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tv   Acting Homeland Security Secretary Testifies on 2020 Budget Request  CSPAN  May 23, 2019 6:48am-9:30am EDT

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protection. the committee on homeland security will come to order. the committee is meeting today to receive testimony on a review
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of the fiscal year 2020 budget request for the department of homeland security. today the committee is meeting to examine the president's budget. at thithis hearing was originaly scheduled for earlier this month with secretary nielsen who revised before the hearing was held. i would like to welcome our acting secretary homeland security, secretary being asked to defend the budget before in my estimation is very difficult. secretary is wearing two hats as you know. he's been a career employee and in my mind has done a good job i
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thank him on a number of occasions for his work, and i look forward to seeing him and working with an even more in this role so we welcome you here today. president trumps budget prioritizes construction of a border wall at the expense of critical homeland security priorities such as first responder in homeland security grants, cybersecurity programs to defend against foreign spies and initiatives to secure our transportation systems from terrorist attacks. the acting secretary of prepared testimony states more with less is an acceptable method for achieving goals yet this is exactly what the president's budget request would force the key parts of the department to do. the president would squander $8.6 billion in taxpayers money on a wall that will do nothing
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to address the current situation on the border. i suspect the acting secretary knows that even if he cannot say if for fear of being the next department official to be dismissed by the white house make no mistake it would be the american people picking up the tab for the wall, not mexico as the president promised. congress is preparing to provide additional funding to address the humanitarian crisis on the border. but we cannot a while the president to compromise the rest of the department or the nation's homeland security in the meantime. unfortunately, rather than engaging with congress to address the humanitarian crisis and implement sound border policy, the white house continues to make matters worse. the president fire department officials have tried to offer a voice of reason and cut off aid to centra central america inteno help address the root cause of
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the migration and is sending a sensual person out of the border potentially undermining the other critical issues. frankly between the vacancies that the department and the reports of fighting coming out of the white house is difficult to know who is calling the shots when it comes to the border. the president, the acting secretary, or stephen miller. meanwhile, the number of people in custody continues to rise. we also continue to see shocking photographs of families being held in inhumane conditions and children sleeping on the ground covered by nothing more than for blankets and another child died in the department's custody. what can we expect from an administration that separated at least 5,000 children from their parents at the border to the
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extent of this administration has a border policy, it has been an abject failure. it is past time to implement a strategy of common sense solutions to address the humanitarian crisis at the border while ensuring security and upholding our values. first, we need to ensure humanitarian conditions for people in custody and particularly vulnerable populations like children and pregnant women. the families of the border bords not excuse inhumane treatment or relieve us of an obligation to treat people with basic decency. as i mentioned, congress is engaging with this administration to provide supplemental funding. second, we need more immigration judges and asylum offices to increase capacity to handle asylum claims and address the long-standing immigration
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backlog. third we need to expand crew did it go proven cost-effective alternatives to ensure people show up for their court dates as scheduled while the cases proceed. finally, we need to help address the root causes prompting people to come north by restoring aid to central american countries acting as partners in addressing the crisis. we can protect our reporters and homeland while also protecting our american values. the president and the white house have not proven up to that task. but i hope that the acting secretary will partner with congress on that effort. in closing i want to thank the over 240,000 men and women in the department of homeland security for the work they do to secure our nation every day to
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transportation security officers to and from jackson mississippi every week and everywhere in between. we appreciate the work you do. i thank the members for joining us and i look forward to our discussion. i now recognize the ranking member of the full committee, the gentleman from alabama for an opening statement. >> thank you mr. germain and secretary for being with us today. i look forward to your testimony and discussion we are going to have. there is a national security and humanitarian crisis at the border. the facts on the border prove cbp detained more than 109,000 immigrants along the southwest border just last month. that's 591% increase over the same month two years ago. the fourth of this year they apprehended 5235 migrants at the
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southwest border. that is the highest number ever recorded. in the first six months of fy 19 over 150 groups of 100 or more migrants at the border that is a 7400% increase over the entire entirety. apprehensions between the ports of entry are on track to reaching 12 year highs. they've already uncovered more than 3,000 fraudulent cases this year alone for adults posing as biological parents. if this isn't a crisis i'm not sure what the committee deems to be one. actually, we do. yesterday the subcommittee held a hearing entitled mcleod, the tsa workforce crisis homeland security risk. i appreciate the work that i would say thousands of migrants per day overrunning the system is the actual crisis at risk. this will be the sixth hearing in five months focus on the
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border. six hearings and zero solutions. the committee has heard testimony for the organizations exploiting the immigration law for financial gain. worst, they have abused children and women during their journey here in the desert and held without food or water. men, women and children are dying because of this dangerous journey and humans bunglers profit. i know no one on the committee finds it acceptable for why won't the committee address it. in april vhs recorded legislation to address this practice, yes here we are in another hearing and i don't understand why they won't act. maybe it's because they are spending too much time on twitter since democrats were sworn in january in january-31f the border six hearings, 316, zero solutions. may 1 the administration had a request for humanitarian appropriations to address the crisis of the southwest border
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and requests with shelter families and provide urgent medical care and transportation services. it also would have supported the men, women of dhs working overtime on the front lines of the crisis yet the majority of the committee in the press release is refusing to consider the request. when i drafted this request as an amendment to the supplemental majority rules committee voted down 9-for when the representative offered a markup. six hearings, 316, one amendment denied, zero results. i hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will use this opportunity to ask the secretary wants resources department needs to fill its lawful mission of the southwest border. republicans on the committee are ready to work with anyone on the other side to solve the growing humanitarian crisis. hearings, really this won't solve it, hatred for the
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president won't forget either. we can't wait two more years to address this crisis. we must act now. think you and i will yield back. >> other members of the committee are reminded that on this committee rules opening statements may be set at it for the record. i welcome the witness today. for men afour minutes the acting secretary of homeland security on april 10, 2019. prior to being the secretary can he served as commissioner of the u.s. customs and border protection acting secretary previously held several leadership positions at the cep and former u.s. customs service. without objection, the witness statement will be inserted in the witness's. it will be inserted in the record and i asked the acting secretary to summarize the state for five minutes. >> ranking member rogers i
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appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. it is sincere honor. it is the most compelling notion to safeguard the american people, our homeland and our values. and an advocate for the resources and authorities for the critical mission for the american people. i'm proud to add the fiscal year of 2020 budget request for the homeland security department for the many which strengthens the security of the nation. and counterterrorism and resilience to disasters, dhs is a multi-mission department. i want to ensure this committee dhs will not lose momentum across any numerous responsibilities. the budget request for critical missions across the department
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for cyber security and the budget request is $1.3 billion with cyber security rests. and critical infrastructure. allstate to a baseline level of election, infrastructure and cyber security before the national elections of 2020. state and local election infrastructure, do not think we should, much-needed technical assistance and support to willing partners. and to enhance security effectiveness, with increasing costs and air travel in the united states. $3.3 billion for tsa includes funding for additional 700 screeners and x-ray units. fema, the budget provides a significant increase in disaster relief with new requirements in disaster recovery reform act and
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critical operational positions identified in the 2017 hurricane season after action report. the us coast guard the budget continues to advance the security cutter program. across the department and all our missions, as you are all aware, we are in the midst of an ongoing crisis at the southwest border. the department at the request of our front-line officers and agents has made clear we need additional resources and additional authorities to respond to this crisis. with the situation in context, cdp encountered 110,000 migrants attempting to across without legal status, the most in a single month in a decade and over a third of the total cost in fiscal year 17. 65% of those crossing were families. with 40,000 children entering the immigration system in a
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single month. the crisis continues. three separate days in may we have encountered 5500 people crossing without authorization. our immigration system is fool and we are beyond our capacity at every stage of the process. this means new vulnerable populations arriving at the border are exacerbating the urgent humanitarian and security precrisis we are facing. the resurging resources for federal partners, military and national guard troops, 1000 detail ease and dhs volunteers and working with state and local governments and nongovernmental organizations, working to do everything we can to address the immediate and dire humanitarian crisis but it is not enough. we continue to face tragedies at the border particularly with regard to the safety of children. border patrol agents have rescued dozens of children in the rio grande, several are
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known to have drowned including a 10-month-old baby girl 10 months ago. we lust two teenager stillness in federal custody, one with hhs and one in custody yesterday. the 2-year-old encountered in april and taken to the hospital by border patrol agents released with her mother also passed away this month after weeks of clinical medical care. these tragedies are devastating to us and they are avoidable. the problem we face is unprecedented and challenging and requires working together on a shared set of facts to solve it. we need sustained investments, additional emergency support and changes to the immigration laws to overcome this humanitarian crisis at the border. the resources from the president's but it will help. requests $523 million to address the humanitarian crisis. this will allow us to provide better care through apprehension, custody, detention and removal was request $5 billion for border security, funding for the construction of
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200 miles in the wall system, a proven deterrent requested by frontline agents and also calls for 750 border patrol agents, 275 customs and border protection officers and 1660 frontline personnel. the request will make much-needed upgrades to sensors, command and control systems and aircraft to help men and women combat criminals profiting from human suffering. our 2020 budget will help address this crisis, we need additional funding sooner given the scale. we will exhaust our resources will for the end of this fiscal year. we sent a supplement a funding request three weeks ago. in addition to $3 billion for health and human services for caring for unaccompanied children the requesting quiz $1.1 billion for the of homeland security, $391 million for humanitarian assistance including temporary processing facilities, 530 for border operations to include surge personnel and increased detention capacity, $128 million for operation and support costs including pay retention
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incentives for overworked men and women on the front line. supplement a request, unless congress addresses the full factors, vulnerable legal framework for immigration children will be put at risk on a dangerous journey. the administration is working in bipartisan fashion to outline form to get to the root of the problem, with multiple congressional committees that end this humanitarian crisis. this includes allowing dhs to put families together during the immigration hearings allowing children to safely apply for refugee protection in their home or neighboring countries and providing authority for dhs to repatriate children in central america as we do canada and mexico. reforming the asylum process has become overwhelmed by claims that do not meet the standard. the situation will remain untenable and dhs will continue to do what it can to manage crisis in an operationally effective manner. more lives at risk and increase the burden on an overtaxed system.
