tv Oversight Hearing on President Trumps Travel Ban Part 1 CSPAN October 6, 2019 3:35am-6:05am EDT
time. she started her own business as a wealthy banker. for sex outside of marriage. >> and at 6 p.m., the author discusses her book democracy in truth. , no oneone person institution, no one sector, no king, priest, national research body would get to call all the shots. >> explore our nations passed on american history tv from every weekend on c-span3. next, a joint hearing on president trump's travel plan -- ban. committees from the judiciary heard from homeland security, customs, and border protection officials. topics included a review of the visa waiver program and the
application requests following the president's executive order. this portion is two hours and 25 minutes. [background sounds] welcome everyone to this morning's hearing on oversight of the trump administration. i'd like to welcome members of the subcommittee on oversight to investigation. [background sounds] we will everyone to this morning his hearing on oversight of the trump administration. i'd like to we will members of
the subcommittee on oversight to investigation, but is hearing. we are very happy to be working on the supporting issue with you all today. i also like to thank all of the majority and minority members and staff his above subcommittees for the coordination and flexibility while planning is hearing particularly given the cancellation of the yesterday's vote. i want to note that because of the cancellation modes, and every member is able to be here today. i did make a point of talking to mr. colin, and mr. bhatt to be assured that they were okay with proceeding and they assured me that they were right said mr. big, mr. selden will be here. we do appreciate that flexibility and her opportunity to learn more. two probate issues about this matter. i really do think the hearing in many ways is overdue.
for two and half years, the administration has been allowed to arbitrarily to the united states individuals from predominantly muslim countries and is been no oversight by the congress. today that oversight starts. as campaign for president, mr. trump promised to be in muslims entering the united states. suggesting that went out evidence, trump somehow make our country safer. immediately upon entering office, he followed through on his promise. only to have his first executive order struck down by the courts as unlawful. mr. present ten months to reattempt and inclusion of a waiver process that appears to be something of a sham. to create a version of a man they allow the supreme court to turn a blind eye to the religious side. administration flames that the man is necessary. to keep our country safe from terrorists and yet to bipartisan
coalition former national security officers, concluded otherwise. according to madeleine albright, general michael hayden, former senator turn in many others, overwhelming and is failed to advance our national security. and is in fact, imaging of interest. moreover as we will discuss today, muslim man keeps families apart and harms businesses and supports the false notion that actors are more likely to come from certain countries. this is contrary to american values and our immigration laws. best way of lynn the house of representatives in this challenging legality of the band and why an original cosponsor, and representative judy hsu and senator chris coons, no man act. this legislation would repeal all three versions of the man. strengthen the immigrant nation and nationality act prohibiting
discrimination based on religion. in the issuance of immigration decision. in limiting executive authority to issues to travel bans. they will also delve into the waiver process and rightly so, so many aspects of the remaining mystery. the department of state plans allows 5 percent of waiver applications have been approved. the standards for granting waiver appear to be applied inconsistency across consulate. the lack of established application process only leads to the confusion caused by the inconsistency and lack of transparency. one thing we do know, as once an individual case and refer to a waiver, chances are it will languish in administrative processing for months if not longer. for here today from some individuals have been stuck in limbo who have been waiting for a decision. victims of this policy for is it too long have been enduring the pain of the separation from loved ones. some of these individuals have
the birth of a child and unable to start a family, and refuse job offers here in the united states. ways of this magnitude of major live things must be placed on hold and deftly are unacceptable. un-american and unlawful based on religion. i will continue to oppose every step of the way. i want to thank chairman, a oversight investigation subcommittee for his work making today's joint hearing reality and also for his commitment holding the administration accountable for its policies actions and statements about the man. i also want to thank our witnesses and actually those who are here today, to show how the man so deeply impacted their lives. off of the ranking members of the subcommittee as i mentioned was unable to the candidate hearing, i would like to recognize mr. biggs, for an opening statement.
>> thank you madam chair. i think the witnesses for being here today. if i get into the substance of this, i must put out the title the hearing today seems to be ingenuous to me. my colleagues on the other side of the want to be taken seriously in their oversight of the trump administration his immigration and national security live related policies. the least they can do seven titles of the hearing accurately reflect the issue. my colleagues have decided to ignore this reality surrounding the executive order entitled protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the united states. instead, continue to show this court among the american people, emulate the title of this hearing today. of course the seven countries in the original january tony 17, executive order with those countries specified by this congress. and the obama administration is countries particular concern of terrorism sent to the visa waiver and pursuant of the
travel prevention act of 2015 killing a bill which the could be in the house for on suspension. nineteen votes in opposition. as the united states supreme court noted about the subsequent presidential proclamation, the texas nothing about religion. and policy coverages 8 percent of the world his muslim population. so if the point of the travel of the executive order was not to ban all persons of a particular religion from entering the united states, what was it. the point of it was exactly what the september 24 2017, presence of proper pavement proclamation entitled. processes were depicting entry into the united states by terrorists where other public safety threats. it is ironic that my democratic are holding this hearing two weeks after the september 11th terrorist attacks. the attack which foreign
nationals asked exploited u.s. immigration law in order to gain access in the united states for the sole purpose of killing thousands of our people. maybe we need a refresher on the september 11th terrorist submitted 23 visa applications to the united states government which 22 were approved. they are approved despite the late commissions, and lies in the applications. and they were approved after fact background checks were taken. it was clear that after the vetting and screening was insufficient. in the years since 2001, our vetting is made insufficient enough that we get issued immigration benefits to a number of individuals who are a security risk. if her instance, among others, a student visa issued to at texas terrorist. another one in california. just late last week of the manhattan u.s. attorney announced indictment of naturalized u.s. citizens originally from lebanon on charges of being an agent of
fiscal. he entered the united states in 2000 and was naturalized as the u.s. sentencing in 2008 despite having joint it's not in 1996. in receiving to forced entry was despite an offer operative of his external operations unit, despite recently explosive training in 2004 and 2005, it is obvious our vetting and screening was not sufficient. in a hearing which my colleagues in the investigation for putting forth a policy that it is for was meant to increase immigration vetting. the president promised the american people he would do that in his follow-through. "nobody is perfect. his administration recognizes. this represents a proclamation by 645 requires annually secretaries vhs in consultation with the secretaries of state the attorney general director of national intelligence update the present and procedures related to immigrations reading ability.
