tv Immigration Law Enforcement CSPAN October 17, 2017 8:01pm-9:29pm EDT
good morning welcome to the heritage foundation and our douglas and sarah elson auditorium. we welcome those joining us on our heritage.org website. we would ask you see your mobile devices have been silenced or turned off and for those online, you're welcome to send questions or comments at any time, simply emailing speaker at heritage.org. leading our discussion is a visiting fellow at the heritage foundation. he is a former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the u.s. department of homeland security. he is also the founder of red branch consulting. as well as the senior advisor to the churt off group. he serves as a professional lecturer and law and he is an advisor to and former member of the american bar association's
standing committee on law and national committee as well as a contributing editor to the law fair blog. paul? >> thank you very much, john. it is an honor to be asked to host today's event. i want to welcome you to the heritage allison auditorium. immigration has had a storied history in american life beginning of course back with the founding and continuing to this day, it has in many instances and times been a contentious subject. we could probably identify three basic themes that have an mated the debate. some look at imglagz and see it through the prism of commerce. they see borders as controls on the free flow of goods and labor
and they see immigration issues as ways of resolving what if any should be the appropriate way of managing the flow of labor across borders. others see it prince pale through the prism of cultural significance, a nation is of course defieddefined by those we in it and immigration control more or less allows a country to define who its citizens are, who may be within the country and thus to find the nature of the culture that nation expresses. the third prism is one of security. national security and personal security. they see borders as defining a defensible space and a way of enforcing that defense to the betterment of the national common wheel.
it is i think fair to characterize the debate between these prisms of immigration as an ongoing one, certainly since the last substantive reform in congress in the 1980s, we as americans have been engaged in a vigorous debate as to which of these conceptions of immigration takes prominence. the obama administration is rightly i think characterized as having leaned heavily on questioned of commerce and culture. advancing them over issues of national security and the trumpedtrump edadministration is i think rightly seen as reversing some of those trends and putting a greater emphasis today on national security issues as they relate to immigration and border security. the topic of our discussion is simple. we're going to begin with a short panel discussion with two
of my colleagues from heritage and follow that with a key note address from tom holman. who i will introduce at a later moment. for now, let me introduce my colleagues. a policy analyst in the senter for foreign and national security policy. he specializes in homeland security issues, including cyber and immigration policy and the protection of critical infrastructure. he hold as b.a. in government and economics from the college of william & mary and a masters in public policy from george mason. sitting next to me is an authority on a wide range of issues including civil rights, civil justice. the first amendment in the rule of law. a senior fellow in the center for legal and judicial studies. he is the co author of the book who's counting how they put your
vote at risk? and obama's enforcer, eric holder's justice department. hans served two years as the federal election commission. those charged with finance laws for elections. let's begin with introductory remarks. >> thanks, paul. i jusz want to focus on some of the problems and provide slushzs along the way and i know haunz will be able to talk a little built more on what's going on with states and localities around the country. dhs has many responsibilities on the border and regard to immigration. two notable ones. first is border security and interior enforcement. i'll start with border security because it seemed most appropriate to start from the outside and work our way in.
it gets a lot of talk in the united states. border barriers, walls, the number of border patrol agents, cameras, technology, etc., these are the type ofsz things we've heard from campaigns and now. and it makes sense we should talk about these things. it makes sense the control of one's borders is really the start to good enforcement. afterall it only makes subsequent enforcement efforts that much more difficult. currently the united states has around 654 miles of fencing along the southern border of which around 354 are pedestrian fencing and 300 miles are vehicle fencing. only about 30 miles have a second layer of fencing. in terms of staffing at the end of 2016 the border patrol agents had had around just under 20,000 agents. so while there are many impo important arguments regarding agents or other things.
i think it's critical talking about immigration enforcement to step back and see how border security investments are part of a larger enforcement system. fencing, barriers, walls. these may dissuade some illegal agents from crossing in the united states. many legal immigrants are going to cross if they think once they cross they're going to be allowed to stay. in areas that there mountainous or desert regions or many miles to the nearest town, a border wall is just a several minute short delay in what otherwise is going to be an hour long or day long trek to get to a city or town. so the best way to stop it in these areas is to intersect these folks using technology. technology is essential to direct border patrol agents to
pick them up. where fencing is most essential is areas near towns and cities. they can cross the border and knickly disappear or melt into the regular hustle and bustle of people, houses and businesses. in these areas, the extra few minutes it takes an illegal immigrant to cross because of the border is an essential peer yod of time to detect the illegal border crossing and get agents there to respaurnd and stop them. thus, the best border security is around technology ta lrd to the regional needs. this is the approach by our former secretary of homeland secure, john kelly. fencing, high tech fencing makes sense over there. technology makes sense over there. a needs approach is the best path forward.
