Skip to main content

tv   Homeland Security Secretary Testifies on FY 2018 Budget  CSPAN  May 26, 2017 8:00pm-9:59pm EDT

8:00 pm
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. homeland security secretary john kelly testified earlier this week before a senate appropriations subcommittee. he talked about concerns of homegrown terrorism in the aftermath of the manchester
8:01 pm
bombing 'th bombing this week. this hearing is two hours. i call this hearing of the subcommittee of homeland security in order. this is my first hearing as chairman of the subcommittee and it's the subcommittee's first hearing to review the 2018 budget request which was submitted to congress earlier this week. i want to begin by thanking secretary of homeland security the honorable john kelly for being with us today. we know that you're very, very busy and, again, appreciate you being here. secretary kelly, we do
8:02 pm
understand the demands on your schedule, your testimony's what is -- what is your first appearance before our subcommittee in your new role. i would also like to welcome our subcommittee's ranking member, the distinguished senator and friend from montana, senator tester. i'm also pleased that senator leahy, the advice chairman of the full committee has joined us. the department of homeland security plays a pivotal role in keeping merck americans safe by working to combat terrorism, manage our air, land, sea borders, administer our laws, secure cyber assets and prepare for and respond to disasters. the tragic events in manchester, england, earlier this week remind us why we must focus on the serious challenge of securing our homeland. mr. secretary, you've dedicated your career into serving ourg national interests and in just a
8:03 pm
few months you've proven your ability to lead the department during a val challenging time. this subcommittee will work to support you and the men and women of the department who are working every day to keep us safe. the department is being called on by this president to refocus its resources on certain national security risks and redouble efforts 10 to force our immigration laws. we look forward to learning more about how the department proposes to address these needs while ensuring we do not neglect the other critical missions of the department. this budget request gets many things right, we've seen over the past few months that border security and immigration enforcement are closely related as the new administration's demonstrating there are consequences for those entering and staying in the country illegally with illegal border crossings dropping to historic lows. your budget proposes increased funding for customs and border protection, and immigration and customs enforcement service for
8:04 pm
both manpower and infrastructure to continue to reduce illegal border crossings. in order to better understand these requirements and make the right choices, the subcommittee must get a morp comprehensive plan from the department that details how we can be smart about investing in border security and interior enforcement. another key component to securing our borders is the united states coast guard, which this budget generally supports. in fiscal year 17 this subcommittee delivered significant investments to enhance the capabilities of the coast guard. we identified funding to continue the modernization of the surface and air fleets and we partnered with our defense subcommittee to begin acquisition of a new polar icebreaker. we'll have to work again to provide the resources necessary to enable the coast guard to continue protecting our borders
8:05 pm
interdicting illegal minors and drugs, conducting search and rescue missions, ensuring the safe navigation of our waterways and maintaining our defense readiness. this budget proposal appropriately anol nal gees that the cyber network is constantly under attack. i'm pleased to see that they've provided funding for all four phase iz of the continuous diagnostic and mitigation program. other federal agencies must move past the initial cdm kick start provided by the department and begin properly budgeting for their own investment and utilization of the system in order to realize its full benefit. you've rightly noted in your testimony and through this budget proposal that the department's workforce it its most valuable resource and that taking care of the people that work to keep us safe each day is a top priority. i hope we will work together to ensure that the department can improve workforce recruitment, development, and retention.
