tv Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Border Security CSPAN May 13, 2019 8:34pm-11:18pm EDT
>> head of the u.s. border patrol joins other immigration officials to testify on the situation at the u.s. southern border. the rest about child separation asylum-seekers and military and challenges. the senate judiciary sub committee hearing is just over 2.5 hours and. >> good afternoon. welcome. i apologize that our voting is delayed another thing about being in the senate. you do have to vote. it's not optional. i want to begin by thanking each of our witnesses for being with us today. we know how difficult your jobs are and they are even more challenging with recent developments on the border and i want to thank you for being willing to take not only take on
that task but to share with us your insights into what is occurring along the border and any advice you may have for us on how to provide a solution. the situation unfolding on our southern border is graham and a major increase in unlawful border crossings combined with the drastic shift in migration trends and outdated laws and infrastructure has placed an incredibly great strain on law enforcement and legal system and local border communities. in mid-march acting secretary in his capacity at bb commissioner warned us that the american public that the immigration system was near breaking point. since that time about switching has got nothing but worse bringing that breaking point to our doorstep. yet, there are those who still here in washington choose to ignore the gravity of the
situation or worse to label it as fake or manufactured at one point there were elected officials who got into the debate about calling it a crisis versus an emergency. i really don't care how you label it. the entire system is breaking and it is unsustainable. backs as i say are stubborn things let's go over a few backs. 200690% of illegal border crossings were committed by single adults from mexico and vast majority of whom were repatriated back to their home country within hours. fiscal year 2019 so far more than 60% of those apprehended along the southern border have been families or unaccompanied children the vast majority of these individuals have traveled along dangerous journey from central america. from march 2018 to march of this year border patrol apprehended for than 61000 people along with the southern border and 108%
increase compared to the same time. in fiscal year 2018. this represents a 106% increase in the rio grande valley and a 174% increase and a 540% increase in the el paso sector. during the same time. the border patrol apprehended nearly 36 thousand unaccompanied children an increase of 66% rate this represents an 82 increase in san diego and 124% increase in del rio and the hundred 33% increase in the el paso sector. finally during the end of the biggest driver of the increase of illegal border crossings and family units from october to march the border patrol apprehended 189 thousand 584 families along the southern border and 374% increase for the
same time. in fiscal year 2018. this represents 220% increase in the rio grande valley, 636% increasing in the rio and an astonishing 1670% increase in the el paso text sector. in may and june 2014 at the height of what president obama then called a humanitarian crisis approximately 135,000 people were apprehended at the southern border in february, march of this year again comparable to. more than 180,000 were apprehended and let me just repeat that. back when president obama called it a security crisis was when 135,000 people were apprehended 180,000 people in march were apprehended so obviously this trend is getting worse and worse. you will notice the statistics
excited today our current through march and more than a month has passed since the american people received an update from custom and border protection on the situation. if my understanding cbp has collected and analyzed southwest border apprehension data from april and chief provost is repaired to present that data today. i look for to hearing what is happened during the past month. a new phenomenon is also emerged representative tries in the hundred people in the border together making the many jobs of agents on patrol all the more difficult. this is the most strikingly on display when a group of more than 400 tigers presented themselves to the small town of summit park new mexico just across the border from el paso texas. increased apprehensions have led to quarter portable stations and certain days of the last few
months they've had more than 14000 people in their custody and just yesterday the rio grande valley sector announce their processing centers were holding more than 7000 immigrants and that is for one border patrol sector, 7000 and cbp's customs and border protection does not have the facilities or resources to manage those kinds of numbers. detention facilities are small and built for the short-term detention for single adults and during the recent television interview secretary accurately describe the facilities similar to police stations but some of them has hold as many as 7000 people. climate [inaudible] stretch these facilities and staff them beyond their abilities and capacity. with so many people to process and manpower needed to process them border patrol agents have been taken off the line leaving
areas of the border formal to exploitation by human smugglers and drug cartels and the cbp officers have been reassigned from their duties at international bridges and ports of entry showing legitimate travelers. there should be no doubt the drug cartels are using the situation to their advantage. seizures of meth, heroin and cocaine are all on the rise. in early april secretary nelson created the border emergency self to determine best coordinate resources and appoint my friend who's there with me today to lead the effort. i look for to hearing about the progress made while some may think the situation is manageable and that time is on our side i think they are ignoring reality and i disagree and i know many of my constituents in texas feel the same and on the front lines of
this and simply not set up, manned nor to be have the capacity to absorb this huge wave of human migration coming in all at one time. in response to this worsening situation last week i along with my colleague from laredo, texas a democrat introduced the humane act and humane act is you can see a bipartisan, bicameral solution to make the practical necessary reforms to address the loopholes in our laws and ensure family stayed together and better protect unaccompanied children release from hhs custody. we also adopt several recommendations from the bipartisan dhs homeland security advisory council including the astonishment of regional processing centers along the border and needed streamlining of processes claims. this legislation will not solve every problem but it's a big step forward that would have a big impact that will bring 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 and we need to quit looking at this through a political lens for weight to try to solve what else is broken and needs to be fixed in our immigration system. this is an emergency situation and only congress can provide the authorization in order to allow our good men women in customs and border protection the resources they need in order to deal with this crisis. this problem will only continue to grow without our intervention and obviously requires compromise and cooperation. to the men and women of cbp, i.c.e. and orr working around the clock in very difficult conditions to confront a worsening situation, i want to
express my thanks and gratitude on behalf of all of us. we sent them out to a losing battle and unless we can work together here in congress to give them the resources they need in order to do the job i want to ensure these dedicated men and women that we are trying and want to thank our witnesses for appearing for us today and i look forward to your testimony both that i never can i senator durbin, remember for opening remarks he cares. >> thank you. i'm glad we're having this hearing. consider this. fiscal year 2017 which included the end of the obama ministration and beginning of the trump and ministration 303,000 people were apprehended at the border and 75000 included 75000 families, 41000 unaccompanied children. while only two months on the job president trump bragged about the results on march 26, 2017 he tweeted and i quote, general kelly is doing a good job at the border. numbers are way down. many are not trying to come in
anymore. here we are two years later and the numbers are way up on president trump's watch. only six months into fiscal year 2019 only halfway into 2019 and 351 people have already been apprehended at the border including 189,000 family units and 36000 unaccompanied children that is more total apprehensions in the first half of this fiscal year that in the entire fiscal year 2017. the president is changed his message. on march 7 he tweeted in a quote, we are on track to apprehend more than one way people coming across the border and can be fixed by congress so easy and quickly if only the democrats would get on board. when the numbers were down in the president to credit but now the numbers are up he turns out it's the democrats. let's look at the facts. during less than two and half
years of the trump administration the department of homeland security has been in chaos. they have already been four different heads of the department and secretary john kelly, acting secretary elaine duque, secretary kirstjen nielsen now acting secretary kevin mclean in. and there have already been for acting directors of immigration and customs enforcement in two years. three nominees to had i.c.e. one year ago this week on may may 72018 then attorney general sessions announced a get tough policy, the full implementation of the administration's disastrous zero-tolerance policy which led to the separation of at least 200880 infants, toddlers and children from their parents. thanks to an investigation by the inspector general that i requested we now know that before that announcement thousands more children may have
been separated by this administration in pursuit of the policy before it was announced. two weeks ago federal district court judge from california ordered the administration to begin efforts to identify and reunite these families. this government sanctioned zero-tolerance policy was a hillyer and sadly, that commentary on america. the president was forced to reverse his position on this and no he said that he might return to it again i pray that he won't. i went to a navigation court hearing last july in chicago and a high rise in the loop in the hallways were packed with people whose names were on the docket. i met immigration court judge and she had been at it for 18 years and i believe she was a conscientious, caring professional overwhelmed by the
numbers facing her. she asked if i would stay for the first two clients of the docket. first two was she said everyone should get their chairs for this hearing. there is difficulty. one of the clients cannot get in her chair and martha was two years old. she needed to be lifted up and put in the chair and handed a stuffed animal. hamilton the four -year-old boy scrambled into his chair we saw the matchbox car on the table and that was the zero-tolerance policy. those two children had been separated from their parents for months and experts tell us that can have a lasting impact on child development. luckily, we've abandoned the posse and i hope we don't return to it in an effort to get tough. let's not forget that earlier this year the president forced longest government shut down in history in an effort to get congress to pay for while the mexico was supposed to build and trump shutdown paralyzed the very courts i just described and added to the backlog of cases
and these courts play clinical role migrants seeking asylum. i wish we hear from the justice department immigration judge is about to backlog at some future hearing. the reality is trump ministration's policies have made our borders a secure and many times undermine our our american values. the president plans to shut down the border it's like a neon sign in the transporters, smugglers and others used to encourage desperate families to flee as quickly as possible and the chief provost i had to visit down in el paso and i want to thank all the people i met and joined with the chairman insulating them and i want to thank the gentlemen and officer for border patrol and the fact that he's from chicago and a cubs fan was the ending and gave me a real insight into the challenge that the men and women and border patrol were facing down there. i can tell you this is another doing but the president
