tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 16, 2016 9:59am-12:00pm EST
that half border, all right? and there are various technical ways of resolving that. we haven't finished that process. we're doing it in consultation with the irish government, or we're making progress with the irish government. we may not have a solution to it in the next few months. what i would like to do is to write you on that matter once we've had a further think on the matter. i can see the issue, absolutely see the issue, and i can see why that's a very second-best solution. i think we can find a better one, but we'll look. i won't make a promise today, but i will make a point of writing to you when we've got further down the road of the solution. >> okay. just two very quick, final questions from me. first of all, will the great repeal bill be published in draft to allow for prelegislative scrutiny? >> i'm not -- i said earlier to mr. edwards, i don't think we'll be able to hit that timetable, but again, i'll write to you, chairman, on that, if i may. >> and secondly, i invited you in the debate last week on the
question of whether parliament will have a vote on the final deal when it has been negotiated. to move from the words you have been using, to look parliament -- and you've got the opportunity to look the committee in the eye today and answer a simple yes. would you like to take the chance to do so? >> what i'll say is as i said in parliament, there is a constitutional reform and governance bill which covers this, and we will obey the law to the letter. >> so, can i take that to be a yes, then? >> i'm going to return to you, mr. chairman, with your father's own words -- don't let anybody else put words in your mouth. >> well, thank you very much for coming to give evidence this afternoon. order, order. 5g wireless service is expected to connect billions of machines, kitchen appliances, medical devices, and automobiles to one another and the web. at noon eastern here on c-span3,
a discussion about the future of 5g. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. u.s. border patrol chief mark morgan and deputy chief carla provost testify before the senate homeland security committee recently about efforts to improve border security and other priorities at their agency. wisconsin senator ron johnson chaired the hearing.
testimony and your time here today. the chief and the deputy chief of the u.s. border patrol. definitely interested in what you have to say. i decided to hold this hearing, actually before the election, as we were monitoring the renewed crisis. i don't think the crisis ever went away, but certainly, we haven't been seeing the publicity about the unaccompanied children coming in from central america, which is pretty much at 2014 levels. it's just not being publicized. but you, of course, are having to deal with it. so, i think we want to kind of really highlight that. and you know, based on the election, i'm also encouraged by the fact that i think we'll have an incoming administration that will definitely be dedicated and committed to securing the bor r border, which we must do. so, i want to get your initial observations of where you think we are at in terms of border security and some initial thoughts on what we need to do
to actually secure the border and honor that commitment. i don't want to take a whole lot of time. we do have a couple charts here just laying out the problem. the first is just a chart history from 2009 through last fiscal year of the number of unaccompanied children that have come in from honduras, guatemala and el salvador. and you can see that, you know, prior to deferred action on childhood admissions, we were at pretty low levels, somewhere around the 3,000 to 4,000 unaccompanied children level. 2012, we went to 10,000. deferred action on childhood admissions was implemented. all of a sudden, we hopped to 15,000 and backed down a bit in 2015, but we're up to almost 50,000 in 2016. and the starting months here in 2017 do not look encouraging either. so, it's a real problem, but it's not the only problem, because our second chart shows in addition to the incentives that we create in our law for
unaccompanied children coming from central america, now we see family units coming in as well. and those numbers of people coming in as family units actually exceeds the unaccompanied children. and my concern is we're not publicizing it because the border patrol has been so humane and so effective at apprehending, processing and dispersing. so, we've dispersed well over 120,000 unaccompanied children to all points in the u.s. we've actually got a chart here for members to see where the 120,000 -- it's really about 130,000 -- unaccompanied children have been dispersed around the country. i've got members' states yellowed so you can see how many unaccompanied children have been relocated into your states. that's kind of the information we've got. i do ask unanimous consent to my written statement be entered into the record. i do want to take this moment to certainly thank senator ayotte for her dedicated service on
this committee. i think i speak for all the committee members when i say we'll definitely miss you had and your participation here on this committee in the senate, and we certainly wish you well in the next chapter of your life, in your next career. so, thank you for your service. and with that, i'd like to turn it over to ranking member senator carper. >> if i could just follow up. i was fortunate this morning to run into senator ayotte and a kounl of our colleagues in the senate dining room with ali majorca, who just stepped down as deputy of homeland security. and i'm reminded just on the heels of what our chairman has said about kelly. right after world war ii, the brits won with a lot of help from us, and winston churchhill, you'll recall, was prime minister of the country and carried them on his back through the war. and six months later, he lost re-election. he was not re-elected. and the one reporter said to him at the time, he said, for you, mr. churchill, is this the end?
is this the end? he replied famously "this is not the end. this is not the beginning of the end. this is the end of the beginning." and it has been a joy to serve with you. and thank you for your service. it's been great having you on this committee and for you, my friend, this is the end of the beginning, all right? i want to thank you, mr. chairman, for bringing this together, and i look forward. we're grateful for your service and many times have been down to the border, sometimes with those guys, sometimes with others on the committee, and i look forward to being back there and maybe with you in the not-too-distant future. it's always been an important issue for this committee, it's an important issue to me. it's commanded particular attention during time i've been privileged to be the chairman and ranking member and just a member of this committee.
i think everybody, certainly in this room, i think most people in this country, want stronger borders. if we don't have strong borders, we've got a real problem. you know, we all want to keep terrorists out of this country. but we also need to remain clear-eyed by some of the other real risks and real solutions, real solutions. and i always like to focus on the real solutions, the root causes and how to address those root causes. unfortunately, during the campaign season, which thankfully is over, but immigrants and refugees were unfairly attacked as a grave threat to our country in many cases where they're not. we've heard about walls and deportations and not enough about underlying the real problems of immigration we face. as a result, too many immigrants who come to the u.s. from all corners of the globe are anxious that they will no longer be able to care for their families, contribute to our great country. this includes the dreamers, who were brought here as children, who are now being pulled from jobs, pulled from their schools and deported to countries they
may not even remember. i just don't think we strengthen our country by ignoring the contributions of immigrants or turning our backs on refugees. helping vulnerable people is part of our moral fabric as a country. scripture teaches us that we have a moral obligation to the least of these in our society. when i was a stranger in your land, did you take me in? and to treat other people the way we want to be treated. doing so also contributes directly to our economic strength. for generations, our open and diverse society has attracted immigrants of all backgrounds who have continued to enrich our country and helped us to grow and to prosper. deeply troubling, an attack this past week at ohio state university where i was watching midshipmen many years ago weighed heavily on my mind and the minds of many across this country. it reminds us that we must be -- continue to be eternally vigilant. we must work hard to meet both our security challenges as a
nation and our moral imperatives, and indeed, i believe we can do both and i believe we must do both. before i highlight some of the tools i think can better secure our borders, i think it's first important to recognize the significant strides we've already made along our southwestern border, thanks to the efforts of a lot of people, including the folks you lead. worried about the large-scale undocumented migration from mexico. and now experts tell us that there are more mexicans going back into into mexico from the u.s. than going into u.s. from mexico. migration is less than zero. the men and women at customs and border protection deserve a lot of the credit. perhaps the biggest factor for the change is the strengthening mexican economy. they have a strong, vibrant middle class there. it helps hugely. that is an important thing to keep in mind as we talk about whether through open trade agreements in the region. the surge we're seeing today along the southwestern border right now is a different challenge, mostly humanitarian, as you know. thousands of kids from families
from el salvador, guatemala, honduras. most of us have been to those countries. we call them the northern triangle. they're fleeing extreme violence and poverty in their home countries and seeking asylum in the u.s. we are complicit in their misery. the chairman said this again and again, by virtue of our addiction to drugs. you know, they send us drugs, we send them guns, we send them money, and the people face lives of misery down there. horrible down there. they want to get out and they want to come here to be safer. haitian migrants, on the other hand, including many who have been living and working in brazil until its recent economic decline, are another new concern, as we know. most of these migrants are turning themselves in to agents not trying to evade the agents that work for you. it's unlikely we will fix these current challenges i think with a wall or even with more border patrol agents. instead we must address the root causes of the migration by helping the governments, el salvador, guatemala, honduras, improve the desperate conditions too many of their citizens face
every day. when i'm down there, i always talk about home depot to the folks in those countries who say, you can do it. honduras, guatemala, salvador. we can help. we can't do it for you. you can do it, but we have an obligation to help because we are complicit in your misery. i traveled to the northern triangle and saw efforts being made by the governments to address governments, non-profits, you name it. our folks are there to address the extreme poverty, the violence, hopelessness that drive so many of their citizens to make the dangerous journey across mexico to our border. last year, democrats and republicans provided about $750 million to support these countries work to address these difficult conditions. and i hope we can continue this bipartisan support. they've got to do their share. ally, they've got to do a lot more of the heavy lifting than we do, but if they do, then we have an obligation, i think, moral obligation to help them. but i believe it's cost-effective and the right thing to do given that our addiction to drugs fuels the lawlessness and instability in that region. we also have to work with
international partners to crack down on smugglers and traffickers who exploit migrants. i've been impressed, for example, with the units i've seen during my trips to the northern triangle where our agents, our officers work side by side with foreign officers to target and break up criminal trafficking networks. and of course, as the cartels become more sophisticated, we must also work and evolve and take action here at home. that's why i support common sense and cost-effective solution tease strengthen border security, including technologies like drones, which used effectively can be a powerful force for agents and others, as you know. it includes resources such as horses. horses, we saw, boats, all kinds of boats which cannot be as high-tech, but can provide agents with greater visibility across the border. another common-sense solution is fully staffing our ports of entry and making smart investments in our aging infrastructure. and comprehensive immigration reform can also be a critical
force multiplier. i believe it can be and it should be, the idea of a worker program where a lot of people down there, they don't want to come in, they'd like to be able to travel back and forth, work and go home again. and some cases they get stuck up here and frankly find it hard to get back down there and back up here. so, comprehensive immigration reform would help on that. as republicans and democratic administration officials have testified over the years, immigration reform would create bigger channels for migration, shrink the haystack of unauthorized travelers, so border agents, your folks, can face on the most significant security risks. lastly, comprehensive reform would also strengthen us economically. according to congressional budget office, not me, none of us, the congressional budget office is non-partisan. comprehensive immigration reform would provide a 5.4% boost in gdp. we could use that. more than $1 trillion by 2033. it would also help keep us in
mind as we head into the next congress. thank you for being here and your leadership, and mr. chairman, thank you for pulling this together today. >> thank you, senator carper. i would be remiss if i didn't also thank you for just your partnership over the last two years. you know, as ranking member and as a bipartisan committee, we actually keep track of this. we passed 83 pieces of legislation out of this committee, most of it unanimously. we're up i think over 30 pieces of legislation having been signed into law now in some way, shape or form. that's a pretty good record. i think certainly valued the example that senator lieberman and senator collins set when i first joined this committee, certainly which you and senator coburn set, and i think we've continued that tradition. so i'm going to miss you as my ranking member. i look forward to working with my next senator mccaskill is my next -- she's not here, but apparently, she's going to be my ranking member. and certainly wish you well in your new assignment as well. >> thanks. i promise not to go far. >> okay. >> it's been a pleasure to be your wingman, you bet.