with the purpose of enhancing safety and security united states initial executive order has social proclamation are based on the presence power have the immigrate national presence policy value invested by the constitution. states that whenever the first finds an entry of an inhaling, in the united states would be detrimental to the interest of the united states, he made by proclamation of her such. you should deem necessary to suspend the all aliens or any class or nonimmigrants or post- entry of an answer any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. presence of both political parties have used 212f in the meantime. specified eight countries subject to contemporary travel restrictions due to inadequacy in the companies with united states identity management and policies. as well as the terrace presence
within those countries. one of those countries chat, had their travel restrictions lifted just seven months later. actually improves their identity management and information sharing practices with the united states. proof that the restrictions are temporary in nature. travel restrictions for each country range from only restrictions on immigrate or certain non- immigrant or make sure both. the state of hawaii is sued to have the travel ban struck down. but in june 2018 the united states supreme court reversed and the finding that the plaintiffs were unlikely to prevail on the claim. of course i agree with those who have suggested, secretary john, that the limitation of the initial travel executive order should of been better. it was not rolled out will and communication on the government partners were lacking and it was confused. during the importance of the issue of the national security and those affected, the administration should of been better. only my democratic partners
would argue. president trump promised the immigration vetting and screening. a revised executive order, and presidents approximation, aimed at doing just that. has been successful in getting the majority of the world his countries access to better information. for purposes of immigration vetting. in his actions have made it safer. for that i am grateful. i look forward to the witnesses testimony today and i yelled back. >> i would now turn to my colleague in the chair subcommittee and oversight investigation. >> thank you. first on the muslim band. long overdue. have a deep love for the united states of america. as you think about it,
schoolchildren all across this country every day, need to be safe. in the line that is always struck me is that profound is that one nation on god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. as kids we may not have known what that means, as we get older, and we learn about the constitution and we learn about our values as americans, we might not have those freedoms and core values. the freedom of religion is at the core of that. in this great nation of ours, we don't tell people which god to pray to or how to worship. that is part of what makes our country great. when i think about one of the first actions that president trump took his first days in office. from family we need guesses values. he saw such outcry across the nation. because it really does step
against who we are. how we seen several operations of that executive order. my colleague mr. biggs pointed out, if we are to be objective look at threats and were terrorist threats are coming from, the content here was to keep it safer, we didn't see this. if i think about my privilege now is the member of congress, no lawyer, emma doctor period as such, i will argue that the legal side of this one way or another. i will let's look at that facts. it is her job and that is her constant douching of duty. as members of the congress to conduct oversight. everything about the supreme court ruling when they chose not to dismiss the man. i'm gonna say they upheld it and they didn't toss the men out. if you look at that dissenting
opinion, that is the prior suggested, if there was a waiver process and here, that was not actually objectively being implemented. this was the muslim band. in my oversight, as chair, i want to know what that waiver process looks like. i appreciate that the state provided the data but as i look at that data, as the tens of thousands of waiver applications, only 5 percent has been granted. on a no why 95 percent were denied. 95 percent by trying to come to the united states for reasons of hardship or national interest. or national security risk. again i want to know what happens when that waiver application to the back black box. who makes the decision. what is that process look like.
what authority have a counselor and officers been given. i think about this in the context of our most important fathers members of congress. it's just not from oversight but from people who do work for our constituents. people who would represent us. i think about one of my own constituents, omnia. omni is the two -year-old. like many families industries all across this country. limit share her story. her mother is an american citizen. she happens to be in libya when omnia was born. her father is libyan. she was seven months pregnant. due to the council office and she wanted to come back to the united states for her second child's birth. at two -year-old was denied in vista. omnia his mother was told to
return to the united states have a child then come back to libya and left the process take place. i find it hard to fathom that two -year-old didn't faze undue hardship by being separated from her mom. i find it very difficult to fathom, that two -year-old presented a national security risk. and i find it very difficult given the values that we care about in this country and keeping families together that it wasn't in that two -year-old his interest as well as our national interests to keep that mother and child together. we intervened. we were able to help out we were able to reunite the family. when i saw them in my office a few months ago, that child continues to have anxiety issues and separation issues. that isn't who we are as united states of america. i talked to many of my colleagues. they have similar stories to
share about their constituents. the number of spouses that are being kept apart. the number who want to see their children, even temporarily, who may be dying. you are not able to come visit their children. the number of children who can't see their parents may be dying. again that isn't who we are. i think all of us can agree that we have an obligation to keep our country safe. we have an obligation to have a vetting process. this part of who we are as these values of humidity. these values of freedoms. we do ban entire countries that really smacks against who we are is the united states of america. i look forward to the testimony of the witnesses. i expect answers to the questions and data is about processing and denials etc. as well as approvals and again i look forward to working with you.
>> thank you generally meals back i am now happy to recognize ranking member on oversight investigations, mr. zelman for his opening statement. from new york. >> thank you. today's hearing will examine presidential proclamation vetting capabilities and processes for detecting attempted entry into united states terrace. rather public safety threats. on an immigration process for a country that allows individuals to pursue the american dream elite while also having a process that prioritizes american national security. how generous nation that offers refuge to many seeking asylum or escaping persecution and we must be mindful the bad actors are also looking to abuse the system. nearly one third of the fbi his 1000 domestic terrorists cases admitted the country his refugees. it's important that i want allowing individual into the united states through
documentation and interrogation, we are confident that a person is who they say they are and believe in what they say they believe. and does not pose a terrorist threat to our country. this becomes an increased challenge in cases sufficient documentation is less available. especially because of the country they are traveling from. the supreme court decided the trump last year, found that the president has the authority to exclude certain aliens from the country national security reasons. based on the countries they come from. the travel restrictions were limited to countries previously identified as posing a national security risk by congress or by prior administrations. dhs conducted a thorough wide world review and current identified eight virus profiles countries. failed to satisfy the minimal information sharing standards to ensure proper venting. this includes basic information sharing request by the u.s. government to verify the address of the puc previous residence of a refugee but more important
lease known terrorist group. circumstances which you choose that range from failure to develop verify basic document to the high-risk terrorism havens in each country. exceptions and waivers granted on a case-by-case basis or example arenas are still allowed to seek a non- immigrant visa or an exchange visitors visa. countries such as chad and sudan shared a proven cooperation of the u.s. removed from the visa restriction list. travel restrictions can prevent attacks against individuals especially in affirmative to harm american citizens. osman stands accused of hiding his membership and he also mob terrorist group. there are other examples of terracing of lawfully onto the system vetting and was mentioned just last week the doj charge and naturalized u.s. citizen for
conducting intelligence gathering new york in pursuit of terrorist activities on behalf of islam. he came from lebanon a country not of the travel plan list. i would support examining this list on a regular risk basis to allow countries that have improved, full list and the country as necessary to undergo a review to possibly be added. since january 2017, there been several revisions since flutes proclamation. a role in the plan more careful deliberation and resulted in some of the consequences. the interlining policy was parked. difficult to measure the threats we have stopped as a result of this troubled man and as a matter of national security is better to be proactive and reactive. i look forward to hearing about our witnesses about the vetting procedures. by the century his worst chosen and how we get through the process. i yelled back. >> i would now like to recognize chairman and ranking member of the full committee first the
chairman of the judiciary committee. a gentleman from new york. for his opening statement. >> went from administration issued express version of the muslim fannin 20017. with me lately apparent that it was an constitutional. and morally apprehensible. the day after the sign name. we went to jfk airport try to make sure that those who are arriving would have their pieces honored. seeing at the airport was chaotic and heartbreaking. refugees and people with valid visas and people with legal permanent residents were detained for hours and prevented from speaking to their attorneys. in the midst of all of the confusion i also observed american is best. the compassion and support subject to the van, offered by volunteers.
did not pass constitutional muster we are now living with the consequences of that decision since the supreme court ruling is impacted communities set up support systems the cato institute analysis said the damage had more than 9000 family members of us citizens including 500 children on a case-by-case basis at the department of state and customs border officials that they have undue hardship to the individual that admission does not pose a threat to public safety and three that would be an international interest this sound straightforward enough is anything but.
