american people have concerns about what's coming next. is there anything that you could recommend that we can do to change that situation? >> we are conducting a very thorough review. >> of what took place? >> not only of what took place,
but also of what it is that we do -- >> do you tape that interview? >> no. >> you don't? >> no. >> i just wondered if it was taped, if we had any record. have any of you known anyone who's joined isis of the christian faith? does anyone know anyone who is involved or -- no? okay. i just thought i would ask that question. obviously we closed the door too late. we also have now information that isis has obtained syrian passport machines. does anyone know about that? have they obtained them? can you disclose that to the committee? >> i do have some information on that, sir. in august 2015, the state department received a report of 3,800 stolen syrian -- >> no. this is not stolen. there are many stolen.
we disclosed today, 300,000 lost or misplaced american passports. i'm told that isis has captured passport machines in syria. is that correct? does anyone know? mr. bersin? >> there have been -- i've seen open source reports to that effect. >> okay. well, that creates a whole new set of problems. and then you're the refugee screener lady. i was told that you get these syrian refugees, they're first vetted by the u.n.; is that correct? >> unhcr takes the initial applications. >> so we're getting our recommended entrants from the u.n.? >> normally. not 100%, but normally that's
true. >> where is the rest of it? >> sometimes if someone comes to the attention of the embassy, they could be put in -- >> but that's a small percentage. >> that's correct. and are you checking to see if they have isis connections? >> we wouldn't check with the assad regime. >> you're saying the u.n. they're recommending these people. that's where you're getting them from. and they've told us, don't worry, the u.n. has approved these people, and we're recommending them for entry into the united states. >> they don't get to decide whether they come to the united states. they're referring the case to us to match the things we've asked them to find. >> but again, do you know if the u.n. is vetting them with syrian and assad officials and checking to see if they have isis connections? >> i hope they don't check with the assad officials, because some of these people are fleeing assad's torture chambers. >> i recognize mr. gosart. >> i thank the gentleman. i would like to get some
clarification from all the witnesses on the vetting and investigative process for seeking entry into the u.s. by visa or refugee status. mr. bersin, but the same question for all four of you, are there specific guidances, documents, directives or memoranda in effect now either from this or a previous administration that ties the hands of investigators to make informed decisions for those seeking to enter the u.s.? >> only to the extent that there's privacy considerations. >> there's none for people seeking to enter as citizens. mr. gowdy went through that before. again, specific guidances, doctrines or memoranda in effect
now either from this or previous administrations that ties the hands of investigators in regards to getting the information they need to make information admission decisions for those seeking to enter the u.s. >> i'm not familiar with any except to the extent that there are privacy concerns, congressman. but i'm aware of no restrictions of that kind. is that we conjure conjured conjured. conjures conjuring. but wants indc mr. rodriguez? >> miss bond? richards? >> so, under the current policy and procedure, you have access to all the information you need to make an accurate security assessment.
. >> we seek to strengthen it. we have the authority to do the screening we need to do. yes. >> okay. mr. rodriguez. >> as to the refugees that we screen and the immigrant visas we process, yes, we have quite robust resources that we bring to bear. >> to the access we seek unless we can't get it because it sometimes some other government might have it or something. there is nothing that ties our hands in terms of seeking information to adjudicate a visa. >> i defer to rodriguez' judgment, but i want to reassure you that if you think there are sources out there that we're not checking, we're open to looking at more work on this, but we have a robust system. >> going back to you, back down,
so, there are no fire walls at all between the agencies for sharing this pertinent information. miss bond? gl yes, the screening goes through the entire process. earlier, you made the comment you are not aware of, i think say that there is no relationship to a political asigh lee for act of terrorism in this country. true? >> no, i didn't address that. >> i think you said -- >> no refugee that came in through this process has carried out a successful terrorist
attack against americans in the united states. >> i'd like to know how many of those by the way. >> about a dozen. >> any in anthony? >> probably you know, there's also an element of people who break the law, too. probably bigger. i have to refer you to the fbi. >> i'd like to get those numbers. >> the fbi has a program to track people, their counterintelligence program, so i have to defefr to them. but we have heard of, the famous case was the two iraqis who were brought to bowling green, kentucky and then it was discovered they had been up to no good in iraq and so, they were arrested.