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i want to reiterate the strength of dhs, i am humbled and inspired by selfless dedication to the frontline agents and office of personnel confronting this crisis despite the challenge they face, the men of dhs to stop criminals from exploiting the border and to help those in need, they are remarkable people who deserve support and respect fully ask this committee to continue to support them with the resources and authorities we need. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you stand i look forward to your questions. >> i remind each member that he or she will have 5 minutes of questions to the panel and i recognize myself for questions. this is a hearing to talk about the overall budget for the department. one of the questions that comes to mind is the release that went to puerto rico. i want to make sure the record
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reflects, the president says puerto rico got $91 billion. is that true or false? >> i am certain that is correct. i can get you the actual figures from fema if that is helpful. >> how long would it take you to get that number? >> we can get back to you shortly. >> today? >> i will check with the team on that calculation but we will get back to you. >> i've been to puerto rico a couple times, talked to the governor, talked to a lot of the mayors and they are very concerned the number that has been put out is in actuality not the real number. and so i think we need, as we look at this budget, to make sure the numbers we have before us reflect an accurate amount. that is the spirit in which it is given. >> briefly, i met with the acting administered for fema who
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briefed me we are spending more per weekend per month in puerto rico than we do for usual disaster for the entire repayment. it is an extensive effort by fema and across the department. >> is that because we never had a disaster like that before? >> it is one of the most devastating natural disasters in history. >> you would agree we need to spend more? >> there is a lot of support going to puerto rico. >> the amount of money to go toward the disaster, in addition to that, you have actual volunteers to go to the border to address the crisis. can you tell me how many people are being deployed from the northern border to go to the southern border.
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>> we have a mix of law enforcement from cvp and hs i at ice already deployed. we do this routinely to address situations on the border. we have 200 agents from the northern border deployed and we have solicited for volunteers like we do in any crisis across the department to help deal with the situation as well. >> your testimony that the volunteers being deployed does not compromise security in any way. >> this is something we look at from a risk management perspective. when responding to a natural disaster like harvey, maria, 2000 volunteers deployed. right now our volunteer numbers are in the 200 range. it is a much smaller response than the normal natural disaster already. this is something we ask our leaders and management to assess
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and make sure we are not taking people that are critical to other missions but also responding to an existing crisis at the same time. >> we had testimony before the committee this week from the head of one of the larger airports. we indicated he was very concerned with the loss of personnel, had the potential to put the traveling public at risk existed and he was concerned about it. have you heard concerns like that from airports. >> we will not but the traveling public at risk. we will not reduce our security posture in any way. >> but you have heard that concern coming from airport directors? >> that is a concern tsa will manage as they identify the report. >> i just want to know, have you heard from airport directors that they are concerned about
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it? >> certainly something we will manage carefully. >> it is hoped that you will a their concerns but you have heard. >> yes. >> the question about vacancies in the department. we had discussions about that. how are you discussing the vacancies at senior management level in the department? >> we are very happy earlier this month to submit a nomination for permanent administrator at fema. that is an important role to fill in this hurricane season. our top eight operating components four out of eight have confirmed permanent heads. two serving as acting secretary and acting deputy and talented career professionals and then at ice we have a 25 year veteran of service leading ice effectively. this is something we are in
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position to maintain momentum at the department. >> based on the chart your staff provided me, the management director, science and technology director, the office of strategy, policy and plans is vacant. the office of public affairs is vacant lose the office of inspector general is vacant. the chief financial office is vacant. goes on and on. this is -- i understand that. is what point do you plan to fill the vacancies with the senior positions? >> a number of this positions have nominees on the hill or identified in process. we've taken steps to make sure we are dealing with professionals. the director of the secret service. and the undersecretary for
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management, and the head of secret service, making sure we are maintaining management. and hasn't longed any momentum. we can get the job done for the american people, more in place with the administration. >> is this the secret service director fired by the president? >> he has been moved to a key role for me. >> you brought him back. >> he served admirably for two years at secret service and that we have a tremendous -- >> he is the one that was fired, am i correct? >> he has been moved to a new role at dhs. >> i yield to the ranking member. >> i want to make the point it
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is unconscionable that relief for the military crisis at the border is being held hostage, puerto rico to get more money when we have massive amounts of aid going to puerto rico, have been and continue -- we have enormous crisis that the border. families, children in desperate situations and we are not getting aid to them. it is unconscionable. the $4.5 billion that has been requested, 3.3 would go to humanitarian aid. what would you do with that money is made available to you in a timely fashion? >> the $3 billion itself going to health and human services to manage their statutory prior responsibility to care for unaccompanied children at the border and they are arriving in record numbers right now. that seems very straightforward. they need more money to provide beds so the kids can be kept in
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safe environments and not left at the border in virtual stations. that is very straightforward. the additional $1.1 billion for dhs is to address this crisis. we are talking humanitarian support for processing centers for cvp, additional security at those centers. consumables, basic supplies used to care for people and border operations. that cost a lot of money to do that and sustain that. the single adults arriving in record numbers as well. we have a lot of work to do across the department to take care of people in custody and maintain were security to do that. >> the chairman and i met with you as we talk about the floor as decision and what impact has been.
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describe that for the fool committee. >> we are seeing 50% of those crossings our family units or unaccompanied children. family units reached a record level, 59% this month for total crossings on the border. that is a direct response to the vulnerability in legal framework caused by a decision in district court in late 2015 upheld in 2016 that prevented dhs from keeping families together in immigration proceedings. that is what we did under president obama, secretary johnson, residential centers where families were kept together for immigration proceedings and it took 45 days. these are appropriate settings that have recreational facilities, medical centers, court rooms on site.
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and we are repatriated. as soon as these repatriation's happen the flow dropped dramatically from the first border crisis in 2014. we no longer have that authority and it is coming to direct response for lack of authority. >> how do we alleviate that? >> returned to that we had in 2014-15 allowing families to be kept together in appropriate settings during their immigration proceedings. >> my understanding from our meeting as you will provide language that will do that. it is my hope the chairman and i can bring the committee to a vote as soon as possible. in addition to that, what other legislative remedy would you like to see? >> the unaccompanied children putting themselves in the hands of smugglers, teenaged boys and
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girls being smuggled $7000 per person from central america to the border. right now, allowed to stay, generally released sponsors in the us, generally parents who are already here. it is a challenging cycle we are facing. what the administration is proposing is a balanced and appropriate -- offering in country refugee processing so they can access protections if they have a valid claim without making the journey or being in the hands of smugglers. we need the billing to repatriate children, and availing this opportunity. to have a valid refugee claim. it is a balanced proposal we would like to work with congress on and acting. those two changes and i will make an impact on the humanitarian crisis. >> my time is expiring. >> the gentle lady from texas for five minutes.
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>> and oversight hearing. a short period of time. and we have the opportunity to work over the years and i would hesitate to say decades because we are very young. let me ask you in the president's budget, $5 billion for the wall. are you here to defend the $5 billion request for the wall? >> i'm defending the entire budget request. the request comes from frontline agents. it is not something we need everywhere on the border but we need hundreds of miles to control critical areas where there is infrastructure on both sides. >> the $5 billion is represented to be coming from mexico. is a coming from mexico? >> it is requested for appropriations. >> the representation is not
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true? >> i'm not characterizing the representation. >> is the number at the exact number of $5 billion? >> that is the amount we can effectively apply in a given year. >> the president's requests. >> we need $18 billion. >> in his request or his budget as well let me indicate he has cut $600 million from first responder homeland security grants. i will oppose it extensively. the us coast guard cut $864 million, surface transportation programs, 57 million or 44%, cyber security is known to have impacted the 2016-18 election and cut by $40 million. are you here to defend those cuts? >> what i have understood is we deployed $50 billion in homeland security grants.
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>> you are here to pen the $600 million cuts to our firefighters and other first responders across the nation? >> i'm defending the president's budget and we have a number of grants go to build capability across the country. >> my time is short and by appreciate your service. we now have a list of numbers of children who died in custody. we should all be outraged. 16-year-old boy, mister hernandez, 16, 7, there may be others. these are the conditions individuals, human beings are living in and i understand the crisis and might i say i have been to the border many times as well and understand it is going and seeing it for yourself. i have seen it and spoken to people, spoke to a mother who gave birth 45 days, you are seeking staff agree with me to
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take her to the hospital but my question is i believe there should be an internal task force set up dealing with children, dealing with children's death. will you set up an internal task force to deal with not the individuals that are there now. you have nobody hardly there to deal with these debts, what solutions should be put in place. my second question would be what you are doing about added medical staff at the border and if you would do that quickly because i have another question. we set up an internal task force to deal with this crisis, children's death. >> those conditions are not acceptable which is why we asked additional support from congress to address it. in el paso alone we have 55 medical professionals on board. >> we agreed to add more police? >> constant focus, primary focus. >> what you agree to the internal task force? >> we are to have internal task
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force. >> would you give us the names of those individuals please? >> i will provide those. >> that is called an internal task force. the american people are outraged. >> i share their outrage. >> i hope you look into the case of laura elizabeth who was deported as an 11-year-old in my congressional district. family is seeking asylum. they have reason from el salvador and the dhs in your humanitarian staff can help her with that. lasting is aviation is important, tsa needed jobs, needs personnel. they are the front line of aviation security, not safety. mister secretary, your position on making sure the transportation agency has all the staff they need to protect the aviation system in this nation and internationally. >> absolutely required and that
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is why i appreciate the support that continues. >> i yield back. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. >> at the outset, let me share the chairman's thought of what a privilege it is to work with you. you have been extremely responsible before that. i keep reminding everyone this began after 9/11. it was originated for humanitarianism. immigration is vital, the first budget of the trump administration, dramatic cuts and money going to police and fire. in new york alone, 1000 police officers working full-time on counterterrorism. there is no way to absorbed those cuts and in each of these years the money has been
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restored. the obama administration and the trump administration and hopeful that money will be restored again but i hope that doesn't indicate diminution of interest by the department as far as cooperating, and my district, 150 people on 9/11, still have people dying of 9/11 illnesses into see that money being cut out which would undercut the police counterterrorism and intelligence units and in new york, not trying to make this parochial but that is where it was created. i don't mean this -- if you acknowledge this is the focus of the department and money is restored and the money will be spent by the department. >> i can confirm both of those things. we appreciate your expertise and support on the counterterrorism mission. my second trip was to new york to highlight the ct issues, visit the 9/11 museum again just to get refreshed and focused on mission requirements.
