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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 21, 2015 1:41pm-6:31pm EST

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point. >> well, i want to thank my panel. please join me in that and thank you for coming today. i think this was a great panel. thanks. [applause] >> with congress on holiday recess the c-span networks feature a full lineup of primetime programming. tonight at nine eastern on c-span our new series landmark cases. this week it's a 1973 case of roe v. wade.
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>> abigail fillmore was the first first lady to work outside the home. teaching in a private school. she successfully lobbied congress for funds to great the first white house library. mamie eisenhower's hairstyle and love of pink created fashion sensations. mamie pink was marketed as a color. jacqueline kennedy was responsible for the creation of the white house historical association. and nancy reagan as a young actress saw her name is taken on a blacklist of suspected communist sympathizers in the late 1940s. she appealed to screen actors guild had ronald reagan for help. she later became his wife. these stories and more are featured in c-span's book first lady's. presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american women. the book makes a great gift for the holidays giving readers a look into the personal lives of every first lady in american history, stories of fasting women and other legacies resonate today. share the stories of america's first ladies for the holidays. c-span's book is available as a
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hardcover or an e-book from your favorite bookstore or online bookseller. be sure to order your copy tod today. >> next, peter wallison former treasury department and white house counsel discusses the causes of the 2008 financial crisis and whether it could happen again. he is an author and economist with the american enterprise institute. you spoke earlier at the annual steamboat institute freedom conference. this portion is about 30 minut minutes. >> we have peter wallison it was written a book among many books called "hidden in plain sight: what really caused the world's worst financial crisis, and why it could happen again." does anyone believe that another financial crisis could happen again? yeah, unfortunately. peter was here back in march, to the presentation at the spring s
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could find that was well received. his credentials on financial matters are impeccable. peter is the chair and financial policy studies for the american enterprise institute. he is codirector of aei's financial policy studies. prior to joining aei he practiced banking corporate and financial law in d.c. he saw the number of government positions. during the reagan administration he had a significant role in development of president reagan's proposals for deregulation in the financial services industry. he was white house counsel to president reagan's later, and then also served under new york governor nelson rockefeller. mr. wallison is the author of ronald reagan, the power of conviction, written many books on financial risks. he frequently writes columns that are published in "the wall
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street journal." i'm sure many of you have read them as well as the op-ed pages of the "new york times." ladies and gentlemen, let's give a warm steamboat welcome to peter wallison. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> well, it's wonderful to be here. and i must say, i have to give a lot of credit to jennifer because i've written a book and its an important book i think, but what jennifer song in this book when it first came out which was in january of this year, she saw that there was a direct connection between what i was talking about, would be talking about when i described this book, and the desire of the
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organization here, the steamboat institute, to protect capitalism. there is a tremendous relationship between what happened in a financial crisis and the issue of whether capitalism is going to survive effectively in the united states. so let me get started on the a little bit because i think these are really important issues. and although the book involves something that most of you have experienced, you probably don't understand why you've experienced that. do we have the slides that are unavailable for this presentation? coming up? there we are, okay. that's the book. we all know that in a financial crisis, we had a lot of very bad mortgages into financial system.
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what we might not understand is why there were so many bad mortgages and how the bad mortgages actually created a financial crisis. can't i change the slide i tell you to change the slides would you have a collector of -- will this do it? let's try that. yeah, okay, that works. i turned it off. okay. most of those who don't understand. most people in the united states don't really understand why we had the financial crisis, why these mortgages led to a crisis. what we have mostly read in the newspapers, what we've been told by the government is that it was the fault of the private sector. there was a lot of risk-taking, a lot of greed on wall street, and the private sector was insufficiently regulated. but, let's see, let's see. the other direction.
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all right. that's not it. okay, it takes a little time. the facts actually tell us something completely different about what caused the financial crisis. what you are looking at are the entities in the united states that were holding very low-quality mortgages, subprime and other low-quality mortgages in the united states in 2008 just before the financial crisis. on the left, blue, and to read about it and the green above that is the government get these are government agencies. on the right, the black, that's the private sector. so right away you should understand, anyone should understand that the government created the demand for these mortgages. because these mortgages were on
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the books of the government. the facts are these. in 2008 before the financial crisis, more than a majority of all mortgages in the united states were subprime or otherwise we could mortgages. that was 31 million week and subprime mortgages. of those, 76% were on the books of the government agencies. the blue happened to be fannie mae and freddie mac, and as you've heard about them they were government-backed mortgage companies. they are still in existence. they are at the moment insolvent. the government is controlling them and supporting them. just above that, the red, is the fha, the federal housing administration, and above it is a number of other federal agencies. but the point is it was the government that called for and
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cost all of these mortgages to be produced. i'm not trying to say that private sector nothing to do with this. we can see about 25% of these bad mortgages were on the books of the private sector, principally if you are looking for the cause of the financial crisis you would have to say that the fact that the government was holding 76% of all of these mortgages would suggest something about who was really responsible. let me go to the next one. now, why are we at this stage, six years after the financial crisis, why are we concerned about this issue? what you see here is a chart that shows the recovery of the u.s. economy since the financial crisis. and the recession that followed that. a black line in a shaded area is
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the average of all of the recovery since the middle 1960s. the red line is this recovery. and you can see that it is much worse than any recovery we've had in the past. that is the fault of something you just heard a lot about. the dodd-frank act. in fact, sitting there in the audience and listening to the ceo panel, i was kind of envioud because i given this talk many, many times. and many of the people in the audience actually are in the financial business. and i said how many people here have encountered or no what i'm talking about what i'm talking about the dodd-frank act? and very few people understand. even in a financial business. they know that there's much more regulation. they know what they have to comply with daily, they don't understand is all the result of the new act, and that new act,
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the dodd-frank act, was adopted because of the diagnosis that the media, to a large extent, and the government itself has given to the causes of the crisis. we have been told that it was a lack of regulation of the private financial system that caused the crisis. i have shown you the data that indicates that actually it was the government, but most of the things you see in the newspapers suggest that it was the private sector and that it was insufficiently regulated. so the dodd-frank act was adopted in 2010, and that is by far the most restrictive, suppressing law imposed on the financial system since the new deal. i want to talk a little bit about the dodd-frank act because there's a clear relationship between the slow recovery we are looking at here and the slow
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development, growth of our economy even after it came out of the financial, after the recession that followed the financial crisis. there's a direct relationship, and that relationship comes through the new regulations they were placed on the banking system. what happened to our -- of every go. for new regulations that were placed on the banking system in 2010 with the dodd-frank act. and now, in this country there are 23 million community banks. a community bank is a bank with about $10 billion in assets, or less. that amounts to about 99.5% of all the banks in the united states. now, those banks supply small
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business, but what's happened when all these new regulations have been placed on these banks is about they have been required to withdraw substantially from providing new financing and credit to all small businesses. now, 23 million small business, about 18,000, 18,500 larger businesses. what is a small business? that's less than 500 employees. any business with more than 500 employees is considered a large business. now, what is the difference then between the small and the large in terms of the impact of the dodd-frank act? is really pretty simple. large businesses, those with more than 500 employees, are
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able to register their securities with the securities and exchange commission, and they are able to get financing from the capital markets. they can issue bonds, they can issue notes, they can issue commercial paper and other ways to finance businesses. but small businesses, those below 500, 500 employees, do not find it easy or in fact sensible in terms of the costs to register with the sec. so they get their financing from these community banks, the ones that are 10 billion or less in size. what happened with the dodd-frank act? one of the things that was adopted in the dodd-frank act is something called the consumer financial protection bureau. many of you may have heard of that. many of you probably have seen some of the roles that have come
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out. well, a couple of years ago one of the roles, community financial protection bureau was 1000 pages long. it apply to jpmorgan chase, which is a $2 trillion bank in new york, ended applied to a $50 million bank in a little town, say, in colorado. same regulation, but jpmorgan chase in new york has hundreds of lawyers that can read and interpret this 1000 page regulation for the bank. but the smaller banks has to hire a lawyer to read it, then has to hire a special person to do the underwriting that rules now require. probably requires an expert to reconfigure entirely the way it
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relates to its customer base. all of those costs are internalized by the bank, this small community bank, and that means they have to hire employees that are no longer in the business of making loan are looking for new opportunities for the bank. in addition, there's a lot more regulation in which bank examiners, and and tell them how they should be conducting their business because the bank examiners are now told by their directors in washington that things have to be much more businesslike than they have been in the past. instead of making loans to someone you've known for years in your community. someone who has never missed a payment. now you have to have audited financial statements from that borrower. the bank examiner wants to see those. to the extent they are not
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available, the bank is charged with inefficiency or lack of quality standards. so that, too, causes tremendous costs for each of these little banks making it much more difficult for them to finance small businesses. if that is all true, we should see a difference between the growth rate of the small banks and the small businesses, and the growth rate of the larger businesses. in fact, the data shows that. since the financial crisis, since the recession that occurred just after the financial crisis, large businesses, that is, more those with more than 500 employers, have been going with a rate consistent with that black line. that is, they are recovering at the rate that they always have
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in the past. small businesses, those with less than 500 employees, are not growing at all. in fact, they have declined somewhat in size. so if you want to know why the u.s. economy is sputtering and not moving forward, why we are not seeing the growth, it's because small businesses, which are responsible for about 64% of all new hires in our economy are not being sufficiently financed so that they can get the inventory, can grow, make loans that is the banks can make loans that small businesses will be able to use to grow. ..
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>> so i am part of a group in washington at the american enterprise institute and some other organizations like ours to try to repeal the dodd-frank act over time. because that's the only way -- [applause] that's the only way we believe this economy will ever return again to the kinds of growth that we had before. now, why did we have this problem? why did we end up with a system in our mortgage financing
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business that caused this financial crisis, the collapse of all of those mortgages? what i'm showing you here is something called the affordable housing goals. these were adopted in 1992 by congress and imposed on fannie mae and freddie mac. i mentioned them before. these are the two government-backed mortgage companies. and they were required in 1992, beginning in 1992, to make loans to low income borrowers for homes. because fannie mae and freddie mac didn't make their own loans, but they would buy loans from originators like banks. and they were told in 1992 30% of all of the loans that you buy each year have to be made to people who are at or below the median income in the places
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where they live. if you look at these charts, you can see that we actually started them in 1996, not in 992, because by 996, it had -- 1996, it had already risen to 40% up at the top. but there were three kinds of categories. one was low and moderate income. that is below median income. the next was underserved areas, those were largely minority areas. and then special affordable, those were people with incomes that are 80% or even 60% of median income. and so over the years as you can see, those requirements went up. the black lines are the requirements on fannie mae and freddie mac. the red and the green lines are fannie and freddie succeeding in meeting those goals in each year. but what happens when you're required to buy more than 50% of all your loans from people who
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are at or below the median income where they live or, in some cases, 80% or 60% of the median income where they live? now, fannie and freddie were famous in 1992 before this law went into effect for buying only prime mortgages. what was a prime mortgage? you had to have a good credit score, you had to have a 10-20% down payment, and after the loan was closed, you had to have no more than 38% of your income going for things like your mortgage or your credit card obligations and so forth. more than -- no more than 38% of your income was used for those contracted obligations. those are the three standards. now, they weren't particularly tough standards. especially the requirement for a 660 fico score, that is a credit score. the average credit score in the united states is about 710.
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but that was, those were the requirements before 1992. but once you're told that there's a government quota that says you have to buy mortgages that are made to people who are at or below the median income, at or below 80 or 60% of the median income or minorities, you had to combine all those things together each year, what do you do? you start to reduce can your underwriting standards. and that's what happened. fannie mae and freddie mac were the dominant players in the residential mortgage market in the united states. and as they caused their own underwriting standards to decline, all underwriting standards began to decline in the united states. so what happened after that? let's see if we can make this
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happen. there, okay. what you see here is an enormous housing bubble. many of you probably experienced during the period of about 1997-2007 a tremendous increase in the value of your home. this was the result of reduced underwriting standards. how do we know that? we know that because you can think about it in this way. if a person has $10,000 to buy a home and the requirement, the underwriting requirement is you have to have a 10% down payment, well, you can buy a $100,000 home. but if the government causes the underwriting standards to change so that you only need 5% for an underwriting standard or a down payment, you can buy a $200,000
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home. and, of course, that's what happened. there was much more money, much more credit chasing housing prices starting at about 1997. and that pushed up housing values. there's another thing that happens. the perp who was going to -- the person who was going to buy a $100,000 home with a $10,000 down payment has now borrowed instead of $90,000, has now borrowed $190,000. so that is a much weaker borrower, a person with much more, many more and larger obligations than the person who would have bought the $100,000 home. so this built a tremendous bubble, housing bubble. and by 2007 it had gotten to a point where it was all homes in
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the united states where this was affected, and this was almost entirely throughout this country, all housing prices had doubled in the ten years. and as you can see, it was a much bigger bubble than the previous ones we had had. and there are always bubbles in any commodity. but they normally decline, they rise and then they decline like the oil price we see every day. but this bubble didn't, and that's because the government kept forcing more and more money into the residential mortgage market in order to keep it bubbling. now, this is not just in the clinton administration. this all started in the clinton administration, but it continued, unfortunately, also in george w. bush's administration. in his memoirs george bush said i was delighted with the fact that so many new people were
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able to buy homes. what i didn't understand is all of risks that we were creating by imposing those rules. so he actually now has understood what mistakes were made. but it's too late now to understand the errors. what all of us have to understand is that a decline in underwriting standards of the kind that we had starting in 1992 and extending through 2007 is not good for our economy. and yet it is,s the government's interest to reduce underwriting standards. not just to make loans to low income people. that's a social policy. government could have other reasons for doing it. but in part all governments like to do this because if you get the housing market to grow, more people are buying homes, they're buying rugs, they're buying
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gardening services, they're buying all kinds of furniture, all kinds of things that make the economy grow. so the government wants to reduce underwriting standards, and we the people have to understand the consequences of that for us. now, if you are someone who owns a home, you know probably if you tried to sell that home, you know that your home is connected with everyone else's home in the neighborhood. if your neighbor defaults on his car loan, has no effect on you. you might have to the drive him to work, but there's no other problem for you. if your neighbor defaults on his mortgage, that affects the value of your home. and so all americans have to understand that this is yet another thing the government can do which can cause huge losses for all americans if we don't watch what they're doing. and we are doing it all again. and one of the reasons we're
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doing it again -- and this comes to the point that jennifer was making -- do you believe that we'd have another financial crisis? yes, the answer is, we could have another financial crisis. because the financial crisis we h came from government policies, and we do not understand what those policies were. that's what this book is about. this book tells you why we had these policies and why it is likely we'll be doing it again. and, in fact, only a few months ago the president said that he was going to reduce the fha, the federal housing administration, insurance fee by about half a percentage point. what does that do? one thing it does is make it much more likely that people who are making risky mortgages bought by fha, people who are making risky mortgages are going to have more opportunities to do
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that. we're going to have more people taking big risks op their homes than we -- on their homes than we had before. in addition, the regulator of fannie mae and freddie mac said also several months ago, you know, you've been buying mortgages now with about 5% down payment. that already is too low. but you've been buying mortgages with 5% down payments. i want you to reduce them to 3%. now, this is all part of the same process, and that process is the government trying to boost economy, trying to boost the economy by making the housing market bubble a little bit more. but it's dangerous for all the rest of us. so we all ought to be aware of that. so how did all of this then turn into a financial crisis? what you see here is a little chart of the mortgage-backed securities market.
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most mortgages are held by banks and other financial institutions as whole mortgages. but many of them are packaged together into pools of mortgages, and then securities are sold against the income from those pools which is principal and interest that people are paying on their mortgages. and as you can see, that was a very vital market up until about 2007. in 2007 just as the bubble collapsed, so did the mortgage-backed securities market. now, that was important because most financial institutions held their mortgages through mortgage-backed securities. and the reason for that is a little technical and has to do with accounting and regulations, and government regulations. but the government actually gave the banks and other financial
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institutions a, an advantage in their capital requirements if they held mortgage-backed securities instead of whole mortgages. so most of them went in and bought a lot of mortgage-backed securities. but what happened here in 2007 is that the value of those securities declined to almost nothing. this is because as the bubble began to dissolve, as the bubble declined, an enormous number of new defaults became evident. the newspapers were beginning to report about these defaults, and the data from the housing industry was showing a huge number of defaults. so what happened was that buyers in the mortgage-backed securities market simply walked away. they fled that market. they did not want to buy. and because they wouldn't buy, the prices fell to almost zero.