>> we had a gentleman in anthony who tried to blow up the social security building, so that was kind of fun. there's a reason i asked you a question at the beginning about guidance and the specific memos. are you familiar with the words matter memo? >> no, sir. >> i yield back. >> i now recognize myself, i have a few wrap up questions where another member or two comes back. miss richard. you were quoted as saying by the way were the shootings in california perpetrated by refugees who were e resettled. your answer was no. then you said no refugees have carried out terrorist activities
in the united states, then mr. cartwright repeated that. that have successfully carried out an attack. >> right. the second is is true. >> the first by itself is not correct. >> i think the fbi is concerned about a small number of that has come in. that was a while ago that they came in. under the current system, we haven't had one from that category. >> i would point point to about a dozen names. senator sessions that's up on the bright bart. one of the more recent session, i can't pronunes his last name. a native of use beck stan. found guilty on charges he con sprired to bribe support to terrorist organization an
possesseded an unregistered device. john carlin stated he quote con fire fired to provide support to the islamic movement. and procured bomb making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on american soil. most of the refugees i've int interacted with, they're good, decent people. come from terrible situations. i don't think anybody suggesting we don't bring any in. what we have asked is for a pause and a time-out so we can make sure that the vetting is there in place and when you have the director saying we can only vet as good as the information is, i think it's a little bit of an overstatement to say refugees are not your problem. back to the slide i brought up at the beginning, this is a concern to me. these are the number of people
making credible fear and so, refugees are importeded to the united states of america. we have people who come somehow to the united states of america. you can come here legally and lawfully, but you can sneak into the country as iwitnessed on the arizona border. this is a massive rise in the number of people claiming a credible fear. >> approximately 400. in 2014, we had 50,001 claiming credible fear.
credible fear, we have actually plussed up in the locations where we are screening people for crede bable fear as a result. those screenings are getting conducted quite expeditiously. >> that's my concern is that they're too expedition. so, my question is how long is the average interview and how many people are doing the interviews? >> again, i have to get back to you on the exact number. >> this is a hearing. this is the hearing about, this is a hearing about vetting. i believe at any given time, there are 40 individuals, give or take, we're going get you the exact number, but the neighborhood of the number. they are conducting those reasonable fear interviews within the time frames that the law and our policies require. >> okay.
you put a lot of asterisks. >> you also asked me -- >> 40 or 400? >> 400 is the total asylum core. they're also doing the general work of asylum screening. >> okay. >> as well as -- >> who are the 40? >> the ones deployed specifically to be meeting our goals to process individuals planning credible fear and reasonable fear at the border. >> how long, there are people who come across illegally, how long are they detained until they've completed that process on average? >> i think our target is 20
days. if they're in terms of either getting them into expedited removal or moving them into some sort of proceedings. >> you said you're going to give me additional information. when will i get that? >> we will work to get it to you. give me a date. i know it's the holiday season. the end of the first week of january. >> that's reasonable. >> the math doesn't seem to add up. i got huge, huge questions, but now as we look back at asylum, 40 people with 50,000 people coming in the door.
interview, background checks, they've got other responsibility, paper work. when i went to arizona and i saw people come across and they wanted to claim credible fear, they would go to a judge and say, an administrative judge and say you're honor, i got credible fear and they'd read a little statement and then the judge would say, well, okay, we're going to have to go through the adjudication process. and that process means what? what in arizona is the next time we're going to see these people? years? >> in arizona, last year, i believe it was last year, the dates they were giving out was for 2020. and so, what -- coming here illegally they claim asylum, say, you might have credible
fear. we're going to give you a court date and now, the backlog is so big that they're not going to get a date until 2020 and then what happens? they do what? they apply for a work permit. how many work permits are you handing out each year? >> i don't know the exact number. i certainly -- >> it's a big one. now, they're in the united states legally. they can work and they can compete with an american taxpayer for jobs and all the other resources. they get benefits. they go the our schools. they do a lot of things just like an american citizen. and i got a problem with that. you want to say something? >> the last time we had the surge -- one of the key elements of that bill, the system, put your finger on it, we have 243
immigration judges. and the frustration you've got to lock down that border. committing crimes, some 60 plus thousand crimes. don't tell me about this. they get convicted, they're in your hands and says no, go back out into the community. right? did i say anything that's wrong there? >> again, to be clear, if an individual is convicted of a felony, they're a priority one for removal. returning to our earlier conversation, that includes rape. a priority one. >> am i wrong, the number two,
they bleplead down to say it's sexual abuse and exploitation? that's not good enough? >> if their top count of conviction is rape, then in that case, they -- >> but sexual abuse is not? >> it may not necessarily be rape. in fact, in the criminal law -- well, certainly as a prosecutor, i've seen people pled down to sexual abuse. let's be clear about that. what sexual abuse actually means in the criminal law is not rape. >> so, based on the homeland security from johnson, if you convicted a sexual abuse or exploitation, that is priority two. >> which means you are still a priority, a priority for removal. >> you're not the top priority. >> if you're convicted of rape, you are a top priority for removal. let's not have people misunderstand that fact. >> so, it can be sexual abuse.
