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tv   Senate Hearing Examines Problem of Visa Overstays  CSPAN  July 12, 2017 11:03pm-12:39am EDT

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and the impact on national security at the senate judiciary subcommittee on border security and immigration heard from homeland security officials and the inspector general on some of the pilot programs using advanced technology to address the issue. at this hearing is 90 minute. call the subcommittee to order and thank all of the witnesses for being with us today for the subject of our concerns which is visa overstays. most of the time when we talk about the flaws of our immigration system, we talk
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about border security as the paramount concern and for me it is with the 1200-mile home in border notwithstanding the great work being done by border patrol it still remains a vulnerability and we are working hard to come up with some proposals to address that. but the vulnerability that seems to be overlooked is people who enter our country illegally and then overstayed their visa in this great american landscape. why am i understand the desire to people coming from other countries to emigrate because of economic or security conditions, it is almost more offensive to me that people come into the country legally in spite of the
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courtesy that we demonstrate to them by allowing them to come in temporarily they exploit that and take advantage of it and violate our immigration laws. there are a number of reasons people stay beyond this period they may have family and in the united states they are seeking a better life and economic opportunity. some are seeking refuge or asylum and others may in fact seek to do us harm. whatever reason we have to take steps to the order of chaos when it comes to the wall of our immigration system. border security as i indicated is more than admitting people to the united states. it starts with identifying the right people before they leave the home country to come to the united states knowing once they are here and ensuring that they depart when the terms expire.
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i was pleased by the apprehensions along the southern border while we have this strange idea that the fewer people that are detained is actually a sign of success i guess we have a common belief that represents fewer people trying to make it across and thus the only indicator we have but to me it is an indication of deeper into only works when the message is sent to either people are going to be detained at the border when they come across or otherwise by law enforcement they commit crimes in the country it's clear to me the president's executive orders and the enforcement policies of the department of homeland security and justice are having an impact in deterrence. but we haven't seen the same drop in visa overstays. most overstays ahram effect no one would even be looking for them because of the lax enforcement and network or
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system to comprehensively identify people but overstayed their visa and fight them to return home after their visa expires. so they can stay until they become eligible for some sort of a benefit for the passage of time. the reports for 2015 and 2016 reveal how big the problem is. they stayed past their authorized time in 700,000 while that may seem like a relatively small number compared to the foreign nationals to come to the state every year it is still a significant number. the magnitude of the problem cannot be overstated. of those that come to the united states with illegal visas that are intended to do harm count on the fact they can overstayed their visa and blend into the
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fabric of american society. let's not forget that one of the worst terrorist attacks on u.s. soil, 9/11, was carried out by 19 hijackers, five of whom were on visa overstays. prior administrations haven't made it a priority or developed the resources to get the job done. president trump, secretary kelly and attorney general sessions made it clear that the visa overstays enforcement will be a priority, and for me that is welcome news. but it does not end there. the congress has a job to do as well. we need to eliminate some of the incentives for people this includes making it clear if you overstayed her visa you won't be eligible for any immigration benefit in the future, ever. finally, we need to have a complete biometric program in place and this is something we've been talking about the entire time i've been here in the senate through the u.s.
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visit program, no effective way to date of determining when people exit especially if they leave through the land ports of entry tha but i'm hoping technoy will provide additional tools to do that. but we need an effective exit program in place, no matter people come and go whether it is by air, sea or ports of entry. so i hope to hear about the progress that has been made in streamlining access to the systems that better track the overstays. with that let me turn to the ranking member for any opening comments. >> thank you for holding the hearing. experts estimate more than 40% of more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country today overstayed their visa. they came to the united states for a variety of reasons, to visit took, to go to school, they sta stayed for a time certn and they overstayed.