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this does not reflect any priority for the mission set. it remains our top priority for the american people and we will stay focused and be effective at it. >> on the issue of ms 13 which is vital to my district and the flow of 2015. april 2017, 25 murders, the most brutal type of murders, people being hacked to death. since the administration got actively involved, there is not been one murder in the last two years. the increase, the increased number of prosecutors by the administration, new technology going to the police has been extremely effective. ms 13 is down but not out and on the issue of unaccompanied minors, the suffolk county police commissioner appointed by
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democratic administration, first came to me and showed me direct correlation between unaccompanied minors and ms 13. many of these young people 3% or 4% who are either sent across by ms 13 or sponsoring families, families who had relatives in el salvador who are being threatened. in a recent murder indictment, twee 711 indicted for murder were unaccompanied minors in the last four years as unaccompanied minors. schools like central islip, students were put in and never told by dhs or hhs of these children were unaccompanied minors, they were not given any background on the criminal history of them or their families but the memorandum of understanding, can you say as a
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result of the investigation carried out of minors and families and local police and school districts, will that be made available to them? >> thank you for your comments on the work of ice to address public safety threat in our country and specifically in committees affected by ms 13 that will continue to be a priority and focus for the department. we are very worried about gangs exploiting this crisis to send unaccompanied children, teenagers they already recruited into the us that can go through the process and be released with intent to join a gang. that is a serious concern. we also see families bringing children who are not their own, 31 cases this year, we have nhs i team that has been on the border for two weeks working these issues, found 500 interviews, they had 165 cases of fraud, they are getting
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prosecutions of these adults bringing families in and even child recycling, children being brought across twice. mention the article partnership with hhs, information sharing has been suspended by a writer in the appropriations bill, that diminishes the ability to provide security, diminishes our ability to share information on sponsors who are picking up children on their immigration status, on potential committal history and it should not be there because it is critical. last point, the attorney general pointed to central america to focus on anti-gaming initiatives and collaboration between the parts of justice and authorities in el salvador and elsewhere. a very effective tool because we are getting additional information on criminal records and gaining history in central america that we can apply at the border. we need to keep that up. >> my time is expired. a number of those murders, brutal murders were carried out by unaccompanied minors. thank you. >> the chair recognizes the
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gentle lady from new mexico. >> thank you for stepping up at a time that is challenging all of us. i only have 5 minutes, a lot of work to do so i appreciate the efficiency in your responses so far and ask that you continue. rio grande sector has the largest number of apprehensions for families and unaccompanied minors, correct? el paso, yuma third. we received notification that cbp is working with ice for bus transportation for unprocessed families and migrants. in yuma sector. to other lower-level sectors, right? why isn't el paso receiving the same service? >> there will be a flight this week. >> we receive clarification the flight was a stopover for refueling? >> i'm told they have a flight going in san diego sector where they have additional capacity. i will follow up on that.
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know is important. >> el paso has seen the starkest things as you know. >> thank you for recognizing that and responding. for border patrol releases after border patrol process and family units, what are the steps cvp takes to decide where they are released? >> this is something we have to work closely with local communities to make sure there is capacity in the ngos to house people effectively so we're not leaving them in situations that are uncomfortable. >> i truly believe you understand the challenges of the communities that we are experiencing. is there a requirement to do that with local governments? >> that is cvp policy. >> is it a requirement or just
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expectation? >> it is stated direction with executive assistant for field operation. >> is there a time amount for advance notice provided in that direction? >> as much as could be provided so it can be effectively coordinated. the situation of numbers in custody mandate quicker action and not having the right point of contact, feedback, and a have that coordination. >> what is the minimum amount of time? that would be helpful. >> we can send an expectation but we wouldn't want to direct the field situations operationally. >> who make the decision of when and where this occurs? >> the sector chief locally. >> i their directives from washington advising on that? >> we have given guidance on expectations for coordination.
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>> now to migrant processing. it is apparent both agents believe neither of them should be responsible for processing asylum seekers. border patrol says ice has the better resources for processing, border patrols have responsibility because they are the first to encounter migrants. disconnect seems to exacerbate scarcity in resources and stem from lack of leadership saying who is responsible? what agency is responsible for processing asylum seekers? >> at cis if you are talking doing asylum interview, i want to get the point of your question. the team, this is a mission that is overtaxed, hhs and department of justice, we -- no element of that is accurately resourced for the flow we are seeing so we have to address that, seeing
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that with transportation. the transportation is done exclusively by cvp. the intent was for i cro to handle transportation of filling the gaps, working together and that's my expectation. >> clarity is helpful for working as a team. is there clear directive who is responsible for putting together the paperwork to appear. >> depending on the local area, we will apply the best effort to that. ice is doing processing and removal, and they are -- >> processing? >> generally yes. we are handling processing of family units dependent on station or sector. >> know directive, two specific areas. >> the directive is to get the mission done as effectively as possible.
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>> the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. >> thank you, mister chairman. mister secretary, thank you for your service and thank you for maintaining your professional bearing, despite what you face today. the word squander regarding president's budget. american treasure, certainly subject to close scrutiny. the american people certainly do recommend well-established fact, politicians and bureaucrats in dc squander money seized from paychecks of working americans but the citizenry does not consider national security, homeland security to be a waste
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of money. i could name scores of federal expenditures but securing borders maintaining our very sovereignty, the single most important mission the federal government to accomplish, certainly not squandering, decision regarding the essential needs of law enforcement to secure the homeland should be determined by the department of homeland security, law enforcement professionals not by career politicians in dc and unknown unelected bureaucrats. representing law enforcement professionals and their needs today. i ask you is the department of homeland security making progress towards achieving operational control of the southwest border? >> we are through a combination of investments that receive funding, border barriers make a big impact. >> will the president's budget
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submit approved by this congress to help you accomplish your mission? >> and accelerate our efforts. >> since donald trump entered office how many replacement miles are secondary miles of enhanced physical barriers were funded on the southwest border and how many have been completed are currently being built. give us an idea of that please. >> out of the $3.6 billion in fiscal year 17-18-19 funding, we are applying that to fund a total of 336 miles of border wall. >> to get the job done. the money that has been provided. >> you need as a secretary of homeland security in charge of
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securing our southern border and sovereignty by nation do you concur with the budget request is submitted? >> i do in this request comes from men and women on the ground. >> as it should. the approximately 300 miles in fiscal year 2020 budget prioritized on the southwest border can you explain why? >> why money would be prioritized and enhanced physical barrier on the southwest border, explained to the american people. >> southwest border has two dynamics on the order security front. and evade capture across the border. we are talking hard narcotics, like sentinel, synthetic opioids that are killing american communities all over the country. >> many americans dying across the border and enhanced physical barriers as requested by the
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department of homeland security as evaluated as necessary by the law enforcement professionals on the ground you concur that enhanced physical barriers help you accomplish your mission. >> yes. >> what technological advancements have been implemented and how will the fiscal year 2020 budget do that? >> two keys on that. every mile of border barrier comes with technology, fiber-optic sensors, cameras, lighting. it is not just a dumb wall. it is supported by technology that tells our agents what is happening in those areas. >> it is indeed, quote, smart wall. >> no question. smart barrier. the 2020 budget would fund our innovative effort to provide surveillance capability where we don't have border barriers to extend our view of the border and q agents on where to respond and where to put into that aircraft, and help survey the border from the air.
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>> of congress passed a law correcting the flaws and loopholes how would that work? >> it would help dramatically. >> i yield, mister chairman. >> the chair recognizes the gentle lady from illinois. >> you told msnbc that families are being separated in a humane and civilized way. the people of the 14th district and i think this policy is civilized. as a nurse i can tell you it is not humane. there are alternatives like family case management to keep the country safe and secure without traumatizing innocent kids. can you commit that dhs will not restart family separations under your leadership? >> the president said we are not looking at doing that.
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0-tolerance prosecutions, not family separations but prosecuting adults violating the law that result in separations, we are not going to restart that. >> you made a commitment that you will not restart family separation under your leadership? >> the president's statement is a commitment for the administration. >> i want to know if you are aware what family separation does to children, mental and physical health? i am looking for a yes or no answer. are you aware of research showing family separations are the trauma that can do immediate and long-term damage to children's health? yes or no? >> you are asking questions about something that is not happening. the separations occurring now are only the prosecution of the adult for series -- >> i'm not asking about that. that is not the line of questioning. are you aware of the impact of family separation and the trauma on children's long-term physical
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and mental health? >> you are asking about something we are not doing. >> i'm not asking are you doing it was the question is are you aware as acting secretary of dhs aware of research that shows family separation causing trauma? >> i talked to doctor kraft of the association of pediatricians. i'm aware of the research and solicit support and input for pediatricians managing responsibly to the border. >> are you aware the trauma of family separation is connected to toxic stress? >> yes. you are asking about something we are not doing. >> you are aware. >> i am aware of the research. >> are you aware toxic stress can change a child's brain because it is still developing? >> i read the study. >> are you aware the effect of these traumas are cumulative and get worse the longer the trauma goes on? >> i answered this line of questioning. i am familiar. >> are you aware of the traumatic effects don't go away even if they are reunited with their families?
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>> it is and we are not doing. i'm aware. >> i your family separation can lead to behavioral changes and learning delay for children? >> i have answered this line of questioning. i have answered, you're talking about the same -- >> answer the question yes or no. >> just answer the question. yes or no. >> i are in the answered, the same study she is setting different parts of it. i've acknowledged i'm familiar with it. that is probably sufficient. >> it's not. >> okay. >> is you are aware. >> yes. >> are you aware family separation can leave behavioral changes in learning delay for children? >> yes. >> i your increase of a child with of heart disease, diabetes and cancer? >> yes, i read the study. >> are you aware a child's risk of anxiety? >> yes, i have read the study.
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>> the american psychological association reports family separation is on par with beating and torture in terms of its relationship to mental health. are your of that? >> i'm familiar with this information. >> the truth is family separation does irreparable damage to children while doing nothing for our national security. it is immoral, it is un-american and wrong. i'm glad to hear you say it is not happening but i went to the border last month and was shocked by conditions i saw. medical care was inconsistent at best and accommodations were inadequate. last week we saw new photos of detained children speaking -- sleeping a border patrol station and on monday we learned a fifth migrant child died in custody since family separation begin. these stories are appalling and keep happening. congress provided have $1 billion in february to address the humanitarian crisis at the border and will provide more. why do these tragedies keep
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happening? >> they are happening because the crisis, the resources provided, we asked for more authority to deal with it to prevent this crisis from happening in the first place and children being put at risk. we deployed the funding from fy 19 the congress authorized. we increase temporary facilities by 500 beds and the facilities in june, deployed medical practitioners, we had hundred medical practitioners in our busiest sectors. >> but people keep dying. this is more than a question of resources. congress has been more than willing to provide the resources and work with you to address the security and humanitarian concerns, 5 kids have died, 5000 separated from their families. i feel like and the evidence is really clear this is intentional. it is a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration and it is cruel and inhumane.