suggested cutting out all assistance to the northern tribal countries about salvador, guatemala and shutting down legal migration guarantees more refugees will flood our border. i'm sorry we cannot get the state department here to tell us about that aspect of the challenge but the president pulled off a rare unassisted triple play with his border policy, it's cool, it's unpredictable and ineffective. the medication and its allies in congress argue critical humanitarian protections are a magnet going vulnerable families and children to our country but they claim with a straight face we can better protect these migrants by making it easier to detain them indefinitely in the for them without due process. people were migrating to the united states simply because of so-called legal loopholes they would be coming from all over the region and instead more than 90% of the unaccompanied children come from three countries in the northern tribal. there is zero evidence to
support the conclusion that repealing gdp ra and overturning the florida settlement will deter migrants and in fact, the administration has imposed numerous restrictions on asylum that have not deterred these desperate families and children. they don't address what causes. democrats are serious about the situation and believe we need to work together to solve it. in february after the president finally ended the government shut down a number of us join with republicans and wrote an omnibus appropriation bill that included 554 million for inspection agreement at the ports of entry, a suggestion came from now acting secretary tackling in and 414 million for humanitarian assistance long overdue. we can do more to make sure even in the midst of political controversy that our treatment of these desperate people reflects who we are as americans. the last congress democrats introduced central american reform and enforcement act as a
copy of the response. i'm announcing the next week we will reintroduce and address the root causes of the northern triangle and crackdown on cartels and traffickers, provide in country processing refugees so they don't make the trek across mexico and expand third country resettlement in mexico and eliminate the backlog. we stand ready as democrats to work with the republicans in president on smart effective inhumane border security policies. i hope we can do this together. >> senator graham, i understand he may be coming but at this time i recognize the remember senator feinstein for any comments you care to make. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for scheduling this hearing today and i welcome all
the witnesses here today. i don't think i need to tell anyone judging from this whole room that we face a challenge at the border today. fewer are crossing illegally than in the late 1990s when well over 1 million people cross every year but the number of families seeking asylum is high and continuing to climb. we need humanitarian and common sense solutions to address these asylum claims fairly and promptly but, as i understand it, the administration is threatening to make the problem worse, not better by threatening to build a wall and shut down lawful border commerce. i'd like to ask each of you about these issues today. our first challenge is the vulnerable families are seeking protection from violence and poverty. the ministration wants to address this challenge by repealing essential legal
protections for children and by reinstituting the cruel practice of family separation. i believe this is the wrong approach and instead we have to increase the capacity of our backlog immigration court system and we must ensure that our ports of entry can accommodate families so the vulnerable people are not forced to cross between ports or languishing in mexico for months. we do have to do this without separating families and without sacrificing key protections for children. we have seen what families separation accomplishes and babies and toddlers crying out for their parents and children and alone in cages and this is contrary to basic american values. that is why i introduced a bill to prohibit family separation without good cause. this bill now has over 40
cosponsors and i'd like to invite all democrats and republicans to join. we have seen that cbp separated thousands of children from their family and many of these families remain apart today, over two years later and i'm very pleased that we have witnesses from both cbp and hhs to explain the identification techniques and reunification plans for separated families but meanwhile prolonged detention of children has resulted in tragedy. two children died in cbp custody last winter. just last week and unaccompanied child died while in the care of hhs. congress has provided for patrol with over $400 million to care for children but the homeland security advisory council still says it is unrealistic to place
a pediatrician at each border station so i hope you will explain why $400 million is insufficient to provide adequate pediatric care. these humanitarian issues too many of us and i hope a majority of us are serious and need solving. i will put -- mr. chairman, i know there's a large audience in many members here and i'll put my rest of the statement in the record. >> thank you, senator feinstein. it is now my pleasure to introduce art witnesses. chief provost is the u.s. border patrol at u.s. customs and border protection and before her current position she served in that number of capacities within the border patrol including field operation supervisor in the tucson sector and chief border patrol agent for the
[inaudible] center and assistant chief patrol agent in the yuma sector. our next witness is mr. todd owen. he is field operations officer which includes managing a budget of five-point to billion dollars for operations at cbp's port of entry and another national security operations and he served as the field operations for los angeles field office and responsible is extended to the greater los angeles area including the airports. our third witness is natalie asher, she currently is the acting executive associate director for enforcement and this role she is a test with identifying, arresting, removing those aliens that present a danger to national security or public safety. prior to her current position she served in the u.s. army as a
russian linguist and military intelligence analyst. our next witness is the office of refugee resettlement at the apartment of health and human services and prior to his current role mr. hayes serves as chair for staff at orr before doing hhs. he served as chief of staff to two members of the house of representatives. our final witness is mr. manny padilla. he currently is the director for the dhs joint task force west where he is tasked with improving information sharing and coronation with for cbp and i.c.e. from early april until last year director padilla was appointed by the secretary of homeland security to be the interagency border emergency cell and director padilla has served as secretary chief of the border patrol rio grande valley sector. thank you all for joining us today if you would please stand i will administer the oath.
do you swear or affirm the test when you are about to get today is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god connect thank you. have a seat. there are people here different messages but one of the messages i have heard is good luck you'll not get help from congress and it's all president comes fault. you don't have to agree with what i said but i hope you tell us in an unvarnished and factual way exactly what you were seeing and based on your experience at the border what congress needs to do. i'm not talking about what president trump needs to do what anybody else needs to do but i'm asking you to tell us what congress needs to do. in order for us to give you the tools you need in order to do your job. chief provost i will recognize you first for your opening
statement. >> thank you. good afternoon, ciaran korman, ranking member durbin and members of the subcommittee. i cannot be prouder to be here today replanting the men women of the border patrol. i joined the border patrol nearly 25 years ago because of my strong belief in our border security mission. i could never have envisioned today agents will spend 40% of their time as child care professionals, medical caregivers, bus drivers and food service workers. time and time again my agents continue to go above and beyond. just a few weeks ago agents rectitude a three -year-old boy abandoned by smugglers in a cornfield with only his name and parents phone number written on his shoes. agents have rescued more than 2200 migrants endangered by with us smugglers so far this year. as we sit here today thousands more are being encouraged to bring or send their children to our border based on butler's false promises of a safe and easy journey.
our apprehension numbers are off the charts compared to recent years and as of april 30th we apprehended 460,000294 people on the southern border and in the last week we had our highest single day over 5200 apprehensions and single largest group of 421 illegal aliens. as of sunday, only seven months into the year we have now surpassed the total felt was border apprehension of every fiscal year since 2009. the number of family units and unaccompanied children has skyrocketed to 64% of the border apprehensions. ...
2400 families and children each day and they lack the capacity to keep up. since march 19 border patrol has been forced to release processed noncriminal family units from locations that are dangerous the overcapacity. 33,000 people to date though we are adding new facilities and el paso, rio grande valley in the short-term holding facilities they are still beyond capacity. to address the volume we have detailed agents from the northern and coastal borders and received assistance from our brothers and sisters. even with additional manpower commanders had told agents of the border to reduce the task force participation, postpone training and checkpoints.
we cannot address the crisis by shifting more resources for building more facilities. it's like holding a bucket under the faucet. it doesn't matter how many you give me if we can't turn off the flow. to address the flow of illegal immigration there must be consequences for illegally crossing the border. i've said before this is both a humanitarian and border security crisis, but as we focus the resources on the immediate humanitarian needs we've been forced to put the nation's security at risk. single adult apprehension has reached a five-year high. of the three demographic groups, we have the greatest ability to deliver consequences to single adults. knowing that the individuals who
seek to actively seek to obey that law enforcement. every agent i call on the line to care for families and children faces the risk that illegal border crossings will get past us including those smuggling drugs and other contraband. we need to know who and what is crossing the border but that is impossible when the manpower is diverted. cocaine seizures far exceeded last year's total in january more than 700 pounds of cocaine being smuggled across the rio grande wild agents were occupied with large groups of families nearby. and i worry how much more is getting past us we are quickly running out of space to contain adults during the proceedings. we have to again releasing single adults. we must maintain the ability to deliver consequences or we will lose control of the border.
by men and women are doing everything they can to meet the challenge, but border patrol cannot do this alone. the nation cannot fault today's crisis using yesterday's framework. it's not only tied our hands but has driven hundreds of thousands of people to risk their lives on the dangerous journey to the border. smuggling organizations have built a new line of business around the families and children. it is highly lucrative and provides a distraction that helps them cash in on other activities. when my agents were working on the border they know that smugglers and their scouts are watching their every move. rest assured they are watching what we do here in washington and they are banking on an action. crisis is the word so many are using to describe the border but now we need more than words. it's time to act. thank you and i look forward to your questions.
>> members of the subcommittee it is my honor to testify before you today on behalf of u.s. customs border protection field operations which is responsible for the lawful ports of entry in the united states. my testimony will focus on the current situation we are experiencing along the southwest border with mexico. as america's unified border security agency cbp has for priority missions, national security, counternarcotics on economic security. and the trucks and cars arrived from mexico. each of the pathways has different levels of risk to the national security, public safety and economic prosperity.
