tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 7, 2015 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT
cause of the surge. what i want this hearing to date to talk about and the incentives we create in this country and in our laws for people to come to this country legally. we are a nation of immigrants. we need to recognize the fact that people that come into the this country by and large are coming for the exact reasons our ancestors came. they are seeking the opportunity this country offers people. we need to understand that to a certain extent we need to respect that if it is done legally. we cannot tolerate an unsecure border and a policy of immigration that is based on illegal immigration. we have to look at the law and the incentives for immigration.
i would look at defered action of childhood arrivals as an incentive that creates this problem. that is what i want to gleam from the testimony and questions we are ask. people's lives are put at risk because of these incentives. the other point i want to make is the difficulty in getting the information to solve this problem. part of the problem there is we have three different departments with five different component agencies dealing with this and these children are passed from one department and agency to the other. we don't keep a record and each agency is charged with a certain responsibility in the process and there is no overall coordination of everybody's effort and i don't believe we are truly enforcing the laws the
way we were meant to. as a result we continue to incentvise illegal immigration. i will tun it over to ranking member carper. >> thank you for joining us. good to see you today. thank you for joining us for your testimony today. one of the things i think most of us here rather democrat or republican, it is important we address the young problems and the root causes underlying causes of the contribute to those problems. as the chairman said there is no one single reason why all of these people decided to come up to our country in droves the last couple of years. but i would suggest that one of the reasons why they want to come up here is because for a number of years they have lived horrible lives that we contributed directed to.
we buy a lot of illegal drugs up here coming from honduras guatemala and salvador. the gangs make money off the guns stole here. the environment for job creation in those three countries is not good because of it the lack of rule of law. when we deport people we don't always deport unaccompanied minors or families with children. but adults particularly adult males with a criminal record we send them right back down there and what do they do? they go to work. and the work they go to work on creates a more dangerous environment. so keep that in mind. we contribute directly to the very difficult lives in those countries and we have obligation
to do something about that. as the gentlemen says a year ago, we faced a crisis at the southern border. tens of thousands of women and children were turning themselves in seeking protection after a grueling trip from south america. our shelters do house these children and families. our government swung into action and sought to comply with the 2007 laws signed by former president jeb bush we setup emergency shelters, had agents border areas and worked to find safe homes for the children. we work would the governments of the three countries to launch what i call the true campaign. letting the people know about the dangers of a trip to the north; to the u.s. and we collaborated with the government
of mexico so they might strengthen their southern border and it has. and other support to local communities and faith leaders. one year later, we no longer have a crisis of the proportion we had a year ago. the numbers are down by a little more than half. in fact, while it is an improvement, is that enough improvement? no it is not. the crisis is over but we responsibilities to protect the children in our custody and have a moral obligation to treat them fairly. we must do this as they try to return to their own countries those that don't have the grounds to remain here. i look forward to hearing from witnesses on how they work together to process and care for many children.
our borders are better equipped today, to handle another influx of immigrants but triaz there is a lot of progress that needs to be made. i would like to focus on the immigration court system. as we know they were badly understaffed even before the surge, but with tens of thousands of new cases wait times are much worse and some immigrants were informed they might not getting a hearing until november of 2019. that is why i wrote to it senate appropriation committee to fund the urge of the new 55 judge teams and i am pleased to say they have been appointed. they will not solve the problem entirely but will be a help. we know the cases advance more efficiently when accompanied minors have a lawyer. not surprisingly most of the minors cannot afford one.
that is why in delaware and many other areas lawyers stepped up to offer pro-bono services. i could not be prouder to the attorneys in my state but still children all over are looking attorney. insuring efficient border patrol system is in place is important. but we must not lose sight of why so many folks feel the need to flee their country. if we don't realize the border integrity we need to work the honduras guatemala, and salvador and columbia and mexico and churches, non-profits to help root out the causes of violence and poverty in the northern triangle while we do the other stuff we are doing. not that many years we faced a similar challenge in columbia and most agree our support,
along with others helped turned the country around with implementing plan columbia. we be the economic advantage in that country help. violence has spiked and young people are vulnerable to gang violence. the governments must take the lead on this and they are. these three countries are already joined together in non-precedental actions to improve the lives of their systems. home depot says you can do it we can help. and they can do it we can help. senate appropriation will take up the request for new infusion of federal aid to central america and i hope the appropriates will head the call and by doing so new seeds of open prosperity that benefit
generations of children to come. needles in hay stacks. we are trying to pick out the needles. they are families trying to get through, drug owners human traffickers all trying to get through. the hay stack is huge and we need to make it smaller and to do that we need to support the administration's proposal like the new version of plan columbia. plan columbia worked and i think this will work as well. we have to do a whole lot of other stuff in the mean time. >> thank you, senator carper. i am all into cause analysis. i would agree. if you look at what is causing the unsecure border i would say the root cause is our demand for drugs. if you want a metric showing how unsecure our border is it is how much of the drugs we are taking.
it is about five to ten percent. the agency is spending $25 million on the war on drugs, however. i agree that is the root cause. but within that overall root cause of the overall problem there are individual situations and this is unaccompanyied children coming in. i think it is called deferred arrivals. it the tradition to swear in all people testifying. do you swear the testimony you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you. our first witness is juan osuna. mr. osuna served as the
associate deputy attorney general at the doj from june 2010-december 2010. from may 2009-june 2010 he was the deputy assistant in the civil division office of immigration and litigation. prior to this he water chairman of the board of graigszimmigration appeals. mr. osuna? >> if i could ask a favor. i am not real good at acronyms. dhs, ice, but in reading your testimony you use a lot of acronym acronyms and if you continue to that you will lose me. so try to show some carefulness there. >> good morning, thank you for the opportunity to speak about the mission of the department's
of executive office of immigration review. our role with the border surge and work we continue to do with our federal officers. we are looking at cases of kids that violated the laws and deciding which should be deported and which are eligible to stay. our all of our cases start when the department of homeland security files the charging document with one of the immigration courts. the largest problem is the growing pending cases load. there are more than 450,000 cases pending around the country. by far the most we have ever had. despite during the budget cuts when the agency was unable to fire judges and staff those and replace those who left. we continued to receive new
cases resulting in backlog. the court received more than 80,000 cases from july 14th 20 2014 and july of this year. we added 18 immigration judges and now there are 247 immigration judges around the country and more are at the various stages of the hiring process. we responded to the border surge by adding new priorities for existing priorities for detained cases. we added unaccompanied children and adults who arrive with children. we deare processing the cases consistently as possible consistent with due process. when we identified the new priorities the focus on the
cases has had an impact on the non-contained cases awaiting jud. overall 40% of case completions have been in priority categories meaning individuals detained by ice and those who cross the border since last year. the numbers provide insight into the work the immigration courts are doing. from july 18 2014 to june 30th of this year the immigration courts received approximately 35,000 cases that were identified as unaccompanied children. it is important to note the cases may not be pending before the court because the children are receiving relief from the removal which requires work by the immigration services that you will hear from a little later which has initial jurisdiction over the cases. the pending cases of
unaccompanied children is 23,000. with the goal holding the hearing within 21 days after receivinging the case i can report more than 27,000 cases had an initial hearing scheduled by the date that passed and immigration judges have issued 6,800 orders of removal. the orders result from failure to appear for scheduled hearing when ice established the person is removal. orders of removal has been issued in 5900 cases. children who appear in immigration court proceedings without an adult may require special care and modifications to normal procedures. we have a place guidance for cases where the respondant is an unaccompanied child and there may be special dockets for
children's case. 39 courts have current active juvenile dockets. immigration judges received specialized training regarding juvenile cases. we recognize that is presence of a representative can increase immigration court efficiency especially with children. we have taken steps to encourage pro-bono representation and we are assure the undocumented children are aware of the resources when they appear. we offer legal orientation program for child custodians and they are helped out with the rules and responsibilities. we launched a program operating in 24 immigration courts to provide direct representation to unaccompanied children. last year's surge caused issues for all federal agencies including ours.