but i want to move beyond border security. and the reason i want to move beyond border security is i because i view the most important part of the puzzle i really do view this as the key question. when an immigrant is picked up by the border patrol, what happens? where they over stay legal visa what happens? i would argue these questions are some of the most important questions we need to answer in the debate. if it they believe wups they pass they're unlikely to be deported, then fences and the border patrol are smaug small obstacles. if they believe they can turn themselves in and get sent to the u.s. interior, then they'll view it as having a high likelihood of success. all the investments inboarder u
patrol and security are moving them nin interior of the united states. if we continue the policy known as catch and release. and so border security must be packed up by other departments. i.c.e. and united states citizenship and immigration services as well as parts of the department of justice. truly powerful border security will include more space, funding and authority for these agencies so that illegal immigrants can have their cases adjudicated quickly in an expeindicted manner. this insures most are not being released into the interior but being removed as possibly as to not overwhelm the immigration courts. for those that do make to the interior by crossing or over staying a legal visa, it's not
enough to make it difficult to enter. it must be difficult for an illegal immigrant to remain and work in the united states unlawfully. one found illegal immigrants to be subject to removal and perhaps more we should give to i.c.e. this includes the use of expedited removal, which i know the trump administration has already started to do. expanding a 287 g program which trains and deputeizes local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws. unfortunately the obama administration did the opposite. enforcement was significantly weakened, i would argue, which through various executive actions reduced the number of individuals being deported. in fiscal year 2016 they removed or returned 450,000 individuals. in 2008 about 1.2 million
enforcement actions occur. so 2016 is the lowest levels of return since 1971 and the policy of the obama administration was largely to catch -- was to allow them to be released into the interior. the result is we have average wait times in our immigration courts that have tripled under obama administration. it's up to two years in the immigration court system. and together with the unlauflt and unconstitutional deferred action programs that rewarded and encouraged more illegal immigration, the obama administration failed to insure proper enforcement was occurring. thankfully the trumped ed administration has begun to reverse many of these policies. i'm looking forward to hearing
the director's remarks on this and see what the administration is doing as we move forward. and there's an important discussion regarding the illegal immigration system, how it can be structured and incent vised legal immigration but that's beyond the scope of my time here today. so i wanted to throw that out there as something that could be a whole other event. thank you. >> thanks, david. hans. >> there were two papers that were handed out for people of the audience that came in. one is a paper i wrote a couple of years ago and it's on the steps that state can legally take given the supreme court's decisions to assist the federal government and enforcement of our immigration laws. it is very, very important for the states to do that. without their assistance, it's very tough for the department of
homeland security to do its job. now the second paper is one i just released and wrote about how the immigration courts should be streamlined. i don't think a lot of people realize that illegal aliens have very extensive due process rights. everything from the ability to be represented by counsel to much of the same rights all of us enjoy as citizens when we're in the courts but there are a lot of things that could be done to streamline the court system. i'm going to concentrate on probably one of the biggest fights going on and that is sanctuary cities. let me first say that this false claim is constantly made that if you're against illegal immigration, if you want to see our immigration laws enforced, then you must be racist. that is simply not true. no nation can exist if it doesn't control its borders. and we are the most generous country in the world when it comes to
legal immigration. we take in a million legal immigrants a year. that's more than any otherer country in the world. i think the best statement on this was made by barbara jordan. she was a civil rights icon. i think one of the first african americans elected to the texas legislature and went on to congress. in the 1990s bill clinton put her in charge of his commission on immigration reform. "we disagree with those that would label efforts to limit immigration as -- it's the right of a democratic society to manaman manage immigration to serve the national interests. inless this country does a better job curbing illegal immigration, we risk undermining our legal immigration." and the trump administration has, i think very correctly, through attorney general jeff
sessions said that they're going to not allow cities and counties that have sanctuary policies in place that ubstruct enforcement of federal immigration laws to apply for and receive discretionary grants from the department of justice. what are sanctuary policies? in essence the policies of cities and counties like san francisco and chicago have put in do two things. one they forbid their local law enforcement of exchanging any information on the immigration status of individuals they arrest for committing local crimes and second, they refuse to honor federal detainer warrants. federal detainer warrants are issued by the department of homeland security when they learn that local law enforcement has arrested a criminal illegal alien and asked to hold them for 48 hours so that the feds can come and pick them up. now forbidding local law
enforcement from exchanging information with the feds is illegal under federal law. there's a federal provision in immigration law that basically says that no local entity can forbid its officials from exchanging citizenship information. so when the city of chicago tells its law enforcement you can't notify dhs when you've arrested an illegal alien for a local crime such as rape, sexual assault, burglary, that is against federal law and we know that's legal because when the law was first passed, the city of new york under the former mayor, rudy giuliani sued and said the feds couldn't do this. the law was unconstitutional because it common deared local resources. in a case that went all the way to the second circuit u.s. court of appeals in 1999, the second circuit threw out the city of
new york's case and said this law doesn't common dear local resources because they're not telling cities that you have to call the feds. they're just saying you can't tell your local sherifff he's forbidden from calling the feds if he wants to or get information about someone they've arrested. look, we're having a legal discussion and a public policy discussion but on a personal note i get really annoyed and frankly tired of local officials and the sank tumonious attitude they takes a if they're on the moral high ground. because i got to tell you what they're creating is creating sanctuaries for criminals. they're saying that inan illegal alien commit as local crime, let's say robbery or assault and they are sentenced to six months
in the local jail,ality the end of that time they would rather that criminal be released back into the local community where they can victimize more individuals. that's better than calling up the department of homeland security so dhs can come pick them up and remove them from the country. and are americans victimized by this? yes, they are. in 2005 the government accou accountability office did a study and released a report. and what they did is looked at the criminal histories of 55,322 illegal aliens at federal, state and local prisons. they entered illegally and in the country illegally when they committed their crimes. they were arrested almost 460,000 times. they'd committeda almost 700,00 criminal offenses and they
weren't in jail for immigration crimes. 12% were for violent crimes such as murder, robbery, assault and sex-related crimes. 15% for burglary, larceny, theft and property damage. none of these crimes would have occurred if these individuals were not in the united states and many of them would not have occurred if after they had served their sentence for committing this crime at a local jurisdiction dhs had been called and they'd been removed from the country. in 2011 they did an updated study, looked at 251,000 criminal illegal aliens. they arrested 1.7 million crimes for committing 3 million criminal offenses. there's two things about this that you all should realize. fist of all these local jurisdictions are treating
illegal aliens better than u.s. citizens. what i mean by that is look, if you're stopped on the side of the road by a state trooper because you're speeding -- i don't want to embarrass anybody in the room by asking how many that's happened to. it's happened to me. what does the state trooper do after you hand him his license? he goes to his car and checked to see if there's an arrest warrants for you and he checks the ncic system. this is the national crime information system obtained by the fbi. the federal government puts arrest warrants into it. and there's an arrest for me in california, i'm not just going to get a speeding ticket, i'm going to be detained so california official kz come and make arrangements to pick me up. same thinking if there's a
feder federal warrant on me. and they're saying they're not going to honor that. that is the reason why kate steinle is dead. i'm sure you all have heard her name. she was the young woman murdered by an illegal alien in san francisco a couple of years ago. she is dead directly because of the city of san francisco's sanctuary policy. the illegal alien who killed her was a seven-time prior felon. a detainer warrant was filed with the city of san francisco by dhs asking that they be notified before he be released. the city of san francisco decided not to press drug charges against him, they also decided not to honor it detainer warrant. therefore they released him and he was killed. what's so tragic is that's not the first time that's happened in san francisco. in 2008 another family had their