>> if you are convicted of rape, you are a top priority tr removal. >> get the list of things that are number two. offense of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession of use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, driving under the influence. all of which are not the top priority of homeland security. >> mr. chairman, you've heard secretary johnson say that his top priority is national security and public safety. and with all due respect, the priority one goes to felonies, the prior two and sexual abuse often short of rape, be a felony, if it's a felony, it's priority one. it doesn't mean we don't pay attention. >> you've got it in your possession! >> you know when you allocate resources -- >> are you saying it's a resource problem?
>> when you have a choice -- >> why is not -- if somebody is convicted for any crime, why are they not deported immediately or serve time then be deported? why don't they all get deported? why are they exceptions? >> so, more than 90% of priority one and two, so, i don't think it's fair to suggest -- >> those other 10% -- >> there is. >> we obviously have a policy discussion. difference. i don't think i misunderstand. i think you understand it as well. my point is you got people convicted, they're here illegally. they're convicted and you let them go. if it's only 90%. >> that's a different, that's a different issue than the priorities for enforcement. the issue of removal -- >> is it true or not that during two fiscal years, you had 66,000 people in your possession that were convicted of crimes that
you released into the public? true or false? >> what crimes. >> true -- any crimes. >> yes, no, not to say any traffic violation. a misdemeanor. >> are there people on priority one and two? are there anybody in those? >> there are minor offenses that are misdemeanors that are not -- >> i just listed. no. yes or no. 66,000 people over two year fiscal year period that you had in your possession and that you released into the public. you did not deport them. correct? true or false. >> it's not just a yes or no because you know there are -- >> it's a true or false. >> the answer is that there are requirements to release people under court decisions that you're aware of. >> so, screwed up about the obama administration. you're here illegal, commit a crime, deport them. get rid of them. serve your time. and get rid of them. they are a threat to public safety. they are a threat for terrorism.
and they should not be released back into the public. that's what's so outrageous. let me recognize the gentleman from florida. >> the priorities are related to your failure to remove these folks. the fact is those 66,000 when we got the individual offenses, did have people convicted of homicide that were released. you had people of sexual assault. rape. child molestation. really, really significant crimes and so ta that court decision is a rationalization for why you releaseded them, but you didn't and that's putting the public at risk, and so, i second the chairman's concern about that and the fact of the matter is i was a prosecutor particularly with some of the child molestation stuff, some prosecutors plead it down because you don't want to put the child on the stand, so you end up with offenses that could be considered priority two and that's putting the american people at risk, but i digress. >> miss richard. you were quoted as saying the
biggest myth for people coming here could be terrorists in relation to the syrian refugee situation. why are you so dismissive that they're going to have terrorists under the program? >> i don't remember saying myth. >> you said biggest myth is that people coming could be terrorists and your point was that they are likely to be fleeing terrorists, but the issue is that if you have ten,000 people, we need 99% of them are you know, no threat. 1%, that's a significant number of people that would be injected into our society. we just saw recently, two refugees linked to the paris attack were arrested in an austrian refugee camp and you'll acknowledge, will you not, that we have had refugees come to this country who have been prosecuted for a material support to terrorism. correct?