we did dock lit adjustments, reprioritizing certain cases and rescheduling processes. we are focused on continuing to improve the collective handling of the challenging cases. thank you and i am happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you mr. osuna. our next witness is mr. mark greenberg who is the acting secretary for children and families at the u.s. department of health and human services -- hhs. we got that one right, rights? i like your acronyms. he is the principle deputy and secretary and administer for children, youth and families. he directed the center on inequality and public policy before serving in this currents position.
mr. greenberg? >> sorry. chairman johnson, ranking member carper, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. i will be describing the responsibilities of the department of health and human services in relation to compunaccompanied children. when they are referred to usficially they -- they are initially put in a shelter. when they arrive at a shelter a child is provided with a complete medical examineation within 48 hours and screenings are determined to see if the child was a victim of abuse, a crime or human trafficking. children in care receive medical, dental mental health
services education, access to legal and religion services and case management and counseling. while the children are in care at the shelters we have a responsibility to place them in the least restrictive setting in the best interest of the child taking into consideration the risk of harm to themselves or to the community or risk of flight. initially we seek the place children with a parent or a close relative or if that is not possible a more distant relative or family friend. if we can't identify an appropriate sponsor and the child doesn't get attain immigration relief the children will remain in hhs care until he or she turns 18 and then they will remand the 18-year-old to the custody of the department of homeland security. we seek to insure sponsorships
are safety and appropriate. we require sponsor's identity and relationship to the child. the potential sponsor must undergo a background check and complete an assessment identifying risk factors and other concerns and in a set of cases case workers provide home studies as an additional safety measure. as part of the placement process, potential sponsors must agree they will insure that the child appears at court proceedings and must agree to inform the department of justice and the department of homeland security of any change of address and in addition when we release the child to the sponsor, we provide the address information to the department of justice and department of homeland security. i want to now highlight key developments since last year's hearings. as you noted, last year it was the highest number of children in the history of the
unaccompanied children program. this year the numbers are down significantly though still high in historic terms. last year we received over 57,000 referrals from the department of homeland security in the first eight months of this year we received fewer than 18,000. last year the president directed the secretary of homeland security to establish an interagency group, the unified coordination group, to insure unity of effort across the administration. the ucg continues to operate with an ongoing role to facilitate requests from the department of homeland security or hhs if needed and this can include request for additional capability, operational coordination, planning support, situational assessment, critical transportation capabilities. for us operating the unaccompanied children program presents multiple challenges because of uncertainty of how many children will arrive and
when. incorporating lessons from last summer we developed the dead capacity framework to insure we have enough year-round standard beds with the ability to quickly add temporary beds when there are seasoninal flux-- seasonal flux. since 2011 we reduced the mount of time children stay in shelters from 72 days to a little more than 30 days. the average this year has been 34 days. we know sometimes a child may develop concerns about his or her placement and in april we expanded our help line in order to receive calls from children who are in distress circumstances. in addition starting this month, hhs is beginning to offer
posterly services to a child and sponsor in the first six months after release if a placement has been disrupted or at risk of disruption. in december of last year we published our interim final rules that outlined safeguards at all of our facilities have to implement to protect children in custody from sexual abuse. last september we provided funds to to two grantees to expand legal representation and on june 15th we issued a proposal for contractors to further expand the provision of legal services. we welcome working with the committee in congress in efforts to improve the program. thank you and i am happy to answer any questions. >> thank you, mr. greenberg. our next guest is phillip
miller. he is the director of ice and mr. miller served in a variety of positions. >> ice is good. >> we know that one. mr. miller served in a variety of positions beginning as an immigration inspector in 1996 and becoming a deportation officer in 1997. field office director of the new orleans field office in 2009. mr. miller >> thank you and good morning. chairman johnson, ranking member carper, and members of the committee, tong thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i currently serve as the assistant director for field operations for ice, enforcement removal operations where i oversee, direct and coordinate the activities throughout the nation's 24 field offices and their suboffices. this includes the transportation and removal of unaccompanied
children to ensure goals and compliance with agency policy. in 2014 there was an influx of children from central america to the united states. we continue to address this humanitarian border security issue in a manner that is comprehensive, coordinated and humane. ice is responsible for quickly and safely transporting unaccompanied children from the custody of u.s. custom and border protection to the custody of hhs. if ordered, the removal of these children following the conclusion of immigration proceedings. both of these functions are critical links. unaccompanied children are not housed in isis detention facility. but they require resources and time and attention of ice officers. during the time we obtain custody of the children impending their placement with
hhs such minors are separated from adult detainees and are provided with access to snacks drinks telephones and other resources. ice transports unaccompanied children via ground, commercial air and ice charter flights. all 24 ice field officers have primary and backup juvenile coordinate and each receive annual specialized children on the vulnerability of children. i performed this duty in 1999 and they serve as experts on processing transportation and placement of unaccompanied children and monitor complains with regulation, standard in policy and are on call 24 hours a day seven days a week. currently due to immigration court backlogs processes take months or years. once removal proceedings have
concluded and a final order of removal is issued ice takes appropriate action based on the stated priorities. accordingly, hhs can transfer child to our custody they will remove the child in cooperation with hhs and the receiving government. we have taken a number of steps to prevent further surge. first the president and secretary said those crossing the border are prior for removal. and ice has procedures for officially obtaining documents allowing officers to continue to perform other responsibilities. secretary johnson have met with high level officials in the following countries to secure their operation in stemming the flow of their citizens into the united states. while the humanitarian influx is
a seasonal challenge, early indications are that our efforts are paying off. i am confidant we will not see a repeat of last year's numbers, but we are better prepared to deal with the arrival of unaccompanied children along the southern border. we continue to work closely with sister agencies to address the care and processing of unaccompanied children arriveing in the united states in a unified manner. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you and i welcome your question. >> our final witness is joseph langlois. he is the associate director of the refuge asylum for the u.s. citizenship service at the u.s. department of homeland security. mr. langlois is a career civil servant serving 35 years from asylum officer to chief of asylum division.