father and two teen age sons killed, shot by an ms 13 gang member who had been arrested and convicted twice previously. once for a gang related assault and the attempted robbery of a pregnant woman and in both instances san francisco, because of their sanctuary policy refused to notify dhs so he wasabowa wasn't picked up and so he was able to kill three members of this family directly because of the sanctuary policy of the city of san francisco. if hay had informed dhs, this would not have happened. let me begin with one other story which tells the result of when local and states refuse to assist the federal government and try to obstruct enforcement
of federal immigration laws. another alien was in the u.s. illegally and then he became a student and then they over stayed his tourist visa. he was detainable and deportable from the first moment he was in the u.s. at 1209:00 on a saturday morning, he was stopped for driving 90 miles an hour. the trooper neither asked him any questions about his immigration status, nor did he check with the law enforcement support center. it's maintained by a dhs. it's opened 24 hours a day, seven day as week. so that law enforcement officials can call dhs and check the immigration status of individuals they detain and arrest. if the state trooper had contacted this saturday, they would have informed him he was illegally in the u.s. and he could have been detained, picked
up and removed from the country. instead, because maryland doesn't participate, they gave him a speeding ticked and let him go. that ticket was found in the glove compartment of his car two days later after he flew united airlines flight 93 into the ground in pennsylvania. that is a direct result of that state's refusal to assist the federal government. i will end with this. critics of pro enforcement policies say it's anti-immigrant but that couldn't be further from the truth. it's the very foundation of what the u.s. is founlded on and it's the core of why americans welcome immigrants. i will end with this statement again from barbara jordan. this sums up what our immigration policy should be. "credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one
sentence. those who should get in, get in and those who should be kept out, are kept out and those who shouldn't be here will be required to leave." thanks. >> thanks, hans. i'm going to ask a couple questions -- well, if there's time we might take a couple questions from the audience. but we'll see how that goes. let me start with you, david. your discussion was rather critical of the obama administration. is there anything that the obama administration did right? are there things worthy of praise that ought to be continued? >> yes. though it's a bit of a complicated one. one of the things the obama administration did was removing more people who were caught at the border. but this is a bit of a numbers game. traditionally in the united states when people were caught at the border they were returned to their home country.
culocualy many would think of them as being deported for umthe united states. but in the parlance of dhs, those are two different two things he a return and a removal. traditionally most of them were returned. while arrests in the interior resulted in removals more or less. it's a rule of thumb. what president obama started doing is removing more people caught at the border. this is a good thing because people removed, if they reenter the united states, there's a penalty attached to it. if you remove someone, it's disincent vising them from coming back legally and they held it up as saying look at us we're really good on enforcement. they stopped removing people from the interior all the people who used to be returned were being removed at the border. which is why the net sum fell but the total number of people
being removed increased. but there's a shell game as to who that was applying to. so it was a good thing to remove more people caught at the border. because of the legal consequences but it's a bit of a shell game of there's lots of other areas harmed at the same time. . >> okay. fair enough. so hans, i'm going to give you a magic wand that you may wave and you may get congress to pass and the president to sign any single change in immigration law that you wish. what is it? >> i would actually do two things. >> i gave you one, one. okay. i'll give you two wands. >> the first is i would make the e verify system mandatory. the biggest way to get large numbers of the illegal alien population in the united states to self deported is to dry up
their ability to work and one of the ways to do that is to make e-verify mandatory. that's what arizona did on a state basis and the supreme court upheld their ability to do it. >> why don't you explain what e-verify is. >> look, if you want to get a job in the united states, your employer is required under federal immigration law to check your documents to make sure you're one, a u.s. citizen and if you're not, that you're legally in the country and have a work authorization to do that. they can easily call and check with dhs to see if you're entitled to work in the united states but it's a voluntary system. like i said the state of arizona actually made it mandatory and said that any employers who, after using the e-verify system, if they theb knowingly and intentionally hire an illegal
alien, they can lose their business license. the u.s. chamber of commerce sued over that. and the u.s. supreme court said it's perfectly legitimate to make the e-verify system mandatory and threaten the loss of a business license. that kind of system would help dry up the jobs, which is what drives the large majority of people to come here and large number of people would self deport if it they can't earn money and send remittances back to their home country. the other thing i would do is correct the misinterpretation of the 14th amendment which has caused the united states to legalize birth right citizenship. we are one of the few countries in the entire world that recognizes that. only about a half dozen do. a few more that did have gotten rid of it. it makes no sense. it's a misinterpretation of the 14th amendment. if one of your parents is a u.s.
citizen, then of course. but if both your parents came here illegally, it's a misnomer to say you're a u.s. citizen. >> i'll give you the wand. >> if i were to use the wand, i would probably change some of the things along the lines of how state and local governments. some of the things hans was talking about and the 287 g program i would make it that if the state or local government wanted to help enforce federal immigration law, they would be allowed to and a burden of proof on dhs to prove that city or state couldn't comply and let state and local governments who want to help, help together with snof other things on sanctuary cities hans has discussed. >> with the schedule i have we
have five minutes more with the panel before we turn to the key note address. i have lots of questions. that's why they asked me to do this. but i'm happy to open it up to anybody in the audience. would you wait for a microphone please and tell us who you are, sir. >> good morning. my name's john radman and i'm a member of heritage foundation. the question i have is really when an illegal alien is detained in the interior, what are the basis or the law that gives them due process? >> that's a very good question. what the courts have said is when the united states is going through the removal process to take someone out who's been detained, due process is -- the
amount of due process they get is only what congress decides to give them. that's basically what the court decisions have said. to the extent that congress wants to limit those due process rights, they have the ability to do it and that's why, for example congress some years ago said that aliens being removed, illegal aliens being removed had had the ability to go to immigration courts. they don't like the decision that a trial judge gives them, they can appeal it to the border immigration appeals. but their ability to go to federal courts has been limited. they can't go to federal district courts, only courts of appeal. i think they get more than they should in the due process rights they're given in the immigration court system and i think congress should take away the
ability to go to federal courts of appeal that are being flood would a lot of meritless, frivolous appeals. >> hang on a second. geahead. >> the follow-up question is how many other countries provide due process that united states provides? >> well, there's a great difference in what they provide and don't. i think again, the united states in the same way it's one of the most generous countries in the world when it comes to legal immigration is quite generous in the due process rights it gives to illegal aliens. by the way one of the best things the administration did was end the catch and are elysse policy. the catch and release policy basically said when illegal alien was caught in the interior of the country, they would give them a date to appear before an immigration judge and then release them. you talk to border agents and
others, they would -- they refer to the catch and release policy as the catch and run policy because the long-term rate at which illegal aliens did not show up for their court hearings was over 40%. and there is no -- there aren't any other courts in the country that have that kind of a nonappearance rate. >> actually i was always amazed by that and i wondered about the 60% who showed up. seriously. from their perspective, it's a questionable decision. in the back if you will wait for a microphone to come back to you. >> hi, thank you. marie espinoza. this is for hans. the question we get most often is why do mayors of sanctuary cities get away with not enforcing laws and can you speak to that a little bit and explain why they are immune.
