tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN July 31, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
great deal of time. i think they are some of the best agents we have in the federal system and i do agree with your position on the pay. but i put most of the blame on sanctuary cities at this point but i put part of the blame on homeland because of the void between the detainer and a warrant. and know in some situations a warrant may not be applicable but give me in insight on how you see or what directive you can give to sanctuary cities in particular of letting i.c.e. know when an illegal individual, an illegal person that is in this country is being released from any facility, do you have anything on mind at this point? >> well if it is something that we -- well if it is something
that we want tor detention and removal purposes my hope is they not be released period. i honestly believe the most effective way to go about getting at undocumented criminals in local jails is through a cooperative, constructive effort. >> but -- i'm sorry to interrupt, i only have a little bit. but that isn't working. so i think you have the authority, i think that you need to take the tough position to say, in a directive, you will respond to us and if you need something done legislatively come back to you. with all due respect, sir, i think the administration is avoiding this because of the propensity to want amnesty the way it does but that is a matter for another day. but if you want to respond to that. >> the problem, if i may, is for a long time we did take the position that detainers were mandatory and that was leading to a lot of litigation in the courts. >> right. i'm aware of that sir. >> we're losing. we're losing for reasons of the
due process clause of the constitution. >> so maybe you need us to help out a little bit. >> frankly, we were losing with a lot of the jurisdiction passing laws saying thou shall not cooperate with i.c.e. which led to something i think we are correcting now. >> well if at any time you need the legislation to help you in that direction please contact us. i want to switch to another situation here particularly in my direct but it is happening across the u.s. last year, the u.s. censusing commission promulgated a amendment 782 which reduce the base offense level for drug trafficking by two levels. the amendment was made retroactive and as a result more than 10,000 drug trafficking offenders will be released early from prison beginning on november 1st of this year. and i have in front of me just this -- this pertains to the
middle district. there will be 68 people released between november 1st, 2016, and december 31, 2016, and many more after 2016. and as the state gets closer to the border, the numbers increase. because on my list of 68 people, there are about 20% -- 19 of them are from outside of the country. this list doesn't tell me whether they are illegals or not. but i would ask if you could take a look at this, pay attention to particularly the list of people that are from outside of the country to see if they are violent illegals and that is probably another way that we could stop a great deal of what has been taken place, particularly what has happened over the last weeks and my condolences do go out to that family. would you please respond. >> yes. i'm aware of this issue. i'm aware of the adjustment to
the federal sentencing guidelines. i'm aware that a number of individuals about will be -- will be released as a result and i'm aware a number of them are undocument the and we've been working with d.o.j. to do the best thing for public safety in that regard and will continue to do that, sir. >> i appreciate that and yield back one second of my time. >> will now recognize the gentleman from puerto rico mr. pier lucy. >> welcome back to the committee. when you testified last may, we spoke about drug-related violence in puerto rico and the same subject i race with virtually every senior dhs and d.o.j. senior official that comes before this committee, like i did then, i want to outline a narrative for you and ask you to comment. i will be brief so you have sufficient time to respond n.
2011 there were 1136 homicides in puerto rico. an average of over three aday. the most violent year in the territory's history. that was nearly the same number of murders as were committed that year in texas which has over 25 million residences compared to 3.5 million in puerto rico. most murders in puerto rico are linked to the drug trade. since it is in the customs zone and used to transport narcotics from south america to the u.s. main land. when i examine the resources dhs sand others were dedicated to puerto rico it was clear that the law enforcement footprint on the island was woefully inadequate. accordingly i did everything in my power to change that dynamic. starting in 2012 under your predecessor, secretary napolitano, the message finally began to sink in.
dhs component agencies like the coast guard, i.c.e., started to step up their games. the coast guard has massively increased the number of hours that the ships and planes spend conducting counter drug patrols around puerto rico, i.c.e. agents, i.c.e. arrested hundreds of violent criminals and seized vast quantities of illegal drugs and firearms. cvp assumed control of the arrow stat program from the air force and moved quickly to repair the radar in southern puerto rico that had beenin operative since 2011. the actions taken by dhs in conjunction with federal and local partners have made a major difference in a very port period of time. each year the murder rate has declined. in 2014 there were 681 homicides in puerto rico. that is 40% lower than 2011.
in 2015, to date, there have been 287 homicides. if current trends continue, there will be half a many murders this year as there were in 2011. i am not sure if there is any other jurisdiction in the world that has experienced so much a steep and rapid crime drop. it is critical that we keep our eye on the ball and sustain and strengthen the efforts, especially since notwithstanding the improvements, puerto rico's homicide rate is still four times the national average. rest assured that i will continue to do my part. as you know the coast guard is modernizing the fleet of vessels in puerto rico, replacing our six older vessels with six modern vessels. last week i met with peter etch, the executive associate director of i.c.e., hsi, doing great work in puerto rico to discuss the agency's posture and future
plans on the island. on the legislative front, i execured language in the appropriations bill that will enable cvp to use revenues from the puerto rico trust fund and general appropriations from congress to support the air and marine operations in the territory. i would welcome any comments you might have and hope you can assure me that puerto rico will continue to be a top priority for dhs. thank you. >> the answer is yes. and since we last met last year, we have create an operational southern border campaign strategy which brings to bear all of the resources of my department in different regions in a coordinated fashion. we're doing away with the stovepipes. so we have a joint task force in the east, for example, which is for the southeast part of the country and the merit i'm --
maritime borders and where we have all of the law enforcement assets of my department devoted toward the southeast. and so now we have the coast guard, cvp, i.c.e., cis, working together in a coordinated fashion for public safety and border security. and i think that is a very positive step and i think it will be a positive step for puerto rico as well. >> thank you so much. >> gentleman from puerto rico yields back. chair will recognize the gentleman from texas, former chairman, mr. smith. >> thank you mr. chairman. secretary johnson, would you like to go to the 30,000 convicted criminal aliens the administration released last year. it was 36,000 the year before. it has been over 30,000 for the last several years. arguably 2,000 of the 30,000 had to be released because of the supreme court case but that left 28,000 that i don't believe needed to be released. a partial break down of the
28,000 convicted criminal aliens the administration released and didn't have to include 5,000 convicted of dangerous drugs, 500 convicted of stolen vehicles, 200 convicted of sexual assault, 60 convicted of homicide, over 300 convicted of commercialized sexual offenses and over 100 convicted of kidnapping. why did the administration release them and is the administration going to continue to reeve lease these types of individuals? >> congressman, as you and i have discussed previously, i would like to see that number greatly reduced to the number to the extent legally possible. so last year i.c.e. at my encouragement and direction issued new policies to triegten up on the -- tighten up on the situation where somebody convicted of a crime and served their sentence and transferred to immigration is then released and so we have a higher level of approval for doing so. we should not release people for
lack of space or budgetary concerns. >> do you expect this number to come down dramatically in the next year. >> i would very much hope and like to see it come down in the next year. >> that is pretty much up to the administration, whether it continues to release individuals back into the communities and as you know many of them are convicted of additional crimes which i think could have been avoided. it doesn't sound like you disagree with me? >> well like i say, i want to see that number come down dramatically. >> okay. >> as you point out there is the supreme court decision which constrains our discretion somewhat. >> that only applies to about 8%. >> but like i said, also a lot of it is up to the immigration judges. but i want to see this number come down, sir. >> i hope that you can succeed. that number has been at 30,000 or over for the last several years and i haven't seen any improvement. a 1996 bill that i introduced became law and a part of that law mandated that local
officials cooperate with federal immigration officials. do you feel that san francisco and other sanctuary cities are violating current federal law? >> i don't have a judgment with regard to that, sir. i do believe that the most effective approach is a cooperative approach but i don't have -- >> i heard you say that a while ago. you have no opinion as to whether sanctuary cities are violating current law. which i assume you are familiar with. >> i do not have a legal judgment on that question, sir. >> i'm appalled that you don't. one fact is that under this administration the number of sanctuary cities has been increasing dramatically. has the administration done anything to discourage a city from becoming a sanctuary cities? >> absolutely. every day we are with new -- >> no, the new sanctuary cities where you have city councils, has the administration tried to discourage them. >> i have personally along with