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i yield back. >> that is an appalling accusation. our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody, we asked for this resource 3 weeks ago. it has been responded to by congress. we asked for changes in authority for 3 years that would have prevented this from happening. >> the gentlelady's time is expired. >> i make a motion that the words be taken down. >> motion dies for lack of a second. the gentleman from new york recognized for 5 minutes.
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>> the counselor asked me to ask miss underwood to clarify her statement for the record. >> i will be happy to. i said this is more than a question of resources. congress has been more than willing to provide resources to address the security and humanitarian concerns. with 5 children dead and 5000 separated from their families it is intentional, a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration and it is cruel and inhumane. i yield back. >> you cannot impugn the character of the witness by stating he intentionally murders children. that is completely inappropriate and should be taken down. >> i asked her to rephrase and she just did. >> he restated it. >> i did not say murder. i said five children have died as a result of a policy choice
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-- >> you said it is intentional. >> he said he stand by the policy decisions of this administration, that is what he said at the beginning of this testimony and he stands by the budget request. this is apologies voice. >> and he said they stop those dissensions. they don't do those separations which he medically repeatedly. he refused to listen to him. that's not a point. you said he intentionally supported policies that caused the death of children. that is wrong and needs to be taken down. >> this happened this week. yesterday another child died under his leadership. >> because we can't get the resources to help them. that's what he's trying to get the money to stop this. >> we will call for a vote. i will not take the vote to take down the words.
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>> thank you very much. the chair rules that of language is appropriate and it should not be taken down. request for a vote has been called. we will ask the clerk to call the roll. >> miss jackson lee. [rollcall vote]
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>> we need to make sure people understand the vote. the vote is abstaining. and read the language. >> i thought it was a motion to appeal. according to the chair, the committee stands in recess.
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[inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> in the interest of -- for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? >> i appeal the ruling of the chair. >> gentleman from alabama moves to appeal the ruling of the chair. the question appears, shall the ruling of the chair stand in the ruling of the committee? those in favor of opposing the chair's opinion vote i. those opposed vote in a. clerk will call the roll.
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>> [rollcall vote] [rollcall vote] [rollcall vote]
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[rollcall vote] [rollcall vote] [rollcall vote]
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[rollcall vote] [rollcall vote] [rollcall vote]
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[rollcall vote] >> the chairman is not recorded. >> mister chairman. on this inquiry, ruled 27 section 4 of house rules, a member cannot vote on something that directly impacts them with respect to i colleague from illinois, this that directly affect her so she should withdraw her vote to be compliant with rule 26 section 4 of house rules. >> not a valid point. announced the vote. >> there are nine yays and 7 nos. >> the words will be taken down.
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>> chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. >> before i ask my question i want to note 1st observation, i was federal prosecutor in el paso for years. i interacted with agents on a regular basis, those agents were shot at, those agents were assaulted, they risk their lives every moment of every day to keep this country safe. i don't think anyone is intentionally trying to commit harm to anyone down there and moving forward i hope this committee is reminded of the long and storied history of bipartisanship in trying to get the job done is keep the country safe. with that, i want to refocus our attention on a different part of the budget. and i don't know if -- any cyber security.
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and the cyber security subcommittee, i can see the harm and vulnerabilities our country faces in the cyber realm and yesterday or the day before i visited the systema section. .. and the services area and i was overwhelmingly impressed by the abilities with those resources that they have. so can you tell us what priorities cybersecurity is within the budget and if those are adequate to get the job done? also i want to talk about the cyberworkforce issue and if we are sufficiently addressing the needs of the cyberworkforce. >> and i would if appropriate to outline all the steps taking to outline medical care
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but the one.3 billion request for infrastructure security is a significant request with $20 million directed to election security we appreciate your visit and support of men and women i have tremendous confidence and leadership and also sharing infrastructure and with the cybersecurity professionals those that our more competitive that our commensurate with the commission with additional funding to allow us to compete and we have a good strategy to bring those people on board. to engage with private sector entities on the financial
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structure we are hearing good things about what they are doing about our strategy and i intend to support that as acting secretary. >> also to highlight this issue we will continue to do that. . >> i just note as we start to see more children coming into her custody last july we began to divert operational resources for medical care children. that has been directed through border patrol funding in july i requested subcommittee highlight these issues to advise us on childcare in our custody they completed an emergency report on april 19 i commend this committee for resources and support and care request. with the first and second death of the child the first time in over a decade we
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ramped up hour medical care without the funding. i authorized additional contracting and facilities and in january we requested 800 million in humanitarian aid we got a little over half of that we requested more three weeks ago coast guard medical teams armed and are on site with us and the public health service to provide medical car care, hundreds of medical care providers that were never there now due to actions we have taken to protect children in our custody out of that we are working hard to address it. but this crisis exists because of the legal framework. >> so i want to make it clear is it fair to say we increase budget resources we are trying to keep these children safe and healthy but it's overwhelming how many people
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are coming in would more money help the issue crack. >> more money would help the changing the authorities would help even more. >> the gentle lady is recognized. >> i would like to follow up with the question about puerto rico because my understanding that 11,000,041,000,000,000 has been allocated and from that 91 billion. i don't know if you can confirm those numbers are get back to us. >> we can get back to you. >> i hope so. we also share the concern about the antiterrorism component of dhs and to build the wall but at the same time you cut 213 million from the
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grants las vegas welcomes over 40 million tourists per year we had the worst shooting in modern history there. we need those grants to complement the local level to fight terrorism. so how do you justify you can keep up with that component of your mission and funding crack. >> with our critical state and those talking to our teams overseas my understanding is that 50 million we deployed has dramatically increased across the board for state and local and looking for shared responsibility and shared investments with communities around the country to maintain that capability while we have significant funding with those specific areas of concern we are happy to look at that and
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understand those rules we are applying that to hear the recommendations. >> they are concerned the fusion center brings in all those first responders not only are you cutting those funds but you will put a serious burden on the capabilities. >> i understand that concern i'm happy to continue the conversation. >> another question that i think is important is a recent directive you issued from your department legal residence working in the legal cannabis industry legalizing marijuana and to move in this direction so those that are involved in
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marijuana related activities lack moral character so some people could be involved in illegal political activities that are lacked on moral character so why do you come to that conclusion if it's legal at the state level it is highly regulated business and because of the security concerns facing much more scrutiny of people working in this industry than any other besides of gaming that i can think of in nevada how did you come to that decision crack. >> i'm not familiar with that but i can look into it and get back to you. there is a different viewpoint in the enforcement of marijuana laws in the emerging states but that is something that i will look at. >> thank you. >> there is a tremendous backlog with access to
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citizenship and work visa and family visa and all kinds of relief i thank you have a backlog of two.3 million cases last year. we have not seen this since right after 9/11 when these were put in place. the issue to transfer $207 million again with an obligation to do something that you are cutting your request for funding by telling the committee you need more resources to deal with a crisis clearly citizenship is part of that crisis how do you justify that or what are your plans crack. >> i'm not familiar with what you are referencing but there is a backlog but we are working very hard we naturalize more people last year than any year prior and we are working on immigrant pieces across the border so i
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know we have a growing backlog of asylum cases at the border but they are working very hard as an agency to keep up with the process. >> $700 is expensive many people cannot afford the fee or perhaps get citizenship that with that kind of fee and this kind of cut i am not sure that you are balancing the priorities there. >> i know the fees are assigned of the cost of each issue of what you are referencing i will check it out. >> the chair recognizes a gentleman from texas. >> acting secretary thank you to be here to testify on the budget request for dhs. as you know, president trump
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has an agenda i believe does prioritize the security of the american people to include a robust border security operation strong cybersecurity protections and critical infrastructure and data strategy to prevent terrorist from setting foot on american soil but we are facing a dire humanitarian security crisis on her border border agents in my home state of texas have provided statistics i just saw yesterday indicating averaging 229 migrants apprehensions per hour or 5500 per day more than 38000 per weekend on pace to eclipse more than 150,000
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migrant apprehensions. obviously one of the main reasons you have talked about for this incredible surgeon time on - - in terms of numbers, put your department in a bind because you cannot deliver legal consequences too many of those migrants that are apprehended because they are minors or with family units that have arrived with minors. because of that legal precedent set forth that under florez that unaccompanied minors have to be released in the united states after 20 days to await immigration proceedings. we talk about that problem and i realize one solution to that is for congress to address it
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they should do that and i am here to tell you i am here i don't think congress will do that because some colleagues like the problem better than the solution they like to stand up for the american people to say that this president and this administration are separating children from their families because of inhumane reasons instead of honestly telling them doing so under the florez settlement the law requires you either separate the children or release the entire family for immigration laws as congress passed them. >> i'm not waiting on a solution for congress anytime soon my question is the other possibility for dhs to address this administratively dhs and
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hhs last fall proposed new regulations that would effectively terminate the florez settlement agreement replaced with other regulations governing the apprehension processing and release of minor children. what is the status of those regulations quick. >> thank you for asking about that aspect we are working on finalizing the florez rule to codify the key elements of that settlement from over 20 years ago in terms of care of children in federal custody allowing us to maintain at the immigration proceeding those comments to be responding to and that is coming up in the coming weeks and months and hopefully allow us to address that part of the issue. >> what you are telling me is
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the department of homeland security is attempting to address this crisis at the border. >> that is one of the many dynamic actions we are taking, yes. >> another problem with the need to address relating to this issue and for migrants to claim asylum it asserts credible fear so accordingly what you see are asylum applicants who are very well coached by coyotes and immigration professionals - - and those does the budget provide funding dhs has regular fraud assessments as
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well as the asylum application process? can you address what dhs is trying to do to combat a silent fried. >> one of the key drivers in the proceeding and the ultimate asylum standard adjudicated by a judge we're seeing people meeting bad initial bar those that actually meet those asylum standards. that allows people to remain in the us with the immigration proceeding to create a significant factor. you ask how we are addressing that with fraud prevention. since we became acting secretary we deployed to the border to talk to families crossing the
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that is not what the president did it. this is on record in saying they did this to deter people from coming. so to knowingly separate children and families by prosecuting parents that was going to result in the separation and mentally harm children. that's despicable and that is why people believe that what this administration is doing is intentional. it's a belief based on all the lies and members of cards have told all the lies that have been out in the public and from what has been going out into the public. is there a written policy? >> there's a statutory provision. >> is that in writing? >> yes. >> can you provide us that copy? >> i believe we already have provided it to congress. >> just provide the copy of the
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policy. that's all she's asking for. >> you are familiar with that policy? >> i am. >> under that policy there certain groups of people that are not eligible to be returned to mexico, correct? >> correct. >> under that group unaccompanied minors one of the? >> right. >> cuban? >> correct. >> mexicans? >> vulnerable people? >> correct. >> sick, elderly? >> that's discretion but those are categories to be considered. >> lgbt? >> discretionary. >> pregnant women? >> the same. >> i either was like you at the border or something has changed. when i was at the border in april i specifically spoke to the office with border patrol. he told me, he was from d.c. and he told me he wrote this policy and he told me that pregnant women were excluded and not to be sent at the border. you come in and to talk about
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how you want to help protect children and going to this dangerous journey and keeping them safe. guess what? this administration is putting pregnant women in danger. do you know how dangerous it is to be sent to juárez mexico? do you? >> i familiar with juarez mexico and what speedy let me tell you as a member of congress this is how dangerous it is. i can't go there without getting permission. that's a dangerous it is. if you go to the state department website and if we have a copy of it here for you, test mexico by the time such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking. but then if you go to the state department website on where is it ask you to reconsider your travels. -- laurents. it is a dangerous to travel to juarez that the state department telling people to reconsider travel because of violent crime and gang activities are widespread. u.s. government employees and a quote are required to retain prior approval to even go into
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the downtown area. this is where your sending pregnant women. back into mexico. while they await the asylum. you realize this is happening? >> the migrant speedy do you realize pregnant women are being sent back to dangerous parts of countries that our own country tell people not to go to come to reconsider the trouble? do you realize that's happening come yes or no? >> under the microparticles were asking people to wait in mexico for the immigration hearing. >> on going to reclaim my time because this is what the american people need to know. i was like to at the border and this is why there is no credibility with this administration. that's why there's no credibility. let me move on for a moment. the 72 hour rule. are you familiar with the 72 hour will? >> which one? >> the one that basically said within 72 hours children need to be processed and turned over. >> you talk about the trafficking and victims speedy
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yes, 72 hour rule. do do you know how disturbing it is when the largest law enforcement agency in this country is not even following the law? it's disturbing pic you're not following the 72 hour rule as a know because you just had a 16-year-old child die that was being held for a week. people are being turned away at the border when they present themselves at the ports of entry. how do i know? i been there. you agents for treating people like animals and in person telling them how terrible they are. how do i know? i been the first ten. ten. we saw the text messages. when an agent hits him back in. if this how we treat people are escaping violence? of course not. so why do people think this administration is intentionally harming children? just look at the facts. look at all the lies. look at the harm done to children and as a mental health. look at the children that are dying under your watch and you just said, mr. secretary, you are proud of your record.