8:06 pm
we're aware of the unique stresses caused by the intense 2016 presidential election campaign, additional duties, increased travel, ongoing investigative work, and the inherent requirements of presidential protection have strechtd the secret service workforce thin. these are the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect our top leaders and to prevent sberns with our most critical institutions. we are optimistic that the additional resorts provided in the recently enacted appropriations bill will make a real difference for the men and women of the secret service. but workforce challenges span the department. we need to hire and retain more customs officers, more border patrol agents, more acquisition experts, and more cyber professionals. we want to help you make the department of homeland security the best place to work in the entire federal government. while this budget proposal makes
8:07 pm
some smorart choices there are also parts of it that are unworkable. whether we're talking about a hard-working arkansas family, when it comes time to develop a budget, tough choices have to be made. >> i have no doubt that many tough decisions were made in preparing the request, but many of the choices reflected in this budget put this subcommittee in a difficult position. for instance, it assumes statutory changes to programs that congress would almost certainly be unable to enact before the fiscal year. from the proposed increase to airline passenger fees to the significant reductions in assistance to state and local partners, to the failure to invest adequately in research and development, this budget fails to take into consideration many prauk tick cal realities. we ask for your cooperation as we consult with you and your staff to make the necessary adjustments to allow this budget to work despite these significant challenges. we will likely face a very tough
8:08 pm
appropriations cycle. we will certainly be urged to restore many of the significant reductions proposed by this budget, and absence some significant change to the availability of resources, we are not going to be able to fund all of the priorities it outlines. congress will have to make these decisions based on shared priorities, and with an eye towards risk-based distribution of limited resources. we know we can count on your partnership and guidance throughout this process. again, mr. secretary, we appreciate your testimony, your willingness to answer questions for members of this subcommittee. i will now turn to our distinguished ranking member senator tester and then to our full committee chairman, senator cochran and then to our full committee advice chairman senator leahy for any opening remarks that they may have before asking secretary snell e kelly -- kelly to proceed with his testimony. then we will allow each senator
8:09 pm
seven minutes for me questions they may have. senator tester. >> yes, thank you, i appreciate your leadership and good morning mr. secretary and welcome. we're here today to examine the dhs budget for fiscal year '082018 and i think the importance of this budget is reflected in the fact that we have the chairman and ranking member of the full committee here today. i would be remiss if i didn't first say that our thoughts are with the folks in manchester uk and those affected by a senseless act of violence last monday. before we get into your budget, mr. secretary, i want to be note that the president's budget cuts nondefense discretionary spending by 1.5 trillion over ten years including 54 billion in fq 18 in part to help pay for the proposed wall on the southern border. this is not a serious proposal and would be detrimental to the nation's security, small business, agriculture and education. mr. secretary, your department is one of the few nondefense discretionary agencies to receive an increase in the
8:10 pm
president's fiscal year 2018 request. in total, the request includes $44.1 billion in increase of over 1.7 billion over the physical year 17 act that we passed a few years acc. >> the senate jaw dish. >> the title that you leave has a multitude of including border and immigration security. helping communities prepare for and respond to natural or manmade disasters and monitoring our coastlines and our waterways to save lives, intercept illegal drugs, and prevent bad actors from ib vading our ports. lie ones share of the increase for dhs is dedicated to border security and immigration enforcement coming the heels of that 1.5 billion in fy 2017 omnibus.
8:11 pm
i support efforts to strengthen our border but it needs to be done in a smafrt way. i am concerned about what is missing in this budget when it comes to your other priorities. priorities like aviation security, maritime security, cybersecurity, preparing our local -- or our communities for natural disafter the and the possibility of a terrorist attack. first, although the let to the aviation is very high, we've had classified briefings on this, in fact, but we also see budget cuts to several tsa security programs. second, the budget relies on the faulty assumption that an unauthorized increase of aviation security fees will be enacted to offset $530 million in budget authority. third, this budget slashes fema preparedness grants by 30%, and state and local training by 40% while threats are more diverse than ever. and fourth, and equally
8:12 pm
troubling, is the research and development is cut by 21% at a time when we need to be developing leap-ahead technology to stay ahead of our adversaries. >> i don't think there's a briefing that i go to whether it's this or whether it's military that don't talk about the fact that our adversaries are advancing quicker than we are to cut this budget does not make any sense to me at all. finally, on border security, we've all heard from the president, the wall, the wall, the wall. and, frankly, i think we need a better strategy. one that is more cost-effective, one that focuses on proven technology, one that includes metric and one that respects private property rights. i haven't seen such a plan, but i guarantee you i'm going to continue to press for one. we can't spend billions of dollars on a wall at the expense of local law enforcement, firefighters, or airport security and i'm not convinced that the president's budget makes the investments needed to keep america safe. it is critical that the appropriations committee take the appropriate time to work
8:13 pm
diligently and pass a budget that strengthens our national security and secures our boarders. i know the chairman has a commitment to that. when i vote ford your confirmation, mr. secretary, and i would do it again today, i said you're one of the adults in the room that i'm depending on to make good decisions or this country's security. i still believe that. thank you for being here and i look forward to this hearing. >> thank you senator tester. chairman cochran. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much for chairing the hearing. we appreciate your leadership and we welcome the secretary and we wish you all the best. we want to know what the priorities are for funding, we don't have enough money do everything for everybody who have requests to make of the funding levels in this committee. thank you for being here, we're anxious to hear your comments
8:14 pm
about appropriate levels of funding and the priorities that we need to consider in the writing of this appropriations bill. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. advice chairman leahy. >> thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member tester and chairman cochran for the opportunity. a couple brief opening remarks. secretary kelly, thank you for being here today. there are many issues to discuss, not the least of which is top of today's hearing, the budget's -- president's budget proposal which is just delivered to us on tuesday, including his plans for the department of homeland security. secretary kelly, i've known you a long time and been an ood o admirer of yours. i knew you when you were in the marine corps. so i will do what marines were expected to do, speak frankly.