own senior officials of this department engaging mayors, governors, city council members about cooperating with us pursuant to the new -- >> no, not cooperating. i'm asking if you discouraged any city from becoming a sanctuary cities? >> i'm am encouraging people to cooperate. >> so the answer is no you have not tried to encourage -- >> yes. >> no. you said you are encouraging cooperation. that is after they become a sanctuary cities. i'm asking did you encourage any city from trying to become a sanctuary cities. >> well, look. >> that is critical if you are not trying to do anything to encourage cities to be a sanctuary cities. >> irrespective of what label you put on it, there are now 300 jurisdictions that have to one degree or another erected limitations on the ability to cooperate with us. >> and did you do anything to prevent any of those 300 cities -- >> public safe -- >> did you do anything to
prevent any of those cities from becoming a sanctuary cities. >> a lot of jurisdictions that i meet with probably regard themselves as sanctuary cities. >> i think it is clear you don't want to admit it, but i think it is clear you did not try to discourage any city from becoming a sanctuary cities. one more question. the president said in regard to the surge last summer of illegal immigrants, particularly those coming from central america, they were going to be sent home. it is my understanding that roughly 92% are still in the united states. why hasn't the president kept his promise to return those individuals home? >> you're talking about children, i think that is what you're asking? >> not entirely. but regardless of how you label them, the president said they would be returned home? >> inevitably, removal and repatriation of a family or a child from central america becomes a time consuming process
because -- >> do you agree with my statistic that roughly 92% are still in the united states -- >> i haven't heard it put that way before so i don't know. but i do know that an awful lot of them are still here, in deportation -- >> i think it is 92% contrary to the president's pledge to the american people. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> gentleman from texas yields back. will recognize my friend from illinois mr. gut air's. >> welcome mr. secretary. good to have you back before this committee. first of all, i think the gentlemen misspeak on the issue. not all jurisdictions call themselves sanctuary cities. it is a political term. a political term of art. some people appropriate and others don't. but it is clear that a federal district court in oregon ruled that a count violated a person's fourth amendment right by keeping a person in custody
based on nothing more than an i.c.e. detainer. that is a federal court that made that determination not the secretary of homeland security. a federal circuit court, the third circuit, ruled that because i.c.e. detainers are not mandatory, but voluntarily, with all due respect to the gentleman from texas and the law he passed in 1996, it is a federal court said, volunteer law enforcement are free to disregard them. and that is exactly what we're doing. so instead of having the secretary of homeland security here asking well how many people have you tried to dissuade? the federal courts have said that the detainers are a violation and are not enforceable. regardless of what we here believe they are. and so why don't you just hall in the mayor of san francisco and hall in the mayor of chicago and the mayor of new york and just 300 jurisdictions and bring
them before him. what are you going to do, lock them up too? because they don't abide by the way you look at the world and how things should be enforced? these are local jurisdictions that have made a decision that as they carry out local police enforcement which is a local issue, this is the way they want to do it and they are not going to cooperate. now what we can do, instead of having this hearing here, which will lead to absolutely nothing, unfortunately mr. chairman, this will lead to nothing, this will not lead to a solution, everybody will feel better, get a few headlines, put something on their facebook and say, well we put in a day's work but it will lead to nothing. why don't we get to the business of making sure -- mr. secretary, would like to ask you a question. of the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants, did all of them cross the border between mexico and the united states? >> no. as you know, sir, a lot of
undocumented come here by crossing the southern border. there are a variety of different ways. >> did millions of come here legally to the united states, with a tourist visa, a student visa, a workers visa and over stay. >> some are visa overstays, yes. >> and if you shut down the board there would still be millions of undocumented workers in the united states of america. >> i think we have done a lot for border security. we can always do a lot more. but we have over the last years done a lot. but the reality is there are millions of people here undocumented. i'm struck by the fact that something like more than half of them have been here more than ten years. they are not going away. we don't have the resources to deport 11 million people. so in my jum, we have to reckon with this population one way or
another to make them accountable and to account for them. and so a lot of us want to see us address this population of people in a way that promotes law enforcement and is simply the right thing to do. >> so 11 million people, if not one of them cross the border ever again, there would still be hundreds of thousands and indeed millions of visa over stays because the only border in the united states of america isn't to the surprise of many, not the border between mexico and the united states, if not l.a.x. and jfk and chicago o'hare or where people enter into this country legally every day and have overstayed their visas and we need to also do something and as we look at the broken immigration system, we should not just focus on that border because i think focusing on the border really doesn't give us the true nature of the problem
that we confront. i would like to just end because you were asked earlier about whether or not when people apply for deferred action, if they are asked if they are a gang member. now of course if members of congress actually filled out the forms, or helped people fill out the forms, they would know they are asked. so i understand that if you've never filled out one of these forms or your staff has never filled one out, you wouldn't know. but i just wanted to make sure that you gave the right answer, mr. secretary. it is asked. they ask them. have you ever -- and that was your answer. >> that is what we've directed. >> but it says have you ever been arrested with, charged for or convicted of a crime in any country other than the united states. so not only do you ask them about here, but you ask them about the country of origin and you ask them particularly if they've ever been a gang member
and they must -- and i'll add this so we can -- if you answer yes you've been arrested and charged or convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor including incidences in juvenile court, which are usually sealed, not in this case. if you want to be a dreamer, you have to tell everybody about everything, if you answer yes, you must include a certified court disposition and arrest record sentencing record, for each arrest, include prohibited under state law. so i want to make sure that people understood when people apply for deferred action, if they answer yes to all of the questions, all of the documents must be present and they do ask. and lastly, they have to be fingerprinted and the fingerprints are checked mr. secretary by -- who checks the fingerprints that -- i want to make sure, that the daca recipients? >> it is a combination of agencies. that is an inner agency process. >> that is what i thought. so it is an interagency process.
thank you, mr. secretary, for coming before us today. >> thank you, i think you meant to ask him about transcripts as opposed to a record. a transcript for a trial. can you be a member of a gang and never be charged or prosecuted with that, i think that is the broader point, but with that i go to the judge from texas, judge gomer. >> thank you. and thank you mr. secretary, for being here. it was hearing my friend from tennessee mr. cohen talk about all of the threats that are apparently in his mind conservatives but i don't know where his numbers are coming from. they are nothing like what i have been seeing. as i understand, the underwear bomber was certainly not an evangelical christian, not a conservative. do you know for sure, was he a member of al qaeda in the
arabian peninsula, i know that was floated at one time, the underwear bomber. >> i would regard him as aqap, yes, sir. >> and i know that was before your watch, obviously. >> it happened when i was at the department of defense. >> right. >> so i'm very familiar with the case. >> but you are not going to take credit for letting that happen, though. >> i was at d.o.d. part of the national security -- >> you were not in charge of tsa when he got through wearing a bomb. >> i was not in charge of tsa on december 29th, 2009. >> and fort hood, i know my colleagues prefer to call that workplace violence, but when someone is yelling indicating that he's doing it in the name of allah, that doesn't seem to be exactly a right-wing radical evangelical christian. but i know there is a lot of
discussion about francisco sanchez in san francisco. and i know as a former judge and ongoing problem, one guy in particular, i sentenced him, i think he had nine duis before he got to my felony court. and i thought well if he's going to be a threat i'll send him to prison and six months later he is back in my court. he said that he was deported 30 days or so after i sent him to prison. and i come back and that is what keeps bringing me back to francisco sanchez. he was deported five times. secretary, have you analyzed each of those deportations, where they occurred and where sanchez may have re-entered the country? >> i have looked at the very detailed time line of each of the five removals. i don't, sitting here, recall exactly where he was removed,
from what point, from what station. and we don't know, for obvious reasons, how and when he re-entered the united states, or at least i don't know. maybe in a guilty plea he acknowledged how and when he did it but sitting here i don't know when -- how he reentered or crossed the border each of the five times, sir. >> wouldn't that seem to be important to know where somebody re-enters five times? >> yes, absolutely. >> i would encourage you, and i would like to find out from somebody in your department, where those five re-entries were. i mean, were they all down in south texas or were some in the arizona area, were they california? it doesn't seem like we'll ever be able to get a grip on dealing with reebtsryes by -- re-entries by people that come in illegally if we don't know where they are
re-ent re-entering. the fella that i mentioned that i mentioned that i dealt with, when he was back in my court, i asked how he came back in and he said well they took him to the border and wrapped him walk across, and then after they -- the officials that took him to the border drove off, then he came back across and ended up back if our county. so it just seems like that ought to be where the focus is. is there any indication that if mr. sanchez had been given amnesty somewhere between the first illegal entry and the fifth, that he would not have shot katherine steinle? is there any indications that amnesty would have prevented this? >> i'm not sure i understand your question. >> well i think it is a pretty basic question.