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now, it also happens that under accounting rules financial institutions are required to carry their securities at market value. but you can see that they had their mortgage-backed securities had almost no value by 2007 or 2008. and so that's why you were reading in the newspapers that x bank, y bank, x financial company was in serious trouble. that's because they had to wri down their assets. and when you write down your assets, your capital declines, and also in some cases you suffer direct losses under the accounting rules. so that's why we had something that looks like this, and there were many financial institutions all over this country that were in trouble. it's the relationship between that problem and the
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government's decisions that then caused the financial crisis as we understand it. if we had just left things alone over time, these values would have come back because what we had here was people fleeing the market until they understood more information about what was really causing all of these losses. >> all persons having business before the honorable, the supreme court of the united states, are admonished to draw near and give their attention. >> tonight on c-span's "landmark cases," we'll look at the case on one of the most divisive issues to come before the supreme court, abortion. >> roe against wade was decided in january, 1973. it is a case that is controversial, that is constantly under scrutiny, and
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there is a question, i suppose, whether it ever will cease to be under scrutiny. >> wanting to terminate an unwanted pregnancy but unable to because of a texas state law banning abortion, unmarried dalla carnival worker norma mccorps i have agreed to be the plaintiff in a 1970 case that challenged that law. the lawsuit listed her as jane roe and the defendant charged with enforcing the ban was dallas county district attorney henry wade. while she had the baby and put it up for adoption, her case made it all the way to the supreme court. >> jane roe, the pregnant woman, had gone to several dallas physicians seeking an abortion but was refused care because of the texas laws. she filed suit on behalf of herself and all those women who have in the past, at that pent time or in the future -- present
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time or in the future would seek termination of a pregnancy. >> we'll discuss the court's discussion in roe v. wade, its impact then and now with our guest, clark forsyth, senior counsel with americans united for life and author of "abuse of discretion: the inside story of roe v. wade." and melissa murray, professor at the university of california berkeley law school and former law clerk for sonia sotomayor prior to her appointment to the supreme court. that's live tonight at nine eastern on c-span, c-span3 and c-span radio. and for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of the landmark cases companion book. it's racial for $8.95 plus shipping at c-span.org/land markcases. >> the house oversight and government reform committee held a hearing recently to evaluate the screening process of foreigners entering the u.s. and to identify vulnerabilities in the immigration system. state department and homeland
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security officials testified on the visa program, the refugee vetting process and information sharing between agencies. this is just over four hours. >> the committee will come to order, and without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. the united states has the most generous inflation system in the world -- immigration system in the world. the state department issued almost ten million visas in 2015 for people seeking temporary entry into the united states. the state department issued an additional 550,000 immigrant visas last year alone. they joined an estimated 20 million others who entered the united states without vistas under the visa waiver program. our government also issued 1,075,063 borders crossing cards to mexican nationals in just the first ten months of fiscal year
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2015. there are an estimated -- we're guessing -- close to ten million border crossing cards in circulation today. on top of that, more than a million non-immigrant students are lawfully studying in the united states on student visas. some 2,093,711 individuals were granted employment authorization in fiscal year 2015. in fiscal year 2013, the last year for which statistics are available, the united states granted asylum status to 25,199 people. and from fiscal year 2008-2014, the number of individuals claiming a credible fear of persecution in their home country increased some 921%. if we can put that graphic up, i would appreciate it. we are seeing a rapid rise of people coming to the united states, stepping foot into our country and claiming asylum. we've had a lot of discussion about refugees who the administration want to import to the united states of america, but let's also understand the
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surge that's happening op our borders. -- on our borders. just today on the front page of the washington post, it has a front-page story about the number of children that are coming across our borders. you can put that graphic down. thank you. the total number of asylum applications filed between fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2014 more than doubled, going from 47,000 plus to over 108,000. and 69,933 refugees were resettled in the united states just last year: that's an incomplete picture and evidently not enough for the obama administration. not everyone who is here came legally or obtained lawful status once they got here. in fiscal year 2013, 241,424 -- sorry. 241,443 people were processed for expedited removal. in fiscal year 2014, the border
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patrol made 486,000 apprehensions. still there's an estimated 15 million people that are here illegally. it's estimated 40% of those folks entered legally and simply did not leave. these numbers beg the question of whether the united states is doing enough to vet people who are applying to come to the united states. our world is changing, and along with it the types of threats that we encounter. certainly, with our experience with 9/11, thes boston bombers and the more recent terrorist attacks make it clear that the immigration screening process is a critical element in protecting the american people. reviewing the backgrounds of foreign nationals before they come to the united states is crucial in understanding who is entering the united states. the recent terrorist attacks in san bernardino and paris highlight how important these background checks have to be. we saw some of the most horrific terror episodes that we've had in our nation recently in
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california. fourteen people murdered, wounding 31 more. it was -- 21 more. it was the deadliest terrorist attack on united states soil since september 11th. tashfeen malik came to the united states on a fiance visa before getting her green card. she reportedly passed three background check as she emigrated to the united states from pakistan. first the national security database. then the state department used her fingerprints to do a criminal background check. finally, when she was applying for lawful permanent resident status, dhs checked her out again. she cleared each check. no red flags were raised. but it was pretty clear now looking back that it was well known among her friends and family that she supported violent jihad against the united states. it's being reported this morning -- i think it's msnbc -- that as early as 2011 homeland security was preparing to check
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social media, and yet homeland security decided that was a bad idea. almost every story i've ever heard, read and seen is about -- even the president has made comments about terrorists or who are really good at using social media. and back in 2011 when homeland security was thinking about using social media, the decision in homeland security was, bad idea. they made the i don't wrong cal. they made the really wrong call. it is unclear or what dhs will actually do when it encounters fraud. it's my understanding that homeland security might start looking at it. this is publicly-available information. under current law overstaying a visa, violating its terms or committing fraud in the immigration process is sufficient to render an alien
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removed. all too often we wait until they've overstayed and committed crimes. and then jeh johnson puts out guidance and says even if you commit sex crimes, even if you do certain other crimes, don't necessarily need to deport them. they're here illegally, they commit a crime, and homeland security is saying, use discretion. we may not want to, we may not want to deport these people. it's not a threat to public safety. you tell a woman who's been raped that it's not, that it's not against public safety to have that person here. we're going to go through that in this committee here today. a joint subcommittee hearing last thursday left many of this committee's members frustrated and confused about the country's ability to address a growing threat. homeland security sent its
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deputy assistant secretary for screening wood nation office to this committee. it was an embarrassment. as the deputy assistant secretary, her bio states she, quote, deters, detects and denies access to or withholds benefits from individuals who may pose a threat to the united states of america. she couldn't answer a single question. i don't know, i'll have to get back with you. all the promises she made, by way, she didn't fulfill. she couldn't even tell me if more people come in by land, by sea or by air. she thinks most people come into this country by air. and she's in charge of screening. you can see why we're scared to death that this administration, the department of homeland security, the state department is not protecting the american people. she has worked in that office since 2007. the basic lack of information of a senior official raises serious
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concerns and inspires little confidence. and americans have legitimate concerns about threat that radical extremists pose to their safety and the safety of their friends, families and communities. i'd like to complete my opening remarks with a video. this is of the national security adviser and then followed up by, followed up by -- you'll see. it'll speak for itself. >> is president obama reconsidering his plan to accept 10,000 syrian refugees over the next year? >> no, chris, we're still planning to take in syrian refugees. we have very robust vetting procedures for those refugees. it involves our intelligence community, our national counterterrorism center, extensive interviews, vetting them against all the available information -- >> bringing syrian refugees into the united states? >> no, chuck. we have very extensive screening procedures for all syrian refugees who would come to the united states. there's a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our
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national counterterrorism center, the department of homeland security. so we can make sure that we're carefully screening anybody who comes to the united states. >> and are you confident enough in our vetting process as the united states brings syrian refugees into our country to pledge that this will never happen here? >> with respect to refugees, we have the most extensive security vetting that we've ever had to deal with syrian refugees coming into the united states that involves not just the department of homeland security and the state department, but also our intelligence community, the national counterterrorism center so that anybody who comes to the united states, we are carefully vetting against all of our information. >> i think that's the challenge we're all talking about, is that we can only query against that which we have collected. and so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our day a base, we can query our database until the cows come home, but we're not going to -- there'll be nothing show up because we have no record on that person.
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that's what the assistant director was talking about. you can only query what you've collected. >> at least the fbi director calls it like it is. at least the fbi director is telling us candidly what's happening out there. and in the case of the most recent terrorist attacks, when the person maybe hasn't been here or there are other circumstances, you can see why we have great cause for concern. so we have a series of questions today. what i'd like to do is introduce the panel, allow for their opening statements, then we will have the opening statement from mr. cummings, and we will go to questions from there. i would, i will hold the record open for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. we're now going to recognize our witnesses. we're pleased to recognize alan
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bersin, assistant secretary for international affairs and chief diplomatic officer for the office of policy at the united states department of homeland security. the honorable leon rodriguez, director of the united states citizenship and immigration services. the honorable michele bond, assistant secretary of the bureau of consular affairs at the united states department of state, and the honorable anne richard, assistant secretary, bureau of population refugees and migration, the united states department of state. we welcome you all and thank you for being here. ..
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since 2001, since september 11, 2001, want to express the support and sympathy that i and my family feel, and i'm sure my colleagues on the panel share, and our colleagues across the federal service for the families of those killed in san
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bernardino. and for the families and the victims who were injured, 21 victims injured in that terrorist attack. our written testimonies in a statement submitted to the committee actually described in some detail the systems have been put in place for screening for terrorist travel. what i'd like to do in the four minutes i have left is to give you an overview to look at this system and the four major shaping factors have built a sense 9/11. and i point out that this is a system that was built under the leadership of two presidents, one republican and one democrat, was built under the leadership of for homeland security secretaries, two democratic into republican. it was built under for secretaries of state, two republicans and two democrats. what we faced after 9/11 were a
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situation in which we did not have a unified system. i was the united states attorney in southern california, and i recall in the 1990s that they were terrorist watch list in each of the various departments. we were stovepipe. in the aftermath and in the 14 years since 9/11 we have built a system that brings together the information of the united states government, and institutionalizes it in a multiagency way. we have a national counterterrorism center, nctc, that maintains that care based database. environment. we have the terrorist screening database managed by a multiagency terrorist screening center, terrorist watch lists. we actually have brought the system together and we do
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communicate, antitrust during this info -- will have an opportunity to discuss the. the second major shaping influence was to realize that 98 or 99% of all trade and travel into the united states is perfectly lawful and legitimate. and, therefore, we needed to see security and travel facilitation and trade not as being mutually exclusive but as being part of the same process. we need to introduce a risk management into the trade and travel vending systems. the third influence was that we recognize in a global world -- venting systems. -- instantaneous constable of good people, ideas, capital, electrons, images and ideas that, in fact, protecting the homeland, the homeland security enterprises inherently transnational. and we build out a system in which, together with the state
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department, defense department, intelligence agencies, dhs has a presence abroad to watch the movement of cargo and the movement of persons towards the homeland. and fourthly what we have seen recently and that is shaping the system now is that, in fact, we have a transnational threat that this cyber enabled and that our terrorist enemies are actually using the internet to radicalize those who listen to the message and are receptive to it. so at and what we have built and what we need to continue to build, hopefully in a bipartisan fashion, is a system that protects the american people by building up a homeland security enterprise that takes into account predeparture toward the united states, departure towards the united states, entry into the united states, and then exit from the united states in due course.
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lastly, mr. chairman, i would be, with all due respect, i would be remiss if i did not say on behalf of kelly ann, that i know of no other career person in the policy office that i am responsible for who is more dedicated, more knowledgeable about screening. fact of the matter is, mr. chairman, she came to this hearing expecting to talk about the visa waiver program. she was hardly question at all about it. i make no apologies for her. she is first rate your she's an american. she's a patriot, and i regret that you came away with a different impression. thank you, sir. >> with that we will be discussing. mr. rodriquez, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> good morning, chairman, ranking member, members of the committee. one of our very most obligation as public servants is to
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safeguard public safety and national security. that is particularly true when we are granting benefits and privileges. so when we give someone a driver's license we require a test so we know that person will drive safely. when we give professionals licenses, we tested into no that they can practice their professions in a manner that process -- poses minimal threat to our. we work in every respect for what we do to minimize risk. that is particularly true in the area of citizenship and immigration when we grant citizenship and immigration benefits. we take a number of safeguards to protect the national security. an observation made by congressman gowdy last week at a hearing before the subcommittee resonated with me particularly. and he challenged us that when incidents occur, we be talking not just about what we are doing
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in response to that incident, but that we really be thinking in terms of prevention of future challenges. as i reflected on that, back in fact has been our posture and will continue to be our posture in the future. i would give a few examples. we are as secretary johnson is frequently observed in an evolving threat in parliament. more and more the threats are not the threats posed by organizations acting in a concerted manner that increasingly those threats are benefits of isolated individuals or isolated groups of people, perhaps inspired by the organizations represent a threat to our country. in light of that combination of threats, be organized and also the isolated threats, we have been taking a number of measures over the past few years to reinforce the work that we do. one clear example is the institution of the interagency
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check that we apply in refugee venting and in other environments that gives us a very organized and very methodical way to query against intelligence databases when we are screening particular individuals. i know there have been discussions about individual who entered the united states at earlier times. some of those individuals were not subject to that sort of screening. they would be today and in many cases that would've prevented their entry. when rescreening syrian refugees, we prescreen the case before interviews are conducted. that is another innovation in a spirit of prevention. and we have been piloting the use of social media for the vetting of particular categories of people seeking individuals. there have, in fact, been three pilots that usdi yes has used in combination with its intelligence community and law
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enforcement partners to screening particular categories of individuals seeking immigration benefits. we have already concluded two of those pilots chop it on a relatively small group of people. we've learned a number of important lessons from the pilot which i'm, no doubt i will have an opportunity to expand on those lessons and issuing. and now we're in the midst of a third pilot which, in fact, has been applied and is in the process of being applied to literally thousands of applicants for immigration benefits. so any thought that the department of homeland security has simply foregone the use of social media for purposes of immigration screening is a mistake and thought. we've not spoken about it in great detail because of the fact is the more we speak about it, the more those who would use it will seek -- cc that no, we will be examining the content. what happened in san bernardino is a tragedy. and we should take no other
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lesson from what happened in san bernardino that we need to look at what we do and make sure that something like that does not happen again, that the tragedy of that type does not happen again. and, in fact, we've been working together with reporters at the state department, our partners elsewhere in dhs, in the intelligence community to further look at opportunities to strengthen the man in which we screen individuals. as i read news accounts of what occurred in san bernardino i am struck by the fact that among the victims in san bernardino our individuals who news reports related were immigrants themselves, who had come from all over the world, who had come here to live lives of service serving the most vulnerable people in our society. and i do feel that michael applies to those individuals as well as all the victims and san bernardino to protect the. of immigration is a privilege to any one individual, it is not a luxury for our country. it is necessary or the vitality
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of our economy. it is necessary for the stability and unity of our families. it is fundamental to our values, and i pledge to operate my part of the immigration system in a way that maximizes every opportunity that we have to protect the american people, to protect our national security. thank you, chairman, for inviting us here today. >> ms. bond, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you chairman chaffetz, ranking memberanking member cumd distinguished members opportunity. as has been described by my colleagues, the department of state along with partner agencies throughout the federal government have built a layered visa and border security screening system in order to review and assess the visa eligibility and status of foreign visitors from their visa applications throughout their travel to and arrival in the united states. we take our commitment to protect america's borders and
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citizens seriously, and we constantly analyze and update clearance procedures and look for new ways to do an even better vetting process. my written statement which i request be put in the record describes the screening regiment that applies to all these categories, and although the tragedy, the terrorist attack in san bernardino sparked particular interest in the fiancée visa, we apply equally rigorous security screening to all these applicants, all travelers to the united states. the vast majority of visa applicants at all immigrant and fiancée visa applicants are are interviewed by consular officer and information that has been provided described the extensive training which is provided to the officers strong emphasis on border security and fraud prevention, interagency coordination, how to conduct of those interviews, how to ensure
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that the name check process throughout the interagency is thoroughly done. all applicants data are embedded in this interagency process against databases that contain millions of records of individual sound ineligible for visas or regarding whom potentially derogatory information exists, including the terrorist identity database which was referred to. we fingerprint them and screened them against dhs and fbi databases of known and suspected terrorists, wanted persons come immigration law violators and criminals. we screen of their voters against the photos of known or suspected terrorists and the entire gallery of individuals who have ever applied for a visa. which is contained in our database at the state department. when the interagency screening process generates a red light hit, the consular officer suspends visa processing and submits the application for a washington-based interagency review conducted by federal law enforcement and intelligence
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agencies in the department of state. at individual overseas post we have additional screening done by dhs visa security programs, staff and their patriot system. the visa security units are located in over 20 high-threat posts, and i is special agent assigned to the visa security units provide on site embedding of these applications and other law enforcement support to consular officers. security reviews do not stop when the visa is issued to the department and partner agencies continuously match new threat information with our records of existing visas or visa waiver program travelers and we use our authority to revoke visas when indicated. since 2001 the department has revoked over 122000 visas for a variety of reasons, including nearly 9500 for suspected links to terrorism. we are engaged with interagency
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partners in the senior level review of the fiancée visa waiver process order by president obama and i expect recommendations develop in this review will apply to all visa screening. we are also working with the department of homeland security and the fear of characters in the department on security screening of visa waiver program travelers and enhancing the data sharing commitment required for vwp membership. we are investigating the applicability of advanced technology and data analysis, risks creating and credibility assessment tools. mr. chairman, ranking member cummings and a sandwich members, the department of state has no higher priority than the safety of our fellow citizens at home and abroad, it is a good of the traveling public. every visa decision is a national security decision to there is nothing routine about our work. we appreciate the sport of congress as we continues to work to strengthen our defenses.
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mr. chairman, i know you visited consular sections in mexico. i encourage everyone of you to visit our consular section when you are abroad to meet with our staff and to observe for yourself the process that applicants undergo. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. ms. richard, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> chairman chaffetz and distinguished of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before this committee regarding u.s. refugee admissions program and security vetting for wreckage is considering settlement in the united states. in fiscal year 2015 nearly 70,000 refugees of the 67 different nationalities were admitted for permanent resettlement in the united states including 1700 series and. in fiscal year 2016 the president has determined we should increase the overall number 85,000 including at least 10,000 syrians. we recognize that making more refugee to netscape is only part of the solution to the current
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global refugee and migration crisis but it is in keeping with our american tradition. it shows the world we seek to provide refuge for those most in need, sets an example for others to follow and adds the diversion strength of american society. result is offered refugees who are among the most vulnerable. people for whom a return to syria someday would be extended difficult, if not impossible. such as women and girls at risk, survivors of torture, children and adolescents at risk, and refugees with medical needs, disabilities or physical or legal protection needs. families or individuals could benefit the most from resettlement are referred to the u.s. refugee admissions program and the u.n. refugee agency. money maker the u.n. refugee agency does not determine who comes to the united states. that determination is made by the department of homeland security. i know the murders attacks in paris on november 13 have raised many questions about the spillover of not just migrants
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to europe but also the spread of violence from war zones in the least to the streets of a major european capital. let me assure you that the entire executive branch and state department that i represent has the safety and security of americans as our highest priority. as an essential fundamental part of the u.s. refugee admissions program we screen applicants carefully in an effort to assure that no one who poses a threat to safety and security of americans is able to enter our country. consequently we settlement is a deliberate process that can take 18-24 months. refugees of all nationalities cancer for a missions to the united states involves multiple federal intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies including the national counterterrorism center, the fbi come at the department of homeland security, state and defense. i want to make clear that we were in very close partnership with uscis that is had by leon rodriguez, and so it is our
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offices are in constant touch. our responsibility is to help repair the refugees for their interview and to prepare them, those who qualify, for life in the united states. dhs though has a heavy burden of determining whether someone qualifies for refugee and screening out anyone who is possible for it. no one has a right to come to the united states as a refugee and so if there's any doubt, the screen people out. applicants to the u.s. refugee admissions program are currently subject to the highest level security checks of any category of traveler to the united states. these safeguards include biometric fingerprint and biographic checks and a lengthy in person overseas interviewed i dhs officers who scrutinize applicants explanation of circumstances to ensure the applicant is a bona fide refugee and is not known to present security concerns. the vast majority of the 3 million refugees who have been admitted to the united states
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since the vietnam era, including from some of the most troubled regions in the world, have proven to be hard-working and productive residents. they pay taxes, send their children to school, and after five years many take the test to become citizens. some serve in the u.s. military and at other forms of service for their communities and our country. i'm happy to add to any questions you may have about our program on our contributions to aid to refugees and victims of conflict overseas and our diplomatic efforts related to humanitarian operations around the world. thank you. >> we would not recognize our ranking member mr. cummings. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i think you for calling this hearing and i think that if we were, as i listened to the testimony, i have two words that ring out for me. and i hope that it will be the theme of this evening.