and to serve with everybody. it's a good group. >> we have other members, chris cabrera and members of the customs border union, and appreciate their attendance as well as looking forward to working with them, again, to make that commitment to secure the border in 2017 and beyond. it is tradition in this committee to swear in witnesses, so if you'll both rise and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? please be seated. our first witness is mr. mark morgan. mr. morgan is the current chief of the u.s. border patrol at the u.s. customs and border protection within the department of homeland security. chief morgan is the first person from outside the agency to be appointed chief of the u.s. border patrol. he began his career in federal law enforcement in 1996 as a special agent with the los angeles field office of the fbi. during his tenure, he held
numerous key leadership positions, and in a little more full-blown biography here, i see that you supervised an fbi hispanic gang task force that focused on the emerging presence of two organized and transnational gangs in southern california, ms-14 and the 18th street gang. i think that relates directly to border security, so we'll probably want to ask questions on that. so, chief morgan, i yield the floor. >> good morning, chairman johnson, ranking member carper, and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to allow us to talk today about the united states border patrol. during my first four months as chief, i've had the privilege to travel to 11 sectors to meet with thousands of united states border patrol agents, staff, and leadership from the northern, southern and coastal borders, as well as the united states border patrol academy headquarters here in d.c., the canine training facility, and our special operations group in el paso. all of these interactions across the country, one thing was consistent and abundantly
clear -- the men and women of the united states border patrol have one of the toughest jobs in federal law enforcement. they are the most assaulted federal law enforcement in the united states. more than 7,400 border patrol agents have been assaulted since 2006. that rose in fy '16 by 20%, and year to date, we're seeing an increase of assaults of 200% from the previous year to date. it's a dangerous job. and since my short time here, two border patrol agents have already been killed in the line of duty, agent manny alvarez and david gomez. they are faced with unforgiving terrain and weather, limited resources, long hours, adverse conditions, and they're often called upon to go above and beyond what they've been trained to do. they are tenacious in their pursuit of getting better, they're innovative, and they have a can-do attitude. they're dedicated to the mission, this country, themselves, and doing something greater than themselves. i'm honored to be serving with them.
these are my first and most important observations in my first four months here. therefore, one of the focuses during my tenure will continue to be the relentless advocate to provide them with the tools, training and resources and common-sense policy that they need to do their job effectively and safely. over my 30-year career, the current challenges we face in 21st-century contemporary law enforcement are unparalleled. the united states border patrol team, we're committed to identifying how we can get better and continue to evolve as an organization to address the challenges we face. here are just a few important areas of focus that i think we need to look at as we move forward. sustain and build the border patrol's most valuable asset, our workforce. focus on recruitment, retention, and diversity. continue to improve on our threat base, intelligent-driven and operationally focused strategy to increase our situational awareness and help
confidence levels across every mile of the united states borders. evaluate current policies and laws which directly impacts our mission to protect our nation's borders with an emphasis on enforcement operations and increasing consequences for those illegally crossing our borders. reinforce our multilayered enforcement strategy and strengthen our situational awareness by continuing smart investments in infrastructure, technology, personnel and operational assets, the same smart investments, and our facilities need to continue to be a top priority as well. we need to enhance our agility, focusing both on mobile technology and a mobile workforce. continue to strengthen our enforcement operations by expanding our intelligence-driven methodology, count our network strategies, air and marine operations, and integrated operations with our partners, both domestically and internationally. we need to expand and integrate our information technology systems. we need to focus on targeted
expansion of our human intelligence base, our document exploitation capacity, and our collection and dissemination capabilities. we need to identify personnel needs across a spectrum of position classifications to ensure we have the correct balance of agents, staff, and intelligence analysts. we need to focus and determine alternatives concerning the allocation of resources and support of the current humanitarian mission united states border patrol's being asked to do in an effort to get badges back to the border. develop a proactive communications strategy in an effort to engage our internal and external partners and stakeholders, and we need to enhance performance mate ricks to reflect our efforts toward our strategy, focusing on threats and our mitigation effectiveness. as we move forward, we will continue to focus on these priority areas, all of which will enhance united states border patrol's ability to detect, prevent and respond to threats along our nation's borders.
we look forward to sharing our efforts with the committee in the future. i thank you for the opportunity to testify here today and look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you, chief morgan. our next witness is ms. carla provost. ms. provost is the current deputy chief of the u.s. border patrol at the u.s. customs and border protection within the department of homeland security. deputy chief provost is the first woman to be appointed deputy chief in the agency's 92-year history. in her 20-year career, deputy chief proervost has held every position, including agent of the el centro sector. deputy chief provost. >> thank you. chairman johnson, ranking member carper, and distinguished members of the committee, it's a privilege to be here today alongside chief morgan. this is a proud moment for me, as this is my first appearance at a congressional hearing representing the dedicated and hard-working men and women of the united states border patrol. though today marks one month into my current position as deputy chief, i've spent the
majority of my professional law enforcement career, nearly 22 years, serving in the u.s. border patrol. during that time, i've seen quite an evolution. i entered on duty with the border patrol in january of 1995, and as an agent in the field in both urban and remote border environments, i worked alongside my colleagues to address threats ranging from illegal immigration, smuggling, trafficking, and terrorism, by targeting, detecting and interdicting potentially dangerous people and materials. i was also significantly involved with training and management aspects of border patrol operations across four different sectors in all four states along the southwest border. instructing agents in law, firearms, bike patrol, directing sector budgets and human resources while overseeing operations. when i first came on board, there were less than 5,000 border patrol agents nationwide. we were still processing on typewriters and correction tape
was worth its weight in gold. that year, we apprehended nearly 1.3 million people on the southwest border alone. as you can imagine, we did not possess the tools or technology that agents use today. back then it was common for the border to be marked by little more than a three-strand barbed wire fence, or in many places, nothing at all. we relied on 1960s-era aircraft for aerial support and sometimes homemade sensors and lighting to notify us of illicit activity. in 2000, we hit the highwater mark of 1.6 million apprehensions nationwide. with that came a renewed focus on border security. and the tragedy of 9/11 only intensified that commitment. as i progressed, so did the border patrol. we began hiring new agents in earnest, growing our presence along the border dramatically. not only did this increase our situational awareness, but it also impacted local business and
economy. growth in many areas along the border seemed to mirror our own. newer technology to include sensors, night vision and remote video surveillance began to improve our capabilities. new tools like tasers and pepper ball launching systems gave us new and different approaches to uses of force. thanks to congress, we received new patrol roads and fencing in strategic locations and saw improvement in many of those already in existence. here in washington, i led the stand up of cdp's use of force center of excellence, now the law enforcement safety and compliance directorate, dedicated to optimizing the safety, readiness, accountability and operational performance of cbp law enforcement personnel by articulating use-of-force policy and supplying the highest quality education and training to our agents and officers. i also served as the deputy assistant commissioner of cbp's office of professional
responsibility, overseeing compliance with all cbp-wide programs and policies regarding corruption, misconduct, internal security and integrity awareness. i am proud to have the opportunity to bring my field experience and perspective to the u.s. border patrol headquarters. i look forward to working with chief morgan and all of my colleagues in the border patrol, cbp, and our many partners, to enhance our operations to protect our nation's borders and ensure the safety of the public that we serve. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, deputy chief provost. i'll start the questioning with chief morgan. yeah, obviously, i'm concerned about the continued flow of unaccompanied children for a host of reasons. because we have not ended the incentives for people to come into this country illegally. they can continue -- children continue to take a very