>> i really don't quite understand that at all. and i think part of it is the way they try to fool the residents of their cities. they try to paint sanctuary policies as something that protects all of their residents and they say a lot of things that frankly aren't true because really the sanctuary policy, as i pointed out, they really just protect criminal illegal aliens from being removed from the federal government being notified about them. and i think there's a lot of fooling of the public going on in this situation. >> so we'll take one more question in the front before we go to our change over in the panel. >> jack martin, just a short comment and a question. with regard to giving the obama administrationing the credit for the removals of the mexicans. that program basically was started by the bush administration and obama
administration just gets the credit for continuing it. the question is with regard to the issue of detainers and whether or not they have any legal standing, a judge in oregon ruled that you couldabn' hold people without having a court order to do so and therefore it was illegal to be holding people under detainer requests and the obama administration agreed with the position that detainers were voluntary, rather than legal. would you agree with that? >> no. i think that's a misinterpretation of the law. if the federal government has the ability to hold an illegal alien, i really don't see how it's suddenly illegal for a state or local government to hold an illegal alien at the request of the local government. the second part is look, what dhs is asking, particularly for example in -- and this has been made clear in the case going on
in chicago where chicago has sued is look, they're asking the federal government be notified 48 hours before the locales are going to release somebody. if an illegal alien is in jail for let's say burglary and they're serving a six-month sentence, how in the world is it a problem if the federal government says look, 48 hours before you get a release this alien, this criminal alien, we're serving a six month sentence so polilease notify us hours before you release him? that defies commonsense that somehow that's a problem and the city doesn't want to do that. >> with that, please join me in thanking our two panelists. we'll take a 30-second break as
they exit stage left. a wonderful opportunity that we had to invite to our podium one of the leaders in intrump administration's immigration enforcement policy. i'm deeply honored to be able to welcome to the allison auditorium, thomas d. homen. mr. homen is the acting director of u.s. immigration and customs enforcement, sometimes known as i.c.e. which is the principal
investigative agency of the department of homeland security. he became acting director on january 30th, 2017. since 2013, mr. homen has served as the director of the i.c.e. enforcement and removal operations. mr. homen is a 33-year veteran of law enforcement. and has nearly 30 years of immigration enforcement experience. he has served in numerous capacities in law enforcement, including -- i was pleased to learn -- as a police officer in my home town of new york city. he's also served as a border patrol agent, a agent with ins which became part of i.c.e., as well as a supervisor. he hold as bachelor degree in criminal justice and received
the presidential rank award in 2015 for his exemplerry leadership and extensive accomplishments in the area of immigration enforcement. please join me in welcoming thomas d. homen. >> i want to get out here and send a message to the public that what they're reading in the media is not accurate. so i spent a lot of time trying to set the record straight on what size does and most importantly what we don't do. i started inboarder patrol in 1984. so i've worked the front line inboarder patrol several years and i investigated organization that smuggled aliens in this country for 20 years and the last eight years i was in charge of enforcement and removal operations which arrest aliens
24i in the interior, detention and removal. so i have worked the entire immigration life cycle. i'm not the smartest guy to ever sit in this chair but i'm the first cop. i've done the job on the front line and now i'm acting director. i'm proud to do that. i actually retired january 27th for about three hours and on the way out of the ceremony got a call from general kelly asking me to stay round the agency. and when the president asks you to serve, there's only one answer. so i'm back serving my country best i can. so let me tell you what i read this morning. these are just a few of the press clips i read this morning. sues feds for information. claiming harassment. man without a country deported by trump administration. they ordered isis to be criminals.
they're back in seattle to talk about ending private immigration prisons. and they haul in 100 cambodians. aclu 18-year-old u.s. resident. and it it will boost deportations. they claim the deception after i.c.e. claims denver father of four. a utah woman says she escapes severe abuse and now we're trying to send her back. that is racism. that's just a few of the headlines i had the plesh of reading this morning. you know what they don't say? they don't say every one of these people being removed. had their due process. they got an order from a federal judge, issued from a bench and i.c.e.'s job is to execute that order. >> they want to villify the men and women for doing their job
and executing a judge's order. shame on these folks. for people to say they're racist white supremacists, people should be ashamed for enforcing laws of this country. that's why i get emotional when i start talking because the 20,000 men and women who work for i.c.e. are american patriots by the very fact they read this every day, they still strap a gun to their hip, leave the safety and welfare and security of their families and their homes to defend this country and support public safety, defend public safety and get vilified for doing it. i appreciate the invite today. so every time i do one of these things my staff gives me six pages of things you want to say. i guarantee you i will get off. i really do, i'm really passionate about what we do.