mr. langlois? >> mr. chairman senator carper and other distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify ter hearing on unaccompanied children. my name is joseph langlois and i am the associate director of the u.s. asylum and director within u.s. citizenship and immigration at the department of homeland security. i oversee the asylum program that plays a critical role in upholding our nation's long tradition of providing protection for those who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution. my testimonyfolk focuses on the role of adjudicating the papers filled.
the traffic victim reauthorization act of 2008 changed the track for unaccompanied children seeking asylum and removal proceedings and introduced a new role for uscis. prior to the tpra only immigration judges had jurisdiction to adjudicate asylum applications. under the tptra, unaccompanied children and removal proceedings now have the ability to file their asylum application with uscis. this allows unaccompanied children to initially present their claims in a non-adversary interview with a uscis asylum officer rather than in an adver adversar y proceeding.
the quorem where it is heard is changed but the eligible standard for asylum remains the same. in addition, if the asylum officer doesn't grant asylum we coordinate with ice to transfer the case back to immigration court where unaccompanied children may review their asylum claims in proceedings before an immigration judge. since implementation of tvpra in 2009, approximately 13,000 unaccompanied children have filled asylum applications after having been placed in removal proceedings. since becoming law six years ago, uscis has granted asylum to approximately 4,000 unaccompanied children. while the number of unaccompanied children being
drafted has been low compared to the number of arrivals and the number of applications, uscis serves a vital role in protecting unaccompanied children who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution by providing a non-ad advisary forum to list their claims. it starts when a minor is determined to be an unaccompanied minor indicates an intention to apply for asylum in removal proceedings. ice instructs the child to file with uscis and the immigration judge grants a continuous of the removal proceedings or closes the proceedings in order for the unaccompanied child to file the
application with uscis and for uscis to adjudicate the asylum application. during the pendency of the asylum case, officers communicate with ice attorneys to provide progress reports on the case verify the status of removal hearing, confirm court dates and plan for the transfer of files between ice and uscis. an asylum officer conducts an in-person, in-depth interview of the unaccompanied child to fully explore the asylum claim. in addition the asylum officer researches countries' conditions and a wide range of biographic security checks and then determines if the person applying is eligible for asylum
and draft as decision. before any decision is finalized, a supervisor reviews the case to make sure the discussion is decide by the record and comports with the law. uscis plays an important role in adjud adjudikating applications for the small population that applies. we monitor the trends of new filings and stands ready to meet future challenges for a firm commitment to quality and integrity. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i will be more than happy to answer questions. >> thank you mr. langlois. let me start with the chart. as i stated earlier, there are multiple causes for children coming into the country. does anybody want to take look at that chart and dispute by overall conclusion of the primary cause of the spike of
unaccompanied children coming into the country was defered action on childhood arrivals and the message that sent to central america that if you get to america you are home free. anybody want to volunteer to challenge that conclusion? okay. mr. greenberg? can you twist? >> i do want to make clear that hhs is not an immigration agency and not responsible for immigration policy. our responsibilities here are principlely about providing the shelter for children and getting them to appropriate sponsors. the work on reasons for why children are coming is really the work that has been done by the state department and homeland security and i would
refer to the recent gao report looking at this. certainly the goa report highlights the importance of crime and violence and economic conditions in the home countries. >> let me ask, has there been a dramatic increase in crime or reduction in economic conditions in central america starting near 2012 that would be kind of a trigger for that? be a catalyst for that type of enormous spike? i have the homicide rate for hundred thousand and in most countries they have dropped from el salvadore in 2009 71 2010 64 and 2013 down to 40. i realize central america is not
america. you have a huge wage difference and there are other factors. but i am looking at what caused that spike. i would say no body is disputing that is certainly a real possible cause right there. but let me get numbers here. since 2009, from el salvadore, guatemala and honduras there have been 109,000 unaccompanied children coming to our country. of that we returned 30% and in 2010, 22% and 2011 we returned 24%, 2012 we returned 12% 2013, 6.2% 2014 it is 2.7% and right now 3.8 percent. that is the return verses the children coming into the country. in all we returned about 5.7
percent, 6 248 unaccompanied children and we had 109,000 coming into the country illegally. is that sending a signal as an unaccompanied child you to come america you have a 94.3% chance of staying. is that an incentive or disincentive for making that trip? anybody want to answer that? i would say it is an incentive. mr. miller there are currently, i think in your testimony you said about 6800 final orders to be removed have been issued. and that is children being ordered to being removed from the country. in 2015 we removed 569. why are we not removing the 6800
>> senator, first the data and have shows that so far this fiscal year as of mid-june we removed about 1500 unaccompanied children. >> so 1500 verses 6800? >> as a police manager, i have to look at all of the cases we have to work. i can tell you if i am going to task my officers with going out after criminals that are at large in the community or going out after juveniles who are non-criminals in our community i think it is good policing to go after the criminals. we face a dynamic environment in a number of jurisdictions that are no longer ice detainers and rather than officers picking up criminals in the jail we have to go out with teams and find these people in the community. that is resource intensive and if we have to prioritize those
two populations we are making appropriate decisions. >> on sunday we learned that 32-year-old kate steinle was killed by an illegal who had prior convictions. what do you have to say about that lack of enforcement? >> i don't think that the two are necessarily -- the larger data that we have been talking with your colleagues on had house side represented a number of different reasons why those persons could no longer be detained. many are function of laws that are circuit court decisions in the 9th circuit. >> tell me specifically what is prevent preventing us when we have people in the country illegally
and they have seven prior felony convictions why are we not able to deport them? >> our detainer wasn't honored. >> who didn't honor it? >> san francisco's sheriff department didn't honor our detainer we lodged >> you have no legal authority to detain that person yourself? >> that gentlemen had an outstand outstanding felony narcotic warrant and we feel the decision to resolve the criminal warrant before taking further action. >> tell me what happened -- you seem to be -- to know about that case. what happened with that gentlemen having seven prior felony convictions and has been released repeatedly and now a young woman is dead. why did that happen? >> he completed surveying of
federal sentence for illegal reentry after deportation by a felon. when he completed that sentence -- >> why didn't ice pick him up immediately and deport him? he is in custody, serves the sentence, why isn't ice there escorting that person back to the country of origin? >> there was an outstanding narcotics warrant. and bureau prisons seek to resolve all criminal warrants before we go forward with removal. that has been our practice for a number of years. we actually operate that within the criminal aliem program has a matter of direction. >> so he has a criminal warrant but was released into the general society to create a murder or to commit a murder.