and look at this process and that "there is reason to suspect the proclamation waiver program is nothing more than a sham". the skepticism is warranted 5 percent of adjudicated claims have waiver. with the department of state in the internal guidance of the labor practice with the public representation as we see from media reports the case is a far too many individuals languish for months and more than a year of the black hole of the process. us citizens including children those who are separated from their families is no recourse the muslim band has not made a safer it runs contrary to the
philosophical. it has been and must continue to be the place that embraces all religions and nationalities. the reputation is a beacon of hope and inclusion for those fleeing persecution to reunite with their families but it has been tarnished by the acts of this administration with the ongoing implementation of the muslim pan. it is incumbent upon us in congress without discriminatory policies that are effectively repealed. thank you for holding this hearing today and i look forward to hearing from the witnesses prickle yield back the balance of my time. >> because of the change of schedule ranking members and the chairman are unable to be
here but they will be invited to submit their statements for the record. also congressman has joined us here in congresswoman judy chu has joined us in the audience. there will be two panels of witnesses today first those through custom border protection's department followed by a panel of nongovernmental witnesses including policy experts on the muslim band and those individuals that are personally impacted by this policy i will now introduce the first panel serving as deputy assistant secretary with the state department bureau of consulate affairs to oversee the visa office in washington dc with the domestic processing centers and over 200 and the season consulates working a special
assistant to the secretary of state and hill the leadership post in the consular office in mexico in jamaica and columbia. he is also served in the office of indian affairs of the state department operations center in the white house situation room staff the next as assistant secretary of state of security policy at the department of homeland security office a strategy policy and plans. prior to that she served as deputy chief of staff to the department of homeland security secretaries john kelly and kirsten nielsen also serving under the george w. bush administration and homeland security staff for the department of housing and urban development and department of education between her positions with the
executive branch has had many years during which he focused on homeland and national security issues and finally the executive director of passenger programs us customs border protect protections offices has been in the office since 1981 serving in various capacities including the director at lax long - - long one - - los angeles long beach airport and also as director for the non- inclusive inspection division and program manager for the anti- muslim division - - for that division so please write so i can swear you win. >> raise your right hand do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that testimony about to give is true and correct to the best of your knowledge so help you
god? let the record show the witnesses have answered in the affirmative and have been seated. please note your full written statements will be part of the record and accordingly we ask you summarize your testimony in about five minutes to help us stay on time we have a lighting system. with one minute left the light will turn to yellow when it's read your five minutes are >> department of homeland
security leads this process and have worked closely with agency partners and embassies and agencies and partners overseas to implement proclamation in a can distance manner, allowing us to enhance security of our borders while facilitating legitimate travel permitted by the proclamations and waivers. the first priority when adjudicating all of these including those covered by the
proclamation poses no security risk to the united states. the second is that consular officers apply the proclamation in a consistent manner that they may be subject to the proclamation in the third priority has been to improve the waiver process with that security and vetting delay with time and resource intensive with the review process with an automated system.
if an applicant does not fall into the exception category category, counselor officer will automatically consider them for a waiver the criteria or criteria are in the national interest that would call the applicant cause the applicant undue hardship and has no public safety threat to national security threat. the applicant need not prepare sublet application for a waiver of pay an additional fee necessary information is gathered at the time of the visa application. the department works closely with the white house and other agencies on the creation of exceptions and waivers we saw authority for the counselor officers because they are in direct content and the best place to assess their circumstances and purpose of travel under the proclamation. the required interagency security is out of necessity conducted in washington with the assistance of vetting partners from other agencies who have access to relevant intelligence information. the results of that are provided back to the counselor officers. as noted that is the longest part of the process. july 2019
to have a preinterview enhanced automated screening and vetting process after first ensuring the process was just as secure. as a result as of september 14, september 14, 2019 more than 7600 pieces pursuant to a waiver and in addition to that more than 5000 pieces were issued to the nationals of the proclamation countries 8830. we anticipate completing the majority of those that are still ongoing that require review over the next six months. the 00:36:28 that are still ongoing that require review over the next six months. this new system is intended to increase significantly the speed and the efficiency of the vetting process for future
proclamation subject applications and also with the quality of security reviews i would like to take the opportunity to invite you to and visit overseas to see how the dedicated professional team works to keep america safe and secure while facilitating legitimate travel. thank you. >> thank you. we now recognize ms. newman for her five minutes statement. >> madam chairwoman ranking members and full committee chairs, chairman nadler, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for having us here today. this month, we observed the 18th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 since its inception dhs has been focused on travel in the early years i worked on the policies needed to prevent acts of terrorism including breaking
down the wall between law enforcement and intelligence to establish a foundational policy of information sharing i served -- sharing used today. currently, i served at dhs headquarters as the assistant secretary to oversee eight offices of dedicated men and women of screening and vetting. with a particular emphasis on combating terrorist travel. hostile nationstates and criminal organizations, the be so waiver program, unmanned aerial assistance and the office of violence terrorism prevention. they use a multi tiered approach to protection. . the us government has been successful in preventing another 9/11 we still have more to do to strengthen our screening abilities with a strategic framework is to prevent terrorist and other hostile actors to deny them the opportunity of domestic and international travel system one is critical to accomplishing the goal the screening of vetting programs are in the form as a
passport as well as other data provided by the traveler . s with a strategic framework is to prevent terrorist and other hostile actors to deny them the opportunity of domestic and international travel system one is critical to accomplishing the goal the screening of vetting programs are in the form as a passport as well as other data provided by the traveler executive order 137080 is to establish management and information sharing criteria and to ensure risk coming from those deficiencies and that they are mitigated. it is similar to the improvement made to the labor program. the visa waiver program expressly required dhs to
consolidate foreign government information sharing and border security and legislation for lost and stolen stolen passport recording information sharing criteria developed through the executive order is also through international norm and reflected in un security council resolution 2396 and through best practices. explaining the criteria and the expectations how they are implemented through officials at diplomatic channels countries from every continent are complying with criteria. dhs has interagency approved processes which has also helped to review every governments performance with this criteria that leverages the practical experience of personnel who work within the government and intelligence
data on the relative risk and through this routine review to in seat receive improved cooperation for example one country were instituted a dormant program to identify criminals another helped to revoke the visas of the most notorious criminals including one that was in route to the united states also another reviews there visa application also helping the command center to adopt more secure passports or to the interpol database for the first time eight also report for the first time irregularity to improve us and international security the travel restrictions that remain in place are there to mitigate the risks of the foreign government that are unwilling or unable to adhere for go
that travel restrictions are conditional and will remain in place only as long as necessary to reduce the national security risk deficiency is identified they may adjust adjusting the travel restrictions and to make improvements from april 2018 by establishing identity management and information sharing criteria dhs is modernizing not only analog passport data. thank you. >> down to the final witness. >> thank you chairman adler and ranking members and distinguish committee members thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. the focus of my testimony is
over one week. two and a half years ago to comply with the executive order 13769. congress receiving the executive order to take immediate steps of policy guidance to comply with the order to work very closely with the department of state on multiple occasions despite the actions we took to comply with the order progress report entry to allow to withdraw the application for admission and to process for waivers and to take immediate action as necessary to modify the policies by various court orders and implementation. cbp leadership performed admirably to ensure all
infected traveler - - affected travelers were deeded with dignity treated with dignity and respect. to comply with the executive order two and a half years ago the proclamation currently in effect asking that the travelers apply for a visa thank you and look forward to your questions. >> thank you for your testimony we will now proceed to the question - - to the members questions of the committee and then have the opportunity to question these witnesses for five minutes. i will begin with myself. we know the department of state can improve waivers that the data that we received in july said the state department
doesn't know the number of individuals currently under review. is that correct madame chairman, let me first correct the record on the number of waivers. as a said in my testimony, we have issued more than 7600 waivers which is considerably more. that is due to the change of the process which makes a significant difference. >> i appreciate that but is it true you don't know quick. >> we do know. but that number changes daily. >> so that report was inaccurate. >> know. it reflected what we knew at the time but that has
changed. >> yes it has. >> it is my understanding from the feedback we have received from constituents looks like some officers had supplementary materials is this a consistent and coherent policy it was created rapidly and at that point officers who did not have familiarity with the process were briefed on the provisions of what they were and all the different requirements. >> i need to interrupt you said the provision of the application is there an
application process quick. >> know. what i said. >> then i misheard you. >> there's a gentleman here we met early this morning getting her phd and was born in iran but as a permanent resident of norway. and that's his fiancée. waiting for several years no application cannot get any information is there a way to apply cracks now this person is a resident of norway to have their wedding here quick. >> of course. as i mentioned in the testimony they will consider the application it is an automatic process.