dangerous journey through mexico to come to this country, and lives are being lost, and they're perpetrated on and these children become real victims. talk a little bit about how the flow of unaccompanied children, how that overstresses your resources and how it distracts from other -- your other missions. >> yes, sir. i refer to the border patrol's involvement with uacs and family units as one of humanitarian at this point. we know that, basically, the otms, which now it's about 63% of our apprehensions, focusing on just uacs and family units alone, on the otm side, it's about 33%-34% of our overall apprehensions. rgb alone is probably closer to around 50%. that takes an exorbitant amount
of resources and funding to sustain those operations, knowing that, basically, 100% of those family units and uacs are released into the united states. that's why i call that a humanitarian mission. i refer back to midnight one evening. i was in a sector where i saw a 6-year-old and an 11-year-old holding each other's hands that had made the trek from honduras. i don't refer to that 6-year-old and 11-year-old as a nasa security or law enforcement threat. but again, the border patrol is dedicating a tremendous amount of resources taking those folks in, processing them. at times, we really -- a lot of resources are dedicated to being professional child care providers at this point. and rgb alone, we've actually just established a second cpc, a processing center in rgb. each one of those processing centers takes about 100 to 120 agents to man, dedicated basically 100% to processing and
taking care of the family units and uacs. we just recently opened up a temporary holding facility in torino to help with that. i know everybody's familiar with it. that comes at a high cost as well to be able to run that facility and provide the resources. recently when i traveled to rgv, the pack, the supervisor that was in charge said, you know, chief, we're going to do whatever this country asks us to do, but i never thought in my 20 years that i would be as part of the procurement ordering baby powder and baby wipes. actually, i just got from one sector where agents, one of their jobs during the day is to actually make sure that the food, the burritos that were provided are being warmed properly. it takes a tremendous amount of resources to do this. >> can you talk about, you know, the realities on the border when you have a flood, let's say 50
or 100 unaccompanied family members, the way they can be used as a diversion for higher value smuggling, whether it's drugs or human or sex trafficking? isn't that the reality, what's actually happening? >> yes, we have information of that, absolutely. smugglers use that as a distraction, yes, sir. and you know, again, the resources -- it absolutely is impacting -- as a chief of the united states border control, i am comfortable in saying, is that the humanitarian mission with the uacs and family units, it is impacting our ability to perform i think our national security law enforcement mission. i am taking a considerable amount of resources and agents away from the border to take care of this situation. >> so this is a problem we have not solved. and i'll quote, back in july 9th, 2014, when chairman carper at the time called a hearing on this. senator carper said, "how do we change the mind-set to turn off the flow so the parents will
say, i want my kids to stay here, have an opportunity, have a future here?" how do we do that? and i think that's the right question in terms of how do we stop the flow? and i think we probably have some difference of opinions in terms of the effective way to stop the flow. i think senator carper -- again, i would love to improve the conditions in central america so there's not the incentive, the push factor, but i'm also talking about the pull factor. and if we put up our other chart of just uacs, we see that of the children that have come here, unaccompanied, in 2013, '14, '15 and '16, at least the last three years, we're returning less than 4%. and so, isn't the reality that if you come as an unaccompanied children from central america and you get into this country -- and by the way, it's easy to get in here. you just walk across the bridge. turn yourself in and you're apprehended, you're processed and dispersed. and they have access to social media, so more children, more families in central america realize, and it creates an
incentive, you know, pay the fee, take the dangerous journey, because if you get into america, you're going to stay. isn't that an enormous problem and one of the reasons why we haven't solved this problem? >> yes, sir. when we talk about push-pull, if we go back just a little while. 2016. 90% of those apprehended were mexican nationals. and now we're at 36%. why? well, there's a couple of things that happened, why we see that dramatic decrease. one is a solid consequence delivery system. there's a couple of things that happen. one is, we instituted e.r., expedited removal, so that the individuals knew that when they came, they were being held and then they were being removed. that was a consequence. they knew that. it served as a strong deterrent. the other thing, one example -- >> let me just interrupt you. so, that's with mexicans. >> yes, sir. >> or canadians. but talk about the difference between mexicans and
unaccompanied children or family units from central america. >> yes, sir. so, what's happening with the uacs and family units, the otms, as we call them, from central america is, it's basically the same thing. right now they know that if they make it to the border, they will be released into the interior of the united states. generally, that's done through an nta, which i'm sure everyone is familiar with -- a notice to appear. border patrol, we don't do that. we process them as normally and we hand them over to the right agency and the government approach, and that's done. but that's the reality, is they come to the borders and they are being released. and what that does is sends a strong message to those folks in the country that if you get to the united states border, we're going to let you in. that's a huge pull factor. >> if we go back to the process of expedited removal, you know, with humanity, bring these kids and send them right back to guatemala, honduras or el salvador, we would dramatically reduce the incentive, and my
guess is we would dramatically reduce the flow. would you agree with that? >> yes, sir, and that's why i was using the mexican national example, because we use that same concept. and again, from 2006, we went from 90% to 36%. we reduced that pull factor by instituting a system of consequences and expedited removal. >> deputy chief provost, i know you're involved -- we had a surge from brazil. and secret cheary chertoff had expedited removal at the time and the surge ended, is that correct? >> yeah, so in 2005, we did have a surge from brazil. we had received the authority to conduct expedited removals starting the year prior. we did start utilizing that. and when we delivered the consequence of the expedited removal and then actually the physical removal to brazil, the numbers did decrease. >> okay, thank you. my time's expired. senator carper. >> thanks. again, thanks very much for your testimony and for your
leadership for a short period of time, and actually for a long period of time, ms. provost. again, we need secure borders and we need to have a strong, well-equipped, well-trained border patrol force. i believe we have that. and probably the best we've ever had. certainly the most expensive we've ever had because of the monies we spend to support the thousands of people who work under your leadership. i want to tell a quick story. i told this before. some of my colleagues have heard it, but i want to tell it again. delaware has three counties. john mccain's in one of our smallest counties, we welcomed him when he was there on a campaign. we raise more chickens there than any county in america. and we process a lot of chickens, and a lot of folks who process those chickens come from guatemala. and so, we have a significant
guatemalan presence in sussex county. two years ago, when the surge of unaccompanied children really got going, i was down in sussex county at a place called la esperanza esperanza, "the hope," and what they do there is for the folks that show up on our doorsteps, we try to provide assistance for them, rather than just turn a deaf ear to them. during my meeting with them, they told me of a boy, a teenage boy, who had arrived in the county recently with his sister and their family. told me this story that he told them. he said that when he was 13 years old, he was approached by a gang in guatemala, and they said we want you to join the gang. and he said, well, let me talk to my parents, you know. so, he talked to his parents and they said we don't want you to be in any gang. he ended up talking to the guy -- the gang members approached him again a few weeks later, said we want you to join the gang, are you ready to join?
he said i talked it over with my parents and it's not something i want to do. they didn't receive this very well, and a couple weeks later they said to him, have you changed your mind? he said, no, i haven't. and they said if you don't change your mind, somebody in your family's going to die. somebody's going to die. he talked to his family, they said join the gang, and he joined the gang. a couple months later in his initiation as a gang member, one of the requirements he had to undertake was to rape his 13-year-old sister as part of initiation. and he went home, told his parents. they said to him and his sister, you're out of here. we're going to get you out of this country. and i dare say, if any of us lived in that kind of environment for our kids, we would probably want them to be out of guatemala, honduras, whatever country it is, into a safer place. and one of our witnesses -- holly, what was the name of that witness? you may remember bishop mark sykes from el paso, texas, a witness a year or two ago. he shared his analogy with us.
and he talked about a house, and he talked about the fire department, and the fire department coming to the house and setting the house on fire. the fire department setting the house on fire, and then locking the doors and driving away. that was the analogy that he used. and the reason why they have the kind of violence down there is in large part because of us, because of our addiction to drugs and the flow of the drugs through those nations and they come to our borders, we send them guns and money, as i said earlier. so, what do we do about that? we've done great stuff on the border. we have great representation. you've explained some of what we're doing. we can always do more. and we've been very generous i think in terms of our support for the assets and whether it's walls or fences or tangibles, you name it whatever, unmanned aircraft, all kinds of stuff. but when you have a country, you've got 15,000 small businesses extorted in a single year, basically shut down.