8:15 pm
i think this budget proposal can be summed up pretty quickly, abysmal. i'm not surprised that the budget before us proposes billions of taxpayers dollars to build a misguided wall on the southern border to fund the president's deportation force. executive orders man dagt these things were among the first things that president trump did when he took office. now, the orders may have fulfilled a promise on the campaign trail, neather is going to did much to enhance our national security or our homeland security or efforts to comprehensively address the concerns, the valid concerns of the immigration system. instead of focusing on real threats, the administration sought to demonize immigrants, demonize those of certain religions, drive them into the shadows, isolate our country, alienate our trading partners
8:16 pm
tots north and south, and throw taxpayer money at a problem. it requires a serious and meaningful and realistic and practical solution. i'm sure you came here today prepared to talk about the southern border. i hope you're prepared to talk about your needs along the northern border as well. i live an hour's drive from canada. our largest trading partner's canada. our community's thrive and economic infusion we get from canadians come into vermont, to explore our great lake sampling and do business involved in numerous manufacturing jobs in vermont. but vermont has take ann hit because of the president's action. our economy's weakened business his action. fewer people want to come visit and spend money in our state. i hear story after story of problems crossing our border,
8:17 pm
which i mentioned is only an hour from my home, with the kind of delays they're having, delays they can't understand. and for all this we're not more secure. meanwhile, the trump budget cuts billions of dollars from food nutrition assistance, medical resorj, afford able housing program, heating assistance, victim support program, legal services, education programs, slashes foreign assistance, assistance that defense secretary mattis has said is critical to our national security. now, the president may claim this budget advances the security of the american people, in reality it makes millions of americans less secure in their daily lives. as i said, i've known awe a long time, i supported your nomination, but this budget, this budget is really a disservice to the american people.
8:18 pm
and as advice chairman of this committee, i'm going to work with republicans and democrats to put together a budget that puts americans, puts americans first. and mr. chairman i thank you for the opportunity. >> thank you, senator leahy. let's go ahead and go then to our questioning phase and mr. secretary, while it may be too early to declare victory it's worth noting that the posture you have taken at the department has resulted in the lowest rate of illegal border crossings we ever seen. the change has been remarkable. i'm sorry. we need your testimony first. so let's go to the testimony as you can see we're anxious to get out of the blocks. we've got lots of questions, but, again, we need to hear from you first. thank you. >> yes, senator. and chairman boozman and ranking member tester and all the
8:19 pm
distinguished members of the committee and subcommittee, it's a pleasure to be here to answer questions, but most importantly in my mind to represent the men and women of the department of homeland security. i believe, as i know do you, that the role of government first and foremost is to secure its people. a secure homeland is one of prosperity where legal trade and travel add to our national economy. where legal trade, a secure home sland one of freedom where american citizens can go about their lives without fear and a secure homeland is one of laws which we enforce to keep our communities safe. it is a great honor and privilege to appear before you today to discuss the men and women of the department of homeland security and the critical missions they carry out every day in service to the nation. on a sad note, and one that makes the point tragically, just last night we lost one of our cvp officers down in texas, in el paso, stabbed repeatedly in
8:20 pm
the face by a cartel member that he identified himself to and he lost his life. the president's fiscal year 2018 budget request for the department of homeland security is never enough, but i think it's sufficient to allow me and the men and women to do our jobs. we know that the threats are out there. we know that our aviation transportation system in particular is a top prize in the eyes of terrorists organizations. we know that transnational criminal organizations are bringing drugs across the borders in massive amounts by land and sea and air. we know that our nation's cyber systems are under constant attack. we know that natural disasters devastate american home towns. we also know that dhs is up to the job of protecting the united states against all of these threats and many, many more. just last week the coast guard cutter hamilton off loaded more
8:21 pm