the white house is saying that the fault for the shooting of this beautiful young lady in san francisco was because republicans have not passed expensi comprehensive immigration reform. and we pass laws and appropriated money to build a fence, to build a virtual fence, things that have not been done and i'm just wondering if we can figure out what the white house is thinking because obviously amnesty was going to be part of a comprehensive immigration reform and i'm just wondering if we all of a sudden declare mr. sanchez as being legally here, if that would have kept him from pulling a gun and killing ms. steinle. i can't find any correlation to that and i'm just trying to fir out what in the heck the white
house thinks would have occurred differently if this man had been granted amnesty. i can't see that it would have prevented her shooting. >> well, to be honest, sir, i don't -- >> and i prefer you be honest, thank you. >> i am interested in promoting cooperation for local law enforcement so we can more effectively get at people like this individual. >> so if there were an amnesty. >> doni don't see how that particularly helps. you just declare everybody legal, i don't see how that makes a difference. and i realize time is running out. but is dhs still shipping people to different parts of the country after they enter illegally, depending on where they have family or asked to be shipped? >> i don't know that is our policy, sir. >> are you saying dhs has not
done that. >> i don't know that is our policy as you stated. >> i didn't state it was a policy. i'm just saying you've done it. >> some people are able to make bonds and some people are put in alternative to programs sir. >> so the question is are you still sending people to different parts of the country after they enter illegally. >> the time is expired. the secretary may answer if he wants to. >> they -- i don't know logistically where we send people or how they are placed. i do know that a large number of people are making bond and a large number of people are being placed in alternatives to detention program. >> so that would be a yes, you are shipping them around the country. i yield back. >> chair would recognize the gentleman from idaho, mr. labrador. >> thank you for being here today. ever since skate steinle's murder, dhs and san francisco
have been pointing fingers of blame at each other. i heard several people on the other side saying it wasn't the fault of i.c.e. that lopez sanchez was released but we had a telephone conference with dhs officials and my congressional staff asked last tuesday even if they have released mr. sanchez to i.c.e., the i.c.e.'s answer was likely i.c.e. would have released him to san francisco. because of the outstanding criminal warrant despite san francisco being a known sanctuary cities, that does not comply with retainers and routinely released hardened criminals. does it make sense to release a hardened criminal to a jurisdiction that will never return him to you for deportation purposes. >> no. >> how often does i.c.e. release such criminal aliens to sanctuary cities? >> i don't know. but no to your first question.
>> so if it doesn't make sense, why is i.c.e. saying they would have released him to -- >> i was not part of the conversation with your congressional staff, sir, but i stand by my answer. >> but you stand by your answer but that is not your policy. it is great to come here to congress and give us an answer when the policy of the administration is to release the people to the sanctuary cities. >> like i said. it does not make sense to -- in response to your question, release somebody. >> so what are you going to do about it? >> as i said earlier, i think we need to evaluate whether greater discretion needs to be built into a situation where there is a choice or there are -- there is a jurisdiction that wants the individual on an arrest warrant a detainer. i think there should be some discretion built into what is the best course por purposes of
public safety. >> but it took this young lady's death to actually get to that determination when it is not the first time this has happened. in fact, you keep telling the american people that we are safe and we are stopping illegal aliens but the only reason we knew lopez sanchez was here because he killed somebody and we keep releasing him. he's been detained five times and across the border, we're not stopping him from entering the united states. we just keep catching him committing crimes once he's here in the united states. i don't know how we can say that america is safe when people like this continue to come into the united states. i'm going to turn the time over to -- i'm going to give the rest of my time to the chairman. >> i thank the gentleman from idaho. i think mr. labrador's point mr. secretary, and given your back ground as a law enforcement officer, i'm sure you can feel the frustration.
we've kicked him out five times an he comes back and he reoffends, we put him back in prison and he gets released and we put him back in federal prison and released to a city where we knew ahead of time this was going to happen. and it would be one thing to relea relea release someone to a jurisdiction for a murder charge, sexual assault, serious, serious drug offense. it would be one thing to do that so they can prosecute him and -- and particularly if there is a victim involved, that is exactly what you would want to do. buts in an old drug case. if they were going to dismiss it, why didn't they dismiss it while he was in the bureau of prisons. why did it require his presence from san francisco to decide to dismiss a case. he wasn't going to be a witness any way. i mean, do you get the frustration. and i think it is being directed to you because we perceive you are if a position to change that. and i know you say cooperation,
that you are trying to pursue cooperation, but i think -- maybe this week, or last week when you were talking to some folks on the judicial, correct me if i'm wrong, there are five that flat out told you they are not going to cooperate with you. what are we doing with them? if they are really refusing to cooperate, surely we have to have something more than just going back and talking to them again. you work for the united states of america. how in the hell can a city tell you no? >> first of all, i intend to reattack on the five. that was prior to san francisco. i'm not giving up on the five. the overwhelming majority have said yes, they are interested. so we're going to continue to push at this. and sir, i agree totally with the spirit of your question.
and i want to evaluate whether some discretion can be built into the process so that when we are faced with a choice like that, we are able to make the best choice for reasons of public safety. i don't argue with you there, sir. >> and i'm not going to pick on somebody who used to be a prosecutor because i know you spent a lot of your career standing up for victims but i swear when i hear the term sanctuary cities, the only sanctua sanctuary, it ought to be for law abiding citizens and it ought to be for them. and when a young woman is shot walking with her father, with somebody with this resume, either you have to do something, we have to do something or maybe we can do it together. but with that, i would recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. again, i share the chairman's frustration and i know the frustrations that are here. because at a certain point in
time, you say, again, that they just don't want to cooperate. we have five cities that are just not going to cooperate. and i was just looking at your website. the dhs website, which you have a vast array. i want to get ahead of the game. and i'm from the state legislature and i know cities and states are struggling financially and as you have used the term which i do not agree with, this is a prosecutorial discretion and resources issue. one of the things is cyber security that you deal with and you enforce cyber security and work on the federal and local state level to do that. what if they didn't have the resources to do that. we're not going to cooperate with you mr. secretary. would you have an opinion on that? >> absolutely. we would engage and encourage them to do otherwise, presumably, yes, sir. >> but it is an interesting thing because you said to mr. smith earlier and other things from economic security, you had
no opinion on sanctuary cities. but to the chairman just now you agree with the spirit of his question. >> yes. >> so what is it? do you have a opinion, a spirit, a sudden moving internally, what do you feel about this issue? why can we not have the united states government pass law and then you have an opinion. you either have an opinion, you don't have an opinion, you agree with the spirit, you don't agree with the spirit, for the american people, it is hard to understand here. >> well, let me make this clear. i believe that the most effective way to address and enhance public safety is to work cooperatively with state and local law enforcement. as a result of our -- >> so i'm going to stop right there. >> may i finish. >> so is the supremacy clause option, and i'll let you answer. >> may i finish my sentence. >> go ahead. >> i believe as a result of the prior policy, we were inhibited in our ability to promote public
safety. with the new policy, i believe we'll be in a much better position to work effectively and cooperatively with law enforcement. i do not believe that federal legislation mandating the behavior of a lot of sheriffs and police chiefs is the way to go. i believe it will lead to more litigation, more controversy and be counter productive. >> and the clause you never answered. so you don't believe that mandating what law enforcement in this country does from a congressional perspective, because we're the only ones that -- congress does the law writing, so they can pick and choose what they want to just over -- >> i do not believe that the federal government and the u.s. congress should mandate the behavior of state and local law enforcement. >> so civil rights could be optional. >> that the most effective way to do this is cooperatively with the new program and i believe it is going to yield very positive
results, sir. >> in the spirit of this -- so civil rights are optional for states and locals to enforce. >> i don't think that mandating an approach by this congress is the way to go. i think it will be hugely counter productive. >> so the civil rights act was counter productive. >> my public safety efforts in this regard. >> no i want to go back to what you are saying because it goes at the heart of what we're saying. so you're saying the civil rights act was over reach and they shouldn't be enforcing this. i think we're getting at the issue. because at a certain point in time, when does it become wholesale abandonment of prosecutorial discretion when you say we're not going to do this. i agree with prosecutorial discretion. but if you take a whole class off the table in the best sentiment you want, because it leads to other issues like the earned income tax credit. the decisions you have affect other issues than simply saying we're going to hold somebody or not. we're going to address that with legislation i'm going to draw.