the volumes of crossing the cj along the southern border ports of entry along with outdated and inadequate facilities presents clear operational challenges for the leadership. physicians must be made daily on how to allocate personnel technology and financial resources to address the risk present in the environment. in recent months we have seen unprecedented trends in the daily operation that make it more difficult for the officers to carry out the priority missions. undocumented migrants traveling in groups numbering in the hundreds are arriving at southwest border crossings seeking to make entry. majority of the unit and unaccompanied children many of them claiming fears returning to the countries of origin numbers presented themselves at the ports and the temporary capacity delivering the officers away from other duties such as narcotics interdiction and facilitating the lawful trade and travel and let me be clear our offices are committed to a
humane and efficient manner, but the current border security and humanitarian crisis of the southwest border has a ripple effect that impact the entire nation. at the end of march we assigned 545 cbp officers from throughout the country from airports, seaports from southwest border intand southwest border to sepae the colleagues. the border patrol asked for an additional 186 officers to assist for a total of 731 officers pulled from the ports of entry. the reassignment is absolutely necessary as we must help to patrol as they respond to the record high level of the crossings into pretensions that the reassignment from the ports of entry to the border patrol facilities comes with consequences. the truck crossings trying to cross the border are uncharacteristically long delays and the fourth century have been forced to close and curtail
weekend cargo processing hours. as the officers of pulled the ports nationwide we may begin to experience we times at airports and northern border as we head into the busy summer travel season. the negative impacts extend beyond the trade and travel and more concerning to me is the impact we are seeing on the narcotics interdiction efforts on the southwest border ports of entry. at the ports of entry they are down and we are seeing significant increases between the ports as the border patrol agents were directed to assess the humanitarian crisis. fy 17 when crossing undocumented migrants was a 40 year low we experienced a 40% increase in the heart of narcotics seizures along the southwest border over the previous year. each officer and agent pulled off the frontline to process, detain and care for undocumented migrants has a direct impact on the cd the introduction of narcotics flooding into the
communities. this must not be lost which is why the current situation along the southwest porter must be viewed as not only a humanitarian crisis but a national security crisis as well. i appreciate the support congress offered the men and women on the frontlin front lini look forward to your questions. thank you. >> ranking member and members of the subcommittee, my name is natalie and i am the acting executive associate director for u.s. immigration and customs enforcement and removal operations. as a career law-enforcement officer with more than two decades of experience, i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the current humanitarian and security crisis at the border as well as the critical mission of protecting the homeland and ensuring the integrity of the nation's immigration system through the enforcement of the immigration law. today the unprecedented numbers of migrants continue to illegally cross the border or
present involves the port the rf entry without documentation. these numbers are on the rise straining the system across the department of homeland security causing to balance the interior of the united state united state influx of migrants at the border. in the past vast majority were single male adults from mexico who could be quickly and effectively returned beginning with the initial surge in fy 2014 there's been a significant increase in the arrival of the family unit and unaccompanied alien children across the southern border a trend that continues with no end in sight. now over 60% of those seeking to cross the border or family unit most of whom are from guatemala, honduras and el salvador. in fact since december 21 date released approximately 168,000
family members directly into the united states. as current law and court rulings mandate the immediate release of these family members many of whom are never heard from again. these family units had to the already overburdened immigration system and contribute to the growing court backlog which has now surpassed 800,000 cases. two of the greatest challenges are limited detention beds for adults and the inability to detain family units for the length of time necessary for their cases to be decided in large part due to the settlement agreement and judicial decisions that interpret it. the record numbers of apprehensions at the border in fact the interior enforcement efforts because congressional funding limits, the number of adult beds available. since many recent border crossings are subject to mandatory detention under the immigration and nationality act, the arrival leaves limited detention capacity for those who are arrested in the interior of
the country including those with criminal records. additionally since they can typically only one family units for approximately 20 days due to the judicial decisions interpreting it most members of the population remain non- detained with little or no oversight. although they sought to deal with the rapid increase in the population through additional strategies such as the alternative to detention program this has proven ineffective in the management of arriving aliens from much higher for the group much of whom have no existing ties to the community and enough other final geographic destination. ultimately without the necessary authority to enable them to detain family units for the duration of the immigration proceedings for those that fail to comply with the conditions and without sufficient resources to apprehend those who the situation will result in virtual
impunity led to the individuals failing to appear as well as to comply with removal orders. additionally, legislation like the trafficking victims protection reauthorization act left gaps in immigration laws that are exploitelawthat are exy transnational criminal organizations and human smugglers. these encourage parents to send their children on the dangerous journey north and we found that they incentivize smugglers to chase the beat of his children into the hands of adult strangers to pose as families and be released from custody. fraudulent claims were a significant problem and the dhs must have the ability to protect the best interests and welfare involved in the potential smuggling or trafficking situations. the record numbers of arriving at the border indicate that these gaps have created an enormous pool factor.
amendments to the law and immigration court processes that i've outlined in my written testimony are needed to help ensure the repatriation of aliens ordered removed by an immigration judge. now more than ever they must have the necessary authority to ensure the safe and successful petri nation of persons who've had their day in court and have been ordered removed in accordance with the immigration law without the necessary funding and legislative changes the integrity of the immigration system will continue to be undermined. thank you again for your support and i welcome your questions. >> chairman cornyn, ranking member durbin and members of the subcommittee it is my honor to appear on behalf of the department of health and human services. as the director of the office i managed the unaccompanied alien children program. i became the permanent director earlier this year, and it is a
privilege to serve in this role alongside our dedicated orr staff. i worked for two congressional members for approximately eight years and provided me firsthand knowledge of the important oversight role that you and your staff have to ensure that the federal programs operate successfully. as i managed to program my goals are to ensure the safety and well-being of the children in the care and in a manner consistent with the law and to make decisions that are in the best interest of each child. orr facilities offer a variety of placement setting options such as oster care and group homes. these options allow orr to accommodate each child's unique circumstances when deciding where to place a child. shelters provide housing, nutrition, routine medical care, mental health services, educational services and recreational activities. a network of guarantees operate the facilities which are
licensed by state authorities. the exception is the temporary hard as i could influx care facility in homestead florida. the facility isn't required to obtain state licensure. however children who reside at the location received the same standard. services as those provided by permanent state licensed facilities. as of march 30 at thi 30th of t, dhs recruit approximately 32,284 unaccompanied children to orr. if this continues in fiscal year 2019, orr will care for the largest number of unaccompanied children in the program's history. based on the growth pattern and referrals, hhs is preparing for the need for the high data capacity to continue. currently, hhs maintains approximately 14,000 beds. on may 1, the administration transmitted to congress a supplemental request for an additional $2.9 billion for hhs which would enable orr to
increase the shelter capacity to 23,600 beds. without additional funding there is a significant likelihood that the program will exhaust all of its resources by this june in which case hhs may need to reallocate for funds from refugees and victims of torture and scale x. services. in the worst-case scenario, thousands of children might remain for lengthy periods of time and a justice of the peace rather than being expeditiously transferred to hhs. in an effort to improve coordination and information sharing, hhs and dhs entered into agreements over the past year. first, in april of 2018, hhs, i.c.e. and cbp entered into the information sharing memorandum of agreement. the agreement requires i.c.e. and cbp to provide orr information pertaining to gain membership into criminal history. second, in july of 2018, orr
published a joint concept of operations with dhs to address overlapping responsibilities. they covered existing policies, procedures and protocols related to transportation, processing and the care of unaccompanied children. since june, 2018 when the president issued executive order 13841 and the u.s. district court for the district of california issued its orders in the case, hhs staff worked tirelessly to unify the children separated from their parents. in order to identify all possible children in the class, hhs conducted a rigorous forensic data reviewed to identify indicators of potential separation for every child in care as of june 26, 2018. through its exhaustive data every few hhs identified 2,814 children potential questioned this. if the children reported to the
court, orr reunify 2,162 children with their parents. another 597 children have left to orr care through other appropriate discharges chesney released to a sponsor who is a family member. further review found buying children had been separated into for ththe remaining children soe cannot be identified with their parents because orr has determined. meets the criteria for exclusion from the class or isn't eligible for reunification. in addition, some parents have waved reunification. april 252019 the court approved the governments proposed plan to identify the children who were referred to and discharged from orr custody between july 1, 2017 and june 25, 2018 and 2 were separated at some point in the process. that plan is underway now and we anticipate getting the court's
deadline within six months. in conclusion, the program provides poverty care and services to unaccompanied children every day. the work is driven by child welfare principles. thank you for the opportunity to discuss our important work and i would be happy to answer any questions that you may have. >> chairman, ranking member durbin and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. i am the director of the joint task force west that's part of department of homeland security southern border in the campaign. i was born on the us-mexico border and grew up in a border community. i joined the border patrol when i was 20 years of age and have been working at different levels and locations along the border for more than 32 years now. you know the southwest border from a personal and professional
perspective. throughout the years i've seen illegal immigration and cross-border crime evil extends the. i've seen large numbers of illegal migrants and narcotics traffickers crossing the highway into u.s. neighborhoods and schools in el paso in 1993. i've seen the aftermath of the cartel violence is criminal groups battle for control insert parts of the border and i've seen people criminal organizations have brutally beaten or left behind to die. i see migrants thrown in to distract pursuing agents. however, i've never seen the conditions we are currently experiencing on the southwest border. the influx of the family unity of unaccompanieunitand unaccomps increased exponentially. the holding facilities are beyond capacity. officers and agents are stretched to their limits. today we are contending with an
unprecedented humanitarian border security crisis come i, s situation demands a crisis response. april 2, 2019, former dhs secretary nielsen created the border emergency so. the purpose was to coordinate the government's resource response to the crisis on the border. this is not without precedent. they will stand u spend a coordn cells and times of disasters such as responding to a hurricane or wildfire. the analogy between the migration crisis and hurricane isn't far off. both create a significant humanitarian demand including food and shelter. both require a whole of government approach and both have wide-ranging effects outside of the immediate point of impact. in the case of migration, that includes increased wait times
for trade and travel and overall security mission. i was selected to lead the resource coordination efforts in addressing the crisis. the first order of business was to get the resources down to the front line that included transportation, health and medical, food, water resources as well as security and legal resources. we begin by looking internally at the resources within the department of homeland security. we issued a call for volunteers within the department to deploy to the southwest border to hope that front-line officers and agents. there are a number of rules for volunteers to play. from driving transportation vehicles to preparing food and caring for children. and every role filled by a volunteer helps us get back to the border. we also looked to the inner agency for support for example we reached out to the service
and the federal bureau to provide vehicles for transportation needs. we also asked the department of defense for support in the form of lawyers, drivers and general-purpose to assist in other areas. it's critical to understand the focus on managing the crisis that the men and women are dealing with in the frontline in a horrific manner. unfortunately, these resources will not mitigate the flow of migrants causing the crisis. in other words, these are band-aid fixes to a worsening situation. this was not intended to exist in perpetuity. we are transitioning submission to the dhs joined incident at pfizer regroup. we were simply at the start of a necessary all hands on deck response to the crisis on the southwest border. there is one very, very important difference between this crisis and a hurricane.