we know small businesses are where the jobs come from. 15,000 shut down because of extortion threats. that's just a loser. the kinds of threats i just explained, just from the stories i heard in person, that has to be part of the solution as well. it can't be just us. and 20 years ago, senator mccain will recall, 20 years ago, it was playing colombia. and playing colombia was not the u.s. coming down and solving their problems. it was like, you've got a problem here and you've got to fix your problem, but we're going to help you because we're complicit in all our addiction to cocaine at the time. we're complicit in this, so we're going to help you as well. so, having said that, there's a reason why, and i think deputy chief provost, you mentioned i think your first year on the job as a border patrol agent, i think you said 1.3 million coming across our borders or being taken to custody. take that at 1.6 million.
it used to be in those earlier days, they were mostly mexican. today the mexican is more than likely going back into mexico than coming out. but all those people coming out of honduras, guatemala and el salvad salvador, what more can we do to make, you know, the needle in the haystack story? we can make either the haystack smaller, the needles bigger. and some of that involves work that's going to take place in those three countries. give us some advice. how does comprehensive immigration reform help, particularly where there's a guest worker program where some of the people can come up with guest worker programs, work legally and go back again. please. >> first, i think cr is definitely needed and we fully support that. you just alluded to a couple examples of that. >> cir being -- >> comprehensive immigration reform. sorry. yes, sir. absolutely. there are definite push factors -- weak economies, weaker government, some cases violence, family reunification, economic equality. those are all true and i agree
with that. i think from the united states border patrol perspective, just looking at the facts, and like i said, when we do institute a really thought-out consequence delivery system, we do see that positively impacting the flow, meaning it does go down. so that's definitely factual and we can show that over the years. i think we need to have a facilitated discussion as well about some current flaw in policy. i can give you one credible fear. so, we know right now that smuggling organizations are absolutely using and exploiting a credible fear. we know that they're coaching individuals on specifically what to say when they come here, that they just rattle off and they memorize the magic words that they need to say so that they'll fall within the statute of credible fear. we think that that's being exploited. we think that it's been going well beyond the original intent of the purpose of credible fear,
like sort of the example you just used, right? that's what credible fear is supposed to be used for, absolutely, but we know it's being exploited. so i think that is one thing we can do as part of cir is to look at those policies where it makes sense and try to have a good facilitated discussion, are there adjustments that need to be done going forward? credible fear alone from 2000 to 2013, less than 1% were claiming credible fear coming across. today it's exponentially gone and it's continued to rise. we see that as an issue. again, going back to the nta, the notice to appear -- we know that that's definitely a pull factor. we know that they're communicating and they're like, hey, it doesn't matter. if you get here, you will be released. you say these magic words -- even if you don't say the magic words, you're still going to be let into this country. i think we need to have a discussion about our utilization of the nta to make sure that
we're really applying it where it's needed going forward. i think that needs to be part of the facilitated discussion on immigration reform. >> okay, i'm out of town. just may i say one last quick sentence, if i could. i said this before. i think it is appropriate today, no silver bullet. a lot of silver bbs, some better than others, and we need to do them all. thank you. >> senator carper, thank you again. i appreciate the well-attended meeting, so let's keep it to seven minutes. i've asked the senators as well as witnesses to keep the questions and answers within seven minutes and we can proceed and everyone will have a chance to ask questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate you having the hearing now because it's a critical time. thank you to you and deputy provost and your officers on the field. we appreciate what you do every day. as we heard earlier, it's under tough circumstances. to a certain extent, you're working under constraints that make it difficult for you to do your job.
i'm going to change the topic a little bit and talk about drugs and particularly the transnational criminal organizations that bring those drugs across our border. as you know, this congress, this senate and the house has acted, the president has signed legislation called the comprehensive addiction and recovery act. senator ayotte is one of the original co-authors of that and many members of this committee have been involved in it. it's important legislation, it's groundbreaking and historic in that it focuses a lot on the demand side. we have had witnesses before this committee that talk about the importance of reducing the demand for drugs, focusing on prevention, addiction, treatment, recovery, it helps get prescription drugs off the shelves. that's all important. we have an opportunity in the next few days to look at new legislation that would put even more money into those efforts, and we all think that's important. i believe that's really the core. but there is still a huge issue with these drugs going across the border. we have the opportunity to be able to increase the price of these drugs by better
enforcement. some statistics that i've seen indicate that we're stopping only about 1.5%, 2% of these drugs that are coming across the border. recently we had testimony before this committee indicating that about 100% of the heroin and about 90% of the cocaine is coming across the border, much of it, of course, from mexico, particularly with regard to heroin. and even methamphetamines. most methamphetamines are coming across the border from mexico. and so, you know, my question to you all is, what can you do better to stop these drugs, increase the price, stop some of the consequences of these transnational criminal organizations, which not only add to crime here in this country, but of course, make these other governments, mexico, central american countries, colombia and so on, much more vulnerable to corruption? and you know, frankly, if you look at these numbers, they're increasing, not decreasing. so i guess my first question to
you is, are my statistics right? are we only stopping about 1% or 2% of these drugs that are coming over the border, this poison that's coming into our communities? do you think that's accurate? >> sir, first and foremost, i would say, as you know and you mentioned the amount coming across. we track everything that we apprehend. and you are correct, we are having numbers of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana crossing our borders. that being said, we use all of the resources that we can to the best of our ability to try to detect and apprehend, whether it be at the ports of entry, at the border or for border patrol agents as well with our multilayered approach further into the country. we use our resources, such as our canines. we are continuously trying to improve the training for our agents so that we are better at interdicting. that being said, the unknown is
a difficult thing to measure for us. we do know that our numbers thus far this year for fy '17, year to date everything has been trending down, except for to de everything is trending down except methamphetamine which is up slightly compared to fy-16. >> if i could just interrupt you for a second. >> sure. >> that concerns us because we see an increase in over dose deaths seeing now 120 people dieing in this country, 5 a day in my home state of ohio alone. everyone on the front line is saying the same thing, it's getting worse not better and this is the source of the biggest increase which is hair wayne, the other is come heroin, the other is coming by mail, you have less control over that. some of us are proposing the stop vac there but you are saying you are apprehending more
y you're saying you are apprehending less but we're seeing more in the communities. >> the numbers are trending down slightly when we talk about how to predict difficult to say what we don't know that said we use all of the resources to try to interdict. it is a focus for us. it has been over my entire career within the border patrol. we have many more tools now than we did in the past to is a assist us. we've grown in our capacity why canine officers and such. using other sources. >> let me interrupt you again because my time is ending. you say you are using every resource at your disposal yet you've not asked for help from operation dod operation would
help in monitoring and transporting as some of these drugs come in illegally by air across the border on small strips. why are you not accessing some of these dod resource as available to you. >> so we actually are in dialogue to continue that operation. >> so you're changing your view on that and you're going to ask for their help? >> from my perspective as chief of the united states border patrol i agree we need the help. >> do you need additional resources beyond operation fair lyn link to do your job? >> yes. >> that's important for this committee to here, 1% or 2% that you're able to stop is a very small number. you indicate you're using all the resources and detection and monitoring capabilities but it's not working to stop the flow of poisons. someone is increasing the cost. ultimately the cure will be on the demand side.