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and they are two words that i repeat to myself over and over and over again. effectiveness and efficiency. effectiveness and efficiency. i believe that i speak for every member of this committee when i express our condemnation for the actions of these two depraved terrorists, syed farook and tashfeen malik, who murdered 14 innocent people in cold blood and injured many, many others in their sickening rampage in california just two weeks ago. certainly we send our prayers to people who were injured, and to the families of innocent victims. we know that their lives will be changed forever by this horrific act. we also extend our profound
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thanks to the hundreds of law enforcement officials, emergency first responders and health care providers who responded then, and are still responding today, to this fact of cowardice and evil. this attack was unusual because it was carried out by a husband, a united states citizen, and a woman who came into our country on a fiance visa waiver, married this man, then had a baby with him, and that baby was only six months old at the time of the attack. last week the director of the fbi james comey testified for the senate that based on the fbi's ongoing investigation, it
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appears that both syed farook and tashfeen malik were radicalized before she entered the united states. director comey explained yesterday, however, that contrary to the suggestion that a simple google search would have revealed her radicalism, these terrorists did not post their messages on publicly available social media. director comey stated, and i quote, we found no evidence of posing a social media by either of them at that period of time for that after reflecting their commitment to jihad or martyrdom, end of quote. director comey also said this, and i quote, i see no indication that either of these killers came across our stream and trip
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wires come into school. he also said he had not seen anything that, quote, sure to put them on our screen, end quote. unfortunately, due to the extremely short turnaround for today's hearing we do not have anyone here from the fbi. mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent to place this fox news story into the record which is entitled san bernardino, terrorist didn't post public messages, fbi director comey says. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so if a search of the public social media would not, in fact, prevented the attack, the question before us today is what else, and this is the question that is so vital to our witnesses, and we need to know this.
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and by the way, mr. rodriguez, i agree with you when you referred to the distinguished gentleman from south carolina, mr. doughty, about preventing things. but the question is, what else can be done to identify foreign nationals seeking to enter the united states who pose a risk to our national security? again, effectiveness and efficiency. for example, should the united states agencies attempt to access passport protected platforms like the one reportedly used by ms. malik? how should identify people who use alternate identities which law enforcement officials also believe malik apparently used parts which agency should do it? state department?
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dhs? the fbi? our intelligence agencies? all of them. once they conduct this screening, how should they report the results? should they go into the national counterterrorism center's tied database of? the fbi's terrorist screening database, or others? and finally should federal agencies be able to access communications over social media accounts of u.s. citizens who sponsor foreign nationals? and if so, under what circumstances? these are all very difficult questions, and a lot of the interest may involve classified information. i understand that there are several pilot programs already in the works. i also understand the president has ordered a review that is currently ongoing. our job is to grapple with these issues and develop solutions that help protect this great nation. the american people expect
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aggressive and urgent action to screen people entering the country to ensure that they do not pose risks to our national security. i can, effectiveness and efficiency. for these reasons i believe that one of the most constructive steps our committee can take today is to examine the various information databases used by federal agencies to make sure they are sharing as much information as possible to promote our national security. so i think our state department and dhs witnesses for being here on such short notice, and i look forward to your testimony as you've address that question of how we can be more effective and efficient. with that, mr. chairman, i want to thank you for your courtesy, and i yield back. >> we will not recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. >> mr. bersin come in your opening statement you said the witness with last week was a
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patriot. no one is questioning that, but then you also said she can prepare to answer questions about the visa waiver program last week. i just want to read from the transcript lastly. question one, how many visa waiver program overseas article in the united states? she said i didn't bring that number. second question, how many overseas in the visa waiver program may have traveled to syria before they got here? a response to i don't know that number. final question was how many people came from the visa waiver program countries that are here today and they been in syria are back before they came here? i don't have that answer. so she obviously was a prepared answer questions about the subject. does she work for you, mr. bersin? >> yes, sir. >> why didn't you just come last week? >> i was in london with secretary johnson at the meeting with speed are you prepared to answer the questions, are you prepared to give us a number
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today? we sent you an e-mail asking for some these numbers. are you prepared to give us answers today speak with with regard overstays as sophisticated, mr. jordan, this has been an issue spanning both republican and democratic administrations. with regard to the overstay -- >> let me ask you some specifics. how many visa waiver program's drivers are in the country could? >> if you give an opportunity i be poised to respond to your question. the overstay report which has been the subject of attention to this committee and to congress for many years, if you would like to understand why that report has not been produced despite 20 years of request speakers on not asking for a report. i'm asking for a number. how many visa waiver program travelers are in the country today? just the overall number. not even overstays. just how many are here today speak with you are 20 million persons were into the country each year on the visa waiver
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program speed do we know how many are here today? >> i cannot give you a number on, given the way in which -- >> that 20 million, how many overstays are here in a years time? >> we tried overstay for we are preparing a report for the. we do not have a number that has been -- >> okay, let me ask this. the 20 million who come in here india, we know how many have been to syria and iraq? do we know? >> the homeland security information, investigation, the counterterrorism and exportation has opened up a number of investigations with respect to the -- >> do we know a number of? is a 29 come on the visa waiver program to you. a bunch of those overstay. you can't give you that number. i ask the people who come on the visa waiver program travelers come to know of any of those who and cheery and iraq in the year or so before? >> there were 113 investigations
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opened up by homeland security investigations with regard to that matter, mr. jordan, and the bulk of those investigations have actually been closed. and, in fact, there are 18 ongoing investigations associate with syrian nationals. >> the 113 number is specific to the question i asked. people in the programmer may have traveled to syria or iraq before they came here speak with i did not have a specific number. i'm telling you that on the overstays that were identified speed so it could be much higher than 113? >> mr. jordan, i am very eager to at your questions but i cannot speak i have a minute and 20 seconds. >> i'm sorry, keep going. >> thank you for our investigations and over the last year, fiscal year '15 there've been 118 investigations in syria. i cannot say which ones of those enter the country on the visa waiver program. i can tell you that those are
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overstays that have been identified as having come from syria. of that 118, 11 were administratively arrested, and the remainder were closed with the exception of 18 ongoing investigations, which are connected to syrians and overstays. >> all right. let me switch subjects. this news account that i think was msnbc, top official at the department of homeland security considered a this is the policy to strengthen security screens performed visa applicants, social media accounts but that was rejected. were you part of the team to put together a memorandum and then rejected the idea of screening potential social media accounts of? >> no, sir, i was not in the office of policy at that point. i do know that secretary johnson has encouraged the couple of dhs to continue the work.
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reference by director rodriguez to continue the work they had been engaged in with regard to social media. i am aware of no memorandum, secret or otherwise, that bars composed of dhs from using social media. >> mr. chairman, real quick, went to the subject in your opening statement you make in a lasting testified in congress you testified about libya. do you think the situation in libya today is more stable than it was in 2011 or less stable speak with a hearing on which -- >> i've asking your opinion. >> i would defer to the state department the my personal opinion which is not relevant, it's not any more stable but it had nothing to do with the iss issue. >> wasn't it true that -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. go ahead and answer the question. >> i would defer to the state department on that judgment. >> you are the chief diplomatic officer for policy. i think your opinion is
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relevant. >> what is the question, mr. chairman? >> the question of mr. jordan asked you, what is your opinion of that question? >> with isil speak with the yes. >> or with libya? >> with both. >> i gave the edge with regard to libya. with regard to isil i think i should make a substantial threat to it is being treated as such by every rational political ear i know across the world. in addition to the european leaders that secretary johnson, attorney general lynch met with last week in london. >> the gentleman from massachusetts is now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman your good morning. i want to thank the witnesses for helping the committee with his work and thank you to your service for our country. i do want to go back, secretary bersin, about the overstay issue. because last week, she just
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never numbers with her. ship for step what they had no numbers for us and that was tragic. unresponsive to huge number of questions unfortunately i'm sure she's a fine person but we are after the fact she didn't have many. okay, so she told us last week, we had recess bearing so she could call the office. she told us that 20 million people a year come in under the visa waiver program. she said that there was 2% over state each year. that's what she told us, which comes to 400,000 overstays per year. are you telling me something different here today? >> the estimate is in that range, but -- >> i'm good with that. i don't want to waste my time on that but i just thought i was good to come out of this year with less backs and when they came in with.
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>> but i did want to say this issue of the overstay anticipation of report which is underway and -- >> is been underway a longtime. i'm not a young band so i don't even want to do him on this because i just don't think that's happening. we have been promised that information for years. that ain't happening. when i see the report i would believe it. fair enough. let me to one. look, between what director comey has said just yesterday, look, if you talk to the folks in our national security community, the islamic state is using social media as a main recruiting tool. this is their game. this is their world. they are doing this all over the globe. and yet when we look at what the department of homeland security is doing, we don't have a regular widespread requirement that our people review the social media of people coming
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from trouble areas where you have a lot of terrorists, like pakistan, afghanistan, syria, iraq and tunisia, parts of north africa where you've got a lot of support for radical jihad, violent jihad. we are not reduce the social media that's the world in which they operate. we don't regularly we do that and that's a major problem. so look, i think if someone is applying for citizenship to the united states, it is entirely reasonable that we ask for their social media contact, their information that, these people don't radicalized overnight. about of them have had public statements. not their private e-mails. i know that tashfeen malik, nader stuff with direct and private. we should've gotten anyway.
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we should exactly what your social media, the private sector and a public stuff. that is entirely reasonable to ask people who are coming from countries that are known to sponsor terrorism. why aren't we doing that? whawhy are we asking people for their, look, my colleges, i represent massachusetts. 52% of our colleges request all the information on their social media. from applicants to college, have about employers do. they want to know what's going on on your facebook, social media. if the employers, if half the employers in america are doing that in the private sector, if the colleges are doing it for students, why the hell wouldn't the department of homeland security do for someone coming from a terrorist country, or a country that sponsors terror, coming into the united states? it would seem to be, you know, i daresay a no-brainer but it's not happen.
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it's got me worried that we are not doing any of this. anybody cared to respond to that? >> i can certainly take part of the question, congressman. i think as i tried to make clear in my opening remarks, we have been piloting and begin a number of cases of -- >> very few the. it's a pilot program. i know that some pilot programs but we've got millions and millions of people that are out there that want to come into this country and we're doing a very small bit. we don't even look at their public stuff. that's what kills me. dhs doesn't regularly required that their administration officers, we don't even look at their public stuff. >> to be clear, we are moving both in the refugee and other immigration context. we been doing some of it. we are working -- >> you have three very small pilot programs going. we've talked to the folks overseas about what they're doing, and it's not regular, not
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routine, not widespread, just be there. i talked to you before they about what's going on in beirut. we have had a regular dating teen there in a year. they fly in, fly out because of the conditions there. but i don't want happy talk. sometimes i hear a lot of that, that we are doing fine overseas. when i go down, when i go to beirut, when i go to the syrian border, what you're telling us is is just happy talk that they say they don't have the resources. they didn't have the resources and had 160 applicants a year, excuse me, a week. now they're getting 16,000 a week, and with the same amount of resources we had before. to just troubles me greatly. i don't think we're doing a good job that i think we can do better. i would like to get the resources, the people to get people well, and then if we deem
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them eligible, didn't you take them as refugees? we can be smart and then we can be competitive. but right now it doesn't seem like we're doing either. i will yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> mr. rodriguez, going back to that issue that my colleague broached with you. dhs has indicated that it taken three pilot programs. we talked about that. include social media screening in the fall of 2014. has dhs ever have to policy preventing adjudicators and attorneys from reviewing applicants from seoul to meet impose? >> i am not aware of a policy that prevented it per se. they are our various privacy and other issues. there has never been a privacy per se.
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certainly just about the entire time that i've been director and secretary johnson has been secretary, what we've been doing is, in fact, piloting in developing the capacity to use social media in a thoughtful, functional manner. >> that per se bothers me a bit. >> i'm sorry t speak with that r se bothers me a bit. you indicating there is no direct policy preventing it. >> i am not aware of a policy but -- >> why wasn't it happening? >> i would not read too much into the phrase per se. i am not aware of their ever having been a policy that prohibited the use of -- >> in we have conflicting reports been in the last several days. there was and there wasn't. >> i know full well during my tenure as director we have, in fact, been developing and piloting that capacity. >> so it's a good policy we look
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into social media. >> i believe many of might intelligence community partners have the same view, that is information of value that may be cornered. >> and will be wrapped up the? >> we are in the process of doing that as we speak. >> mr. bersin, why did dhs wait, if there are three basic pilot projects, wait until 2014 to create these pilots? >> the activities with regard to social media have been conducted by the components, principally cis, mr. rodriguez agency, homeland security investigations of i.c.e., and cbp have conducted their activities. there was no headquarters over arching policy good evening that. to the contrary. these pilots have been going on under secretary johnson's
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leadership, and he is encouraged the components to actually -- >> why didn't wait until 2014 to initiate these pilots? >> mr. rodriguez, could you help me on that? why did we wait until 2014 to initiate or to create these pilot projects? >> i don't know. again, during my tenure -- >> can you bring the microphone and -- >> i am really unable today to speak to what occurred before. i am certainly, we'd be happy to give that information to the extent that it's not privileged and give that before the committee. >> win can we get that? >> we are getting used to hearing we don't have that information. >> i think for us the main point is we are doing it. one of the reasons i, i just don't know what occurred years before i got here. what we can say now is we are
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doing it. we are doing it in an abundant manner. we are looking to have actually be useful for screening purposes. that seems to be the most important discussion. what happened three or four or five years ago i can't speak to that. >> would have been the result of what you are doing now? >> i think there is less there that is actually of screening value than you would expect, at least in the small early samples. some of the things we have seen have been more ambiguous than clear. the art challenges in terms of people using foreign alphabets to pose, that's a capacity that we need to be developed. as everybody has observed, many of these can occasions as we've now learned from the director being applied in the san bernardino situation on private can occasions. they are not openly, open post but those are challenges we have identified. that said, i think we all
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continue to believe that there is a potential for there to be information of screening value, particularly as congressman lynch and i think you also have observed, in particularly high-risk environments. >> i think these recent events have shown there's probably significant, important information that we can use from information came from social media. >> we do not disagree. >> we hope that we continue to we hope to get more answers and not to push back. as we saw in the video earlier the white house represented, telling us we're doing everything, our vetting process is secure and then we see the results that are tremendous take place like san bernardino, we've got a problem. ideal back. >> i never again as the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> thank you. let me first thank the panel for their public service.
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i have questions for mr. rodriguez at first of all i will make us david i'm honored to be useless and, as because you get amazing benefits, one of which is the constitution applies to you. but for some time it does seem to me that executive branch has been blurring the lines between u.s. citizens and foreign nationals. sometimes it's backwards. let me give you three examples. 2011 the executive branch deliberately and i believe wrongfully executed an american citizen via a drone strikes. the department of justice has now sent elders for america to have been killed by do is a drone strikes, for american citizens. second example, the executive branch to the nsa has been teasing hundreds of millions of phone records of u.s. citizens. they knew who we called, when we called him who called us, federation of those calls come
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and pick of those calls, and it got so bad that congress had to step in earlier this year and prevent nsa from violating the fourth amendment rights of u.s. citizens. and then a third example which is social media. there's multiple report, abc news has a secret u.s. policy blocks a just look at social media of folks seeking entry into the united states to the visa program. the hill reports immigration officials prohibited from look at these applicants. politico says secretary jeh johnson believes that the our privacy reasons for why dhs is doing this. mr. rodriguez, you mentioned again for privacy reasons. i just want to know, the u.s. constitution does not apply to foreign nationals seeking entry into the united states. so do not give foreign nationals more rights than american citizens have. if you are an american citizen you seek a job in the private sector are in the public sector or my office, we are going to look at your social media.