hurricanes and and recovery can begin. with a migration crisis there is no end in sight. the framework will continue to grow massive numbers from central america and other parts of the world. we do not have the facilities to shelter them nor is there an efficient way to return them to their respective countries. this is until the law changes. hurricanes will continue on until this fundamental change to the law. the only one who can stop the storm is the congress of the united stateunited states and ie men and women of the subcommittee to acknowledge the crisis and take action. thank you for your time and i look forward to your questions. >> we will do fiv five-minute rs of questions for the witnesses. a couple weeks ago "the new york times" ran a story about a 3-year-old child unaccompanied
by an adult at th but the border patrol found that the border. how in the world with a 3-year-old child make their way from central america to the us-mexico border and why would anybody send them to mature and our family members send them a unaccompanied to the united states? >> thank you for the question, senator. that is a tough case. the young man is in good care now and we've made sure we've gotten him new clothing and he was watching movies at the station but that was tough to see him abandoned out in a cornfield. the smugglers as i said this is illicit business for them they are make money off of this. they are pushing families saying they can either get the families or their children here. >> and they know that under the
decision the u.s. government can't hold a child in detention longer than 20 days, correct? >> that is correct. and interviews we've done with the families that we've been in, they are hearing the message loud and clear from the smugglers and through media down in the northern triangle as we well. they don't understand the risk and the dangers the truth is going to believe. >> do you know how many children are sent from central america to the united states who die in route? >> we have as you know, senator we've rescued over 2200. >> of those are only the ones who make it. >> we also come across numerous individuals that are deceased and that being said, that
doesn't account for those that die along the way. >> how about children that are sexually assaulted? does the u.s. government perform birth-control examinations were tests on 10-year-old girls? >> i've never heard of that so i can't speak to the birth control that i can speak to the sexual assaults and that we are having young women and young men report being sexually assaulted along the journey. >> if you come over as a young girl say a minor child from central america to the mexican border what are your chances of being sexually assaulted in route? do you have any statistics or on numbers? >> i don't have an exact or the play would say if they are coming alon alone it is certaint high risk. >> do you have in instances where adults claim to be accurate or family membea cadord that ends up being false.
the provision in american law. >> we are seeing that to date. we've already identified 3500 fraudulent families and for various reasons that we have seen instances where children are certainly being exploited along the way and we are working with our partners as well to try to identify as many as possible. the welfare of children are a coward utmost concern. >> and these problems are going to continue or get worse unless congress acts. is that part of your message? >> i will tell you they will continue to get worse based on the numbers we are seeing. border patrol alone nearly apprehended 100,000 people this last month. 98,977 that was just border patrol apprehensions in the
month of april. >> i don't believe anybody in congress would ask our men and women in the united states military to fight our nation's war without making sure that they were trained and equipped in order to do that, but i do believe that congress is sending our men and women into border patrol, customs and border protection into a different kind of battle and denying you the authority is only congress can provide to give you the tools you need in order to do your j job. let me tell you about a meeting i had recently from some constituents who have been to be engaged in businesses along the border and the heartland manufacturing business as you know there's manufacturing supply chains that require cross-border traffic, places like laredo, mcallen, el paso. they even told me that in order to meet the demands of the
supply chain for manufacturing process, they had to fly parts from florida's two el paso exhibits about an 11 minute flight but they can't get across the border because of the phenomenon that you described which is planes being closed lad down to legal commerce and traffic and cbp agents being reassigned to deal with handing out children. can you confirm that and tell us is this a threat to the u.s. economy? >> when the border patrol put out the call for assistance at the end of march when they were completely overwhelmed with what they were seeing, we provided 545 officers directly from the southwest border ports that were most capable to respond
immediately so thead urgent need and we provided officers in the area and pulled 300 out of the laredo area, 194 out of the el paso area and 51 out of the san diego area and that response did result in significant weight times both commercially and in our passenger vehicles as well. a typical wait times with the one to two hours and we were seeing five to seven hour for cargo coming across. after that initial call for assistance came, we were able to begin to readjust the officers from the southwest border with replacements from the airports, seaports, northern border in compliance with the agreement from the union so eventually we were able to get the balance down. right no now it's about 245 officers from the southwest border and 300 from the airports and seaports. that's probably times back down. still higher than what we typically seen before but much better than what we saw at the end of march.
>> what are you going to do when instead of 100,000 migrants a month, you see 200,000 clicks >> it's very concerning is the border patrol needs for assistance and he turned to us to provide that assistance we will be pulling more officers out of the airports, seaports, northern border and we enter the busy summer travel season next month so there could be ripple effects throughout the economy and the summer travel if the situation continues. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. some spokesmen have claimed only 3% of asylum seekers and 2% of immigrants attend immigration courts. can anyone here sheds light on the statistics used? asylum-seekers more often than not fail to appear in immigration court. have any of you heard that?
>> but i can tell you is that the overwhelming majority of individuals who are coming across in fact are not attending even their first hearings. the situation we have, just piggybacking on the ripple effect of the sheer volume of individuals coming across i don't have that capacity as you well know to house family members beyond what is restricted their in texas. >> i hate to interrupt you but i've got to stop this right now. in fiscal year 2018 the department of justice figures show 89% of all of asylum applicants attended the final court hearing to reach a decision on their application when the families and
unaccompanied children have access to legal representation for the rate of compliance with the court obligation is 98%. this sounds like 2% or 3% of? it isn't even close and if we found if there's any case management and counseling so they understand the legal precedents they are going to show up with numbers over 95%. they want an adjudication. they are hoping they can stay here legally but the two or 3% catch and release the department of justice says isn't true. we've got to start with basic facts we can agree on and this is not a democratic national committee press release. this is from the department of justice. let me ask this if i can. you've been on the job for a few years. the mind telling us how long? >> 25 years with the border patrol. >> i don't say that to denigrate either to celebrate your service
to the government. so, you talk about the faucet and the bucket and what you basically say this until you turn off the faucet, we can't keep up with this. i would suggest you are looking at the same faucet today that you looked at twyou've got two d five years ago in other words our standards for asylum are internationally accepted standards, credible threats and fear so the faucet is the same but the question is why is more water flowing through and i think you have to go beyond the obvious balls to ask what are the circumstances driving more water through the faucet and it has changed from two years ago that we are having dramatic increases, and that is where i think we have to step in. you can tell that resulted what you face everyday and i've seen iit firsthand at least my one visit. i don't profess to be an expert but i saw what was going on in
el paso. what's going on in three countries in our hemisphere is dramatically different than it was just a few years ago and people are doing things that were unthinkable a few years ago and this lots of explanations. our broad assumption the money we send back down south to these cartels, the guns out of gun shows in the united states to arm of these cartels predicate is part of itis a cycle of viold disruption that leads to these people being terrorized in countries with very flimsy if any different, so when we talk about policies, the faucet looks the same as it did two years or five years ago but the water flowing through is coming from unusual sources and different ways. please respond. >> you are discussing the push and pull factors why these individuals are coming here. i would say it isn't quite the same aspect of the demographic has changed dramatically and as
i stated before, single adults are the only demographic we can deliver a consequence to. when it comes to detaining families. since late 2015. so we've had four or five years. >> and members of the family unit skyrocketed once they realized we cannot detain children longer than 20 days. >> do you have any confidence if we took these children and returned them to any of these countries if they are arguing they arthere being terrorism thd by gangs that they would be protected in those countries? >> of the issue is we don't have the opportunity to even afford them without. >> hypothetically because that is one of the solutions being proposed by the administration send them back where they came from, so the obvious question let's assume someone said i'm going to rape your daughter if
she doesn't come if you are not complicit with the gang and use that i want my daughter out of here and now she's being returned after a perilous journey to the united states and she didn't qualify it as being sent back. what assurance do we have of her safety when she returns? >> we always assure the safety of children first. >> through parent custody. but i'm asking if the argument has been just like mexican children we are going to return honduran children back to honduras what assurance do we have that there's going to be anyone in the honduras to care for them and make certain they are safe? >> the same standard to be applied. we don't just turn any child back to mexico. they have to be able to make a determination meaning the child has to be old enough to make a decision. we reach out to mexican immigration. what havit would have to be simn relation to dealing with
guatemala, el salvador. but if we don't have the adobe to do that today that is the issue at hand. we need to have the ability to have that as an option. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> senator kennedy. >> am i saying your name right? >> yes, senator. >> has it been your experience at 80 plus% of the folks entering the country illegally show up for their court date? >> the reports i've seen about 12% actually qualify at the end of the process for asylum. the majority do not qualify for asylum, but the screening is
very lenient. >> what about the number of people who come in and claim asylum and are turned loose, what percentage do you think a e similar experience actually show up for the court date? >> i cannot answer that categorically that i can tell you one of the main drivers we see right now is the organized crime is very knowledgeable of the walls. >> i guess what confuses me if everybody shows up for the court date white we have 11 million people in the country illegally? the numbers don't make sense to me and i would like to ask the attorney general bar if he can do this when he's under a contempt citation to ask whoever put together those numbers at justice to take another run at it. i'm not saying my friend senator
durbin is wrong. that just doesn't make sense to me. i don't understand how the we gt 11 million folks here in the country if they all showed up for the court date. let me shift gears. what troubles me about this whole debate, let me preface this with a question. is it illegal immigration and illegal? >> commission of health and human services -- to >> is illegal immigration illegal? >> the mission is to not enforce immigration law but to simply care for the children. >> how long have you been in the bureaucracy? >> can anybody answer this question is illegal immigration illegal? >> yes, senator. >> that's part of the problem
here. some of my friends in the congress just think that illegal immigration is not illegal and some think that it's a moral good and i don't get it. i just don't. let's shift from trying to blame it on the president or the law or whatever. tell me what to do about it with specificity. i listen to all of you and appreciate it and do we have a problem at the border and my friends at "the new york times" recognize it out. what do we do about it and change the asylum while? >> first and foremost we have to have the ability to hold families throughout the immigration process, together throughout the immigration process. before a settlement agreement the fact we cannot hold them longer than 20 days it isn't possiblisimpossible to get throe
entire immigration system in 20 days. >> we need the authority to hold families together what else. >> tight in the asylutightened s to address the low bar for credible fear. >> what you mean by that? >> the standards. >> excuse me to interrupt, does that mean people who seek asylum y.? >> though, senator. what it means is when they make a credible fear claim it is a lower standard than ultimately for asylum center for many of them initially passed the credible fear claim the dead when they reach asylum they do not meet the standard so we need to tighten those. >> whittles? >> the other thing i would say as i said before eliminate the double standard when it comes to unaccompanied children. all unaccompanied children have the ability to claim credible fear as well.
