tv Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Testimony at Oversight Hearing CSPAN July 3, 2016 1:50pm-4:26pm EDT
, themajor topic investigation into hillary clinton's private e-mail server when she was secretary of state and reactions to the meeting between bill clinton and loretta lynch. if there are no indictments, if she and her aides do not face action, is the meeting called into question? -- it was unfortunate, you
have all made the case. i think others have made it too. job.nk the fbi will do its i've seen the authorities in my career, federal authorities do their job regardless of political machinations. -- i fully expect them to. i do not think there will be an indictment. she released more e-mails, more pages of e-mails and more records, even before she was running for president. that speaks to her integrity. in theou have confidence outcome, whatever it is regarding the investigation? >> i always have confidence in our fbi's personnel and leadership. it is called into question
'storney general lynch judgment. unwise of her to take the meeting and unwise of him to seek the meeting. she is not fully recused herself and it raises questions about political interference. >> is it a huge political vulnerability? >> using a private server is a mistake and should knowledge debt. whether it was commercial or personal server as a security vulnerability. we have to put this in perspective. beenock of server has hacked. we know that has been successfully breached. we do not know that there was a successful breach of hillary clinton's. they are not immune.
to use apractice is government server at all times. years froml light perfecting it. it was an unnecessary vulnerability to use a private server and the secretary has acknowledged the mistake. cheryl brown has been mentioned as a potential vice president pick. later, we look at the other senators who might be on the short list. jeff sessions of alabama and joni ernst. that is they at 6:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> this weekend, along with comcast cable partners, we
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c-span3.00 on , visiting cities tour cities across the country. >> jeh johnson was in front of the senate judiciary committee on thursday and talked about his department's counterterrorism efforts. the hearing also included a discussion on immigration and by a group of protesters who objected to the obama administrations immigration policies.
>> with not have a quorum. i guess we're just starting pretty much on time. there are some things going on that secretary johnson will tell us about that interfere with our hearing here. because of the circumstances, i think i'm going to put most of my statement on the record, but let me describe what i was up to. i had several instances of where i think we have not protected our country adequately.
i have several examples. everyone will recognize the name of kate steinle as an example is aware of immigration laws have not been adequately carried out in our country and is in danger. some of my analysis of that and where i think there are some shortcomings within the administration and this hearing is an oversight hearing. we will get into some of the details but because of the present situation i think i will put my statement on the record. now to senator leahy. >> thank you. i'm glad to have secretary johnson back to the committee. i think the hearing about security in the nation's timely, the massacre of 49 innocent people at a nightclub in orlando is a national tragedy.
ever-growing list of mass shootings across the country and san bernardino, the planned parenthood clinic in colorado springs, the church in charleston, a jewish community center in kansas city, a temple an elementary school in newtown, we need to take action to keep this country safe. we know we can take action. we saw one of the worst mass killings in oklahoma city. if we focus on homeland security, we have to look at what all these acts of domestic terrorism have done. many, the majority of american people, we have to toughen our gun laws, they want to know that congress is doing something to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and suspected terrorists. have universal background checks, the same kind of background check i have to go through if i go to a gun store in vermont, but do have showssal checks for gun and elsewhere, so people cannot use the internet or gun shows to evade background checks. we need to strengthen our laws including traffickers and straw purchasers who purchase firearms for drug cartels or other criminal gangs. the department of homeland security, front of justice, the fbi need more funding for the acts of terrorism and hate. that should not be a very controversial thing. isther step we should take finally pass comprehensive immigration reform. we did that here in the senate three years ago.
the house did not want to have it because it might violate the dennis hastert reform. it improves national security when we know who is here. we are also safer when we are united. this committee received divisive testimony from witnesses who cast suspicion on patriotic muslim americans, including two members of congress. i expect that some of the same extreme voices will use the recent bombing in istanbul to congratulate themselves for their position. make no mistake. to congratulate them for an act of terror, and rhetoric does not make us safer. it certainly does not make us safer to cast suspicion on
citizens because they belong to a particular religious or ethnic group. it does not make us safer to talk about building falls on our border. it does not make us safer to call for a muslim ban or to suggest that terrorist advisors have infiltrated the to consent -- or it's new and all muslim americans were somehow complicit in the orlando attack. they are wrong and create a different problem. they feed right into groups like isis and al qaeda, and they undermine the safety of the muslim american community, which has seen a dramatic increase in hate crimes over the past years, so let's stop the scapegoating and the fear mongering and the divisive proposals. we all want to keep our nation thatg, but let's know
sometimes the reality makes a lot more sense than the rhetoric, and i will put my full statement in the record. >> the testimony, so help you god? thank you. i thank you very much for coming. everybody knows that jeh johnson is the secretary. i will not repeat that. thank you very much, and you proceed accordingly with your testimony. you, senatorthank leahy, members of this committee. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today. you have my prepared statement. i will say just a few thanks for the record here this morning. first, we do have, as reflected on the news, and unfolding situation at andrews air base
which may require that i take a break from this session, and i hope you will not mind if i need to do that, chairman. words, let me say a few about what happened in istanbul two days ago and what we know at this point. so far, based on what we'll know, it appears there were three attackers, three explosions. there are reports out of turkey today about the possible identity of these three attackers. we do not have confirmation yet of their nationality or their names. 44 killed, including the attackers, 256 injured. citizen who suffered, i understand, minor injuries. this has the hallmarks of an , although there
has been no claim of responsibility last time i looked. here in the homeland, since brussels, we have enhanced security at airports around the .ation since the brussels attacks in march, our tsa viper teams have been more visible at airports and it transit centers. generally, the american public should expect to see this july 4 weekend and enhanced security presence at airports, train stations, and other transit centers across the country by tsa and by state and local law enforcement, as well as security .ersonnel generally we have enhanced aviation security over the last two years since i have been secretary. said we would not shortcut aviation security in response to
increased travel. fun to reprogrammed s fromt a number of tso' part-time to full-time, and we officers,ional tsa and to make additional searches and resources so that wait times at airports have been reduced. of the traveling public now has a travel time of 90 minutes or less. another is about 15 minutes or less. nation's busiest airports to actually do not have a repeat of some of the things we saw around memorial day weekend and the month of may. , when it comes to
public events, we should not focus our attention on things like airports to the exclusion of other public places. as we said in our national terrorism advisory bulletin issued just about two weeks ago. we are concerned and focused generally on public events and public places across the nation, and in general, we continue to ,ncourage the public to travel to associate, to celebrate the holidays, to celebrate the july for holiday. continue to go to public events, but be aware and be vigilant. public awareness and public can and does make a difference in terms of detecting possible terror attacks and activity, so with those comments, i will look forward to your questions. i will be happy to answer any questions you have. thank you.