does that make any sense to you? it doesn't make sense to the american public i will tell you that. and that is the problem. that is what we are trying grap graple with. senator carper? >> how do we solve that problem? there is a disconnect. got a guy who has been incarcerated repeatedly, felon, repeat offender. he is in jail in southern san francisco. we got a drug charge guest him? federal drug charge? >> there was a state felony warrant for narcotics. and i think the secretary is taking proactive steps through the priority enforcement program to try to bring a number of locations that are not honoring immigration detainers. we have established request for notification that looks to overcome a lot of concerns that our state and local partners had
in working through secure communities and by establishment in working through the priority enforcement program we hope to have communities like san francisco come back and begin to work with us proactively. >> is there something we need to do insure this doesn't happen again? >> i am not an attorney. but i am told by our attorneys that there is limited ability to force communities to accept immigration detainers. also i think that hasn't been a historical police practice. we work to resolve outstanding criminal warrants and transfer custody in when request are made. i think ice's ability to request sheriff's hold their inmate 48 hours beyond the expiration of their sentence and that is why
secretary johnson and going forward with the enforcement program created a new paradime where we can communicate with the jurisdictions before the person is released and safely insure the transfer out of custody. >> we can work on it together to do a better job. okay. thank you. >> very good. >> i asked my staff to look to see if it is only the united states to which folks from el salvadore and guatemala are freeing to ask for asylum. i said how about mexico or other countries? how about belize and panama and they gave me these numbers saying the united states is the only country experiencing significant increases in asylum seekers from the threeival america countries. together mexico panama, costa
rica and belize reported an increase of almost 1200% from 2008-2014. that is a 12-fold increase. it isn't just the united states. i assume they want to come to the united states. they just want to get out of there and the numbers speak, i think, lines. we have the numbers down by about half. in fact a little more than half from this year to last year. let me ask you why are the numbers down so much? >> senator, i think there are number of reasons. i think the administration feels a lot of the measures we took and put in place last year here domestically and with partners in mexico and central america had an affect. certainly, i would refer to colleagues at the enforcement
agencies here but the administration does feel that has been part of the reason why the numbers are down; because of many of those. >> others please? share a thought with us please. don't be shy. >> i would say to osuna that both secretary are met with officials coupled with the department's outreach and coordination with the state department we are trying to overcome the messages by markets and smuggling and those are the real opportunities outside of the law. that seems to be taking hold. i think mr. greenberg said our colleagues from state department know more about this and the programs that are being operated. but it seems indications are that the message is being
received and our international partners are working to make sure we don't have the same crisis we had last rear year. >> give us one example of something congress needs to do help continue to drive those numbers down. each one give us one good idea. mr. langlois? >> well i think that -- >> briefly. one good answer. >> i think cooperating with the nation states that are on the perimeters of these three countries to build their asylum ajudication process would assist us in this endeavor to have sanctuary provided by counties in the sow surrounding area. we have been working with mexico on their asylum program. >> support the president's
request for continuous funding. as we saw last year there was an opportunity to work collaboratively and we have been doing that. mr. greenberg and i have been travelling to the border but it was difficult last years because the department had to move funding around to accomplish this. i think we need the budget to deal with the unaccompanied children and the other unforeseen crisis on the bordered. >> mr. greenberg? >> i need to defer to colleagues on this one largely but i would highlight that in insuring the efficiency of the legal process for the arriving of unaccompanied children that the continued efforts to expand legal representation with essential. >> support the president's request for fy 16 for more
funding for immigration resources and that enables us. >> 55 judge teams? >> 55 judge teams. >> i think that has been picked up. >> those resources are going to be critical to have the capability to move the cases as quickly as we can. >> thank you. you did a great job on the acronyms, too. >> let me point out the message you are sending to children in central america is 2.7 percent of them are returned from 2014 and mr. miller's numbers are even 10%. the message is if you get to america, 90% or more of you will be able to stay. that is the message and mexico is doing a better job of increasing their southern border increasing apreprehension by 78%. senator peters? >> thank you mr. chairman and thanks to the panelist for being
here and your gentlemen. as i said on repeated occasions, i believe ultimately we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform to deal with these issues in a comprehensive way. at a hearing earlier this year discussing the deferred action for childhood arrivals and action for parents of americans i spoke of two michigan students as example of the program and what it means in individual's lives. one of these individuals was someone who came young and knows no other life than being an american and came here not of her decision but came with a parent did well in school validictorian at her high school and is at the university of michigan with dreams of becoming a physician and without the protection we have she would be deported which makes no sense. i would like to enter, mr. chairman, if i may a report
from the american immigration council and i think it speaks to some of the concerns you raised as to whether or not the program is responsible for the surge we saw last year. it is the american immigration council special report of june 2015. >> without objection so ordered. >> thank you mr. chairman. i highlighted one set part of it where it says in the 2012 report the office of refugee stated in a five month period in 2012 the unaccompanied program received 2,000 referrals showing the rise in unaccompanied minor pre-dated the implementation of the program. furthermore individuals who arrived in the country after january 1 2007 wouldn't be eligible for the program. i also don't have the report but the cato institute did a report on july 29 2014 and the
cato institute said the surge began long before the june 15th announcement of the program. it was discussed in late may of 2012 but the surge was underway. there were 93% increase in apprehensions over the same period in fiscal year 2011. texas governor rick perry warned the president about the issues before the announcement of the program. and second they raise children coming now are not legally able to apply for the program. there are reports from independent groups wide ranging as the immigration council to the katie institute that dispel that notion. i think it goes back to what i said at the beginning of comments. congress needs to roll up our sleeves and work to pass comprehensive immigration reform that will provide clarity, certainty, improve border security and insure the
immigration system is fair for all and makes our country stronger. i think it is also importance to remember when we are talking about the unaccompanied children here today we are referring to kids who came to the united states to seek a better life and often fleeing violence and exploitation social service organizations in michigan have cared for some of these children including teenagers who fled from sexual trafficking and gang violence that leads to severe depression and attempts at suicide as well. the united states has legal obligations to consider the children's welfare and allow their asylum claims to have their day in court. i think that leads my question to mr. langlois. you talked about your asylum program. if you could speak to the specific examples of a child that comes forward that would be granted asylum. what are they facing? talk specifically with two or three examples. >> in order to be eligible for
asylum, an individual needs to establish that they have experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecutionns on race, religion nation nationality, social group and political opinion. minors are coming forward, the vast majority over 90%, that appear in front of us are represented by counsel. they appear in front of us and we have small numbers. our approval rating is 40-42 percent. but the majority are fleeing severe violence that is connected to at least one of the protected grounds. so that is the overall view of what it is occurring here. >> now these children that come before you, you say they go into a situation and it looks like