we got to do a better job at the border. >> yes, sir i agree. it really goes to the threat based intelligence operation focus as well we need to increase counter network strategies and work through initia like stone guard with our domestic partners, we need to continue to work with international partners canada and mexico, as well, we need to take the fight to the enemy and stop it before it even touches the border. those are all things we're doing but need to get better at. >> i'm going to ask you to submit in writing to the committee what you need from coast guard, from our military and other resources, from dea and other federal agencies how we can be helpful to begin really making progress on increasing he's apprehensions and stopping the flow of these poisons. thank you mr. chairman. >> right now drones are flying out of -- arizona and not
coordinating with them which is crazy. so there's a requirement that you coordinate with the military to use the drones to survey the border. finally mr. chair maen, things are not improving as far as manufactured mexican heroin are concerned. it is an epidemic, because it is slightly better, that is totally unsatisfactory. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chief morgan, i will narrow this in a moment to a question that i hope you will be able to answer, but i just want to give voice to the fact that i have been hearing as a senator in the state of wisconsin and certainly reading in the news reports of a significant es clags escalation of harassment, bullying and hate
incidents directed to immigrants, to african-americans, to muslims, to other minorities in recent weeks. and it has been very distressing to hear some of my constituent accounts. recently the southern poverty law center that is tracking some of the hateful incidents in the weeks after our recent election said that anti-immigrant incidents were the most common type of harassments that has been reported. in my home state, i have received communication from a wide number of individuals. i heard from father in a community tomahawk, wisconsin, who told me that, quote, while
in school my son who is adopted from guatemala was approached by a class mate and told to pack his bags for mexico. few weeks ago there was a documented report of anonymous hate mail sent to a family in wisconsin, the letter to the family which includes eleven he adopted children from the u.s., ghana and china, read in part, trump won, go home, race wars are on. it's not only happening in wisconsin, as i mentioned. it's across the country. and it's deeply concerning to me and goes against the values that we hold as a americans. i have also heard from constituents in the immigrant community about their very real fears about potential ant
"-immigrant policies anti-immigrant policies under the incoming administration. i've heard from legal green card cardholders, they're afraid to travel in the next few months because they fear they may be turned away or additional scrutiny when they seek to raurn return to the united states. so i want to ask you in connection with helping to reassure in helping my constituents and other legal immigrants that nothing will change in the u.s. border patrols process for determining immigration status, and if you might add, i would like to hear about the training that you're officers receive on the treatment of individuals in the border patrols custody including harassment and discrimination against immigrants and other
minorities. >> yes, ma'am, first of all everything you just described goes against everything i personally believe as well as n american so a agree 100%. as far as united states border patrol what we're doing and how we're doing it is not going to change. the current law, policy, that's we've been directed to operate under that's what we will continue to operate when that change then we will change and we'll enforce the law and policies we're directed to do. right now we understand the law and policies as written and will comply with those policies going forward. there's not going to be a change. once there is, immigration reform, and if there's new policies, we'll adjust accordingly. as far as the training at the a cod my, it's absolutely a significant topic at the academy. i think we have one of our best leetders, leaders leading the united states border patrol
acade academy. chief harris. in my former life i was assistant director of the fbi academies and these things were talked about there as well. plus bias, et cetera. those are critical things we need to focus and continue to focus on. >> can you provide any additional detail on the curriculum during the training other than those broad comments you just made? >> no, ma'am, i can't provide specific topic areas but i can follow up and provide that. >> okay. my understanding that the u.s. border patrol is currently 50% over capacity at its holding facilities, and i understand that you're in the process of building additional temporary facilities which will continue to provide medical attention and clothing and other resources to women and children in
particular. in addition to serving this committee i serve on the homeland security and appropriation committee. can you speak to resources needed with regard to dealing with capacity issues in your holding facilitiefacilities. >> absolutely traino is one we set up at 500 bed capacity right now. it comes at a high cost. some areas are more than 100% capacity. in some of our areas. so places like the temporary holding facilities like tour in is necessary to deal with that over flow. it comes at a high cost, like
you said, it really is a to z, it really is child care professional stuff we're doing. clothing them, feeding them, making sure they get medical attention, making sure they're able to sleep and get appropriate meals during the day, and have snacks and meals are warm and all that stuff that we should be providing a child, mother or father of a child, that's what we're doing. but as the numbers continue and increase, our capacity becomes strained and we have to go to extreme measures to make sure we're doing the right thing. >> senator -- >> thank you chairman. wanted to follow up on the heroin fent nol addiction at the border this is something i focused on with chairman mccain in terms of working with our leaders in south com and north
com enhancing their resources for interdiction. those networks can be used to traffic anything. it's a national security issue as well. can you tell me what would be most helpful to you in terms of really increasing our ability to inte interdi ct -- >> i think has been a scribed by everybody here, first, we have to strengthen the partnerships, the intelligence mechanism both domestically and international partners to takement fight to them. >> right. >> if they made it to the border we kind of in essence already lost. >> right. >> we got to strengthen that intelligence apparatus. >> and as i understand it on the arm services committee there
also is a role i think for some of the role of our military on the other, obviously in their role, thinking about their partnerships. >> yes, ma'am, and so, we also need to work with the ic intelligence committee to make sure the intelligence is gathering at the border, the amount of information think get at the border is overwhelming in a good way. we need to make sure the stuff we know and get are getting to the right people so they need to do what they are able to do that we're not able to do in an over seas environment. we're doing it but need to get better at it. >> i want to ask about the northern border. senator and i have a bill that passed the house last night, chairman johnson and peters are are on the bill and i'm appreciative of that. as a norther border state this to me is very important as well,
wanted to know if you're familiar with the northern border security review act, what's your view as to the potential issues at our northern border, i know they can impact our national security so what's your assessment where we are on the northern border and what's you're review of the security review act and whether you think it would be helpful. >> i think the act will be helpful. anything to have us further the dialogue and further focus on the northern bored he is a good thing. i'm trying to use the right adjective to talk about the northern border. so i think we had this discussion yesterday. i think the right word i'd use is i'm concerned about the northern border and the threats there. again,ly go back to the threat-based intelligence driven, operational focus approach that we need to have. what we need to do is make sure
we're focused on threats not just numbers. so the number we all know i don't think is a great measure. if we apprehended 100 gang members or 100,000 six years old the if we're april pr -- i want to make sure that in all we do our allocation of resources, our request for requirements and resources, our measures in metrics, that first and foremost it's focused on the so what, the threat, and not just on the activity, numbers going forward, i think we need to continue to strengthen that. >> thank you. thank you both for what you do for the country. appreciate it. >> senator booker. >> thank you. first of all i want to thank you both for your service to our country, the jobs that you do, it's awesome responsibility. i stand in humble gratitude to
both of you for what you do on a daily basis. the job you're doing is fundamental to the safety of my community and new jersey and all of us as a nation, you all on the front line are protecting us and some of those dogged issues under mining safety and security of households, drugs and terrorism you all are on the front lines and i'm grateful for that. when i was mayor, i had over one thousand sworn officers as well as first responders. many folks just do not know the kind of pressures and challenges front line law enforcement face every single day. the incredible dangers. inrelenting sometimes abuse that officers face. i want to just again echo the sentiments i'm sure of all my colleagues and expressing appreciation. when you talked about being the leading agency with assaults to
officers, that's very frustrating to me. i want to commit to you, please reach out to me if there's things we're not doing to support the mission that is central to your success and protecting the well-being of your officers, protectsing, giving them the resources they need to make sure they're doing what they need to do. i have a concern having, you know, understand my leadership officers and i did everything i could to drive down those analytics, including a tax against oflsers, maker kd against officers, making sure they have tools and proteching their safety and technologies. one thing i didn't build out my time as mayor which came back as a shocker because it violated my values, was i didn't build up a set of metrics to measure how my officers were interacting with the public. the aclu and others were making allegations that i didn't think
were true about racial profiling, dispair treatment, but we were arguing over things that there was no transparent analytics to measure. so you and i share the same values the conduct of first responders, now, the 21st century task force on policing urges federal law enforcement agencies to collects, maintain, analyze demographic data on all intention and added that to embrace transparency, law enforcement should regularly post information about stops, summons, arrests, reportsed crime and other law enforcement data aggregated by demographics. once i saw my data and began to make it public i found everything started to get better, the accountability got better. you all don't collect data on stocks. i was stunned to find that out. i would think you would want to
know as a manager who you are pulling over, racial demographics, all of the things the aclu is compiling also stunning data. aclu hasp covered over 6,000 pages of complaints alleging abuse by border patrol agents including racial profiling yet only one case has resultland in disciplinary action. i was in a similar situation with all the evidence, very little disciplinary actions on me until we started shining the light using objective data, so i would like to know again why aren't you collecting this data, really analyzing and crunching is it in a transparent way that could deflect criticism off an officers face because some things are not true but two so managers can betser manage your acti agency that i know you both hold as professionals. >> first of all, thank you for your kind words about how tough
it is to do this job on behalf of men and women in border patrol that are not in d.c. on behalf of them thank you because i think they have a dangerous job on the front lines and they're protecting our families. so thank you very much. second to your statement, i agree with everything you just said. we should be doing that for the exact reasons you said. i think it will also shine a light very positively. i will turn it over to the deputy chief to talk about what we're collecting. i actually think we are collecting most of that stuff. i think what we need to do is get better at analyzing that stuff and getting that stuff out in public. i think that's what we need to get better at. >> this is the last time i'll speak, can i get something from you about, you say, i want to get better, is there deadlines and time lines you set for yourself to get better. the other things i'd like to see the deputy chief in the 1:50 i
have left, you are also the lowest federal agency for law enforcement for representation of women. that's something we found in other federal agencies is really important it address. and obviously we know what's happening in arizona with the federal ruling right now. another area of just figuring out analytics to measure the treatment of people once you have them detained, the conditions in that federal case were stunning to me and i know don't reflect our can common value it's and i know the ones you share. thank you. >> if i may, just touching on the data collection. in my role in the office of professional responsibility following on the chiefs roll-over there, we have been working diligently with both border patrol and field operations to improve our transparency across cbp that's one of the commission ear's priorities. he's said it many times.