than 18 tons of cocaine that they had seized in international waters off the pacific ocean. that's huff rough lit weight of nine cars and worth an estimated.5 bm dollars. the week before that will may 8th through the 14th tsa discovered sift 6 firearms in passengers seeking to board aircraft, loaded firearms if the in six weeks ice arrested more than 1300 gang members in a nationwide gang enforcement operation. we're making a difference, we're making our nation more secure, but we need a fully-funded budget that matches our mission without continuing resolution dollars and i think this budget approaches that. the president's fy 20 budget of 44.1 billion in net discretionary funding for the department of homeland security it also requests 7.4 billion to finance the cost of emergencies and major disasters and fema's disaster relief fund. when you you're talking about numbers like that, it's easy to
8:22 pm
lose sight of what's behind each and every dollar. but when you get right down to it, behind each and every dollar are hardworking men and women who have dedicated their careers to protecting the american people. they're taking dangerous criminals off of our streets, keeping terrorists out of our country and drugs off of our streets. they're investing -- investigating grooimz crimes with international implications were they're making sure passengers get to their destinations safely. they're responding to devastated communities in the wake of natural disasters. they're patrolling and maintaining our nation's waterways where are waterways that support 4.5 trillion in economic activity every year. every dollar invested in the men and women of dhs and every dollar invested in the toolds, infrastructure, reemt and training they need to get the job done is an investment in prosperity, freedom, and the rule of law. it is an investment in the security of the american people. there's no greater responsibility as i mentioned, and a time of nor greater need. i would be remiss if i did not mention the terrorist attack in
8:23 pm
manchester as you did. our friends in the uk suffered a terrible loss. their enemy is our enemy. the u.s. government continues to work furiously with the british, the fbi, the intelligence community, dhs and others to assist their investigation in any way we can. from my part, i immediately called the home secretary, offered our nation's condolences, and asked if there was any help we could -- that they were not getting from the united states. >> i want to assure that you as this enemy is evolving, becoming more reprehensible, even targeting children, dhs is working every day to meet the threats. >> i appreciate the opportunity to appear here before you today. >> i thank you for your continued support. i remain committed to working with congress and protecting the american people. and, sir, i stand by and answer any questions. >> thank you, mr. secretary, and we do appreciate your testimony very, very much. this and your written testimony. while it may be early -- too
8:24 pm
early to declare a victory, it's worth noting that the posture you've taken at the department along with the hard work of the men and women that -- of the agency has resulted in the lowest rate of illegal border crossings we've ever seen. the change has been remarkable. your budget request increases funds for customs and border protection to secure the southwest land border, but your entire department is tasked with keeping bad people and bad things out of the united states. the question i have, is it correct to think of what's been referred to as the law as an entire border security that includes people, technology, and physical barriers intended to control who and what comes into the united states? >> i'm sorry, sir, i missed part of the question. >> well, again, the law. >> right. >>the which we hear, you know, constantly referred to. >> yes. >> is it correct that this
8:25 pm
security system is part of the entire, you know, apparatus that includes people, technology, physical barriers, to control who and what comes into the united states. >> sure. yes, sir. as i'm sure the senator knows, the committees knows that right now we have about 650 miles of the border covered with some type of physical barrier. where there is physical barrier, where it makes sense, it really does work. the first thing i did, and i continue to did on this topic and many others, is to talk to the people that actually execute the policy down on the border. so immediately after taking -- taking office i visited the texas border, the arizona border, i've been back down a couple times to visit additional border sites. i've spoken to mayors, big city mayors or mayors down along the border obviously the police officers, local law enforcement as well as the -- my people,
8:26 pm