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that is despicable to say. you should not be proud of the record of having five children die under your watch. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes speedy could i respond to any of the last segment? >> i think it made its own statement. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from arizona. >> thank you, mr. chair. and thank you, mr. secretary for being here. i have five minutes but i would yield some time to answer, respond to what she said. >> the one important part of what that last segment was that the 7the 72 hour rule we try to transfer children to custody within three days of the rifle, that's a critical protection of children. that's why this administration has asked for 3 billion additional dollars for hhs to provide additional that space we can provide unaccompanied children in a timely fashion. that's a critical part of our request and we would appreciate it if congress would consider it. >> thank you.
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and members, you know, i'm from a border state, from arizona. i've been to the border. i've also been to a facility with a shelter unaccompanied children. i know there's a crisis. everybody in arizona, everybody in the nation it seems like knows there's a crisis at the border, and is not only to our security but it is a humanitarian crisis. when i had the previous secretary here, she said girls as young as 11 were getting pregnancy test because of what the cartels do and what happens on this long journey. instead of blaming the united states, when i've seen these border between agents help these children if they go out of their way to help children, help families. they are good people. wouldn't you say it is actually the cartels that are encouraging
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these people to travel thousands of miles to exploit our loose immigration laws and asylum laws? and they're charging them what, $6000 a child? wouldn't you say we should place the blame on them instead? >> absolutely agree. it's a $3 billion industry for the most violent criminal organizations in our hemisphere. they are exploiting honorable people from central america to our border and it's unacceptable. >> and i agree, mr. chairman, and members it is totally unacceptable and that is why i am so supported and appreciate everything the president has done to try to mitigate this crisis, not only a security crisis to our nation but also a humanitarian crisis to support the migrants themselves. he has tried every which way to do what he can and i appreciate that so much. that's what i will support this extra funding because it's
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obvious to me that it's needed. it's needed to help these migrants, to help with the security. i cosponsored and voted for what i thought was a compromise that we could get something done. and that was we not only had a bill that would help secure the border. it would have changed some of our asylum laws but also would have given daca recipients legal status. i just came from judiciary committee. they are trying to push through a bill, the dreamer act deal. but, unfortunately, in that bill it has no age limits. it allows people that have crimes, it allows people that fraudulently to other applications to be here. to me that's a big concern. i want to switch because only
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have one minute 24 seconds left, and that is on a committee hearing we had yesterday. a subcommittee, and there was concern by a number of members that dhs employees were being herded to the border on a voluntary basis to help with the crisis at our border. i was told by staff today just so that we correct what happened yesterday, some of the words, is that no tso officers, no transportation security officers that are on the front line of airport actually being diverted or deployed to the border right now. i guess my question is with this money you are asking for,, actually help so that we don't have to divert people from other security detail to the border? >> it would. it would help us with our partnership with dod, help us with a law enforcement surge assets that are going to the border including tsa, federal
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marshals that are mobile in the first place and that a deployed to the border to help us. but also support volunteers from across the department. just like we respond to a natural disaster or storm, we've for volunteers to help us get for people in our custody, let our agents get back to our border security mission. help the process more efficiently. one thing i didn't get explained on the medical site is everyday we are taking 65 people to the hospital. that means we have agents and officers on hospital watch 24/7 all across that border. about ten at they are admitted to the hospital and received tremendous medical care from border communities that are stressed by the situation as well. any additional support from volunteers will help and being able to find that support will help us manage the crisis. i'd like to focus on addressing and preventing it, starting at central america but yes, we need help to manage it and that's the funding request we have made. >> thank you and i just want to add that if you greatly appreciate the border patrol
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officers, all of our law enforcement officers and dhs. the ones that i've met are really working hard to protect our nation and to help these migrants. so thank you i yield back. >> thank you. 202-748-8200 eastern/central a meeting with the ranking member and myself yesterday, you told us that tsa does were being deployed to the border. >> that's what i added that while they haven't yet been deployed with requested volunteers that could include vsos to help the poor and support the mission on the border so that will be. >> that's potential, mr. chairman, yes. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. rhodes. >> mr. secretary, thank you for being here today and thank you for your service to this country across multiple administrations. i do believe in your heart you want to put the country first. so i want to first of all talk
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about fentanyl. it's coming from china and its killing kids in virtual all of our districts or china is the largest producer of illicit fentanyl. recently there's been a bipartisan bill bicameral as well that called the fentanyl sanctions act proposed to hold china's feet to the fire, part and parcel is establishment of a federal commission to focus on developing a consensus and a strategic approach to address illicit fentanyl. very basic question. would you be a supporter of homeland security participating on the commission and in this whole of government approach to address fentanyl? >> addressing the scourge of fentanyl is one of the departments top priority on the counter-narcotics side. i'd like to talk you about that and see how we could be participating in that effort. >> any other update you like to give on your perception of the fentanyl issue now? >> got maybe three or four authority to quickly because you have limited time. the investment in 2019 that will
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allow us to transform how we do scanning of trucks and vehicles are crossing our southern border with making huge impact on our ability to detect synthetic opioids. also deploying equipment in mail facilities and express consignment out of the facility where most of the fentanyl that's in mail packages hiding in that huge mass of consumer goods that's coming across from china. we're able to detect the better with that equipment. we are weak with u.s. postal inspection service and hsi to take targeted shipments that we find with 25 grams of fentanyl come follow that into whether he'll present our distributors. we've had a lot of success, more than double our fentanyl seizures at our mail facility. it's a tremendous operational priority for us, at the technology investments we received in 19 will make a big impact. >> moving on to counterterrorism. counterterrorism. i represent a district in new york city, number one terrorist
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threat. the country potential at the world at large. it's been raised already here that you and the administration, th,the administration with your support, has proposed significant cuts to whether its transportation security, someone is so forth. $587 million in cuts in total for homeland security grants, places that need for counterterror spending. new york city particularly. you used the term of an interesting earlier, shared responsibility. your belief, correct me if i'm wrong, is that municipalities and states need to start doing more here is that correct? are you of the opinion that the nypd is not doing enough right now? is not shouldering the burden enough right now? these cuts are significant i believe these cuts, not a scalpel, this is a hatchet i have to forget what you say to them.
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>> right. >> being from a bipartisan country first perspective, what do i tell them? >> first of all you can tell the commissioner he's among our top partners in law enforcement all over the country and nypd is the most effective counterterrorism force in the state and local police that i'm aware of. please don't suggest they are not doing enough. in terms of great investments at the municipal level especially our major cities that could be targets, that does have to be a shared federal, state and local responsibility. >> that monetarily you're saying that they need to do more. new york city, new york state, other major urban areas that are the primary threats to counterterror, you are saying they're not doing enough right now? >> no. i'm saying to sustain funding at the prior grant levels, and remember we are working with the top one budget. nobody wants to make cuts to security programs. you're trying to balance all of your requirements at the
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department and administration when you submit the budget. i want to emphasize that. >> is it a correct reading of the budget to say you have deemed the border a greater priority than counterterror right now? >> so i think there are multiple priorities. the border is a significant prior speedy increasing funding for one, decreasing funding for the other. >> correct. >> logical conclusion from that is the border is a greater threat to this country now than terrorism. >> not necessarily but you just noted the fentanyl risk. that's coming across the southern border. >> ports of entry, yes. >> impact on our communities every single day. it's a balance between all of his efforts. the idea on the grant is the investment have gotten us to a place significant security especially in major cities, we need to continue to work on it, partner and hopefully manage through the cuts. >> thank you for your time. thank you for your service. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee, mr.