>> thank you very much. we will have -- we are going to have seven-minute rounds for questions. last week, the supreme court affirmed the decision on the fifth circuit that keeps in place a nationwide injunction on the president's executive action to effectively legalize millions of undocumented immigrants. i would like the commitment from you today that the administration will not implement any administrative workaround of the supreme court decision. mr. johnson: chairman, the supreme court by the divided vote affirmed the decision of the fifth circuit, and we intend to abide by that injunction. as i said in the opening statement, although i did not read the entire statement, there
was a killing in san francisco one year ago today, and in the last year, nothing noticeable has changed. more americans are suffering because senators have been hurt or killed by criminal immigrants. san francisco is a sanctuary jurisdiction. instead of changing their ways last month, the board of supervisors upheld the sanctuary policies for people in the country violating our laws. do you feel that you have enough tools in your arsenal to go after sanctuary jurisdictions? mr. johnson: i would like to see more cooperation from counties and cities. >> [indiscernible]
speak, please do it now, please. ok, mr. -- secretary johnson, i do not know if you completed the answer to my question, but if you would proceed, i would appreciate it. johnson: yes. in general, i would like to see more cooperation from various counties and cities in terms of working with us on immigration enforcement. we discontinued secure communities program in 2014 because it was not working. detainers some 14,000 by our immigration enforcement personnel that were not acted upon in a number of counties and cities across the country. we replaced it with a priority which ient program, believe solves the political and legal controversy that we were seeing. counties that were the most resistant to our detainers,
17 of those 25 are now working on the enforcement of our immigration priority. that is a good thing for public safety. we continue to have these conversations with a number of jurisdictions. i will note that i have had conversations with city officials in philadelphia and in cook county, illinois, without success so far, and i have urged a number of cities and counties that it is for the benefit of public safety that dangerous criminals not be released who are removable so that the immigration enforcement personnel have to go find them again on the streets and round them up and put that in deportation proceedings. we prefer cooperation in this regard. during the 25 jurisdictions that were
resisting, 17 are now working with us again. this is a work in progress, and there are those where we need to continue to make progress, sir. senator grassley: i think, in the final analysis, and then i'm going to go to senator leahy, that what you just told us, talking to some cities and not cooperations, and then 17 cities where you say you are getting cooperation that the situation with the cities is an situation and in violation of federal law, and i think that is a very good reason why a couple of weeks from now or even next week from now, we will have a vote on senator legislation, and i hope people will take this testimony that we have had here where the secretary says in some cases his program works, and in some cases, it does not, and particularly in chicago and new york city, as an example, the
need for that legislation. senator leahy. thank you.hy: we talk about the executive orders. we had the supreme court, could not reach a decision in texas, and that is one reason why we now have a quandary concerning the expansion. a 4-4 split. it could have been decided one way or another if we had had a ninth member in the supreme court. for the first time in history that the senate has refused to do its job and hold a hearing and vote on a supreme court nominee. credit, the supreme court did uphold his oath of office and nominate somebody, but as you said, the expended doca
policy was to focus with limited immigration enforcement resources. that pose a threat to public safety. i mention that because again, was ours and not getting a full immigration bill through. we republicans and democrats came together in the senate, and by almost a 2-1 margin, 68 votes, we passed out of the bille a major immigration that was months and months and months and hundreds of hours of work together. accounts,, by all another votes to pass it in the house, but the republican leadership at the time said it would have violated the dennis
knows weural, and lord must do whatever the dennis hastert rule is, and so it never got past. i would hope that people would go back and make a real effort to pass real, not finger-pointing, but real , as we did inws the reagan administration and the bush administration. now, secretary johnson, you have to protect us all from threats .f all kinds the significant security vulnerability that criminals and terrorists can readily obtain powerful firearms is being exploded -- exploited by those that would cause us harm? mr. johnson: and my answer, yes. i believe that sensible gun-control consistent with the
second amendment and consistent with a responsible gun owners right to own a gun is a matter of homeland security. at what happened in orlando, if you look at what happened in san bernardino, and the weapons used their, by what appeared to have been terrorists, i think we should face the fact that we need to make it harder for terrorists to get a gun in , and i know there is legislation and legislative ideas pending in this congress to do exactly that. i hope we can find a way consistent with the second it harder forake a terrorist to buy a gun in this country. it is a weapon of an instrument , and thosem
determined to commit terrorist attacks on our homeland are taking advantage of that. so i believe it is a matter of homeland security that we address this. senator leahy: i am told that at least one al qaeda member has loopholeu.s. gun show to encourage their sympathizers to buy firearms. from your experience, is it terrorists andat other parts of the world are aware of our weak laws? johnson: yes, and i read this week, literature, and we know from the past that literature put out by al qaeda on -- indisseminated this country is acted on. there are several examples of that. senator leahy: i have spoken about this before on the floor.
i am a poured of the rhetoric to demonize and cast suspicion on the muslim american community. touchedll touched, so by a note that my wife received , a muslim in another country, saying how she and her family were praying for the people in florida during the month of ramadan, and they were in their prayers because of this act forgeterrible you work closely with the muslim american community, and there are patriotic muslim americans in your agency. this kind of anti-muslim rhetoric, does it make us safer or less safe? mr. johnson: senator, you are correct. i have spent a lot of time with
the muslim american communities in metropolitan areas across this country to build bridges to these communities, because i think it is a homeland security imperative that we do so, to encourage members of muslim communities, in particular, that if they see something, say something. if they see someone self radicalized and, turning to violence, that it is imperative that they inform law enforcement or a community leader, perhaps. i think that rhetoric that vilifies the muslim communities, rhetoric that vilifies a to thoseis contrary efforts, and i have said so publicly in the past. i think that given the nature of the existing threat to our homeland security which involve home-grown, home born violent extremists, it is essential that we keep up our efforts. senator leahy: thank you. in our last question.
hereve heard expressions by people in the audience. i see and hear some of the stories of families that are fleeing violence in central america, trying to get their family out of there before they are forced into a tank or murdered or raped or sexually with a number of raids targeted in this community , on the way to school, sometimes detaining them for secretary, frankie, i think it is wrong to use these teenagers to send a message. i wish the house had not shown such attention to the hastert rule and allows the legislation to pass, but you have done great work to build trust.
i worry about some of these policies, especially targeting just goingwhich are to push immigrants deeper into the shadows, and it is not going a parent who is try to protect the life of a child, trying to flee the violence from some of our so-called allies in central america. that is just my opinion. chairman? senator grassley: secretary johnson, could you stay for a moment, because we are going to recess for a moment and do the executive session. so i called the executive session to order. on today's agenda, we have 11 items, and there is one with a nominee for a vote. a nominee for the u.s. attorney in ohio, strongly supported by senators portman and brown, and i understand that we can then move him by a voice vote, so s-247, to the agenda,
that can be held over, and there is a quorum here. nominationvor of the , signify by saying aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes seem to have it. do have it. the executive session is adjourned, and we went now we convene the hearing, and i will call on senator sessions. senator sessions: thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> excuse me, mr. chairman? and i just say that always wanted to be a u.s. attorney? it did not work that way.
the best civil service job i have ever had. sessions: this is not a product of the gun law in any significant way. we have had attacked in texas, chattanooga, san bernardino, orlando, all in the last year, and we haveths area had europe and now turkey. and we need to confront it. we have to deal with it. the amnesty bill that failed in would have more than double the people who are given legal status in the country, created a very large, permanent increase in legal immigration at a time when we do not have enough job for american , immigrant anday
nativeborn. we do not have that. wages in america have dropped since 1999. median household income, by $4000. one of the reasons for that is we have a loose labor market as a result of more workers that we have got jobs for. that is just a act. not likecan people did the bill, and it did not pass, but we have had multiple opportunities since that failure to tighten up and make our country more secure and not one thing of significance has happened. a deal that would fix the entry exit system that has been on the books for over a decade and has never been accomplished. are notican people happy. they have a right not to be happy. a good, great nation should have a lawful system of immigration but the peoples
who are not here lawfully should be removed, and the people who attempt to enter unlawfully should be deported. that is just the basics of the say notso when people one more deported she, what are they saying question what they are saying that all you have to do is to into america unlawfully, and you get to stay, and you will never be removed, and i was disappointed that the former secretary of state had a debate and said that nobody should be deported from america unless they commit a terrorist on a violent crime. that is just an open invitation to lawlessness. now, we have got a problem, and i am worried about it. i do not think this country is doing the right thing. i think president obama is taking extreme positions, taking extreme positions. mr. johnson, you're in a difficult position. it is a huge agency that you
have got. we have got a number of critically important departments, and i have to say, i remain concerned about the morale in the department. it started declining before you got there, but it continues to decline every single year according to the survey of the best places to work in federal government. ranked 19 outity of 19 major agencies. the employee viewpoint survey from the government data, when asked if they believe senior leaders generate high levels of motivation and commitment to the workforce, only 25% have said yes. think we have got a problem here, and part of it is they go out and risk their lives, capture people illegally entering the country. some of them are violent and could be dangerous, i ensure you
acknowledge, in respect to our offices, but when they are released into the country or nothing happens, i think it impacts the morale of the workforce. are you concerned about that, and what steps have you taken to help restore that? johnson: several things, senator. i am concerned about morale. we have been on an aggressive address morale across dhs. a survey showed that morale improved in some components, like the headquarters, for example. this year, we just completed the feb survey. our participation rate -- though we will not know the results until september -- our participation rate went up significantly. our participation rate was low
last year. results were low last year. through a lot of effort, we increased the participation rate and i think it is greater than the government wide average. that is one thing. number personnel. we revised the pay scale and we are working with congress to make leap available for our immigration enforcement personnel. that ought to be a big boost in morale. senator sessions: we need to make sure they are paid appropriately. i think the frustration is, the border patrol officials, union officials testified if you weeks ago -- they catch about half the people who attempt to enter unlawfully. of those captured, he has to before% of them released
being deported, so i don't know what those numbers are. we would like official numbers from you. , one of they problems we face is how to make how to develop a good plan to make the country safer. senator cruz and i have said for letters to you beginning last august, requesting information on the terrorist who have been -- the terrorists who have been captured, where they were born, how they got here, a series of rational questions. we have not received an answer. theeceived an answer from department of justice, which is they convicted 580 people of crimes, terrorist-related crimes since 9/11, and the data looks, it appears -- they directed or
said you had the information on where they were born, what their citizenship status is, whether they were refugees or illegal entrants or what, and you have failed to give is that information. don't you think that information inld be valuable to congress assessing the problem and passing legislation that would be effective, and why haven't you given it and when will you give it? well, i'mjohnson: happy to look into correspondence you have addressed. i read every letter i get from a member of the senate, a member of the house. we have, as i'm sure you are aware, some 90 committees and subcommittees of congress that exercise oversight jurisdiction over my department. we have reduced the time it takes to respond to those letters to 14 days on average. lastor sessions: we asked august and we have three times
written about it. the fourth one went to the president of the united states. astro-med he direct you to answer it. when can we get a answer -- secretary johnson: i am happy to look into the letters you have sent me and ensure that you receive a response, sir. >> senator klobuchar. you,or klobuchar: thank mr. chairman. thank you for being here, mr.. we have had an incident in the twin cities with terrorists recruiting, before with isis, now with al-shabaab. attorney has been more aggressive working with local law enforcement and our somali community. we have the biggest somali community in the country. we have dozens of police officers. and there are many, many ways to attack this and it's a going toged approach,
where they are in iraq and syria , other places, and of course, going after this extremism at home. my first question is just -- i know we have talked about this several times, but the grants, the dhs funding that came out of the appropriations bill this year, $50 million for countering violent text dream is him, just $10 million allocated -- countering violent extremism, just $10 million allocated for communities. a nicely we are very focused on this out of our attorney's office in minnesota. secretary johnson: as you know, i have spent time with the somali community in your state. my visit there, i think you were -- i was impressed. i met with decent, hard-working
people. i was very pleased this year in response to my call, we got money from congress from grants. that originated with the visit to minneapolis. when i heard the need for grant money, resources to counter violent extremism. you andg the phone call i had some weeks ago, i pressed thefolks to know when it is money for this year will be made available. i am told it should be made available in the next several weeks. this will be the first time. i would like to see congress .ppropriate more money get us verywill not far and we do need more.