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one of those i met. she came here on a visitor's visa, overstayed and became the first dreamer who inspired me the next 16 years ago. one thing i would add, she was 2-years-old when she was brought in on a visa. there were some more culpable that have made a decision to overstayed their visa and see what happens. there are many though that may be innocent and as we categorize people, let's at least be mindful of the fact there are different people in different circumstances. recently the department of homeland security released a report estimating the number of overstays in the previous year. this found that in the fiscal year 2016 of last year, or than 739,000 people overstayed their visa in the united states. what this tells us is that an
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obsession with building a big beautiful wall won't come close to solving our challenges. it doesn't even address the issue. even if we build across the entire southern border of the cost of 70 million or whatever, hundreds of thousands of people come to the country legally would still be overstayed their visa without considering the reality i mentioned earlier and many others that came here years ago and need a wife life, starta family, they become pillars of the community. it's clear we can't fix the broken immigration system or piecemeal basis. so a few years ago a few of us got together, records and republican senators, the so-called gang of eight. we sat down and for six months decided to write a comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform bill. we sent it to the floor of the
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senate there were hundreds of amendments many from to prevent attorney general. we were pretty proud of the results. unfortunately many republicans didn't support it and the republican leadership refused to even consider it when we sent it over there. let me tell you what the bill did and what it would have done when it came to the visa overstays. it would have required electronic tracking and it wasn't an unfunded mandate with no teeth. it would have appropriated millions to implement electronic tracking and at the insistence of my republican colleagues, we would have required an integrated electronic exit system to be in use at every international seaport in the country before undocumented immigrants to obtain permanent
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residence under the bill. this would have forced those that support a path to citizenship to ensure electronic tracking of overstays actually came to pass. we were not soft on this issue. we were tough and we put money behind our toughness. critically, the bill would have addressed other components of the broken immigration system dedicating billions of dollars to strengthen border security including funding for additional technologies and senior border patrol agents, reducing the job bank for immigrants by requiring employers to verify the immigration status of workers and create new evidence for immigration provide a fair path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who do not pose any threat to the nation and who would go to the back of the line. only a comprehensive plan like this can secure the border and the nation and remain true to our heritage as a nation of immigrants. that's why i am ready to work on a bipartisan basis to fix this broken immigration system and
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about to start in this subcommittee. it is refreshing but at least today we are talking about a real problem instead of obsessing about vulnerable refugees who come to the united states, the most carefully vetted and investigative visitors of all that come to the shores. i strongly supported legislation that provided up to a billion dollars for the dhs biometric tracking by increasing fees for the h. one b. visa. the increased especially on the outsourcing companies that take jobs out of america. this position was based on bipartisan legislation senator grassley and i cosponsored for years. but there's much more of that congress and the administration could do. consider the visa waiver program. think about that. we have 38 nations that we allow to send visitors to the united states without a visa. in 2016 more than 147,000 travelers who entered the country using the visa waiver
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program to overstayed as well. 20 million from the 38 nations travel to america every year under the program. that is one third of all the visitors to the united states. these people come in without a visa to the united states, american airports without undergoing any biometric checks or interviews. the so-called 20th hijacker, 9/11 co-conspirator tried to enter the united states through the visa waiver program. so did richard reid, the shoe bomber. every participant in the therapist attacked in the theater in paris held a passport from a visa waiver country. each of them could have traveled to the united states without a visa. if we are concerned about protecting america's security, why don't we strengthen the visa waiver program. it counts as i said earlier for 20 million people come into the country each year.
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how about strengthen the program by requiring biometric checks on travelers before they reach america so we know who they are before they get on the airplane? congress should also close the loophole. listen to this. the loophole that lets people entering the united states through the visa waiver program to buy guns here in this country, even assault weapons, even if they are on the fbi terrorist watch list. think about that for a second. does that make any sense? in closing, it continues to amaze me that we haven't heard a single hearing in this immigration subcommittee on president of trump's travel bans and changes to the immigration system. in just the firs first because president mr. trump signed multiple immigration executive orders so he could keep his campaign promise launching mass deportations of banning muslims from the country. the supreme court of the united states found the time to consider the travel ban the subcommittee has not. during the previous administration the republican
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majority conducted sustained, multiple oversight hearings of the executive branch immigration policies of president obama. i hoped the subcommittee would be as vigorous when it comes to the trump administration. not yet. finally, i want to know if i'm disappointed the administration decided not. the state department plays a critical role in the process and the subcommittee would benefit from the testimony. >> thank you, senator durbin. i have to acknowledge your long-standing efforts in this regard, even though you and i have some differences on what is attainable and what is not, i've come to the conclusion that a comprehensive immigration reform bill is not possible, and i know that is disappointing to you and some others. unfortunately, the philosophy has been we want everything or we wanwhere we want nothing in d up getting nothing in my view.