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greene. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary mcaleenan come up after startup first by telling you thank you for your honorable service to this country. you have been a staunch defender of our freedoms and the rule of law defending the constitution as you swore an oath to do so almost 18 years ago. it's my understanding that you left what promised to be a high-paying civilian sector job after you felt inspired by the attacks of 9/11 to help cbp set up the office of antiterrorism, your faithful service is very appreciated and i hope we in congress can do our job and provide you the funding you need that as requested by your people on the ground to continue your now broader mission. the democrats got it flat wrong. while the president sounded the
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alarm on the crisis of the southern border. the left in fact, shut the government down stating and i quote the speaker, a manufactured crisis, end quote. now even the liberal "new york times" is saying it is a crisis. further, the deception of the left seems to know no bounds. the image of the children in cages were actually from the obama administration. yet multiple activists, legislators today have decried the separation of children which, in fact, this president stopped it. i'm highly concerned about my college on the other side of the aisle using politics to block dhs from doing its job and securing our southern border. from demanding a limit on detention space for illegal aliens to the new supposedly cool thing to do chanting abolish i.c.e., abolish i.c.e. the democratic party has hit a
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new low on the rule of law. this country welcomes immigrants who come here legally with open arms by the country without borders is not a country. a notion that we should not preserve our borders very existence or even remove current barriers as others have proposed is ridiculous. my call exclaimed to be a party that defends federal workers but where there now get the agents? where are they in helping those who serve us >> what we're seeing with the flow of the border, the one demographic we can actually finish the enforcement of immigration law on indeterminate some has right to stay in use, valid asylum claim should be repatriated is for single adults. we do this border search. we are exceeding i.c.e. capacity for single adult beds and we
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have requested more funding. without that funding we have an impossible choice. we either lose control of our border entirely because we won't be able to enforce the law even against single adults or we will have to release people that we have picked up in the interior with criminal records which is also unacceptable. we need that funding from congress to maintain our border security and to support the men and women of i.c.e. to clarify, 75% of i.c.e. intake come from the border. they are focused on supporting the border security mission first and foremost but to take away their ability to also pick up criminals in the interior and to keep threats out of our communities would be very unfortunate for our security as a country. >> thank you, mr. secretary. is there anything else based on the testimony that's been given so far you would like to take the remaining minute of my time and just share with the committee your thoughts? >> thank you for the opportunity. i thought i would have on this
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can you raise the challenge of single level. i want to put into context of families. in my first hearings i testified as acting secretary being responsible for oversight of i.c.e. what he heard was a lot of concern about i.c.e. officers in communities making arrests. what struck me is what were asking to do with families is keep them safely to get in custody to finish a proceeding but not release them to communities until they have proven a right to stay in the u.s. what the members are asking me is you can't keep them in custody and you can't come into our communities, even if have a final order of removal from a judge. that doesn't make sense. what would we tell our men and women who enforce the law that you can follow through on a judge his final order of removal? that our responsibility. we either have to fix it on the front and/or recognize i.c.e. is going to be in communities to maintain the integrity of the system. >> thank you, mr. secretary.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. mcaleenan, thank you very much for your testimony and your service i'd like to start out cyber related question. last september been secretary nielsen testified before the senate that, quote, cyber attacks now exceed the risk of physical attacks. then in march she testified before, cybersecurity is one not the highest threat that we face in the homeland. do you agree with that assessment, yes or no? >> yes. >> are you aware of how many cybersecurity rated vacancies there are? >> not as a student today but i know that hiring effort is a top priority. >> for the record, mr. chairman, there are 361 cybersecurity vacancies as of april 30.
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that concerns me obviously. so, mr. mcaleenan, i have an email here from the deputy director matthew travis on friday may 17 with the subject line, call for dhs volunteer force participation requesting employees to quote q series thought to volunteering at the southern border and ask unanimous consent, mr. chairman, that e-mail be included in the record. >> without objection. >> thank you for are you where this e-mail and did you discuss this call for volunteers with anyone at cisa? >> i'm not aware that email in particular but i am aware of the call for volunteers to help address the border crisis just as we do in a natural disaster. our expectation is cisa would make risk-based decisions on the types of professional they would free up for this kind of mission
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and violence against their day jobs and their current focus. >> are you aware of anyone in your staff or within your office secretary who discussed this with cisa? >> i would have to ask. i'm not acting deputy secretary has personal help me with this volunteer call to make sure we're supporting a minute and women at the board as much as we can. >> my question is, if somebody such a high threat to the homeland and if cisa has such a stark shortage of workers, do you think it's appropriate for them to leave the job to protect our federal networks and critical infrastructure including our elections to go to the border? >> i would not expect nor want the cisa leadership to deploy critical cybersecurity professionals in this role. if they have mission support professionals, attorneys or others who could be spared to support this effort we would welcome that. that's for the management and leadership to handle. >> i think it's important to
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have that on the record because given the importance of the mission, the size of the threat, challenge we face, the large number of vacancies within cisa, it's not it seems to me a a department that can spare critical talent to go anywhere other than doing the job are doing or taking our federal networks. mr. mcaleenan come if i could come last week the president issued an executive order title securing the information and communicationcommunications tecd services supply chain which found that potential supply chain risks constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the united states. "new york times" first reported on a late draft of this executive order in june 2018 you can you tell us why did he take nearly a year for the president to sign the executive order? >> i'm not familiar with the process of developing that but i
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know this has been something of an focus on by the department of homeland security experts restore supply chain of equipment that could be vulnerable to counterintelligence exploitation. >> to believe it should be subsumed to concerns over trade talks? >> i think there's always a balance but national security is essential. i think very clear the focus of this administration. >> so portion of executive order have been put on hold due to the consequences of demands put in place after its issuance. do you anticipate further challenges implementing executive order which requires court made efforts across several agencies in the absence of white a cybersecurity coordinator? >> i will look at that to see if there any coordination issues. i have not been apprised of any by my team. i think it's been rolled out --
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ruled that effectively and we will continue to monitor it. >> i'm still very concerned about the fact that some security coordinator position, cybersecurity position expired and the position was limited at a time when this is one of our biggest challenges when we need a coordinator to be fulfilling the role to bring her strategy together, but my time is expired. >> if i could very briefing note i've already met with direct of national intelligence, the fbi director, attorney general on cyber issues. it will be a critical party for dhs to be aligned and coordinated across the interagency. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes the children from texas for five and. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member. mr. secretary, wanted to focus in on the second of the community in crisis on the border. i know there's been a lot of discussion about that. you've mentioned i think briefly your testimony talking about the role of smugglers and coyotes in sort of driving that. would you mind expanding on
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what's driving in terms of not the migrants themselves but the actors outside of them that are operating in mexico that are creating this problem? >> clearly something is happening. something is accelerating the kind of increase in flux and that is in turn creating the kind of crisis you see a lot of concern for. >> what's happening primarily and what we saw really starting early last year was increased awareness that there's a vulnerability in our legal system due to the reinterpretation of the flores settlement that if an adult rights it with a jump in the likely state and the united states. smugglers at camp was on that and there directly advertising that fact. you don't have to take it for me even though we've done thousands of interviews of migrants coming across the border with their parents, why did you come now? why did you bring a child? because the smugglers told me that was a time to come pf and i have a child with me they have to release me. that's what we hear repeatedly. you can read that, all with gone
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were studied this issue, had seen the smugglers are advertising almost at a retail level in communities. one department in guatemala has over 3% of the population that come to the u.s. in seven months. the effort to recruit and to fund the smuggling network is just dramatic. that's the kind of challenge were facing. social media has made that communication easier and faster and even more challenging law enforcement to deal with. >> it seems to me you are saying two things, you need some statutory fixes and you need some resources. and so you been asking for the statutory fixes for about three years now? >> ever since we lost the authority to retain pounds together. our law enforcement officials have recommended we get a statutory change, yes. >> okay. one thing it didn't do, is it anything you want to respond to that you didn't have a chance
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to? is there a thought on your mind? >> sure. i think this committee and the american people should beware of the extent of the effort that law enforcement professionals were not trained for this that omissions or undertaking to try to protect foldable people in the cycle. it is that immense effort every single day that i was just out in the border in el paso a few be sicko. we had a supervisor on details from washington state. look like an nfl linebacker. there he was on his knee making baby formula in a bottle to end to a migrant with a child. that's not what he signed up for. he volunteered to come to the southwest border and is there trying to keep people safe and care for them in our custody. the extent of that effort, how far our agents are working, the press they are and how much help they need is incredible. they have been dealing with this for months on end without relief. relief. i think that has to be recognized. >> one statistic, just my short
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time in congress go is that we admit 1 million people with permanent visas every year, when million new visas every year. we admit another tingling people untempered visas every year and with the most generous nation on earth. you arrested 100,000 last month on the border. how many have been released in the united states? >> due to the restrictions on retaining families together, about 60% are now family units. almost all of those people have been released in the united states. if they didn't go through credible profanity and get a negative termination they're likely to still be in use waiting a court proceeding. >> when you're doing your numbers they're going into the temporary visa. they're being apprehended and then release on a temporary visa
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and the united states, right? >> it's not a visa. they are essentially paroled,, released on own recognizance pending court hearing. >> so they're not in a 10 million puckett, another bucket altogether, coming to this country illegally. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentlelady from new york for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you mr. acting secretary for being here today. we saw an unprecedented attack on our democracy from a foreign adversary in 2016. dhs is responsible for securing our critical infrastructure including our elections. do you agree with the intelligence communities 2017 assessment that russia interfere in our presidential election to help then candidate donald trump? >> i accept the conclusion of our experts in the intelligence community. >> thank you. has president trump ever
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discussed the possibility of blocking entry into the southern border with you? >> so first of all i'm not going to comment on conversations i've had or not had with the president i think he's pretty clear on record about his priority for securing the southern border and initiatives he's undertaken to do that for very publicly stating them, oval offices and so forth. >> mr. mcaleenan, the president said it to the american people that he's thinking about shutting down the southern border. did he ever directly speak with you about that? he spoke directly to the american people. i'm sure you can answer that question. >> he did speak to the american people about it and he also updated the american people that he was not looking at that as an immediate option. he was trying to collaborate with mexico. >> did he speak to you about? >> unbuckled to talk about conversation with the president. >> did he ever mention the possibility of a pardon if you violated the law and were arrested for closing the southern border, yes or no? >> as i know i'm not quick to
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talk about conversations with the president but i've never been asked to do anything illegal and i'm on the record with that answer. >> any people who work for you address concerns doing things that were illegal and the personal ramifications they might suffer as a result of that? hasn't ever bubbled up to your level. >> was would not ask our law enforcement professionals to violate the law. that's not acceptable to my level or any of our leaders. >> so mr. lang given ask you about cisa and/or departments request for volunteers from different agencies throughout the federal government. cisa actually not the only agency at dhs, that dhs or at dhs that you directed asked for volunteers. do you know the number of employees from tsa that volunteered to go to the southern border? >> i don't have that in front of me.