i would like to receive more. in the short term, i know there are people working very, very hard to get this money available. klobuchar: and i know we have at problems with the tsa -- we talked about this before the meeting. we appreciate the tsa administrator coming out to minnesota on the specific issue. the balance ofve security and also if efficiency, and sometimes they go hand-in-hand, and i'm glad you are focused on having more of these dog teams, which help with security and efficiency. syrian refugee admissions, senator durbin and i have sent a letter recently asking what is the status of that? obviously there is a major vetting
process. we all know that. at the same time, we have the commitment the administration has to bringing in 10,000 syrian refugees, is not even as much as they are doing and i just wonder the status of that. secretary johnson: yes, as you noted, we have increased our commitment from 2000 last year to 10,000 this year. securitylso added checks to the process. where they are warranted. resources among our refugee personnel. we are also dealing with central america and the increased worldwide committee of 85,000 -- i don't meanchar: to interrupt. i completely understand. but the numbers on syrian refugees -- there were a couple
36, and iadmitted -- 17 think we stepped it up -- secretary johnson: actually, i think we've just about cross the 5000-mark in terms of syrian refugees, and a proximally 5000 have been approved for resettlement and have not been resettled in the united states. and another 5000 or 6000 have been conditionally approved subject to those security checks. klobuchar: my next question is on steel dumping, some thing totally different. i would like to thank you and the customs and border control teams who enforce penalties on foreign companies dumping steel into our markets. we know there are 13,000 workers now laid off because of illegal dumping from china. this week, i led an effort with members of the u.s. senate steel caucus to send a letter to
president obama and prime minister trudeau, to discuss this. canada experiencing similar problems. and in minnesota, because of the higher tariffs assessed and extra checking in your jurisdiction on the ships, we have brought back some iron ore mines, a couple thousand workers going back to work that work for cleveland cliffs. we truly appreciate the effort. the union leaders and the president of cleveland cliffs on side attribute this change to the fact there has been more enforcement from the administration. we still have a lot to go. i just wondered if you could easily comment on what is happening with the steel dumping in oarsmen -- steel dumping enforcement. secretary johnson: i would have to get back to you on that, senator. sorry. senator klobuchar: ok, we can do that in writing. i appreciate it eerie at >> -- i appreciate it.
>> as you know, congress approved a staffing level well in excess of what we have on the ground right now -- we are short about 950 officers. i was trying to get to the bottom of why it is taking so long to higher some of these folks, and i was told for every 100 applications, every 100 applicants that apply, only one is hired. and a lot of people identify the polygraph that is taken for a lot of false positives and , that one is a scarlet letter. i know there's an issue there. do you want to comment? secretary johnson: i have asked
our folks to take a hard look at exactly what you have just said. does it really need to be the case that one false positive disqualifies you for -- from federal service, federal law enforcement service. i'm aware of the length of time it takes to hire someone for the cvb.r patrol, for the housee surged our hiring through aggressive recruitment -- the veterans act -- secretary johnson: correct. we're closing the gap to read slowly we are turning the corner in closing the gap. you are correct that we are 50 short, but i ask leadership every time, how are
we doing on the hiring? are we doing everything we can question mark we seem to be closing the gap. i do think we ought to take a hard look at whether we are shooting ourselves in the foot by this lengthy, cumbersome process it takes to recruit and hire people and get them through all of the vetting. when you combine this with the high attrition rate there, we would have to, i think, except 100,000 applications. we will not get close to that, just to get to the number, assuming one out of a hundred. so, i would encourage you to look at some options here. option.nges the we are severely understaffed at some ports of entry. maybe we should put a wall or something to stop the illegal entry.
in arizona it is also the hub of commerce. and that commerce cannot take agentsf we have too few in our ports of entry, as you know. it does not do as much good. with regard to -- let me talk about the rodriguez decision of -- night circuit, circuit which requires someone held in detention to be released. i sent a letter, ferrari 12, 2016. -- february 12, 2016. it came back with data. there's a 35% rearrest rate and -- rate. since that time, the supreme court has agreed to hear this case again. can you comment on that question mark can you continue on continuing to provide us with
these numbers that will be helpful as we guide decisions here? because this is certainly unacceptable. 35% rearrest rate, 40% in abstention rate -- in abstentia rate. and yet we continue to let these people go. secretary johnson: yes, senator. i am pleased that the supreme court granted cert in the rodriguez case. the six-month requirement on those prior to a final order of removal was making it very difficult for us to hold onto people, and it was contributing to the number of releases, though the number of criminal has gone down since i have been secretary, the rodriguez case was very problematic and i am pleased the supreme court took cert. senator flake: thank you. let me talk about the process
apprehendeded otm's at the order. it's a different case with children. some of them are resettled and have to be handled differently. children,who are not we can't repatriate them back into mexico. another process has to take place. can you talk about that process? reports that they are simply put on a bus from the border or taken to the bus station and let go with just a request to appear in court with not much more than date.t some future can you talk about that process? well, as younson: know, about a year and a half ago, we expanded upon our family unit detention capability, and we set up a number of frc's, mostly in texas, and that, too, .s in litigation in los angeles
but i believe expanding that ifability was a good thing, for no other reason to process these individuals so we know who they are and we can better assess who should be bonded in -- who should be bonded and who should not. i am concerned we do not simply just take someone to the nearest bus station, and those apprehended at the border are a -- we havend we conducted a number of operations , interior enforcement of those apprehended at the border. it was controversial. a lot of folks, as you saw this morning, do not like those. that we shoulde send the message that at -- if
you come here, you will not be sent back. to centralnally sent america last month to deliver that message. did two press conferences. at one there were some 60 news organizations there. i greeted flights of those who had been repatriated to el salvador and honduras. i am pleased the southwest will lookjune something like 130 3000, which is a decrease from may. 4000.k may is about i think that those are the months of the seasonal increases . we will continue at this. we will make the people at the border a priority, along with those who are a threat to public safety, and when we release
people, i want to make sure we are releasing them on conditions that will guarantee they return to court when they are supposed to. we have some capability to hold onto people. bed spacei think our is something like 130 6000, which is a little higher than usual. an issue whereis we have to wrestle with litigation. i do not know what the ninth circuit is going to do, we will have to see. senator franken: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you. welcome back. let me join my colleagues in expressing disappointment on the supreme court's inability to
issue a final decision on the united states versus texas, a challenge to president obama's executive actions on immigration. in our view, that challenges without merit, and i was leased to join 38 of my senate the brief,in signing explaining the deferred action programs represent a lawful exercise of the president's authority. unfortunately, the supreme court was unable to answer the questions posed by the parties and that should come as no surprise. is one ofation case five other cases where the shortstaffed court is deadlocked, handing down 4-4 ties, and in 2 cases, they essentially punted, sending cases back to the lower courts.