>> unaccompanied children who are from mexico or canada can be returned to mexico or canada if they can make a decision, there is no fear of returning to the country. we cannot do that with these other countries. those are the main three. >> you have two problems talking about. about. what impact the family unit and the numbers we are seeing. additionally we stop at the border security mission that we have to take care of and that includes a personal technology and infrastructure in order to enhance the capabilities. >> tell me what he can do to solve the problem. the chief gave me three ideas. anybody else flex you see it every day. >> can i add one more?
>> absolutely. >> we need the space to hold single adults. i currently have 7,000 as of this morning 7,000 single adults in my custody because we do not have sufficient space to take them out of my custody. my facilities are temporary holding facilities and we need beds. not having beds is impacting us. >> i don't want to abuse my privilege but i have a question is at the same chief? >> that demographic has changed dramatically which is why we are having these issues. >> it's gone up dramatically. we've surpassed already total of the engines all the way back to 2009. >> have we ever had 5,000 people a day? >> to 5200 mark at least i know going back for several years though. >> do you want to treat these folks in an inhumane manner?
>> no. i am so proud of my men and women. >> anybody in any government service dealing with immigration who is treated by our world neighbors who come here in an inhumane manner intentionally? >> no sir. >> senator feinstein. >> thanks very much mr. chairman. let me say thank you for everything you all do. i know it's one of the hardest jobs we have, and it's probable you don't get a lot of compliments but a lot of criticism and i just want you to know i understand it that as a californian and very much appreciate what you do. i've been trying to figure out a problem. let me read something from a cnn article. customs and border protection thursday ended its controversial 297 million-dollar hiring
contract according to two senior dhs officials and a representative. as of december when you terminate the part of the contract, the company only completed processing 58 applicants and only 22 had made it onto the table for about a year so there was 297 million for hiring, and only 22 actual hires resulted. could you comment please? >> i apologize i think we probably need to get you a briefing from our staffing that handles the hiring and human capital and i would offer that. >> i would comment on the current staffing situation in office of field operations we've
made tremendous progress the last several years in terms of recruiting and directing new hires to the southwest border with the greatest need and we brought him 301 new officers last year and he was over about 700 officers a year through normal attrition so that would have been hiring over a thousand last year. this year because of the improvements we need through the hiring process we are looking at bringing out 1150 new officers for the ports of entry so the hiring at the ports of entry and office of the field operations is very strong and we have different challenges than the border patrol hiring where it was mainly geared towards. >> i understand i.c.e. maintains 2500 detention beds for families but reports indicate even those are empty i.c.e. is requesting an extra 300 million to increase the number of available
detention beds. sources "washington post" report, white house asked congress for and a half billion in emergency spending at the border, they won 2019 is that correct or false? >> as it relates to the number of female events and whether they are the population as they are told or not, at this time we do have three family residential centers we have one in pennsylvania exhibit 96 beds. generally we used the frc for dual heads of household families which are few and far between and also we reserve that in the event that we need to detain families to the north. not used as often obviously it would be of great expense and man powemanpower to move indivir family units from the southern border to the specific frc.
>> but is it correct that i.c.e. maintains 2500 detention beds for families? >> we have 2500. >> how many are filled? >> at this time and at one time it was just over 800 for families. we've had to convert the facility at th present for singe adult females to help with the explosion of single adult females that are coming across. >> how many family beds are currently being used for single females? >> approximately 650 single females are in our family residential center and car. we've had to go t to the emergey plan so that we can continue to help our colleagues with the backlog. >> thank you for being upfront with me.
what is likely to happen to restore thhave been torestore ty beds if anything? >> if i made the last one where we are holding the family units is not daily. it is in the rio grande valley in texas. at this time we have roughly i want to say for today's counts approximately 1900 custody. >> children? >> families. female single heads of household along with their children who are housed at the family residential center. >> can you break that down into numbers of children versus single family beds? >> i don't have that specific number. by and large, you can see one mother may have one or maybe two children or sometimes as many as three that we can certainly get
that number for you. >> i.c.e. is requesting an extra 300 million to increase the number of available detention beds that's in the budget we are doing now. >> across the continuum for the detention beds, we are absolutely in need of additional adult beds. you heard the chief saying she is backed up as of today i think we are in the ranks of 8,000 single adults looking for placement. >> than the 25 rick detention beds. there are 2500 family beds, and then we are funded by 42,000 single apple's beds so we have greatly surpassed at this .42000 single adult beds. the average daily population anywhere between 46 and 48,000 single adults.
>> if we could hold a families beyond the 20 days so we could ensure they have their day in court we could use more beds. the members of the family units are coming over but again just to confirm what the chief shared this explosion in single adults as well we are in dire need. if i may share one interesting take, this time last year the end of april last year we booked in custody 128,000 apprehensio apprehensions. the end of april just a couple of weeks ago we booked 242,000 arrests 114,000 more over last year at the same time frame. we are in dire need for additional single adult beds and we are constantly working to
acquire temporary beds to make sure the current inventory individuals in custody right now are having their cases timely heard or if they are in need of a timely release or affecting timely removal so we can accommodate the nonstop surge of being a single adults coming across. >> my understanding is this 200 million in the carryover funding. is it possible to use the 200 million for additional beds? >> frankly, however we can be funded congressionally we will do. >> some of us are appropriators and if you could get the answer to that question because we will take a good look at it and see if it can be used for the
purpose where there is need. >> much appreciated and if i may, we have to think of the full complement of when we are abiding the bed. the continuin continuum doesn'te so for every additional tranche of beds i am acquiring so i can address the backup at the border because the stations can't hold, i need the infrastructure to ensure those individuals are getting their cases timely heard and that they are being medically properly cared for etc. and that tends to be the larger problem where we will find one part of the continuum depended some upside situation because we have all these additional folks theoretically coming into custody and then we need the additional components to address that. >> where does hhs come into this problem? because the jurisdiction is
essentially hhs. >> our peace is we provide transport to hhs so there is a bill that goes to the transporting fees. a rematch given the surge of the children coming across that requires placement i fund and transport the children to hhs. >> thank you mr. cherry and in all of you for being here for the very difficult task you are doing the very best you can right now. did i get the number right is the almost 400,000 crossings over what period of tim? >> for the fiscal year through april southwest border
apprehensions 460,294. i expect we will surpass 500,000 this weekend. >> we are reaching the point where the estate of maybe it's wyoming i think they are about 600,000 people that's how many people we have going through the process since the fiscal year began in october of last year. i tell you one thing i don't think a lot of people are hearing and the testimony we've received from you always do have a crisis no wonder you are having a problem recruiting border agents. if we have an all volunteer army and we do a pretty good job of hitting recruiting targets because they know we will provide the resources, training and capabilities that they need to take the fight, why on earth would you hear in congress why would anyone line up to do this job when there is zero consistent support from congress to equip you to do your job?
>> i believe the situation that's going on an and the inability for us to have the resources that we need to do it are certainly impacting recruitment. >> there is one statistic that is indisputable that came to department of justice and the fact checked it twice. 80% of the people who are coming across the border now the population since october of last year almost equal to the populous state ultimately adjudicated if they don't have a legitimate asylum claim. if you expose your child to what some of these parents and adults are giving you would be in a court of law for endangered a child. ..
>> dewey model more women and children into slavery? what is the general morale of the people they go out, i've been on horseback, atvs, it is been a better part of the week after, i saw brave men and women doing the job, but do they feel like congress has his back? >> senator, i said before, i'm so impressed with women and women and what they do day in and day out, and what they have to do with. i will tell you it is certainly negatively impacting morale. >> god bless him. honestly, it was said about the influx and cohousing over the last year.