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so, i'm happy to try to work with you where we can to try to address some of the issues that you've addressed and while there's a lot of other topics we can talk about on the subcommittee, this is certainly worthwhile. at this point, chairman of the full committee has asked his full statement be included in the record and it will be done so without objection. if i can ask the witness is pleased to stand and i will administer the oath. raise your right hand. dude you affirmed the testimony you're about to to give bowlby the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? please have a seat. what we'd like to do is start with you and then go down the line. if you would give your opening statement in about five minutes or so i'm sure we will have a
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lot of questions. sure man, ranking member durbin and distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss the work in progress at the department of homeland security to identify the port and address of overstays. some 50 million non- immigrant visitors enter the united states each year. they enter for business to study covers the family or vacation here. the united states welcomes these visitors while recognizing that it's imperative they depart the country when their visa or period if authorized admission expires. our ability to identify the foreign nationals of overstays important for numerous reasons. chief among them, we need to determine whether individuals pose a threat to national security or public safety. and we need to protect the integrity of the immigration system by removing those who are present in violation of the law. i've used my time to focus on
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the fiscal year 2016 entry exit overstay report and steps that we are taking to address the findings in the report. as you know, dhs released the fy 16 overstay report in may. it's the second such report in over 20 years and contains important data not available in the fy 15 version. the 15 report covered the visa waiver program travelers and visitors for business or pleasure. the 16 report has been expanded to include students, exchange visitors and other classes of non- immigrant. the ability to add the classes to the analysis as a result of investments made by a department to expand its data collection and analytical capabilities. the 16 report reflects that nearly 99% of the visitors departed in the united states on time and provided by the terms of their mission. despite this high level of compliance, the visitors to the country and unacceptable numbers of individuals overstayed their
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visa or period if authorized stay approximately 39,000 of them were calculated to have overstayed by the end of the fiscal year 16. we've ran the numbers again in july and by our calculations, 426,000 of those non- immigrant visitors are still here and in an unlawful status. clearly the overstays are a significant problem. to get a better understanding of the challenge presented, dhs has to make improvements to its infrastructure and its architecture so that asians and other operators have rapid access to the highest quality data available. dhs is undertaking a number of systems enhancements to reinforce immigration and overstay enforcement by outlining the requirements across the systems to support the exchange in operational use of immigration and traveler data. we've also been working on identifying the overstays to increase cooperation in the intelligence community and finally we are automating the
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processes that are currently done by hand. dhs is addressing the areas for improvement identified by the office of inspector general in his recent report. in particular the dhs office of the chief information officer is holding an enterprise information sharing platform to be able to mitigate many of the issues that are identified in the report. it will provide analysts and operators with access to consolidate homeland security data in classified and unclassified environment in a manner consistent with law, policy and privacy requirements. dhs has to implement the biometric exit for quality and availability of overstayed state of iowa implementation of a robust and efficient biometric exit solution will take time and pose a significant technical and physical challenge, dhs is aggressively identifying or advancing the development of a
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comprehensive biometric exit system for a air, land and sea. this conforms with long-standing congressional intent and is a priority for the administration as well. dhs also acknowledges and appreciates the support congress has given it in this committee has given in favor of implementing a system. as stated in the president's executive order is the need to enhance bedding and screening to identify individuals who seek to head to the united states on a fraudulent basis is a priority as is the concern that those that overstay our violate the term of their visa might pose threats to national security and public safety. dhs will continue working hard with its agencies particularly at the department of state to address the problems presented by overstays. dhs will seek out innovative solutions and work with governments of countries whose travelers overstay at high rates because they need to be held accountable as the partner countries.
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the chairman and ranking member. of course it is no stranger to the committee having served as a legislative counsel for senator john kyle of arizona. let me briefly also introduced the other members of inspector general at the department of homeland security confirmed march the sixth, 2014 and served most recently as the director of office of criminal investigations of food and drug administration and was nominated to lead the office of inspector general by president obama. mr. wagner is the assistant commissioner at the office two e operations with the u.s. customs and border protection since 2014
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and has been assigned to the customs and border protection headquarters in dc since 1999. within the national security investigations division and homeland security investigations we appreciate again all of you being here and present. let me turn to you for your opening statement. >> think you for the opportunity to discuss the work of biometric exit and the recent overstay report. first let me start with the overstay report. it accounts for 96% of all non- immigrant admissions from fiscal year 2016 in the locations such as foreign students come exchange visitors and certain
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worker classifications. last fiscal year there were 50.4 million in scope non- immigrant admissions through the locations expected to depart. of the number we calculated the total rate of approximately 1.47%, which is about 739,000 individuals. at the end of the fiscal year when the report was compiled at the remaine remains of 628,000 e visitors still in the u.s.. due to the continuing departure the number is currently at about 425,000 today which is about 4.8% of the total. the figures are generated using the arrival and departure information system and we will use the travel data and commercial manifest to identify the potential overstays. it is correlated against other dhs systems to eliminate individuals who've received extensions were jus addressed ae status and remain lawfully in the u.s.. it is then run through the automated targeting system which applies the criteria and the
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information provided daily. this will provide greater validation of the data. congress is made up to a billion dollars available over the next decade to support funding and implementing the program. as i said publicly before, we are out of time and we are out of excuses. the good news is we figured out a very feasible solution. we have extensions with private-sector technology experts and stakeholders to ensure the solution is easy for travelers and avoids adding yet another independent stovepipe process. it utilizes existing infrastructure and can be compatible with existing airline business practices.