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i know tsa has been one of the most responsive agencies and helping with crises or natural disasters for years. >> there are some tsa employees who have volunteered? >> certainly. >> how many of them or have been trained to work with migrant children and families? >> so there will be training for anyone who's engaging directly with speedy has there been for volunteers who are already there? >> so any volunteer was been deployed and is already on the border supporting cbp will have received an orientation and training upon arrival. >> so training is going on? >> yes. >> how many employees from u.s. secret service have volunteered to go to the southern border? >> don't have that information as i stated but i can get back to you. >> have any of them been trained to work with migrant children and found? >> that process would happen on arrival dependent on the skills, expertise of the person going. could be an attorney. were not going to necessarily going to need to dress them for
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personal interaction. >> former secretary nielsen declared cyber attacks now exceed the risk of physical attacks. the mueller report maker the links of the russian government will go to meddle in our elections. so cisa obviously being the agency responsible for the cybersecurity of 99 federal agencies, i'm sure you would agree this is not an island ideal use of the time even on aa voluntary basis. >> again for critical personnel that are directly involved in protecting the election infrastructure i do not expect them to be deployed as speedy you don't control who volunteers. general call is put out for volunteers for anyone can volunteer, right? >> respectfully, at the cabinet level we don't do individual selections of where the volunteers can go. >> but you should be aware, you should be aware of what, you should be aware of what your agency is asking people to do. because i have critical functions they have to do in their own job description, and you've been given a lot of money
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from congress to increase hiring in get people on board so we don't have to deplete critical agencies at a critical time. do you agree with president trump decision -- do you agree with president trump's decision to cut off aid to central america at this critical juncture? >> so i'm on record multiple venues talking about the fact to address this crisis effectively wwe're going to need to increase security, governance and addressed the pushback in central america. what my responsibility is that i think what the president is looking for is our accountable partners in central america and programs that can make a difference that have return on investment. working with the department of state when see these opportunities i will be presenting those to my chain of command. >> so you mentioned that over your traveling over the weekend? >> on court on monday, just. >> i think the purpose is to discuss border security efforts.
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>> i'm beating with ministers from guatemala, honduras and salvador chautauqua collaboration on addressing human trafficking and smuggling, yes. >> and how is that become more challenging with the president directed to have $500 billion in aid cutoff? >> it's frozen, it's not cut off. it's frozen. there are programs ongoing. there are capabilities these governments have and partnerships on the ground that ongoing. again the attorney general was just there last week focusing on the and taking partnership we have with these governments. i'll be talking about ways we can continue the momentum and support we need both from our capacity building, our professional doing training and any programs that are critical and that effort. >> it's not just anti-gang. obviously there are very, very difficult situations in these countries. that is the number one reason people are coming here.
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>> this is a -- >> i would encourage you to continue to be vocal about how important it is we continue our foreign aid to these countries so that we can begin to address this crisis that we all agree is happening at the border and i thank you for your service. i yield back the balance of my time. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank yothank you very much. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. joyce. >> thank you for yielding, mr. chairman. thank you, secretary, for it. her today in front of us. currently there's a massive crisis our southern border. just last month of attempted illegal crossings represented a staggering 591% increase from just two years ago. also driving this crisis is the makeup of the individuals were crossing the border. rather than adult males who we saw in years past, family units and unaccompanied children are
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spiking, and our laws have not yet caught up. there is a surge of people who seek and i emphasize to you, sir, the word seek, to be apprehended at the border, brought into custody, claim asylum and be allowed to gain access to american jobs, healthcare and education. this new group of families and unaccompanied minors arriving from central america present significant new challenges that must be addressed by this committee and the house. in the past democrats and republicans would work together to address these issues which are critical to the security of our country. sadly, this has not been the case at all since january when i was sworn in. the complete breakdown of bipartisan work in the face of the overwhelming scope and severity of this crisis has almost crippled dhs in carrying
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out your work. i and for the concern to hear you testify today that you expect the agency to exhaust funding before the end of the fiscal year, if congress doesn't act on your latest supplemental funding request. now let me discuss my first hand experience on this issue and how to relate to the question i am about to ask regarding an immediate measure to address this question while congress works to get its act together. a few recent go at the southern border i witnessed personally the lack of security in areas along the colorado river that allows the cartels to smuggle drugs into our country come to smuggle drugs into sout south-cl and southwestern pennsylvania where i represent. during that visit i also spoke with some cbp agent on the ground and i was shocked by what was discussed. currently cbp is consistently
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being passed with providing additional services such as medical support, transportation services, leaving them unable to carry out their core missions of protecting and patrolling our southern border. a shortage of personnel is glaring, and one of the suggestions that the members of law enforcement made to me at this visit was at additional national guard troops to be deployed to the border to help alleviate staffing issues. do you believe that the presence of additional national guard troops would be beneficial in curbing the crisis on the southern border? is it time to address the immediate crisis and send additional national guard troops to our southern border? >> thank you, congressman, personal for you going to the war and beaten with a minute women but also for accurately laying out the scope of the challenge we face. the times last year in terms of
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the crossings, the changing demographics, the fact that 40%% of our border patrol agents and top sectors of traffic are now dealing with care, custody, transportation, hospital watch for migrants. they're not on the border, not securing it against drugs coming across oregon's people that are trying to evade capture. that's a huge risk, it's a huge problem and the challenge were facing. ..
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>> thank you, secretary mcaleenan. thank you for what you do for our country. i yield my remaining time. >> the chairman recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for the witness for appearing. thank the ranking member as well for being a part of the hearing. mr. secretary, you have a plan to deal with the area immediately between the united states and mexico that we call the border. and you have said that there's a humanitarian crisis that we have to address. my question to you is this, if we do not properly address the humanitarian crisis, assume we do all the things at the border you'd like to see done in terms of keeping people out, what will happen to the people who
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are denied entry? what will happen to the people that we deny entry into the united states? >> i think it's an important question, congressman, to make sure we have clarity on what we're talking about, border security versus humanitarian aspect. >> border security, you've been very clear about how you'd like to see that occur. i want to know about the people now who are not able to get into the united states because we have secured the border properly. what will happen to them? >> well, on the humanitarian side even when we have an effective barrier we see people crossing and-- >> let's assume for just a moment. you're a lawyer, you have a jd. so let's you and i as lawyers communicate appropriately. let's now talk about the people. let's not talk about those who get in. let's talk about those who do not. what will happen to them?
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>> they have an opportunity to present lawfulfully at ports of entry and we're doing at that in record numbers right now, almost 80,000 asylum seekers at ports of entry this year first and foremost and seek protection-- >> i don't mean to be rude, crude or unrefined. i'm interested in the people who do not get in. here is my contention. you say we have a humanitarian crisis. let us assume that the crisis is not resolved by virtue of persons having ingress into the country. let's assume that it's not. if it's not resolved, what's going to happen in central america? what's going to happen in mexico? this is our hemisphere, these are our neighbors, let's focus focus for one moment what will happen to them. what will happen when they return home? >> first of all, i agree these are our neighbors and this is our hemisphere and we need to work with partners in central
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america and-- >> what do we do? what's going to happen to them, mr. secretary? >> right. >> what's going to happen to them? this is our hemisphere. >> it is. >> we give jordan money to deal with syrian refugees. we, through usaid spend hundreds of millions in aid to help persons who are refugees and we want to make sure those refugees are taken care of. what will happen in central america? what's going to happen? this is our neighbor, our neighborhood, if you will. >> right. >> what will happen? >> there's been a lot of progress the last five years. >> thank you for the progress, but let's talk about the lack of progress and we're sending people back to harm's way. these are people, but for the grace of god could be you, could be me. we were just lucky to be born united states of america, just lucky. so what's going to happen to the people? what's going to happen when they go back to harm's way?
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you talk about the children coming here and the fact that they're impregnated and how they're abused along the way. we're going to send them back? it's not as though they are going to somehow now become immune to all of the atrocities that they have to suffer and endure as they migrate in this direction? what will happen to them? >> what we want to do is give them a safe opportunity to apply in the u.s. >> let's assume they don't make it to the u.s. this is our hemisphere. >> right. >> we have to do more to help people in our hemisphere and i'm not saying that we cease and desist with our actions around the world, i'm not saying that, but i'm saying that we have to have enough heart to understand, and i believe you've said that this is a humanitarian crisis, that it's if a humanitarian crisis, a wall doesn't solve the humanitarian aspect of this crisis, it doesn't.