>> correct. >> you will acknowledge that? >> yeah. >> because we had a number of them just year. the eastern district of virginia, mohammed, you had abrahim from western district of texas. some came as refugees. some even citizenship, but the fact of the matter is these are folks who have come through the program and gone to terrorism. let me ask you this. what is your appraisal of how the somali refugee community in minnesota has worked out for the interest of the united states? >> all bone fied refugees are people fleeing terrible things. gl that's the point though. a lot of us are concerned about the fact we can't tell the difference between a bone fied refugee given what the fbi director has said. so, i take that point. but what about the situation
with the somali refugees in minneapolis? there are tens of thousands that have settled there over the last 20 years. we know there's high rates of cash assistance and food assistance paid for by the taxpayer and here's the thing. you've had over 50 people from that community go to join isis or al shabaab or other terrorist groups in the middle east. is that something in the united states' interest? >> no, it's not. >> well, how did it end up happening? >> this to me is the key question, why anyone would be attracted by isil or al shabaab. people pouring into the united states. people who are converts to these. people who are refugees who came into the united states. >> but you're not sure why it happened. >> i think this is a key question. what is the attraction? >> here's why your statement
bothered me. i think the somali experience in minnesota shows people coming directly when they were adults were not necessarily involved in terrorism and did not pursue it when they got to the united states, but tough families and you have the second generation. you have u.s. citizens. they could have grown up in somalia and they draw the biggest, royal flush to be able to grow up in america and given all that, how do they thank the united states? they join the jihad. zpl i agree 100%. this is what keeps me awake at night. >> here's the point. the refugee policies that we have even getting beyond the vetting, you have to try to figure out what's going to happen 20 years down the road, so, the folks we're bringing in now, we don't know what's the downstream effects of that are going to be, so, when i see somethinglike what's happened in
somalia, mr. rodriguez, we got tashfeen malik's form she executed. when she was applying for her ki visa. she was asked, there's a question basically saying are you a terrorist, check yes or no. is that really the best that we can do? because i think even from her perspective, she doesn't have to lie because she doesn't consider herself to be a terrorist. >> you'rery fehring to the consular interview. i will talk about what we know and what we need to do. in the refugee screening process, we developed lines of questioning as part of the interview. >> you're in the process of developing that? >> that's existed for years. >> what about adjustment application? >> that unless there is a,under current practice, unless there is a specific trigger, some derogatory information that
would lead us to probe into thoseishes, we don't, that's one of the things -- >> this is somebody who we know there was statements that she had been making over the internet. she's traveling from pakistan and those are hot beds of ideology. very, very dicesy. talking about individuals. >> we do realize screening -- >> there doesn't need to be any changes? >> if we identify them. >> that's my point. this congress needsi6eñ -- identified, i hope they wouldn't be lead in. but we're not identifying everybody now and the question is is, is this bureaucratic
mistakes or do we need to change policies. >> do we have recommend dayses for snus. >> i do not at this moment, but i think based on the review, it's possible some of the ideas we generate require change. >> thank you. i believe that one of the untold stories, the biggest one of the threats that we have are those that are coming illegally to the united states and those that are coming to the -- they will get papers. i think that's the huge gaping hole that has to be plugged. there's a reason why that we've had this huge assent, this huge growing number.
i went to the convention facility in arizona, there were some 350 countries represented there. a lot of people coming that have to be addressed. we still don't have an entry exit program. there have been at least a half dozen times where why do we not have an entry exit program? >> there was an agreement for heart stop at 1:00 and i'd ask if we could in due course, bring the hearing to a conclusion as staff had negotiated. i happen to have -- >> i'm sorry, but i'm just not negotiating the time here. we're going to answer these
questions. i think it will be a few minutes. >> so, the starting in 2012, cpp started to get the resources to be able to start the dwom in earnest the entry. as i indicated before, the way in which our airports, our infrastructure was constructing, it was not, you were not able to -- there was no screening on the way out. focus is screening on the way in. i remember this -- there were three ways you can do it. you can rebuild the infrastructure and that was rejected for cost reasons. >> who rejected that? >> that was a decision made with, i participated, recommended that in fact, we not rebuild all of the airports and
the sea ports. >> where is the proposal and when was it rejected? >> i will if in fact, it was ever, if it came to the congress, which i don't believe it did, i will get it by the end of january. >> when will i get that? >> the second reason -- >> wait, wait, when will i get it? >> by the end, mr. rodriguez' schedule by the end of january. >> the end of the first week of january. i believe that's what he said. i want you to leave right now as you want to go at 1:00, but i'm hopeful it's to go get this report. >> the second would you describe -- >> no, no, tell me the date. >> january 30th. >> okay. >> the second was to put cpp officers and we had a pilot where officers would be placed at the ports of enter tri and
the estimate was this would take away from other functions we did not have. >> so, you're saying this is rejected, those two instances because of money? >> yes, sir. not only money in the first record because it would have required a complete restructuring, it would also interfere with commercial activities and other interests. >> there was a conscious choice not to have it. >> my question here, again, i'm trying to wrap up here, but if it's a resource problem, why did homeland security come to -- recently gave to the mexican government. making it worthwhile. but i just don't understand --
>> the effort to get -- which i communicated to the committee is underway is part of this process that has been initiated to capture all of the buy graphic. we do a fair amount that actually captures graphics. those that come in, those that go out. >> do most come in by land, sea or air? >> there are 180 crossings, 182 million crossings on the land. we have about a million people a day that are processed in. and it's, it's most of the people are coming by air.