it may have been ms. asher was talking about fluorescent 2015. when people in other countries being educated by the cartels in the plaza manager said, we can get you here and is going to be to get into this country. that is when we sold influx. the president, the reason there was a sensation at one point when president trump came in is because he was series about a the border. but when it became a period that we cannot get a bipartisan agreement that we have future flows that are unsustainable and people are dying, children, women are dying making this to the crossing, it's on the president's fault, it's the people exploiting floras, as people exploiting our legal process for financial gain among the organized crime and is discussing to think we cannot recognize it's in the best interest of the 80% of people
who are going to come here to be adjudicated and not having as asylum claim. please do not do that to your children. don't let the 3-year-old be found in a cornfield. don't put arbor to secure the agents at risk. recognize this is a problem, we can debate a lot of issues but this is a national crisis, national emergency and we have to get congress to act or it will only get worse. your story a year from now will make today's testimony look like good news. thank you for what you do. i will do anything i can to help you. >> think you mr. chairman. before i begin my questions, i would like to know an issue involving citizens of the associated states, and the marshall islands which are critical national security partners to the united states, it appears that the guidelines, the citizens are being denied
access to complaint an id card, congress and intimacy and permanent ids under the real id act, and the dhs policy office is not here today, i wanted to mention this to you because there are thousands and thousands of citizens were being negatively impacted by the change to dhss guidelines of how drivers license can be obtained. ms. asher, i'm looking at your testimony, page three in which you note that the atd, the alternative programs does not further isis statutory of removing those who are illegally present in the united states and have been orderly removed by an immigration judge. i would like to clarify for me,
who constitutes the illegally president population and our country and i think, correct me if i'm wrong, the term illegally president includes those without documentation, those who came across between parts of entry, are those the largest categories of those that you deem illegally present in our country? >> i'm not quite sure i follow the question man. individuals who are here unlawfully or if they are out of status are considered an illegal status as it relates to immigration law. i'm not quite sure i follow. my apologies. >> i'm getting to the priorities yet to establish to provide deportation. these over spears are not
eagerly present in our country. so with that said, under term illegally present persons? >> i believe that summer,. >> there are two categories of these, and country overstates an out of country overseas, everyone comes in for duration of status printers at times there especially. some do not leave on time believe later. and we know they left the country, those are out of country overstates, some have never left and those are in country overstates. >> we have a lot of in country overseers. i have heard as much as 40% of the 11 million or so who are undocumented in our country are visa overseers. i am getting to the groups, the large groups of people who could be deemed illegally present as subject to deportation. actually i would say these overseers are among those in those who are without documentation, that would
include the visa overseers but there about 11 million people and a country without documentation who would be subject to deportation. correct me if i'm wrong, on that massager? >> i don't have the breakdown here today as it relates to what constitutes the number of the 11 million at this point. >> what i'm getting at, i mentioned before, with so many people who fit into your illegally present group. ice has to have a prioritizing and deportation, so do you have a priority as to who would be deported questioning. >> what we do is enforce the removal orders as receiving them in conjunction with working with immigration -- >> before the group that is subject to deportation
proceedings. >> individuals were subject to deportation proceedings, anyone here who has broken immigration laws or has perhaps overstayed the time here are subject -- >> that's a lot of people. when you have a category with 11 million people that could be deported you have to have some priorities. i am asking what are your priorities? for the partition? if you'd like to get back to me on that you can. because you have to have priorities. >> simply, the problem is far larger than resources collectively, the courts -- >> were running out of time. this is why you have to have priorities. i would like to know what those parties are and if those parties can be disclosed to a committee, that would be helpful. could you go back -- chairman i
think of asking a pretty simple question. we can't possibly deporting 11 million people. we have to have certain priorities and i would really like to know what those parties are -- let me move on. >> i think the senator's right, if you could supply us with isis priorities in the u.s. government of deportation. my understanding people make criminal defense and the like will be first to go. >> that is in the public safety wrong obviously individuals who have been. >> understand that sophia list i would like to have them because we all know there been people who have been deported who have been committed, what i will call very low level funding will and. i think on the security secretary has previously acknowledged that it is obsolete essential to just root causes of
migration in the northern triangle countries. that would mean that we need to provide foreign aid to these countries so that we he get to the root causes of the violence in these countries the cause of many other people to attempt to create a better life for themselves and in our country. do you agree, do the panelists agree that we do need to get to the root causes in some way which would be for nate? >> senator if i may, there are numerous cushion polls and that is a perspective but i will tell you the majority of the individuals that we are apprehending that we do interviews with our economic migrants. because they are in a state of economic distress versus the violence. that being the main factor. >> i would say that has -- that goes whether the asylum claim would be withheld. >> will go to senator lee police
you mind if we go down the list of whether there were causes of something we need to address questioning. >> very briefly. the chairman like to go to another question or so. yes or no? i think we need to address the root causes. >> root causes is one of the main. >> senator hhs is committed to the helping of children for we cannot force immigration. >> i believe such america has to be provided aid but has to be targeted aid, has to have accountability. >> the key. >> they keep chief. >> united states char kroger when it comes to truck building is not all that great. >> senator lee. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for being here and think you are what you do for living and for what you do to keep her safe. the situation at the border, it
has become a crisis. a crisis on many level, certainly humanitarian crisis, absolutely a crisis for the rolloff. this is sort of what happens when a legal regime itself contains loopholes with an that can be manipulated in such a way to undermine the very interest, objectives sought to be achieved through that system of laws. that is what is happened here. without systemic breakdown, of the border. with many of it root causes within our legal system itself. it is causing serious problems, problems that cause and result in gutwrenching consequences. just from a human standpoint it is tragic. one of the most gutwrenching of these consequences involves trafficking and smuggling of minors. just a few weeks ago, we heard testimony of a hero, a gentleman
named tim, his group called operation rural, and he told us about the local conditions in which people are subjective, children are subjected as a traffic across the board. hicks when, our laws are perpetuating this sort of thing. they're fueling the white gail profiteering the wide scale profiting by drug cartels and human trafficking in the human trafficking of children. some cases traffickers send unaccompanied minor aliens across the border with the full expectation, full understanding, the objective that the child will be apprehended. traffickers on the other flores it must be released quickly into a sponsor claiming to be a relative. as a result, the traffickers,
compasses on the american side of the border can come to the shelters, or shelters, shelters operated by the office of refugee resettlement. in attempt to claim the child. i would like to start with you, is orr at the office of refugee resettlement all sponsors christmas. >> absolutely without a doubt. with the sheer volume we are dealing with and as i understand the six months ending in march of this year. you process 32000284 children. in just six months is that right? >> that sounds right. >> when you're processing that men need children, over 302000 and that six month period and holding them for short period of time, is it possible to do the vetting necessary or to protect children from traffickers?
>> yes, sir, it is. >> you can know with confidence and every one of the circumstances of the person showing up as to that person claims to be and that that person is not involved in the trafficking of children? >> of that most companies in our staff, they work through the process to jennifer sponsors, the sponsorship leader vacation practice, robust back on track, public records check in for anyone currently other than the moms and dads, also fbi back on checks. a full confidence in my team, and the work that they do because every single employee of the office of refugee resettlement wants to see the children released first as safely as possible in the number two as quickly as possible. >> i don't doubt for and insist that your objective in those you work with -- i would suggest it
may not be entirely possible to protect everyone from the risk that they can be manipulative the students. to be clear, i want to make perfectly clear that i don't blame her patrol or or for the problems that we face or the risks that we confront, i think you're facing a perfect storm of source and the humanity crisis we're dealing with. primarily, i blame congress. we know our immigration laws are right for abuse, we know that they are being abused, we know that there are children in the thousands in the last year alone who have in fact been trafficked through the system of using this very same set of laws. at a minimum we no changes to flores are necessary and changes to the dpp portabl border patrol
officers will be later this year? >> we are working with our partners at u.s. eis autopilot program and we are working through the training process on that. >> the hope and expectation is that change may help weed out frivolous or mental but if claims that are not warranted? >> yes, sir. >> the standard that will be used by the same one used by asylum officers? >> we are being -- the training is from them in a has to meet their standards and we are working hand-in-hand as we attempt to work forward on a pilot program. >> right. do we need changes to the credible standards in order to reduce the scope of the between
fighting of credible fear and actual grant of asylum? >> that is certainly one of the things that we need to do. we need to bring the credible fear standards up to the same standards of asylum. >> if i could ask one more question, what with us changes look like? >> when anybody could claim credible fear when they come in to the country. that is basically, do they have a fear of returning to the country. but the asylum law are more stringent when it comes to what meets asylum for insist. they may have fear to go back to the country because of economic reasons. in the situation that they're in, that would be one example that is not going to be asylum regulations. >> thank you i see my times expired. >> senator leahy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good to see again. like some others on this
committee, the vice chairman appropriations government of this committee, we have to figure out how the money will be used. and what it will be used for. which requires transparency from you, all of you, they market people. on june 23, 2018. three days after president trump was going to ascend and inhumane family separation policy, dhs released a fact sheet to the public stating it had a process established and place to ensure that parents are reunited with their children. ms. asher, was this dhs actually inaccurate or misleading in any way at the time it was released on june 23, 2018?
>> thank you. >> should i repeat the question? >> and making sure i'm referring to the correct document. so what we were doing. >> just into the question. you released a fact sheet to the public pain you process established to ensure parents are reunited with the children was that factory accurate or misleading? >> that fact sheet if we had a shared way, sharepoint system that we call that we tried to mail the very systems together that were not designed to talk to one another -- >> was misleading in the way? the simple question. >> i don't think it's misleading it requires further explanation. >> the reason i asked the exact same day yet e-mails between
officials saying they do not have parents with their children. in the government had no link for parents to children. on the same day, you're the fact sheet that was not misleading, but appears from the it has to be misleading. >> i think from a very systematic explanation of true databases talking to another, there was no automatic link because hhs is not a law enforcement agency, dhs is and the systems obviously were not designed to talk to one another originally however, through the process we did create through various spreadsheets and crossover of information a sharepoint which is a database like system that we used as a group and our successful efforts
in reuniting the parents of the children. >> all put into the record, you are on the e-mail. and i will submit and put in the record because frankly i understand -- i understand the way you say it, is contradictory. reports indicate president trump recently to resurrect a new version of family separation. are you aware of plans to resurrect any policy? including binary choice that had the effect even without the primary intent of separating children from their parents? that should be an easy yes or
no. >> i'm not aware. >> anybody else? >> for the record everybody said no. >> almost all migrants released from custody or family units, women and children, and the statistics show a vast majority didn't show up in court, and the president is so-called tension release of migrants, it results in violent criminals flooding our streets, does dhs or ice has statistics indicating what percentage of migrants released from dhs custody and later convicted of serious violent crime? >> i did not have the statistics with me here today. however, if i may take the opportunity to further correct -- >> are they available? >> we can certainly get -- >> we submitted for the record.
>> do it within the week please and thank you. >> there is a misperception regarding those family units her showing up for court. we did a recent joint pilot with d.o.j. calling an expedited family unit docket between -- we started in september and through april individuals who were last in heaven for stop intensities to appear before immigration judges to have the asylum cases her. in fact, we had an 87% no show rate for those families to appear before the immigration judges. i think there's a disconnect in understanding that the family units are not appearing in great numbers for immigration judges for the asylum cases to be heard. which leads to burden for my
resources to go back and prickly find these individuals because now their final orders of removal. that particular population as we continue to release into the interior, hundreds if not thousands of family units into the interior every week is a great concern as it relates to these individuals not appearing before and now being fugitives. >> are they involved in violent or serious crimes? >> we will get you those numbers that are separate and apart from actually answer the question regarding family units before the unit. >> the presences catch and release the floaters streets of criminals in mice is very tasty that we are worried about that, with the border patrol come down
in communities and set up roadblocks distance from the border. they don't catch anybody but i am worried if we're shorthanded, how that goes on, why they have the people to do, i'm just curious. i was impressed with the people i met when i spent a couple days down the border, my time is u up -- >> vicki senator, on behalf of the church, thank you. i will ask a few questions myself. she problems let me track my question to you to start with. the enterprise on the southern border, nobody is property from what is going on a list of the border. who is it, who is property from what is going on down south. >> 's mothe smugglers are profi,
they don't care what they bring across the border as long as they get money. >> who else, who controls the southern border on the mexico site? >> their various cartels that control the pauses. >> does anybody cross that border illegally without the permission of the cartels? >> that is generally not the case. >> to the cartels profit on those who cross the border with their health information? >> i would say yes, sir. >> the current cartels are property from children who are being used as human shields to get across the border, is accurate? >> their property from children, family units, yet. >> all of it we have a situation on the southern side window cartels that are in charge of the border, controlling the border, profiting from everything for the goes across the board. in creating this crisis, the miniature increases in this country is offered as a?