i'm passionate about getting the truth out to people about what i.c.e. does. heritage foundation has been a friend and advocate for what we do. and on behalf of men and women of i.c.e. i want to thank you. i want to talk about priorities, what we do and don't do. my statements on the hill have been talked about a lot. of their acting director say aliens should be afraid. well, if anybody in this room goes down the highway earlier. racing at 100 miles per hour, are you worried you may get stopd and get a ticket. are you worried you may get an audit. people that knowingly, intentionally violate the laws of this country, enter this country illegally, which is a crime, that's been lost in the
last decade. inter the country illegally, you should be worried. that's the way it should be. we keep sending a message it's okay to violate laws of this country, then we're never going to solve the border crisis. it's never going to be solved as long as people think they get a free pass. this country -- this country is very welcoming country. we have allowed millions ofpeople in the country and become part of our society because they did it the right way and for the people that stand in line and do it this way, you got to admire them. there's a right way to come in and a wrong way to come in the country. and the wrong way is not acceptable. and this president has made that clear. if you enter this country illegally or hide or have a u.s. child and not be removed, you're
never going to solve the border crisis. there's not another law enforcement agency where people are asked not to enforce the laws. no one asks dea, atf, name it. name a state or federal law enforcement agencies where politicians say don't take that law seriously. we enacted that law and you're sworn to enforce that law but not another agency is asked to do what i.c.e. is asked to do. this president made it clear. he signed a series of executive orders and it was a lot of paper and words and sentences. i.c.e. will now enforce the laws enacted by congress and on the books. we're not doing -- we didn't create any new laws to enforce. this president has said i'm taking handcuffs off law enforcement officers. you enforce the laws on the
books. that's what he's done. this country spends billions a year on border security, detention, immigration courts, courts, attorneys, circuit courts and at the end if a judge issues a final order, they need to be executed, because if they're not, there's absolutely no integrity in this entire system. what's the sense? if we're required to give someone due process at great taxpayer expense and a federal judge makes a decision, that decision needs to be held up. it needs to be executed by the men and women of i.c.e. or there's no integrity to the entire system. why would anybody follow the rules and laws of this country if at the end you don't like the decision, okay, well, forget about it. i get asked all the time why do you arrest somebody that's been there ten years, 15 years and has two u.s. citizen kids.
why? because if we don't and we continue to send a message, enter this country illegally, go hide in the shadows, have a u.s. citizen child or actually go to immigration court and get an order and ignore it, if you have a u.s. citizen child by birth in this country, you're off the hook. the law means nothing to you. you are exempt from federal law. if that's the message we want to send, you're never going to solve the border crisis. if people think they can come to this country illegal skpl have a u.s. citizen kid and that gets them off the hook, now they're immune from enforcement, you're never going to fix the border crisis. i've been doing this a long time, and we've got to stop sending that message. last week the administration laid out a set of reforms. you probably read it in the media. those that like it, those that don't. but one thing is very inaccurate
is that the white house developed these priorities and policies. certain people that have a white supremacist agenda. these policies were written by career law enforcement officers. they weren't written by the white house. they asked us. give us what you think you need to enforce the law in a meaningful way. we've already made great progress on the border this year under this president. his policies, whether you like this president or not, whether you like his policies or not, you can't argue with the results of what's going on on the border right now. why? because we're enforcing the rule of law and we're sending strong message nobody is off the table. you'll get your due process. we'll give you that. but once a decision has been made, it will be enforced. so i want to make it clear that the priorities and the policies sent to the hill last week were created and written by career law enforcement officers, including myself.
they asked my ideas and my staff and we put together our wish list of priorities and policies, c bp did the same. these priorities reflect the input of law enforcement professionals throughout the three organizations. and these reforms were part of the president's executive orders that laid the groundwork for immigration enforcement. this president takes border security seriously and thank god for that. the policies we sent up were clear and concise and from a law enforcement perspective makes sense. this president, this administration has finally allowed the i.c.e. officers to do what they're supposed to do, enforce the laws. the fact that over staying their
visa, skipping dpripgs court, if we don't address them, then there's absolutely no integrity in the system and we'll never fix it. i've been in law enforcement since 1984. i was actually here during 1986, last am nestty. that was supposed to be the last time we did it. did it work? no. because as long as people think they can get into this country illegally and violate the laws of this country and they can be immune from the law, we won't fix it. this president is fixing it. the numbers are at a historic low. we've got to continue down this path. we need some more things to p ha, which i'm going to talk about. but we made significant progress this year under this president. both executive orders and recent priorities announced by the white house include much needed measures to hold sanctuary cities accountable. earlier this month california's governor signed legislation making california a sanctuary state for illegal aliens, including those who have
committed additional crimes. that bill nearly eliminates all coombs and communication with our law enforcement partners. it voids delegate authority of the 287 g program that orange county sheriff's had with it. it prohibits local law enforcement to contract with the federal dpoft to house detainees. sanctuary policies like these are shielding capitol hill aliens from enforcement by refusing to honor detainers or allow i.c.e. access to interview aliens in the jails. i'll give you an example. just two months ago in sew no ma county, california, a guy was arrested for flown domestic battery. i.c.e. filed a detainer but they released him on bail before i.c.e. could respond. two weeks later he murdered that girlfriend. had we been given enough time to
take custody of him, most likely he'd be in guatemala. every criminal alien that gets released by a sanctuary city that refoends has committed a crime that is preventable. i'll say it again. sanctuary cities are releasing public safety threats back into the public. that doesn't make sense to me. even the immigrant communities don't want criminals in their communities. if you're a child predator, if you've gotten duis? they don't want these criminals back in their communities. and the irony of these type of sanctuary policies that actually put more fear in the immigrant community. let me explain. i got a letter from like 12, 14 congress men about my rep re henceible statements in response to the california sanctuary law. what i said was i have no choice but to arrest people in neighborhoods and at work sites.
let me explain my statement, which i explained to them a hundred times. i explained to the people that created the sanctuary policy before they actually made it a law when i go through jail, my officers go to a jail, they're going to arrest a public safety threat. that's why they're in jail. number one, they're in the country illegally which means they've already committed one crime against this crime. this is a person illegally in the united states in violation of federal law that's currently in a county jail, which they're probably not a choir boy. they're in the county jail. and there's county jails that will not allow my officers in those jails, and this law don't honor did he tarns, don't allow us to process an individual, which means what? which means when he gets released from the jail back into the community, my job is to locate him and arrest him. it's a public safety issue.
