tv Acting Homeland Security Secretary Testifies on 2020 Budget Request CSPAN May 24, 2019 2:01pm-4:42pm EDT
or sponsoring families were either ms 13 families are families with relatives in el salvador threatened and in a recent murder indictment seven of the 11 who indicted for the murder were on the company minors and came across the border and last for years as unaccompanied minors. school like brentwood and central students put in their and never told by dhs or by orr or hss that these children were a company minors-l and not given background on, history of them or their families and taking them in. i know this memorandum of understanding you and hhs and orr you say whether not as a result of the investigation will
it be carried out of the miners and families with the local police and school districts be made -- will that info be made available to them? >> thank you for your comments on the work of i.c.e. and hsi to address these threats in our country, specifically committees of communities affected by ms 13. it's a priority and focus for the department but we are very worried about gangs explaining this crisis. to send unaccompanied children, teenagers who they have already recruited into the u.s. they can go through a process and be released to a sponsor here in the u.s. within an intent to join again. that's a serious concern and families bringing children who are not their own, 3500 cases of rifraud hsi team but on the borr for two weeks working these issues in el paso and found 500 interviews and one disease by cases of fraud prosecutions of these adults to bring families insane unfortunately even child
recycling, being brought across twice. mention the critical partnership we did have and am away on information sharing been suspended by a writer in the operations billalal and that diminishes our ability to provide security and diminishes our ability to share information on the sponsors who are picking up children on immigration status and potential criminal history and that's a barrier that should not be there because it's critical. last point i will make his attorney general went to south america to focus on t getting initiatives in the collaboration between the apartment of justice and authorities in el salvador and elsewhere it's been a very effective tool because of getting additional information on, records and gang history in central america that we can apply at the border and in concert with our counterparts. we need to keep that up. >> my time has expired and emphasize a number of those brutal murders have been carried out by unaccompanied minors. thank you. >> the chair now organizes the gentle lady from new mexico.
>> secretary, thank you for your service and stepping up a time is challenging all of us. i only have five minutes so i appreciate the efficiency in your responses so far and ask that you continue. rio grande sector has large number of apprehensions for families and on the company minors, correct? el paso secretary's second? >> yes. >> you must third connect spirit yes we received the medication that they're working with bus transportation for unprocessed families or migrants from rio grande valley to other lower-level sectors, right? >> right. >> why isn't el paso receiving the same service? spirit they are. there's a flight from el paso this week. >> received revocation that the fight was only a stopover for refueling. is that inaccurate? >> i'm told they have a flight going to san diego where we had additional capacity and i'll
follow up on that. >> amazing. there's anyway we can do that i deeply appreciate it something you know and support yes. >> great. >> el paso is seen the starkest increase as you know. >> thank you for recognizing that in responding to it..ha pivoting to border patrol or releases after border patrol processes family units what are the steps edp takes to decide when and where large groups are released? >> this is something we have to work closely with local committees and nongovernmental organizations and want to make sure there's capacity in the transportation system or in the ngos to house people effectively so were not leaving them in situations that are uncomfortable thank you for saying that. to believe you understand the challenges of the community i represent and experience. is there a requirement to do that consultation with ngos and local government? >> that is policy and our expectation. >> thank you. is it a requirement or just expectation?
>> it is a stated direction from the chief of border patrol and executive assistant commissioner for field operations. >> great. is there a time amount for advance notice that's provided in that direction? >> as much as can be provided so it's effectively coordinated. sometimes situation of the numbers in custody mandate a quicker action and we are sometimes not having the right point of contact and i got feedback from new mexico senator yesterday on these issues and will tighten that coordination. >> if you could set a minimum amount of time of notice that would be helpful. >> i think we can set an expedition but would not want to direct washington 12 field situation operations. >> speaking to that who makes the decisions of when and where? >> sector teeth locally. >> are there directives that come from washington advising on when and where? >> yes. as i mentioned, we give guidance to the field on her expertise. >> thank you.
now to migrant processing, and conversation with both i.c.e. and cbp is apparent both agents believe neither of them should be responsible for processing asylum-seekers. border patrol says i.c.e. is the better resources for processing, cbp or i.c.e. please border patrol is a response ability because of the first to encounter migrants. this connect seems to exacerbate the scarcity and resources and seems to stem from lack of leadership saying who's responsible. what agency is responsible for processing asylum-seekers? >> actually, cis if you're talking doing asylum of their interview but just to clarify point of your question i think as i am acting secretary we handle this as a team. it's a mission that is overtaxed cbp, i.c.e., cis, hhs and barman of justice and immigration courts. we are no element of that system is adequately resourced for the
flow we are seeing. we have to address it as a team. we see that with transportation. the el paso sector is mainly in new mexico and is done mainly exclusively by the cbp but i.c.e. was supposed toly originally but were filling gaps, were together enough my expectation. >> i pretty that but clarity is also helpful for working as a team so is there a clear directive of who is responsible for adding together the paperwork on the notice to appear? >> depending on local area the available resources we will try to apply the best effort to that and border patrol and i.c.e. is supposed to do processing and removal or interior enforcement but right now --e >> generally, yes. they are both handling the processing of family units. >> no directive right now about even to specific areas there is no specific directive. >> its work together to get this mission done as efficiently and effectively as possible.
>> link you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman louisiana, mr. higgins, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary. and you for maintaining your professional daring despite the tone you face today. my colleagues across the aisle mentioned the word squander regarding the presidents budget the american treasure is certainly subject to closer scrutiny by the american people that provided an american people certainly do recognize well-established facts from politicians and bureaucrats in dc squander the money seized on the paychecks of working americans but however the citizenry does not consider national security homeland security to be a waste of money. i can name scores of [inaudible]
squander the people structure for securing our borders and maintaining our better sovereignty. it's perhaps the most single port important issue but a government should prompt and not squandering. discussions of law enforcement to secure our homeland should be determined by the department of homeland security, law-enforcement professionals and not by career politicians in dc and unknown, unelected bureaucrats. thank you, sir. representative law-enforcement professionals and i ask you is the department of homeland security making progress toward achieving operational control of our southwest border? >> we are through accommodation of investments that receive funding in 19 border barriers will make a big impact. >> roger that. will the presidents budget estimated if proved by this
congress with the help you accomplish and mission. >> it will accelerate our efforts. >> thank you, sir. since president trump entered office from eight replacement mild secondary miles or new miles of enhanced physical barrier system have been funded on the southwest borderl and how many have been completed or are currently being built? give us an idea. >> sure, out of the two-point explain dollars in fy 17, 18, 19 funding and money for the coverage of funds we are applying that currently to fund a total of 336 miles of portable. >> to get the job done the money that's been provided. >> will get part of the job do done. >> you need is a law enforcement professional secretary of homeland security in charge of securing our sovereignty of our nation do you concur as it's