>> but there is no application. >> they need the information it asks about purpose of trave travel, type of visa the individual is seeking. and they have the applicant right there. is not available at that time. >> so that is discretionary. >> all of us want our country to be safe. there is no exception every single member of this committee once the country to be safe. however some of the examples lebanon is not on the list.
so i'm just struck and venezuela is on the list but nobody is subject to the band from venezuela. when those 57 waivers it with the last election they are not on the list. so it seems to be singling out these countries whose residents are primarily muslim as a basis for assessing the threat is irrational. >> and those who don't pose a threat or what your religion is or how a two -year-old would pose a threat it is a mystery to us.
so i'm wondering if we cannot come up with a process to keep us safe i see my time is expired and i want to set a good example for the rest of the hearing so i now recognize the chairman for his question. >> thank you. >> so when they apply for a visa to be automatically reviewed. >> that's correct. >> so they don't need a new application. >> it makes no sense to apply for a visa. >> looking back at the 2015
law. and with iraq and syria to effectively have a travel ban are you familiar with that? but then dhs secretary jay johnson added several countries to the list. so you end up under the obama administration iraq and sudan. >> correct. and now it became outrageous policy and xenophobic muslim band and without moral and philosophic that's what i heard from the chairman of the judiciary committee the trump administration didn't just pull the names out of their
hat. basically as the previous administration with the addition of north korea and venezuela. so it's interesting to hear this inflammatory language being used. so will this change for any of the countries or any others in the world cracks spent the basic immigrant visa application has not changed. >> doesn't ask about religion quick. >> it does not. >> so do they ask about religion and interview quick. >> know they don't. and with that adjudication process.
>> are there countries that provide information that they cannot trust the us information. and not just in this effort but we see that which is possible and then we will not accept on the watch list because of the political dissidents are on that list so you have to evaluate by country. >> so then they expand so one
example of korea not participating or cooperating with the criteria of the information sharing. one of this criteria is to share that passport exemplar you give us a symbol of the passport in order to detect fraud but if we don't have that it's very difficult for off officers to see if it is fraudulent and north korea does not provide the exemplars or any information sharing criteria. >> with that proclamation. >> from my point of view with
executive order a lot of the work done under section five made significant improvements to the vetting process. >> are there individuals based on national security concerns that would not have been denied? under the manual screening process quick. >> i'm sorry repeat the questio question. >> you say under the new process we just introduced versus the old manual screening process? they are identical. so the new system is just as secure much faster.
>> at the state department there was one person for the proclamation to that policy is that correct and with those offices abroad and then you see the men and women who serve our country every day they go to the language training i know these are men and women who were doing the best job possible but also represent the values of our country. so the proclamation states counsel our officers have the discretion.
>> that's correct. >> do you believe they have the sole discretion quick. >> yes i do. >> who makes the final decision of somebody who does not receive waiver quick. >> they are based on three review prongs. the counselor officer makes the decision on the first two which is national interest and undue hardship they are unable to make independently the third decision without referring the case back to washington. >> so washington makes the final determination quick spirit the final determination is not made in washington on that case but what washington does is conduct a deep dive intensive review of each case and in the results that are
derogatory from that review will be provided back to the counselor officer. >> i would imagine for any visa applicant, coming from india or any other country we would have a secure vetting process. >> correct. >> is that vetting process , does that counselor agent have the ability to clear that security quick. >> know. the only clearance it is sent back to washington is called a security advisory opinion that is the initial automated checks with a visa application to reflect any derogatory or a red line and the case is set back for detailed interagency review. up until the new modern i.c.e. system was introduced those
cases got the extra deep dive manual review as other cases from other countries do not require that accounts from the lengthy delays. >> with the new automated processes that your sense that you will close the gap with those seven countries quick. >> yes it is making a very significant difference the information the committee cited earlier 5 percent the number is higher than that now. >> but we can certainly provide. >> to think about this to have
a thorough vetting process to keep bad guys out of the country but they don't just come from seven countries they can come from anywhere. and to have that zero guidance and to have that ability and of the visa office in that process who makes the final decision on that waiver or is it all automated quick. >> know it's not automated. look at all other aspects it are they qualified for those benefits they are seeking? if they are not that it is not
sick consistent is this one of the exceptions? if it is not than the counselor officer considers the grounds with national interest and undue hardship and that's in the best position to decide that. >> is it possible to say why they were denied quick. >> generally we have information the system was with this process in mind we are operating on legacy systems so most information is included in the database.
>> we can provide whatever we can. >> your time is expired. >> and as pointed out the list of countries is born out of the past administrations the last administration when coming before congress talking about security concerns they had republicans and democrats conservatives and the liberals were all working together with the administration with national security concerns to identify we have seven countries on the list may be 2 percent of the world muslim population is not included on this list.
the top ten majority muslim one - - majority muslim nations in the world and there are concerns with individual countries that leads to the current administration coming before congress just like the last administration did because they still have issues. so you can argue they are in the worst place they and the last administration. our great employees to execute vetting don't have a partner on the other side because your partner in the syrian government for the yemenis government we have some documentation to identify we
have a question can you assist. there's a lot of countries all over the world but the documentation is verifiable when the country has been completely destabilized to the point we don't have that willing partner of the documentation with that extra vetting that is not required. yemen was overthrown by the houthis. with this current risk even majority muslim. >> it is really important progressive think it's important that you are here for americans to understand that component and those that are on the list that have been significantly destabilized by factors to impact our ability.
so to walk us through through documentation and how do you make up for a lack of documentation? can somebody speak to that vetting piece? >> in the security realm that speaks to the fact those that carry out terrorist attacks. we are very cognizant of that so with the obama administration to strengthen
the vetting system and that apparatus has my colleagues have testified to is to be able to identify the individual we tried to do that to make sure the person presenting with any information we can get. >> in those countries that we have been reviewing that are based on that 2015 law with that recognition we are concerned and to implement a very robust process to identify the criteria to adhere to to ensure with
identity management to help us detect that is a child sexual predator or a terrorist. there is no one solution any times of is brought into the country that is what we have said we are willing to bear because that is the nation and foundation of our country to invite others to join us. we want to do that with risk in mind. we know terrorist do want to attack a country and we believe this effort under the proclamation has enhanced our security. but otherwise it is kind of boring with information sharing protocols. and then to say you really need to do better but because we pay attention.