there's a lot to go with data collection. sheer size with over 45,000 sworn officers, we're working on this together. it is something that we realize we need to continue to improve on and work closely with many non-governmental organizations in relations to many complaints. the office of professional responsibility is expanding to assist when it comes to investigations of any allegations against our employees. the chief mentioned how high assaults have been, one stat, our use as a force has decreased regularly over the last couple of years. so we're showing improvement there. we're focusing on our work with the public in general. and we realize that there issed into for improvement there. quickly to attack on representation of women, the
border patrol has been around 5% of women in the 20 years i've been in border patrol. that ed, working with hr, we are seeking out more women interested this this. i was a police officer before joining the border patrol. the border patrol is very different work and has been a area we've struggled to increase our number of women but we are working on that, i think we are making strides in that area so we have a more diverse workforce. >> senator ernst. >> thank you mr. chair and thank you both for being here today, we appreciate your service to our nation very mech. very much. i'm encouraged with the efforts working with dod as they hire
veterans as they leave the service. while i support your experience as a veteran with previous experience working out of fort benning in a transition assistance program, i'm very much aware of the numerous, more than i can counts and often overlapping federal employment programs for veterans that reside in so many different governments across the federal government, and i've worked with my colleagues in the senate, including senator john mccain who is the sponsor of the border jobs for veterans act to ensure that any efforts on this front actually achieve the goal of recruiting outgoing service members for positions like yours. and we really believe that this will help solve the fragmentation or overlap that we see in a number of those programs. and can you please provide committee with more details how
cbp is currently engaging with our dod to help these retiring or transitioning service members. >> yes, ma'am. as a former, current, i guess i'll always consider myself united states marine. >> and thank you. >> this is a great program, our human resources will obviously give you more details but i can tell you they actually won an award this year for their interaction with the military counter parts and we are seeing extreme positive benefits. they're increasing their recruitment events across the country at mirlt military installation and abroad.litary installation and abroad. couple other things they're looking at -- reciprocity, physical fitness, do we need them to go through that again when they've already taken a physical fitness test. we're looking for a polygraph do we need to put them through a
second he. there's a lot of resources the division is looking at to increase that. >> could i just make a point. right now it takes 18 months, right, to receive the clearance so that you can be employed by the border patrol, right? >> sir, it's actually improved dramatically now. >> why is it that a veteran cannot immediately be hired if that veteran is already gone through all of the screening? >> yes, sir, that's exactly what they're looking at. they're trying to look at all those avenues. >> let's do more than look at it. okay. it's outrageous. okay. let's do it. >> yes absolutely. >> sorry to interrupt. >> no you are fine senator mccain, i think the point is very well taken in that we have a huge number of qualified personnel that are leaving a service, they are well fit to go into border patrol and they're used to the extreme lifestyles that you engage in.
so it's a great fit and with women, as well, we have a great number of phenomenal women veterans that are exiting our services and this would be a great place for them to further their careers. >> senator from iowa yield for just one moment? >> yes. >> point of clarification, 18 months is outrageous. you indicate it has been improved dramatically, to what extent. >> yes, sir, i don't know the exact numbers but i know they've reduced that in half, i think we're looking at under a year right now. >> come back to that with us. >> could i just engage in colloquy for a second, if you have a veteran who is leaving the military who already has the clearances why couldn't you hire that person immediately? >> yes, sir. >> why would it take a year? >> yes, sir, i think my phrase looking at is probably not the right word, they are actively pursuing initiatives to make that happen.
and also, actually, the vast majority of folks we're looking at don't necessarily have the clearances and back grounds they went through are not quite as extensive as the backgrounds we do, but the point is taken, to say looking at is not the right word they're actively pursuing to give that reciprocity to every area they can. >> so you will have support for those inishives sooner than later. >> bipartisan support. >> thank you mr. chair. i appreciate the discussion because you can see this is a topic that we're all very passionate about and again our service members are a great fit for your organization. and so we want to see active engagement. we want to see progress in this area. and if there's a way that we can engage and do a better job at that, we need to. we need to. so thank you. and i'd like to thank my committee members for engaging
in that discussion as well. chief morgan, i'd like to go back, you had acknowledged earlier in this hearing that a number of the uacs are released into the interior of our country, which is concerning. i have grave concerns about how our government handles those uacs once they cross the border. i will give you a very specific example. there's was a uac named edwin mejia who came across the border, went on to kill a young woman, sarah root who is from iowa, was from iowa, and we learned hhs had lost track of him once he was released to his brother. now this gentleman has gone on to who knows where. we are uncertain where this person is. unfortunately the family of sarah root has not been able to see justice and it's hard to say
whether they will receive justice in their lifetimes. sarah's was unfortunately cut very short. so i understand the difficulty of it's problem that we have when it comes to polling factors, and i would like to make sure that we're addressing these poll factor that's will poll others into our nation, but i also want to look at the push factors, too. you've identified a number of reasons out there. drug interdiction is one. we have people consuming drugs here in our country. they're getting drugs into our country. we have many counter drug centers one at camp dodge, iowa, for the midwest region can you speak to the iowa national guards and national guards all across the country, air, and army and their counter drug programs is that beneficial to your organization? >> it kind of goes back to the
operation fa linx any time we can leverage the national guard it's a good thing and when we're able to do that it's been a positive impact. >> very good and it's something you think we should continue to invest in? >> yes, ma'am. i was talking to one of the cbp pilots was actually a national guard pilot as well and we had a really good dialogue, and he let me fly the helicopter for a little bit, not sure i was supposed to say that, but we had a really good dialogue and what we talked about what, he felt that the national guard members, he wasn't sure who got more out of it whether the border patrol or the pilots participating in that because that's about as realistic training as you can get to support the bored border patrol operation so it is a true win-win. >> thank you.
i appreciate it. thank you very much for your time here we had a lively discussion but certainly we need to know as congress how to enable you to do better so thank you for your time this morning. >> senator peters. >> thank you for both of you for your service and work to our country. it's a difficult job. you are both new but very seasoned to the position. you've hit the ground running. i thank you for that chief morgan and deputy chief provost. deputy chief provost, you've spent a lot of time in the field and that will be very much appreciationed. thank you both for what you do. chief morgan i know as you've been diving into this job you've been focused on making it priority to visit patrol offices
all across the country, as the senator for michigan i hope it is going to be a priority for you as well to get to michigan at the northern border that has unique challenges, one in particular for us is the great lakes environment in michigan and the fact that we have seasons and winter and in fact we've had from previous hearings talking about protecting the maritime coverage when you have thick ice coverage you can walk across large parts of the border. the coast guard ships with ice breakers won't have that kind of monitoring system. there's unique challenges i'm sure you will learn about and will learn more about that when you go to michigan. i will ask you a direct question. you plan on doing that soon? [ inaudible answer ]. >> good. good. will be good in the winter if you see the ice as well to see
some of those challenges. the other thing i want to pick up too is the concerns of the community, michigan is a very diverse, large laet iano, urban american, muslim-american community. there's real concerns i have heard as well, folks who are fareful what the fut fearful about what the future will hold for them. i've also heard from stakeholders in this debate from southeast detroit where we have folks from all over the world. they've been very appreciative with the border patrol and chief there at these meetings have gone a long way to building trust. some very positive things have come out of that. so they ask me to encourage you
to continue that kind of open dialogue and perhaps get some feedback as you are starting that position, how do you see that kind of communication continuing with sector chiefs and are there other things you like to see that we can go further in. >> yes, sir, absolutely. in fact back at headquarters we're starting a new unit, strategic communications, all things communications, both internal and external. it's a good phrase -- it's harder to hate up close. we have to get out there. our leadership has to get out there. i've gone to eleven sectors and many, many stations and the pacts out there leading the way, the agents that are out there, it's not just it's leadership, you go out there and it's he the individual relationship with the ranchers, the community, goes so far in helping that perspective and really bringing everybody together so the more we talk and can be involved is a positive
thing and i've encouraged that from day one and continue to encourage that. >> that's wonderful to hear. if i may we can be involved when you come to michigan let us know you're there and we can assist in connecting you with groups of individuals who have concerns and would love to have the opportunity to meet you personally and to have a discussion about some of their experiences, if we could facilitate that we certainly would appreciate that. >> yes, sir. i think that's been some of my most informed discussion, sitting down, breaking bread with the ranchers, talking to the community, absolutely. we'll absolutely do that. >> great. i appreciate that. also want to pick up on the northern border security review act which i worked on passed both house and senate and you mentioned resources being
appropriately allocated both to the southern and northern border. y you talked about the northern border strategy to have a net base approach, look at that and not just the numbers. would like you to dive in a little bit deeper in the fact you have resource constraints and the northern border different length from the south. how do you focus on that and see it changing and is there anything we need to do at the congressional level to help you make the decisions to ensure we have proper resources both in the south and in the north. >> yes, sir. so there's a couple things going on right now. one initiative we have called the c-gap. basically it's a pretty decent
process that we're going through that should tell us where our resources are needed. regardless of the numbers. it's a 40e8 holistic approach and we're looking at a series of factors. as i review it the challenge i have is i find those system it's being too much foekscused on th activity-base, mean numbers. so i have to assure we're pushing threat in there. somehow, i use the analogy of 100,000 six years old and 100,000 drug dealers, the way we measure it now, the utloutput i the same. we need to adjust that and look at the so-what of those numbers this. part of that is the northern
border, the numbers of apprehensions are relatively low, we need to reframe that. it's not just about numbers. that's going to be a cultural shift for the organization. but we need to do that going forward. one thing that can help when we start talking about personnel, i think what we did in the past we shouldn't do the same, when we talk about personnel we're only talking about badge toters, when we start looking at personnel, we need to look at the kind of personnel so we need more intelligence analyst to have that intelligence approach as well. so our need is not only border patrol agents, we definitely other graphics as well.