it does not just underscore the need of the senate to fill a vacancy on the bench. the fear and uncertainty will continue to hang over the heads of millions of families living in our country right now. families who came here seeking a better life. the split decision should serve as a reminder to all of my recommits we must ourselves to fixing our broken immigration system, and to finishing the work that we --rted when the senate asked past three comprehensive immigration reform in 2013. we need to do our jobs in different ways. i would like to start by focusing on how this uncertainty impacts children. as you know, i have long been concerned how our broken immigration system affects
children. i introduced legislation called the help separated children act, that would've laid down basic rejections for children in immigration proceedings. took it back in 2013, it passed unanimously. i wrote that bill in response to something that happened in worthington, minnesota in 2006. that year, ice carried out a series of raids. unfortunately, the raids also left many children -- most of them citizens -- without their parents, and with no way to find them. one second-grader in worthington came home from school to find his two-year-old brother alone, and his parents gone. week, he cared for
his two-year-old brother while his grandmother drove, from texas, i believe, to meet them. face. unacceptable on his but we now understand that the fear and uncertainty confronted by that child can have lasting consequences. a growing body of research shows children of undocumented immigrants are more likely to experience constant fear and anxiety and as a result to experience mental health issues instability and to experience behavioral problems like anxiety and aggression. twice now i have asked -- i have in askingcolleagues for action. by and large mothers and fledren at issue have incredible violence in their home countries and it seems to me, the fear generated by the
most recent series of raids could exacerbate the trauma many of these kids have already experienced. secretary johnson, what steps can the department take as a to limit theicy harm to children's mental and physical health? what steps are already being taken? secretary johnson: let me answer it this way. the priorities we announced in november 2014 for immigration enforcement were sharply focused on threats to public safety and those apprehended at the border, safety,ecurity, public national security, and border security. ourre also encouraging enforcement supervisors in the field to exercise prosecutorial discretion when it comes to individuals they encounter. thatf the bases for doing
the family unit situation. leave someone away would someone in jeopardy. the case he referred to is from 2006. today, i hope it is something that our immigration enforcement personnel would take account off, and i encourage them to do that. going back to your original point, senator, there are an estimated 11 million undocumented in this country, and the president and i wanted to provide deferred action for so whomated 4 million or have kids or are lawful permanent residents, simply so
we can account for these people. they are not going away. to give them an opportunity to be a counted for. disappointed in the court decision, and at some point, it has got to be up to congress to wrestle with this issue. we have to account for these people. they are here. they are not going away. contrary to the rhetoric of some, we're not going to deport people the size of chicago. ofs not the best use resources or taxpayer dollars. we have to account for the people and give them an opportunity to come forward, submit for a background check, and be accountable, who fan -- you have families here. is my hope at some point, congress will finally take this up and deal with it in the legislative branch. we tried the executive branch. my hope is congress will recognize this problem and deal
with it. know i am outn: i of time, mr. chairman. i just want to submit for the a question about countering violent extremism -- which i think was a bad name for that. i think the choice of that name -- we have a very vibrant somali community in minnesota, as sen. klobuchar: talked about, talkgain, i would like to with you -- as senator klobuchar , talked about, and again i would like to talk with you. some of these approaches are counterproductive. i apologies to my colleagues -- i apologize to my colleagues. secretary johnson: if i may, we do not use the term cbe in the
field. it is a inside the beltway term. senator franken: we are referring to it in minnesota now. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chair.u, thank you, mr. secretary. it sounds like your day will be even harder when you leave this committee. hopefully not too bad. in your professional opinion, -- openopen order border be more helpful or less helpful to keeping the homeland safe? secretary johnson: an open border? llis: yes. secretary johnson: obviously, having a closed border helps keep the homeland safe. a smalltillis: there is
number here who says that we should have open borders. knowing who is here what their backgrounds are is helpful for you doing your job. now, if we start talking about what a fully managed border looks like, what, in your opinion, should we, as a matter of congressional policy due to raise -- ease the pressure on the border? what can we do? i for one think if we did a better job cooperating with mexico and trying to seal their southern border, that is one way we take the pressure off your job. can you talk about things we should be prioritizing to make that more successful? secretary johnson: well, in fact, we have worked in a spirit of cooperation with the mexicans borderre their southern with the northern tribal. over the last two years or so, they have really stepped up
those efforts. we've worked in a spirit of cooperation with the mexicans to secure their southern border with the northern triangle. i think more technology, more surveillance, more eyes on the we can do a better job of identifying the hotspots and trends. i will speak candidly here. the intel i get from central america, very often, is not that good in terms of emerging trends. at i would like to see us do a better job in terms of our intel collection capabilities there. senator tillis: they seem to be
the last command that we think about is a priority, but if you , it seems0,000 people that we have to equate people awareness.ituational the rhetoric is about building a wall. i don't think anyone here thinks we are going to build a 20-football from one side of the mexican border to the other. can you talk about a order wall that gives us 90% situational awareness would look like -- a border wall that gives us 90% situational awareness would look like? i may, letohnson: if me finish answering the prior question you asked. one of the things we have built a stop the arizona model are for borderforces security which we have deployed in the southeast and southwest, which i think have been a good thing, because it brings to bear
all -- senator tillis: with local law enforcement? secretary johnson: the components of my department are better coordinated. we have asked to do that to remove legal limitations i've encountered in this effort. it has been pending in various pieces of legislation -- sen. tillis:: i want to be clear. is this intra-agency or interagency task forces? how are you working with other -- secretary johnson: what in referring to is intra-dhs. senator tillis: what about other law enforcement? secretary johnson: we have stepped up our relationship with nothing command -- northern command and southern command. i work with general kelly a lot and his successor.
and we are always interested in doing more with the department of justice, in terms of border security and our counter narcotics mission. dhs has a mission. senator tillis: seven minutes, you always wonder how you will use it all and it about rates quickly -- it as efforts quickly. i want to submit another question for the record about ,eople coming across the border whether they're mexican. i understand it is the majority. i would like to talk about tsa. it seems to me the customer experience has more to do with the inherent personality of the person i encounter than a culture of customer service. you know, or if they happen to know who i am, which is very seldom. wondering --
i hope youohnson: will tell me what airport you are using. i am going to start telling. the best thing you can do is have somebody who says good morning, good afternoon, thank you, have a nice flight. i have never had -- i may have had good morning once over the and a half i've been traveling to d.c. what concerns me, that customer experience should be extraordinary. d-bands to me -- the employees get to the $5,000 a $25,000 a year. line supervisors much more. it seems to me we need to have a culture of customer service that --nks those westerners
customers who are paying to come into the airport -- we do not exist for their sake. as they exist or the sake of our security. i would really like to see, if you could respond, efforts you are creating that make the tsa employee think they are in the top customer service and i appreciated them for it. i do not have a consistent experience, unless i happen to get every once in a while a attitude.h a great i think that is what the tsa in the airports should be all about. i know you want it, too. i just oc that being consistent on the ground.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator blumenthal. enator blumenthal: thank you for coming to the committee, mr. secretary. serving as united states attorney is probably the best job there is, next to serving as state attorney general. fori want to commend you the extraordinary work you have done in your prior position. also your exemplary record of public service and many other positions in the federal government. and thank you for emphasizing at isisery outset the inspired terrorism around the world including at public places and events as we approach the july 4 weekend -- the need for
caution in many of our communities and tightened the -- heightened vigilance and the greater resources for agencies like yours that protect us and the protect us in the face of that threat. i know with great regret the administration released its proposed budget and it slashes funding for many transportation security related programs. all too often in this place, as well as in the administration, we failed to match rhetoric with resources. and i think that, for example, this reduction in the transit security program, the urban security area initiative, the state homeland program, these are probably unknown to most americans, but they are vital to protecting our homeland. i want to thank you also for
thatrting the initiative senators markey and durban and i have begun to try to persuade more airlines to reduce or forinate their fees checking baggage, which would reduce the burden on tsa, and moreby enable us to devote resources to the work of tsa that is so vital. and i want to focus, for the moment on priorities and practices. my experience is that there is all too often a failure to follow these stated priorities and practices that are articulated at the highest levels. the administration has said it wants to deport felons, not families.
but the actual enforcement record often belies that statement. all too commonly, these stated priorities are inconsistent with the actual practices. i know that is a nonjudicial term. area that it to the is most familiar to me because of personal experience in our with a violent, convicted felon who should have been deported, was convicted of attempted murder, was permitted to remain in our state by ice, and then brutally murdered a 25-year-old woman named casey
chapman. ice repeatedly declined to ,nvestigate until i insisted equally repeatedly that it do so, and the ig report that was completedntly showed an abject failure of enforcement. i think that is the only way to term it. a repeated failing to deport the killer of casey chadwick before she was murdered. he had been convicted of attempted murder and was sought to be deported, but ice never overcame the resistance and refusal of haiti to take him back. alonegnize that ice can't overcome that resistance or refusal, but the report shows that ice failed to seek the proper documents from the
family, failed to enlist or ever late this issue with the department of state, failed to into the haitian consulate miami to seek its cooperation, in short failed to deport a violent but did felon -- convicted felon illegally in this country. othersasked i saw many -- i have asked ice how many others are in the same position and it has been unable to give me a number. so, i would like to ask your commitment that you will join us in seeking specific changes in state department policy that will sanction those countries that refuse or resist taking back internationals here toegally after they are here
commit crimes and pose a danger to our nation. secretary johnson: yes, we are working on that. i have been working on that. at i have asked that question myself with our foreign counterparts about the repatriation of those ordered removed from our country. senator, in general, in response to my new priorities, and fit ourng percentage immigration priorities and an increasing percentage are in our fourities for renewed -- removal. constrained by the
decision, which, as you know, says after six months if there is no clear indication that the wentry will take them back, have limited authority to keep that person in detention. i am aware of the efforts to get haiti taken back. report and ihe ig agree we need to continue to pressure countries to take people back when they are ordered deported. blumenthal: we have points of leverage we can use. it does not simply have to rely on our persuasive power. we have visas. than just for more your contacting your counterparts, and when i say you, i don't mean you personally. i mean the federal government, the administration, people in positions of authority who can say to these countries, we simply are not going to permit
you to deny that this person in your country, because he or she is a danger to our country, is here illegally, has been convicted of a crime, a violent crime. i realize 99% may fall into a different category. but that 1% constituted casey youngck's murder and that woman is not alive today. i have met with her family. i have seen that heartbreak. that is a failure of law enforcement that both of us regret. that the second part of that ig report will be done as quickly as possible. it is still outstanding. the first part has been done and released. commitmentcome your and look forward to working. senator, i'mnson:
sure none of this will be satisfying to the chadwick family, but as you know, there is a host of considerations that withto the relationship other countries. we have stepped up the efforts with other countries. we have entered into him ou's to take back more of their people. clearly this is a work in progress. -- we have entered into mou's. we can deny visas to these countries if we do not see more progress. senator blumenthal: i am way over my time. neither you nor i want to look families in the eye and express our regret again. thank you, mr. chairman.