now, there's a couple things. arresting somebody in the privacy and security of a county jail is safer for my officers because they're in a county jail. we know they don't have weapons. it's safer for the alien because there's not going to be all this emotion when we have to arrest them in the street. it's safer for the community because a public safety threat isn't running around the community. that makes sense. arrest the criminal inside the county jail. safe, secure. but when sanctuary cities release them, my officers have to knock on the door and anybody in law enforcement will tell you that's the most dangerous part of law enforcement is knocking on a door of a criminal on his turf where he has access to who knows what? so when i made the statement bypassing this law and not allowing us unfettered access to your jails, what you have done is forced my hand now i have to go to their homes, which is not only a public safety issue and an officer safety issue, we've got to knock on the door which
does a couple things. jt jail i'm going to arrest the bad guy, the criminal. when i go to the home and find that bad guy, he's probably going to have other people with him who may have immigration issues. well, the new executive order says no one is off the table of the my job is to take them in custody too. so those politicians that chose to mack a political statement over that of public safety that want to tell their communities sanctuary cities protects the community from i.c.e., wrong. because now you just put all these people who weren't on my radar on my radar, because when we go to a home or a place of business we're going to find others. that is a misconception, an intentional misconception, miss messaging by these politicians that sanctuary cities protect the communities. they don't, because i'm going to do my job. there is no sanctuary from federal law enforcement. they can call themselves sanctuary cities all they want. my officers are going to do their job. so if you think about if that's
really the message to protect the immigrant community, why would they want -- let's put it this way. more officers in jails means less officers in the communities. that's just simple math. that's something you won't read in the media. so for me to make a statement that you're forcing my hand to do more operations in neighborhoods in their sight, you can call it anything you want. that's just fact. and you forced my hand to do that. so are you really -- are you stoking fear in the immigrant community? are politicians and the media stoking fear in the immigrant community saying i.c.e. conducts raids, sweeps, we arrest people at churches, hospitals, in schools? when we don't. we don't conduct raids. we don't conduct sweeps. we conduct enforcement operatio operations. the fine men and women know exactly who they're going to
arrest. we just don't randomly go in neighborhoods looking for people different than us or people they're racist and white supremacist. we removed people from over 140 countries last week. many latino and many not. we're enforcing laws. so when the story is i.c.e. conducts raids, i.c.e. does a neighborhood sweep, no. we conduct target enforcement operations. we don't go neighborhoods. we don't set up roadblocks. we sent arrest people at churches, hospitals or schools. do we arrest people near a school? absolutely. one press release awhile ago. we arrested someone dropping his daughter off several ploks from school after the officers verified there's a mother there to receive theel child at the end of the day. officers take great care in what they do. and when you've got a sanctuary city policy, you can't arrest somebody in jail, then you've got these groups like aclu and
others that want to tell people don't open your doors to i.c.e., don't cooperate, doechbt answer the questions. so we can't arrest them in the jail. we can't arrest them in their homes because they won't open their doors and cooperate with us because they've been trained not to. what option does that leave us? and when you're in new york city, los angeles, chicago, chances are you pull that car over, you'll run within a block or two from a church or a hospital. we don't arrest people at hospitals, schools or churches without prior approval from headquarters. my office. and it has to be a significant issue, a significant public safety issue and national security to do that. that's the facts. but you won't read that. it's a continued vilification of what we do because people don't agree with what we do. you have a right to your opinion, but don't vilify the men and women who uphold the
oath to protect this great nation. this is the greatest country of this great earth. sanctuary cities is not the america i grew up in. but for politicians and jurisdictions and states and cities and lots to choose to intentionally shield those who are in the country illegally and commit another crime and they're sitting in a taxpayer funded jail, to not give access to a federal law enforcement officer who is charged with enforcing those laws to me is unamerican. not the america i grew up in. we should all be on the same side to protect public safety. no matter how they want to spin it in their on the part eds, it increases a public safety
threat. sanctuary cities are a smuggler's best friend. i'll bet you to chicago or los angeles. you won't even get arrested and they're not going to work with i.c.e. great place to be. so sanctuary cities are a danger to public safety. they're a violation of federal law. they entice more illegal behavior. more deaths will occur because of this. people will die to enter this country. why are you so heartless, you want to arrest all these people? look, if you've seen -- you would understand my emotion when we talk about this issue. i have found dead aliens on a trail abandoned by smuggler's. they don't care. they don't care about the safety and well-being of these people. i was here in headquarters on detail when the victoria
incident in the back of the tractor-trailer when a got phone to get on a plane and go immediately to victoria, texas to lead the investigation 19 dead aliens in the back of a tractor-trailer. the crime scene was kept secured until i got there. i actually walked into the back of that tractor-trailer. and was surrounded by 19 dead aliens around me that suffocated in the back of that tractor-trailer. one a five-year-old boy. that haunts me to this day. because i had a five-year-old boy at the time. where do you think that five-year-old boy went to the last five minutes of his father. what do you think the father who was holding that child knowing he put his child in that position and couldn't change it and was suffocating in the back of this black hot tractor-trailer. the smuggling organization didn't care about that. where do you think they went to?