>> all right my time is expired thank you. >> next senator. >> thank you for having this hearing and for both of your service. i appreciate you being here today. one of the problems that customs border patrol protection has was at that it was towards the bottom of the list for best place to work. it's been six months since you've been chief have you initiated any kind of programs to help bring that up? >> yes, sir. so the fed survey which i think everyone's familiar with, federal employee goes out there. >> right. >> what we did is we took that, that just scratches the surface, it's a single narrow data point that we can utilize. we came up with a human capital survey team. went out to 13 sectors, talked to 900 people from mechanics to sector chiefs and did a deeper dive hearing from the leaders and hearing their concerns and
from that we've developed several recommendations and i think the remail is on my desk waiting to go out to the workforce really numer ating what those recommendations are and how we will put action teams together to action that. we're also taking a look at, and part of that,ly give you an example, so vapra the pay, that's hard, the more i learn about that, i just shake my head. so what we're trying to do is where we can influence change. i'll give you one example. so canine. i get in there, border patrol does it right, they take their doings home. right. they become bonded. they're together. the dog and handler are better. we say yes take them home it's good thing and don't pay them for the time they spent taking care of their dogs at home. i don't think that's right. right now it takes legislative change to get that. something we need your help on to get that change. that's just one example that we're taking a look at.
>> we've worked on the pay issue before we can work on it again. that's not a problem. as you look at the overall structure do you believe that the top management versus the folks on the ground that you have the right ratios? >> i'm hesitant to use the word, take a look at. so, i -- again, four months, i am taking a look at that. i've talked to the union about that as well. they've echoed their concerns about that ratio, so i'm collecting data on that. >> okay. okay. and so, we talked a little bit about staffing on the northern border and i think the process that you go through to hire folks can be pretty long, pretty cumbersome, do you have any recommendations to expedite that process? >> i think that really probably is something that we really need to bring back to our human
resource people to give you the details. i can tell you they've done an incredible job. they've cut that in half. >> they've cut the time in half already? >> yes, sir. one example is they've hired a hiring hub, instead of going to five different locations you go to one spot and knock out six steps in the process. >> yeah. >> so my suggestion is we need to do more of that and continue that. for. >> hoke. >> . >> okay. >> we need to look at stuff like the military and where we can do reciprocity and the other thing is best recruitment for united states border patrol agent is united states border patrol agency. i'm dedicating more resources border patrol agents to hire border patrol agents. >> all right. so, number of people on the northern border, north dakota and montana, we have a hard time keeping folks, it's the best
place in the world to live, just people don't know that, so the question is when you come to recruit do you have a plan to recruit in some of those more frontier areas? not going to be able to go to the opera and see pro-football but will go fishing in pretty good streams. do you have a recruitment plan for those areas? >> one will be whenever this job ends i think i'll move up there. >> we'll put you to work if you do. >> i agree with everything you said, sir. so yeah we're working with hr to see if we can get better recruitment focus events where we should be going. >> can i make a suggestion. you have a ton of small and big schools on that northern border and a lot of people don't know about the career opportunities you have in customer om border patrol and if you were able to send and get hold of those councillors and even make a appearances you will get people who live there but want to live
there to do the job you do. like you said if you could have other people in uniform go up and talk to these kids about the opportunities i think you will be quite successful. in montana we serve in the military at a higher rate than any other state other than maybe north dakota. at any rate stone guard grass we talked about yesterday you talked about how important they are, how -- how -- how defish is the stone garden budget right now in your opinion? is it 25% less than it should be? is it about where it needs to be? is it too high? >> i don't know. i haven't done a deep enough e dive. i can say when i have gone to every single sector, southern, northern border, it is resounding from the chiefs of that program, they're like, more. so i need to do a deeper dive to
personally tell you that but what i hear from the sector chief and law enforcement chiefs and sheriffs that are involved in the program it's a great program and they want more. >> okay and another question, you have farmers and ranchers that know the property like the back of their hand and in fact they do know it as good as the back of their hand, does your agency have an outreach program to them to make sure they're on board. ten years ago when i got this job we went up to the northern border and there wasn't a very good relationship. that's hae changed over the last ten years. is there outreach to let them know they're appreciated and two they could be eyes and ears afternooned help you out. >> from my perspective from what i've seen i can absolutely say, yes. i've seen, i've gone in there and seen the agents on the line and the relationships they have with those land owners and ranchers. >> okay good. >> i've seen it first handed is there always room for improvement, sure, and we're doing citizen academy type
things as well bringing people in. yes, sir it's happening. >> just in closing i will say this, i think this committee and the appropriations committee are very open to make sure you have the resources you need to keep the country safe along the northern, as well as southern border. we just need to have the information many when it comes to recruitment whether we have the technological man power we got to have that information it's got to be good information otherwise we'll make bad decisions, so i don't in what you're allowed to do but do what you can so people know the challenge on both borders. thank you. >> senator langford. >> thank you both again for the ongoing service for a very long time. i have a whole series of questions on multitude of issues. chief, you've been there a whopping six months and obviously made a lot of progress and dug in a lot rand looking at a lot of things and we appreciate that very much.
before you came in about five months before in january of this year the inspector general put out report on the special operations group budgeted at $8 million and came in $33 million and the inspector general said there's no metrics attached to it or over sights measures for the special operations report are you familiar with that report, if you are, can you comment on it if not can you follow up on the progress being made. >> i'm not and will follow up. >> fair enough. in your statement that you put in, you made a comment, it was kind of on offhand comment quite frankly but you mentioned voluntary return and put a comma the least efficient and effective consequence. can you give additional detail about that. >> so voluntary return if you look back in time, basically was just that.
we would apprehend somebody at the border and say, okay, go back. what that caused, there were agents back in the day what that meant was an agent could actually apprehend the same person three or four times in the same shift because there's no consequences, no deterrence. so to do a vr today just, just doesn't make sense. >> so what is the alternative, is that something we need to fix in statute? >> so i -- i think statuteorilyi guess we can have dialogue it remove that in it's entirit. >> there has been a lot of dialogue about what you just said, if you say voluntary return, they know the term, the coach know what term to use, fear, asylum, all the statements, or voluntary return, they're able to cross right over the border, come back mile down
the road and get picked up again. how many times should that be allowed. you're dealing with a person that is a pair they've crossed the border illegally should they be able to do it 20 times, five times. >> from the united states border patrol perspective not ever, right. the first time you cross there should be a consequence that leads to a deterrence. >> thank you. any other comment miss provost. >> no i echo what the chief is saying about that, we do utilize expedited removal which has been a huge benefit having that ability over the last decade. >> terrific you both mentioned in opening testimony your concern about terrorism and terrorist activities or materials and drugs moving across the borders. we talked about the movement of drug and human smuggling, you mentioned some of the things about terrorism in your opening statement can you give us any additional detail about that?
>> challenge in a unclassified setting, but i think again i'll go back to that approach why it's so important to have a threat-based intelligence-driven approach. we spend a lot of time talking about uacs and family units, i don't see the six-year-old on the cut road at midnight as national security threat. but go to the northern border, there are stuff, it's open source, we know there are individuals in candidate that are self-radicalized we know that. we know it's open source. so it's that type of threat that concerns me. and so when we're dealing with our matrix, our strategies, again, not only do we have to talk about the numbers, that's always going to be a component but again we need to focus on that threat and what i can say is there is -- there are threats out there that concern me. >> okay. so let me dig deeper, you've
been asked couple times what you need, you mentioned partnership, corporation, what does partnership mean to you? is that additional personnel to form that partnership and relationship? is that co-locating in significances? is that materials? what is needed when you talk about additional partnerships and corporation. >> all of that. >>s okay. i know senator portman mentioned to you his request, let me add to it as well, can you submit back in writing for us to do our job effectively we think we need this, that gives greater clarity. even when talking about technology needs there's been tremendous experiment with technology and variety in aviation, whether unmanned, multiple platforms for aircraft, helicopter, fixed wing do we need to maintain all of these, is one more effective than another. all of that comes into it as we try to make decisions on this
committee not just we need to help in partnerships but mechanics and what that means. so the more detail better. technology and aircraft there's a lot of debate whether fixed wing, road, unmanned, what's the most efficient, least cost, to get most bang for the buck, and other technology piece that's are actually getting you a good return now. if we go back four years ago we were spending $1 billion on a program that didn't work. what technology is working. >> yes, sir, i agree with everything you just said and i think i don't need to say that it's so unique from sector to sector. one side doesn't fit all. >> right. >> there could be areas where rotary aircraft isn't effective, a manned but a small inmaned platform would be more effective in an area. it really is a complicated process to be determined, to be smart about it, to use the money
wisely, to figure out what asset we need where, that's part of the c-gap process, the capabilities initiative we're doing. we're well under way of that land provide this committee with exactly that information. i can tell you we do need additional stuff. we need additional assets. operational assets. the horses. the canines. et cetera. technology, more, yes. infrastructure, yes. on the bodies, it's a little tougher to say right now exactly what we need and how much and where and we're working through that. >> okay. terrific. that report will be finalized when? >> i'm not sure. >> okay. give me a guess, a year? >> fy-17. >> okay. that helps. can i also ask you to take into consideration sustainment when you do that because there's a lot of conversation about this is what we need, next is how many people is needed to sustain
that and keep that in the ongoing conversation. i appreciate for what you're doing and thanks for the extra 20 seconds mr. chairman. >> senator -- >> thank you chairman. earlier this month i visited portal and talk about it a lot because we're chattllenged in those areas in terms of personnel and it's absolutely critical that we have an employment plan and i want to reiterate what was already said. i think we can find good folks right there. senator langford and i held a hearing where we talked about employment regarding rerecruitment of millenials and your personnel officer from dhs came with a new burst of energy and so we're looking forward to hearing her report and what she's doing, some really creative ideas. i do want to point out again the northern border.