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the response i have from you all today is, well now, you are doing three small pilot projects. that is not an adequate response. my question to you is, you need to reverse that policy if, in fact, it is a secret policy. are either is or isn't the very least you need a departmentwide policy to look at social media, not just three small pilot projects. i want to know why you can't starting tomorrow have it in my policy isn't doing this instead of having three small pilot projects? >> so let me be clear first of all. there is not now nor was there ever a secret policy prohibiting use of social media preventing. there needs to be a structure to these things. there needs to be a plan for doing these things. that is what we have been doing for many, many months now. in fact the third of the pilots, small numbers, a third of the pilot action is being applied to
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thousands of individuals but i won't go into details beyond that because i don't want to tip people off as to what we may be looking at. i agree with you that you must privacy strictures apply to citizens. they do not apply in the same way to four-person. the are numerous examples in the manner in which we receive people and ports of entries, what we do at our forum post. there's evidence of that distinction. so i do not, i'm not sure i accept the premise that somehow we're safeguarding the privacy of foreign nationals to any greater degree. however, there are legal concerns that you need to be addressed spirit what are these legal concerns courts we asked dhs earlier this week, give us a legal case for provision in the constitution that says if there are any privacy concerns with looking at anything related to a
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foreign nationals seeking entry into the united states. i don't know where those came from th but i don't understand e quote that secretary johnson said, saying there are legal concerns about scrutinizing web hosting to what is the case you all are relying on? >> again, i am not the privacy law expert for purposes of this hearing. in fact, there are issues that we need to make sure that are satisfied with respect to potentially treaty obligations that apply, with respect to our own laws that may apply, a variety of issues. and we are -- >> let me just suggest, u.s. constitution does not extend privacy protection to foreign nationals seeking entry into the united states. unique and not just have pilot programs. there needs to be a policy of our government to look at social media and other publicly available information of people
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seeking entry into the united states. with that i yield back. >> mr. lew, i would ask, you ask unanimous consent to put an article into the record use of fox news. i was citing msnbc. [laughter] fair enough. i must say appreciate that bipartisanship. the title of this article exclusive homeland security rejected plans, including is an attachment supposedly from the united states citizenship and immigration services. we have not batted that but in the spirit of giving and getting to the bottom of this i would ask this consent to enter that into the record. without objection, so ordered evidence of gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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ms. richard, is it your understanding that the president still intends to bring about 10,000 cheering refugees into this country this year speak was yes. >> could you tell a proxy what the cost per refugee per year to bring them your? >> i don't have a per refugee caused. the overall program though is when you had to get the the cost of state department, department of homeland security and health and human services that provides assistance to states to a refugees once they are here is close to a billion dollars. >> i heard about 84,000 per refugee. does that sound reasonable? >> i will doublecheck that. >> what percentage of the 10,000 would be fighting age men? >> so far we are putting a priority on bringing people who are the most vulnerable. so we have only brought 2%, so far only 2% of the serious we
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have brought our fighting age men are traffic without any family. so into a slightly, it would be a higher percentage in terms of fighting age men are traveling with family. but the 2% o number you may avet is the one to come as single without family. >> i would just hope the next in america gets the fact that our fighting age men don't want to resettle somewhere else. else. i hope they would fight to stay and fight for our freedom. mr. bersin, you said about 29 people come on the visa waiver rogue ran each year speak with yes, sir. >> did i hear about 400,000 overstay? >> that's in the range of the estimate made, yes, sir. >> what are the repercussions for overstaying your visa? >> it has two, one potentially legal and one insurance under a tent to come back in to the country after using it.
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i indicated that is an immigration customs enforcement unit called the counterterrorism criminal explication unit that tracks the overstays. and there have been relatively few but some prosecutions for overstays big event removals of peace, of people are overstated, deported and -- >> out of 400,000 who can' counf opened 113 cases. there's not much repercussions for breaking the law for overstaying your visa. >> and main sanction that is applied is inability to get back into the country, depending on the facts of the particular overstay. >> how many of the terrorist that perpetrated 9/11 had overstayed their visa speak with a number of them spinning so we need to do much better. the syrian refugees, how many of the syrian refugees have been arrested in other countries
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since 2015 and have been accused of supporting the islamic state? >> not aware of that number as we speak. if we have that information we can certainly -- i am not aware of that. >> we probably really couldn't get that information due to the lack of infrastructure in syria. >> i want to measure understand this question to people currently in europe, in such a question speak with yes. >> i doubt we would have that information spirit but ms. richard several going to bring 10,000 syrian refugees into the pros -- country. the fbi director said there's no way that we can vet these people because we can't access the syrian database. bashar assad will not tell us of the good ones and the bad ones are so wouldn't it make sense to halt this program until we can
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tell the american people that we can safely protected in? >> in addition to the passage by the fbi director that was played on tv earlier, the fbi director has also acknowledged that our vetting process is an extremely tough and thorough vetting process that involves multiple interviews, queries against multiple databases. so i don't think i was ever with the fbi director said. >> i think that's exactly what he said. is that we don't have any access to any records because we have no cooperation from the syrian government so we can adequately vet these people. >> there is considerable data that we use as i have repeated many times. in fact, there have been people who have been denied refugee status because of information that we found in law enforcement and intelligence databases, as well as hundreds of people that have been placed on hold either because of what was in those
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databases or that in combination with information discovered during interviews. and, in fact, that has been acknowledged by director comey. you can buy one passage on tv. that is not the hotel to -- that is not the totalitarian of what he said. >> if we miss just 1% that's 100 terrorists that didn't take him in in tears them in and tears edited defending in san bernardino. spent thank the gentleman. >> thank you, chairman chaffetz. ..
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>> so let's look at it from the shoes of somebody who wants to do harm to the united states. be you're, if you're an isis terrorist ask you want to -- and you want to sneak into the u.s., that would be the dumbest avenue you could take to apply for unhcr resettlement to the united states, because you could end up in norway after the 4-month -- 24-month vetting process, am i correct in that? >> i agree. it's not an efficient way for a would-be terrorist to enter the united states. but that doesn't mean we let down our guard, because it would only take one bad guy to completely ruin the swire program, and we love this program. this program does so much good for tense of thousands of people every year. >> sure. and by the way, the shootings in california, were those perpetrated by refugees who were resettled? >> no, sir. no refugees have carried out terrorist activities in the united states. >> no refugees have carried out
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terrorist activities in the united states. >> successfully carried out an attack against u.s. citizens here in the united states. >> so what i've been worried about is the visa program, and i want to follow up. director rodriguez, fbi director james comey reported publicly that the agency had no incriminating information about the shooters in the san bernardino case. is that consistent with your understanding? director rodriguez? >> that is, that is what i've come to understand from director comey. >> and, director rodriguez and assistant secretary bond, it's also been publicly recorded that both the state department and dhs followed all vetting and background check policies be procedures in this case. is that also correct? >> yes, sir, it is. >> now, mr. bersin, the k1 process begins when an american citizen petitions to bring his or her fiance to the u.s., is that correct?
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>> that's my understanding, yeah. >> mr. bersin, how does the department of homeland security screen the american citizen's k1 petition? [inaudible conversations] >> my portfolio, sir. so what we do at the point that a petition is made -- remember, the petition are our sole authorized purpose at the petition stage, it's just to adjudicate the relationship between the two individuals to determine whether they are, in fact, fiances. nonetheless, we do run background checks at that stage including the text check which goes both against the petitioner and the potential beneficiary. the results of those screens are then turned over to the applicable embassy for use in the, in the actual visa screening. >> is the american citizen involved in the k1 position
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interviewed at that time? ordinarily not interviewed at that time. >> why not? >> well, that's actually one of the points that we are exploring right now. again, the adjudicative purpose for that interview at that point is limited. it's really, again, to determine whether the relationship exists, if we're satisfied on the information provided that that should be granted. obviously, the situation now -- and this is, again, where we say very clearly we should not act like nothing's wrong here. i don't want to be giving, as congressman lynch worries, happy talk here. this is something we need to thinking about, whether at least certain individuals need to be interviewed at that stage. >> that's why i asked the question, and i do encourage you to look hard at adding an interview at that point in the process. and my time is up and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank the gentleman. now recognize the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy, for
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phi minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman -- five minutes. if there were legal limits on his ability to do some background investigations, i think that was a really unfortunate phrase that he used, but let's you and i see if we can kind of demystify that a little bit. do you agree that noncitizens who are not in the united states are not afforded any protections under the fourth amendment? is. >> that's my understanding, mr. gowdy. >> well, you were a u.s. attorney. you're being modest. not only is that your understanding, it's also the law. the fourth amendment does not apply to non-u.s. citizens any more than the eighth amendment applies to non-u.s. citizens who are not here. would you agree with me there is no legal bar to accessing data from noncitizens who are not present in the united statesesome. >> absent a treaty to the contrary, that's my understanding, sir. >> would you also agree with me there is no legal right to
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emigrate to the united states? it's a privilege that we confer on people, but it is not a right. >> that's correct, sir. >> so would you also agree that you can condition the con fencer of a privilege -- confer especially of a privilege on just about anything you want so long as you don't violate a treaty -- >> or constitution. >> or the constitution. but you made, i'm sure, extensive use of polygraphs when you were the united states attorney. >> from time to time, yes, sir. >> all right. and they're not admissible in court, are they? >> not generally, no. >> but we still use them, because they're a very effective investigative tool. do we use them in the vetting of people who want to come here? >> with regard to imgriggs benefits -- immigration benefits, i'm not familiar with the policy in the refugee context. we do not regularly use a polygraph. be there's significant doubt -- if there's significant doubt in
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the operational component given the border authorities that i.c.e. has, typically the decision would be made to bar entry rather than go to the extent to try to ascertain the veracity. >> but you and i didn't use polygraphs because we had doubt in our previous lies. sometimes it incents the person to embrace the truth if it might be a threat that there's a polygraph. you certainly can't admit it in court. it is the threat that you may be polygraphed that sometimes provides people with the incentive to either tell the truth or they need not apply in the first place, right? >> that can be one reaction from an individual, and i'm not be aware, mr. gowdy, of any policy that would prevent that. i'm also not aware operationally as a former cbp commissioner that it's been used in any regular way. >> well, let me tell you where i find myself.
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i just listened to ben rhodes give a series of words like "extensive, thorough, careful." i have heard "tough," i have heard multiple" all amplifying the word "vetting." and i just thought, well, ifal of that was -- if all of that was true, how did we miss the lady in san bernardino? >> as the fbi director said, mr. gowdy, and as i think the fact there were no, there was nothing in the system that we used that would pick that up, there was no data that we would turn into actionable information to deny admission. >> i get you, mr. bersin, but i've got to be candid with you, that doesn't make me feel any better. i mean, it's one thing to argue that there was information there and we missed it. that's one set of corrective measures. >> right. >> it's another thing to argue, as i hear we are currently
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arguing -- this administration -- that we missed nothing. so we have someone willing and capable of killing 14 people, and there was nothing in her background that this administration says we missed or should have picked up on, and yet there's still 14 dead people. so how does that make us feel better? >> mr. gowdy, i think -- i don't think anyone would gain, say, the sense of tragedy. and i don't think anyone's saying that were that information, that data in the system, that we would not all be overrelieved and thankful if it had led to the apprehension of that, those murders -- murder murderers. were there data in the system by which we could tell there was risk? the answer to that is, no. i think the inquiry being made
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here today is a valid one, as director rodriguez suggests, and we need to actually look at this hard and long in terms of the utilization of means. i will say that there is no secret policy in dhs against the use of social -- there's nothing in the privacy policy that would bar it for screening purposes. >> well, it couldn't be, becausq it doesn't apply to non-u.s. citizens. i'm out of time. i just want to tell you the dichotomy as i see it. we have a choice. we can either tell the american people that our process and our systems are flawed and that we have missed information that is otherwise available and let them deal with that, or we can just tell our fellow citizens, we missed nothing. we did everything we were supposed to do, and there's still 14 funerals in california, so you just need to get used to the risk. neither one of those is acceptable, i would argue to you. >> mr. gowdy, i've not heard anyone who was involved in law enforcement or in the homeland
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security enterprise that wouldn't say that we need to strengthen our systems. we've been doing that continuously for the 14 years since 9/11. >> well -- >> gentleman's time has expired. >> all right. forgive me for noticing the trend of extending time, but i will, i will yield back. >> yes, you will. [laughter] we will now recognize the gentlewoman from michigan, ms. lawrence, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. to everyone that's here today, thank you for being here. assistant secretary bond, i want to ask you about the report of the visa office which was issued by bureau of the council affairs at the state department. according to this report n2014 foreign service posts issued about 467,000 immigrant visas and 9.9 million non-immigrant visas.
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the k1 or the fiance visas which has received significant attention recently are classifi classified as a non-immigrant visa. is that correct? >> the k1 visa is an unusual, you could call it a hybrid. we process it as an immigrant visa case. we do all of the work on a fiance visa that we would do for an immigrant visa case. for example, the applicant has to undergo a medical exam to show that there are no communicable diseases or other things. we wouldn't do that for a non-immigrant. but when we actually issue the visa, the it's a non-immigrant visa because until that person has married the petitioner and then applied for adjustment to legal permanent resident status, they don't have the right to remain in the united states after entering. so they're not coming in on an
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immigrant visa, but it's our immigrant visa unit that does all of the preparatory, all of the work -- >> so for the record, are we saying that although it's classified as a non-immigrant, you're saying for the record that they must go through everything an immigrant, through the complete process? >> exactly right. >> how many non-immigrant visas are, do we have in the united states when we're processing in your department, and what are some of the other non-immigrant visas? >> there's an alphabet of them. >> so how many? >> examples of non-immigrant visas are those we issue to foreign diplomats who are coming here to serve in their embassies or consulates, to people who are coming as tourists or on business or that they might be coming, for example, for medical care. we have people who are coming in as crew members, flying in on planes, they're coming in on
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ships. >> [inaudible] if i am coming in under the non-immigrant fiance, at what point are we reviewed again to document -- is there any, is there another step that happens? so i come in, i have to have a non-immigrant. so i come back and just give you a marriage license and it's done, or is there additional screening? >> in most cases the fiance, the reason they're getting a fiance visa is that they intend to marry and remain in the united states. so, and they have 90 days to do that. we give them a one-entry visa. they are allowed to enter the united states, and they have 90 days to, after entry, to either marry or depart. most of them, having married, remain in the united states. and, therefore, they get in touch with director rodriguez's colleagues in order to adjust
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status and, yes, they would provide proof that they have married. >> now, this is a question i have, and it was referred to by your colleague that they are reviewing the interview process of american spouses. because we don't interview the spouse, we just interview this application for the fiance, non-immigrant visa. my question to you, the president has directed the state department to review 'em. what is the review, when will this review be completed, and what is, the objective of the review? can you outline that, please? >> yes. the objective of the review which is an interagency effort, we're working very closely with different parts of the department of homeland security and with other parts of the government to take a look at every single element of the process.
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the specific focus is on the fiance vis a vis. -- visa. so you have the initial stage where the american citizen files a petition. we're examining that to see what more could we do there. then you have the stage where the information is vetted and then transferred to an embassy where the applicant is going to be interviewed. we're we're looking at that process which is primarily under the direction of my colleagues -- >> my time is running out, so my final question is, what is the timeline to complete this review and to report out? >> my understanding is that we hope to be providing a review to the nsc in january. >> thank you, mr. chairman. yield back. >> thank you. members are advised that we have a vote on the floor. there are 11 minutes left in that vote. the intention of the chair is i'm going to recognize myself for questioning, we'll do one more democrat, and then we will
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recess until approximately 11 a.m. or whenever the votes conclude. so with that i will now recognize myself. ms. richard, you said that state department's helping to prioritize the most vulnerable in syria, yet in syria my understanding is in fiscal year 2015 only 29 people were christians. i would think christians in syria are some of the most vulnerable people. why is that number so low? it's less than 3% of those brought in, and yet the christians represent roughly 10% of the population in syria. >> i agree with you that christians in the middle east are among some of the most vulnerable people, especially in the isil-controlled areas. and so that's one reason we have in brought, in terms of our -- >> my question is about syria. look, i would appreciate it if
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you could get back to me on. i would spend half an hour -- >> we are bringing christians from syria -- >> not very many -- >> they're underrepresented in part because they make up a smaller percentage of the refugees from syria. >> and that's the problem. >> they're not fleeing because they -- >> ms. richard, i'm done with that question. i'm moving on. ms. bond, i want you to get back to us with this question. ms. bond, you wrote in your testimony since 2001 the department has revoked approximately 122,000 visas for a variety of reasons including nearly 9500 for suspected links to terrorism. of the 122,000 revoked visas, how many of those people are still in the united states? >> i don't know. >> doesn't that scare you? >> of the people whose visas are revoked were not in the united states when we revoked the -- >> you have no idea how many of those people are in the united states. of the revoked visas, do you give those to the department of
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homeland security? >> exactly. >> so homeland security, how many revoked visas are is still in the united states of america? >> mr. chairman, i don't have that -- >> you don't have a clue, do you? be these are people that state department, state department who gave a visa thought about it, got more information and decided we better revoke that. 9500 were tied to terrorism. and you don't have a clue who they are, do you? >> no, mr. chairman, please understand that i head up the office of policy. the operational components that would have that information are -- >> when will i get that, when will i get that information? >> see if we can find that -- >> when will i get the operation? >> if the operational representatives have that information, we'll provide it to you when the hearing starts up again. if not, we'll get it to you as soon as we can. i do not administer -- >> mr. rodriguez, do you have anything to add to that? >> i am -- we are not the
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operational component. i don't. >> okay. is a visa overstay a key indicator of a threat to public safety and potential terrorism? mr. bersin? >> it could be depending on the facts. but in, given the number of people involved in, who come into this country who are processed, a million people a day, i don't suspect it's a large fraction at all, no, sir. >> of the terrorist attacks that have happened in the united states, it's been a disproportionate number, hasn't it? how quickly, how quickly we forget about 9/11. 19, i believe of those people, are visa overstays, correct? it's not even in the top three priorities for the secretary of homeland security. that's what i've got a problem with. this memo of november 20, 2014, where the secretary outlines the priorities more deportation, category number two -- and i want you to understand what i'm
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seeing at the end of category -- this is, again, not the top priority for removal, but number two. these aliens should be removed unless there are factors indicating the alien is not a threat to national security, border security or public safety and should not, therefore, be an enforcement priority. now, i don't know how you come to that conclusion about they're not a threat to public safety, border security or national security. first of all, they're here illegally. that should be enough, in my book. but let me list to you. offense of domestic violence. sexual abuse or exploitation. burglary. unlawful possession of a firearm. drug distribution or trafficking. driving under the influence. and and that is not an automatic deportation? you've got to be kidding me. and to think that they might --
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do you think that's terrorism if a woman's raped? do you, mr. bersin? >> do i think that that is terrorism? >> yeah. >> no, but it's an egregious, horrible crime which is the -- >> i tell you what -- >> i think it's a horrible crime. >> it is for that woman. it is for that family. and you don't deport 'em. how do you do that? you give them an excuse to make a decision, some poor officer there to say, you know, maybe they should go ahead and stay here in this country. we had more than 66,000 criminal aliens in your control, and you let 'em go. you didn't deport 'em, you let 'em go. why do you do that? >> mr. chairman, the policy provides that if they are a threat to national security, border security, public safety -- >> give me a scenario when a woman gets raped and the person's here illegally, that they're not a threat to public safety.