>> gentlemen's time is expired but to the visa waiver program they would do not deny visa those i could be subject to the visa waiver program. not just nationals but those who travel to the area where isis is military to ask unanimous consent. that terrorist improvement travel act to include iran and iraq in sudan and syria.
>> i don't object to things that i object to the comments surrounding. and certainly they will be part of the record but there is not an appropriate way quite frankly for me to respond to those. >> noted for the record with unanimous consent with that part of the record returned to the judiciary committee. >> thank you madam chairman. >> you stated the countries on the ban. but we trust the information from russia.
>> i think what i said is that the way in which they manage their identity and the types of information that they share and what they don't share with us brings a certain amount of risk. >> today share everything with us quick. >> with respect to specific countries we have to move into classified session. >> that is not in or open. >> what about china quick. >> to we trust information from china quick. >> with respect to proclamation 9645. >> china and russia are not predominantly muslim countries, are they quick to my department homeland security does not assess that. >> come on. china and russia are not predominantly muslim countries.
you can look that up in the encyclopaedia britannica or wikipedia. so to discuss the initial announcement of the airports with the leadership of the cbp january 2017 were you or anyone else in cbp shown the draft of the first ban before it was issued in january 2017 quick. >> no sir. >> reappointed to any conversations to bar muslims from the united states quick. >> i was not. >> it sounds like no one was consulted according to the inspector general, dhs and its components had no opportunity to put input from the cag
report revealed two days before acting cbp commissioner received a detailed summary from the congressional staff that was in the executive order instead of at the white house. was the shown to the commissioner was at the executive order that it was coming to be shared with cbp staff quick. >> can you clarify your question quick. >> did any of this information shown to the commissioner through executive order shared with dhs leadership without extensive media reporting was this shared with cbp staff quick. >> not to my knowledge i would refer to the inspector general. >> they cannot make any per preparations for the executive order. >> prior to the executive
order anyone in leadership given advanced warning that it would need to be implemented immediately like. >> no. >> with that immediately policy change is at unusual quick. >> it is a typical and then we would give some feedback but it is unusual. >> what usually happens quick. >> and then to provide feedback quick. >> one month later with the executive order 13780 we had a comprehensive rollout strategy with the department. >> that is normal procedure quick. >> what i could say we are
poised through the executive order. >> so with that first iteration of the band is it surprising that would cause mass confusion and chaos and there was confusion. >> and not the obvious. and any reason the chaos could have been avoided? there was no chaos although this was significant work at the tim time.
>> my time is expired. high-yield back. >> im perplexed by the title of this hearing oversight by the trump administration muslim than has been vetted a couple of times here those that are on the travel ban only make up 8 percent of the muslim population. and as my democratic colleague can contend is to ban muslims doing a poor job of it because 92 percent. but once again week after week bashing the trump
administration to influence the 2020 election. that's all that's happening in this committee day after day, week after week from the party of impeachment. that seems conservative in my opinion. so miss newman, with the us department of homeland security with the executive orders proclamation. >> thank you for your question as noted in my testimony the secretary highlighted for the strategic framework with the information sharing
relationships to regularly prioritize engagement against other priorities and there is no competition against the agencies to allow the dhs with the colleagues at the state department that sharing information for purposes of security is critical to ensure all of our safety and it has allowed us to better prioritize our system one of the things that might be getting lost as we are able to use this tool as the assessment to follow along with engagement because most efforts are engaging countries
to encourage them to strengthen the capabilities to report lost and stolen passports and make a long-term investment into our system so by having this systematic routine and deliberative review process and then work with the department of state. >> into improve national security. because of that work the work under section five in particular to have access to
real-time classification and also my understanding to provide a clearinghouse for real-time classified information and then to make those informed decision decisions. >> i yield back my time. >>. >> in reference to the chaos at the airports it may not feel that way too cbp but i was one of the first members to go to the airport and it was absolute chaos.
and then with the aclu and then to stop a plane that people were incorrectly turned away and that was is devastating for green card holders. 92 percent of muslims not everybody in that discriminated class to be discriminatory so let's just talk about those original countries and those two that are not better in north korea have very different waiver rates. the supreme court upheld the
third iteration on the waiver position that would keep the ban from being a blanket ban. so mister t9 there are three factors to evaluate and then to pose a national security threat and that's in the national interest. >> correct. isn't there a process for the individual to affirmatively for those factor. >> as part of the visa application process. >> so no there's no way for the individual to address these. so with them state department to rule on 30000 applications between december 82017 and octo. >> correct. >> and according to the state department they have granted
waivers and 5 percent of the cases. >> at that time that is correct. >> on among iranians the approval rate is one.3 percent. >> at the time. >> march 2019 approval rate with north korea was 72 percent. >> yes. >> in terms of venezuela zero have been subjected so they don't have to be considered for a waiver. >> that's right. just granting five.1 percent of workers in those only to the waiver approval rate is 72 percent or zero because no venezuelans have been subjected but the waiver
granted rates from iran is one.3 percen one.3 percent, syria five.4 percent commie olivia 7 percent. long - - olivia long - - libya so they are discriminated against unless you believe all the people in those countries somehow deserve they have a very low approval rating. >> as i mentioned we have significantly updated data that report is almost one year old. >> i would love to see that data it is supposed to have been posted already we got the most recent data that we have which is through march 31st , 2019 it is not one -year-old but it is all that it should have an updated report it is not on the website i would love it if you provide me with statistics that are different.
are you saying they are significantly different than what i have quoted quick. >> yes they are. as i mentioned, 7600 waivers have been granted which is more than double of the total at that time. >> what is the total number. >> of waivers quick. >>. >> what about the applicants you can't just look at waivers but how many people applied just to say it has double doesn't make sense if you also double or triple the applications. >> i do have data on that there is approximately 31334 through september 14, 2019. we have data by country. in we have information on a number of waivers issued by country. . . . .
is a rule. not one member across the aisle stopped there five minutes on time and we are going overtime to one minute and 15 seconds beyond the time that's interesting to me and then just pointing it out because that is the way this has been. so i want to ask someone said why aren't they on this list, that was the implication. so, my question to you is when we start talking about china and russia and you tell us, and maybe you can't end this long classified setting.
i cannot talk about the specifics, but if you will allow me to explain the process, let me go through what might help answer in a roundabout way. on the 180 day cycle they are working with partners at state to request information all countries across the globe. those are all identified public information. when we go through the process of updating how people are doing, we are asking questions
like did we see people reporting within the country reporting, so we have posts at the embassy reporting back on the status to the country's adherence to the criteria and collecting information from operators. the customs and border protection officials are seeing certain trends perhaps fraudulent task force trends. we take all of that and assess against a pretty rigorous rubric and we would be happy and closed settings to brief on that and then on the other side coming you have the country leaving those criteria. it leads one to ask under the
obama administration the secretary pursuant to the statute that has now been brought up to the record gave a list of countries. it didn't mention russia or china. were they adhering to the process of the obama administration that they felt were appropriate five years ago under the obama administration for it's to be added and didn't see fit to include them on the list. i'm going to make my comments. they make recommendations whether any of the countries that are currently facing travel restrictions have still improved
if the status is changed in some way and we also reports this has determined a country poses a significant risk to the united states because of the deficiency and it has been at the time to make the decision. we've seen them nominated. 200 countries, everybody has room to improve and we are working very hard for a variety of mechanisms including the programs that are concerned about the flow coming out of syria which is why it passed the act to make sure all of the tools in the toolkit apply to this potential challenge so everybody has room to improve.
they are passed in various policies, that is true. >> june of 2017 became the second and third version of the muslim ban, more than 100 signed a memo that said, quote, banning travelers calls back to some of the worst times in history. they hav had to get approval frm the state department. the national interest and undue hardship and then the interagency security review provides guidance.