been submitted? >> i do. this request comes from many women on the ground. >> as it should. the approximately 300 miles of fiscal year 2020 budget to be prioritized along the southwest border is my understanding, can you explain why? >> why that money would be prioritized for enhanced physical barrier along the southwest border particularly explained to direct people why. >> southwest border is to dynamics on the border security front. we got 30, 40000 people a month trying to evade capture across the border and increasing amounts of drug smuggling and were talking hard narcotics, opposing opioids like fentanyl, synthetic opioids killing americans in communities all over the country. >> many americans are dying from thisth poison pouring across our border and i would concur. with enhanced physical barriers as requested by the department of human security and as
evaluated as necessary by the law-enforcement professionals on thesa ground do you concur that enhanced physical barriers would help you accomplish a mission? >> yescc thank you. what technological advances along the border of an amended generally and how will the fiscal year 2020 budget further those investments? >> make three key points. one, every mile of border comes the fiber-optic centers, cameras, lighting and not just a dumb wall but fully supported by technologya that is happening n those areas. >> he said something that is indeed: call -- no question. the 2020 budget would continue to fund to provide surveillance capability which doesn't have to extend our view of the border into agents i went to respond and third with but centers in aircraft that are higher resolution and modernized to
help surveilled the border from the air. >> thank you, mr. secretary yes and no, if congress passed a law wrecking the laws in the polls with that help us control? >> that would help dramatically. >> thank you.ly i yield. >> the chair now recognizes the lady from illinois. >> thank you. you told emissivity the families of the border are being separated in a humane and civilized way and let me tell you that the illinois fourth district does not think the policy is civilized. as a nurse i can tell you it's not humane and they're all alternatives and to keep our country safe and secure. yes or no will they not restart family separations under your leadership? spirit president of the united states has that were not looking at doing that again. >> under your leadership -- >> there's an executive order saying will take zero tolerance prosecuting adults by violating
law as a result of separation and will not restart that. >> you have made a commitment that you will not restart family separations under your leadership. >> i think the president statement suffices -- >> i want to know whether you're aware what it does for their mental and physical health and only have five minutes. i'm looking for a yes or no. are you aware research showing family separation they can do both immediate long-term damage to children's health?ha >> you're asking questions something that's not happening, congresswoman. separations occurring now are only in result for families for the prosecution of the adult for some -- >> i'm not asking about that. >> that was not the line of question. my question was are you aware of the impact family separation and the traumaaru on children's
long-term physical and mental health? >> okay, you're asking about something we are not doing. >> i'm not asking -- [inaudible conversations] a a >> are you aware of the acting secretary of dhs of research that shows it causes trauma? >> i have talked to the doctor of the american association of pediatricians and where the research and we solicit support and input from pediatricians managing our responsibility for the border. >> are you aware the trauma of family separations connectedra s called toxic stress. >> yes, you're asking about something or not doing. >> but you are aware? spirit yes. >> toxic stress contain a child's brain because it's developing. >> i read the study. >> area where the effect of these traumas are cumulative and gets worse the longer the trauma goes on? >> i think i have answered the defined questioning. i've said i'm familiar. >> are you aware the dramatic effect don't go away even if the
child is reunited with the family? >> again, you're asking something about what we are not doing. yes, i'm aware and it's not been done. >> anywhere family separation can lead to behavioral changes and learning delays? >> i think i have answered this question. i've answered your talking the same research. >> secretary, answer the question. >> on probably the most reasonable german so answer the question. yes or no. >> i've already answered yes, mr. chairman, it's the same study that she siding in different parts so if i the knowledge that i'm familiar with it that's sufficient. >> it's not. >> okay. >> yes, you are aware. >> yes. >> are you aware of the family separation can lead to behavioral changes in learning delays for children? >> yes, i read the study. >> are you awarere it increases [inaudible] spirit yes, i read the study. >> are you where it increases the child's risk of anxiety, depression?
yes, i read the study. >> in fact the american psychological association reports family separation on par with beating and torture in terms of its relationship to mental health -- are you aware of that? >> i'm familiar with this information. thank you spector this, family separation does irreparable damage to children while doing nothing for a national securityi it's immoral, un-american and plain wrong i'm glad to say it's not happening but i went to the borderless month and truly shocked by the conditions i father. medical, medical care was inconsistent at best andt the accommodations were inadequate. last week we saw the photo of detained children sleeping outside on the dirt and the border patrol station in texas and on monday we learned of this minor child died in custody since family separation began. they keep happening and the stories are appalling. congress provided half-million dollars to address the humanity in crisis at the border. it will ride more so i to these tragedies keep happening?
>> there happening because the crisis is exceeding the resources provided and that's why we've asked for more. we transferred more authority to deal with it to prevent the crisis from happening in the first place and from the children being put at risk. we've deployed the funding that caught has authorized and increased vertebrate facilities by 500 beds and 500 in el paso a and three additional coming online in june and the play medical practitioners and have over 100 certified medical practitioners in our two busiest sectors. >> right, 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 addressngle security and humanitarian concerns but at this point with five kids that have died from a 5000 separated from their families i feel like an evidence is clear this is intentional. it's a policy choice be made on purpose by this in ministration and cruel and inhumane but thank
you, mr. chairman, i am back. >> that's an appalling accusation in our many women fight hard to protect people in her custody every day and asked for these resources three weeks ago and has not been responded to by congress. we asked changing authorities the last two years of preventing this from happening. >> gentle lady time is expired gentleman asked to be recogniz recognized. >> i make a motionn to let the ladies words be taken down. >> motion dies for lack of a second. already died. >> gentleman from new york your request for five minutes. >> [inaudible]
>> counsel asked me to ask ms. underwood to clarify her statement for the record. >> i will be happy to, mr. chairman. i said this is more than a question of resources but congress has been more than willing to provide resources and work with you, mr. secretary, to address the security t humanitarian concerns and at this point with five to dead and 5000 separated from their families this is intentional. the policy choice be made on purpose by this demonstration and cruel and inhumane. i go back. >> a chairman, you cannot impugn the character of the witness by stating that he intentionally murders children, that is completely inappropriate and work, should be taken down it's very explicit. >> i asked her to replace it and she just did. >> she did not really phrased it. >> i did not say murder but i
said five children have died as a result of a policy choice that he has -- >> you said it was intentional. that is murder. .... at the beginning of the testimony this is a policy choice. >> he has made that clear he refused to listen to him that's not the point you said he intentionally supports policies that causes the death of children. that is wrong and those needs to be taken down. >> yesterday another child died. >> because we cannot get the resources to help them that is what he is here trying to get. . >> the chair will call for >> i will not take the vote to take down the words.
>> in the interest, for what purpose of the gentleman seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i appeal the ruling of the chair. >> the gentleman from alabama moves to appeal the ruling of the chair. the question now appears shall the ruling of the chair stand and the ruling of the committee, those in favor of opposing the chair's opinion vote aye, those oppose, vote nay.
>> the chairman is not recorded. >> no. >> mr. thompson votes no. >> mr. chairman, mr. chairman -- >> so rule 27 section 4 of the house rules, member cannot vote on something that they have a direct, directly impact and with respect to my colleague of illinois, i believe the vote is directly about her so i think respectfully she should withdraw her vote to be compliant with rule 26 section 4 of the house rules. >> not a valid point. >> okay. >> the clerk will announce vote. >> there are 9 yeas, and 7 no's.