grassley: i thank you for your question. i have the same discussion a few days ago with the secretary, and the secretary -- i don't know whether he ought to recommend and i do not know if that is based on what ever recommendation he might make, them to makerge the strongest recommendation that the law allows him to make -- in a sense dictates he makes, and we have to forget about the sensitivities of our relationships with china and india, countries like that better the biggest abusers of it. at senator hatch. hatch: like you, mr. chairman. i always enjoy seeing you worked
up. i appreciate it. i also appreciate the work you have been doing. you are a fine man. you are doing the best you can and you have some severe limitations without question. i just want to express that to you. i would also like to note personally, the supreme court , and only four of the 61 cases -- finally for the 61 cases since justice scalia's death. a lot of people do not realize that. it's a functioning court. let me get into something i felt interesting. bookd ted koppel's entitled "lights out." book. very interesting it says you were interviewed in october 2014 about our nation from preparedness in the aftermath of a successful cyber attack on the electrical power grid. when asked what would happen in
the event that several transformers were knocked out, and whether a backlog exists, you responded "i'm sure fema has the capability to bring in backup transformers." yet when the fema administrator was asked the same question he responded "most people expect that somehow we have some tools in the tool chest to get power turned back on quickly. the answer is no." been two years since your meeting with mr. koppel. i will ask you the same question. what would happen in the event several transformers were not out? knocked out? what backlog exists? i rememberohnson: that interview well. mr. koppel seem to have a thesis he wanted my interview to fit in. beyond his thesis, he did not seem interested in much else i
had to say. we do have a response plan in the event that generators are knocked out that call for the prioritization of assets, moving generators from one region to another. this is a partnership with private utilities, the private sector. the book -- overall, i think is useful. book is, i think the useful in highlighting an issue. since the earthquake in japan, it knocked out their utility there. it has been a bit of a wake-up call. at we have stepped up our efforts in terms of training, exercises, we have better coordination now in this regard. but both we and the private totor swing into action determine where assets need to be moved, where generators need to be moved to prioritize
need ifng the public there is a blackout someplace. i read a report askom coburn -- and i would to submit the op-ed into the record -- chair grassley: without objection. senator hatch: i was struck by the number of agencies that have armed personnel and a weapons stockpile. that thet estimates department of homeland security purchased 1.7 billion with a b\/ bullets and has an estimated reserve of 160 million rounds. at people would not be surprised if the army was doing this, but what is he a just doing with 1.7
bullets? -- what is dhs doing with them .7 bullets? that are concerns getting under people's skins. if you could answer that quickly, i would like to answer a few more questions. secretary johnson: it has been a while since i have looked at that particular issue. my recollection is the reporting on it was not very good. and the number that people site is the number of the total authorization for the acquisition of ammunition. is my recollection of the issue, senator, but it has been about two years since i looked at it closely. sen. hatch: you agree with the supreme court the second amendment or text the right of an individual to keep and bear arms in that right is a fundamental right? secretary johnson: yes, sir. senator hatch: you agree that there should be due process to
prevent -- before they take action to prevent an individual exercising that right? and if the answer is no, what other rights can be interrupted without due process? secretary johnson: in my view, senator -- i have studied the feinstein bill and i have studied the bill sponsored by senator collins and others. denied thesomeone is ability to purchase a gun, there ought to be some form of process in that. if you are talking about a pending national security investigation, there may be sensitivities there that cannot be addressed in an open , open proceeding, and we ought to figure out a way to account for classified information, information that is law enforcement sensitive, and
my overall sense is the feinstein bill makes a good effort at that. and i think it is imperative that we try to wrestle with this. o sen. hatch:: i would just like to say that due process is critically important to liberty and protecting constitutional rights. i think it's irresponsible to suggest, as some have, that do process is -- due process is less important in certain contexts or with regard to certain rights. all constitutional rights are important, especially fundamental rights, expressed rights in the constitution. , in april, for the fourth year in a row, the h visa quotas were reached in five days. only 85,000 available
visas. i remain committed to fixing the system so it works for employers, and i hope dhs can put partisan considerations aside and alleviate this glaring problem. i hope you feel any much the same way i do. we've got to solve this problem. we can do it here it we can do it with reasonability. secretary johnson: i would like to take that question for the record, sir. chuck grassley: senator whitehouse. toator whitehouse: freedom travel is also a constitutional right, perhaps of freedom we do not have the same concern about inhibiting from keeping people from flying when they are on the terror watch list. you, mr.on to secretary, has to do with something quite specific, and i
am sorry to have to raise it to your level. but you oversee fema, as you know. at one of fema's responsibilities is flood very important responsibility, particularly for coastal states like rhode island. it affects a decision to buy property, affects the decision to build, fx insurance --affects insurance that they can or must have. rhode island is actually pretty flood mapping. we have a coastal zone management council. we have delegated federal power for that. we have a university -- secretary johnson: i'm listening. i'm listening.
the situation i talked about earlier seems to have resolved itself. that is all i wanted to let you know. excuse me. we have aitehouse: university that is also very expert at this. our coastal management council and the experts at the university of rhode island tell forhat the fema mapping rhode island is wrong, and not wrong by a little. wrong with really obvious errors like assuming that flooding cannot go above levels that we actually saw letting go above during sandy. fact to fema mapping is wrong for rhode island, we're
coming into hurricane season, and it's really important that we try to get this right. so, here is the problem. i was asked to set up a meeting with our uri flood mapping fema and goeet with through what is happening and tried to get a nation of the difference between fema's mapping and state mapping. we have been able -- unable to get that meeting. one of the demands is that there premeeting before the fema regional administrator would meet with us and we have not even been able to schedule the premeeting because it evidently requires so many different people from different parts of the bureaucracy that we cannot
get them to have that meeting scheduled. so time is ticking away. hurricane season is approaching. we have experts in the state who tell us we have dramatically flawed federal maps center bureaucracy that will not meet with us. at can you please clear that traffic jam for us? secretary johnson: yes. i will make that happen. whitehouse: thank you. second, by way of kudos, i was at the airport in providence a few months, i guess, back now. inn there was a hour outage the locality. as a result of the power outage, tsa had to stop what they were doing because there is no longer power going to the magnetometers were machines and you got a , as thery big backup front end stopped and everybody was coming through just filed up in line.
your tsa folks in rhode island responded to that by deploying themselves in such a way to get everything ready to go so when the power came back on they had the power rolling. they had all of the people in the different security positions , and the result was the power did, in fact, come back on and the line was weird extremely rapidly. i think you probably hear a lot of criticism of tsa. they had a problem that was unexpected. they lost power. they figured power would come back on it some point. they deployed themselves to be ready when it did, to accelerate everyone through the line, and succeeded, and one instance of the job well done. organization your manages the framework process
,or critical infrastructure protecting our critical infrastructure elements from cyber attacks. i am interested what efforts have been made to read team that effort, and to make sure that it is achieving the goals of security robust cyber for critical infrastructure. i am hearing good reports from the industries involved. but what i cannot tell is whether everybody is happy. they are being asked to do so little. or whether everybody is happy because this really is creating robust cyber security. it would seem to me that some sort of outside red team type of analysis would be the way to make that determination.
do you have anything to that effect going on? sec. johnson: let me have the assistant secretary, who owns this exact issue, give you a response to your question. a fuller response than i could give sitting here. it is a good question. i want her to give you a full response. sen. whitehouse: fair enough. but accept that. sec. johnson: i will make a plug, or something that we've asked congress to do, which is to reorganize our national protection and programs directorate into a cyber in infrastructure protection indigency -- protection agency. we need an agency for cyber security that wrigley aligns the security function with their infrastructure function. that is what this concept is designed to do. a more streamlined effort to align cyber with critical infrastructure.