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the biggest struggle to the solution is relying too much on finding a single piece of technology that was magically going to solve the problem for us. it took a classic look at reengineering the process behind how the data system functions so we figured out a way to better position the data to make this inspection process a lot more efficient. we moved photographs in advance of the flight we moved it out of the main database that contains about a billion photographs and stage a sit in a single database just based on the manifest. by doing this, when the person goes to board the plane we can take a picture and only search the pictures on that manifest rather than against civilian that reside in the database. this makes it quick, simple and efficient and you don't have to read the passport first to do
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this. we positioned the photographs in the gallery and compared a photograph of the person boarding it created a biometric record of the departure so the validated concept on how to use the data we didn't slow down the boarding of the plane and it fits with the boarding process and operational model of how the airline boards their passengers. we processed about 35,000 travelers through this demonstration the last ten or 11 months at a matching rate of 96 to 98% that we have the photographs on so we have that extension discussions with the air travel industry and we started rolling out additional demonstrations of the capability.
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in addition to the delta flight in atlanta where we have a single flight we are using this on a chicago and houston with additional locations to come this summer. we are working on using the same process not only for the biometric exit for the purpose of replacing the paper boarding pass with the same picture taking so it will serve two purposes. also working with delta airlines on similar issues. so there's a great opportunity for us not only to complete the biometric exit program but also to support airline and airport modernization efforts so we are in a single vision. my final point is that while facial recognition will be used we will continue to collect
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>> >> on a daily basis we in just possible 3,000 leads coming from u.s. customs border protection and systems a jedi student exchange visitor information system and other referrals who may have overstated our violate their terms of the addition to the estates to undergo the automated an
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annual process based on the prioritizes risk based framework then we create a lead package that is sent to the age as i field office for further investigation. it is to determine tulu detect those individuals with the specific risk factor with indira death criminal research and analysis his has subject members of the intelligence community to maintain targetting at its this convenes quarterly to update that targeting framework to consistently focused the status violators to pose the greatest hazard to national security this fiscal year 69
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we reviewed 1.2 billion validated overstayed be due to the vetting process or a subsequent departures or changes status were pending immigration benefits those that did not need the hsi threat and the criteria were referred to i.c.e. and so those that would remain within the purview, 4100 packages were sent for further domestication and of those leet beads, special agents have made 1,620 to arrest those that could not be located are cycled back for further research as new information is revealed also like to state we send out 1,000 more leads this year than the entire year 2016. we are committed to always improving our capabilities as technology progresses and
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overstay enforcement is no exception of a like to highlight two pilot programs with our capabilities first the overstayed life cycle pilot is for continuous betting last year we started to track visitors who filed applications from the time day applied through the departure of united states a continuous review allows them to a take swift action of derogatory information is then covered at any point of the life cycle. also the program to identify those non immigrants students studying in a non sensitive field and transfer to a sensitive field will attempt to work in a field that is a concern to national security. live edition and enter gold partner for that data interface for the
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modernization and without overstay betting that initiative that is streamlining and enhancing systems rather than even specific data. and how seriously we take those recommendations with the latest report came out with those overstay investigations the overstayed handbook and guidance were read distributed to all field offices and agents. so those including what systems to check. in den to effectively and efficiently have these leads
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and we three were scheduled for the fiscal year they get for giving me the opportunity to explain our role in the overstay process we are happy -- happy to explain up process. >> they give for voice -- inviting me today but the results of the audit revealed the information and technology system but first with those overstate requires dozens of systems and databases that anomalies integrated in that is necessary because many programs directors as well as those outside are
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involved in managing the overstayed issue. as an illustration of those involved i.c.e. have to have up to 40 different passwords access restrictions and expiration dates. with access to real-time data is hampered by restrictions and personnel cannot gain access to the systems despite having the need to do so and some data is retained in paper that can take action to try to access said some systems are not frequently updated. third, a i.c.e. person of is not have the training and guidance to read utilize those systems were beasts of tracking. -- visa tracking or the job function the personnel that we immelt met with express concern they were unaware of
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alternates available to them potentially limiting their effectiveness to carry out the visa responsibilities said in response to the exit system they rely on third-party data like passengers from airlines which is not always accurate so these deficiencies have a significant real-world impact including 1.2 million visa overstay cases it with a number of individuals who actually overstay and resulted in a poor understanding that is the way of those thousands of leads that have already left the country so in fact, we found those agents of the caseload they should not be
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investigated because they already left the country. they have historically done a poor job of day fragmented system and to provide greater oversight of the i t systems this is a long term issue but additionally the officer must have adequate trading how to properly use the current data systems and finally to continue to work on the of biometrics system to assess streamlining the investigative efforts. we make five recommendations which we will believe to make that process more efficient lampreys to report each of those recommendations we will monitor the progress as
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needed additionally we intend to audit the biometric exit program and this concludes my testimony of a happy to the answer any questions you may have. >>. >> i a wonder of the best estimate how many people overstayed the visa? can anybody give me an estimate? >> that is what we mentioned for the one carried a time of 40 percent of what? but