>> words will be taken down. chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before i ask my question, personal observation. i was a federal prosecutor down in el paso border for years, i interacted with agents on a regular basis, agents were assaulted, agents dedicate and risk lives to keep the country safe, i don't think anyone is intentionally trying to commit harm to anyone down there and i just hope that moving forward this committee is reminded of the long and history about trying to get the job done and trying to keep the country safe instead of making things that are unfortunate, so with that i just -- refocus our attention on different part of the budget that's critically important that isn often overlooked, i don't know if overlooked the right word but not as prioritized and
that's cybersecurity, is there anything -- i see vulnerabilities that country faces in cyber realm. yesterday or the day before, i visited the section and in general and the national cybersecurity and technical service's area, i was overwhelmingly impressed by their ability to get the things done, they get done with limited resource that is they have so if you could, mr. macaleenan request to get the job done and when we finish, if you don't want to touch on yourself, i want to talk about the cyber workforce issues and we are addressing the need of cyber workforce. >> thank you, i appreciate the opportunity to talk about those and i would if appropriate, i also appreciate the opportunity to outline steps we've taken to increase medical care for children in custody, but
focusing -- >> please do. >> the 1.3 billion request for the cybersecurity agency is significant request and first time includes $20 million directed to election security and i have tremendous gratitude and bringing on additional cybersecurity professionals. the additional authority, the ability to provide salaries that are more competitive, not quite what they can make in private sector plus additional funding will allow us to compete for cybersecurity talent and good strategy to go out and find and bring people on board swiftly. in engaging engaging with privar eninti it is thatt -- entities
that are critical, for instance, i'm hearing a lot of good things about our strategy and i intend to amplify that and support it as acting secretary. an area that i am learning a lot about. thank you, as we started to see more children come into our custody, both family and children last july we began to divert medical care of children, i directed that through border patrol funding. they've completed emergency report on april 19th that i commend to this committee with a edmber of recommendations with both resources and support and care request. in december, when we had first and second death of child in our process for the first time in overnd decade we aggressive ramd
up medical care without funding. i went ahead and contracted additional funding and without the funding even there, in january we requested 800 million in humanitarian aid we got a little bit over half of that. eqquested 1.1 billion, we requested ghost cared medical teams that have responded and are on site at the border, public health commission, we have hundred medical careli professionals that were never in border patrol stations that are now because of actions we've taken to protect children, i'm proud of the record, we are working hard, this crisis exist because of legal from time to time work and inviting the kids -- >> i don't have much -- little time. is it fair to say that if we increase budget resources for the border area we can increase even more your effort to try to children safe and health but overwhelming how many people are coming in, would more money
would help? >> more money would help but changing would help more. >> 5 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary i just would like to follow up with a question about puerto rico because my numbers aren't exactlylo the sae as the president. it's my understanding that roughly 11 million has been spent and 41 billion has been allocating for recovery, a lot different from the 91 billion that's been tweeted by the president. so i don't know if you can confirm those numbers or dispute them or can get backtous. >> we can get back to you on the numbers. g >> all right, i hope so because there's a big difference in our numbers and the 91 billion. i also share the concerns of mr. king about the antiterrorism component of dhs. $5 billion to build a wall to kind of keep out sick children, i guess, and yet at the same time you're cutting 213 million
from the grant, las vegas welcomes over 40 million tourists a year, we had the worst shooting in modern history there,ot we need the grants to complement what we do at the local level to fight terrorism. i wonder how you justify that you can keep up with that component of your mission while cutting the funding. >> obviously the grants and partnership with state and locals are f critical to enterprise and in talking with our team that oversee, my understanding 50 billion we deployed plus dramatically increased capacity across the board for state and locals and that we are looking for shared responsibility, shared investments with communities around the country to maintain their capability while we still have significant funding dedicated to grants. if there's areas of concern i'm happy to look at that andha
understand the levels that we are applying, but this is my understanding from looking at the budget with them in hearing their recommendations. >> well, i hope you will talk with our sheriff from las vegas, they are concerned that the fusion center brings in all the first responders, that not only are you cutting their funds but you're not requiring a local match and that would put serious burden on capabilities in las vegas. >> i understand the concern, happy to continue the conversation. >> another question that's kind of not in keeping with what's been going on here, i think it's important because the state i represent is a recent directive yoat y'all issued from your department that would block legal residents that blocks cannabis industry, a lot of states have legalized marijuana in one form or another, over half a state and they are moving in this direction, involved in
certain marijuana lack moral character. if we use that term maybe people involved inn legal political activity that is lack moral character based on some of our judgment but i wonder why you come to that question, legal business at state level, highly regulated business and because it's so security concern i think that much more scrutiny of people who work in this industry than in any other besides gaming that i can think of in nevada, how did y'allll come to that decision? >> i'm actually not familiar with that decision process but i can certainly look into it and get back to you,ec obviously there's a difference, viewpoint in enforcement of marijuana laws between the federal and some of the jurisdictions, it's something that i will look at. >> thank you. i'm going ask you one other question, there's a tremendous backlog that we hear about with access to citizenship, visas,
work visas, family visas, humanitarian visas, all kind of relief, i think you have a backlog of 2.3 million cases last year. we've not seen this kind of backlog since right after 9/11 when new security measures were put in place, yet you want to transfer $207 million, again, you have obligation to do something and you're cutting your request for funding while telling this committee you need more resources to deal with the crisis. clearly citizenship and visas are part of thatou crisis. can you tell us how you justify that and your o plans are for getting rid of this backlog. >> not familiar with the specific cut you're referencing congresswoman but i can tell you that cis does have backlog and working very hard on processing, naturalized more people last year than any year prior at record level of efforts in naturalization, we are working on immigrant visas across the board on h1b, h2a program.
i know that we have backlog in asylum cases but i think they are working very hard to defeat funding agency to keep up with yhe rest of the naturalization process, et cetera. >> in fact, $700 which is very expensive, many people can't afford that fee who would like to move into different channels, get different visas, perhaps get citizenship, so with that kind of fee and this kind of cut i'm not sure that you're kind of balancing priorities there or have the resources that work best. >> i know the fees are assigned based on the cost for administering each program and i will take a look at the cut that you're referencing. >> i appreciate that. >> the chair recognizes gentleman from texas, mr. ratliffe. >> thank you. as you know president trump has set an agenda that i believe
does prioritize the safety and security of the american people, an agenda that includes robust border security operation, strong cybersecurity protections, both from network and critical infrastructure in comprehensive strategy to prevent potential terrorists from ever setting foot on american soil, but as you have already talked about today unfortunately we are facing a dire humanitarian insecurity crisis at our southern border, border agents in my home state of texas have provided statistics that they are averaging 229 migrant apprehensions per hour or 5500 per day, more than 38,000 pern week and on pace to eclipse more than 150,000e illegal migrant
apprehensions. obviously one of the main reasons as you have talked about for this incredible surge in terms of numbers are asylum laws, our asylum laws that have put your department in a bind because your folks can't deliver legal consequences to many of thein illegal migrants that are apprehended at the border because they are either minors or they t are with family units that have arrived with minors and because of the legal .recedent set forth under the flores settlement because that precedent under flores, unaccompanied minors and members of family unit from noncontinues countries have to be released to await immigration proceedings. we talked about that problem and i realize that the one solution for the problem is for congress to address it.