we have asked for a reorganization from congress. you know the household with committee is considering and possibly drafting language/ . if this is something the senate could consider, it would go a long way to address cyber and protecting introduction. we look forward to working with you on that. we have had good bipartisan efforts in the past. thank you. good morning, mr. secretary. i believe the president's executive actions on integration was entirely predictable. due to the split nature of the court decision by the trial court in brownsville and by the fifth circuit. the worst part of it is not the overreach by the president, and i know you advised him on the legality of the scope -- but it
is not the president essentially poisoned the well. for any bipartisan, bicameral efforts to reform our broken immigration system. sen. blumenthal: gender case that required you to release dangerous people into our communities after six months if you cannot place them. blumenthal mentioned a case that required you to release dangerous people into communities if you cannot place them. our friends across the aisle said because the houston not fall in line and rubberstamp the legislation, that somehow this is a problem only with the congress. frankly, the president was warned before he issues executive action orders. i believe that is exactly what has happened. there will be no immigration reform during the course of this president's remaining time in office.
let me turn your attention to orlando, where 49 were killed, others were injured. was that an example of terrorism or lax gun laws? sec. johnson: i would have to say it was a case -- it was an i woulderrorism, and say it differently than you say it. one of the ways in which we can make it harder for terrorists to acquire is -- acquire guns is more effective got lost. sen. cornyn: you are aware that the shooter had a license to own arms, correct? sec. johnson: correct. sen. cornyn: what other additional laws do you think could, or should be passed to prevent someone like the shooter from obtaining firearms, if he already had a license?
i believe that we can't always just respond and make policy and reaction to the last event. we have to think about the next event too, senator. sen. cornyn: we also need to pass legislation that will solve the problem, and not pursue a preordained ideological agenda. let's talk about due process. you are an accomplished lawyer. sec. johnson: i used to be. sen. cornyn: well you are, still, and serve with distinction at the courts. i admire your skills and lawyer. i know that you are in a different role making policy and serving an administration. i understand your role. revisito ask you to your comments earlier about whether a constitutional right can be deprived without due process of law.
there is no constitutional right to fly on an airplane, is there? sec. johnson: i suspected there are legal questions around that opinion. i have not read any lately. sen. cornyn: are you aware of any respectable opinion that say there is a constitutional right to get on an airplane? sec. johnson: there is a freedom to travel in associate, which we regard as a right. sen. cornyn: i agree, freedom is travel. but there is no court decision, no respectable legal opinion that says you have a right to get on an airplane? four i suspect people would have successfully would've challenged the watchlist. >> the supreme court in the 1930's and said that okies had a right to travel to california if california do not want to. but not on an airplane.
>> obviously. [laughter] ask -- ifn: if you you let me ask my question, and a real question. whenncerns me deeply people, and this isn't a partisan issue, but when people say, we can deny an american citizen an enumerated constitutional right based on their presence on a classified watchlist. and no more. the idea that you can somehow provide due process of law on the back end by saying that you've been denied your rights, you can go to court and insist that the right to be enforced. that concerns me a lot. i agree with the question posed by senator grassley, or senator hatch, if you can do it for the second amendment, why can't you do it for the other rights american citizens have?
there is a process on the back and, but i doubt any court would say it was due process of law if it did not occur on the front and. -- the front end. who is on the no-fly list? or these watchlist? these are classified lists, right? sec. johnson: i did not hear your question. sen. cornyn: who is on the no-fly list? sec. johnson: would you like a list? i don't have it with me. sen. cornyn: how many are american citizens? sec. johnson: it is a defined list. sen. cornyn: have any are based on their identity as muslims? sec. johnson: i don't believe we put people based on the no-fly list on their religion, sir. sen. cornyn: i hope not because i believe discriminating based on religion is wrong. you and i both agree with that. but there is no requirement that the government come forward and provide any evidence in order to
an independent third party to put someone on a no-fly list, is there? sec. johnson: no, not the private sector sir. sen. cornyn: is this a case where people are being profiled based on religion, based on where they live, based on their travel habits? what is the presence of a person's name on a no-fly list based upon? sec. johnson: there is criteria spelled out. i don't recall sitting here, whether that criteria is public. but there is criteria spelled out. sen. cornyn: i believe that is right, that is not public. it is on a classified list. if you have evidence that somebody on one of those list had committed a crime, they could be arrested, correct? sec. johnson: hopefully, yes. sen. cornyn: to something less than proof of probable cause
would permit somebody's name to be on a no-fly list. sec. johnson: it is not just based on conviction of a crime. it is based on the fact that there could be a pending investigation based on a number of things that are not necessarily amounting to conviction of a crime. based on suspicion that somebody might commit an act of terrorism in the future. sec. johnson: it is a bit more complicated than that sir, but yes. it is criteria that, as you spelled out, is not public. sen. cornyn: i think it is important because we don't profile people based on their religion. that the basis upon which people are being denied their constitutional rights is because their name happens to be on a secret no-fly list. be presented to an impartial magistrate that could
decide whether that addition of a constitutional right is permissible or not. i think we are on a slippery slope, if based on secret lists, that people have been denied constitutional rights. thanks mr. chairman. >> chairman, may i respond? sec. johnson: senator, i believe that in this environment that includes terrorist inspired attacks on our country, that includes homegrown violent extremism. we know it to ourselves -- we owe it to ourselves to figure out a way, short of a criminal conviction to give the attorney general the discretion to say no
to a gun purchase under particular circumstances, along with some form of process, so that that individual can challenge that decision. i think this is a matter of homeland security that we tried to wrestle with this issue. there are a lot of smart people in this congress, including the gentleman i'm looking at right now, who i think, if you came together with other smart gentleman i'm looking at right now, could figure this out. i think we owe it to homeland security to do this. i cannot do this in the executive branch. we need congress to wrestle with this issue. this congress has done some -- has solved hard issues, like cyber security last year. in this environment, we owe it to the public to take this on. sen. cornyn: that would include freedom of speech, religion, association. what other
constitutional rights could be denied unilaterally by the government based on their presence on a secret watchlist? there areon: circumstances where, if we through law, provide a process for denying someone the ability to acquire an assault weapon bec ause they are about to commit an act of terror, that if properly constructed it should survive any court challenge. i have a lot of faith in congress to figure this out. sen. cornyn: there is a bill on.com the cornyn amendment. thanks. colleaguezed that my from texas all of a sudden, when it comes to the fourth
amendment, we have emergency powers. police officers in danger -- they don't have to go through a process. i have agreed,d we tended to be more on the hawkish side on those things, only pro-law-enforcement side. all of a sudden, when it comes to gun, the standard becomes ridiculous. if we are saying that the only time you should be prohibited from buying a gun or going on an airplane in this new world of terrorism is if the criteria that could convict you of a crime, but as a path to oblivion. the people who will be laughing at that are the leaders of isis and those they inspire. that is way beyond what i have ever heard. we don't hear that argument on search and seizure on the fourth amendment from my colleague. let's treat them all the same. i believe there is a right to bear arms.
i believe every law-abiding american has the right to own a gun. i don't agree, as someone who advocates for gun control, with the people that believe the first and fourth amendments should be extended to a huge extent, and the second amendment should be seen through the pinhole of militias. it is the opposite here. there is a balancing test. more dangerous than walking down the street. and to say we should have the same standard -- we can resend your liberty -- doesn't make any sense in a world of terrorism. americans andof 90% of the gun owners agree with me. gun if younot get a are on the no-fly list. ui wellington -- you outlined it
very well. to my dear friend looking out for his own self-interest, don't keep walking down that path. that is a path to wheel of problems for america and it's hardly the either party should walk on. with that, or go to separate questions. i was going to welcome you because not only are you a great, great secretary, but you are one of five new yorkers. don't say this new jersey stuff. we have loretta lynch and we and you and jack lew secretary paris and secretary kerry. so we're very power of all you. --secretary king. i will change the subject. i don't know how many texans are on the committee, but i welcome many, because they are a great state. my question is about something you and i have talked about for a while. very important to the people of western new york. that is the peace bridge.