but what do we pick and choose to enforce, and i don't think -- i'm not sure still what your opinion is because you've again not answered it. you just said we'll work with them. my question is before you come back next year or whenever it is, if we have this hearing again, is what if some of the agencies decided they didn't want to enforce something you thought they should. where is the screaming and the outrage and when should congress pass anything if there is no supremacy clause and no work that what we do to protect civil rights and protect other things. when does each department get to decide they are not going to enforce the federal jurisdiction on states and localities who simply say we're not going to do it right now? >> may i answer? >> well i stop and asked a question. that is your response time. >> yes. all right. i have two seconds. >> the chairman will give you all of the time. if you answer that, he'll give you all of the time you need. >> may i chairman --
>> yes, you may answer the question. >> i will enforce the law in away that maximized public safety and security. that means going after the criminals. a big problem with doing that, are a number of the jurisdict n jurisdictions, whatever label you want to put on them, sanctuary cities, that have erected laws and policies that prohibit cooperating with law enforcement. and in my judgment and the judgment of a lot of other border security and immigration enforcement experts, way to most effectively work with the jurisdictions again is a cooperative one, not by hitting them over the head with federal legislation that will engender a lot more litigation. and believe we're on the path to do that, sir. >> mr. secretary, i respect that opinion, but what you have opened up is a pandora's box on other things they don't want to enforce and just because this is a political issue for this administration they're going to let that go but you do open a pandora's box to what they will
and won't enforce and that is not what the average american understands. >> the gentleman will yield back. recognizing the gentleman from texas, mr. poe. >> thank you for being here. once again thank you for coming to houston. i appreciate your personal involvement and the fema doing a -- an excellent job during the floods of may, as i refer to them. directing questions about foreign fighters, not only from the united states going to help isis, but foreign fighters in other countries. we know that isis uses social media, twitter, others, to recruit, to raise money, and to spread their propaganda. what is dhs doing to counteract
that. >> a number of things. thank you for that question. first of all, to deal with the foreign fighter issue, one of the things that we did last year was to add information to the -- to the electronic system for travel authorization so we know more about people who want to travel to the united states from countries from which we do not require a visa. we have also developed and are developing an additional set of security assurances that we can get from visa waiver countries. because a large number of foreign fighters, as you know, i'm sure, are coming from and returning to countries from which we do not require a visa. and so i want to see us enhance the security assurances we get from these countries with respect to people who travel from those countries to this
country. additionally, on the international level, we've done a lot. i sat in on and represented the u.s. in a u.n. security council session in may on the issue of foreign fighters. and in terms of our efforts here at home, one of the things that we're spending a lot of time on and that i'm spending a lot of time are to what we refer to as cbe engagements, communities in the united states, like houston, for example, i had a good session in houston on the same visit where you and i were together at your middle school, and so in my view enhancing and refining are cbe efforts in this country which dhs participates in and the fbi participates in and other law enforcement agencies, along with state and local law enforcement, is a priority. given how the global terrorist threat is evolving.
>> another thing i want to discuss with you is repatriation. and what the law is currently in the united states and how it is being implemented, if it is. we have this problem that a person comes to this country, commits a crime, goes to federal prison, in prison, the system works, he's ordered deported. the country doesn't take him back. six months later he's released back across america. what are we doing to those countries to encourage them -- you take your convicted criminals back? >> the state department and i have been in dialogue about this, and we have been in dialogue with countries that are slow to repatriate people. i have personally had this discussion with my chinese counterparts when i was in
beijing in april. and i believe we made some progress there where they agreed to additional re pate ration -- repatriation flights and china is one of the big ones and we made progress there and agree there is more work to do in that regard. >> if i -- if i understand china, number one, the other top five, vietnam, cuba, india, jamaica refuse to take back the lawfulfully deported citizens. doesn't the law already allow the state department under some circumstances similar to that scenario to revoke visas from that country? >> i believe it does. >> do you encourage the state department to do that when appropriate? >> i would not at this time encourage that, sir, no, sir.
>> thank you, i yield back. >> the chair would recognize my friend from florida, mr. deutsche. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary johnson, thank you for being with us today and i want to applaud your change in practices for families awaiting their day in court, and because many are mothers with young children and why they fled their home country is no mystery. center ral america has had a lot of gang violence and these families are not as donald trump has described to be violent criminals, drug dealers and rapists, these families are fleeing violent criminals and drug dealers and rapists and many mothers have received violence sand sexual assault and violence. and we treat them and the practice of welcoming the families by incarcerating them was wrong an called for change. after all, the purpose of civil
detention is to ensure that individuals show up in immigration court. the families have ever reason to do so. though pose no flight risk and for many of them returning home would mean risking death. likewise, we have no national interest in subjecting children to the debtrimal psychological detention which has been documented in recent studies. your written testimony includes plans to rapidly increase the use of atd or alternatives to detention and it deserves our praise. expanding the use of atd from 23,000 in 2014 to 53,000 in 2016 is the morally respectable and the fiscally responsible thing to do. i'm encouraged by this development and i want to encourage you to expand the use of atds through the greater immigration enforcement system. our over all reliance has disturbing implications. a recent report said that i.c.e. agrees to contracts to for
profit detainees for specific facilities each day. the local lockup quotas and detention contract on gate i.c.e. to pay for detention beds at specific facilities referred to as guaranteeds minimums and for the government to contractually guarantee specific prepaid number of detainees each day is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a violation of best practices law enforcement and affront to justice in america. the financial implications for taxpayers will were -- were raised in a gao report because such quotas pad the profits of private prison companies at taxpayer expense even when slots go unfilled. certainly detention is invaluable to law enforcement. and it is invaluable in dealing with immigrants who officers determine are flight risks or who whose release could threaten public safety but detention is intended to be one of many tools available to i.c.e. to ensure
individuals show up for immigration court, not the only one. but evidence of local lock up quotas may be a latest symptom of the real disease which is the mandate imposed bydisease, the opposed by congress that required i.c.e. to maintain the detention of 34,000 individuals each day. this costs taxpayers over $2.5 million a year because placing someone in detention for nearly $160 a day is far more expensive than proven alternatives like ankle bracelets and supervised release which are just as effective and far more humane at a fraction of the cost. we can save taxpayers nearly $50 billion in the next decade, but a sensible and fiscally sound as this policy may be, i'm concerned the incorporation of local quotas is only further entrenching the national detentions than mandate indoor communities and i have just a series of questions i would ask
and you can respond now or provide responses after. mr. secretary, i would like to know when if you're aware of i.c.e.'s contracts that contain lock-up quotas. we're interested to know whether during contract negotiations. private company insist these contain the provisions. is it the lock-up quota for a specific facility, is that lock-up quota negotiable during negotiations, and finally, the gao report that addressed lock-up quotas was critical of those. and i would like to know whether dhs made any policy changes in response to that report addressing lock-up quotas. you're moving in the right direction, and i hope you can respond to these questions so that we can save the taxpayers money so we can have a policy that is more humane as well. please. >> i would refer you to the directive that i issued on june
24th in the announcement concerning family detention which you alluded to in your statement. i'd like to take those questions for the record, sir. >> gentleman from florida yields back. mr. bishop. >> thank you, mr. chair. and thank you, mr. secretary, for being here today. i have a number of questions i intended to ask about cybersecurity, but as i sit here and we have been flow most of the members on the panel, i need to ask you a question and i feel like i need to ask you it as not a member of congress, not as a republican or democrat, but just as an american. you're a former prosecutor, i respect your insight on this and i hope you can share your thoughts in a candid way. this is actually, you know, a follow-up question to in particular mr. collins and mr. gowdy's questions.