congress absolutely can do that, absolutely should do that, and i'm here to tell you that i don't think congress will do that and i say that because some, not all of my colleagues on the other side like the problem better than they like the solution, they like to stand up before the american people and say that this president and this administration are separatingd children from their familiess because of inhumane reasons and honestly telling them they have doing so because under settlement flores the law requires that you either separate the children or release eae entire family in total disregard for immigration laws as congress passed them. so i'm not waiting on a solution from congress any time soon, my question for you, mr. secretary, is the other possibilities for dhs to address administratively, last fall dhs and hhs proposed
new regulations that would aleffectively terminate the flos settlement agreement and replace it with formal regulations governing the apprehension processing care, custody and release of minor children, what's the status of those regulations? >> thank you for having about that aspect and we are aggressive working on finalizing the flores rule, what it would do codify the key elements of that settlement for over 20 years ago in terms of care of children in federal custody but would also allow us to maintain custody of families together and immigration proceedings, we have over 100,000 comments in the rule that have to be respond today to issue -- responded to to issue a final rule and would hopefully allow us to address that part of this issue. >> so what you're telling me, mr. secretary, is that not with standingng congress not willing-
>> many we are take to go try to address the crisis. >> thank you. another problem that we need to address or part of what relates to this issue is the threshold screening standards for migrants to claim asylum. credible fear, there's good chance they are likely going remain in the united states. so accordingly what your folks are seeing are asylum applicants who are very well coached, coached by coyotes and others, my question to you is does this budget provide appropriate funding to ensure dhs is conducting regular fraud risk assessments as it relates to
affirmative asylum application weocess and generally can you address what dhs is trying to do to combat asylum fraud and abuse? >> thank you for those two congressman, you highlighted key drivers of the crisis, gap between the initial credible fear standard in asylum proceeding and ultimate asylum anandard by immigration judge, what we are seeing 85 to 95% of people meeting initial bar, possibility of approving asylum case andit only 10 to 15% of central americans meeting actual asylum standard at the end of immigration proceeding, that allows people to remain in the n.s. indefinitely, pending immigration proceeding and creates a significant factor that we are grappling with. you asked how we are addressing with fraud prevention.as first of all, since i've been became secretary, deployed agents to the border, talk to families crossing the border, to
identify whether there's family relationship, targeted based on concerns of fraud to begin with and then to look at what they're present to go border -- presenting to border agents is accurate. we have national security unit at cis that we now have directed them to really engage on the asylum piece of this and make sure we are following through effectively and ideally we need to get proceedings completed. that's the central problem. we are not getting results from immigration courts because people are not in custody and that means that ice is left to go out in communities to pick people up when it can be efficiently done as they arrive at the border. thank you for asking that question and allowing us to talk about that problem. >> i appreciate your response, i yield back. >> first let me start by correcting the record, the separation of children and families didn't happen because it was required, that's not why
president did it. this administration is on record in saying they did this to deter people from coming and so to knowingly separate children and families by prosecuting parents that was going to result in separation and then mentally harm children, that's despicable and that is why people believe that what this administration is doing is intentional. belief based on all the lies that members of congress have been told, all the lies that have been out in the public and what has been going out into the public. let me start, mr. secretary, is a written policy in remain in méxico policy? >> there's a statutory provision -- >> is that policy in writing? >> yes. >> can you provide us that copy? >> i believe you already have provided to congress but -- >> if you could give to it me that would be fantastic. >> provide the copy of the
policy. >> okay. thank you. so mr. secretary you are familiar with that policy, correct? >> i am. >> and under that policy there are certain groups of people that are not eligible to be returned to méxico; is that correct? >> that's correct. >> under that group unaccompanied minors one of them? >> correct. >> cubans? >> correct. >> mexicans? >> correct. >> vulnerable people? >> correct. >> sick elderly? >> that's discretionary but categories to be considered. >> lgbt? >> discretionary but to be considered. >> pregnant women? >> same. >> let me tell you, mr. secretary, lied to at the border or something has changed, when i was at the border in april i specifically spoke to officer balance chador with border patrol he told me he was from dc and he told me he wrote this policy and he told me that pregnant were excluded and not to be sent at the border. you come in and you talk about
how you want to help protect children and going through this dangerous journey and keeping them safe, well, guess what, this administration is putting pregnant women in danger, do you know how dangerous it is to be sent to juárez, méxico? do you? >> i'm familiar with juárez, méxico and what the government -- >> let me tell you, mr. secretary, as a member of congress, this this is how dangerous it is. i can't go there without getting permission. that's how dangerous it is. if you go to state's department website and we have a copy of it here for you, it says méxico, violent crimes such as homicide, carjacking, but then if you go to state department specific weapon on juárez, it asks you to reconsider your travel, so it is so dangerous to travel to juárez that the state department is telling people to reconsider travel because of violent crime and gang activities are widespread. u.s. government employees, quote, required to obtain prior approval to go to downtown area.
but this is where you're sending pregnant women, back to méxico while they await asylums, do you realize that this is happening? >> minor protection protocol -- >> do you realize that pregnant women are being sent back to dangerous parts of countries that are our own country tells people not to go to and reconsider travel? you realize that's happening, that's a yes or no? >> under minor protection protocols we are asking people to wait in méxico per immigration hearings. >> i'm going to reclaim my time because this is what the american people need to know, a, i was lied to at the border and this is why there is no credibility with this administration, that is why there's no credibility. all right, let me move on for a moment. the 72-hour rule, are you familiar with the 72-hour rule? >> which one. >> well, the one that basically said that within 72 hours children need to be -- they need to be processed and turned over? >> the trafficking victims protection reauthorization act rule for unaccompanied children?
>> yes, the 72-hour rule. do you know howdies tushing it is when the largest law enforcement agency in this country is not even following the law? >> well -- >> it's disturbing, you're not following the 72-hour rule as we know because you had a 16-year-old child die that was held for a week, people are being turned away at the border when they present themselves at port of entry, how do i know, i've been there, agent who is are treating people like animals and in person telling them how terrible they are, we saw text messages and hits on migrants, is this the way to treat people escaping violence, of course not. why do people think this administration is intentionally harming children? let's look at the facts. look at all the lies, look at the harm done to children and their mental health. look at the children that are dying under your watch and you just said, mr. secretary, you're
proud of your record that's despicable to say, you should not be proud of a record of having 5 children die under your watch. i yield back. >> mr. chairman, could i respond to any of the last segment -- >> i think that later in own statement. >> chair recognizes the lady from arizona. >> thank you, mr. chair, and thank you mr. secretary for being here. i have 5 minutes but i will yield you some time to answer, respond to what ms. barragan said. >> the one important part of the last segment was that the 72-hour rule where we try to transfer children to hhs custody within 3 days of of arrival, that's critical protection of children that's why this administration has asked for 3 million additional dollars for hhs to provide additional bed space, critical part of our supplemental request and we would appreciate if congressman consider it.
>> thank you. and members, you know, as you know, i'm from a border state, from arizona. i've been to the border, i've also been to facility where they shelter unaccompanied children. i know that there's a crisis, everybody in arizona, everybody in the nation it seems like knows there's a crisis at the border and it's 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 years old were getting pregnancy tests because of what the cartels do and what happens on this long journey and instead of blaming the united states when i've seen these border patrol agents help these children, they go out of their way to help children, help families, they are good people, wouldn't you say that it is the
cartels encouraging people to travel thousands of miles to exploit our loose imgas station laws and asylum laws and they are charging them what $6,000 a child, wouldn't you say we should place the blame on them instead? >> $3 billion, exploiting people from central america to our border and it's unacceptable. >> and i agree, mr. chairman, it's totally unacceptable, that's why i'm so supportive and appreciate everything the president has done to try to mitigate the crisis not only security crisis to our nation but also humanitarian crisis for the migrants themselves, i mean, he has tried every which way to do what he can and i appreciate that so much and that's why i
will support extra funding because it's obvious that it's needed, need today help the migrants, to help with the security, we also need to pass good immigration laws and so last year, i supported, cosponsored and voted for what i thought was a compromise that we could actually get something done and that was, we not only, you know, had a bill that would have helped 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, there were -- they are trying to push through a bill the dreamer act bill, but unfortunately in that bill it has no age limits, it allows people that have crimes, it allows people that fraudulently fill out their application to be here and so to me that's a big concern.
i want switch because i have a minute and 24 seconds, that's on committee hearing we had had yesterday and there was concern by a number of member that is dhs employees were being diverted to the border on a voluntary basis to help with the crisis at our border and so 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 our airports are actually being diverted or deployed to the border right now and so i guess my question is, with this money that you're asking for actually helps so that we don't have to divert people from other security details to the border? >> it would. it would help us with our partnership with dod. it would help us with our law enforcement surge assets that are going to the border including tsa, federal air marshals that are part of teams
that are mobile in the first place and deployed to the border to help us but also support volunteers from across the department, just like we respond to natural disaster storm, we've asked for volunteers to come help us care for people in our custody, agents get back to border security mission, help them process more efficiently. one thing i didn't get to explain on the medical side is that every day we are taking 65 people to the hospital, that means we have officers on hospital watch duty 24/7, all across that border, about 10 of those a day are admitted to the hospital and center receive tremendous medical care for border communities that are stressed by this situation as well. so any additional support for volunteers will help in being able to fund that support, help manage crisis, i still like to focus on addressing and preventing starting in central america. that's the request to be made. >> thank you and i just want to add that i do greatly appreciate
the border patrol officers, all of our law enforcement officers and dhs, the ones that i have met are really working hard to protect our nation and to help these migrants, so thank you. i yield back my time. >> secretary, in your meeting with ranking member and myself yesterday, you told us that tso's were being deployed to the border. >> that's why i added that while they haven't yet been deployed we asked volunteers so that could include tso's to help deploy and support the mission on the border. >> so will be? >> that's a potential, mr. chairman, yes. >> chair recognizes the chairman from new york, mr. rose. >> 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 heard you want to put the country first.
i want to first talk about fentanyl, it's coming from china and killing kids in virtually all of our districts, china is the largest producer of fentanyl. recently a bipartisan bill that called the fentanyl sanction's act proposed to hold china's feet to the fire and part and parcel of this establishment of federal commission to focus on consensus and strategic approach to address elicit 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? >> one of the top priorities in the narcotics side. i would like to talk about that and see how we can participate in that effort. >> any other updates on the perception issue right now? >> i've got maybe 3 or 4.
transform how we do scanning of trucks and vehicles crossing southern border, will make huge impact, fentanyl and all narcotic, also facility out of facility, most of the fentanyl in mail packages, hiding in mass of consumer goods that's coming across from china we are able to detect better with that victim. working with postal service and hsi to take targeted shipment that is we find with 25-grams of fentanyl where pills are and doubled fentanyl seizures. the technology we received in 19 will be huge impact.