i think it is a critical component to a larger effort to resolve congestion, improve commerce and security, as well as air quality and environment in western new york. as you know the department of homeland security, in consultation with the cpp, conducted a pilot study that demonstrated fully implementing the program would save significant time after the border crossing. onitionally, locating booths the canadian side of the border can result the logistical challenges we face on our u.s. side. we have less room, as you know mr. secretary. fully implementing this program will require legislation here in congress. i'm working with my colleagues, including ranking member leahy on that legislation. however, as you know in addition to the legislation, which i hope will pass this year, we need a specific mou with canada at the
peace bridge. where are your negotiations with the new canadian government to make this happen? will you commit to getting an mou permanent pre-inspection for the peace bridge by the end of the year? it isohnson: senator, been a while since i checked in on progress concerning the peace bridge. i should have done that before i knew i was going to have this hearing. sen. schumer: even after all that nice praise i give you? sec. johnson: yes, i know. we have to check on the status of our discussion. sen. schumer: but would you make every effort to get this done by the end of the year? sec. johnson: i will make every effort to do the right thing and get this done. nd. of .umer: by the. e the year. sec. johnson: the end of my time is rapidly approaching. sen. schumer: that is why i am saying the end of the year. even have a new yorker as the
head of homeland security. we will have one as president. [laughter] sec. johnson: senator, let me check in on this. sen. schumer: let me say, i urge you to work his weekly to get this done. we don't have much more time to wait. this is been a long time. the canadian government has changed twice in part of that process. we are in a good place. this is really important to western new york, which is beginning to grow, as well as toronto. i importuned you to spend more time on this and get it done. i have a little more time, so i'd like to follow-up on senator klobuchar's question on tsa waiting lines. there's been a great deal of focus on tsa wait times, and it's probably going to get worse in the travel season. i appreciate your efforts to onboard additional agents and stations amid high priority airports like the three we have in the new york metro, one of
which a new jersey. retraining canine teams to aid passenger screening is another proven way to help improve airport throughput. luggage,can check they almost never make a mistake. they are wonderful animals. can you give us any indication when tsa will be able to fully fill the recommended canine team numbers for each new york airport? currently we are short. they are mobile, obviously, so you taken to the place where they have the longest line, and they can speed things up. sec. johnson: we have brought on additional canine teams in response to the increased travel volume. canine teams have made it a huge difference. there is no better technology than a dog's nose. we have a better plan to bring on more. exact timetable for the new york
airports, i don't know right now . i want to thank the congress for responding so promptly to my reprogramming request to convert part-time to full-time, and to expedite the hiring of new people. you just made a huge difference. -- it has made a huge difference. 99% of the public has an average wait time of 30 minutes or less. 93% has an average wait time of 15 minutes or less. i just checked on jfk before i came here it may be something around 10-12 minutes there. but this is something we will continue to work on through the summer. summer in general has a lot more air travel. we are not out of the thick of it yet. in longer-term, i want to see us go back the tsa workforce. we downsized over a number of years. i think it's time to reverse that trend and start building this back up.
sen. schumer: i am with you and would like to help build back up that workforce. >> thank you mr. chairman. last week the supreme court affirmed the decision by the court of appeals for the fifth circuit, or pulling a nationwide preliminary injunction halting the implementation of the obama administration's top a program. dapaministration's ad program. the administration argued that the scope of the preliminary injunction should be narrowly confined texas. alternatively they argued even if it should not be narrowly confined to texas, it should at a minimum be narrowly confined to the total of 26 states, including texas, that part of the lawsuit. the fifth circuit significantly rejected that position.
the fifth circuit held that partial implementation of dapa would detract from the scheme organized by congress. a substantial likelihood that a geographic injunction would be ineffective. dapa beneficiaries would be free to move across states." even the fact that the fifth circuit rejected this argument, or that holding that injection has been upheld, what is your anytion on whether dhs has legal authority to selectively implement the dapa program? either outside of texas, outside the fifth circuit, or outside of those 26 states?
sec. johnson: there is no plan to do that, if that is what you are asking. we abide by the court's injunction as affirmed by the fifth circuit and the supreme court. sen. lee: you are willing to honor the nationwide effect of the fifth circuit's opinion? sec. johnson: we don't have a plan to do otherwise, senator. we intend to honor the court order. back to my days as a councilman of dod, a district judge in california enjoying don't ask don't tell in 2010. one district judge. we interpreting that as a worldwide injunction. i directed that the field respond accordingly. it was when district court. -- one district court. sen. lee: you don't see any
reason to do differently here ? sec. johnson: sitting here, i don't have a plan to do it in some places and not others. i am hoping that congress will pursue with the issue itself. that is not happen unfortunately. that is not happened in the house. i think it's an issue we need to reckon with. poisonedornyn said we the well -- we waited to act. sen. lee: i understand your position. i am grateful for your position on that point. all you update us if that position changes? -- will you update us if that position changes? sec. johnson: yeah, we don't have a plan to-- sen. lee: but wyou will update us? sec. johnson: yes sir. sen. lee: i want to talk about the deeply troubling actions of some apartment of justice lawyers in the representation to the courts. last month the federal district
judge assigned to this case held that council was "intentionally deceptive" and it's a greenish -- in its egregious misrepresentations to the plaintiff states. going to the court, "doj admitted that personnel knew that the three-year daca renewals were being granted by dhs." despite the department of homeland security's preemptive implementation, the government of justice assured -- the department of justice assured the judge and gave assurance to an opposing counsel representing inse 26 states, and again 2015, that the agency would not begin implementing the 2014 dhs directive until at least
february 2015. that turned out not to be the case. unsurprisingly, this representation characterized by the judge as intentionally deceptive, his lawerly runaround, conduct to serve the agency's objectives. these were material misrepresentations, according to the court, that allowed dhs attorneys to mislead into forgoing a temporary restraining order to stop the implementation of this program. meantime, dhs granted for renewed over 100,000 modified daca applications using the dhs directive. when did your agency tell the department of justice that it had in fact begun implementing the 2014 dhs directive?
sec. johnson: senator, this is a matter in litigation for the judge, as you noted. so i don't know that it would be appropriate for me to comment on it, except to say that the granting three-year actiontwo-year deferred pursuant to a new policy was evidence on the face of the new policy, which was in the courts record. we laid it out in a policy the timetable for beginning to grant the three-year ead's versus two-year ead's. i was not a secret. --that was not a secret. sen. lee: so you disagree with
the judge's position that it was in misrepresentation? sec. johnson: this is a litigated matter and will be addressed by the from the justice, i'm sure. sen. lee: i think it is important to be addressed and would like to get to the bottom of it. i hope and expect that any time our country's lawyers are representing the u.s. government, that they will tell the truth and not misrepresent, especially not materially misrepresent things to the court. i see that my time is expired. thank you secretary johnson and mr. chairman. >> thank you. thank you for testifying. week, wesday of this
conducted a hearing on the systematic scrubbing of law enforcement and intelligence materials. your department was invited to attend, and the departmental insecurity refused to attend the hearing. at that hearing, we heard testimony that described a systematic effort, if one compares the 9/11 commission report. jihad appears 126 times, the word muslim appears 145 times, the word islam since that commission report, different policies have come into effect and as a matter of systematic policy, those terms are no longer allowed to be used in this administration. lexiconcounterterrorism uses the word "jihad" zero times. the strategic implementation plan to prevent violent
extremism uses the word zero times. the national intelligence strategy in 2014 uses the word zero times. from a heard testimony former employee from the department of homeland security that in october of 2009, more than 800 customs and border patrol documents were ordered modified, scrubbed, or deleted to remove references to jihad or the muslim brotherhood or other similar references. this wasestimony that ordered deleted accurate? i do not know. i would not know who that is if you walked in the room. senator cruz: you do not know if
references from jihad -- you have not investigated that question? mr. johnson: no. i have not taken the time to investigate that. senator cruz: and when there was a hearing conducted on that, did you or anyone on your staff inquire into those issues? , but you haveno me here now to answer those questions. he said that there were two purges at the homeland security department to remove -- is that accurate, that the records were changed? sec. johnson: same answer i gave you before, i have no idea. senator cruz: you have no idea? sec. johnson: i have no idea.