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explain to me that scenario. >> i didn't say that. >> that's what the memo says. >> they would be subject -- i believe the memo says unless they are a threat to border -- unless they are not a threat to border -- >> how are they not a threat, how are they not a threat -- >> chairman, if i may. if a woman is raped and the perpetrator is convicted of rape, that is a felony, that is a serious crime, that is a top priority for removal. >> no, it's not. it is not the top priority. >> i'm not sure -- >> it's priority number two for the department of homeland security, so says the memo. >> that person would be removed. >> it doesn't say that. it says "unless there are factors indicating the alien is not a threat or should not, therefore, be a deportment priority." jeh johnson went out of his way to tell people if you commit rape, rape, if you're in a dui situation -- >> i do not. >> -- if you commit burglary -- >> respectfully be, congressman, i don't think you are reading
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that policy correctly. >> i am going -- >> rape is a serious crime that is a removable offense. >> it is a removable offense unless, unless. and it's priority number two for the department of homeland security. i want some answers about that, i'm going to give you a copy to read, you're going to have a half hour to go through it, and i want to understand why you let 66,000 criminal aliens remain in the united states of america. that's a threat to to the homeland. that's the a threat of terrorism. that's a threat to every american. those people should be priorities for removal, and you didn't -- you had hem in your -- them in your possession, and you let 'em go. >> mr. chairman,you would yield. >> your staff won't give us a copy. i just need a copy of whatever you're reading from so whatever you're talking about. >> i ask unanimous consent to enter it into the record. i'll make sure -- >> no problem. again, i just wanted to make sure we have it. >> fair enough. >> can we get it quickly?
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>> yes. sorry, yes. i will now recognize the gentlewoman from new york, ms. maloney, for five minutes. >> well, thank you very much, and this is an important hearing, but the chairman said how quickly we all forget 9/11. i want to publicly thank all the members of congress that are remembering 9/11 by including it in the omnibus which we will be voting on tomorrow. so i think that that is a wonderful way to remember 9/11, by providing permanent health care to the heroes and heroines and survivors of 9/11, those who risked their lives to save others. it was a bipartisan effort and certainly one that we could all agree on, and i think we can all agree that we need to really work together on this whole area. finish -- due to the question
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earlier, the woman who came in from pakistan and became a terrorist, hay didn't find her in the database. but according to a report from the ig in 2015 from the department of homeland security, they said that tsa did not identify 73 people who had links to terrorism. and i find that very troubling. and according to this ig's report, this happened because tsa was not authorized to receive full information from the terrorist database run by the national counterterrorism center. i think we have two main questions. one is, if people are dangerous, we have to figure out how to get them into the database. but it's extremely troubling that they're in the database, and yet a visa is given to them which happened in this
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particular case. so i would like to ask mr. bersin, can you briefly explain why tsa did not have access to all of the information in the tiled data -- tidep database which would have sent 73 people out of the country. >> yes, ma'am. they were people who were credentialed to be in critical infrastructure. so of equal importance but this was not a visa situation. subsequent investigation actually demonstrated those 73 were not known as suspected terrorists. however, the larger point that you make, which is tsa access to tide's data, something that is under consideration. i believe a policy decision permitting that access could be made and is certainly under consideration right now. >> well, it seems to me that it's got -- you've got to have access to -- why have the list
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if people don't have access to it in making decisions about who comes into the country? i mean, i find that, i think that is something we can all agree on. we have to -- we certainly want legitimate visit arers, but anyone on -- visitors, but anyone on a terrorist watch list, you know, we should not be granting access. so can you give me any reason why tsa should not have access? you're saying it's under consideration that they have access. why in the world would tsa not have access to this counterterrorism list when it's their role to decide who comes in and who doesn't? i mean -- >> it is the policy position of dhs, including tsa, that it have access to that data, ma'am. >> that they have it? >> yes. >> well, then who's stopping that access? >> no, no. that they be authorized to receive that information directly from the -- >> but they're not receiving it. >> at this moment, no, but as i indicated, that policy is, has
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been under review, and i believe a decision will be made shortly. >> and who would make that decision? >> be a combination of an interagency process that would determine that -- >> who has the ultimate decision? the state department or -- >> no. this -- ultimately, the secretary would work with his counterparts in the cabinet, and it would be a decision that would be made by the interagency of the united states government. >> the interagency. who heads the interagency of the united states government? >> at the end of the process, the president, ma'am. >> so it's the president of united states. >> but this would not be, it would be decided in the process of the national security council headed by ambassador rice. >> the national security -- well, i think this should be changed immediately. seems like a bureaucratic mistake. so do you have any sense when
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they will make this dismission. >> the best i can offer you is shortly. >> okay. well, i would like the committee to send a letter, at least i'll send my own, expressing that this policy change should take place. may i just ask one brief question. which entity has the final say on whether a visa applicant is approved to receive a visa? >> the department of state issues the visa when every part of the interagency clearance has cleared and there are no objections and no red lights. so we would not issue over the objection of one of the interagency partners. >> my time has expired. >> thank you. the committee is going to go into recess. witnesses are advised that we will reconvene no be sooner than five minutes after 11, and we'll
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pick up from there. the committee sands in recess. [inaudible conversations] >> mr. bersin, i wanted to recognize you for a moment. you wanted to clarify something. >> yes, thank you, mr. chairman. two points. the last set of questions and answers with ms. maloney had to do with the access of tsa to tide data, and i talked about a policy change that was underway. on a manual, case-by-case basis, that's been done from time to time. the policy change that i'm confident the member of congress would be pleased to hear is that this has to do with automated
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access of tsa to tide's data. the second matter, mr. chairman, was that in responding to mr. walberg, i indicated that the number of visa overstays were in the 4-500,000 range, and that number was correct, but my after has corrected me, and i apparently misheard. this relates to both visa waiver program and also to all visas. so it was not just the visa waiver program. there are approximately 4-500,000 overstays, but i believe when the overstay report does come -- and mr. lynch is entitled to be skeptical -- but i believe it is enroute to the congress, it will indicate a visa, an overstay for the visa waiver program that is considerably lower than the number i suggested inaccurately in my testimony having misheard the member of congress.
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thank you, sir. >> i appreciate the clarifications. we now recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, for five minutes. >> thank you very much. mr. bersin, in your testimony you talked about the various watch lists that were coordinated and maintained as a result of 9/11. can you talk a little bit about what, how someone gets on one of those watch lists? >> yes, sir. there is a formal process. there is only one consolidated terrorist watch list in the united states following 9/11. and the way in which that happens is there is a interagency process. any agency can nominate, and there are standards that govern the movement of a -- >> right. >> -- of a name onto the terrorist screening database. >> we have a wide variety of agencies. does there have to be some level of proof that you're on there?
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is that list based on suspicion? >> the standard followed for most all cases are, is reasonable suspicion. there are other placements on tsdb based on a couple of other factors that are actually much smaller but for various or immigration or other reasons. >> so it's pretty easy -- >> reasonable standard is the standard. >> but it's pretty easy to get somebody on the list. what about getting off the list? if for some reason let's say i were put on the list. how easy would it be to get off? >> so with regard -- >> and would i know? >> with regard to to a subset of the tsdb, which is the way in which people typically know that they are on the tsdb, is if they are not permitted to fly abroad or within the united states. and there is a redress process that people can apply to to be
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removed, to ask to be removed -- >> and do you know how long that takes? >> it's an extended process. yes, sir. >> is it months? >> it depends on the redress application. >> and there are american citizens on this list. >> yes, sir. >> do you have any idea about how many american citizens? >> very -- the number of american citizens that are on the no-fly list or the select list are a very, very small fraction. >> but there is a substantial number. >> there is a, there are less than .1%, i'm told, with regard to the no-fly list. >> all right. i guess my concern with this is there has been a lot of talk recently about using these watch lists for purposes other than they were intended. for instance, in determining whether or not americans are able to exercise their rights under the second amendment. do you think it's appropriate that these lists be used outside of what they were designed for?
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>> i've not heard that, and i don't believe that it would be -- and i believe it would be apples and oranges. >> all right, thank you very much. ms. bond, i wanted to ask you a quick question about the folks that are interviewing folks who are coming into this country for a visa. that's done in your counselor service division, right? >> yes, that's right. >> and that's kind of -- correct me if i'm wrong, is that not the entry-level job that almost everybody at the state department has to start off and do a stint in the counselor service section? >> almost every foreign service officer will serve or in their first or second tour. >> and how long, typically, would someone serve in that position? >> two years. >> and how many folks that are screening folks that are coming into the united states have been there, you know, for extended period of time and have a high level of experience? to me, you testified they're
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adequately trained, but it's everybody's first two-year stint. i assume most people don't choose to stay there. >> i did. [laughter] the people, officers as they arrive at post if they are doing this as a first experience of consular tour, they are very carefully monitored -- >> how many stay? i'm running out of time, and i've got a question for ms. richard. >> you know, when we come into the foreign service, we come in in a cone. approximately, i think, 20% of the foreign service are consular officers. >> all right, thank you very much. and i wanted to ask ms. richard, when we're admitting refugees into the united states from folks like syria or countries of concern, what level of coordination is there with state? do we talk to the governors or anybody within the states? i know golf abbott -- governor abbott in texas is none too
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pleased about some folks that are being resettled in texas. >> every governor -- i think 49 of them -- have a state refugee coordinator that is involved in making sure that the governor's office works with and talks to to the local groups that are helping to resettle the -- >> all right. but they have no authority to stop, stop it or any formal process for expressing concerns. they're basically just informed, is that not -- >> we insist that our local partners consult with local government officials, including the state refugee coordinator from the governor's office. so they should be consulted. >> you give me a definition of what "consulted" means? i'm out of time. if you'll just kind of give me an idea -- >> who's coming, how many, where they're going, all that information. >> so it's basically just a one-way -- >> notification. >> thank you. they don't, the states don't really have a lot of opportunity. thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. will now recognize the
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gentlewoman from illinois, ms. duckworth, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. bond, how long is the training process for those foreign service officers who end up in consular services? >> the officers who are going out for a consular assignment for the first time take a training course that is six weeks long at the foreign service institute here, and then as i say after arriving at post, are normally engaged in the process that each post sets up for assigning a more experienced officer to work with them for the first few months. >> for the first few months. >> also, of course, we have managers in the section, more experienced officers, and the visa decisions,ish or shiewnses and -- issuances and refusals of less experienced officers are reviewed by more senior officers and are the basis of discussion to talk about what, what that officer looked at, what they based their decision on, what questions they asked, what
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questions they might have considered or pursued. and so it's -- there is, of course, an ongoing training program as people are settling into the job. >> so approximately about equivalent to an infantryman who goes to basic training and then goes, we send them to combat you should the supervision of more experienced leaders. and if we can trust our young americans to go to combat with that amount of experience, i would think we should be able to trust our consular officers who are under supervision of far more experienced consular officers. >> i think it's also worth noting that we're talking about foreign service officers, so these are people who have gone through a very rigorous, competitive program to be admitted to the foreign service. many are lawyers or have formally worked in immigration law or have, you know, been teachers. many are, in fact, former military. >> right. so by no means are these
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inexperienced people. and even so, they get at least the same amount in terms of quantity of training as somebody we are sending into harm's way. i'm sure you're very proud of our consular officers, as am i, and i thank them for their service. >> thank you. >> i strongly believe we must do everything in our power to protect our country, but we can do it without focusing on imaginary problems. i agree with my colleagues that we must consider any and all options to improve the security of our refugee screening process, but let's remember that these refugees are fleeing the same terrorists that we are fighting, isis and the brute al assad regime. turning our backs on people who are being persecuted and killed betrays our nation's deeply-held values and ideals and weakens national security. by helping isil recruit a new generation of terrorists through anti-american propaganda. and as we've already discussed, our current process already requires the collaboration of vetting of seven separate homeland security departments and takes on average about two years to complete.
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mr. bersin and mr. rodriguez, you said that this process is incredibly rigorous. i'd like to know if there are any other ways that we can further strengthen the refugee vetting process. because, of course, i think we should if there are. but in your opinion, are there any other way we can further strengthen this process? >> well, i certainly think that one way that we have been starting to use piloting could be use of social media research. there are other tools that we can use that i would not necessarily feel comfortable discussing in a public setting. >> okay. >> but needless to say, we are many a constant process -- in a constant process of looking how we reinforce our security and law enforcement vetting across all lines of business. so i think it's helpful to talk about refugees, helpful to talk
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about the k visas, but i also think it's important we realize that these security tools, in fact, are ones we need to think about using across all of our lines of business. >> so it's not a stagnant process. social security something where you're constantly -- it's something where you're constantly reviewing, and when you have new cases, you go back and look at other things that could be done. mr. bersin, you're nodding. >> i think the so-called hotwash, the after incident particularly of a tragedy of that proportion be always leads to a lot of examination, a lot of soul searching about how do we strengthen the system. and we will never get to the point where that process ends. this is, this is clearly an example of something that requires continuous improvement. and when we have an incident, a tragedy of that proportion, yes, we look very carefully at what could have been done, what should have we known, what can we know and then begin to address that, ma'am. >> do you have a regular process that's in place that is a periodic review of your
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processes that result in further improvement or adjustments? >> we do within dhs, and we do in the interagency. there's a constant review on an annual basis through, for example, the watch listing guidance can. how do we actually manage these vetting processes? yes, ma'am. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thanks the gentlewoman. will recognize the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. bersin, i'm going to come to you. you're a smart guy; yale, harvard, oxford. you know, look at your resumé, you know, you're a gifted attorney. and so as i looking at all that, i'm puzzled by a little bit of your opening testimony. tell me, and let me quote you here, because it says that the second major shaping influence is that we realize that 98 or 99% of all trade and travel in
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the united states is perfectly lawful and legitimate. how do you know that? >> the estimate comes, mr. meadows from when cbp, for example, makes judgments about with regard to cargo and with regard to people who are coming in and out of the states. we have those assessments of that. and i think it -- >> all right. so following that logic, since it's an estimate, of the 20 million people that come here with a visa, you're saying that between 2 and 1% come here for less than lawful purposes. >> if you apply that figure, sir, to -- >> well, if you're applying it to one, you have to apply it to all, don't you? either it's lawful or unlawful. >> no. the point is that when you look in the globalized world we operate in with a 70,000 containers that come in -- >> oh, so you're talking more about trade than people. >> no, i'm also talking about the million people a day -- >> all right, let's talk about
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the million people, because really when we look at terrorist activity, we're talking about 20 million people who come here with a visa and perhaps overstay. is that correct? >> no. 20 million people come under the visa waiver program. >> okay. and of that how many overstay? >> the estimate, as i indicated to chairman on the clarification that i made, it's -- when the overstay report comes out, the numbers that i've seen suggest that it is a relatively small number of -- >> okay. so you're talking about the internal document that you go -- >> that's correct, sir. and it's -- >> so what is the number on that internal document? >> well, i'm -- it's less than -- >> what's the number? now, you've got a two-inch binder there that has all kinds of research. in fact, it's got our pictures and our bios. so you've done good research. you knew i was going to ask question, i assume. >> i do, but i also have a duty please, mr. meadow cans, i'm not
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going to give you a number, no. >> why? >> i'm not going to give you a number because there's a report in preparation with a process that has to be followed -- whether is that the report that's been in process for 20 years? >> i, it's that -- >> ms. napolitano promised it to in this congress in 2013, december of 2013, that it would be here. so are y'all still working on that report? >> so, mr. meadows, i foe you don't have enough -- i know you don't have enough time for me to explain why it happened, but i take the criticism. i think it's a fair criticism. >> so when will we get that report? >> i believe that that report is in process, and the expectation is that it will be, it will be delivered to the congress within the next six months. >> all right. >> and sooner if this hearing -- >> so help me understand this, mr. bersin. we're supposed to believe you that you're vetting all the people coming here with
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unbelievable surety, and it's going to take six months to just give me a number? >> no -- >> because let me quote you, mr. bersin. you said that 400,000 is in the range of the estimate made. now, that's an interesting, it's in the range of an estimate that's made. >> 400-500,000 are the total, total overstays, and that was the clarification i made before. >> all right, so so answer this. the gao said there was 1 -- potentially 1.6 million overstays in 2011. the gao said "potentially." there was over a million overstays in 201 3. how did you make such good progress, mr. bersin? if it's only 500,000 now? which is, if you take the same numbers, means there could be as many as 4,000 people here doing unlawful things, but how did you
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make the progress? >> the difficulty in the oversay process that we've had for 20 years is, in fact, the entire exit industry or the exit from our country for the last, from the time it was organized did not build in the notion that we would screen people on the way out. >> that's exactly what i wanted to get to so, mr. bersin, your testimony here today is you don't know who leaves this country. that's what you just said. >> no. i didn't say that. i said that when we, that the difficulty -- >> so you do know. you do know how many people leave? >> no. we have a portion through the different mechanisms we have. yes, we know a certain portion. those who come by air and leave by air -- >> so if they leave by boat or walk or car, you don't know. >> no. in the northern border we've worked out with canada an exit/entry process where an entry into canada is
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communicated to us. so for that portion we know. we also -- but the areas -- >> so you're under sworn testimony. last question. >> the land borders -- >> do you know the number of people that leave the united states each and every year? >> the -- >> you're under or sworn testimony. yes or no. >> we can give you a large proportion of those but not all, no. so we don't know. >> all right. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. now recognize the ranking member, mr. cummings, for five minutes. >> thank you very much. as i listen to this, it is very upsetting. it really is. i feel like, you know, one of the things that i will go to my grave remembering is katrina. we had a situation there where people constantly told everybody that that things were going to be all right if we had an emergency. and they said when the rubber meet thes the road, everything
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will be fine. but when it came time for the rubber to meet the road, we discovered there was no road. the chairman and i, i think, when we look at secret service, we looked at a number of situations where things are not as they appear to be. and the hinge is that lives depend upon a lot of these things. and so i guess what i'm trying to figure out is what did we learn? i want to get down to the bottom line. we can go through this all day, but i'm trying to get to the bottom line. it's manager you said, mr. rodriguez, about how do we prevent and what are we doing now to make sure things don't happen. first of all, did we learn anything from the san bernardino incident? and if we did, what did we learn? and what are we going to do about it? and what are we doing about it? now, if you'll tell me we learned nothing, that's okay. you can tell me that. or if you tell me learned something but we're not going to
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do anything about it, but i need to know. because i am of the firm belief that we need to be frank about this. was it -- and by the way, want to know whether it was an intelligence failure? what was it? talk to me. >> so i'm -- >> and by the way, let me tell you something. that six month hinge, you can do better than that, all right? you need to get that information faster than that, all right? >> i was putting an outer limit -- >> let's limit it, we need to bring in the limit a little bit, but go ahead. >> i hear you. >> all right. >> so what did we learn? as i indicated, the fourth major influence is what secretary johnson and the president have been indicating, is that the threat is evolving and that, in fact, right now we're dealing with something that is a online, cyber-enabled radicalization of people. it's the active shooter in the context of the lone wolf or lone wolves that are not necessarily
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organized, trained and equipped by isil, but actually inspired by the propaganda that is online. and i think what we've learned as we saw that it was not in the system, and i think many of the questions that have been pursued and the inquiry that this committee is making about how far can we go with regard to social media, how far can we go boo people's -- into people's facebooks and private chats are all issues that are legitimate and need to be discussed. >> identity listically -- i'd listically, what would you do if you had the resources today that we would not have thought about or done prior to the cement? i guess that's -- i'm trying to get to where we're going to, be we're going anywhere. >> i think with regard to legal authority and privacy policy, i think all of those matters need to be looked at. we -- there are restriction, but, tradition, the privacy policy in dhs does not prohibit
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the use of social media for screening purposes. question the is, what are other purposes that might permit that? where are the other civil liberties and protections that would actually say to us, no, it would violate our values to actually go there? but that's the debate that i take, i take it as -- >> did you want to say something, mr. rodriguez? >> yeah. i think i would say that we are, we're autopsying the situation now. >> you're doing what? >> we are hotwashing the -- >> hot washing. >> yeah, in the sense that we are hooking at it to see what lesson -- looking at it to see what lessons are learned. you know, the point that director comey had made about a ripple in the pond, and we need to know, just ability everybody does leave a ripple in the pond. the question is, can we find the ripple in the pond? social media's clearly something we need to be talking about, it is something we have been
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building and are going to continue to build. we've been focusing primarily on the refugee setting, we're going to be looking at also using it in non-refugee settings as well. it's also a question of how, when and who we interview, because all of these tools need to be used together. so one of the questions here is do we need to be doing things differently, more, less differently in the interview setting? that is something that we are digging into as part of our interagency, collaborative process. >> very quickly, mr. bersin -- following up on ms. maloney's question -- did tsa submit a request, does tsa now have access to all the information it needs from the tide day -- database? >> as i said, mr. cummings, they have manual access right now. the issue is to give them automated access, and we believe that -- >> but has a request -- >> before six months. >> has a request been made? has the request been made?