the number getting into that is a lot smaller than the unaccompanied minors coming across. so let's say a 10-year-old has to say i want to file an asylum claim? where do they know that is the avenue they need to go? >> individuals who are deemed to be unaccompanied children by ice or cpd are placed in removal proceedings in front of an immigration judge. when they are in front of a judge, they must request to apply for asylum when they are in front of the immigration judge. >> how is a ten year old going to know that? >> the individuals in proceedings sometimes do have counsel and sometimes they do not. i am not familiar with how it occurs in front of an immigration judge. >> senator, i can take that on. it can be challenging for our judges when they have children
in front of them and you pointed out the scenario perfectly. a 10 year old in front of a judge can be hard to find out what it is all about. the judges take the time to get to know what the child is about, what the child's case is about, sometimes judges have children come back a couple times in order to get them comfortable and in order to hear what actually happened to them and whether they wish to apply for asylum. the point of taking the time the judge taking their time is not to hear what the child's case is about but to give a child a chance to find a lawyer. there are a lot of organizations out there that are stepping up and providing lawyers for these kids. for the most part the process in immigration court is designed to get the child comfortable, to have the judge hear what the case is about, and give the child a chance to find a lawyer or representative that can then assist them with application for
asylum or another form of immigration relief. >> a brief follow-up. the image is striking to have a r-old child standing in front of a judge and next to them would be a government attorney seeking to have them deported. is there any other place where we have in our justice system in america where we allow a young child to stand before a judge without any kind of legal repation and plead their case? >> not to my knowledge. i think we are -- immigration court, because there is no right to appointed counsel, we have those situations and when it comes to children it is more striking which is why we are trying to do what we can with federal partners to increase representation and a lot of immigration courts are providing capacity for lawyers and responsible adults.
of your written testimony you talk a little bit about the push and pull factors that led to the influx. you also mentioned in your testimony and in response to a question the secretary johnson and director saul donya had met with officials in honduras guatemala and el salvador to request the cooperation in stemming the flow of their citizens to our borders. am wondering if you can outline our share with us some of the specific efforts that came out of those meetings and consultations? clicks thank you, sen. i was not present for those meetings. we were meeting with his officials to try to figure out an offense of communication strategy to overcome a lot of the marketing the smuggling organizations were doing to try to encourage children thinking that they would be
receiving some kind of immigration benefit that was not actually waiting for them on the other side. and it and it appears that those collaborative efforts are yielding results. that and i would say that from my understanding of the ga -- gal report the state department has a very robust plan to continue that communication and they have pointed to a number of indicators of economic difficulty, difficulty, some stemming from agricultural problems, some of them tied to the lack of opportunities for these children. and i think that as we continue to work with their central american partners and work collaboratively with the department of state we will hopefully continue to address those in a unified us government manner clicks thank you. right now as was noted the
appropriations committee and the senate is looking at the president's request for an assistance to implement a new strategy for engagement and central america. the president's request is at odds with the amount allocated by the house in their appropriations process i guess mr. miller, and your opinion opinion what would the impact be on these root causes of the migration of congress did not engage in funding level that met the president's request? >> i would have fear that we would begin to backslide. we are trying to the best of our ability to mitigate a very dangerous journey.
the more effective in the more than we can do to meet their needs in their own country and work collaboratively with the foreign partners we're going to mitigate or diminish the humanitarian crisis on our border which from my perspective as a law enforcement officer is a good government function. >> mr. linguists, you did a great job of outlining the two tracks of silent proceedings adversarial or nonadversarial as a result of congress is passing the tv pra. you talked quite a bit about some of the training required to conduct child appropriate interviews to make sure that asylum
officers get that title specialized knowledge in both final cases and dealing with children. i wonder if you can talk a little bit more in detail about the training. was that initiated back in 2009 or was that in response to last year's surge or both? >> the training to conduct interviews with children has been a long-standing training i believe, with the silent core. i believe the first children's guidelines, for example, came out in 1995 or 1996. so we have had a history of interviewing children for asylum in the united states and we have utilized a lesson plan to teach
individuals the appropriate techniques. we have had we have had a number of outside professors consultants, ngos assistance with the lesson plan. so it has been a long tradition. the numbers started to increase most recently which emphasized, of course, the, the importance of the training. we have been conducting this training since about 1995. >> and in terms of the resources available to minors who go through your nonadversarial process tell me about the translation services available and also, it is not adversarial, but do minors get legal assistance? >> unaccompanied children, just like all asylum applicants have to provide their own interpretation without government expense.
we have an interpreter on the telephone that listens and to the interpreting to make sure that it is correct and fraud is not occurring. the unaccompanied child needs interpreter as well as an attorney had no government expense. i expense. i did mention that over 90 percent of the individual unaccompanied children are represented by the time they get to us but that is coming from the courts where they start before coming to us. 90 percent is the number we are looking at. no expense to the government my belief. clicks senator. >> i want i want to thank all of you for being here today. one of the things i want to follow up on when secretary johnson testified in 2014 about the crisis we were
facing from unaccompanied children from central america, one of the things he recommended at the time in fact when he testified before committee command i recall hearing them say i think it was before this committee as well he talked about the differences in the law between countries that are contiguous to the united states of america and countries that are not contiguous to the united states of america. and he and he said that in terms of changing the law we are asking for the ability to treat unaccompanied kids from central america country the same way as from contiguous countries, and it would help if the senate amended the law for children to treat the children the same has not contiguous country is a contiguous country. so as i understand it the law is different if it is a child from mexico that comes to the border in terms of what rights and legal
formations can be given. they can voluntarily return and that that cannot happen with the central american country. is that true? and when you talk about steps we need to take is that not one of the stuff he could steps we could take consistent with what the secretary told us? glover is the best person to answer quakes that is my understanding. i know operationally they can work collaboratively to ensure for children who wish to withdraw the application they can return voluntarily. they were collaboratively to ensure the safe return. now to the sec.'s.that if we had the flexibility with other countries for those children who at the time of
an encounter whether it's border patrol of ports of entry, if they wish to withdraw their application in return for the country we have outstanding repatriation agreements with those countries. we have we have many opportunities to reflect that in a safe and humane manner. given the opportunity we would be able to exercise a broader spectrum ability. >> and i understand that this law was put in place when president bush was in office in which we were changing treating a contiguous country differently than the noncontiguous. but it seems to me that it has outlived its purpose and that you should be given the same tools as the secretary had previously asked. so is this a tool that you would still like to have? >> yes, ma'am. we support the secretaries effort to have broad
spectrum ability to do the best thing in the interest of the children week our clicks very good. thanks. i also want to.out when senator peter said asked all of you about the relationship between for example the pres.'s executive order and dock dhaka and the influence of my company children. at the time -- and i recall this as well but we were dealing with the real influx secretary johnson made a.of being very clear. clearly it was an impression regardless of how they got it but there was clearly an impression at the time a somehow you could receive it for me so or pass if you made it to the united states. i know that he clearly said he wanted and understand that the children would not benefit from the presidents order.