>> it's been raised already here that you and the administration, the administration with your support has proposed pretty significant cuts to whether it's transportation security, so on and so forth, $587 million in cuts in total for homeland security grants, places that need them for counterterror spending, new york city specifically. you used a term that i found interesting, shared responsibility. your belief that, correct me if i'm wrong, municipalities need to do more, correct? is your opinion that nypd is not doing enough right now, is not shouldering the burden enough right now, these are significant. i believe the cuts is not a scapple, it's a hatchet.
i have to figure out what to say to them, from a bipartisan first perspective, what do i tell them? >> commissioner that he's top partners in law enforcement and nypd is the most effective counterterrorism force in state and local police that i'm aware of. please don't suggest they are not doing enough. especially mayor cities that could be targets that does have to be a shared federal, state and local responsibility. >> but monetarily you're saying that they need to do more, new york city, new york state, other major urban areas that are primary threats to counterterror, you're saying they are not doing enough right now? >> no, i'm saying that to sustain funding at the prior grant levels and remember we are working within the topline budgets, you are trying to balance requirements and
administration when you submit the budget. i want to emphasize that. >> is it a correct reading of the budget to say that you have deemed the border a greater priority than counterterror right now? >> i think there's multiple priorities and the border is a significant priority? >> increasing funding for one and decreasing funding for the other? >> correct. >> logical conclusion from that is that the border is a greater threat to the country right now than terrorists? >> so not necessarily but you just noted the fentanyl risk that's coming across the southern border. >> ports of entry, yes. >> impact on the community every single day. so it's a balance between all of those efforts. i think that the idea of grant accumulative investments have gotten us to a place, significant security especially in major cities w knee ed to continue to work on it and hopefully we can manage through the cuts. >> thank you for your time and thank you for your service. >> chair recognizes gentleman from tennessee, mr. green.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member, secretary mcaleenan, i have to start off by telling you thank you for your honorable service to this country. you have been a defender of freedoms and rule of law, defending the constitution as you swore oath 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 to set up 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 and 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 alarm on the crisis at the
southern border, the left refused, in fact, shut the government down stating and i quote the speaker, manufactured crisis, end quote. now even the liberal new york times is saying it is a crisis. further deception of the left seems to know no bound, the images of children in cages were actually from the obama administration yet multiple activists, legislators today have becried the separation of children when in fact, the president stopped it. i'm highly concerned about my colleagues on the other side of the aisle using blocks to block dhs from doing its job and securing our southern border from demanding a limit on detention space for illegal aliens for the new supposedly cool thing to do chanting abolish ice, abolish ice, the democrat party has hit a new low
on the rule of law. this country welcomes immigrants who come here legally with open arms but a country without borders is not a country and the notion that we should not be allowed to preserve our borders very existence are even remove current barriers as other have proposed is ridiculous. my colleagues claim to be a party that defends federal workers but where are they now defending our brave ice agents, where are they in helping those who serve us. mr. secretary, one quick question, can you elaborate on the need for more beds for ice and lack of such fund willing do in disrupting ice's mission? >> so what we are seeing with flows at the border, one demographic that we can finish enforcement immigration law and determine whether someone has right of the u.s. asylum is for single adults. we are exceeding ice capacity for single adult beds and we
asked for funding for it, without that funding we have impossible choice. we either lose control of our border entirely because we don't -- won't be able to enforce or release people that were picked up in the interior with criminal records which is also unacceptable. so we need that funding from congress to maintain our border security and support the men and women of ice and just to clarify, 75% of ice's intake comes from the border, they are focused on supporting the border security mission first and fore moist, but to take away their ability to also pick up criminals in the interior and keep threats out of our communities would be very unfortunate for our security in the country. >> thank you, mr. secretary. is there anything else that based on the testimony that's been given so far that you'd like to take the remaining minute of my time and just share with the committee your thoughts? >> thank you for that opportunity, congressman. you know, the thought -- you
raised the single adults and i want to put in context of families, in my first two hearings being responsible for oversight of ice, what i heard from members a lot of concern of ice officers in communities making arrests and what struck me there is what we are asking to do with families is actually keep them safely to finish proceeding but not release them to communities until they have proven a right to stay in the u.s. so what the numbers are asking, you can't keep them in custody and you can't come into our communities, even if they have a final order of removal from a judge, that doesn't make sense, what area of law would we tell men and women that we enforce the law that you can't follow through on a judge's final order of removal. that's our responsibility. we either have to fix it in the front end or we have to recognize that ice will need to be in communities for system. >> thank you, mr. secretary, thank you, chair.
>> chair recognizes the gentleman of rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and mr. mcale -- mcaleenan, thak you for your service. secretary nielsen testified before the senate and i quote, cyber-attacks exceed the risk of physical attacks and in march she testified before our committee, cybersecurity is one if not the highest threat that we face in the homeland. do you agree with that assessment yes or no? >> yes. >> so are you aware of vacancies there are within infrastructure security agents? >> not as i sit here today but i know that hiring effort is top priority? >> for the record, mr. chairman, there are 361 security vacancies as of april 30th, that concerns
me, obviously. so i have an e-mail here from deputy director, matthew travis, friday may 17th, subject line call for dhs volunteer force participation requesting employees to, quote, give serious thought and to volunteering at the southern border and i ask unanimous consent, mr. chairman, that the e-mail be included in the record. >> without objection. >> thank you. so are you aware of this e-mail and did you discuss this call oh of volunteers can anyone? >> so i'm not aware of that e-mail in particular but i am aware of the call for volunteers to help address the border crisis just as we would do in a natural disaster, our expectation, though, is that would make risk-base decisions on the types of professionals that they would free up for this kind of mission and balance
against their day jobs and current focus. >> so are you aware of anyone in your staff or within your office secretary who discussed this? >> i'd have to ask, i know the acting deputy secretary has personally helped me with volunteer call to make sure we are supporting the men and women at the border as much as we can. >> my question is if cybersecurity is such a high threat to the homeland and shortage of workers, do you think it's appropriate for them to leave the job protecting federal networks and critical infrastructure including our elections to border? >> i would not expect leadership to deploy critical cybersecurity leadership in this role attorneys or others that could be spared to support this effort, we would welcome that, that's for their management and leadership to handle. >> i think it's important to have that on the record because
given the importance of mission the size of the threat, challenge that we face, the large number of vacancies, a department that can spare critical talent to go anywhere other than doing the job from protecting federal networks. last week the president issued an executive order entitled securing information and communication's acknowledging and service's supply chain which found that a potential supply chain risk constitute extraordinary threat to national security foreign policy and economy of the united states. new york times first reported on a leaked draft of executive order in june 2018, can you tell us why it took nearly a year for the president to sign the executive order? >> i'm not familiar with the
process of developing that but i know that this has been something that's been focused on by the department of homeland security experts, risk to supply chain of equipment that could be vulnerable to counterintelligence exploitation. >> do you believe that national security should be assumed concerns over trade talks? >> i think there's always a balance but national security is essential and i think very clearly the focus of this administration. >> so portions of the executive order rather than put on hold, consequences of the bans put in place after issuance, do you anticipate challenges implementing the executive order which requires coordinating efforts with across federal agencies in the absence. >> i will look to see coordination efforts.