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of those statistics that we're talking about this is for land and sea ports but not for a point of entry eric set? to mcdevitt commercial air anc a rival most of those populations that are out of scope of those biometrics. in of that biometric exit. >> i appreciate the good work and the good news of the airports and the sea ports but that is a whole and the data of those miles of common border of 5 million jobs of the national trade with mexico that we continue to have legitimate commerce and travel but to come up with
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those technologies solutions that can help identify those that leave the country or enter the country that have reliable figures of that we have been talking about the implementation this is already a matter of policy by united states government. >> sova just to put some more meat on the bone there are 55 million visitors to the country every year and about 8 million to the best of my estimate is a port of
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entry so that gives us of an idea of all the data with the overall scope of the problem. i am aware some countries with the students study in their country they require a student to produce financial support so they don't become a burden on the host country and could even require health insurance do demonstrate they are not a burden on the health care system and require them to check in on a periodic basis to then to maintain their current status. so what things might we do to help address this problem? we really don't do it unless somebody commits a crime in comes in contact with the criminal justice system that is the only time
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we catch people who overstayed the visa and even there it is a spotty cooperation because of the sanctuary cities they decide they will not cooperate but federal law enforcement i am interested to hear from you what mechanisms do we need to put in place? what about frequent judkins? would that help?. >> there was of press recently of the department of pomander security low-key nat potential to determine if students should be checked every year to make sure they are in status and reading in that status. but from the numbers of the of back of the report that
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it is rather high so that is what is considered by the policy that the ability for the department to keep track without impeding trade your travel the overwhelming number are leaving on time to cover that gap and also look to be conscious of people's privacy concerns. >> but that with that to be such a waiver program it is
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a very low rate of overstay it is my understanding. >> if you check on the student visa is said to notify the government if they change?. >> maya understanding it is the requirement of the school the you are attending the they are responsible for notifying dhs. >> change of residence?. >> i apologize if i know the answer. >> but i am getting to of all of the of flophouse apartments i stated there could be a violation and that is one of the things that i said earlier end they
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might not take them as serious as others might but that is easy to use. >> but is it sensible? that my landlord evicted me so of those violations of those 38 countries you can come in for today's without getting the visa to do so i think there was 140,000 overstays among those? student debt
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is about 147,000. that is a group of 20,000 visa waiver program visitors each year to the of its states then another 30 million coming in with the visa and the thing that overstay rate is closer at 7,309,000?. >> data includes both categories the visa waiver rate is lower than the visa holders overall. >> 52 million to make sure when they're supposed to that is the challenge. you to collect at the efforts you have but not this talking how to track these folks?. >> back up biometric requirement is for quite
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some time but we're still in the private phase of the process. >> how long have we been in the pilot phase? [laughter] >> he said since kitty hawk. [laughter] >> is a requirement by law i cannot remember all of the top of my head but it was a department responsibility of irresponsible -- recently was hours and to move forward expeditiously. >> so with his of matter u.s. policy?. >> they are still working on it. >> to go back to president
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trump's executive order and sending a letter of the independent investigation to the implementation of dhs executive order the inspector general opened the investigation. kid you tell me the status?. >> we are gathering documents as freer the process of drafting the report my best guess we'll have that out by september. >> it could. initially it was created to give 90 days to establish that extreme putting but now we're in that sixth month notice seven countries? so it is interesting to see what happened.
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do you have thoughts of the biometric requirement on the visa waiver visitors? that would never requirement we put on the country's that is understandable so you were explaining the process is this feasible to have those submit biometric information before they arrive?. >> take a guess we billed out the facial recognition capability that is what we will take under consideration to see what utility there could be there will be unconfirmed information receiving directly from our person there is some value to reaffirm later of that is the same person to grant that authorization so let us work on that a little bit as
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rework on that facial recognition in capability a peak we will find out how we can implement that. >> i am worried it could go into a pilot program. [laughter] >> thanks for herb being your i want to say that senator dorgan with other aspects of immigration we have a hair ball in terms of our visa programs with serious each what -- issues with h-2b and a mismatch of resources out there and people making arbitrary decisions of taking jobs is shutting down industries. that is not the subject of this committee but it is a of a broader subject tool have a modernized a of
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predictable system. has the methodology change between f y 15 and 16?. >> it got a little more sophisticated to draw in the additional data sets. >> more accurate or sophisticated?. >> if we can get more looking at this entire population that is why at the end of the day we are at a place with the land entry and exit as well. it is fairly new for the department to have the capability. we haven't issued one of these reports in 20 years but now we want to get a full view but the
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methodology remains manual and a hard to do it is a lot of work to produce the numbers. >> but that 26,000 the number that you've mentioned is that in the country that the 2017 estimate was 426,000?. >> that is our conclusion. >> i know the answer but can you describe the difference between in country or out of country? in country you should have left it a particular time in the country you are still here. >> but the discussion about though wall i happen to be in the camp this isn't a good idea is to say we don't
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need borders read the bridges because of the homeland's security threat i am also not in the camp we need a structure from the gulf of mexico did the pacific that needs to be seen from outer space may because that is not the best way to secure the quarter or provide for their own personal security. this is more of a statement. so it seems if we talk about technology and infrastructure a lot of that technology and infrastructure could be directed to a land port where people come into use resources. day believe we're think we should build a wall from outdoors that should be better spent to know when they are coming and going?.