>> you think most are coming in the air. >> individual people. so, i'm saying 182 million crossings that we have, those are repeated gone back and forth. in terms of sheer traffic, it's the land. obviously. but the crossings and individual people is more by air. >> with nearly ten million, biometric information on these people? >> we do not. >> okay, i could go on and on. this is such a mess and a disaster. let me recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for staying. i'll be respectful of your time and be as quick as i can. miss bond, based on earlier testimony, a k1 fiance visa is like an immigrant visa, but the applicant must go through the
full screeninging process. is that correct? >> yes. >> so, what kind of screening and tests must a k1 applicant pass? >> okay. >> because it has treated like an immigrant visa, in other words, this is an individual we expect to remain permanently in the united states. so, they get exactly the same security screening as any other traveler to the united states. we don't distinguish in the interagency security terrorism criminal background, that review, oufr however, for example, if you are applying for an immigrant visa, you have to go for a medical exam. if you are aplying for an immigrant visa, you have to present a certificate from any country you've lived for more than six months since you were 16 showing you didn't have a
criminal record in that country. >> so, that's the background check? >> that's part of the check for immigrant visas. >> okay. was tashfeen malik, was she subject to that process as a k1 visa an pplicant? >> yes. >> she was? so, nonimmigrant visas such as those under the visa waiver program, are they less stringent than a k1 visa? >> if you're applying for a nonimmigrant visa, a tourist visa, we do not require you to submit proof that you have a clean criminal record in every country. >> so, yes. >> yes. >> so, such as those under the visa waiver program, they are less stringent than a ki visa.
>> right, we ask the question about whether you have a criminal record, but you're not required to prove it. >> so, we've got 100 million overstays in the backlog. 400,000 of which are from the visa waiver program. which is the less stringent program. the visa waiver program is not less stringent in terms of -- that is done. >> the interagency name check is the same for all of it, but if you're traveling as a nonimmigrant, not required to provide the police certificate, or to undergo a health exam as you would if coming in as an
immigrant. >> i would say that's lez stringent. would you not agree? >> yes, i agree that the paperwork required, for example, also, if you're coming in as an immigrant, we have to see a certified copy of your birth certificate. if you're coming in as a mare rid couple, we need a certified copy of your marriage certificate. we're not asking for that from nonimmigrants. so, there are a number of documents that have to be in the file if you're moving permanently to the united states, which we do not require if you are -- >> i yield. >> you don't have to actually provide a marriage certificate. prior to coming on a k1 visa, correct? >> no, if you're coming on a k1 visa and have a marriage certificate, but you would have to provide, in other words, if you're not mare rid, you don't have to provide a marriage certificate. however, you would have to provide suppose you're someone who has been married before. we would need a certified c
copy -- >> you just sukted if i heard it right, any way, i just wanted to clarify because in the case of san bernardino, that's how she got here was claiming that she would get married. she did looks like she did get married based on records that i've seen, but i just wanted to clarify that. >> but what i was saying was if you were a married couple coming into the united states on immigrant visas, what would need to see your marriage certificate. it wasn't talking about a fiancee. although if she was previously married or if the petitioner was previously married, we have to see the certified copy of the death certificate or the divorce decree that ended the previous marriage. >> yield back. >> we've got almost 400,000 immigrants who are under this visa waiver program who are on black l
backlog as we understand it through a system that is less stringent than what we require of others. you would understand where my concern is especially in light of the recent events we've experienced on our homeland. >> thank you. i want to thank all the members and our witnesses today. the clarifier, particularly to mr. gowdy's comments about the sharing of lists, there were several members asking about sharing lists. there are people who are here illegally, there are people who are here illegally that have committed crimes, there are people here on visas, there are people here who have overstayed their visas, do you share that information with appropriate authorities and are those lists given to those other agencies, particularly atf, fbi -- there's
others that i'm not thinking about, but certainly there are state needs as well. when can you give me that information? it should be a fairly easy -- there are other agencies, particularly department of justice, that are responsible for those, but i need to know if you're giving it to them. >> we'll make inquiry. i know they would have access to them. let me make inquiry by the last week in january. the question that's being asked in return is whether or not people who are on the terrorist screening database should be included as well. >> that's right. there are a lot of list that is you guys go to great lengths to populate. do those populated lists in the hands of someone who was here as a visa overstay and they go to purchase a firearm because there are states that are handing out driver's licenses? one of my questions i would appreciate part of that answer
is if you have somebody who is here illegally and they have taken their driver's license and they've gotten a driver's license, we now have identified that person. can we, have we, shared that information. last week of january, is that fair enough? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. do you track or do anything in terms of refugees if they've committed any crimes? >> no. >> give us one moment. mr. palmer has two quick questions. then we will adjourn. >> thank you for your indulgence, mr. chairman. i want to go back to the discussion we had earlier about people who are allowed in the country in the context of refugees. do you keep track of people who transition from refugee status
to immigrant status? >> we keep track of them in the sense that at the time presumably that they apply for adjustment, which they're, in fact, required to do, we encounter them again. we know they're applied for adjustment. we know the address they're giving at that time. we run a fresh set of checks at that point. so in that respect we do keep track of them. >> is there a time limit? is there a length of time they have to be here before they're eligible to apply for immigrant status? >> my understanding is they're able to apply for adjustment within a year. >> you have to be here a year before you're eligible to apply? >> that is the time of your eligibili eligibility. that is correct. >> if they've been here for a year, can they apply for citizenship?