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>> yes, sir. >> and how soon -- you said within six months? >>, no, i said sooner than six months, and, actually, i think this one is in the near future. >> the only thing i'm trying to get to, and we all should be concerned about this, is the sharing of information. is that a problem? you know, sometimes, you know, i've found in federal agencyies, they act in silos. next thing you know, one person's got -- somebody's got information over here, is that part of the problem? >> so, mr. cummings, that was clearly the case before 9/11. i think the testimony of your witnesses here today and the reality we know is that we don't have those silos with regard to the vetting process. there are other silos, to be sure, but not with regard to the exchange of metadata or use of metadata to make judgments about whether or not a person is a high or low-risk traveler. >> thank you -- will the gentleman yield --
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>> [inaudible] >> you know, who doesn't have access to the tide terrorist database? tsa doesn't have access to it. are there other groups that don't have access to it, the k1 visa, other visa, visa waiver people, do they not have access to it? who doesn't have access to that tide base? they should all have -- >> reclaiming my time. please answer. >> so the tide's, the terrorist identity data environment is actually a nexus of people in which there's derogatory information for an international nexus. for it to be operational, it comes into the terrorist screening database. the issue on tsa is that in doing its credentialing, we want them to have access on an automated basis so that they can get flags about potential problems. >> yeah. >> and that's the issue that's at stake right now. >> i would think the -- >> gentlewoman's time has -- the
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gentleman's time has expiped. now recognize mr. mull vain for five minutes. >> south carolina? >> south carolina. >> thanks, mr. chairman. ms. richard, you and i have met with congressman gowdy, i know our staffs have worked together closely, and i appreciate your participation. we found out yesterday in the media that your group has placed some syrian refugees month in south carolina. i'd like to ask you about that. and full disclosure, it's a very small number of people. of it's one couple, you understand, not specific to these focus. but our governor had reached out to you and asked you not to do this. and when we had met previously, you said one of the things that your organization considers when they're placing folks is whether or not they're going into areas
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where you feel they'd be welcomed to the point that they'd be able to assimilate. i would suggest maybe the governor's message to you might suggest it's not the right time. so why did you do it anyway? and why doesn't you tell the governor you were going to do it? >> i didn't know that we sent a couple of syrian ref fews to -- refugees to south carolina -- >> how is that possibly? without you knowing about it? how many meetings have you had with me and mr. gowdy and our staff? >> oh, several. but i don't track all of the 70,000 refugees coming to the united states. it's carried out, you know -- >> how many delegations have you met with in the last year, congressional delegations -- >> oh, lots and lots and lots. >> a dozen? >> i'll find out right away and get back to you. you know, why we have a couple of syrian refugees will. our program is continuing, and it's continuing across the united states. and this is all legal, of course. but i -- >> that wasn't the standard you
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set, right? the standard was not a legal standard. we know you have the right to do it, and you've been very candid in your position that the governors don't have the right to stop it, and that's the law. it's not a legal standard that you set out to hit, was it? you were going to try to put these folks in places where they'd be welcomed so it'd be easier -- >> yeah. and i suspect the couple that's gone to south carolina is welcome there as well, but i'd still like to know -- >> but let's talk about that. i hope very much that they are welcomed in south carolina. and knowing what i know about my folks back home, i believe they will be. but here's where we are. and where we are, we're in the middle of a debate nationwide over your vetting processes. we've got the fbi director saying that while they're good, they're not perfect, and he can't certify that everybody who comes in is safe and not a national security them. we had a bill -- threat. we had a bill that we voted on in the house, had a veto-proof majority to pause the this
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resettlement program. this issue gets a lot of attention. ..
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>> >> under the threat of
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committing a violent act of terrorism for it is operational capable of doing so. what types of informations and can demonstrate the individual that poses a threat? >> the to have a subset that goes to the no-fly list, the risk daybed that would establish a reasonable suspicion to say it isn't someone we wish you have lied to the united states as a person who has been involved in a criminal terrorist investigation.
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every case and who stands on all four points but there is stated that would suggest a very high risk that we don't want to take a chance with. >> it is the most unfair since the fbi is not here to ask these questions. can you explain what that role of social media has in the no-fly list? >> i cannot speak too bad in terms of those investigative tools with those facts. >> why? >> i am not involved in supervising those activities >> can you explain the the sun -- visa applications or
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is that just the no-fly list? because as it has been described the getting to interview somebody they have allotted to the region about that person. some of that came from the applicant themselves. sub they have an that directs the line of questioning if they're interested in what they
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studied. it happens frequently that the officer comes to a decision that if everything being said is true they are comfortable to approve that peace the. not only based on the interview and in that case to refer the case to the friday that the consulate. they often use social media. >> that did not come in until the case was applied to them of fraud office will do that. >> at this point that is typically when we might use social media but as part of
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the review following san bernardino looking at the process that is applicable the agency's are looking at the broader use. >> i'm sorry i don't have a lot of time. >> after they consider there is the question if the information has been given? or to the officer? you say if there is a question about them with the officer's police satisfied that is the case waste
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resources or is at a point in social media is a tool that we may use of the process to confirm information. >> the gentleman from north carolina. >> the report that questions are terrorized in refugee camps and excluded from the united nations process. is it true there under represented because they're at risk to be attacked in refugee camps? >> we're very concerned about christian refugees poster not in camps. we place a priority on resettling refugees.
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>> you place a priority? did i hear you say earlier that christians are not fleeing because they feel safe? >> no. >> can we play that back. play that video. >> we're bringing christians >> in part they make up the refugees from syria. >> that is the problem. >> they are not fleeing, how many have we? >> and many christian refugees? >> of all syrians 4%. >> you have brought in 53 that is 4%? because you cannot look this up there are 2 million
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christians is decimated according to pope francis just last month they syrian bishop was pleading for ransom money to hundred hostages held do know what isis does to the young females? you work for the state department so please tell me why we brought in 53 christians. have you know, ? what is the process? >> we just checked the number and have been crashes or other minorities they are in danger because of that you said they're not being syria because of that 10 percent of their pre-war population was christiansen
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we see less than 10 percent of those refugees. >> why is this because a higher percentage support assad but those that feel they are in danger those are the people we want to help. >> you see there is a credibility issue. i will give the balance of my time to the gentleman from carolina. >> we have to move former prosecutors so would you agree with me for somebody who crosses the border without permission to possess a firearm?
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>> but my recollection is yes. with the pop quiz. that you have crossed the border without permission and you cannot legally possess a firearm review overstate you cannot legally possess a firearm if you are legally here only under limited circumstances can you legally possess or purchase a firearm. those are all categories are those made available to a federally licensed firearms dealers to those three categories?
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>> i don't believe that he just circulates the list. >> this is the frustration that i face. britt to call for additional gun laws they want additional gun-control that is the very first place that they run and it forces me to task how do we do with the current gun laws? but i would encourage both a view to look at the statistics coming out of the department of justice with all those three categories and if we create a list
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called the watch list, then add a minimum of a federally licensed firearms dealers. we already know who is on that list. if there is a list it would be the overstayed before it is conjured up so i would encourage both of you to put on your hats maybe we can speak privately. >> somehow that we have to
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prioritize over all others. would that be constitutional? related to refugees it is to be persecuted on the basis of religion. it doesn't matter what the religion ends but the idea they're being persecuted and can be determined to be a refugee. >> are we constitutionally permitted to give a little extra weight? is that constitutional?
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>> if it is the cause. >> no, no, no. i will not change the program. >> looking and at the refugee status is respected religion is that how it should work? >> i am very comfortable with that. >> actually that is what refugee programs are designed to do. and to provide a safe haven. >> am proposing 85,000 this year. and the total number of syrian refugees is very small. >> 2,400 total.
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>> part of of a response should not be to resettle but make sure they're safe and to see if the crisis can be resolved to go home again for global cereal refugees would prefer to go home and live in peace but as time went on it became clear that for some there would be no going home again. but they have the program to offer resettlement in other countries and the united states is the leader to take refugees under that program.
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is that long? >> it is longer than other countries because we are very thorough. >> we are being careful. if you flee you may have to leave with what is done in your back and that is it seibald help documents to prove who you are. >> but our colleagues at the age of us are finding many syrian refugees to have documents that is not the only piece of evidence to read the case of spotify refugees that is a multifaceted review. mr. rodriguez and you cover
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the use of social media but in the private sector people are looking at unemployment as part of a screening process. why would they do that routinely with the various status so to have a high interest when we talk about individuals coming from countries with active terrorist recruitment and i
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think the question would be what is the value? if it does show there is value then we may end up in the place that you described. we are increasing the scope of the pilots so that could be correct. >> i am little puzzled on public sector and private sector clearly that is the value as part of the background check why would we do that in this case? >> i personally be laid as we get further into this and
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also what will happen that people will go underground and they will cease to use the new republic environment >> mr. chairman you recognize. >> i ask this question the other day and as you have already heard today she wasn't able to answer the basic questions do you have any idea how many passports are reported stolen each year? >> i am pausing because as the former vice president of
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a number of how many there are and those that administers the passport. >> id you know, how many are reported stolen? >> i will find out free right now but i did not bring that with me. >> you have any way to get that? into reports that data set to interpol we can ask them for that so with that if you would know how many are stolen. what is the standard procedure to make sure it
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isn't fraudulent. >> with a u.s. passport is reported lost or stolen it was not be accepted you cannot travel or board a plane with it. >> what about a passport from somewhere else? so coming from the port of entry to present the passport with that document database and they knew would
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be told there was an alert in the database. is there a penalty for a country that doesn't report this type of information? >> with respect that there is not a penalty so how do we know so as part of the beasts a waiver program is there a of a penalty to be suspended in the beast's the waiver program. it is not automatic.
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>> yes but it is the of monitoring of the visa waiver but let me ask this. with the assyrian refugees to be resettled in europe are they able to travel to the united states with the vis a waiver? >> and coming back to the social media question. if that is part of the process?
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>> me our pilot team i don't want to leave the impression as we are building towards that. and with social media is that working? >> so far it has been ambiguous rather than conclusive but however we perceived for social media that this could be thought of as a holistic process to screen across law enforcement with further investigation and it is
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relatively ambiguous that the individual would require further inquiry. >> how many u.s. passports are reported lost or stolen? on average 300,000 worldwide and about 20,000 for those going across land borders. >> 300,000 u.s. citizens? >> with those adjudicated applications.
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>> had read and wrote in the 2004 report '' not meeting the obligations to the american people and we should do more to exchange information and. with porter crosses but the assistant secretary as part of our allies. >> i of the better position to respond to that.
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and the idea of that trend national that means we need to increase the information and with that labor program to provide information encoded in suspected terrorist is certain criminal informations and. part of the enhancements then are echoed in the program is the legal requirement for the countries that do not respond and one of the
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challenges that we face cannot have that kind of information sharing of utility that is why the administration led by secretary johnson with the u.n. security council resolution the idea to share information about for terrorists to the point is well taken. >> there will be an improvement to the benefits including the visa waiver program that is not optional since the secretary began our engagements with real
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stepping up the has led to a much greater willingness to extend its information. >> also information sharing is one piece of the puzzle and in day unclassified setting with the information portals gathered on the allies. >> it is probably more appropriate in a different setting the way it is ingested and disseminated. >> i yield back. >> we now recognize the gentleman from oklahoma.
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>> secretary, how many people are of the terror watchlist? >> i am just checking to see just under 1 million. and which conchita - - connecticut zero dash countries have the greatest threat to the united states? or is flagged to be on the list? >> is the subset of the
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no-fly list and i cannot give the breakdown on the country's and the one that we have seen terrorist threats received written libya and in pakistan and son in central asia. and what we think is overstating to have no comprehensive tracking program and so in order to commit to the country in the
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first place there is extensive vetting so it isn't, i understand but of those that have been granted is an overstatement. than what violates that the most? and with that terrorist list that we have discussed. >> but i suspect that many of the people come from or
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the people better coming year on the tourist visa but then the stage for work. that could be a different subsets. >> but the magnitude is what we all recognize. and hoodoo we want to focus? and with regard to the visa waiver once in individual
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obtains it is good for two full years. so what steps are being taken for the eligibility? >> so with the ability to dial-up for dial down and then. >> and to be on the rise but now we have to your eligibility is out there.
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>> the way it is offered with bat vetting process and putting that against any new information so it is updated of the refreshing of the database. >> given that we have chinese they don't seem to have a problem conducting business. i would have a visa waiver program what d.c. as the way
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ahead with other countries seem to operate? >>. >> but that is my point but the only difference between the two is one u.s. official looks someone in the eye from consular affairs. but. >> so through your eligibility? >>.
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>> we now recognize the gentleman from california. and with the program with that threat recognition with a previous testimony to say that it currently operates overseas. and then to be submitted on line.
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so what about those areas of concern? >> it begins with the patriot system and with those investigators if this person should or should not. select the patriot system does is set automates the vetting process so with the security agent working with the counselor affairs office
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will be investigated so it is the acceleration as they have that benefit. >> at least with that concept of them working together. so i appreciate the background but what they're actually getting in the system. >> when they expand to the additional offices is a decision made with the budgetary resources to be made available. but it is a positive result.
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is a high-risk area in the middle east year islamabad. so coming specifically from san bernadine no -- san bernardino. >> if we have the basis security units better officers from the tests they resolve all of the issues and then from the called the sun ths all working together in the same space effective said disagreement they would say it is not a good case. but said dhs colleagues have
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access to the data that have to do with the overstay and if there arrive with a visa. sometimes it is possible to resolve. but it wasn't a security threat. >> but this is a high in the screening process. and then to know what type of evaluation the you had used.
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and we want you to do your due diligence to make sure that is the investment you want to make but considering their other applications when he say it has merit and should go forward? read the fifth probably is obvious to use social bbs. >> we are moving pretty quickly and we will have more to say about this subject but we're moving very decisively. >>. >> thank you. pointing now with the refugees any country with
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their duty status? >> no understand the question. >> you said they requested to one country does that mean they would gain entrance? >> that's right. >> has occurred to you that any foreign national isn't necessarily prevented from getting the visa in that nation to enter the united states with regard of the passports? >> mcfadyen the visa waiver country they may at some point obtain citizenship
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debbie eligible for the visa waiver program. >> said his response to a question earlier the you did not make that clear that to be part of the visa program. >> candies people who are arriving in europe qualify? i should have said no. >> we're trying to figure out in terms of our ability to screen people as we sit here for an hour-and-a-half trying to get information
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and it is increasingly difficult. that if we stay here long enough we can get the visa waiver. are reevaluating those people it doesn't matter are evaluating those? >>. >> and i apologize for the fact with a specific reference to the refugees. if it is eligible and then to sign up but said the ages program.
