tv Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Border Security CSPAN May 9, 2019 12:46am-3:30am EDT
the head of the u.s. border patrol joins to testify on the situation at the u.s. southern border. they were asked about the child separation of asylum-seekers and humanitarian challenges. the hearing is just over two and a half hours. good afternoon and welcome. the voting delayed us. that's the thing about the senate i want to begin by thanking the witnesses for being with us today we know how difficult not only to take on
that task is to share the insight along the border and any advice you may have for us on how to provide a solution. unfolding on the southern border it is grim in a major increase on the law enforcement and legal system and local border communications in mid-march the acting secretary in his capacity warned us that the system was near a breaking point and since that time a bad situation has gotten nothing but worse bringing that breaking point to the doorstep yet there are those here in washington that choose to ignore that situation or worse to label it as fake or
manufactured. at one point there were a bunch of officials that got int but ga debate about calling it a crisis versus an emergency. i really don't care how you label it, the entire system is unsustainable. the facts are stubborn. 90% of illegal border crossings were committed by single adults from mexico. fiscal year 2019 so far those apprehended along the southern border town of unaccompanied children or a vast majority travel along a dangerous journey from central america. from march, 2018 to march of this year the border patrol and pretended within 361,000 people along the southern border and an increase compared to the same
time in fiscal year 2018 this represents an increase in the rio grande valley and 174% increase and five at 48% increase in the el paso sector. during the same time. so they apprehended nearly 36,000 unaccompanied children and an increase of 66%. the increase in san diego and in darío and 333% increase in the el paso sector. finally, zeroing in on the biggest drive from october to march the border patrol apprehended 189,005 at 84 families along the southern border. 370% increase from the same time. co. of the fiscal year 2018.
this represents 228% increase in the rio grande valley, 636% increase in del rio and astonishing 1670% increase in the el paso sector. in may and june at the height of what president obama then called the humanitarian crisis approximately 135,000 were apprehended at the southern border. in february and march of this year again, a comparable two-month period more than 180,000 were apprehended. let me just repeat that back when president obama called this a humanitarian security crisis 135,000 people were apprehended this here february and march, 108,000 were apprehended so obviously this trend is getting worse and worse. you will notice that the statistics i cited our current through march of 2019 more than
a month has passed since the american people received an update in the custom border protection on the situation. my understanding of cbp has collected and analyzed the apprehension data they are prepared to submit that today and i look forward to hearing and i think what has happened during the past month. a new phenomenon has emerged with 100 people or more arriving at the border together making the demanding jobs all the more difficult. this is the most strikingly with more than 400 presented to the small town just across the border from el paso texas. more than 14,000 people in their
custody just yesterday the rio grande valley sector announced the stations. the customs and border protection simply doesn't have the ability or the resources to manage those kind of numbers. they accurately describe the facilities as similar to police stations come yet some of them hold as many as 7,000 people. border patrol agents have been taken off-line weaving areas
vulnerable to exploitation by human smugglers and cartels. but the legitimate commerce and travel there should be no doubt the drug cartels are using the situation to their advantage. the futures of meth, heroin and cocaine are all on the rise. the response in early april then secretary nielsen created inner agency border to determine how to best coordinate resources to the point to believe the effort. i look forward to hearing from him on the progress. while some may think that the situation is manageable and time is on our side, i think that they are ignoring reality, and i disagree and i know many of my constituents feel the same and are simply not set up the word
we have the capacity to absorb this huge wave of human migration coming in all but one time. in response to the situation, last week i alone with my colleague from laredo texas introduced a humane act which you can see is a bipartisan bicameral solution to make practical necessary reforms to address the loopholes in the laws so families stay together and better protect unaccompanied children released from custody we also adopt several recommendations from the bipartisan homeland security advisory with regional processing centers along the border in the need of streamlining processing claims the legislation will not solve every problem but it's a big step forward that would have a big impact and bring some order out of the chaos.
i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work with us to try to solve this problem. whewe need to quit looking at ts through a political lens or wait to try to solve what else is broken and needs to be fixed in the system, this is an emergency situation and only congress can provide the authorization to allow our men and women at the border protection the resources they need to deal with this crisis. the problem will continue to grow without our intervention and it requires compromise and cooperation. finally to those working around the clock in difficult conditions and worsening situations i want to express my thanks and gratitude on behalf of all of us we sent them out into a losing battle and unless we can work together to give
them what they need to do the job we've asked them to do i want to assure these dedicated men and women that we are trying and i want to thank the witnesses for appearing before us today. i look forward to your testimony. with that i will recognize the ranking member for any remarks he cares to make. >> thank you. i'm glad we're having this hearing to reconsider this fiscal year 17 which included the end of the obama administration and the beginning of the trump administration 330,000 people were apprehended at the border. 41,000 unaccompanied children while only two months on the job, president of trump bragged about results. march 2017 he said, and i quote, general kelly is doing a great job at the border, numbers are way down many are not even trying to come in. here we are later some of the
numbers are up on his watch only six months into fiscal year 2019 only half way in, 361,000 people have already been apprehended at the border including 189,000 families in 36,000 unaccompanied children that's more of a total of three engines in the first half of the fiscal year than the entire year of 2017 so the president has changed his message on march 7 he said, and i quote the we are on track to preempt more than 1 million who will come in across the southern border this year. can be fixed by congress so easily and quickly if only democrats would get on board. when the numbers were down the president took credit but now that they are up it turns out that it's the democrats. with its effects, listing two and a half years of the trump
administration the department of homeland security has been in chaos. there've already been four different heads of the department, secretary john kelly, acting secretary of the secretary nielsen and now the acting secretary and there've already been for acting directors in two years and three nominees to head. one year ago this week on may 7, 2018 then attorney general sessions announced the full implementation of the administration's zero-tolerance policy which led to the separation of at least 2,880 infants, toddlers and children from their parents. thanks to an investigation by the inspector general we now know that before the announced that thousands more children have been separated by the administration in the pursuit of
the policy. just two weeks ago federal district court ordered the administration to begin efforts to identify. the government sanctioned zero tolerance policy was a sad commentary on america. the president was forced to reverse his decision and that he might do it again i pray that he won't. i went to an immigration court hearing last year in a high-rise of the loop the hallways were packed with people. i met the immigration court judge and she'd been at this for 18 years and i believe she was conscientious and professional caring person and was overwhelmed at the numbers facing her. she asked if i would stay for the first two clients on the docket. the first one she said everyone