we're a nation of laws. and as i sit here and listen to this discussion, we are a nation of laws. it's what differentiates, what distinguishes us in a civilized society. and in this country, we don't discriminate. when it comes to the application of the law. in fact, the fifth amendment of our constitution equal protection doctrine, in which extends to the states as well. specifically says that it requires us people in similar circumstances are to be treated in the same way, in similar ways. and as i think about sanctuary cities, and how they have been applied and how we have discussed them in this context, how has this continued on? how do we continue to accept sanctuary cities and the selective application of law? and i would say historically,
americans would view this enforcement of law as a sign of tyrannical government. it's inherently unjust. it's a blatant misuse and abuse of power. to allow for such an environment to exist. and i'm wondering how we expect americans to respect the rule of law if the administration's policy is to enforce them based solely onedeicts from rulers rather than actual rule of law? >> is your question with regard to sanctuary cities? it is with regard to sanctuary cities and to me, as a person who represents a good 700,000 people, one of the very issues
that we, i hear about every day is the fact that we have lost the ability to enforce laws as they are written, that we do it in such a way that applies in one way to one group, in such a way, and another way to another group. and when that happens, we lose the rule of law. and folks just simply do not want to comply with the law. >> well, if i could answer it this way. i last year, when i took a look at the number, growing number, of jurisdictions, states, cities, counties, that were refusing to cooperate with my own department in the enforcement of our immigration laws, i said this is something that we have to fix. because the number is growing, and it's affecting public safety, in my judgment. and so we took a hard look at
the secure communities program. we saw how it was becoming an item of litigation in court, and the defendant was losing in court, in these cases. and we look adthe political controversy that had been built up around secure communities. i concluded that we needed to make a clean break with the past and develop a fresh program that i believe is going to fix the situation and promote public safety. and so that's what we've been doing since the announcement of the new program in november. unfortunately, there's no one size fits all answer to this because a lot of these jurisdictions have erected different types of limitations on their ability to cooperate with us. >> may i, sir? i gathered that from the testimony. i know my question was a duplication of many other questions. i apologize for the fact i'm asking a question that has already been answered, but the frustration is how is it possible that we live in a country of laws, a nation of laws, that allows its local
jurisdictions to set up these little buffer areas where the law does not apply to them? i know we have heard about the fourth amendment and the concerns about the fourth amendment, and i respect the fourth amendment, but we can't hide behind the fourth amendment when the rest of the constitution applies. when it's endangering citizens and presenvents us from applyin the rule of law that is consistent with every american. i have just sit here in frustration as i listen to this discussion. i'm wondering why isn't the federal government insisting about these local governments following the rule of law and not allowing this to happen? not allowing this selective application to happen. >> well, again, i believe that the best approach is a constructive one. and i believe that it will lead to much better results. it will lead to -- it will raise the level of trust and
cooperation. because we have not been in a good place when it comes to a lot of jurisdictions that are just very distrustful of our immigration enforcement efforts. and i want to put us in a better place as long as i'm secretary. >> gentleman yields back. the chair represents mr. ratcliffe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary johnson, earlier today, since you gave your testimony and responded, i think to the first question, you said something. you said, and i'm quoting you here, it is a fiction to say that we are not enforcing the law, end quote, when it comes to deporting criminal aliens, did i hear you correctly? >> yes, sir. >> in fairness, the department clearly is departing some folks, but i would hope you would agree with me what's not a fiction is this administration has been attempting to change the law when it comes to deporting
criminal aliens, a fact reflectreflect ed by the president's executive orders back in november. >> i disagree. >> why would you disagree with that? >> because in my judgment and in the judgment of the department of justice, our executive actions are within our legal authority. >> i'm not talking about the authority. i'm asking about changing the law here. >> if it's in your legal authority to act, you're not by definition changing the law. >> let me ask you about that, then. you do agree with me that the president's executive orders in november attempt to allow executive amnesty to 4 million to 5 million illegalallyians. you would agree with that? >> not the way you characterized it. >> how would you characterize it? >> one of the executive actions i signed was to create a program by which we can offer deferred action on a case by case basis to those who come forward and who meet certain criteria and
who in the judgment of the agency should be given deferred action. >> which could result in amnesty to up to four million to five million folks. >> don't agree with that. that's not my definition of amnesty. >> you have gone on record saying the president's act in that regard, he acted constitutionally? >> yes, sir. >> i have gone on record saying i don't think he has acted constitutionally. right now, a federal judge and a court of appeals and fifth circuit has agreed with me that the president's request to lift that stay and proceed to take those actions shouldn't be allowed. but you have been asked today and talked a lot today about the issue of prosecutorial discretion and we're both former prosecutors. so i would like to ask you about something that you said previously in a hearing. last year, you said, and i'm quoting, there comes a point when something amounts to a
wholesale abandonment to enforce a dually enacted constitutional law that is beyond simple prosecutorial discretion, end quote. does that sound like something you said? >> sounds like me. >> do you believe that? >> i still do. >> so i know the answer to this question. do you think that dhs has already crossed that line by suspended the law for almost 5 million folks that are here illegally? >> well, again, i would not characterize our executive actions that way. and i would refer you to the opinion of the doj office of legal counsel november in terms of where that line exists. i thought it was a pretty thoughtful discussion. >> but again, you don't think that wherever you think that line is, you don't think dhs has crossed it at this point? >> no, sir. >> there are people who disagree with me, but no. >> sure, so that begs the question from me, what would it
take, in your opinion, for dhs to cross that line? because i think there's every possibility that this president will attempt to move this line again. and so if this president were to seek to grant deferred action to, say, all 11 or 12 million unlawful aliens in this country, i would like to hear you on the record, on whether or not you think that would cross this line. >> well, again, i'm no longer practicing law. i'm just a secretary. and so i think what you're asking me for is a legal judgment. and again, i believe that the opinion of doj's office of legal counsel has a pretty good discussion of this exact topic. and i recall when i read it, agreeing with the analysis. i don't have it with me, but i recall then agreeing -- >> let me ask you about that. that analysis extends, since you had a good discussion with them, would it extend to possibly 11
million or 12 million folks? >> doubtful. >> if it did, would you have an opinion on whether it should? >> it depends on the circumstances, but i would say i doubt it. >> so when you say you doubt it, you doubt that amnesty should be granted to 11 million or 12 million people? >> if you're referring to the estimates population of undocumented in this country, a lot of those people are and should be priorities for removal. so in my judgment, someone who is a priorities for removal should not receive deferred action. >> i see my time has expired. i yield back. >> mr. secretary, i thought we were kind of getting towards the end and two members came up. would you want or desire a short break or do you want to keep marching on? >> i'm happy to keep going for a little while longer. >> thank you for asking. >> yes, sir. >> the gentleman from new york,
my friend, hakeem jeffries, is recognized. >> thank the distinguished chair from south carolina, my good friend, and i want to thank the secretary for your presence here, your patience as well as the wonderful job i think you have done as secretary of security and in your prior service. >> i have known you a lot longer than the gentleman from south carolina. >> i want to begin by just asking, there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. approximately, is that correct? >> that is a pew estimate from a few years ago, 11.3, yes. >> has this congress or any other dwresz given the department of homeland security the resources that would be required to deportment all 11 million undocuments immigrants? >> no. >> and therefore, is it reasonable to have a priority policy that focuses on those undocumented immigrants who would potentially pose the most
danger to the american citizens? >> yes. >> is that what dhs has done? >> yes. >> okay. in new york city, we've got a technology and innovation economy that has begun to develop in some significant ways for our city and our state, as has been the case across the nation. i have been very supportive of that, many within the technology sector have indicated there's approximately a 20% vacancy rate, if not more, of jobs that they cannot fill. here in america. and that's been part of the impetus for an increase in h1b visas which i supported. i was disturbed, however, by the revelations of what appears to have taken place down in florida at the disney company. i wanted to ask a few questions about that. before i did, i ask unanimous consent that an article from the
"new york times" dated june 3rd, 2015, titled pank slips at disney, but first, training foreign replacements, be entered into the record. >> without objection. >> so as i understand it, approximately 250 disney workers were laid off at some point in 2014, and then many were replaced by immigrants hired by an outsourcing company based in india. is that correct? >> that's basically my understanding, yes. >> is it also -- your understanding it? >> my understanding of the public reporting. the matter is under investigation. >> okay, so as i understand it, those individuals were allegedly laid off and then asked prior to their departure to train individuals from this connected to this company to replace them who were given h1b visas. is that a current allegation as you understand it?