>> we will continue to monitor it. >> i am still concerned about the position and position was eliminated and in time where it's biggest challenges, coordinator to be fulfilling the role to bring our strategy together. my time has expired, thank you for your testimony. >> briefly just note, i've already met with the director of national intelligence, the fbi director, the attorney general on cyber issues, critical priority for dhs to be aligned and coordinated across inner agency. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas mr. taylor. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary i wanted to focus on the humanitarian crisis on the border. i know that there's been a lot of discussion about that. you mentioned briefly, your testimony talked about the role of smugglers and coyotes in driving that, would you mind expanding on what's -- what's
driving in terms if not the migrants themselves but the actors outside operating in méxico that are creating this problem? clearly something is happening, accelerating the kind of influx and creating the crisis and you see a lot of concern for. >> what's happening primarily and what we saw really starting early last year were increased awareness that there's a vulnerability in our legal system due to interpretation of flores settlement that if an adult arrives with a child they have like ohlihood of staying in the united states and smugglers have capitalized on that. they are directly advertising that fact. even though we have done thousands of interviews from migrants with participants, why did you come now, why did you bring your child, because the smugglers told me now is the time to come and if i have a child with me they have to release me. that's what you hear repeatedly.
you can watch in washington post, new york times, all who have gone to western islands of guatemala to new yorker. we have one department of guatemala that has over 3% of their population that's come to the u.s. in 7 months. the effort there to recruit and to fund the smuggling network is absolutely dramatic, so that's kind of challenge we are facing and social has made that communication easier and faster and even more challenging for law enforcement to deal with. >> so what -- i mean, seems to me that you're saying you need two things, you need statutory fixes and you need resources so you have been asking for 3 years now, is that -- >> ever since we lost the authority to obtain families together, our law enforcement professionals at dhs have recommended that we get a statutory change, yes. >> okay, and then -- is there anything that you want to respond to that you didn't have a chance to or thought in your
mind? >> sure, i think this committee and the american people should be aware of the extent of the effort that law enforcement professionals who are not trained for the set of missions are undertaking to protect vulnerable people in the cycle. it is an immense effort every single day, you know, i was just down in the border in el paso a few weeks ago, we had a supervisor on detail from washington state, big guy looked like nfl linebacker, there he was on his knee making baby formula in a bottle to hand to a migrant mother with a child and that's not what he signed up, he volunteered to come to border and he's there trying to keep people safe to care for them in custody and the extent of that effort, how hard agents are working, how much help they need is incredible and they've been dealing with this for months on end without relief. i think that has to be recognized.
>> one thing that stuck with me in short time in congress, a million people with permanent visas every year and a million new visas every year and another 10 million people on temporary visas every year, we are the most generous nation on earth in terms of immigration. no other country lets that many people every year. .. .. >> when you're doing your numbers, there going into the
temporary visa so they are being apprehended and being released on a temporary visa in the united states. >> without a visa. they're essentially paroled, released on their own recognizance pending a court hearing . >> so there another bucket altogether coming into this country illegally. thank you mister chairman, i yield back . >> thank you, the chair recognized these the gentle lady from new york for five minutes . >> iq mister chairman and thank you 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 interfered in our presidential election to help
then candidate donald trump? >> i accept the conclusion of our experts in the intelligence community. >> as president trump ever discussed the possibility of blocking entry into the southern border with you ? >> first of all, i'm not going to comment on conversations i've had or not had with the president. he's clear on record about his priority for securing the southern border and the initiatives he's taken to do that, stating them in oval office addresses . >> mister mcaleenan, the president said it to the american people that he is thinking aboutshutting down the southern border . did he ever speak with you about that? he spoke to the american people, i'm sure you can answer that question.>> he spoke to the american people and updated to the american people he was not looking at that as an immediate option, he was working with mexico address a shared challenge on relations. i'm not going totalk about conversations with the president . >> he discussed the possibility of a pardon if
you violated the law closing the southernborder ? >> i'm not going to talk about conversations with the president but i've never been asked to do anything illegal. >> are there people who work for you that could address questions about being asked to do things that were not legal and the personal ramifications they might suffer as a result of that? has that ever bubbled up to your level? >> we would not ask our law enforcementprofessionals to violate the law, that's not acceptable from my level or any of our leaders . >> mister rangevin asked you about sisa and your department request from different agencies to settle government. sisa was not the only agency at dhs or at dhs you directed to ask for volunteers. do you know the number of employees from tsa that have
volunteered to go to the southern border? >> i don't have that in front of me. i know tsa has been one of our most responsive partners for years. >> there are some tsa employees who have volunteers. >> certainly. >> how many of them or have they been trained to work with migrant families and children? >> there will be training for anyone engaging with minors. >> has there been already for volunteers that are there. >> any volunteer on the board will have received an orientation and training upon arrival. >> so this training is going on. >> yes. >> how many employees from the us secret service have volunteered to go to the southern border?
>> i don't have that information that i can get back to you. >> have any of them been trained to work with migrant families? >> that would be assigned based on the expertise of the person going, it could be an attorney. were not going to need to train them, it could be a commercial drivers license holder . >> former secretary nielsen declared that cyber attacks exceed the risk of physical attacks and the molar report make clear the rights of russian government will go to metal in our elections so cisa obviously being the agency responsible for the cyber security of 99 federal agencies , i'm sure you would agree this is not an ideal use of their time even if it's on a voluntary basis. >> again, for critical personnel directly involved in protecting the election infrastructure i do not expect them to be deployed. >> you don't control the volunteers. a general poll is put out for volunteers, anyone can volunteer. >> respectfully at the cabinet level we don't do individual selections of whether volunteers can go . >> but you should be aware --
you should be aware of what your agency is acting people to do because they have critical functions they have to do in their own job description and you've been given a lot of money in congress to increase hiring and get people on board so we don't have to deplete critical agencies at a critical time. do you agree with president trump's decision to cut off aid to central america at this critical juncture? >> i'm on record in multiple venues talking about the fact that to address this crisis effectively were going to need to increase security and address the pushback in central america so what my responsibility is and what the presidents looking for is accountable partners in central america and targeted aid that can make a difference, that has a return on investment so working with the department of state, when we see those opportunities we will be presenting those through my chain of command . >> you mentioned over , you are traveling over the weekend? >> i'm going on monday, yes.