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>> what i will say we are working on the savings ratio recognition program looking at arrivals and departures with a similar approach. >> you agree that is part and parcel to secure the border and that provides an element of border security with more accurate picture of who comes across the border?. >> yes. >> this was about one year ago with the hearing on the airlines that at the time they were concerned with disruption in the trials because international flights are coming gold with domestic flights and trying to figure out how to do this without the unfunded mandate it sounds like you're making it easier for boarding? are the airlines coming closer
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to embracing these strategies?. >> exactly. tried to build a process to complement what they are doing. like with the jet blew wanting to automate the process using facial recognition then buttery combine those efforts to take one pitcher and confirm with our data to search again is that and for that biometric exit to confirm so you'd don't have to go through a gauntlet of cameras to do this. >> that make sense of play we will see the implementation in charlotte soon. >> they give mr. chairman for holding this hearing. to address the of a critically important topic for the whole nation or
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anyone taking about how to approve the nation. i take it all of you would agree with me and tell lack of the biometric exit system is a gaping hole that is a deepening threat to our national security. >> if i could venture an answer to that we did talk about comprehensive immigration reform moving into the hearing and it makes it very difficult to do anything including to feel good about your national security without knowing who is here or who has left you have great difficulty to be open to foreign nationals who want to come here and in terms of the security dimension it does constitute a problem.
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. . it is between 2016 to 2017, is that correct? what accounts for that drop?
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when you say people leave and apologize for interrupting you i implemented time what is the reason they leave at a greater rate in 2017 versus 2016. if you go around the calendar until today until july those are the folks that remained of the people that are expected to leave the country so we expect it 700,000 toko because that is how much they were entitled to remain and then we come around to this point in time to july 1
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and that is how many remain pressed for time to report terminated. >> said that as an explanation of the numbers but not an explanation of the reduced rate of the first day. i'm just wondering whether it is because the over stairs. is there some kind of statistical quirk. the other area that i want to explore i know the overstate rate is greater for the non-
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visa waiver program, correct and why is that? >> i think that many of the countries within the program as you know have to meet certain standards. they came to you and the united states 25% of them you said it is a attending immigrant and tet is a nice trick that comes out of the consulate experience and so you don't allow those people. countries that are compliant are the type of people that make the partners.
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how long does overstate as a median or average per couple of days do you have any numbers that reflect the severity of the overstate? >> we would be happy to review on it and maybe there is an obvious answer you have the obvious on people that overstay they are not identities. you also have a list of those people.
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you also have names and dates of arrival and apparent non- departures and known address and all that information. >> i believe that is true that i would have to validate. >> otherwise i don't know how you would know what the numbers are. you must know specific individuals spigot is a question that i don't have an answer to at this time. >> finally if you would give me just another question, mr. chairman. >> in your testimony he makes reference to the overstay enforcement and say that you prioritize violators and i'm quoting who may pose a national security or public safety risk.
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i can imagine what those factors might be. another question that may have an obvious answer to know the risk why were they allowed into the country? >> i would refer. >> we have an internal scheme that we use to prioritize potential national security concerns or concerns for national security as well as public safety but we look at the whole list of overstay his that we receive because we have
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limited resources we have to come up with a preregistration scheme to post this type of ri risk. i don't want to use the word threat. they are then subsequently scrubbed through the system through an automated process and it goes to a manual process where you determine whether or not a person meets that criteria and delete is generated for the further investigation in the field. >> i understand you don't want to use the word risk or threat. you would rather use the word concern. but he used the word in his testimony, so i take it that it's a little bit more than a concern.