would it concern you if it was accurate? this to ben: i find interesting but giving the legal sign off on a lot of drone strikes, i didn't care if the baseball card said islamic extremist. it's very interesting but it makes no difference to me in terms of who we need to go after in terms of who is attacked to go after our homeland. take it intwo practical terms. this is all interesting and makes for good political debate, but in all practical terms, if we in our efforts here in the start giving the islamic state the credence that they want to be referred to as part of islam or some firm of islam, we will get nowhere in our efforts to build ridges with
muslim communities, which we need to do in this current environment right now that includes homegrown violent extremist. senator cruz: my time is limited. sec. johnson: they have all told me i saw has hijacked my religion and it is critical that we bring these people to our side. senator cruz: you are entitled to give speeches at other times. i would note the title of the hearing was willful blindness and your testimony to this full committee now is that you have no idea and have no intention of finding out whether dhs materials have been scrubbed and you suggested just a moment ago that it is a semantic difference . i don't believe it is a semantic difference that when you erase references to radical jihad that it impacts the behavior of law enforcement to respond to red flags to respond to terrorist
attacks before they occur. let's take the dollhouse on. the obama administration was aware he was communicating with a known radical islamic terrorists. they were armed -- they were about waginguired jihad against his fellow soldiers and yet they did not act and he walked into ft. hood andy home state of texas killed 14 soldiers. do you think it was a mistake to not responded as red flags ahead of time? sec. johnson: i disagree with your factual predicate. minute, i cannot possibly answer your question. it was wrong in a number of respects. assumingall, you are the federal government in
advance of the attack on ft. hood saw all of these different red flags. that is not correct. testifyingz: are you to this committee -- let's take the facts one at a time, it is true or false the obama administration knew they were relocated -- the federal bureau of investigation. can't answer i that question sitting here. senator cruz: the answer is yes and it is in public record. redave similar examples of flags. russia informed the united states they were affiliated with radical islamic terrorism. the department of homeland security missed when the older and trainedher went
and in the boston bombing, a soft pressure cooker's murdering three people and wounding roughly 180. was it a mistake not to respond more effectively to those red flags and prevent that active islamic terror? i disagree with some of what you said, but i do believe there were some lessons learned from that episode. result, wehat as a are doing a better job of connecting the right.. cruz: my time is expiring, so this will be my final question. is this pattern of failing to connect the dots, it keeps occurring over and over. it occurred in san bernardino when the female terrace gave a fake address impact than and the administration failed to discover that. it occurred in orlando where the terrorist was interviewed three
times, he pledged his allegiance to al qaeda and hezbollah, had what was an associate of the first american suicide bomber in act tond yet he did not prevent it and what concerns me and should concern the department of homeland security is that because of this effort, scrubbing your law enforcement materials of any acknowledgment of radical islamic terrorism, when you see the red flag of youcal islamic terrorism, do not follow up on them effectively and we have terrorist attack after terrorist attack that could have in prevented but for this administration's willful blindness. sec. johnson: may i respond? >> yes. and we will go to senator purdue. when we had that demonstration, i lost four and a half minutes
of my first seven minutes. then we will go to sen. klobuchar:. sec. johnson: first of all, virtually every day, i read about the good work of our law enforcement personnel come our homeland security personnel and our intelligence community connect inc. the dots to identify potential terrorist plots, terrorist plots on our homeland irrespective of the label you want to put on it. i think our people are smart someone whoentify is a violent extremist who is self radicalizing, who is moving toward violence when there are some warning signs like someone who sees somebody buying a gun or training or buying weapons of explosive material, every day, i see someone connecting the dots
across our homeland security communities. are there lessons learned? could we do a better job? the answer is probably yes. but every day, i see this happening and i think we are doing a better job and i think our people are smart enough to identify potential terrorist behavior, whether you call it islamic or extremist or anything else. i think the labels are frankly less important, except where we need to build bridges to muslim communities and not vilify them so that they will help us help them. that is my answer to your question. purdue: i asked you questions about these oversights and you gave reports and they lacked fidelity. visashowed about 500,000 alone, andnd in 2015
later last year in testimony before the senate, they only discriminated about 3000 visa entry overstays. 40% of illegal aliens in this country estimated to be visa overstays, in my mass, that is somewhere around 5 million people. that in mind, what is dhs doing to increase the number of visa overstays cases it is investigating and what are you deportationsw many did we manage last year? i don't know that the number 40% is accurate. somewherete revealed between 400000 and 500,000 these the overstays, but that is a rolling number because people
enter and people leave. that part, i don't know if i can testify to the accuracy. let me answer your question. i response to that report, directed our immigration to moreent people specifically prioritize visa overstays so that we identify those we should focus our resources on who have overstayed their visa beyond a certain time, not just two or three or representand who threats to public safety. we are developing those right now and we do put in proceedings people who have overstayed their
visa, but with the benefit of prioritizingwe are visa overstays to get at this population. >> is the number still accurate? sec. johnson: i'm not sure of the accuracy. i would have to get back to you on that. is, i would like to move on to the biometric entry and exit program. congress required the implementation of that system and the 9/11 commission called for it as well to be an essential tool in defending our country. theencouraged by some of pilot programs, jackson, hartsville, and i would like to get your take on early
indications from that mobile project and are there plans to expand that nationwide? what is the timetable, roughly? congressson: appropriated i think a billion and is for biometrics said to my people at the beginning of the year that this has been a congressional mandate since 1996. on a timetable where we would have begun this by 2018. we will not have got to full nationwide but we will have this in place by 2018. in particular is a best practice and we need to move toward it. >> the directional plan.
we get to the syrian , how many syrian have entered the country in the last year? sec. johnson: so far, this fiscal year have -- we just class -- just crossed the 5000 mark. we surged resources to deal with this population and that them. it's just around 5000 right now this fiscal year. >> of the visa overstays, there are countries like afghanistan, iraq and syria. do we keep track of those people once they are here question mark is dhs have information about those people and what a are involved in at all? sec. johnson: we do, but when we go to look for them, the information is out aided and someone has moved on and so
through investigative means, we have to track them down. how many cases should we be investigating per year? 3000 can't be adequate. i would like to prioritize those who represent public safety threats and those overstay for a long time and that means the number of investigations should go up. >> when you look at who is on these watch lists, some he is on the watch list and someone is on the no-fly list, why are they still here illegally? priority -- ifa we have identified them to be i no-fly list and they are here
illegally, wouldn't they be a priority for us to investigate? we are talking about non-us citizens? most likely, they are under investigation. there may be law enforcement sensitive reasons why we do not act on them at the moment. senator grassley: i do not read my opening statement because it was so long and i knew we had a long meeting, but i want to read a few cents in so you know what i am leading up to. ago, five, two weeks people were trapped by a fire in a los angeles holding. the man who allegedly started the fire was in the country illegally and had previously been arrested for domestic violence and drug charges.
iowa.r constituents from too many families have had to feel the real and devastating by lax immigration enforcement. changed since kate steinle was killed a year ago? sarah root was killed when an undocumented person who was dragracing under the influence this driver was released because a -- because of the twisted priorities that we seem to have on immigration policy, there are consequences and criminals are not being detained even when
someone's life is taken. this is why i introduced a bill that would take care of this problem. a letter to request information on drunk driver that ofled sarah root instead providing what was requested, ice responded that it was protected i the privacy act. the privacy act authorizes disclosure to congress. people does not cover who are in the united states illegally and there have been court cases on this and court cases that said resident aliens sometimes are not covered by the privacy act. your department misapplied the drive is the act by failing to protect people in the country
illegally and we listened to the family because they are in iowa and they are disturbed that they could not comprehend why he seemed to have more rights than they do. would you make sure your ?olicies match the statue don't you think her family deserves all available information about their daughter's killer? sec. johnson: yes. consistent with law, i will look into the request you have made and i will make sure you receive a reply. you ar grassley: i sent question about the head of the san bernardino services office who refuse to let homeland security investigation agents and whomrror suspects
the inspector general found to have lacked candor. your department confirmed martin was nominated in march, long after the disturbing incident occurred in december and after concerns were raised about our action in january. you think it is ok to nominate employees who are under inspector general investigation for the secretaries award of valor? sec. johnson: i am aware of your letter and aware of your issue. i have not act it on whether this employee should receive the valor award and i want to look at the complete package. senator grassley: two more questions. you and i have had a few discussions about the eb five program and i think on two occasions, we have had long discussions about that. my concerns and i appreciate the fact you are
working to issue regulations that mirror reforms that congressman conyers and i have been pushing, the -- will the sonlation prevent regional affluent areas as the law envisions? sec. johnson: limiting gerrymandering was one of the changes we are developing consist with your recommendation. these changesut is on november, but that the list. senator grassley: when you and i spoke him he took credit or decreasing the number of criminals who have been released from 36,000 to 30,000 but this is still too many criminals
released into our community and i think a threat to public safety. are would suggest you releasing fewer people because you are detaining fewer people. your enforcement priorities allowed drunk drivers to roam free. changing yourider policies to make sure all individuals charged under the influence our priorities for removal? i have certainly encourage that in certain cases, certainly in this one, that it may be an important federal interest to put someone in removal proceedings in those types of circumstances. you note the number of criminal releases since i have been secretary has declined. because of some policy changes we have made, the number was
around 1900, which is even lower, and i suspect this year it will be lower -- it will be lower probably. i would like to see the number reduced and i think the changes we have made have added to that effect. senator grassley: i will end with this comment -- i think there was pressure in this one case i think you want to consider all the cases that involve drunk driving and change that policy. i don't have a second round, so we will be done when she is done. klobuchar: listening to some of my colleagues, i'm a former prosecutor and i have been very supportive of your efforts to protect the homeland and your efforts to go after isis and these terrorist groups at their roots. i think it is important to
remember who the enemy is. we always had a saying in our office as executors that are job was to convict the guilty and protect the innocent. no problem saying the word islamic extremism, but i --'t see this as our enemy words and what words people happen to use. ofee in my own state dozens police officers coming from a doesm community who everything they can to fight off extremism and make sure our community is a. i see muslims serving in the military, i see muslim congressman, including my own, and one of the witnesses senator cruz called for his hearing actually went out of his congressman and implied he was so that she was affiliated with that when he was on the isis kill list. yes