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>> so after the vetting are they precluded and then not to be there for diplomatic or military reasons. >> my concern it seems they don't have the same database with the passports of the european countries like we do. the information in that interval has. and then to be proactive. >> anybody coming in under the visa waiver program
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would be subject to extensive vetting. >> apparently she did not come in under the visa waiver program. and it concerns me we're not doing too diligence to make sure those that pose a potential threat are kept out. would you like to respond? >> and the reason for the vetting? >> and with a further purpose of the review what work can we do?
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with a very thorough review and then decided to commit murder. sova is there more that we can do? >> that is the number one obligation. thank you. >> you gave me a great lead because that is our frustration frankly that i was so frustrated i was having trouble i was having trouble to make it as fair as possible och -- and then
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there is continuous as we do everything. exactly what are you doing? i don't want to hear we are working together. so this is the subject so there should be no limitation. and ran to be proactive and quite frankly if you come to this community to say we can do better. to see that they are fully integrated and then given
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that of that official capacity. and with those issues what are you doing that is proactive in nature that with or without a tragedy and give me one. >> we agree 100 percent. there is nothing more important when anybody would
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say it's always the achene for ways and with that trigger that indicates in that is what we did on see in this case. there was nothing in this case that was a flag. one of the things under way it was a careful examination >> be specific about that. is there is the review process. so would it make sense to interview with the arrival in the united states they get to the point to change
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the status or is there another database like maybe social media? that is an example of what we're looking at. tell me about that process. but this is after the fact. i don't want to dispute that idea i appreciate the notion that someone continues to the degree that we can. what could we have done better? >> to new the other folks that are already here.
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>> absolutely talking to a the government as the citizen of pakistan what bora could redo with our collaboration to share information in that might be a threat to pakistan? are be sharing that effectively? >> but to be problematic for national security of course, . and with that constituents
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it is a constant process. thank you, mr. chairman. >>. >> where are the people that actually do the vetting? it with the domestic affairs with the fbi with the counterintelligence in the national security agency to do that. we use that information and that i would begin a classified hearing to understand what the fbi is doing in a classified setting. >> you may want to arrange that. [inaudible] i want to make sure the
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viewers recognize members of congress have been invited to a series of classified briefings and retaken that seriously. >> but basically we have lost control. between 15 or 11 million people that our illegal entrants. >> i have actually heard the number of 11 and that it was climbing. we will take it at visa and half of those overstate the visa that is just around a
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number. . .
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down to 104,000. >> they sound light -- >> these are correct? >> exercising our -- >> not a question of resources. we provided enough money to afford up to 400,000, which was the request we had from you. isis doing less with more resources. in fact, criminal alien arrests have declined by 11%, between
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2012 and 2013. are you aware of that mr. mod rodriguez? is it your job to deport this people? >> it's not -- >> under you're -- >> homeland security, removal -- >> we've got illegals here. we interviewed that lady, a counselor official interviewed the female terrorist from san bernardino, how many years ago, couple years ago. >> 2014. >> last year? >> yes. >> okay. and she came here and she was fully vetted, according to the process that we have now. is that correct? >> yes, it is. >> okay, and she thwarted that process. there is anything you can recommend to us that we could do to stop that? if she thwarted it and we got hundreds of thousands of people who entered the united states illegally, and then we have them coming in, you approving them legally, you see why the
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american people have concern about what is coming next. is there any way or anything you could recommend that we could do to change that situation? >> we are conducting a very thorough review -- >> of what taps. >> not only of what took place but also what do -- >> too you tape that interview? >> no. >> you don't? >> no. >> just -- i just wondered if it was taped, if we had any record. have any of you known anyone who has joined isis of the christian faith? does anyone know anyone who is involved or -- no? okay. thought i'd ask that question. well, obviously we closed the door too late. we also have now information that isis has obtained syrian passport machines. does anyone know about that?
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have they obtained them? can you disclose that to the committee? >> i do have some information on that, sir in august 2015, the state attend received a report of 3,800 stolen syrian -- no this is not stolen. there are many stolen. we disclosed 300,000 lost or misplaced american passports. i'm told that isis has captured passport machines in syria. is that correct? does anyone know? >> there have been -- i've seen open source reports to that effect. >> well, that creates a whole new set of problems. and then here the refugeey,h&k n er lady, is was told to
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get the syrian refugees are first vetted by the u.n. , that? they take the initial -- >> we're getting our application -- our recommended entrance from the u.n. >> normally. not 100 but normally. >> i'm told where is the -- >> sometime if someone comes to the attention of the embassy. >> that's a small percentage. >> comes through the u.n. refugee -- >> have you vetted the u.n. process? >> yes. >> -- check can with sayreans to see if they high isis connects? >> we not check with the assad regime. >> you're seeing the u.n. they're recommending these people. that where you're getting them from. and they told us, don't worry, the u.n. has approved these people and we're recommending -- >> we haven't -- >> you've don't get direct. >> they're referring the cases to us to match the things we have asked to find.
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>> but, again, do you know if the u.n. is vetting them with syrian and assad officials and checking to see if they have isis connections? >> they don't check with the assad officials. these people are fleeing assad's torture. >> i recognize. >> i thank the gentleman. >> i'd like to get some clarification from the witnesses on the vetting and process for seeking entry into the u.s. by visa record refugee status. the same question for all four. is there any specific guidances, dock trips, directives -- doctrines, directives or memorandum d.a. in effect now, either from this or a previous administration, that ties the hands of investigators in regards to getting the information they need to make informed admission decisions for those seeking to enter the us?
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>> only to the extent there are constitutional and/or privacy policies that -- >> there's no constitutional privacy. a constitutional applications for those seeking asylum. they're not citizens. measure gowdy -- mr. gowdy went through that before. >> i'll say it again very specific. specific guidances, doctrines or memorandum in effect now that either from this or previous administration, that ties the hands of investigators in regards to getting the information they need to make informed admission decisions for those seeking to enter the u.s.? >> i'm not familiar with any except to the extent there are privacy concerns, congressman. i'm aware of no restrictions of that type. >> -under earlier -- >> for screening purposes. >> story discussional remarks to our constitution do not apply to refugees or noncitizens. >> i didn't hear you. >> your answer is no. >> yes. >> mr. rodriguez. >> no. >> miss bond.
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>> no. >> miss richards. >> no. >> so, under the current policy and procedure, you have access to all the information you need to make an accurate security assessment for all visitors. >> we can always strengthen it. that's what the discussion has been. yes, we seek to strengthen it. we have the authority to do the screening that we need to do, yes. >> yes. mr. rodriguez. >> as to the refugees we screen and the immigrant vice visas we process, we have quite robust resources we bring to bear for those programs. >> there are no restrictions on our access to the information that we seek unless we can't get it because -- sometimes some other government might have it or something, but there's nothing on the part of our government that ties our hands in terms of speaking information we need to adjudicate a visa.
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>> miss richards. >> i defer to director rodriguez's judgment but i want to reassure all of you, if you think there are sources we're not connecting and we should be, we're open to looking at, but we have a very robust refugee vetting system. >> so, going back to you, mr. burson and going back down, there are no firewalls at all between the agencies for sharing pertinent information? >> screening, that's my understanding, yes, sir. >> mr. rodriguez. >> also mine, congressman. >> miss bond? >> yes, the screening of applications goes through the entire interagency process. >> no firewalls. miss richards. >> no. >> miss richards, earlier in your testimony you made the comment that you are not aware of -- i think you didn't even say that -- there's no
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relationship to a political asileee for acts of terrorism in this country? true? >> no refugee that came in through this process has carried out a successful terrorist attack against americans in the united states. there have been -- there have been some troublemakers that have come in. >> i'd like to know how many of those troublemakers, by the way. >> about a dozen. >> about a dozen. any in arizona. >> probably -- there's also an element of people who break the law, probably bigger. >> okay. >> but i don't know how much -- i have to refer you to the fbi on that. >> i'd like to get the numbers. what happens if they have a problem? >> well, the fbi has a program to track people that they're afraid will be -- their
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counterintelligence programs attract people. i have to defer to them. we have heard of -- the famous case was the two iraqis who were brought to biology -- bowling green, kentucky, and then it was discovered they were up to no good in iraq and they were arrested. >> we had a gentleman in casa grande, arizona, tried to blow ena social security building, so that was -- that's why i ask the question. >> there's a reason i asked you a question at the very beginning about guidance and specific memos. are you familiar with the the [inaudible] memo? >> not by that title. >> mr. rodriguez? >> no, sir. >> miss bond? >> i thank the gentleman and yield back. >> now recognize myself. i have a few wrapup questions.
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ms. richard, you were quoted sag -- were the shootings in california perpetrateled by refugees who were recemented. your-and- . no then you went on and said no refugees have carried out terrorist activities in the united states and then mr. cartwright repeated that, and then you said that have successfully carried out an attack against american citizens in the united states. >> correct: so the connect is correct. >> the first statement by itself is not correct. >> well, think the fbi would -- is concerned about a install number of refugees that have come in. that was a while ago they came in under the current system we haven't had nip recently in that category. >> i would point to at least i have bat dozen names here, senator sessions, it's up on bright bart, one of the more recent charges here is
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august 12, 2015, -- i can't pronounce the last anytime -- kurbados? a nate toughie's beck stan, came into the united states as refugee in 2009, found get to on charges of trial to support a terrorist organization and -- [inaudible] -- u.s. assistant attorney general stated he, quote, conspired to provide material support to the islamic movement and procured bombmaking materials in the interests of perpetrating a terrorist attack on american soil, came to the country as a refugee in 2009. most of the refugeed have enter acted with, we have a good, healthy refugee population in utah. they come from terrible situations if don't think anybody is saying we don't have any come in. we're asking for a time-out to make sure the vetting is in
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place and when you have the fbi director saying, we can only vet as good as the information is, i think it's at built of an overstatement -- bit of an overstatement to say, refugees are not your problem. let me go back to what i brought up at the beginning. this is a big concern for me. this is -- these are the number of people making credible fears -- to refugees are imported to the united states of america, but you have people that are claiming asylum who come somehow to the united states of america. you can come here legally, lawfully, but you can also sneak into the country, as i witnessed on the arizona border where people came across the border. they didn't run. they wanted to get caught. the reason they wanted to get caught is they wanted to go through this process, and so mr. rodriguez, i want to ask you about this. this is a massive rise in the number of people claiming a credible fear -- asylum. how many asylum officers do you -- there are at homeland
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security? >> the asylum corps give or take is approximately 400 individuals. >> 400 individuals, and fiscal year 2014, we had 51,001 people claiming credible fear. there's been a lot from this administration about these exhaustive interviews. how much time does an officer spend interviewing and investigating somebody who claims credible fear? >> i think it -- credible fear, obviously varies on the case. i have observed them. they steam be approximately an hour -- seem to be approximately an hour. i will say -- >> doing them as a former -- >> that's my understanding. as a former prosecutor observing those interviews, they appear to me to be robust interviews by very well-trained officers. >> you have one officer -- i want to make sure i get the math right here. one officer will take one hour
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to interview somebody. you have 400 officers and we have over 50,000 people just in 2014 making that claim. you were looking at your notes. >> i'm sorry. in the particular case of credible fear, we have actually -- in the locations where we're screening people for credible fear as a result. those screenings are getting conducted quite expeditiously. >> that's my concern they're too expeditious mitchell question is how long is the average interview and how many people are doing the interviewing? >> again, i have to get back to you on the exact number. >> this is a hearing about vetting. >> right. >> so i'm asking a very specific question about vetting. >> i believe at any given time there are approximately 40 individuals, give or take -- we'll get you the exact number
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but that's the neighborhood of the number -- who are in the locations where we are screening individuals who have come across the border, and they are conducting those credible fear and reasonable fear interviews again within the time frames that the law and our policies require. >> okay. you put a lot of asterisks on that. >> you canada me -- >> 40 or 400. >> 400 is the total asylum corps. those individuals are doing credible fear and asylums are doing credibler and and reasonable fear and doing the general work of asylum screening, as well. >> okay. who are the 40? >> the 40 are the ones who are deployed specifically to be meeting our goals to process individuals claiming credible fear and reasonable fear at the border. >> how long, if you come across -- i'm assuming they've come across illegally, people
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that come across legally but there's a lot of them coming across illegally. how long are they detained until they've completed that process on average? >> i would -- it's roughly -- i think our target basically is 20 days. if there are -- in terms of getting them to expedite it or moving them into some sort of proceedings. a lot of these people obviously go -- >> you said you're going to give me some additional information. when will i get that? >> we'll work to get -- >> give me a date. i know it's the holiday season. >> given that, let's target the end of the first week of january. >> the end of the first week of january. i think that's reasonable. the math doesn't seem to add up. here's the problem. refugees have the state department and other assets working towards that. i got huge, huge questions. now as we look back at asylum
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we're saying we got 40 people with 50,000 people coming in the door. think of football stadium. a football stadium full of people coming at us each year. you're saying these people do interviews, background checks, writeups, and they're not able to do that eight hours a day. they got a responsibilities, paperwork they have to do. here's the problem. here's what i experienced. when i went to arizona and i saw people come across and they wanted to claim credible fear, they would go to a judge and say, an administrative jump and say, your honor, i've got credible fear and would read a statement. and then the judge would say, well, okay, we have to go through the adjudication process, and that adjudication process means what? what in arizona is the next time we'll see these people? >> that's the ordinary asylum process and it is a number of -- quite a number of months.
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>> you mean years? >> it can be years, yes. >> so in arizona when i went there, last year, i believe, the dates they were giving out, the court dates were for 2020 so what happens is anymore coming here illegal lie think claim asylum, you say you might have credible fear, we'll give you court date, and now the backlog is so big they're not going to get a court date until 2020, and then what happens? they do what? they apply for a work permit. how many work permits are you hasn'ting out each year? >> i don't know the exact number. i certain -- >> it's a big one. now, they're in the united states legally. they can work and they can compete with an american taxpayer for jobs, for all the other resources. they get benefits. they go tower to our schools. they do a lot of things just like an american citizen. i got a problem with that. i got a problem with that.
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do you pant to say something? >> sir, the last time we had the surge in the summer of '14, the administration put a bill up, one of the key elements of the bill was to build an immigration system that actually would work, because you put your finger on the problem. we have 243 immigration judges, and we need many more in order for an immigration process to work and produce the results either way, but produce a result in a timely fashion, and the frustration. >> and the frustration is you have to lock down the border and get rid of the people here committing crimes. they're here illegally committing crimes and you release them back out into the public, some 60-plus thousand times you did that. these are criminal element. don't nell about the lady trying to help her family. these people are convicted of crimes, caught, con victimized in your hands, and homeland security says, no go back out into the community. am i right?
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did i say anything that's wrong. >> to be clear the removal priorities are that if individuals convicted of a felony they're a priority one for removal. returning to our earlier conversation, that includes rape. that is a priority one for us -- >> if they commit a rape -- they plead down to say, sexual abuse and exploitation, that's not good enough? >> if the person -- if their top count of conviction is rape, which is a serious felony, they -- >> put sex seeks all abuse is not. >> sexual abuse may not necessarily be rapes. in the criminal law -- strongly as a prosecutor i've seep people pled down to sexual abuse if that's the opinion you're trying to make. let's be clear about that. what sexual abuse actually means in the criminal law is not rape. >> so, based on the homeland security directive from secretary johnson if you commit are and convicted of sexual abuse or putt and addition that
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i price oater two. >> which means you're still a priority for removal. >> not just the top priority. >> if you're convicted of rape, the felony of rape, you're a top priority for removal. let's not have people misunderstand that fact. so it can be -- if you are convictedded of rape you're your a top priority for removal. >> let's gate list of things number two. offense of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, driving natural the influence, all of which are not the top priority of homeland security. >> you heard sac johnson say hi price oater is safety and priority one goes to feloniys, priority two, and sexual abuse can be rape, can be a felony. if it's a felony, its priority
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one. the priority two are significant misdemeanors. frankly, as a form prosecutor, i think the felonies should take precedence. doesn't make -- >> white no get rid of all of them? you have enemy your possession. >> because you know when you actually allocate resources -- >> a resource problem? >> when you have a choice -- >> why is not -- if something is convicted for any crime, why are they not deported immediately? or serve time and then be deported? why don't they all get deported? why are there exceptions. >> 9 -- more than 90% of the priority one and two people -- i don't think it's fair to suggest -- >> there's other -- >> priority two. and -- >> we obviously have a policy discussion -- difference. i don't think i misunderstand. new understand as well. my opinions you have people convicted, here illegally,
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convicted, and you let them go. if it's only 90%, that's a different issue than the priorities for enforcement. >> the issue of removal -- >> is trite or not true that during two fiscal years you had 66,000 people in your possession that were convicted of crimes that you released into the public. true or false? >> what crime? >> true -- >> any crime. >> well, you say any crime. traffic violation, a misdemeanor -- >> there are people on priority one and priority two, anybody in this -- >> there are minor offenses that are misdemeanors that are not -- >> i just listed -- yes or. no 66,000 people over two-year, fiscal year period, you had in your possession, and that you released into the public. you did not support them. correct? true or false. >> they were -- it's not just a yes or no because you know there are dish.