>> yes, i believe so. but the matter is under investigation. >> so i understand what the law is, in this area, am i correct that the h1b visa program, which provides unlimited number of temporary visas. i believe it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 85,000 a year to foreigners with computer science, engineering, or other advanced skilled to fill job in american companies when american workers are not otherwise available. is that a correct description of the program? >> that sounds basically correct to me, yes, sir. >> if your investigation determined this particular company or any other company violated the actual law related to the issuance of h1' b visas and the employment constraints, what are the potential consequences related to a violation of the policy? >> well, that's actually something where i think congress may be able to help us. it's my understanding that we
don't have enough tools, legally, to deal with that kind of situation assuming it occurs. so what people have told me is that we could use some help from congress to bolster our enforcement capabilities in a situation such as that one. i can get you a more informed opinion on that answer, but that's what i'm advised of. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i'll be interested in your further thoughts in that area, and i yield back. >> the chair will now recognize the gentleman from texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary johnson, thank you for being here. we appreciate your service to the country. first of all, just can you give me a quick response with a percentage, how secure do you think our southern border is? >> how secure? >> how secure is the southern border, sersage? >> it's tough to quantify by
percentage. as i mentioned earlier, i think that over the last 15 years, we've come a long way in our border skiert. >> so 50, 75? what do you think? you can't put a number on it? how can you measure results if you can't quantify it? >> a percentage of the border that is secure? >> what percentage of folks are getting away that a crossing? have any idea? >> apprehensions, which are an indicator have gone down considerably. >> so you can't give me a number. that's fine. i spent some time on our southern border talking to the men and women actually in the field. i represent south texas. used to represent the border down at brownsville. it's kind of in the back yard of the district i represent. i have to tell you, i'm hearing a lot of frustration from the rank and file of the border patrol. i'm hearing restrictions on overtime are hearing smaller teams to sent in pursuit of crossers and the prosecutorial discretion means that aliens and
drug smugglers that our agents risk their lives to epirehend are getting released. i also recently heard the administration is planning to cut proposed fleet purchases to replace the vehicles that our border patrol agents desperately need to patrol our borders. they're braving danger in a rough environment. i did a ride-along and i understand it's tough to protect this country, especially in some of the terrain in south texas. but the administration's policy seems to completely ignore the fact that they need the equipment and the manpower to do what they need to do, and it seems like they're almost intentionally reducing the murail of border patrol agents. if you had to be on the border working shifts with the men and women in uniform, and you know that in all likelihood, you're putting your life in danger to catch illegal aliens and dangerous drug smugglers that most likely end up getting releases from custody and walk
away in the end, how would you feel about it? >> well, again, well, let me answer it this way, if i may. under our new policy, those apprehended at the border are priorities for removal. those apprehended who arrived in this country after january 1, 2014, are priorities for removal. >> what i'm hearing from the border patrol agents is they're catching somebody and then just a few days later, they're catching the same person again. so you deport them. they're taken basically back across the bridge. and my understanding of the contracts with the coyotes is you get three tries to get across. >> that person should be a priority for removal. and i believe that in our current budget request to congress, we're asking for more surveillance technology, more border security, to do a better job. we have come a long way in the last 15 years. i'm very pleased about that, but i know that there's a lot more to do. >> i know mr. gowdy's bill helps
with some of that. we look forward to getting that through congress. let me take it from the other side. if you were an alien or a drug smuggler with the knowledge that as long as you don't bring more than a handful of people across or a certain amount of drug under the proscecutorial limits that everybody knows, you would get away scott free. wouldn't that just be an incentive to keep going? i mean, doesn't seem like that would be a deterrent. >> i disagree. if those apprehended at the border irrespective of whether they have narcotics with them, irrespective of whether they're smuggling, are priorities for removal. >> what about drug smugglers with a small amount of drugs or the coyotes bringing over only three folks. my understanding is if you have less than four, you basically walk as the coyote. >> we have also beginning last year, cracked down on the smuggling organizations. that's something that the department of justice and i
instituted last summer. >> but are you telling me that it's not a fact that if you have a small number of aliens or a small amount of drugs with you, you're certainly not going to face any jail time. at worst, you're going be taken across the border. >> well, that's a matter of law enforcement and prosecutorial discretion by the department of justice. i do know that since last year, since about a year ago, we have prioritized going after the coyote organizations. >> all right. thank you very much. i see i only have five seconds left. >> the gentleman yields back. you have been here a good long while. i know you have other commitments. i wanted to recognize mr mr. gutierrez, being closing reflections he might have and i want to, at the chairman's request, mention a few matters. >> thank you, mr. gowdy, for your excellent presiding over these hearings. one of the reasons mr. secretary
one of us always stays behind as part of the minority, to protect the interest of the minorities. in this case, yours. it was totally unnecessarily, as you can see. the chairman is very well balanced. and even handed and everything. i want to, just for the record, because i think it's very important, i want to say to you, mr. gowdy, i share with you the same anguish and pain as i know the secretary does and every american for the death of that woman, and nobody has come here to look for excuses or anything else. that woman should be alive. that woman should be enjoying life in the united states of america. mr. lopez never should have been allowed on the streets of our nation again. i think it is important we have the facts straight. that our system does work, and sometimes it fails us. he was sentenced 83 months, 51
months, 21 months, 46 months. four consecutive times, he was tentanced, and he served them. over four years in jail because he illegally entered the united states of america time and time again, violating. this is a career criminal we have on our hands. so i think we should just try to figure out a way, because i really believe this, i want to put it on the record even though it might cause your great damage in south carolina. i really believe if you and i and the secretary and men and women who wanted to solve the problem, we could solve this problem, and we could save people from harm. this man is not an immigrant. immigrants come here to work hard, sweat, and spoil. we should be warm and receiving. this is a foreigner who came here to cause damage. let's fix the broken system so we can get rid of thefo foreigns
who come here to cause damage. thank you for a long day here with us. >> i thank the gentleman from illinois and for what he said, and for being always very consistent, and the entire time i have been on this committee, you have zero tolerance for those who come here to do harm to anyone. that has been your position. as long as i have known you. mr. secretary, the chairman wanted me to mention really quickly to you that he had written in march about an alleged fraud and a special immigrant justice visa program and pledged again his willingness to work with you, to cooperate, to identify any sources of the fraud so that it can be eliminated. i can tell by the look on your face, you get a lot of letters. you may not specifically recall that one, but the folks behind you will bring it up. i think it was in march of this year. if not, if we need to get you another copy, we will. secondarily, it sounds like you're well aware of the
sentencing commis's change and you're working on that. i'm not going to ask you about the fifth circuit. couldn't comment on it. i'm not going to ask about it. the only thing i would add, what my friend from illinois said, there are parts of immigration that you and i and mr. gutierrez are probably never going to agree on. that's good, that's fine, that's the beauty of a democracy. i think what we can all agree on is to return someone with his criminal history to a jurisdiction that had no intention whatsoever of ever prosecuting him and in the process he is released, should be an affront to everyone. san francisco had no intention of prosecuting him. they dismissed the case. you can dismiss it when he's halfway through his federal prison sentence just as easily as you can when he's in your custody. so i will tell you, i am happy to work, and i get the commandeering clause. i get the due process
considerations. i know those are legitimate. you have court cases out there. if there's a way to get around that, you know, what i find instructive, i don't doubt your power of persuasion, and i know you're going to go back to talk to those five municipalities that told you no. but even after this young woman was murdered, san francisco was already on the record saying they're not going to change their policy. so when you have a city like that, i don't know that cooperation and perization is going to work. so we may need to consider something else. i mean, when i look at you, i see the secretary of homeland security for the united states of america. he shouldn't have to ask san francisco. you shouldn't have to get their cooperation. you, to me, outrank the city supervisors in san francisco. so with that, thank you for your patience. you have a really hard job. and we appreciate your current service and your previous
in the senate yesterday, approved $8 million in federal spending for the nation's highways and mass transit systems sending it onto president obama's desk before current spending expired today. this extends funding until october 29th. the senate also passed a six-year extension, but house republicans refused to take up that bill, and they left town wednesday, forcing the senate to accept their three-month stop gap. a short time ago, president obama signed the bill at the white house. >> well, i'm about to sign a three-month extension of our highway funding. and that's a good thing, because if this wasn't in front of me and ready for signature, we would end up having projects all across the country that would be frozen after midnight. on the other hand, we have now
made it a habit where instead of five-year funding plans for transportation and instead of long-term approaches where we can actually strategize on what are the most important infrastructure projects, how are they getting paid for, providing certainty to governors and mayors and localities about how they are going to approach critical infrastructure projects -- roads, bridges, ports, airports -- instead we operate as if we're -- we hand them out three months at a time. which freezes a lot of construction, which makes people uncertain, which leads to businesses not being willing to hire because they don't have any long-term certainty. it's a bad way for the u.s. government to do business. so, i want to make sure that before i sign this, congress gets a clear message.
that is, we should not be leaving all the business of the u.s. government to the last minute. think about the things still undone as congress is about to go on vacation. they haven't reauthorized the export/import bank, which creates tens of thousands of jobs all across the country, good-paying jobs, because it increases our exports. when i was in ethiopia on our trip, we had sold a score of planes to ethiopian airlines from boeing that produces jobs not just in boeing's plan, seattle, but across the supply chain. small businesses and medium sized businesses, all whom benefit from us being able to facilitate the sale of u.s. products to other countries. i had a group of small business people, with employees ranging from 12 employees to 500 employees who say their business
sales were starting to be affected by congressional inaction on what has traditionally for 81 years been a bipartisan support of the export/import bank. that needs to get done. congress has had all year to do a budget. yet, congress is leaving on vacation without the budget done. when they get back, they're going to have about two weeks in order to do the people's business. this is going to be critical. we've got big issues we have to deal with on the defense side, in terms of making sure we're paying for our campaign against isil. the support we're providing our allies in the gulf, in dealing with some very big problems and around the world the extraordinary commitment armed services have to make in order to keep us safe. on the domestic side, i've already said we're not going to
accept sequester level budgets that result in effective cuts to critical programs like education, that are imperative for our long-term growth. so, my hope is, is that although i wish congress well during the next six weeks, they probably deserve some time with their families to, you know, refuel a little bit. that some of these next six weeks, are prepared to come up with a plan and a approach whereby democrats and republicans sit down and negotiate a budget that works for everybody. and that everybody comes back with a spirit of compromise and a spirit of how do we make sure that our defense budget and our domestic budget is reflective of the core needs that are going to improve prospects for people's lives. not just this year, but for years to come.