we rescued hostages all the time. children were molested, women were raped. we did one investigation we rescued a hostage. we got into a house and he was in the closet, totally wrapped up in duct tape. he had a hole poked in here and a straw so he could breathe for days. so when people say that i'm cold and i'm heartless, you haven't seen what i've seen. we've got to end this stuff. this president is taking it seriously. call us anything you want. i've got thick skin. i can take it, but we're not going to be bullied into not enforcing this law. what this president has done is working. the numbers don't lie. we've got to stick with it. what we sent up to the hill last week, the policies we're asking for to continue doing what we're doing are something we think we
need to fix this entire system. people say they want to, you know -- when you talk about sanctuary cities, not only does it entice people to hire these criminal organizations putting people at risk and continue dying, you're bank rolling these organization. these are organizations that smug elillegal aliens are the same organizations that will smug elweapons, dope and do harm to this country. people control -- the drug car tell us, they control their pathways and their areas. you're not getting through -- you're not going to pass through that area until you're going to pay a tax. they control all that. so by these sanctuary cities putting people more in danger and making this dangerous journey, enticing people to make that journey, putting the public safety at risk, you're also bank rolling criminal organizations
that want to do harm to this country. people are saying they want us to focus -- i hear all the time, why don't you do what the last administration did and focus just on the criminals. okay. focus on criminals, but don't allow me in your county jails. right? think about it. these politicians are suing the trump administration for threatening to hold funding from sanctuary cities. they don't want to fund the border wall to keep them out, but they want to fund sanctuary cities to keep them in. i don't know. to a guy that's been doing this for 33 years, that is backwards. as you can guess, i'm passionate about sanctuary cities. sfiet refusal of some politicians to work with us, we
are going to continue to do our jobs. since january 22nd, 2017, we arrested more than a hundred thousand illegal aliens in the interior of the united states, which is a had 2% increase over this time period last year. our issuance of detarns is over 80%. we are now enforcing laws enacted by congress that we were sworn to enforce. i told you about the location policy, church, schools and people want to miss manage -- there's actually a jurisdiction passed that we can't arrest people at a school. that stokes fear because we don't do it. you're creating a law telling us to do and we don't do. there's a message behind all that. courthouse arrests. how dare we arrest a criminal alien in a criminal courthouse. think about that. now, i've been in court where i've seen father's arresting for failing to pay child support. the judge said you haven't paid
child support in six months, marshall, take him spew custody. i've seen people taken into custody for failing to pay child support, but you're going to tell me a federal law enforcement officer can't take custody of a criminal inside a criminal courthouse. and people say well, he has right to answer charges and due process. yeah, he has an obligation to that state and local court. he also has an obligation to a federal court that ordered him removed that he ignored. we don't raers him in a courtroom. we arrest him outside. we'll be out here waiting on you and arrest him in a none public setting. it has to be a last option. they have to be a public safety threat. and we can't get any place else because we've tried. so will we continue to arrest people at court houses? absolutely, i will. it's a public safety threat. i'm not going to let them walk out of a criminal courthouse back into the public. that's not what we do. that's not what this country is
about. when i testified on the hill, you know, people want to beat me up for the statements i made, why do you want to arrest people in the courthouse? well, when i went up to the hill and testimony that time, i walked through security. we've got metal detectors, security guards everywhere to protect congressman and their staff. why? to protect the judge examine his staff. why should i not want the same thing for the men and women of i.c.e.? if i didn't arrest somebody in a safe setting like that, why wouldn't we? they're already putting themselves in harm's way every day -- okay, don't go any place where it's safe for you. we want you to arrest people where it's more dangerous. common sense. so as far as courthouse, i won't apologize for arresting people in court houses. we're going to continue to do
that. it's clear that the administration's priorities are working. you read the numbers. we also made it a priority to enforce laws against ms-13. criminal gangs is a priority. there's also an executive order to that that we take very seriously. ms-13, we're going to take them on. i actually went with the president to new york city to do a presentation up there. we arrested gang members already and many of them ms-13 and so the focus on criminal gangs and ms-13 is a higher priority because they're vicious. they violent gang. and what we're going to do is we're going to arrest them, send them to prison and when they're done there we're going to remove them and send them back to el salvador where they're from if they're here illegally. if there's not enough evidence to prosecute them criminally and they're here in the country illegally, we're still going to send them bk to where they plong. it's the right thing to do for
the safety of this nation. and we're not looking just to arrest them and remove them. we want to dismantle the entire organization. we have offices in over 40 countries across the globe. we work very closely with elsalve dorn law enforcement officials. we're going to dismantle this organization and we're going to start at the command and control structure. we're talking about doing away with ms-13. we work closely -- in all my comments, i want to make something clear. the street officers, the law enforcement services on the front line of cities and states, they want to work with us. believe me. i've talked to many, month of them. these are politicians making these decisions. california sheriff's association, they came out against the latest sanctuary law in california. i get back to -- because it irritates me. chicago, illinois, highest crime
rate in the history of that city, more gun deaths in the history of that city. it's a playigue, right? are they doing everything they can to protect the citizens of that city? no. because i.c.e. officers aren't allowed in cook county jail. they don't share any information with us. so for whatever that percentage is of criminals that are in the country illegally that enter cook county squlal they're going to get released back to the community and reoffend. 50 pergs of those released criminals will commit another crime in the first year, over half of them. three-quarters will reoffend within five years. so the city has chosen politics over pickup safety out of their war they declared over immigration enforcement.
i don't know. i've been doing this a long time. to be at a place where a sworn law enforcement officer cannot walk into a county jail to talk to somebody that's in the united states illegally and committed yet another crime at a taxpayer funded facility does not make sense to me. so i want to tell you that law enforcement, the sheriff's, they want to work with us. i'm not here to vilify the fine men and women that are out there every day enforcing the laws. they want their community safe too but their hands are being tied in many areas around the country. law enforcement agencies come to us, they want to help us. we send them to training. wee did it in a jail setting.