>> so it's not a decision you get to make. as the white housis the white hn that decision? >> not at all. >> another former official at sign up process to cnn that fellow officers felt pressure to review as few as possible for the waiver it was by the layers and it can be easy to forget that it's even happening. it looks like congress hasn't forgotten and i have a signed testimony from four former episodes i would like to enter into the record. >> gets put into the record by unanimous consent. >> the ambassador john foley said he can no longer represent
president trump and still hold true to the value that makes this country great. among the policies he listed were the muslim ban. in the end, how many diplomats and officers assigned to this protesting the ban? >> we don' >> we don't have an exact number for you. >> will you be able to get back that number by how do you respond to the claim that the officers have t to get the waivh your office? >> i would say as i said before, the officers make the determination of the first two, national interest and undue hardship and at the security check is conducted back here in washington. you are saying that his claim is false?
>> how do you respond to the claim that the officers are implicitly or explicitly pressured to deny the waiver's? >> we are not pressuring anyone to act in any way contrary to the wall. >> how do you respond to the claim shared by all the people that signed the memo that the ban is that the trail of american values? >> he's certainly entitled to his opinion on that. was the role in formulating the reiterations of the ban?
>> i'm not aware of any role played by stephen miller. >> it wasn't at the department in january. >> what instructions were they given from the white house on how to implement the ban? >> i wasn't given any instruction from the white hou house. i wasn't at the department in january of 2017. >> we were not consulted about the first consecutive order we turn now to the gentleman from north dakota, mr. armstrong. >> we have three car accidents in a weekend drove to the
highest percentage with 750,000 people so when we talk about the percentages the first question is how many people from north korea actually apply? >> very few. we have 115 so when we are talking about a 72%, i'm just going to go to 100 because i don't do math very well. all the countries that have gotten grants, who are the fewest numbers printed? >> according to the data, north korea has five and 78 are issued an exception to the proclamati proclamation. that's the smallest number. you are absolutely correct the entire group doesn't have to be discriminated against but i also agree with the correlation and
causation it's being referred to constantly as the muslim ban. indonesia, india and pakistan are 13, 11% in total worldwide muslim population soap if you were dealing with this in that manner if that was your ultimate goal wouldn't it make sense to have them on the list? >> i would defer to homeland security. >> i know you can't speak to the specifics but these are supposed to be temporary, correct and as we are in more sharing information we know chad came off the list but what do other countries have to do to work to get off the list? >> we have a rubric and in
closed session with we would ho review some aspects of the. across a variety of criteria in the categories of identity management and sharing, we would need to see improvements and we are not looking for a gold standard which is maybe you look at the standards we these are kind of minimal capabilities we are looking for the country to have so again the purpose isn't because of anything other than we need to know the passports being presented as the individual that it says it is and we need to know that individual in their home country has a criminal record or known suspected terrorist. that is kind of what this comes down to we need you to tell us more about this relationship and have that conversation and you need a certain basic infrastructure to be able to do those tasks. would it be fair to say countries are bad actors in
other ways? this is a very specific thing even if they are bad actors in other ways they could be complying here am i correct? >> this is a tailored tool to prevent terrorists and serious criminals from being able to gain entry into the country. when we talk about iraq one of the things we forget as we have a relationship from countries well over a decade and that is one of the reasons out of the government interacting we actually have knowledgebase to deal with individuals that are applying. >> that's correct and we take into account that kind of relationship that may get us access to information to be able to do those identity checks. and i would contrast that with everybody is former fbi director that testified in front of this committee in 2015 and he said we
can only go against that which we have collected so if someone hasn't made a ripple in the pond in a way that would get their identity or interest reflected in the database weekend cleared the database until the cows come home but nothing will show up because we have no record of the person. it's only on what you have collected and with respect to iraq this is where they have the relationship so if you don't have any information we are talking about moving to the third from if you don't have any information at all you cannot have any identifying marks on somebody that is going through the process. what happens next? >> the cases brought back to washington electronically given an intensive screening by various partner agencies. we could freeze in more detail
in a classified setting but that is exactly what their responsibility is to try to see is there anything under the u.s. government holdings that might be derogatory that might represent -- >> the gentleman from new york is recognized. >> what we go back to january, 2017 as it is stated by a colleague nadler at jfk airport and i also was at jfk airport. like the chairman was there with another member of congress, i deplore to a terminal where i was the only member of congress or three people coming from the muslim ban countries being detained. there was a student from nyu being received by one of the professors that did life-saving
research at the university that was being detained. there were two other family members that were members of the armed forces, a mother and a wife. one of the members refused to speak to the press or any of us until he spoke to one of his superiors. he wanted some guidance as to what was the protocol of the members before he spoke to the press or any of us. that underscores the kind of allegiance he has to the nation. we were assisted by the office of immigrant affairs at new york city and eventually these cases were resolved. i inter the facility and to say to somebody because he had
offereall characteristics of a jailhouse and i was approached by members of your department and surrounded by them there was about seven of them surrounded by me as i advocated for these three individuals. what is your protocol within your department on the implementation of the ban but you may have been in disarray but i was surrounded by members of your department. do you have a policy when addressing someone advocating words not just a member of congress but attorney, community organization, is there a policy to deal with people that advocate for folks being detained related to members of the armed forces you have a policy for the?
>> we do have a policy for congressional engagement essentially members of congress are to advise a headquarters and make arrangements for the courtesy to make arrangements visiting the port of entry. >> are we entitled to ask to speak to one of the superiors of the members of customs and border patrol that are deployed to these airports? >> as you do arrive at the facilities and we know that you are there we should give you the courtesy to come home and speak with you. >> is there a way i can communicate with one of the superiors because i was denied the opportunity. >> is a protocol in place whereby you will contact congressional affairs in washington at a national level and they will make arrangements.