and so this clearly was some contributing factor in the sense that there was an impression on misimpression that central america and central america with the children were being given a misimpression so would you agree with me? there are interviews. we are well aware that was the marketing strategy. to educate and to inform. that was not the case. there were not permissions. persons who were interdicted throughout the ammunition throughout the lifecycle of the immigration cycle it would retain that date of interdiction and
remain a priority. >> you think that is being clearly communicated now? or do you think that is still a concern? >> of the best of my knowledge that has been received. it seems to have contributed to the reduction in the influx. clicks thank you all. clicks thank you. i am a little confused. that is true. by law children coming here now do not have the benefit of deferred action. they are priority. in answer to my question you said the priorities are the criminals. is that a priority or not?
deferred action does not legally apply. in reality. is that what children are relying on? the reality of the situation, if you get into america you have a very low percentage chance, very chance, very low probability of being returned. is that the reality? to you believe we are showing the population 70 people back? >> i think across the broad spectrum he asked what we are. we continue to make strides. simply put the juvenile process takes longer to mature.
we see across the spectrum about time the cases mature many of the people who have gone through this process been adjudicated fully may have each reached the age of majority for the case pictures which is not something that anyone member is at fault for. these children upon interdiction have due process rights. going forward we continue to utilize our efforts appropriately. i think still -- i stand by my previous statement. it makes good sense. limited resources and faced with the task of going after criminal it is the appropriate choice. >> i think we need to disincentive eyes children.
today check the status of sponsors? >> we do make inquiry as to the immigration status. clicks 100 percent of the time? >> to make inquiry. >> in this country illegally, do you still turn those children over to an illegal immigrant parent? >> in the process. >> you turn on the company children born to illegal her parents?
>> of you notify the? the address the sponsor. >> a very simple question. do do you notify client from dhs. >> respond any inquiry. >> do you tell them that you have this place a child with someone you know as is in this country illegally? yes or no? >> we do not affirmatively do so. >> that's a no. can you say no? that is no. >> we will provide the information upon request.
>> i'm not judging were this is very wrong. children have the privilege of representation but at no expense of the government. request for legal services. can be no expense it we are issuing grants. how does how does that -- hadi get around the law? >> we are complying with the law. we have a specific responsibility under the law to help children. >> there is a conflict. on the one hand their is a law that says there can be no government expense utilize to provide legal representation legal representation at government
expense. >> the law makes clear that we should be maximizing the use of pro bono resources. >> you are also granting money asking for requests and paying for painfully representation. >> that's correct. >> again. it is your testimony supposed to be granted but at no expense the government you're paying for it. again. just a conflict of law. >> we do not believe it is a a conflict of law. we are following the requirements. it is clear that we should be using pro bono to the next makes it possible. >> at no expense to the
government and it is clear. what is the average time to adjudicate? >> are we talking months? years? >> our commitment to have the initial hearing in 21 days. >> this is the initial. >> i do take a long time. did not have a claim. a very low percentage. >> they can take a significant amount of time. the obvious reasons.
>> continuances. speeding up the court hearing. beginning of the process. they can take a lot of time. i'll have a number to give you in terms of the latest surge of children but it is certainly a matter of months in the weeks. >> more a matter of years. >> it depends. the child is apply for some kind of relief. >> i a ranking member begging your indulgence talking about a very low percentage of these you a series obtaining any kind of asylum. we we have a low percentage of people with orders to remove. again, i don't see -- this has to be a very lengthy process. >> you go back to 2009. they returned. a very low percentage in
total. this has to be a lengthy a lengthy process. >> it can be. it's not just asylum. kids can also apply for juvenile status which is even more complicated. that is a lot of we have a lot of we work through. again, we certainly work through these cases quickly as we can. >> i appreciate that. i appreciate you trying to comply with the law. this committee trying to lay bare is the conflict within the law the incentives we create. clicks. >> thank you. i want to go back to root causes again. among the things that we agree on the idea that
folks who are citizens of honduras, guatemala, el salvador call want to work for limited amount of time and be able to go home. change their immigration law so that that can happen. there are other elements of the comprehensive immigration reform. some advice. piecemeal immigration reform what advice would each of you have an element or two to include to help address the issues. >> to come. as you as you know the
administration supports the comprehensive immigration reform bill. that framework is something that the administration and all the agencies here are behind. specifically for my agency that bill and other bill and other proposals have included significant resources another additional tools. we would of course ask that any comprehensive immigration reform bill take into consideration the needs of the court system and the resource constraints. >> i thank you. >> and question. >> sen., senator given our role i need to do for my colleague. >> fair enough. clicks sen. i would say that in looking to fix the broken immigration system we would favor the opportunity to balance the age of the conviction versus the statutory requirement that we have today that regardless of the age of the conviction many times our
officers are compelled to take action. as a. as a result frequently we exercise a great deal of resources on the initial encounter with the individual only for that to be mitigated thereafter. if we look for the temporal element and how individuals are charged under the immigration act that would allow us to even better and more efficiently deploy our resources. >> a really simple example of what you just said. >> very simple example would be a narcotics a great time a narcotics conviction. at times frequently when a person is seeking to have their green card renewed it will be a referral dies for reinforcement action because the person has his narcotics conviction from the 1980s. and and as the statutory framework yesterday, we are asked to take the appropriate enforcement action which will be to
arrest and charge the person has an aggravated felon notwithstanding any kind of what the person has done since their initial conviction. >> thank you. clicks individuals, as we discussed, individuals who individuals who are attempting to enter the united states unauthorized come for a variety of reasons. one one reason, however, is that they are fleeing persecution, that they have of fear of persecution or have been persecuted in the past and their claims should be heard. we should design a law to effectively and efficiently hear those claims. sen. you, you had mentioned a needle in a haystack. to a great degree that analogy rings true here where you are trying to get to that needle efficiently and effectively in order to grant asylum to individuals who deserve protection but
effectively and efficiently deny those individuals that are not eligible and return those individuals. to the extent that the law can grapple with that balance, that is balance, that is where i would encourage. clicks thank you both. to someone, i think your testimony today, i thought mentioned that roughly 4000 unaccompanied minors have been granted asylum. is that correct? >> that is correct. i was in my testimony. >> has 2,009 wwor
it's confusing and a long and tortured road. >> i don't know if we can make it more straightforward or not i would be interested in exploring the. it's a long and tortured road. going back to the attorneys for the unaccompanied minors to the extent we can avoid that. they've answered the call. frankly not much to the government. we need to do more of that.