>> i think the perfect of your trip is to discuss border security. >> i'm meeting with ministers from el salvador in blood of allah city to talk about collaborations on addressing human trafficking. >> how is that become more challenging with the presidents directive to have $500 million in a cut off? >> it's frozen, it's not cut off. there are programs ongoing that our capabilities these governments have and partnerships on the ground that are ongoing. the attorney general was just there last week focusing on the inter-gang partnership we have with these governments so i'll be talking about ways we can continue that momentum and work we need both from our capacity building, professional doing training and any programs that are critical in that effort. >> it's not just anti-gang, obviously there are difficult situations in these countries and that's the number one reason why people are coming
here so -- >> this is an economic migration, it's gathering in most part. >> i would encourage you to continue to be vocal about how important it is we continue our foreign aid we can begin to address this crisis that we all agree is happening at theborder and i thank you for your service, i yelled back my time . >> thank you very much, the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mister joyce . >> you for yielding mister chairman, thank you jerry for appearing here today in front of us. currently, there's a massive crisis in our southern border. just last month's data of attempted illegal crossings represented staggering 591 percent increase in from just two years ago. also driving this crisis is a makeup of the individuals who are crossing the border. rather than a adult males who we saw in years past, family
units and unaccompanied children aren't spiking and our laws have not yet caught up. there's a surge of people who see and i emphasize user, the word seek to be apprehended at the border. brought into custody, gain asylum and the allowed to gain access toamerican jobs , healthcare and education. this new group of families and unaccompanied minors arriving from central america presents new challenges and must be addressed by this committee and the house. in the past, democrats and republicanswould 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 and severity of this crisis as
almost crippled dhs in carrying out your work. i am further concerned to hear you testified today that you expect the agency to exhaust funding before the end of the fiscal year. if congress does not on your latest supplemental funding request. now let me discuss my first hand experience on this issue. and how that relates to the question on about ask you regarding an immediate measure to address this crisis while congress works to get its act together. a few weeks ago 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 to smuggle drugs into southcentral and southwestern pennsylvania where i represent . during that visit, i also spoke with some cdp agents on the ground . and i was shocked by what was discussed. currently cdp is consistently
being cast with providing additional services such as medical support, transportation services, leaving them unable to carry out their core missions of protecting and controlling our southern border. the shortage of personnel is glaring. and one of the suggestions that the numbers of law enforcement made to me at this visit was 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 if is it time to address the immediate crisis and send additional national guard troops to our southern border? >> thank you congressman for first of all you're going to the border and meeting with our men and women but also accurately laying out the
scope of the challenge we face . six times last year, in terms of the changing demographics, the fact that 40 percent of our border control agents in sectors of traffic are now dealing with care, custody, transportation, hospital lot for migrants, they are not on the border. they're not securing it against drugs coming across for against people trying to capture, that's a huge risk , a huge problem and a challenge we are facing so how can we address it? i went to the border a week and a half ago with the acting secretary of defense look at this problem together. talk about expanding our partnership in this area and i can tell you are national guard workershave been essential in helping us maintain border security mission over the last year and a half . our operation guardian support, we got 2000 national guard troops supporting us on the border, opportunity to expand that footprint and working with governor been a
tremendous supporter of everything we're doing to secure that border. it's absolutely an option we are considering and we have a start need in that regard so thank you for raising it and highlighting the role are national guard partners play in supporting our border security efforts. >> secretary, for what you do for our country. i feel my remaining time . >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mister green. >> thank you mister chairman. the witness for appearing, the ranking member for part of the hearing. mister secretary, you have a plan to deal with the area immediately between the united states and mexico that we call the border. and you 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 , assuming we do all the things that the border you'd like to see done in terms of keeping people out, what will happen
to the people who are denied entry? >> what will happen to the people we deny entry into the united states? >> it's an important question to make sure we have clarity on what we're talking about, border security versusthe humanitarian aspects . >> border security, you've been very clear about how that would occur. i'm talking 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? >> on the humanitarian side, even when we have an effective barrier we see people crossing. >> let's return for just a moment, you're a lawyer, but you and i as lawyers communicate appropriately. let's now talk about the people . that's not talk about ways to get in.
let's talk about those who do not. what will happen to them? >> a have an opportunity to present lawfully ports of entry and we're doing that in record numbers right now we're headed towards 80,000 presenting at ports of entry this year that first and foremost . >> i don't need to be rude but i'm interested in the people who do not get in. hears my contention. you say there's 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, this theseare our neighbors . let's focus for one moment on what will happen to them when they return home? >> i agree these are our
neighbors, this is our hemisphere and we need to work with partners in mexico and central america. >> what is going to happen to them mister secretary? what's going to happen to them? this is our hemisphere. we deal with syrian refugees, we a id spend hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to help persons or refugees and we want to make sure those refugees are taking care of. what will happen in central america. what's going to happen, this is ourneighbor , our neighborhood if you will. what will happen. >> there been a lot of progress the last five years. >> thank you for the progress but let's talk about a lack of progress and we are sending people back toharm's way. these are people but for the
grace of god that could be you. could be me we were just lucky to be born in the united states of america, just lucky . what's going to happen to the people ? what's going to happen when they go back to harm's way ? you talk about the children coming here and the fact that they're impregnated and how their abuse along the way. well, we're going to send them back? >> is not as though they're going to somehow now become subdued to all the atrocities they have to endure as they migrate in this direction. so what will happen to them? >> what we want to do is give them a safe opportunity to apply for protections in the us . >> let's assume they don't make it to the us. this is our hemisphere. >> we like to do that in country. >> this is our hemisphere, we have to do more to help people in our hemisphere and i'm not saying that we descend assist with our actions around the world. i'm not saying. but i'm saying that we have to have enough heart to understand and i believe you expect this is humanitarian crisis and its humanitarian crisis, a wall doesn't solve
thehumanitarian aspect of this crisis. it doesn't . more drones won't solve it. more border patrol agents won't solve it. people are still suffering in these countriesthat are in our neighborhoods . our neighbors, mister secretary. the question becomes what we do. this is your watch. you may not have the answer today on the job we will visit again and revisit the question. i feel back the balance of my time. >> chair. give five minutes to the gentleman from mississippi. >> mister chairman, mister secretary i like to thank you , thank the men and women who served with from your professionalism, your dedication and your hard work underextremely difficult circumstances . i would like to apologize to you today for the inaction of the united states congress and 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 that we had a security crisis , that we had a humanitarian crisis that previously been testified we have a drug trafficking crisis, trafficking crisis and an immigration crisis. i believe used the word such as dire and unprecedented in explaining what we're seeing along the border. in march i believe there was 103 illegal immigrants apprehended along our border and then in april that number rose to 109. so instead of congress helping you deal with the crisis, what we see today in thishearing is members , a member of congress made allegations that you and the men and women who serve with intentionally allowed children to die in your custody. and i want to apologize to you and the men and women that user with for these untrue remarks. my question to you mister secretary is did you as we
sit today, do you currently have the personnel that you need to deal with this crisis? >> know we don't. >> as we sit today, do you have the facility that are needed to deal with the crisis along our southwest border? >> secretary, do we currently have a number of immigration judges and court officials to manage the crisis along our border? >> know and we've asked for support in all those areas . >> have we as a congress, have we approved the supplemental funding request to address the crisis along our border? >> we're eager to have come forward. >> asking another question, are our current immigration asylum laws, are they making the crisis along our border better or worse? >> the fundamental driver is the whole factor: our immigration laws and the vulnerabilities for families, children and for explication
of our asylum process. >> i would assume that your answer is our current laws are making the crisis worse. >> correct. so we as congress, we have not provided you the resources you need for personnel. we've not provided you facilities we need, not provided you the court officials you need and our current, we've not approved the supplemental funding request you've asked for and the laws that congress has in place today are currently makingthe situation along our southwest border worse instead of better, is that correct? mister chairman, i feel back . >> the chair recognizes the gentle lady from new york. >> you very much mister chairman, thank you mister secretary for appearing before us today. we know thedepartment of homeland security had a critical mission . protecting our nation. it seems though however that we have not quite figured out the right blend with respect to our mission and honing in
on it. the department of homeland security is one of the youngest federal agencies in our nation and it is this level of contention about the mission of this agency is really stressing. particularly for a new yorker who has lived through to terrorist attacks. we all need to defend ourselves against real threats of cyber attacks, 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 stat 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 as though we are suffering amnesia about the fact that so many of, so much of who we are is rooted in immigration. rather who you are in this country outside of native americans and of course those who were forced into chattel slavery so i find it interesting him of the conversation thatwe've been having today . and if there weren't immigration laws, a whole heap of people came seeking freedom and liberty . they come from europe and they come from other parts of the world but they came and they were embraced, some of those struggles but they came from america. under this administration unfortunately the mandate or dhs is focused on the attack on immigrants. it's been focused on the attack on refugees so while diverting resources and personnel away from what i believe are real threats, the
wall we should be building is a firewall to defend our network against cyber attacks and while we spend a fortune on so-called order served, we are failing to take basic precautions against another round of russian interference in our elections , places of worship under siegeand foreign and domestic terrorist groups are on the rise but 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 theunited states of america and that's not homeland security . that is demagoguery. so let me ask a couple of questions, at as acting secretary, your chart with the critical task of defending our elections from foreign interference. you've answered to donald trump who denies that russia's interference in the 2016 election.