>> i am 5-foot nine and i was surrounded by folks i suspect for over 6 feet tall and several of them over 200 pounds. i never carry a weapon nor have i ever held a weapon in my hands. you perceive me to be a threat to them? >> i can't speak to that instance. i understand your frustration and i don't know what happened, so i can't speak to it. let me state for the record in my efforts to advocate for the folks including a student at nyu high school and college and to members of the armed forces i enter what looked to be a holding facility in the jail. i was accosted by members of customs and border patrol denied my right to contact one of the
superiors and i thought that was a very threatening moments not just for me but for any americ american. >> the gentleman yields back into the gentle lady from texas is recognized. >> good morning and thanks to the witnesses for coming today. in my view it's another tactic in this administrations use of anti-immigrant policies. it's infected several of our districts including my very own in texas and for the record let me state maybe the witness doesn't think it was chaos but certainly the inspector general, the international airport in houston was in my view complete chaos. there were news reports all of those showing the chaos but it's so hard for me to believe we
have with us today and in my district, some of this confusion and fear and frustration still exists. we have a constituent that reached out in my office who states and these are direct quotes more than two and a half years ago my life changed when i met my now fiancé and decided to apply shortly after becoming engaged in turkey but much to our dismay after applying some of the ban was expanded and include applicants and since then i've not been able to be with my fiancé. the embassy where he had more than 14 months ago it's still an administrative process with no change or update since july of
2018. i've tried reaching out to the senators but had no luck and i received a message from senator cornyn applying the cause and not offering any help for the case. metaphorically it was another door shut. the past few years have taken a toll on my dreams yet my faith keeps me strong. if there's anything you can do to help, i would be grateful. madam chair i would like her entire statement to be entered into the record. >> without objection. it seems there is still a lot of backlog and distress on so many people still waiting. i asked each one of you very quickly because i'm only going to ask one question why is it taking so long?
the longest source was the intensive security clearance checks that had to be done in the cases and again starting in july of this year we improved the speed of the process. >> we look forward to those. >> the one case you mentioned if you will let our team now. >> i share your concern for security checks take so long and i would like to point out we can go to the closed session and discuss this further but for a lot of the populations not just the seven countries the process takes a long time and we've been working for several years. i will defer to the department
of state. i will yield the rest of my time to my colleagues. thank you. i just wanted to follow up who at the state is working on the review report and how do we know you are doing the review? >> the process i was describing earlier the conduct of every 180 days and report at the end of the process. >> earlier you said the state was not consulted in regards to the formulation. how did you know how to implement it and what challenges
existed? it was definitely very challenging and we didn't have any advanced notice or consultation. >> the gentleman from colorado is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you madam chair. i first want to echo the words of my colleagues and associate the remarks of policy we are examining today runs counter to our american values. from its inception the nation has been a beacon of hope since
the moment president of trump went into office he and his administration encountered these ideas with anti-immigrant policies like the one we are addressing here today. established and successfully ran her own business which was closed. she's currently in the united kingdom on a student visa. the united kingdom has allowed for the two of them to remain
together while they await the outcome to the process and however the temporary status in the uk is about to expire which would force them to separate. this would cause them hardship and put both of their lives and physical dangers to u.s. citizens on unfair. with the completion of the degree the father is suffering from an illness in colorado and zachary is being forced to undergo the event of decisions about the well-being of their te family and safety of one another with no definitive resolution in sight so i just cannot raise it more straightforward than after submitting they had no criminal history, no assumption of the threat or risk to be rejected simply because of the national origin or religion it is simply un-american to discriminate against immigrants simply
because of where they come from. i share that story because i think individual stories can get lost in some of the debate we're havinweare having about the tecl intricacies of immigration law in the way the presidential population has been implemented and i hope that each of you will take these stories back to your colleagues because these are people who are struggling under what i believe to be immigrant order. i want to yield the balance of my time and we have other members that would like to get questions in as well. following up on the representatives point as you all know, and i think it's been in the hearing already the population requires dhs to produce the report every 180 days to the president, and it sounds as though in the prior exchange that has happened, is that correct quite how that happened every 100 days, and are
those reports public? you can understand the difficulty we would have as members of congress from an oversight perspective when there is a representation of this being done for security reasons and apparently those would be within the substance of the report. if none of us have access to that document info to be able to apply as to whether or not in fact the department of homeland security is working to ascertain the security so that countries can be lifted up off of the order it is a hard argument for us to take it seriously, and we are not the only ones that have that skepticism. justice sotomayor discussed this but they haven't been fully
disclosed to the public in a few conclusions disclosed appeared to not have justified the demand. pointing to documents and other lawsuits, she expressed doubts and the review of hundreds of countries and vetting practices which as you said takes a long time and would result in an agency of a mere 10 107 pages, o you can understand why this committee is very skeptical and we will continue the oversight we are engaged in today. with that, i was yield back my time. >> the gentle man is recognized. >> we have heard a lot about national security, and i think that it bears repeating that there hasn't been a single terrorist attack committed on the u.s. soil by any of the muslim man countries. we have had attacks by saudis, pakistanis, every single case my colleagues have mentioned from a country that is not on the list of the notion we trust these
others to work with us is obviously preposterous. we've heard about the list of the obama administration produced a few years ago. actually, iraq was on the list and is not now on the travel ban list. one reason because influential iraqis and the pentagon frantically lobbied the white house last minute. let's talk about a country that is on the list. iran. we don't like the government we are on their side and we know that it has nothing to do with 9/11. it is to say to the iranian people even as we claim to be on
their side none of them are trustworthy enough to come to the united states unless they can go through this proving that the denial would cause them undue friction. we are looking for partners in the government to help us figure out who can safely come to the united states. we are waiting for a partner in the government before we allow the iranian grandmother to come visit in the united states. that's why we are in the process and the proclamation. let me give you a specific case.
leila, human rights lawyer, iranian human rights lawyer, director of the center for human rights in iran, she bravely defended iranian dissidents before the revolutionary courts in this country and was forced into exile. she lived in the united kingdom. the passed resolutions condemning iran, are we waiting for an iranian partner or government partner to allow her to come to the united states? i don't have any details on a particular case. >> with specific security checks are conducted.
when the citizens of the countries or responsible for 100% of the terrorist attacks that have been committed in the country. what checks are we conducting on the folks that are not conducting the nationals of those countries can anybody answer that >> the executive orders that were issued in the hearing, these applicants will be checked more closely when they first arrive. it might be furthering anti-fraud review or some sort of extra and analysis done at the post. then if the individual that qualified for the waiver it would be sent into the interagency review back here.
that's up until july of 2019 was a very manual labor intensive time, intensive process for the partner agency. that process is also being used for other visa applicants. >> we are subjecting these people from countries that have committed no terrorist attacks to more onerous vetting and security checks and on top of that in order to get the waiver if you are from pakistan, lebanon, explain to me the national security justification. >> the security checks that have been referred to are also done from other countries. it's the same process.