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>> it's true or false. >> the answer is there are requirements to release people under court decisioned that you're aware of. >> so screwed up about the obama administration. you're here illegally, you commit a crime, you deport them. get rid of them. serve your time, and get rid of them. they are a threat to public safety. they are threat for terrorism. and they should not be released back into the public of that's what is so outrageous. let me recognize the gentleman from florida. >> the priorities are related to their failure to remove those folks but you say they're priority two. the fact is those 56,000, when we got the individual offenses, did have people convict of homicide that were released, people convicted of sexual assault, rape, child less station, really significant crimes, and to say the court decision is a railingsallization but you did release them and that's putting the public at risk. so i second the chairman's concern about that, and the fact of the matter is i was a
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prosecutor, particularly with some of the child molestation stuff, some prosecutors plead that down because you don't want to put the child on the stand and the end up with offenses that could probably be considered priority two,, that putting the american people at risk. but if digress. miss richard you were quoted as saying the biggest myth of people coming here could be terrorists in religious to the syrian refugee situation. why are you so submissive there are terrorists in the refugee club. >> i'm -- >> you said it was a myth. >> -- trying to -- >> why did you save it was milt. >> i don't remember saying that. >> you said the biggest myth is that people coming could be terrorist. you point was that they're likely to be fleeing terrorists. you have 10 thousand people and 99% of them are no threat, but one percent, that's a significant number of people
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that would be injected in our society. we saw recently two refugees linked to the paris attack were arrested in an austrian refugee camp and you'll acknowledge we have had refugees come to the country who have been prosecuted for material support to terrorism. correct? >> correct. >> you've will an that? >> yes. >> we had a number of them just this year, the eastern district of virginia, you ibrahim of western district of texas, came as refugees, some ingot lpr status, some even citizenship. the fact of the matters these are folks that have come through the program and have gone to terrorism. let me ask you this. what is your appraisal of how the somali refugee community in minnesota has worked out for thes's of the united states? >> what i want to say was that
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most -- all bona fide refugees are people who are fleeing terrible things, including terrorism. >> that's the point a lot of us are concerned that we can't tell the difference between a bona fide refugee-given what the fbi director has said and what other very high officials have said. i take that point but what about the situation with the somali refugees in minneapolis. there's tens of thousands settled there. we know there's very high rate of cash assistance, food assistance paid for by the taxpayer. here's the thing. over 50 people from that community go to join isis or al-shabaab or other terrorist group inside the middle east. is that in the united states' interest. >> it's not a. >> how did it happen. >> this to me is the key question, why anyone would be attracted by isil or al-shabaab.
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people born in the united states, people who are converts to -- people who are refugees, who came interest the united states. >> you're not sure why it happens. >> i think this is a key question for all of us. what is the attraction? >> what you're statement bothered me because i think the somali experience in minnesota shows a lot of the people who are coming directly, when they were adults, were not necessarily involved in terrorism and did not pursue terrorism until they got to the united states, then they have families and you have the second generation. you have u.s. citizens. they could have grown up in somalia and draw the biggest -- like a royal flush to grow up in america and given all that, how do the thank the united states? they go join the jihad. so the point i -- >> i agree with you 100%. >> here the point. >> why would someone who grows up in the united states be attracted to this? >> here's the point. the refugee policies we have --
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even getting beyond the vetting initially. you're having to essentially try to figure out what is going to happen 20 years down the road so the folks we're bringing in now, we don't know what is the downstream effect of that will be, and so when i see something like what is happening in somalia, gives me cause for concern. mr. rodriguez, let me ask you this. we got tashfeen malik, a form that she executed, when she was applying for her k-1 visa. she was asked -- there's a question, basically saying: are you a terrorist? yes or no. and that really the belles we, the best we can dole? i think she doesn't have to lie. probably doesn't consider herself to be a terrorist. >> i think you're referring consular interview. the refugee screening process we develop lines of questioning as part of interview that go beyond just what might appear on a mere form. >> you're in the --
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>> that existed for years. and those are being reinforced -- >> what about her application -- >> that -- unless there is a -- it's under current practice, unless there's a specific trigger, some derogatory information that would lead to us probe into those issues we don't -- obviously that's one thing we need to -- >> this is somebody who obviously we know there was statements she had been making over the internet, traveling from pakistan and -- they're hot beds of this ideology, very dicey when you talk about individuals. miss bond is the state department amendmenting that -- do you need us to change laws so we can have a system that screens out people like tashfeen malik. >> we have laws -- >> you don't think there need to
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be changes. >> if we identify them and we're -- >> that's my point. does congress need to give you tort or change policy in any way so that they are identified? obviously if they are identified, i hope they wouldn't be let in. that would be to me -- we're not identifying everybody now, and the question is, just kind of bureaucratic mistake or do we need to change policies? do you've have recommendations for us? >> i would -- do not at this moment but i think based on the review we're looking at now, it's possible that some of the ideas that we generate might require a change in the law. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. as we conclude i do have to get through a couple more and then we'll be done. i really do believe that one of the untold stories, the biggest one -- one of the biggest threats we have are those that are coming el illegally to the united states, and those that are coming to the country illegally and claiming asylum,
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because they will get papers, they will be working, they don't go through a vigorous insightful interview, and i think that is a huge gaping hole that has to be plugged. there's a reason why that we have had this huge assent, this huge growing number -- i went to a detension facility in arizona. there were some 150 different countries represented there. a lot of people coming that have to be addressed. we still in this country do not have an entry-exit program. there have been at least a half dozen times where law has been put in place 1996. why do we not have an entry-exit program? >> with respect to -- i've been asked -- i'm prepare to answer
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that, mr. chairman, the best of my ability. there was apparently an agreement for a hard stop another 1:00 and i ask if we can in do you court bring the hearing to a conclusion at staff negotiated. i happen to have -- >> i'm sire i'm just not negotiating negotiating the end time here. i think it will be a few minutes. >> so, the starting -- in 2012, the dpp started to get the resources to start to develop in earnest the entry-exit system. the way in which our airports, our whole infrastructure was constructed, it was not -- you were not able toijjxx capture biometrics on the way out there. was no screening on the way out. focus was screening on the way in. so -- i remember this during my tenure there -- three ways to do it. actually rebuild the
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infrastructure, and that was rejected for cost reasons. you could actually pet -- >> who rejected that. >> that was a decision made with -- i participated and i recommended that in fact we not rebuild all of the airports and the seaports. >> where is the proposal and when was it rejected. >> i will -- enough fact it was ever -- if it came to the congress, which i don't believe it did, i will endeavor to get it. >> when will i get that? >> the second reason -- >> wait, wait. when will i get that proposal? >> by the end -- when mr. rodriguez's scheduled by the end of jap. >> the end of the first week of january. >> i believe is what he said. >> were you that generous. >> i think -- >> want you to leave right now as you want to go at 1:00 but i'm hopeful it's to get the report.
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>> the second was -- >> no, no, del me the date. >> january 30th. >> the second was to put cbb officers and we actually have pilot with cbp officers would be placed at the ports of entry, and the estimate there was that it would -- that would take resources away from other functions that we did not have in terms of cbp officers. >> so you're saying this is rejected -- those two instances -- because of money. >> yes, sir. >> and yet -- >> well, not only money in the first order because it would have required a complete restructuring of the ports of entry and also interfere with commercial activities and other interest decide. >> in was a conscious decision not to have an exit program. i'm trial too wrap up hereafter. if this is a resource problem why did homeland security come
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to -- reprogram $113 million from i.c.e. and give it to the secret service and fema. >> i'm not familiar with that. >> homeland security recently gave $150 million to the mexican government. maybe worthwhile. i just don't understand why there isn'tj@nxñ an exit progra. i just don't understand that. >> the effort to get an overstay report, which i have communicated to the committee is underway, is part of this process that has been initiated to capture all of the buy graphic -- we actually do a fair amount -- you'll see in the overstay report -- we do a fair amount that actually cap tours biographic. those that come in and those that go out. >> do most people come in by
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land, sea, or air. >> there are 180 crossings -- 182 million crossings on the land, we have about a million people a day that are processed in, and it's -- most of the people are coming by air. >> you think that most people are coming -- >> individual people. i'm saying 182 million crossings we have, those are repeated crossings going back and forth. >> you think separate individuals -- >> in terms of sheer traffic, it's the land. obviously. but the crossings and individual people is actually more coming by air. >> with nearly ten million border crossing guards, biomet terrific information on those people? -- biometrickings in 0 those people. >> we don't. >> i could go on and on. it's such a disaster. let me recognize mr. carter.
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>> can you, mr. chairman. i'll be brief. thank you for staying and i'll be respectful of your time. mission bond -- miss bond, a k-1 fiancee series says like a nonimmigrant visa but the applicant must bow through the visa process. >> correct. >> what kind of screening must a k-1 applicant pass? >> because it is treated like an immigrant visa -- this is an individual that we expect to remain permanently in the united states, and so they get exactly the same security screening as any other traveler to the united states. we don't distinguish between immigrant and nonimmigrant in terms of interagency security, terrorism, criminal background, all of that review. however, for example, if you are applying for immigrant visa you have to undergo a medical exam,
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and so someone who is 2010ing a fiancee visa gets a medical exam. i of you were applying for immigrant visa you have to present a police certificate from any country where you have lived for more than six months since you were 16, and didn't have a criminal record in that country. >> that's the background check that you -- >> that is part of the process for immigrant visas, you wouldn't require if someone is coming on a nonimmigrant capacity. >> okay. was tashfeen malik -- was she subject to that process as a k-1 visa applicant? >> yes. >> she was. so nonimmigrant visas, such as those that under the visa waiver program -- are they less stringent than a k-1 visa? jive you're aeye playing for a nonimmigrant series sacker for example, touris series sacker we do not require you to submit
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proof that you have a clean criminal record in every country where you have lived. >> so your answer would be yes. >> yes. >> so, a nonimmigrant visa, such as those under the visa waiver program, they are less stringent than a k-1 visa. >> yes. we ask the we whether you have any criminal record but you are not required to prove it. >> so we have 1.6 million overstays in the backlog, 400,000 of which are from the visa every waiver program which is the less stringent program. correct. >> the visa waiver program is not less stringent in terms of the security check that is done than the other visa -- >> the background is. >> well, the -- the interagency name check is the same for all
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of them. but if you're traveling as a nonimmigrant, you are normally not required to provide the police certificate, for example, you're not required to go -- undergo a health exam, but you would if you were comping in as an immigrant. >> i would say that's less stringent, would you not agree? >> yes, i agree that the paperwork that is required -- for example, also, if you're coming in as an immigrant, we have to see a certified copy of your birth certificate. over combe comeness an a married couple we need a copy of your marriage certificate. we're not asking for that kind of documentation for nonimmigrants. so there are a number of documents that have to be in the file if you are moving permanently to the united states. which we do not require if you are -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> i yield. >> you don't actually have to provide a marriage certificate
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prior to getting a k-1 visa. no if you're comp only a k-1 visa you want heave a marriage certificate but have to provide -- in other words, if you're not married, you don't have to provide a marriage certificate. however, you would have to provide -- suppose you're someone who has been married before. we would need a certified copy -- >> you just suggested they had to -- i just wanted to clarify because of the case of san bernardino, that's how she got here was claiming she would get married and looks like she did get married based on records i've sign. just wanted to clarify that. >> what i was saying if you were married couple coming to the united states on immigrant visas we would need to see your marriage certificate. i wasn't talking about a -- although, if she were previously married, or if the petitioneres previously married we have to see a certified copy of the.
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death certificate or a divorce decareer that ended the previous -- decareer. >> we have almost hundred thousand immigrants under this visa waiver program on backlog, as we understand it. >> you're telling me it's perhaps less stringent, especially in light of the recent events only our5j
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-- they are not eligible to purchase a firearm. the question is, do you share that information with appropriate authorities and is ---those lists given to those other agencies, particularly atf, fbi, others and i'm not thinking but but certainly states as well. when can you give me that information? we're interested in -- it should be a fairly easy -- there are other agencies, particularly the department of justice, that are responsible for those bit i need to know if you're giving -- >> we'll makier. i know they have access to them, and let me make inquiry by the last week in january. the question being asked in return is whether or not people who are on the terror screening database ought to be included as well. >> correct, there's a lot of
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listed that y'all go to great lengths to populate. then the question becomes do those populated listed get in the hands of somebody who was here as say a visa overstay, and they go to purchase a firearm, because there are states hand ought driver's license, one of my questions is if you have somebody who is here illegally and they've taken their driver's license and they've got a driver's license, we know and now have identified that person, can we, have we shared that information? last week of january? is that fair enough? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. and i would like to know on -- those that are here on refugees -- you track or do anything in terms of those people, have they committed any crimes. >> no, don't do that. >> give us one moment. mr. palmer has two quick questions and we'll adjourn. >> thank you for your
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indulgence, mr. chairmanment i want to go back to the discussion we had earlier about people who are allowed into the country in the context of refugee. do you keep track of people who transition from refugee status to immigrant status? >> well, we keep track of them in the sense that at the time presumably that they apply for adjust, which they're in fact required to do, we encounter them again and know they applied for adjustment, we know the address they're giving with run a fresh set of checks at that point. in that respect we do get back with them. >> is there a time limit, a length of time they have to be here before they're eligible apply for immigrant -- >> they're expected to apply for adjustment within a year.
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>> well, i'm asking, you have to be here a year before you're eligible -- >> that is the time of your eligibility, that's correct. >> after a year you can -- >> that's right. >> if they have been other year, can they apply for citizenship? >> they will then need to wait five years after they've become legal permanent aren'ts before they can become citizens. >> six years. >> that's correct. >> okay. what is the typical wait time for them? >> as we speak right now we're at target -- five months. >> host: , people who have applied for citizenship, literally wait years. and the enormous cost.
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are we expediting giving priority to the folks who have come here as refugees and became -- apply for immigrant status -- >> not in those processes, no. they're in the queue but first in, first out. >> why you then process them faster than you do people who have been here for years -- >> just the point is the law for refugees is that they are expected to apply for legal permanent residence within a year. at that point their wait time to become citizens is another five years. that's just the law. that's not our processing. >> but that five-year wait applies to other -- >> to anybody who has become a legal permanent resident. >> people who come here legally, mr. chairman, i hear report after report after report of people who have immigrate here legally and applied for citizen ship after five years that have
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to wait years and spend enormous amounts of money relative to their net worth and can't get -- still on a waiting list to become citizens. trouble me, mr. chairman, that it appears that not only-we particularly good job of vetting people who come here on visas, near the adequately vetting the refugees before we admit them, particularly from countries that might be problematic, that somehow people get moved ahead of the line. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield the balance of my time. >> thank you. i want to thank the witnesses here today. i want to especially thank the men and women who do a very hard job, thankless job, that are out there serving their country and doing so and to the very best of their ability, sometimes very limited tools and resources, we do this in the spirit of trying to fix this in a bipartisan way. and our thanks and gratitude to
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them. let me be clear, we do not make deals as to when hearings will end, and so for staff to suggest we agreed -- i'm sorry -- that never came to me. i want to be clear for future, that's not a deal we're going to make. under house rules, each member is allowed too ask five moments of questions per witness. so, all told we can have all of these members ask four sets of five-minute questions. most members ask one question. some members didn't show up and i think i asked three questions. so, i just want to understand and clarify that. the other thing is we weren't planning to have this hearing this week bus we expect last week's hearing to be productive and it wasn't. i think we made our point on that. but please help us and provide us people who come as witnesses to this committee, as you would other committees, and make sure they're properly prepared to answer the full array of questions. we thank you all for your time and wish you best this holiday
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season and the committee stands adjourned. >> nicholas karlson, why a bang about marissa meier. >> a fascinating person, she has made $700 million in our life. an early googler. got there when it had 20 employ years and left when they had thousands and went and joined an extremely troubled company as basically a wonder woman, super
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star ceo and i just want her to know how is she doing trying to turn around the country and how did she back to rich and powerful. >> what was her path to yahoo? >> marissa meyer is from wisconsin and went off to school at stanford, was going to be a doctor and decided that was just too m much memorization. it wasn't that it was hard, just wasn't that exciting sheffield gone to this summer camp. she learned what was important in life wasn't necessarily the thingouts know but more how you think about things things and de what you should know. so she kind of decided medicine wasn't for her. she got interested in programming and specifically a field called human computer i interaction at stanford. and while she was at stanford she went on to get a graduate degree and had a reel -- real
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rapport as a student teacher. she was very good at this program in particular. when she left she had all sorts of options. could have don to carnegie melon to be a professor of some sort or could have gone to a consulting firm and become sort of on the fast track to high-paying professional field, or she had -- one of her advisers say look at this funny company called google, and she almost missed the opportunity. she got an e-mail from google, and she went in and a real lesson to learn from her, she went in and was sort of just overwhelmed with how intelligent and bright the people were at google and she was sort of -- felt like they were much smarter than her, which may or may not be truitt true, but she felt like they were and she thought this we be a challenge and she seated on that and went for it.
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from there she entered into google, and another really interesting lesson to learn from her is she was hired to be a coder at google. hired to be the person who literally makes the program. her first big project was google's first ad delivery system. they now make billions on the ads and she was going to make the first un. it was taking months to do google hired some of these -- this shocked the industry because -- known for being one of the best programmers on the planet. he did the project that meyer had been working on in a matter of weeks. it had been taking her months, and myer to her credit, said, i -- she loved working at google and said i'm not going to make my mark at this company for the long term. to prove i belong.
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so the threw herself at one of her problems the company had. she got involved in pr and marketing and all sorts of streak things a coder might not necessarily get into and developed a rapport with the ceo larry page and became his fluent the sense she ran his meet little with the rest of google's staff. she set the agenda for what is going to be discussed. to do that she had the need to know what his visions where google was going was, and the got herself involved in the user interface review process so that every product that went live on google had to go through this checklist of launch -- a checklist before it went to launch of design. had to meet her standards which were really google's standards for a good product. the final thing that mayer did over her many years at google --
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was she taught the company holiday to hire. he bore was a goo named jonathan rosenburg, and he kept bringing product managers -- in tech companies it's personality to have product managers, people who can bring engineers together and push forward to create new products. so this jonathan rosenberg kept bringing people to larry page, the then ceo of google, and says here a good candidate, and page kept rejecting them all. finally mayer said here's what yo you are doing wrong. you're trying to hire mbas. you're requiring them out of great schools and they're intelligent but page wants technical people inside the company. what you need to do is hire people like me, people who are technically trained but have a real interest in business, maybe want to be a ceo. and rosenburg said that's a great idea. why don't you run such a program. so the created the associate project manager's program. modeled across silicone valley now.
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-- silicon valley now. they heir technically talented people from schools lining stanford or harvard, and put them in charge of managing groups at a very young age. like throwing them in the deep end. and this is interesting for mayer because not only was she still in charge of the look and feel of all google products and also she started hiring google's future managers into the country. this meant as these people went -- throughout the okay they had traditional bosses they needed to report up to. and also all individually still reported into mayer, the person who hired them and was leading the apm program. she had a lot of power at one of those. >> she was doing a great job and was pretty senior at google. ...
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the top of the four seasons in san francisco and another is in palo alto which is really near where stanford campuses. the very wealthy people in palo alto, she has done this thing

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