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what is the concern or the risk and factors are in the criteria and how you apply them. you may have done already in your testimony but i apologize i haven't seen it. >> we can get back with you. thank you. >> gentlemen, if i can ask for your help to summarize what we have this far 735,000 visa overstays from land and sea ports but no record of the overstate the land-based ports of entry for approximately 8,000 people have come into the country over the time so let's say 739,000 land and sea ports. we know the attack was committed
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five of them are visa overstays and shortly not everybody that overstays is a national security threat. just so we can understand how do you identify those people to senator blumenthal's point and what do we need to do in order to make sure that we are enforcing the terms of their entry into the country and exit. maybe you are the one to take this question that we will not do that unless let's say for example, they commit an offense and get arrested that would be one way to identify yourself as a visa overstays. >> one of the things we are doing to address that issue is linking the systems that we have both on the front end through the security programming on the back and through the overstay
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betting program so we are looking at the front end when the person is vetted when they apply for a visa if they make it through the vetting and subsequently enter the united states we are continuously vetting and if they potentially becoming overstay through the social media that they wil space continuously vetted through the entire visit here we will know about them in advance and that is the process was implemented in the pilot basis. we intend in the future to expand the program to others but that is the way of the future and that would be a better way to track it. i don't want to minimize what you just said because it's important and we need to recognize process but at the same time i don't think people,
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we need to understand what the numbers mean. that wouldn't include the visa waiver and it's good that you take steps to monitor them. but what would cause them to be removed from the united states, what would you have to see in this monitoring program to remove them? >> if there is derogatory information as they claim in the united states we would send out the elitist. they've committed a crime absent of that is if there's only information to the intention of a person overstayed for example.
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they are on the radar so when they do violate the terms of a mission we can take action. isn't it more likely than not if that someone will not come to the attention of immigration if they are charged with a crime is that the most common way they are identified? if you get a visa from another country and come to the united states and overstay.
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there's about 10,000 referrals that are made to the investigators across the country and what they found is 40% of the 10,000 for actually not overstays at all so we are down even though you assume you are successful in every one of the cases. it's going to be a tiny fraction of the people who get an enforcement action against them. >> when most people hear about discussions of local municipality cities not cooperating or recognizing containers to hold somebody that is in the united states may choose not to cooperate as a sanctuary city it is impediment
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on what that really means that this further facilitates people that overstayed their visa in violation of the law were able to escape when the term of the visa expires. they capture the emotion so there is a ticker on the file and when that emission is not we have the expected departures. at that point in time they are now marked as an overstay if we don't have a departure record and the only departure record we consist of is the commercial air and sea carriers.
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they are in the country as an overstay. they are subject to the bar of reentry and that person has left the country. now, all throughout that process the national targeting center takes the entire visa database from the department of state and all of the authorizations that we issue for the travel in the program run continuous vetting.
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if we get a match on one of the records is that person still in the country or do they think they are out of the country and then we follow up with other law enforcement take appropriate action on a national security risk. we will work with the state department to have that visa so we have thousands revoked so it is not just a one-time vetting and then there is no monitoring of the approval to travel and visit here. >> i'm going to turn to the senator just a moment that one last point, i appreciate what you've told us about monitoring the overstate. the federal government has a record of the people that entered at the landing at seaport and overstayed but how
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many people who overstayed their visa are actually physically removed for that reason on an annual basis? >> for the removal operations it does track the number of overstays but the numbers can be skewed because it may not choose to be reported on the violation itself so if they are picked up for another charge it would be included in that number. i would have to flip through my materials to find you an exact number. but the number isn't very large when it's statistically speaking for simply being an overstay.
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we don't giv do a very good jobf identifying and come to the enforcement that's not your fault that is a lack of political will on the part of political makers being provided to those of you that are working in the field. >> at the recent house hearing you noted that the government needs to do a better means of communicating with people referencing the time is about to expire with 744 bill to alleviate the overstay issue is
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but what is the current process of keeping tabs when they travel providing notice that the time is about to expire. >> so, we started providing notification to some of the travelers that have overstayed and let them know their authorization on the program is now canceled. >> is a small percentage but we started sending out the e-mail notifications. everybody when they come in we write their admission date until. they can print out that information. when they stay beyond those 90 days we are sending them an e-mail to notify them if we have now recorded you as an overstay. we are going to build up the
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system to give people about a ten day warming to also let them know. it's past for that group that had expanded to the pre- notification and got visa holders. with respect to the nationals the priority has been with entering the country rather than keeping track i know you've touched on this a bit already but some airlines and locations in atlanta are testing some of the biometric exit capabilities through the facial recognition technology. can you talk about that?
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>> how do we compare that against what he expects to be on the flight. we stage them in a separate database and by doing so it is a smaller set of data so we can take the picture and only search against 300 people, not the billion photographs that we have access to so this way we can get a very accurate and quick response and confirm that is the person that was listed on the manifest by the data that matches up and also betting that we've done we've run the biographical data and we know it is accurate and belongs to the person that we expected it to. >> they called for an expedited
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completion of the entry and exit system. what is the estimated time for completion? it's to do the facial recognition algorithm comparison and then look at the front and deployment of the camera technology will airlines work with us and will be incorporated into boarding, so i expect by early next year we will start to deploy this in a lot of the major airports.
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the overstays that we've been talking about are the landing at seaport just for the record let me just ask one other question and then i will turn to the senator. as a member of the senate intelligence committee i'm aware that the countries are trying to penetrate our national security measures in order to gain espionage on the united states and some of that could include foreign students and others that come to the united states that are already recruited by the agencies from the adversaries were once they are here. as to save one of the?