we turn -- when they -- they'll screen everybody and once they find someone that's here illegal el, they'll process them. it's a force multiplier. and again, these law enforcement agencies want to protect the public safety. they want to work shoulder to shoulder with us. we have already doubled those agreements under this president and we'll triple those agreements by the end of the year. so that's been a meaningful positive, again, under this president. numerous positives as far as public safety under this president. so the executive orders also ask for us to triple these agreements. i just we understand to texas and signed 18 agreements in one day. sheriff's step up and say not only do i want to work with you all, i want some immigration authority. then you've got people in california that don't want
anything to do with the program and stonewall you from doing your own job. that's the dynamics we're looking at. we use detarns for over 50 years and it wasn't a problem. now all of a sudden it's a problem. there was a decision in fifth circuit saying they're legal. but while -- this is a judicial and arguing the detarns, there's no harm in a law enforcement -- you know what? maybe we won't honor your detainer, but we're going to call you before we release them. we're going to let you know when he gets released. that doesn't put anybody in harm's way, but sanctuary cities refuse to do that too even though they have no liability there. but they refuse to do that. i'm almost done. we'll work with doj on a lot of things. again, sanctuary cities. i think we should file suit. we're working with the doj on hiring more attorneys, hiring
more immigration attorneys to make the system grow faster. we're increasing the number of i.c.e. personnel in foreign countries, central america and europe. we want to push the borders back. then secretary kelly said i'd rather play the away game than the home game. let's stop these criminal organizations to do what they do where they start. so if we can stop an organization in san salve dor, if we can stop it in mexico before they get to our shores, because once they get to our shores, they're here for a long time while we go through that whole process. and if you look at the numbers of central america is claiming fear, that's why immigration courts have case backlog. most of them won't get it. they're taking advantage of a system. and the back dop of that is there are people in this world that really need our sanctuary,
that are really in fear of political asylum and they get caught up in this whole process because people are clogging up the system. we need to look at the whole political asylum spectrum and have meaningful thresholds so people can't take advantage of it. another thing this president has done, we used to have over 26 recalls trant countries. these are countries that refuse to take back their people. and we have a supreme court ruling that we can only detain for six months. so if they don't give us a travel document in six months, they've got to be released to reoffend. these are some serious criminals. we're down to 11 or 12 now. we just sent notice to these countries saying you'd better change your ways or we're going to look at sanctions. this president has taken this on headstrong. we have less recalls trant
sanctions and we're actually doing visa sanctions on countries that don't cooperate with us. they have a responsibility to take them back. they're not supposed to be here. they've been ordered to be removed and we need to remove them and this president takes that seriously. we also asked for changes from the ninth circuit. surprising. illegal activity will decrease as icons to deterrence to that activity. we all learned that as kids. and i truly believe that. when we had these families coming across the border, once we invoke family detention, numbers dove. you had a court decision you could only hold for 20 days. that's the cost of doing business. we'll feed you, clothe you, give you vaccination. we went and targeted those
families. again, those families, i get it. i don't have to feel good about it, but we've got a final order from the judge. we've got to execute those orders. took a beating in the media, but the numbers went down again. my overall message today is under this president we are enforcing the laws the way they're meant to go enforced, enforcing the laws enacted by congress and it's had a significant impact on crossing on the border. the families and the children are still higher than we want them to be. that's because we have courtrooms tying our hands. the trafficking victims protection act have good intent, but that's even being abused now by people that want to come and claim, you know, the uac's, they're escaping violence. one of the things we're doing, if you're a parent or a sponsor, that pays a criminal organization, puts your child in custody of a criminal organization, only to be released by you and you can
continue to hide in the shadows because a lot of these parents and sponsors are illegal aliens, we're going to put them in illegal immigration proceedings. we just finished. we're going to prosecute them first of all. and second of all, if they have an immigration issue themselves, we're going to put them in immigration court and take them out of the shadows. to me if this eight or nine-year-old is truly escaping fear and persecution in his homeland, that parent should be standing shoulder to shoulder with him in immigration court pleading their case. i call that parenting. and as far as the family, we're looking for some kids, judicial rulings in that. again, let me explain something because i want to be clear. do i feel bad about the polite of some of these people? absolutely we do.
law enforcement sees terrible things. a few things i shared with you. every state and local law enforcement officer see terrible things every day. whenever we take a child away from a parent or a domestic abuse issue. families get destroyed over that. officers feel bad. they have hearts. i mean, i'm a father. i mean, do i feel bad about some of these people, yes, i do, but i've got a job to do. if we don't do that job, it's only going to get worse. so most people think i.c.e. officers are heartless and cold and ruthless, shame on them. they don't understand. the men and women that work for me, they're father's and mothers, brothers, and sisters, sons and daughters too. i'm not asking anybody to cut us slack. what i'm asking for is a little recognition for the men and women of i.c.e. that have a difficult job and put their own safety at risk every day for
this fine nation. with that, i will end. thank you. [applause] >> we have time for maybe one or two questions before we have to run. would you raise your hand and would you -- boy, lots of hands. where are the microphones? i don't know. right here in the front. if you would tell us who you are, please. >> sure. i'm charlotte from the times. hopefully you can read -- so i wanted to ask you about the unaccompanied minors and the family units, the numbers have obviously come up here. drifted a little bit with the anti-trafficking, but until the congress alchange takes place, is there anything that you can do, because i know that
especially the unaccompanied minor program is looked at as a recruiting platform. so can you talk about that a little bit? >> what we're going to do, they'll get their due process, but when we get orders, we're going to execute those orders. and so we have a search operation that we just finished, one, we arrested like 600. but we're going to continue that. rarldless of your family, once you've had your due process and a federal judge has ordered you removed, we're going to take those orders seriously and take those people into custody and emove them. once people in central america -- we're coming home t. hopefully they won't sell their ranch, everything they owned to pay this criminal organization money to get here only to be sent back home. so there's a lot of messaging -- we've gotten forcement here. we're stepping up there's no
free pass. you're going home. we've got messaging on central america on just that. and then secretary kelly had a seminar in miami. he invited officials from central american countries called security prosperity trying to invest in the central american countries, promote opportunities down there. so hitting it from both sides, both from enforcement side and trying to help those countries take care of their own people. so that's what we're doing. and again, when there's a consequential deterrence we actually put families on a plane, return them. so people may think about before they're putting themselves in harm's way and spending their life saifgs giving it to a criminal organization, let's not make that trip. >> we have time for one final question in the back with the salmon shirt. >> i think it's red. please tell us who you are. >> mike more core an, center for immigration studies.
the one thing you didn't talk about was work site enforcement and i know there's burk catic issues within i.c.e. about things. and that great announcement about the tree company getting a huge fine, but are we going to see a resumption of retune work site enforcement? >> i'm glad you mentioned that because i missed it. i've got eight pages of stuff here. yes. unless you remove the magnets, as long as they think they can come here and not get removed. as long as they come here and get a job, they're going to try and come. we are stepping up work site enforcement. i actually looked at recently what percentage is spent on that. i just gave an instruction. i want to increase that by 4 to 5 timesment so we're taking work site enforcement very hard this year. we've already increased. you're going to see that significantly increase for the next fiscal year.
now we're going to prosecute the employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. we're going to detain and remove the illegal alien workers. >> so with that, ladies and gentlemen, we've reached the end of what i trust you will agree was a both an informative and engaging discussion on immigration enforcement. please join me in thanking thomas hole man for coming and sharing the stage with us. [applause] close your eyes for