the bill that will inevitably get sign the into law by the president hopefully in the next couple weeks will put demands on you to inform the public and inform this committee and the congress about what those threats are. and what it takes in terms of personnel and equipment and technology to basically meet those threats. so i just want to, once again, encourage you to not only meet the deadline in the bill but maybe bring it in a little early because as you can see there's a great deal of concern and great deal of publicity now about what is happening now on the northern border. with that said, i want to talk about canada. we had a great conversation, i think, yesterday. but i think for the record here if you would reiterate the kinds of things you're doing with your counter parts in canada that can in fact expand personnel and
provide more situational awareness. we've got a huge advantage in the northern border that we don't have in the southern border which is a trusted and long-term partner in terms of keeping the border secure. if you could give us a run down with your work with canadian officials that be great. >> yes, ma'am. couple issues out there yesterday talked about the international border team mix of canadian law enforcement and u.s. forces, mainly border patrol. there's a few otherentit i is in it's a great initiative. part of the quintessential task force environment and you're right they're trusted allies and continue to be effective. we need to expand on that. national intelligence communications we need to expand on. the communications flow can be cumbersome at times.
it has to go up to more of a national level. it doesn't always get down to the folks on the line as quick as it should but we recognize that and are working towards that. we're looking for more opportunities where we can actually do, you know, integrated operations. right. more of that -- it's not just about sharing information, it's taking that, analyzing that and acting into true, counter network operations, right, to cross the border and do more of that. we're doing some of that. i think we should and can do more of that going forward. those are just couple efforts we're doing. >> i want to reiterate what you were talking about earlier which is there are tasks performed by guys and gals wearing badges that could really be done by other professionals especially as it relates to the uncompanied minors issue. so when you are looking at this report look closely at those
tasks that the guys in green should be performing and where we can transfer out. now i'm going to be really specific on this, but it does concern me. one of the biggest concerns from the border patrol agents when i was at portal is communications, many times you will get bounced off a radio tower in canada or in north dakota and they're out with no cellphone or radio coverage. that is not a formula for success. especially if they have to rely on the sheriff to give them backup if they encounter an event. and so, can you please look into communications on the northern bored e especially in remote locations, i think we owe it to those people who put on a badge and walk out the door every day their family not knowing if they are going to come back, we owe it to them to give them the best equipment. i want to turn to the southern
border. i've spent a fair amount of time down there. chief, you will probably laugh at this but can you paint your cars a different color than white? you did. >>. [ inaudible ] >> you did. i'm serious about this because i think that obviously, you know, not that you should be clandestine, but if you're a spotter on a hill in mexico and you're walking some drugs across the border and you see a white truck coming on the border, it's pretty easy to radio down to the guys who are carrying the contraband and say "avoid this or avoid that." i do think there's some advantage to having a vehicle that is less likely to be spotted and we know this happens. they're up on the hill, right? they're watching you every minute especially if they're moving product of any kind of value so your ability to move in
a way and respond to it in a way without early detection can be enormously value. so it's just a thought and i'm passing it on from the foix on the southern border who look at this and say this is a problem. and i'm going to encourage you to continue and i know you have. i'm grateful to that. your ongoing outreach to the ranchers on the southern border and the northern border, see something, say something, we've got to create relationships where people are in this together and i think you were down, your visited with the ranchers on the southern border, good reports coming back from that, chief, so thank you. keep up the open communication, they've been on that land as tester said, they know their land like the back of your hand so thank you, both of you, for putting on that uniform everyday representing all of us and doing some of the toughest work done in america. really appreciate it.
>> thanks, senator heitkamp. i have two further lines of questioning. one has to do with incentives. we talked earlier about the fact that we have no expedited removal for kids in family units from central america. it just creates that incentive, if you get in the country you stay but i want to talk about other incentives as well. what about sanctuary cities? to what extent does that, again, incentivize people to come here because they know they've got jurisdictions once they're holing up there they won't be deported. would anyone want to speak to that? >> sure. i think probably from a perspective of a united states border patrol, when we look at those factors, i'd probably -- don't really look beyond the fact of a notice to appear. >> more question for. i c.e? >> yes, sir. >> let me talk about the ways the smugglers, the human traffickers really defeat customs border patrol.
for example using minors. overloading the system. when we were traveling with one of the sheriffs the claim was we don't prosecute unless it's at least 500 pounds of marijuana. talk about those -- and incentives or just impediments to actually enforcement. >> yes, sir, thresholds are always an issue. they have limitations, personnel and funding as well. you can see from one jurisdiction or another different thresholds for the basically same activity, the same amount. i think that can serve as a morale challenge for the rank-and-file out there risking their lives everyday and something not prosecuted, what can appear to be an arbitrary
threshold. that's a challenge. >> what about use of minors? what can possibly be done about that? or what do we try and do about it? >> well, in relation to the amount of unaccompanied children you're talking about, sir, that are coming in? >> no, i'm talking about minors used as drug runners. >> to smuggle. yes, yes. that has been a tactic they've used for as long as i have been in the border patrol because they do know that at least criminally that's -- they're not going to receive a prosecution because they're minors. so that's tactic that the dtos and asos, the drug trafficking organizations and alien smuggling organizations have used for as long as i can remember. specifically for that reason because if they are a minor, they're not going to receive a prosecution. that's a difficult one for us. it is something -- it's a tactic that we pay attention to. i would not say that it is
increased, it's a common practice across the board when it comes to bringing groups in, local guides, as we call them. >> it works, unfortunately. chief, you talked about morale. let's talk about the issues of morale i hear about. the policy in terms of got-aways, where, you know, agents on the ground level, they have to call in a supervisor if there's more than 20. then they're pulled off. i don't know all the ramification but it sounds like it creates a huge incentive not to report got-aways more than 20. can you speak to that? >> yes, sir. i just -- at this point i have a challenge really with several of the matrix we're doing. not just the impact it has on the agents, the perceptions but and even reality on that, but is it really capturing what it should be capturing? and so we are, unfortunately,
i'll use the word again, i am taking a look at that from a holistic approach but, yes, i've heard some of those same concerns. >> deputy chief pro vest, when i had the chief in my office, we talked -- as i've talked to secret service, when you have a continuous shift, my way of thinking, you need four shifts and we don't have that customs border patrol. what is your basic view point of how we staff in the areas of customs border control that are continuous shift, right now you use overtime it's not effective. in industry we don't do that. why do we do that in government? >> for the most part we use three shifts, there are areas we do have four shifts, depending upon the location and what works best the individual sector and the chief takes into consideration what works best, the resourcing that they have. as we know, our men and women are also a resource that we utilize.
the fact that we have established, really, that border patrol agents work a ten-hour day helps with the coverage for the shift changes but there are areas where the remoteness of the board verde an impact and we run four shifts in some of those locations. >> do you see a difference in morale where you operate the four shifts? do you find that works better for you? >> in my conversations with agents i've seen both sides of the fence, i guess, on that. some agents would prefer four shifts and some agents would prefer three so we try to look at in the an aspect of what makes sense for that specific area of operations. >> okay. well i'll ask that you work with me in that, take a look at it. it's something well worth exploring, looking into. in your joint testimony, i am concerned about this, your losses are currently outpacing gaines, creating a downward staffing trend and we talked a number of reasons for that,
something we really want to work with you on and in my final minute here i just want to address fencing because, again, fencing works. a better wall works. and it also will help relieve the personnel issues, too. so we did pass the secure fence act. i don't think we've built the type of fencing that's going to work. i'm not suggesting 1700 miles but i think we need better fencing in more areas and i just want a quick comment on that. >> yes, sir. i agree. i can give you a quick example off the top of my head. when i visited the san diego sector, that's an area, a long stretch, a few miles where they actually have primary fencing and secondary pedestrian fence. not only did that work to stem the flow elsewhere, but by doing so the chief told me at that point he was actually able to take 100 agents and put them elsewhere because it didn't require that level of deployment
there. go to another sector where they actually told me that at one point the free market across on the u.s. side had all but dried up and the area where they put fencing up and the flow had all but stopped, now it was a thriving shopping center once again. so it works on multiple levels, not just on the flow and our ability to do our job but it also has other aspects. so, yes, do we need more fencing. yes. >> do we need it everywhere? no. is it the sole answer? no. it's part of an overall multilayered strategy. >> and the deputy chief mentioned that. so i hope you work with this committee as we move forward to identify where we need additional fencing, how it should be designed, how do you have to roads in