why is it in our financial interest to have them try to ensure that they have legal counsel? it doesn't actually show up for the hearings. >> senator there is no question based on the experience in the court on the cases that having the council asked the process more efficient to grant a continuance is and the legal issues are clear they spend a lot of time trying to piece out with the case is about, so in terms of efficiency there is a little doubt the council at the beginning of the process makes it more efficient. >> one more quick question if i may.
i understand there's a limited group of children from guatemala, honduras and el salvador to apply in their home countries as refugees limited to those that have hearings and in this country that are citizens or residents who meet certain requirements. could you describe this new effort and why it's begun? >> it even has an acronym. >> i ensure it does. the central american minors refugee and parole program for short was designed to give an alternative to individuals that are in these three countries the state and legal alternative to taking the dangerous road to the united states with smugglers. the program allows individuals
that are presently in the united states to file for their children that remain, unmarried children that remain in these three countries. they filed dna testing is done to make sure the relationship is valid. then we have the state department manager of the program arranged for the preliminary interview in the country when the case is right to be presented as a refugee or perl a u.s. refugee officer will conduct an interview of and the individual that is petitioning in the united states to make sure they are in the status that they claim and also if there is a critical record of that individual and we arranged for the refugee program if they are
deemed to come to the united states. >> thanks for the explanation. that sounds like common sense. it's been a good hearing into the witnesses thank you for your appearance and testimony. >> to have a final comment i do want to quote the secretary before that hearing on april the ninth, 2005. we have to show the population in central america that you were sending people back. to quote the ranking member he says you have to find out what works and do more of that. we have an example of what worked. the secretary employee operation texas hold him wear a pair of
ties the space and the dedicated and began moving all of the brazilians that were apprehended using the removals. by the following year the number of people coming in illegally from brazil dropped 31,063 to 1460. so again i think that's what this hearing -- by the way i just want to thank you all for your testimony. this has been very n. y. ten become a very complex problem. multiple root causes. i certainly have my opinion about what we found from the testimony and someone here said broken immigration system, it is. that is a very valid acknowledgment. it's a broken system. it's convoluted. they try to grapple.
to use the piecemeal reform of the administration doesn't want to talk about that but we don't do comprehensive very well. with these these things are not easy to deal with. work with this committee and let's identify these problems and conflicts. quite honestly the reality situation as we are not going to do comprehensive reform in the next 18 months either by the secretary johnson's mission we will not have the observational awareness of the border in the next 18 months. it's take a look at the problems and the conflicts. let's look at the convoluted process. let's try to fully coordinate this. let's start taking the incremental improvements. i come from the manufacturing of the continuous improvement root cause analysis. let's look at these individual problems and working with you with your help with your expertise again i appreciate
your service and understand that's what we have to deal with but the only thing that we could become bush in the next 18 months is let's not use piecemeal because i might have the wrong connotation. how about a step-by-step continuous improvement process. i think we had that attitude. if the members are willing to work with me. let's pray our ties those problems so that we can address and start fixing this on a step-by-step basis. let's -- thank you mr. chairman and senator harper. the border search last year was unprecedented. i started doing this job for a long time and i've never seen the level of interagency coordination and discussion that this engendered really from the start when we started identifying this issue in late april and may. i think that it's been a
challenge for all the agencies that we have done the best we can. i think it has that effect and we look forward to continuing our discussion with you and our fellow partners in the agencies. they did an extraordinary job crippling with the difficult problem and they circumvented the rules and god bless them for doing that. again, we are a very compassionate society. this was a humanitarian crisis and people in the agencies rose to the challenge and we want to give them kudos for doing that. >> mr. greenberg. >> i am tom carper and i approve this message. [laughter] >> i want to underscore the remarks about how close the agencies are collaborating and cooperating on his efforts. i first met him last year when we were in texas visiting the
facilities at the same time as it was indicated he and his colleagues went to texas to look at those facilities and our staff talked every day. we have distinct responsibilities and we very much appreciate the importance of coordination. we are working hard to calm flesh that. senator, i did want to follow up on the issue around the legal representation. my understanding is that the statutory language that you were referring to is seeking to make clear that there is not a right to paid accounts all account so at the expense of the government >> we would be happy to follow up with the staff and then finally i want to indicate that having been before the committee
a year ago there has been tremendous progress over the course of this last year. we look forward to continuing to build on it and working with you in doing so. >> thank you mr. greenberg. mr. miller. >> my colleagues has expressed never before has there been greater coordination while these agencies have different departments of different statutory requirements different constraints placed upon them with an amazing level of collaboration making joint decisions and sharing information in the light of the way that is that i think really without precedent. and as a result of that, we continue to work by british way not just on issues related to unaccompanied children but continue to work collaboratively with the judges on how to better streamline these processes to get what can we do to reduce the non- detained docket. one of the initiatives as part of the secretary's memorandum to give opportunities to people who
didn't want to continue some excuse me the non- detained court settings if they do not meet the grand prix race making opportunities available where people can give us constructive feedback and then we can share that information across the one government all of the agencies and departments dealing with these issues. while there is a lot of work to be done i think we are all in agreement with that. what we learned last summer is that we don't have to just sit there with our own agency and grapple with these struggles and these problems that we face every day that by sharing information and coming to the joint decisions we can work efficiently in the framework that we are given today and hopefully the committee for a better framework tomorrow. >> certainly the border search last year presented a wide range of challenges for the asylum court in its attempt to adjudicate cases.
we experienced an increase in the caseload of credible fear reasonable fear and unaccompanied children's claims in the affirmative context. individuals that have suffered persecution deserve a just but very efficient education. they deserve protection and we must effectively give them that. we have cooperated with the cbp to assist us in that endeavor and i think that usual, all procedures or systems can be improved and we work very hard in order to do that. i think that we have got an incredibly committed a violent cooperating fully with our partners in this task.