>> if it's the same process, why haven't? >> is between the waiver situation and the visa process. >> the time is expired. we will go to the gentle lady from florida. >> thank you all for coming here this morning. now, i want to take just one second and put partisanship aside. you hear from the minority party many times that democrats don't care about the safety of the communities. keeping the community safe is why i've been advocating for gun reform since i got into congress in january. that using a muslim man as a
basis for national security is completely false. it is a sham and many people have agreed on that issue. i just want to talk a little bit about how this affects american citizens who may not look like any of the witnesses and the panel today but who are american citizens and are paying the consequences of this ineffective ban. i want to talk a little bit about the family and my community. they came to the united states years ago and lived in miami. he probably worked his way through the immigration process and was so proud when he became a u.s. citizen, a privilege that i mysel am myself and several ms and several colleagues share the same privilege we are u.s. citizens and also immigrants. in may of this year, the
president's muslim ban restrictions quickly solved the process. if the parents were stuck in limbo waiting for answers and their hard-working people, they are not criminals, they are not terrorists but they are very confused. after months of waiting they didn't have the same luck. because of this, a good family has been ripped apart. she doesn't know when he's going to be able to see his father again and the possibility of reuniting the family every single day and as we know, the story is not unique. it's infected hundreds of thousands of people based on
unfair criteria and i think what is clear is that it isn't simply about stopping people of the muslim faith. it's a proclamation that is based on fear. it is send right and it goes against our american values. with each iteration of the muslim ban, a bipartisan coalition of dozens of national security officials who've worked in both democratic and republican administrations have rejected the basis that it was used based on national security. the trump administrations homeland security, dhs, analysis disputed the benefits which have remained the primary justification for this band and the report of the office indicated it's an unreliable indicator of a threat to the
united states they are rarely implicated so i want to ask you my first question do you disagree with this report and if so on what grounds? the office of intelligence analysis and can't you remind me the date of that fax i think that it was back in 2017. i don't have the exact date. i have the recollection and i apologize their independent as they provided their assessment. my testimony and my focus has been on 9645. it's focusing on the false premise.
not with the identity of credentialing the information sharing that that individual is associated with is sufficient in order for us to know that they are who they say they are. so without, it's hard for me to comment specifically but from what you read -- >> it is basically it isn't a reliable indicator on the nationality. >> the young lady's time has expired. >> we are just now getting to the muslim ban and when you think back on the last two and a half, almost three years, all of these policies that have been rolled out its hard to keep
track just how rapidly it has happened. these hearings are important because they help shed light on the pole with the policies take into there is a real human toll. i would like to briefly ask for unanimous consent to allow the testimony a story from one of my constituents that has been listening to the impact. they've been waiting for this waiver and during the year and a half but they've been apart, they suffered financial hardship, emotional hardship but they've grown despond and, very depressed, lots of anxiety. the impact has been devastating so i have a couple questions about that but i do want to also
say we don't have to sacrifice our values in order to obtain and retain security. it is absolutely possible to be a secure nation and celebrate and uphold our values all at one. my first question, my constituent has been waiting. why is the process taking so long? >> it took time to set up at the beginning and the security tracks require intense checks required to issue the largest source of delay. we are very cognizant of the impact and we are working as hard as we can to minimize the.
>> each applicant has to wait in line and considering the time some have had to live through, how do you keep track of the order of people in line? >> we do expedite cases of humanitarian concern and we regularly contact embassies and consulates and ask them if you are aware of an urgent case particularly in the first year of the process when the security vetting was much lower, we wanted them to signal to us that this was an emergency case and we would do our best. >> you said a question of resources.
it's a question of resources and capabilities and partner agent needthese that have to do the th died research but as i mentioned beginning in july, the large part of that is now automated and so just in the past two months we doubled the number. there will be more and more going forward from this time ensure some are being issued today. we expect there will be a significant decrease in time for everybody. >> i have a question about those folks who were not offered a waiver in the first iterations and now under the third iteration are they being reconsidered? >> any case at any time even if the initial decision is in denial if an applicant chooses to reapply it again because the circumstances are different, we will consider that case.
>> are we able to have copies of the rules that have each iteration x did the congress gea copy of that? the processes and policies you are using to evaluate. >> we did provide a variety of guidance information and other directives to the committee in response to a written request from the chair. we can breathe on the security clearance process in the closed session if you would like. if there's a particular case the team is happy to look into that and wha let you know what's goig on. >> my time has expired. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. >> thank the chair for this hearing. i think the witnesses as well. many of us have been on the
floor on many occasions. as i was, let me thank all of you as public servants for the work you do even though the policies of which you are here for help i believe had no grounding in reality opposing a difficult posture. then we move on to 2017, iran, libya move onto september 24 and venezuela. but they try to ask state department were you involved in the iterations of these executive orders? not for the first version but
subsequently there was an interagency process that reviewed the executive orders. >> in the rush to the first one, you were not engaged. >> we had no advanced consultation. >> as noted by the inspector general, no one had widespread confusion pandemonium in the administration noting that they are charged to the customs and border protection did you know anything as the first was issued? >> i became aware after the signature. >> officers of the nations airports, international airports confronted with travelers that have already left their place of departure coming into the united states, left their place of departure and had no knowledge
of the change in policy. >> we had people in the real-time travel. >> the documents such as the tourist visa that would be detrimentally impacted. >> potentially, yes. with that in mind i know how orderly it is and don't put your officers in jeopardy and might have been impacted in such a way that inappropriate behavior on both parts might have occurred with the groups not knowing what was going on. >> as i mentioned earlier, since it was effective immediately and we were notified after signature it was a challenging implementation. >> do you think it might have put the visitors in fear that
have legitimate -- >> let me beg to differ with you a 16-year-old who lived in the united states and led a green card, was a high school student and i was called to the airport and have great respect for those individuals that were there for your agency. this individual got off the airplane and had gone home to renew his documents. we got them back from jordan, he looked every bit a part of the diverse youth be trained and he
was here improving his english but when he was questioned he looked as if he was going to school here and he was detained. his family couldn't access them, no one could access him for this bubut cannot collar, blue jeans, just like any of our teenagers and he was immediately after they be staying in a detention cell he was fearful for his life because he is coming here unknown to what is going on and was sent to a children's center in chicago. my office along with his lawyers worked to turn that into a short stay versus the ones we see today. six months, four months, do you believe that he was afraid to? >> he could have very well been afraid that we treat everyone with dignity and respect and let them know what is going on in
the process antitrust the officers treated individual with dignity and respect on the case. >> the gentle lady from pennsylvania is recognized for five minutes. >> i just want to speak to the immediate impact at that time i wasn't in congress i was on the pro bono counsel and i ended up spending that long weekend organizing lawyers to go to various airports. to introduce into the record an article from the philadelphia inquirer from january 30, 2017 and reacted. >> those that were subject to
the ban those that have visas and green cards were sent back because the customs and border patrol didn't know how to deal with it, they were not allowed access to their attorneys and of course we have a large number of protesters outside. several other members have spoken to the experiences and was also denied and as is customs. >> with 7600 that have been granted. over 60,000 are subject to the ban and have applied.
can you give me a more specific number? >> the number i have here in terms is about 72,000. >> 72,000 people have applied and you have managed to put off 7600 waivers roughly half of them in the last six months. looking at the total numbers we have 72,000. >> that was the grand total of applications yes. >> 72,000 applications minus 7600 waivers then you also said there have been 31,000 refusals. >> approximately 15,000.
uup into the percentages were nt adding up. they were having trouble with it and i have a staff member that has an 86 showed grandfather from iran that used to regularly visit. she applied over a year ago. we have done congressional casework on this with no response. they should wait for a decision on these outstanding applications, who should they be contacting? >> you should still contact the department of state. >> we have done that. the process has significantly improved so we are seeing a lot more movement in the cases. >> who is operating the process in who has the final say on that? the
security clearance commenting on the nature. >> without objection. we will be in recess for five minutes for the other panel but before you leave the record will be open for five days. during which members may ask additional questions of the witnesses. we ask you respond promptly one of those will be how we can have those 15000 syrian refugees down to only 11 this year. so we will be in recess for five minutes and then we will have the second panel. [inaudible conversations]