[sobbing] there secretly utilizing the humanitarian crisis to divert our resources so they can also smuggle other contraband across. >> let me ask you, speaking of countrymen, we had argument the states of mind, the state of missouri in the middle the country, it doesn't really have any stake in the game when it comes to what is going on along the border. in fact, lo large quantity of ds or smuggle cross-border? >> that is correct. yesterday border patrol in conjunction with some other law enforcement partners had a seizure of 1000 pounds of methamphetamine. >> thousand pounds of methamphetamine. as humans go in missouri the leader of a mess publicly operation was sentenced to 30 years in prison. for distributing over $1 million worth of math throughout my stay. and not even two weeks ago dea from texas stopped a greyhound bus bound for kansas city
missouri that had $1.8 million worth of methamphetamine. and for this reason, your predecessor who is now president trump's nominee of ice, made a point that is obsolete critical pre-he said every city in america the border city. in every state in america is a border state. would you agree with that? . . .
involved the department of defense hopi take on some of the non- enforcement duties so that my men and women can get back to the door and onto border. >> chief you started serving as deputy chief of board ritual in 2016. >> that is correct. >> on may 7, 2018, 1 year ago today, attorney general did disclose the ministration of the policy of family of 2018 nearly 2000 present children, millions of americans were outraged i was one of them. other members of the committee as well. in a federal court, ordered the ministration to reunify the separated families, in january
as you know, inspector general of the department of health and human services released a report of separate senator, first and foremost, that prove zero-tolerance we were adjusting the zero-tolerance prosecution, my time is limited, i will tell you throughout separated families and we still are separating families. >> i want to ask you in a more precise way, you're absolutely right to point out the lack in my question other than for fraud
or the safety of the child. when did you first become aware that the ministration had embarked on the policy of family separation other than for fraud. once again i would tell you there has not been a family separation policy, there's been a prosecution policy, we are separated for prosecution in the past as well, family members. >> ivana answer, with all due respect because you know there have been a family separation policy, let me ask you mr. hayes, because in your testimony today you stated it will take six months to identify the children separated from their parents between 2017, in the summer of 2018. how long with a unified, office of family separated between the
summer of 2017 in the summer of 2018 if it takes six months to identify customer. >> that would be a question senator blumenthal that i be happy -- >> why we do not know today? >> because for operation has agreed to with the judge's under the direction of commuter jonathan white with the health service at hhs working with the staff at or. >> how long will it take you to get back to us customer. >> i would have to go back and check with the team and circle back to stock as soon as possible. >> could you gives the date by which you will know the answer like by the end of the week? rock are not presumed to provide. i will promise you this -- >> talk about time, with all the respect, how many separated children were very young, maybe even toddlers have been
separated from their parents, some of them for more than half their lives. and i would ask, have you had additional resources to undertake the task? what is been the response. >> the response from who serve? >> what. >> the response from who? >> response from additional resources. >> from congress of resettlement in order to. >> what about your budget? that's a budget, we've asked for additional $2.9 billion to continue to operate the office of refugee settlement and the children in her care now. >> let regroup more precise. have you asked the department of homeland security for immediate funding to congress in order to accomplish a task of these
perhaps families? >> i'm not aware specifically for resources. >> as soon as possible. >> as soon as possible again yes osir. >> you know of any entities within the federal government that appropriates money other than congress? >> no, sir, senator i'm not. >> senator chris. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you each of you for being here, it's good to see you again. let me say, a special thanks to the men and women of border patrol, ice for doing an especially difficult and exceptionally important job at a time that is particular challenging. and we are grateful for the many women of law enforcement and the work you do every day to keep her safe. >> can you give the most
up-to-date statistics on comedy people are crossing the border illegally and what the trend that you are seeing? >> certainly senator, overall, fiscal year to date, 460,294, that's part of patrol office border apprehensions. just in the month of april, for border patrol, southwest border, 98977 in the trend is increasing save the day. the group last week of over 5200 people. we are seeing groups -- we've apprehended 148 large groups of individuals compare that to 13 last fiscal year into the fiscal year before that, when i say a large group that's 100 people work per group, as you know
well, the demographic is changed as well. we have apprehended over 165,000 individuals from wall-to-wall, 130-2000 from honduras, 402000 from el salvador, currently, 80% are apprehensions other than mexican nationals, that's a huge demographic shift from a ruler is diffuse ago 74% are from northern triangle. in an fy 18 we apprehended individuals from over 140 different countries and this fiscal year to date we have apprehended individuals from 127 different countries. >> in your judgment, to what extent does catch and release contribute to this massive increase customer. >> is a huge pull factor. in my opening statement i said my biggest concern is that we will have to start releasing
single adults advice cannot give enough bed space. what we've seen with family units since we've had to release all family units we have seen numbers grow exponentially. i am highly concerned about what is happening with adults. those numbers are increasing dramatically prayed but over 167,000 single adults, everybody is focused on the humanitarian crisis, we have a crisis here as well. those individuals, we have to maintain the ability to detain those individuals to the immigration hearings. and we need a way to securely detain families together to the process as well. >> in march, commissioner macklin testified before the committee that border patrol identified over 1700 cases where
children crossing the border with adults claim to be a family unit. not only for the border patrol to discover the child in the adult were not related. can you provide any update on those numbers? >> there over 3500 year to date, fiscal year to date. that includes individuals who are not related whatsoever it also may include a claim to be juveniles but to determine third adults themselves as well as. >> to have a grea breakdown -- >> over 3500 so far. >> i've heard reports that the cartels are now engaged in the practice of renting children, to what extent at the board which will have seen that occurring and increasing?
>> roosting cases happen, hsi is focused on this as well and has task forces working with us, just last week actually in the office of field operation officer who is assisting border patrol agents identified a case just like that and worked hand-in-hand with hsi on that investigation with the child admitted to basically sold by its mother. >> any other witnesses care to elaborate? >> my colleagues and hsi to reiterate with the cheapest talking about as far, they're moving from resources to additional resources to the border that victim arena specialist, special agent and i figure april 15 through may 3 there conducting the interviews of families they defined roughly three of every ten families to not be families.
another was fraud being conducted. also. >> lemanski review time is expired. would you agree that congressional loopholes that make essentially child to get out of deal free card incentivized cartels abusing children and putting them in the circumstances. >> it's alarming, we're turning resources to this problem because for some foremost strength is most important to all of us for components in the two swords, i'm really concerned once you start digging into this as to the level of expectation these children in recycled, fraudulent documents, another problem, adults posing as children, cases were individuals or say their 70, 16, putting them in hhs care and we find out after further investigation
there is old is in their late 20s, the fraud, expectation is rapid and it sounds happy. >> please keep this committee advised as the data is developed. i think this is an issue of particular concern of this committee. >> thank you. >> is a portable juul to deploy more agents to deal with the families and children, have you had to pull border patrol agents from some of the interior checkpoints? yes, we have had to close down points, we have had to pull in ages from taskforces with other law enforcement that are critical taskforces when it comes to sharing information. stop training, and has certainly had an impact, negative impact on our border security mission. >> when you are chief for the
rio grande valley, the secretary border patrol, i remember visiting the checkpoint in berks county, senator chris has said the same expense i have. one of the starkest memories i have of that in the regions around the checkpoint where the coyotes leave the migrant to circumvent the checkpoint so they don't get caught in the vehicle as a transfer them into the interior. the local official will find a number of dead bodies in effect the berks county officials have asked us to somehow find whether they reimburse them for taking care of the remains and bearing these bodies. what i really wanted to ask about, other countries that are
exploiting the vulnerability at our border, i assume that people can get her from such america they can get hear from anywhere in the world. and i do remember now to get around the area, the scene some of the rescue beacons in spanish, english and i believe in chinese, do you actually have chinese individuals coming across the southwestern border into the united states? >> absolutely senator. they mentioned that 140 so far different nationalities, chinese is simply one of them. serpentine is in one of the things that stands out to me is the number of deaths that we see every year between 20300 deaths a year are broken 40 security system. there are huge numbers and every
time or all the time that we spent on closing the system is really resulting in many unnecessary deaths in my opinion back 140 different countries? >> 140 different countries last year, 127 to date this fiscal year. as a makeable one example you talk about the checkpoint being close down, thank god yesterday in the radial checkpoint was up because they found individuals in smuggled in a box truck through the checkpoint, we were able to apprehend them, but it was 112 degrees inside the back of the box truck were 21 migrant and to include two juveniles. that checkpoint was not there we can only imagine what could've happened, it could've been a tragedy. >> to the 140 different countries where these migrant farmers, some of the countries that are particular concern to
u.s. national security? >> certainly senator. can you give us a few examples? >> yemen, recently that is been an area that we are taking people from china, brazil, venezuela, minnie middle eastern countries, many countries in asia, everywhere. >> any other questions? >> you talk about 3500 families, over what period of time? >> fiscal year to date. >> so the status and statistics i have suggest there been 189,000 units processed you today. and you've identified 3500 fraudulent families? that is less than 2%.
correct? >> i don't do math while in public that's a small percentage, yes, sir. >> so anyone is of concern but we talk about fraudulent, impact on the system, is lower than 2% of those who are claiming families? >> that the amount we been able to identify, i know that the number is higher than that. >> i'm sure could be. when it comes to see portals -- are you familiar -- i firmly the fact that we had hundreds of millions of dollars to your procreation,. >> i'm going at the risk -- about this up, he said do it. it was, it was not the original thought, when i went through apostle port of entry
the superdome was not working. we were talking about detecting people at 115 degrees trailers or deckard x, how often does this technology that is supposed to scan and breakdown? >> technologies reliable, but the more equipment we have posted at the point of entry because of the congressional, allows us to scan higher percentages of the vehicles coming through but there are million cars akin to. the volumes are astronomical. congress continues to sport. but happy middle to sport. >> there's no partisanship. >> yes. >> want to commits the acting chief of. let me is this question. when oil or has an unaccompanied child, and is trying to
establish whether or not they are in the process of how thorough is a process to determine whether the child is eligible or could be eligible for asylum stands? >> that work would be done to the many legal services you're probably very familiar with one of the legal services provided and reworked in the process with each of the children in her care and were all eligible for legal services.