i also hope that we can go ahead and get export/import bank done because that's critical for our exports and jobs here in the united states. i hope we have a longer term approach to transportation. we can't keep on funding transportation, you know, by the seat of our pants, three months at a time. it's not how the greatest country on earth should be doing business. i guarantee you, this is not how china, germany, other countries around the world, other big, powerful countries around the world, handle their infrastructure. we can't have bridges collapsing and potholes not being filled because congress can't come up with an adequate plan to fund our infrastructure budget for more than three, five or six months at a plan. okay? with that i'm going to sign this and i hope members of congress are listening. and i hope that the republicans can work things out among themselves as well as work things out among democrats.
i think we've got to do some intraparty negotiations as well as negotiations between the parties. there you go. thank you, everybody. >> thanks, everybody. >> thank you, guys. >> thanks, guys. >> thank you. >> here's a look at what's ahead in congress. the u.s. house continues with their august district work period. the chamber will be back for pro forma sessions every three days. the senate is back for work on monday at 2:00 p.m. eastern. we're expecting work on a bill to defund planned parenthood.
you can see the house live on c-span and, of course, the senate live on c-span2. coming up tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span, presidential candidates hillary clinton, ben carson, martin o'malley, jeb bush, and senator bernie sanders speak to the annual meeting of the national urban league. the group is holding its meeting in f lauderdale, florida. that's tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. this weekend on the c-span networks, politics, books, and american history. saturday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span, net roots nation hosts a discussion on illegal immigrants and the enforcement of arizona's immigration laws. and sunday evening at 6:30, new jersey governor and republican presidential candidate chris christie on national security. on c-span2, saturday night at 10:00 eastern, on book tv's
after words. michael tanner talks about the growing national debt and looks at restrekturing entitlement programs as a solution. sunday afternoon at 3:00, glenn beck produces his thoughts on american islamism. and sunday morning at 10:00 eastern, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of lyndon johnson's signing of the 1965 voting rights act. our coverage includes white house phone conversations between johnson and his aides, civil rights leader martin luther jr., and strategy on how to enact and enforce the law, and the speech at the u.s. capitol and the signing of the bill. also this weekend, saturday night at 7:10, university of california at berkeley history professor brian delay looks at the history of gun production in europe and how arms trading contributed to an american victory in the revolution. get our complete schedule at c-span.org.
when congress is in session, c-span3 brings you more of the best access to congress with live coverage of hearings, news conferences, and key public affairs events, and every weekend, it's american history tv, traveling to historic sites, discussions with authors and historians, and eyewitness accounts of events that define the nation. c-span3, coverage of congress and american history tv. up next, national security experts discuss the new iran nuclear agreement and the role of the international atomic agency in monitoring their actions and facilities. the atlantic council hosted this earlier this month.
>> welcome to the atlantic council. well, we've done it again. we have timed a program to follow by one day an historic agreement with iran. and i would like to say that i planned it this way, but i think in this case, it's just dumb luck. but as we all know, there's a lot to digest in this 159-page document we announced yesterday. and we're going to welcome your questions about any aspects of the agreement, but our focus today is on one of the most important issues if not the most important issue, certainly, that congress will be looking at, other critics of the agreement will be looking at. that's verification. will we know if iran cheats? what will we do, how will we handle it? is the international atonm energy agency which is the organization tasked with doing this verification, is it up to the task of monitoring the deal?
if not, what more might need to be done to augment its capabilities? to discuss these issues, we have a very distinguished panel, including the author of a new study on this very subject, former iaea official tom shea. but first, let me thank the fund for generously supporting our program. also, the chairman of our task force, unfortunately, he could not be with us today. let me say how absolutely delighted i am that we are co-hosting this event with search for common ground, which for those of you who don't know is, is the pioneer in u.s./iran people to people diplomacy. they took the wrestlers to iran in 1998. they have done many, many things over the years that have really helped bring us to this day. and i'm going to, before i introduce our other speakers, i'm going to ask ambassador bill miller to say a few words. i have known bill for about as
long as i have been focusing on iran, which is about 20 years. at times, i have questioned his optimism, his perennial optimism about u.s./iran relations, but once again, he has proven that he is more far-sighted than the rest of us. ambassador miller, if you would come up and say a few words and we'll get to the rest of our program. >> thank you, barbara. you're a stalwart friend, and a sour source. i want to thank the atlantic council for having this event today. and being our gracious host. when we scheduled this event, we did not know the joint
comprehensive plan of action would be issued just yesterday. this is an historic agreement by any standard, even by the standards of decades. we are pleased that this is so well timed. and the atlantic council has been able to mobilize the talent that's going to speak today. my interest in iran began as a foreign service officer well before the revolution. this was in 1959. as it happened, this was the beginning of the iranian nuclear program.
the iranian nuclear program owes almost everything to the united states. its physicists and engineers were trained in the united states. and as a part of the atoms for peace program of eisenhower, we even sent david lillenthol to iran to work out an energy program, a comprehensive energy program, water, hydro gas and oil nuclear. people have forgotten that in 1959, lillenthol recommended that iran have 22 nuclear power
reactors. and use its gas and oil for infrastructu infrastructure. this legacy extends to this day. iran has a program that stems from that. from that time, when i served in iran, i have maintained my interest. and i want to quote from a letter that i carried with ramsey clark on november 6th, 1979. a letter from jimmy carter to
ayatollah humany, and i want to read one paragraph. i have asked both men to meet with you and to hear from you your perspective on events in iran and problems that have arisen between our two countries. the people of the united states desire to have relations with iran based on equality, mutual respect, and friendship. it's taken 36 years to carry that out. and john linbert experienced a part of those 36 years in prison. and he's one of the optimists who believes that relations with
iran makes sense. now i have the job as senior adviser for search for common grounds iran program. for ten years, iran and search have worked together to carry out the fragments, the beginnings, the base line for civilized relations between our countries. we've tried everything. movies, poetry, art, astronauts, wrestlers, soccer players, basketball players, scholars,
politician politicians. most important, scientists. and people who understand the middle east. i want to describe the beginnings of the tom shea paper, which is of direct relevance here today. it was clear to many of us that any agreement with iran would depend on the ability of the terms of the agreement being verified. monitored fully, carefully, effectively. and it was a suggestion of senior members from the senate who anticipated that an
agreement was pending that the key issue before the congress would be whether the terms of an agreement with iran could be monitored effectively so that if there was any direction away from peaceful uses, it would be detected in time to take effective action. that was the baseline problem. the question then immediately arose, was iaea good enough to fulfill that task? and for the past year, we have been engaged in efforts to make
that determination. over a year ago, i asked tom shea after meeting with him and hearing high praise for his work over a quarter of a century in the iaea and as a scientist in american institutions to undertake a study of the efficacy of the iaea, how it works, how it might in fact undertake the task of monitoring an expected agreement. he has done this job, and he has
done it very well, and i suggest that you pick up copyies of the summary outside this room. i want to thank, in particular, joe, the president of bloshares for his continued efforts to bring about a rational solution to one of the great questions of arms control. we owe much to his support over the years. i want to thank in particular barbara slavin, dear friend, who brings the best of journalism and scholarship to her job. and she continues to lead the
way on the best approaches to iran. jim walsh is a close friend, and we have struggled together in the task of bringing sense and rationality to our leadership through the iran project. john limbert, of course, is a dear friend. i'm sorry that we were unable to extract you but we have made up for it. thank you, barbara. and thank you, tom. for your good work. >> thank you, bill.