>> they'll then need to wait five years before they can become permanent citizens. >> so six years? >> that is correct. >> what is the typical wait time for them once they've applied for citizenship? >> as we speak right now, we are at target on processing naturalization applications, which is five months. >> five months. >> yes, sir. >> so you have people who have applied for citizenship who have come here legally and applied for citizenship who literally wait years at enormous costs, but are we expediting giving priority to the folks who have come here as refugees, then applied for immigrant status, then applied for citizenship? >> not in any of those processes, no. they're in the queue. essentially first-in, first-out.
>> how can you process them faster than people who have been here for years? >> the law for refugees is that they are expected to apply for legal permanent residence within a year. at that point, their wait time to become citizens is another five years. that's the law. that's not our processing. >> that five-year wait applies to -- >> anybody who has become a legal permanent resident with exceptions. >> people who have come here legally -- mr. chairman, i hear report after report after report of people who have emigrated here legally who have applied for citizenship after five years that literally have to wait years and spend enormous amounts of money relative to their net worth and can't get -- and are still on a waiting list to become citizens. it troubles me, mr. chairman, it appears that not only are we not doing a particularly good job of
vetting people coming here on vis visa. we're not adequately vetting refugees from countries that might be problematic. somehow people get moved ahead of the line. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield the balance of my time. >> thank you. i want to thank the witnesses hire today. b, i want to especially thank the men and women who go out and do a very hard job, thankless job, that are out there serving their country and doing so to the very best of their ability sometimes with very limited tools and resources. we do this in the spirit of trying to help and fix this in a bipartisan way. and our thanks and gratitude goes to them. let me be clear. we do not make deals as to when hearings will end. so for staff to suggest -- i'm sorry. that never came to me. i want to be clear for future hearings that's not a deal we're going to make. under house rules each member is allowed to ask five minutes of
questions per witness. all told, we can have all of these members ask four sets of five-minute questions. most members asked one questions. some members didn't show up, and i think i asked three questions. i just want to understand and clarify that. the other thing is we weren't planning to have this hearing this week because we expected last hearing to be productive and it wasn't. make sure that they are properly prepared to answer the full array of questions. again, we thank you all for your time. we wish you the best this holiday season. the committee stands adjourned. as 2015 wraps up, c-span
presents congress year in review, a look back at all the news making issues, debates, and hearings that took center stage on capitol hill this year. join us thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern as we revisit mitch mcconnell taking his position as senate majority leader, pope francis' historic address to a joint session of congress, the resignation of house speaker john boehner, and the election of paul ryan, the debate of the nuclear deal with iran, gun control, terrorism, and the rise of isis. congress year in review on c-span thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. congress begins the second session of the 114th congress in january. the house is back for legislative work on tuesday, january 5th. among the items on the agenda a budget reconciliation bill that would defund planned parenthood and repeal the affordable care
act. the president says he would veto it. the senate returns the following week, monday, january 11th. senators will consider a circuit court nomination in pennsylva a pennsylvania. the house is live on c-span. the senate live on c-span 2. tonight on c-span 3, it's american history tv in primetime with a look at the holocaust. first a ceremony in poland marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of auschwitz. then a look at the 1945 film depicting conditions at nazi concentration camps that was used as evidence in the nuremburg war crime trials.