in an interview on air force one in 2017, the president said that putin said he didn't metal and donald trump says i believe when he tells me that he needed. let ask, does donald trump's statement conflict with the findings of dhs and all of our intelligence agencies that russia did in fact interfere in the 2016 election? >> the intelligence communities before themselves but i responded some of your points you raised in your opening? >> i wanted to get through my line of questioning, i don't have a lot of time that i will yield once i get through these questions and my question is how are we protecting ourselves? what is your budget reflects the need to protect ourselves from cyber intrusion by nationstates? >> our budget request as for the first time at a specific line item for protecting elections. that said, we're not waiting for the 20/20 budget, we've launched a 20/20 initiative
and reach all 8000 jurisdictions oversee election. maintaining our election, integrity from a cyber perspective in a fundamental obligation in this department. i've had meetings multiple times a week since i get in this chair focused on the issueand i have a great team . >> there is a excuse me mister secretary, there's a $40 million in the cyber security infrastructure security agency budget. as there is a 200 $38 million to the science and technology directorate. so are you telling me you're going to do more with less, is essentially how that works? >> not precisely. he references because we completed development of one of the protective systems of the.gov network that we don't need additional money to start the development, where now just in an operations and
maintenance faith and we have funding for personnel and for protecting the election infrastructure . >> you said you had some comments? >> i just don't believe we're failing in our counterterrorism mission or failing in our focus on cyber security. we are a multi-mission department and we have to do multiple thingsat the same time, 240,000 strong leaders across the department . all focus on different aspects of these mission sets and i can tell you there is no attack on immigrants, no attack on refugees. there is a desire to secure our border, where processing more asylum-seekers than ever and leading the world in processing asylum-seekers so -- >> thank you for your comments, i'm going to have to yield back and i'm glad you can sit and say that with a straight face because there are a lot of broken americans don't see itthat way. i yield back mister chairman . >> we recognize the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> acting secretary, thank you for your service. with cdp as well, i can tell you when i was chairman at the height of the terror
threat on the caliphate and 2015 2016, the department, fbi, intelligence community did a phenomenal job stopping terror threat. many of which no one will ever know. but i actually have a question about the budget. this is 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 had with chairman lad had failed. on the floor, had 25 billion in advanced appropriations. now we're looking at what i considered 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 statement and good to see you again, i appreciate your expertise and longtime support of dhs. we did request 5 billion for wall, 500 million for additional investments in border security centers and technology surveillance capability for instance as well as our emory platforms to have better surveillance capability as well one of the reasons, i get that we had it was also discussed by mister kushner was we were going to put in that bill something called a border security trust fund. but instead we opted for the advanced appropriations but the idea is it's pretty simple anthony makes a lot of sense . a border security trust fund, all the fees that cdp 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.
>> you know how much is collected on an annual basis with these fees? >> if you combine our trade mission with our merchandise processing mission, when our travel mission, we're talking well over $50 billion forwell over the total funding requested for the entire department of homeland security . >> it seems to me you're collecting this is the border, it should go not just for border security but we have infrastructure issues when i go down to laredo , you see a long line of 18 wheelers and processing and we can have better technology down there and have better infrastructure in place. currently, how much of that goes back to the border and how much it goes to the general treasury?>> a small percentage goes back to the border and if i could just offer that i think the notion of a sustained fee-based
investment ininfrastructure both to catch up with the deficit that we have four ports of entry for instance, for border security 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 investment without waiting on the vagaries of the budget cycle make sure we can enhance lawful trade and travel as well as secure against narcotics, provide protections along the border is a good concept and idea that i would support. >> that was all i was going to ask is if you would support that, mister chairman, it's a bipartisan issue. it's not political, just using a fee captured at the border toprotect the border and build infrastructure . and it's self sustaining as you say. we all look forward to the appropriations cycle and the shutdown of the government and the quick and all the drama , 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 and in a responsible way with without scoring political points or having the shutdown of the government 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 mister chairman i'd very much like to work with you and the ranking member on this idea. if you'd be amenable to that and i certainly want to thank you for again, your service. and your support for this idea as well. with that, i yield back. >> the chair recognizesthe gentleman from missouri for five minutes . >> thank you mister chairman, mister secretary, congratulations and i wish you the best. i don't think anybody on this
committee and probably no rational american would want less. i wish you the very best. i'm concerned about the budget request cut, $270 million and the reason i'm concerned about is i come myself with the fact that they are woefully in my estimation dangerously underpaid. as i mentioned yesterday in the hearing, i don't think the stand between most of us who fly airplanes every week and chair and we treat them like their insignificant. so i would want to request that i have of you is that you would become the liberator, the agent of
change for the tsa program. we've got to do something about the pay and i hope that when you're 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? would you accept that? >> thank you for your comment on how important our transportation security officers to our nations aviation security . their valued professionals and i believe as an apartment across the board we need to do more to take care of the men and women who protect us with incentives, with support for veterans programs, for suicide prevention, childcare across the board and then
going to implement best practices in each agency seeing what i can do to make them the highest common denominator. if there are pay issues not commensurate with the challenge our people face i'll be happy to assess that and work with our community and others to see what we can do . >> i think you're going to find 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 on this one. i can't see any other way around it but the president said he did not see that as an issue so that, when asked a question on his quote, i don't know if they asked him about if it was a threat.
three years ago, my congressional office in kansas city was firebombed twice. the gentleman has been apprehended. is now serving 10 years in leavenworth. my father keeps asking what's going to happen when he gets out? this is a personal issue and i don't like to bring my personal business out here but the point is and i think the fbi were amazing in catching this guy but if the president said sees this as a threat, i personally know what happened to me and i've seen and read about on the news what's happened around the country. and i'm not sure that i am absolutely certain that are not good people on both sides. so i'd like to know your assessment, as the homeland security secretary. >> our responsibility congressmen is to address targeted violence regardless of the moderation ideology and i am concerned about
white supremacists, extremists and the growing attacks that we've seen on houses of worship. that's why i've started right away to the chairman and ranking members challenge to ask the homeland security advisory council to set up a subcommittee to protect faith-based organizations and houses of worship and they're going to bring a report that that tells us how we can improve our prevention efforts in this regard and absolutely agree that the problem and we need to work to address it, not only at dhs but with our partners the fbi. >> thank you mister secretary . >> 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 employees union. >> without objection. >> ranking member i mentioned
earlier trying to get a amendment on the president's budget adopted and it was denied. >> without objection. >> the other thing i'd like to indicate is that on the floor is the decision to about long detention of children. had proven to be harmful to their health. and the juries looked at that as the overriding factor as to why they shorten the time for detention. i think the court looked at it from that perspective rather than a punitive decision on the department. we are concerned about the care of children indetention. the members of the committee , they have additional questions for the witness and we ask that you respond expeditiously. in writing to those questions
. >> senator bernie sanders holding a campaign rally at the statehouse in vermont today. will have live road to the white house coverage at 2:00 eastern on c-span and on sunday rolling thunder hold its annual memorial day weekend motorcycle procession known as the ride for freedom to honor veterans and prisoners of war live at noon eastern on c-span and a reminder you can watch online c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio. >> what does it mean to be american, middle and high