>> i want to thank all of the witnesses for your testimony for your thoughtful answers to the questions. i will have more questions for the records. in particular, we've got to get our arms around the information and the data, because you have to have that kind of data to really highlight what are the problem areas and what do you need to address. so we want to work with all of the agencies to get that information. but the record will remain open until july 22 of 5 p.m. for the submission of the statements and those additional questions for the record. the hearing is adjourned.
chester arthur a widower becomes president and his sister fills the role of the first lady and establishes white house social etiquette used by future first ladies for decades. garfield and mcelroy this sunday at 8 p.m. on the c-span original series implemented image examining the women that filled the position of influence on the forgotten presidency from martha washington to michelle obama on american history tv. >> the head of the environmental protection agency discussed u.s. energy and climate change policy at an event hosted by the christian science monitor that includes audience questions about climate change and global efforts to address the problem. this is just over an hour.
>> good morning everybody. i'm the director of the content strategy. we are so happy that you all could join us. thank you for packing in here. if of interest in what's mccarthy has to say and we are so glad you could spend the morning with us. to give you a quick idea how we are going to proceed it this morning, we will give you ten minutes of opening remarks and then she had the deputy editor are going to have an interview for the remainder of the hour. we will have time for questions at the end, so get those ready now. i just want to thank the administrator for joining this is her third visit since she became the administrator can and we hope to have you back again soon. we are headquartered in boston. we would like to thank the host for joining us and if you forget
anything or miss anything you can tune in this morning. >> for the support of the monitor what they do with not be possible if we didn't appreciate all of their support. if you would like to tweak this please use the hash tag read charge come and david is at ungeryounger. he is a graduate of yale university. welcome to. >> thank you for that introduction and for sponsoring this event. we appreciate the support. thank you all for coming out. this is a tragic turn out that
we have here. i like to think that it's all for me. i hope you all had a good fourth of july weekend and i know you're thrilled to be back at work. i am the deputy energy environment editor for the christian science monitor. you can subscribe for free at a charge.com. today marks the second conversation in our guest today is gina mccarthy in the agency. you find familiar her work and the adabas trader shares the hometown in boston where she
attended the university of massachusetts and tufts university. she went on to serve in a variety of health and environmental roles in the state and local level including the department of environmental protection. in 2009 when the 2009 when she was appointed the head of the office of air and radiation and was confirmed as the epa administrator. she oversees the proposed clean up our plan that would regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants for the first time in the nations history and the role of the major components to president obama's climate action plan and represent a significant chunk of the plan contribution to the global climate efforts. as most of you know in december -- from 200 countries will meet and negotiate and the international agreement for the global greenhouse gases.
so with that, less than five months away now i think. it's a great opportunity to have the administrator here to talk about u.s. energy and climate on a path so we are grateful you could make it out here today. as david mentioned we will give some opening remarks and have a brief q-and-a before we open up to questions. >> thank you david for pulling all this together. it's great to be here. let me try to stick with the program and give you ten seconds of brief remarks so we can have a good exchange later. i want to hit on a few things. first of all you might realize
last month we put our first climate change impact and risk analysis report and it looks of 20 sectors across the united states economy and it shows the benefit of the united states taking action and global action on climate change and the benefits of the world acts now that would prevent up to 69,000 premature deaths in 2100 alone from poor air quality index change, and of course if we fail to act, the reverse is true for the manufacturing and agriculture to fishing we will save billions if we act now we will lose billions of dollars if we fail to act so it is an opportunity for us to take a look at what the future might look like and also to provide the hope that if we take action
today that future can dramatically change for the better for our children. so that brings me to a couple other issues i want to mention because obviously the powerplant is on everybody's mind and we will talk about that but it's also an opportunity for me to talk a little bit about last week's supreme court ruled on the air toxic standard was finalized in 2011 and the limits toxic pollution like mercury and arsenic and other heavy metals in the power plants. we were excited to do that rule and remain excited today to produce the benefits of that rule. but we focused to make sure that we could deliver these protections for the future and while disappointed in the supreme court ruling we are confident we are on track so
here are a few things that give me hope if i want to make sure everybody focuses on that as they are thinking about the repercussions of the supreme court's decision. first of all can epa is committed to finalizing the powerplant is a making a connection about the decision and the powerplant is comparing apples and oranges. last week's ruling will not affect the effort grade we are still on track to produce the plan and it will cut carbon pollution fueling the change. the court did find we should have considered it at an earlier step in the rulemaking process but they did not question our authority to actually control toxic air pollution and as you all know we did look at the cost of the leader in the regulatory process. it wasn't endlessly beneficial and i'm talking about the
standards it is tremendously beneficial for public health and it is a very cost effective strategy. we know that it's also a very narrow decision. so as everybody knows we are looking at cost and affordability, and from the get-go it would have no impact second the decision was also very narrow. it didn't vacate the standard. it is still in effect today. and as we know the majority have already decided to achieve compliance with the standards and we are well on our way to delivering the toxic reduction. and it's very clear for everybody to see that having looked at the cost upfront.
it hinges on a very narrow section of the provision in the law that applies to the issue. that is the reduction of toxic air pollution from power plants into the supreme court was clear that it doesn't impact other rules and programs that deal with other types of pollution under the clean air act like small to answer ten carbon pollution. and it will continue. so again the ruling doesn't affect the powerplant and we are committed to keeping the standards in place. and now i would like to shift that was a disappointing decision that we have had many other good things even happening since then and that was just a short time ago. let's talk about the bp settlement.
there was the largest settlement the united states federal government has ever produced in terms of a $20 billion settlement. it's about the 8.1 billion that is set aside for the restoration activity to read it sends a very big signal to others that may face similar opportunities. i can explain it but it will take longer than the time i have left. the chesapeake can work together to reduce the pollution that is causing damage in the chesapeake and is obligating both of the
benefits and costs appropriately across the state's. we are bringing the states together and they celebrated the policy and actually gave some wonderful kudos in terms of our ability and willingness for the discussion under the law on how to address the types of challenges. but we took of the clean water rules for just one more moment. in fact one out of every american relies on for the drinking water. it's to ensure that it is
protected. the rule added a list of exemptions for agriculture to protect the clean water without getting in a way the way of the farming and ranching. not least of all it's because the supreme court told us to do exactly what we did which is to follow the science that we made sure to develop the science to do it in a transparent period and we followed a that science to the letter said that we would make sure that we are protecting what is needed to be protected