>> did the process take more than a few minutes. >> gasser, to the best of my knowledge, it's a pretty involved process. >> does it involve more than one person in this decision. two that is my knowledge, there's a group of folks that are involved in the decision between illegal service provider in the immigration judge. and folks like that that are involved in the process. >> the current status situation of the law, unaccompanied children from mexico do not make it to our? that's not entirely true, a small number might be less than one or 2%, for the end -- out of expectation, they might be trafficked, we get a small percentage in her care.
>> in the ordinary course, this is going to be a decision made by someone other when it comes to children mexico? >> audio to my college that dhs. >> that would be border protection would not? >> cis ultimately. >> when they investigated, the activities of the agency, homeland security agency, when it came to determining the eligibility from mexico to go forward in the process. they found, this goes to the 2015, the most recent, they found that it was a most awareness about how they were to assess screening, what i understand one of the proposals before is now the they would shift all of these two custom to the board protection or cis.
utmost concern ensuring they have the right representation that is part of the process i can't speak fully to the process. >> let me be specific what they found is pretty egregious the policy states children under the age of 14 are presumed unable to make the decision but the cbp datthat the cbpdata in the randg cases found that the border patrol repatriated 93% of the mexican children under the age of 14 without documenting the basis for their decision so there was a clear break date and age where they said they can do this, you can't presume if they are not eligible are you telling me what i'm trying to get to this we are going to be asked to change the laws and one of the changes is to make sure they
don't make the decision that you get to make. closer to the border and the obvious question that we should ask is how good are you ask this because that is at stake here may be the life of a child so what can you tell me? >> we work with the consular officers with any of the children we come in contact with and immigration officials as well when it comes to any returns. i hope it is one of the things we can work out. >> i'm going to try to be brief.
the neighbors are coming here illegally to claim asylum and are found to be eligible under the asylum laws. less than 20% in the end. >> i want to be sure i understand the northern, we call it the southern border for us i will call it the northern border from mexico you are telling me the cartels are in control of the northern border not the government of mexico? >> if the government of mexico took back control of the northern border, would that help this tide? >> i believe it would have a
positive impact. >> tell me again how you would change the asylum laws to solve this crisis. the credible fear claims, which basically if somebody states they have a fear of returning, we need to have more information to make sure that it meets asylum at the border because the standard for credible fear is lower than for asylum. >> one of the things i've learned in life into a two and a half years since i had the honor of serving in the senate is that you have to watch what people do, not what they say. everything else is just conversation. and i'm convinced part of the problem, and i don't want to paint with a broad brush that part of the problem we have is come and let me preface by saying this is america. you can believe what you want.
some decision makers and members of congress decided that the illegal immigration is not illegal and shouldn't be illegal. and it is a moral good. i don't agree with that point of view, and that's why i think we have almost a fundamental disagreement. do any of you know how many people we have welcomed into the country legally since donald trump became president of? does anybody know? >> spanakopita refugee side. i don't have the same numbers but we will get back to the staff as soon as possible.
i'm still trying to digest mr. hayes answer. let me put this another way. i'm asking iwhat i'm asking is y people since donald trump has been president, how many of the citizens have been welcomed into the country illegally, and let me give you the answer. i don't need to wait on you. 2.5 million it's not going to be an issue of us waiting on immigrants we are a nation of immigrants. but i just find this breathtaking. we could fix this problem in two weeks if we wanted to by changing the law.
it's like somebody decided on purpose and it's an embarrassment that we don't even try. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator blackburn. >> thank you mr. chairman, and thank you all for being here. i was at the white house one day and you came in and spoke to us for a few minutes, and i appreciated your remarks and honesty about the situations that are there. i've got a couple of questions. director i know the president has a productive he wants the cases settled within 180 days and you all have a backlog of 800,000 cases.
talk to me for 30 seconds on what your needs are to try to meet this directive it seems impossible to me. >> it is impossible. the system is broken, good intentioned to have th the cases heard that unless the entire continuum together is allowed by speeding up the process without all of the pieces needed for the process to be ordered timely, it will fail. i can tell you for every immigration judge that is needed to be hired on the government side of things specifically in i.c.e., i need three attorneys to work for everyone immigration judge. >> how long is it going to tell take you to put the infrastructure in place to even begin hearing the case is? >> we need funding --
>> talk about timeline. >> talk about timeline. i know we have to get funding the timeline has to be done first. >> without getting the direct hires, getting people on board, which includes my officers to do the management of the cases themselves, we are talking several months if not a year. it's a colossal feat to accomplish. >> you are looking at a year of setups and infrastructure buildings in order to get to the cases and the backlog continues to build that entire year. am i correct on that? >> specifically the docket is that 800,000 today. it's going anywhere between four to 8,000 new cases every week because simply if we are releasing the family units into the interior, theoretically they are being calendar for hearings and we know the majority of them do not show up but just imagine if i am releasing with my
component to date 168,000 family units since december 21 and now the chief provost started to release the family units as well and i don't remember what your number was -- >> over 33,000. >> do the math and we are talking several thousand. 1.5 million cases to be heard before you start. >> okay. that's helpful. good information. i want to ask you the wall that is up in san diego, is this helping come is it making it tougher, is that the right type of move? i think we are all frustrated with drugs that are floating in. the human trafficking and sex trafficking, the renting of
children is heartbreaking and devastating. is the wall helping out in san diego? >> everywhere we have it helps,t helps, particularly now as my man power is spread extremely thin we've diverted to deal with the humanitarian issues, having a denial and being able to then spread out the ability to come across in certain areas particularly for smugglers, drug smugglers and as such it helps. >> mr. hayes, dhs and hhs have an agreement to share information on the detainees, is that correct? >> on the sponsors i believe. >> on the children of the sponsors, okay. is that functioning as we would hope it should be functioning?
>> there are certain components of it you are referencing to the language that limits the ability i have to defer to the specifics. i do know from the purpose of determining sponsorship and how it affects the care i don't think it's having a positive impact. >> into your budget this year is how much? >> i know the initial was 1.3 billion. 1.3 billion. there is additional money in the transfer and reprogramming. >> have you been able to get our fiscal house in order in the past 12 months? are you filing your reports in a timely manner? orr had a problem with that a couplcouple of years ago. >> to the best of my knowledge we are working to set it in new reports and if there are some you are now seeing that you would like access to, please let us know. >> thank you all very much for being here. your information is helpful and
we are grateful for your dedication and service and mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i have a couple of questions. what happens if one of the migrants who claims asylum but then who's released into the interior of the united states given a future court date does not show up for their asylum hearing, does the judge issued a deportation issue as a result of that and do they wave their asyluasylum claim for not showip in court? >> that's correct come it is an order which that is the majority i reference a plus the family unit cd 7% of those individuals did not show up, so therefore in order was rendered. >> am i correct in concluding that not only do people who don't have valid grounds for asylum show up in front of the
immigration judge, but people who may have valid claims for asylum don't show up and so we are basically harming people who may have a legitimate claim in front of a judge based on our inability to deal with this volume of people in claims. >> that is correct and another tragedy because good intentioned programs for individuals to claim credible fear and ask for asylum but it is so rocked with fraud and fraudulent claims that the individuals that truly have cases to be heard for consideration are lost in the volume and waiting for years perhaps to be heard or just not shutting up and they are ending up in the same sort of predicament so yes the consequences of not showing up
our absolutely detrimental to those who may have a claim. >> you talked about the volume of families coming across the border into the detention facilities. i think i heard you say that because of the increasing volume of single adults coming across you basically had to clear out the families from some of the detention facilities simply to take care of this increased volume in adults that i hear that correctly? >> at the current presidential family center, w center, we hade out holding families and specifically if i may add we were holding the male heads of household but because of the search of single adults and in this case we had a surge in helping on females he had to weo make the operational decision to convert until further notice.
>> are these single adults making asylum claims? >> in border patrol custody of the three engines we've had across the board only about 8% of the apprehensions claim credible fear in our custody. most of the claims are happening in ms. asher's custody. >> if you don't have the detention beds for single litt little, what's your alternative? >> the only alternative is what i said is my biggest fear eventually having to release single adults and is no consequence we will lose the border. >> and by that you mean the factor on the fact that smugglers and migrants have figured out how to game the system and successfully find themselves permanently in the united states? >> certainly if there is no consequence, then the numbers
will grow dramatically if single adults cannot be detained the numbers will grow dramatically just as family units have grown dramatically. >> when you talk about consequences come is it important to have consequences to detour people from beginning to trip in the first place? >> certainly. if they know they are going to be released and if it is part of the reason that claims the family units are low they don't have to claim credible fear they know they are going to be released in the country. >> i want to thank each of you for being here today and enhancing our understanding of the challenge we face and i'm grateful to you also placing the responsibility where it lie flis and that is at the feet of congress. people can whistle past the graveyard and act like this is not a big deal to be distracted by other issues, but i think that you have done a good job of
uofspots are and it's up to us d congress elected to represent the people of the united states. and i can only hope that we wi will. we will leave the record open for i guess seven days, for one week. there may be additional questions that may come your way. if there are i hope you will respond promptly and that we will close the record out in a weeks time but with the bat with the thank each of you for your service and for being here today. we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations] acting defense secretary patrick shanahan announced friday he was
transferring $1.5 billion from numerous defense projects including money in support of afghan security forces to a pentagon fund that will help finance construction of barriers on the us-mexico border. that's in addition to $1 billion for the pentagon transfer of wall construction in march. he visited the border patrol station in texas on saturday and said he intends to accelerate planning to secure the border. about 4300 soldiers were deployed along the border in october and are committed to being there for such your. [inaudible conversations]