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>> that is one of the reason we started our program. one of the vulnerabilities that was identified in the report. to study a nonsensitive field of study and then subsequently changed their major system and there was a loophole to do that. this far, we have identified several hundred people. i don't have the statistics with me that have actually used the process and as a result we are looking at people that are studying higher education. it is a serious potential problem that someone can come here to study english as a second language and change their
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major down the road. it's proven to be successful. we are concerned about the nations that are interfering in our elections to undermine public confidence. >> senator blumenthal. >> thank you. by the way i thank you for your
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service, and we found it critical but it's not personal to you as the chairman said he recognized. thank you for your service in uniform as well as now. are the dt nurse issued for all of the overstays because the chairman implied one of the reasons why the sanctuary cities in his view pose a potential threat.
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>> the visa overstay that we would be investigating send out is not one of those people conducting an investigation that happens to be, yes we would send out a detainer notice that the vast majority that we are investigating are not in custody so we are not sending it out.
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the overwhelming vast majority of the overstate, i am quoting him, don't integrate american landscape and that means in essence they are good to go, good to stay as long as they don't get into trouble and find themselves arrested for doing something else, whether it is robbing a bank or going to their in-flight or something that brings them into court is that correct? >> we only send out leads for those individuals be deemed to be a concern for the national security or safety reasons, so that number is low so those that do not meet the priorities, we do send those to enforcement
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removal operations for further action and they have their own schemes sent to the criminal analyst is targeting center into a prioritized them based under the investigative race as well. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> i have one question that builds on some questions senator blumenthal asked. the purposes of instructing us on things we should do either in allocation of resources or additional authorities, do we have the ability to produce an exhaustive analysis that involves demographics, and what i'm thinking about is if you take a look at the base of the 426,000 member if you had an
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idea there was an outlier consistent percentage of the people wer were of an age groupr certain visa status or any number of indicators that would let you use that as a basis for prioritizing things that we would do to try to provide additional support for the agencies. it's in these divergent databases when they come together and you have a platform that allows you to look at that. >> we are talking about the perspective at some point in the future. we are looking good for 2018 to have these data sets put together. the ability then to look, you've heard it a million times, can we
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get that view it has everything that is about a particular person in one place or achievable as i am on my computer i can go out i don't need to know 40 passwords i just know everything i care about is coming into this inquiry into the attention is to try to get to that particular place. i may have already forgotten what your question was. >> right now it would be virtually impossible. you have to consolidate them on a platform or find a method for consolidating the information. but it would seem that information would be valuable for us to go in and say if we can't get everything done at once if we look at segments of the population where there tends to be larger number numbers, thu get to the root causes of the
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enforcement policies so it would at least let you get the larger ones first or maybe the easier ones. there's any number of ways to prioritize their resources and provide -- today you don't have it but we are hopeful we will have it in 2018. >> i completely agree with you that the idea is if you could start to do different things with this data you could make a lot of good policy choices. it could be that you need to engage in some type of information campaign or some type of enforcement activity that we don't now. and of course on the policy side, the more you know about the numbers you've got in front of you a is a former it professional, it's just it's informed and makes better choices. so the more information, the better we can cross check it or have different means of manipulating the data the better
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weekend policies and the better we are able to do with the legislation and we can make a formed decision of what we are looking at. >> just finally in terms of your assessment, in the world i was in we would always summarize an assessment of an organization with a simple stop start continue of the big issues. can you talk about things in your assessment that you all have determined to stop because it isn't helpful or effective for start because it could have a very positive impact and some practices are working well, if you could just give a brief summary. >> when you look at the biometric exit system and a pilot program that has been discussed today, but it's something we are going to take a hard look at.
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we don't think they have the kind of data that they need to do the kind of work we have discussed without it. so, that is a sort of must-have system and it's not something you can stop. we worry of course being the skeptics that we are at the dhs has done not a terrific job with it integration across different databases since working at the dhs there were a number of components. >> dhs alone and government experiences. >> that's my understanding as well but a challenge we have but we continuthat we continue to fe will be looking at that very hard. we have to have the systems to make the kind of analysis that's appropriate. but we are going to take a look at these things and report what we find. >> thank all of you for being
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here. senator cornyn had to step out for an amendment so i will be closing and i appreciate your participation today. we will keep the record open for a period of one week if there's any follow-up questions thank you all for your service in particular to thandparticular te front lines doing their jobs. this meeting is adjourned.
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>> looking at past investigations by the photo site and executive branches in light of current investigations into russia and the 2016 elections. witness richard was a prosecutor during the watergate investigation. the chief counsel for the senate whitewater committee and was a member of the 9/11 commission from the 2002 to 2004. this hearing is one hour and 45 minutes.


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