i neglected when we began this to tell you a little more about bill miller. he told you that he was in iran before the revolution. as a foreign service officer. but he was also u.s. ambassador to ukraine, where he helped negotiate the elimination of ukraine's nuclear weapons arsenal. he also served for 14 years on capitol hill. he was staff director for three senate committees including the select micommittee on intelligence, so this is a man who knows of what he speaks. i'm gnaw going to introduce tom shea. tom served for 24 years in the iaea department of safeguards. he helped to design the safeguard system, develop implement arrangements and research isotope reactors, processing plants and power reactors employing plutonium fuels. he supervised inspectors in
japan, china, india, and other countries. after he retired, she served as sector head in nonproliferation programs at the pacific northwest national laboratory. he received his ph.d. in nuclear science and engineering from rens leer polytechnic. i'll going to have tom shea come up and talk about his new paper which is available in its entirety online, and then we'll introduce the other speakers. >> thank you very much, and is there anyone here who hasn't read the new agreement? if so, i would start off with a shame on you, and get to it. so, this activity having just produced the document, was it only yesterday? i have sort of lost track of time. the article that i have been working on for search for common ground is in a state of now trying to cope with the reality
of the specific agreement, so it will take a few days before the final issue is ready. so starting off, and 25 years ago, the iaea system was overhauled after it was disco r discovered there were clandestine nuclear programs in iraq and noorth korea, in particular. while those set a strong precedent for today, they compelled the international community to overhaul that system and make it relevant to the threats of today. so the efforts that took place, the technologies that have been applied, the authorities that have been given, the size of the organization, and its reach, all of those things have essentially been reinvent eed since 1990. today, with the joint comprehensive plan of action, the steps that are agreed, are relatively straightforward, and in my sense of having been in this business for 45 years, are remarkable departure from the
laissez faire attitude that prevailed when there was no possible for consensus, especially among the p5. with that, this new agreement, which is extraordinarily detailed and in depth, will need to be studied and what the conditions are will need to be analyzed in terms of obligations and commitments, resources and things of that sort. so the iaea in its application of the verification measures will have five challenges that it will now have to confront. first is to discover any additional hidden facilities which may not have come to light, whether there are any or not, i certainly don't know. or whether there's any new construction from now on. and the next is to verify that the known facilities are not misused as part of an ongoing
nuclear weapons or resurgent nuclear weapons program. the third is to verify that the declared nuclear materials in the country remain accounted for and used exclusively for peaceful purposes. fourth is to track importinize to the country which may include banned materials, dual use materials, equipment and make certain that those things that are permitted under the provisions of the joint comprehensive plan of action are used for the purposes indicated. and that other activities do not take place. the iaea will have to seek to verify the limitations that are included in the joint plan of action and to verify that those are not exceeded in the time this goes on. for today, given the time constraints, i'm going to concentrate on the question of the hidden facilities, which you
may prefer the term clandestine or undeclared. all three terms are essentially synonymous. i would like you to remember to note that iran is more than twice the size of texas. so we're dealing with a very large land mass filled with mountainous terrain and complicating arrangements. so to succeed at this verification objective in relation to these clandestine facilities, the iaea would first need to identify a suspicious location. it would then need to seek kwauberative information that confirms before it makes any forward advances, whether or not there's any reason that that suspicion is warranted. it would then define a location and specification in sufficient detail to request access. this is sort of like getting a warrant for someone's arrest, same kind of a process of building a case and then going forward with it.
you would then define how an inspection visit would attempt to clarify the characteristics of this particular site, whether there's reason for suspicion or reason for determining it is innocent. then they would define their inspection team and secure the resources that the team would require, arrange for the analyttic services that would be necessary depending upon the findings that may go forward. iran is one of its commitments is to implement an additional protocol, which is an extension to a comprehensive safe guards agreement that grew out of the situation in dprk and in iraq in the early '90s, as i mentioned. this instrument requires ratificati ratification, it is currently enforced in 126 countries, so the effort to gain acceptance has been long and arduous. i would say none of these 126
countries are really hot button problem countries, so it's mostly a case of building this common base of foundation for application. iran will be different. will be. iran has agreed to provisionally implement the protocol and eight years later to seek ratification in the parliament. the information that will be available to the iaea will be varied and -- thank you. and in terms of the 1990s with iraq and north korea, the information that is used by the iaea now is -- includes the following: first anything that comes from safeguards and its pact is. information gathered through inspections in the field, through verification of design information through declared
facilities, anything it takes in acquiring samples or knowledge that come to its attention. it has a program of going through open source data mining. this is a practice which has come about in the '90s and continues to be refined where it is not like the national security agency looking through e-mail or anything of that sort but it scans through all publications and the like for related subjects and that information is sometimes reveali revealing. it looks at export information on unknown activities. there are connections to several suppliers, particularly as grew out of the situation in iraq where companies that made such things as vacuum pumps that are essential for an enrichment plant, some people went to prison because of selling equipment for purposes that were clearly not consistent with the
laws of the nations involved. so some of those companies now have direct links to the iaea and inform them when they have suspicious requests for 200 vacuum pumps for a hospital or something like that would be equally crazy. one -- and we should remember that earlier, one of the sources of information were dissidents -- political dissidents that broke the news about the nantantz plant and the unification of iran is not 100% and it is a risk if iran were to take a step in that direction and its own people once again and decide to reveal that. with the development of these -- both of those countries, iraq and north korea, the provision of intelligence information to the iaea began -- became a
common, not completely common, but a practice which was carried out with some degree of uniformity. there is a stipulation in the iaea statute, if anybody is interested, it is article a. -- 8.a and it is one sentence that says if a state has information which it believes would be helpful to the iaea in carrying out its activities it should make that information available. and so now according to the director general reports to the board that more than ten countries have provided information on iran that is a part of the safeguards fabric at this point. so this statutory permission would hopefully be ierpreted more of as encouragement, eventually it becomes something more of an expectation and maybe
even some latent culpability for states that failed to provide information. and then the last thing i'll mention, environmental samples, which is a science that grew out of the cold war which time in laboratories like those in the pacific lab were monitoring fallout levels from china and the soviet union to track the development in stages with various more modern features being incorporated. technology has been now used by the iaea -- initially it was a technology made available to them by in particular american laboratories but also others and today it is a capability that the iaea has established its own laboratory, paid for in part by the united states but with german and canadian equipment and other countries participating. this sounds like something that
is very science fiction or more like crime scene investigation where in a facility, or anywhere, you take a swipe of something and with this swipe you can then put this -- whatever comes off on to a piece of plastic and put it into a nuclear reactor and individual particle which weigh on the order of a pico gram, which is a million millionth of a gram will show damage and once you can identify the particles and you can pick them out and put them into an instrument that will tell what the chemical composition is and the morphology of the compartment so you get tremendous information from the activity. and you have to be careful to look and not cross contaminate and cautious about leading to
conclusions. so again you want careful collection to to the analysis -- to the analysis problem. an this is one of the main stains. the other is the access to satellite imagery and in the time of north korea in particular, u.s. intelligence sources provided satellite imagery on north korea which was very revealing during the board of governors discussion going on in pyongyang. today they have commercial companies that provide capabilities which were better than the intelligence capabilities back then and the iaea has its own contracts and an intelligence -- excuse me a satellite imagery analysis group that buys the images and looks at them, et cetera. sometimes they have their own justification for wanting to know what is going on. sometimes they may receive information from acountry that
would suggest that at a particular location there is something they might want to pay attention to. so this first image cost relatively little. it is not intrusive and doesn't require the permission of anybody and gives you an information which may be very helpful, may be completely revealing. and if you have a suspicion, then one of the things you want to do is continue to look at the site as you go forward with further inquiries to determine whether or not anything would happen. so with the additional prot -- protocol coming into force, one of the positions is the arrangement for complimentary access, and these are not inspections but complementary to inspections but they still require a process where a request is made and the request is then reviewed by the government of iran and hopefully they grant access and so on. and the long chain of events i
talked about, the chain of events, and the inspectors go off and do their work. the agency has established channels for making these of course. and the findings, if they are innocent, then the report -- becomes part of the data base on all things known about iran and the verification. and if the findings are inconclusive additional measures are necessary. maybe you want to expand the scope of activities or arrange for additional visits or suggestions this might be connected to something else. and so there is a lot of information which is analyzed on an ongoing basis to determine how best to steer this process. if the findings are suspicious, then you start to ramp up with a political inquiries leading to perhaps the director general being in -- in a conversation with a resident representative or with a visit to the country to get information on what is
happening and at some point a discussion may advance to the board of governors and at this point the commission that is to be created is somehow informed, i'm not 100% clear yet as to exactly what that process will be but in any case, then the opportunities for further inquiry and intervention will become clear. so for the iaea to succeed, it needs clear authority for these tasks. and again if we go back to the time of iraq and north korea, there is a provision in the comprehensive safeguards agreement that all parties to the nonproliferation treaty have to have. and these are all identical or according to a model. and one of the provisions is for a special inspection. and it is not limited in any sense to anyplace or any activity at all. the problem is that it requires consultation and in effect an approval and the one time that it was really important and was
attempted was in north korea and the north koreans refused to allow it and to this day have refused and so the information that was charged in particular the question of a hidden waste facility that would be used to hide the fact that they are reprocessing activity operated extensively more than the declarations would be revealed. so whether this is a neck mix that is viable or not has been lying in a ditch since then. and whether it gets resurrected or not isn't clear. the additional protocol as i mentioned. and what is coming now is a u.n. security council resolution. and watch this base. that is an important document to observe and address the tasking to what extent the agency is given additional authority, in particular things like verification of centrifuge manufacturing, the actual