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more drones won't solve it. more border patrol agents won't solve it. people are still suffering in these countries that are in our neighbor, our neighbors, mr. secretary. the question becomes what do we do? this is your watch. >> right. >> you may not have the answer today on the job, but we will visit again and we'll revisit the question. i yield back the balance of my team. >> the chair yields five minutes to the gentleman from mississippi. mr. guest. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, first, i would like to thank you, thank the men and women that you serve with for your professionalism, for your dedication, and your hard work under extremely difficult circumstances. i would like to apologize to you today for the inaction of the united states congress. the administration, your predecessor, for the last year, has been warning us of the looming crisis that exists along our southwest border. you testified earlier today
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that we had a security crisis, that we had humanitarian crisis that's previously been testified we have a drug trafficking crisis, a human trafficking crisis and an immigration crisis. i believe you used the word dire and unprecedented in explaining what we're seeing along the border. in march 103 illegal immigrants apprehended along the border and in april that number rose to 109. instead of congress helping you deal with the crisis, what we've seen today in this very hearing is members-- a member of congress make allegations that you and the men and women that you serve with have intentionally allowed children to die in your custody. and i want to apologize to you and the men and women that you serve with for these untrue remarks. my question to you, mr. secretary, is do you, as we sit today, do you currently
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have the personnel that you need to deal with this crisis? >> no, we don't. >> as we sit today, do you currently have the facilities that are needed to deal with the crisis along our southwest border? >> no. >> mr. secretary, do we currently have the number of immigration judges and court officials to manage the crisis along our border? >> no, and we've asked for support in all of those areas, mr. congressman. >> mr. secretary, have we as a congress, have we approved the supplement aal funding request for the crisis at the border. >> no, we're having that come forward. >> and our immigration and asylum walls making crisis better or worse. the fundamental is the pull factor vulnerability for families and children and exploitation for of our asylum
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crisis. >> i would assume that you're saying that the current laws are making it worse. >> corrects. >> we as congress have not provided you the personnel, not provided you thes facilities you need, the courts that you need or the supplemental request that you've asked for and the laws that congress has in place today are currently making the situation along our southwest border worse instead of better, is that correct? >> that's all correct. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. chair recognizes gentle lady from new york. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and thank you, mr. secretary for appearing before us told. we know that the department of homeland security has a very critical mission, protecting our nation, it seems, though, however, we have not quite figured out the right blend and mix with respect to our lists and honing in on it. the department of homeland
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security is one of the youngest federal agencies in our nation and that there is this level of contention about the mission of this agency is really, really distressing, particularly for a new yorker, who has lived through two terrorist attacks. we don't just need to defend ourselves against the all too real threats of cyber attack, terrorism, and election interference, we also need to defend our values, and i think that part of the struggle here today is a struggle of values. before her departure, our committee held a hearing with secretary nielsen. she denied the very fact that children were being held in cages when everyone could see it with their own eyes. these inhumane policies, which are simply the mandate given to an agency by an administration, and the family separation is just one of many that i believe have no place in our society. it is though we are suffering with amnesia about the fact
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that so many of who we-- so much of who we are is rooted in immigration, no, rather who you are in this country, outside of native americans and of course, those who were born through slavery. i find it interesting some of the conversation that we've been having today when there weren't immigration laws, a whole heap of people came to the united states of america, seeking freedom and liberty. they may have come from europe and other parts of the world, but they came and they were embraced as well. some of them struggled, but they became americans. under this administration, unfortunately, the mandate for dhs is focused on the attack on immigrants. has been focused on the attack on refugees and while diverting resources and personnel away from what i believe are real threats. the wall we should be billed something a firewall to defend our network against cyber attacks. and while we spend a fortune on
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so-called border surge, we are failing to take basic precautions against another round of russian interference in our election, schools and places of worship are under siege and foreign and terror domestic groups are on the rise and instead donald trump is focused on what many believe and i certainly do is a fake threat of hard working individuals seeking refugee status here in the united states of america. and that's not homeland security, that is demagoguery. so let me just ask a couple of questio questions. as acting secretary, you are now charged with the critical task of defending our elections from foreign interference. you answer to donald trump, who denies that russians interfered in the 2016 election. and in an interview on air force one in 2017, the president said that putin said
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he didn't meddle. and that donald trump said, i really believe when he tells me that, he means it. let me ask, does the donald trump statement conflict with the findings of dhs and all of our intelligence agencies that russia did in fact interfere in the 2016 elections? >> the intelligence community findings speaks to itself. can i respond to the points in your opening? >> i want to get through my line of questions, i don't have a whole lot of time. i'll yield to you once we get to the questions. how are we protecting ourselves. how does your budget reflect the need to protect ourselves particularly from cyber intrusion by nation states. >> first of all, our 2020 budget request for the first time as a specific line item for protecting elections. that said, we're not waiting for the 2020 budget. we've already launched protect 2020 initiative trying to reach all 8800 jurisdictions that oversee elections in this country.
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maintaining our election integrity from cyber perspective is fundamental obligation of this department. i've had meetings, multiple times a week since i've gotten this chair, focused on this issue and-- >> it's interesting because there is. >> to accomplish it-- >> excuse me, mr. secretary. there's a $40 million cut in the cyber security infrastructure, security agency's budget, as there is a 238 million dollar cut to the science and technology directorate. you're telling me you're going to do more with less, is that essentially how that works? . not precisely, the cuts that you reference is because we've completed development of one of the protective systems of the dot-gov network. we don't need development for that, we are in the maintenance of that. we have money for personnel and protecting the infrastructure. >> you said you had some comments? >> i don't believe we're failing in our counterterrorism
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mission or failing in our focus on cyber security. we are a multi-mission department. we have to do multiple things at the same time. 240,000 strong with leaders across the operating components of these mission tests, there's no attack on immigrants, there's no attack on refugees. there's a desire to secure our borders, we're processing more of asylum seekers, we're leading the world in asylum seekers. >> and i have to yield back, i'm glad you can sit there and say that with a straight fa is-- face because there's a whole lot of people. >> thank you for your service with cvp as well. i can tell at the caliphate in
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2015, 2016, the intelligence department did a phenomenal job stopping that terror threat, many of which no one will ever know about. but i actually have a question about the budget. s this a budget hearing. and it has to do with sort of creative ways to pay for infrastructure and security at the united states border. unfortunately, the bill i have with chairman goodlatte had failed on the floor. it had 25 billion in advanced appropriations now we're looking at what i consider to be a crisis. can you tell me how much the budget is for both infrastructure and technology at the border? >> you may not know that offhand. if you don't, that's fine. >> i referenced a number of those investments in my opening, and in my written
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statement and good to see you again, appreciate your expertise and long time support of our mission and security. we did request 5 billion for wall, 500 million for additional investment in technology and surveillance capability, for instance, as well as our platforms to have better surveillance capability as well. >> one of the united states that we had, and i think it was also discussed by, i think, mr. kushner, we were going to put in the bill something called a border security trust fund. >> right. >> but instead we opted for advanced appropriation. but the idea, it's pretty simple and to me makes a lot of sense. the border security trust fund, all the fees that cvp collects at the border, most of those, as i understand it, go to the general treasury and not back to the border. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> do you know how much is collected, say, on an annual basis with these fees?
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>> well, if you combine our trade mission with our merchandise processing mission, with our travel mission, we're talking well over $50 billion, well over the total funding requested for the entire department of homeland security. >> it steaeems to me what you'r collecting at the border not just for security, but infrastructure issues. when you go down to laredo, you see the long lines of 18-wheelers and processing and we could have better processing and infrastructure in place. currently how much of that goes back to the border and how much of it goes to the general treasury? >> a very small percentage goes back to the border. if i could just offer that, i think the notion of a sustained sea-based investment in infrastructure, both to catch up with the deficit that we have for ports of entry, for example, for border security
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technology would be a tremendous idea. it was offered last week by the president in rolling out the immigration reform recommendations to members of congress. but that kind of thing should be nonpartisan, to continue our investments without waiting on the vagueries of a budget cycle to make sure that with he can enhance lawful trade and travel and increased protections all along the border was a good concept that i would support. >> i was going to ask if you did support that idea. i think this is, mr. chairman, a bipartisan issue, it's not political, just using a fee that's captured at the border to go to protect the border and build infrastructure and it's self-sustaining as you said. i get really, you know, we all-- we all look forward to the appropriations cycle and the shutdowns of the government and the cliff hangers and the drama.
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holding your department hostage with this kind of funding and this will happen again, unfortunately, i think in september, if we don't do something creative like this, to solve that problem in a responsible way without scoring political points or having the shutdown of the government which i don't think anyone here supports that idea, i don't think it's ever productive to shut down the government. and then it just turns into finger pointing for political purposes so i would suggest, there chairman, i'd like to work with you and the ranking member if you would be amenable to that and i want to thank you again for your service and your support for this idea as well. and with that, i yield back. >> thank you. chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, congratulations and i wish you the best. i don't think anybody on this committee and probably no
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rational americans would want less. so, i wish you the very best. i'm concerned about the budget request cut, 270 million dollars in our-- the reason i'm concerned about it is that i have become almost obsessed with the fact that they are woefully and in my estimation dangerously underpaid. as i mentioned yesterday here at a hearing, the only thing that stands between most of us who fly airplanes every week and terror and we treat them like they're insignificant. so i would-- one of the requests i have of you is that you would become the liberatoliberator, the agen
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change for the tsa program. we've got to do something about the pay. and i hope that, you know, when you're-- when the sun sets on your time in this position that you can look back, i hope, i really hope and say i was able to do something with the tso pay. is that possible? can you accept that? >> so, first of all, thank you for your comments on how important our transportation security officers are to our nation's aviation security and infrastructure. they're valued professionals. i believe as a department across the board we need to do more to take care of the men and women who protect us every day with retention incentives, for suicide prevention, for child care across the board and i'm going to be looking at best practices at dhs for each agency and see what i can could
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do to be a highest denominator. if there are commensurate pay issues i'll be happy to assess that and come back with this committee and see what we can do. >> i think you're going to find, it's awful, ugly and makes us look bad. the other issue is there are reports that suggest white nationalism is a rising threat around the world, actually, and also here at home. and i hate trying to get into politics, but i have to in this one and i can't see any way around it, but the president said that he did not see that as an issue. so that when asked the question, he said, and i quote, i don't really -- this was a thre threat. three years ago my congressional office in kansas
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city was fire bombed twice. the gentleman has been apprehended. he's now serving ten years in leavenworth. my father keeps asking what's going to happen when he gets out. this is a personal issue and i had i don't like to bring my personal issues out here, but my point is, definitely, they were amazing in catching the guy, but if the president doesn't see this as a threat and i personally know what happened to me and i've seen and read about on the news what is happening around the country, and i'm not sure that-- i am certainly there are good people on both sides. so, i'd like to know your assessment as the homeland security secretary. >> so our responsibility, congressman, is to address targeted violence regardless of the motivation or ideology and i am concerned about white supremacist extremists and the
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growing attacks, especially we've seen on hor houses of worship. and that's why i responded right away to ask the homeland security advisory council to set up an organization to protect houses of worship and faith-based. how with he can-- how we can improve this on this regard not only dhs, but with our partners the fbi and state and local. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you the gentleman from missouri. >> i want to thank the witnesses for their valuable testimony and the members for their questions. i'd like unanimous consent to enter into the record a statement from the national treasury's employees union without objection. ranking member. >> i mentioned earlier trying
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to get an amendment on the president's budget adopted and it was denied. i'd like to put a copy in the record. >> without objection. >> thank you. the other thing i'd like to indicate is that on the floor flores decision it was about long detention of children had proven to be harmful to their health and the judge looked at that as the overriding factor as to why they shortened the time for detention, and so i think the court looked at it from that perspective rather than a punitive decision on the department because we are concerned about the care of children who are in detention. the members of the committee may have additional questions, but a witness-- and we ask that your respond expeditiously, in writing to those questions.
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without objection, the committee record should be kept open for ten days. hearing no further business, the committee stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the complete guide to congress is now available. it has lots of details about the house and senate for the current session of congress. contact and bio information about every senator and representative. plus, information about congressional committees, state governors, and the cabinet. the 2019 congressional directory is a handy, spiral-bound guide. order your copy from the c-span on-line store for 18.95. >> the u.s. senate about to gavel in. this week, they've approved a number of judicial nominees. no


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