cvp, customs and border protection. they all believe that physical barriers in certain places would enhance the security mission that they do every day. so we have 650 miles of some type of barrier there now. we want tacoma prove on that. i'm already asking, a say the cbp professionals where do you want wall right away. in some cases they say through the part of the border that i patrol, we don't -- we don't see much need for a wall in this region. and in other places they're very precise they'll say if you can give me 13 more miles of wall, 26 more miles of wall, when i say wall, physical barrier, so they know what they want. and i want to support them. in south texas as an example down in the southern rio grand valley, a wall, wall, concrete structure makes sense because there's wall there now and it reinforces the levy system in that region. there's other parts of the
8:27 pm
border where we already have what's called ball let fencing that erupt. picture a big metal fence kind of picket fence, the members of cvp want to be able to see through the struck you're whatever it is for two reasons that they see people congregating on the other side, movement on the other side. by the same token ek people on the other side can see them and they're deterred from trying to get into the country. so we're looking at it. i think the committee knows that we have -- we're working with construction proposals right now to decide what works best and, as i say, in some places it may be a concrete structure other places a metal barrier fencing-type structure. we're look at that. and then throw all of that, of course, we need the professional cbp working the border whether there's a wall there, a structure there or not. and then technology plays in this as well.
8:28 pm
so the whole structure or the whole issue of border protection, in my view, does, in fact, i physical barrier where it makes sense. certainly technology where we can ex-employ mploy it and then backed up by the patrol of the great men and women of cbp and rest of dhs. >> very good. thank you. mr. secretary, the recently enacted appropriations bill requires that you provide a comprehensive plan to congress that details exactly how we intend ton secure the southwest land border. and you talked about it a little bit then. do you anticipate this plan will call for different solution as at different place snsz so as you mentioned, at some point i guess what we'd like to know is when we will receive that plan. we're very interested in actually seeing that on paper. i understand the concept, i
8:29 pm
think, you know, what you said the committee would agree with, that we've got all of these things really including the personnel, whether it's research, cyber, all of these things that have to do with securing the border. >> right. >> but at what point will we be able to actually see the plan? >> as soon as i can complete it. and i'm not -- i'm not making a joke. >> yeah. >> it's -- you know, 2000 miles of border and literally as i say, there are places where the -- where we need either technology, more people, or physical barrier. there's place there's that cvp tell me we need it right away. there's other places that we don't neepd it for, you know, a year or two or three. so as we put that plan together we'll come up, brief it, and i think you'll be impressed. >> no, i think that's an excellent answer. again, the fact that one size doesn't fit all as you look at the challenge. the federal government's computer networks are under constant attack. we have worked with the department to ensure the
8:30 pm
continued deployment of capabilities like continuous diagnostics. but remain frustrated by the department's inability to maintain a predictable schedule and to urge other agencies to chip in and adopt the technology. are we making progress towards meeting phase three and embarking on phase four of the cdm program? also, what is the department doing to encourage other departments and agencies to assume more responsibility for the funding of cdm beyond the initial phases? >> it's not moving fast enough. 120 days in the job, it's a priority clearly it's a priority for the president. one of the things not that i needed the help because there is a new team, fresh team in place that recognize the issues, the threats of -- when i say a new team in place, everyone from -- well, all the department -- all of the department heads, my fellow cabinet members
8:31 pm
throughout the government. so they understand the threat, they understand the need for it. of course the president put out a cyber executive order. but we're pressing forward on that. and i know you're frustrated, it's one of those things that we're working very hard to change. in fact, i would just mention to try to change -- we ever changing the attitude within my department towards this institution, that is the united states congress. the one thing that was constant during my period of office calls and whatnot in my confirmation process was my department, our department, was the worst for responding to congressional inquiries, letters, things like that. hired the best congressional type liaison that i knew, that i know, they're in place now. we're leaning forward and i promise you that our response will be much better than it has been in the past. that's not to say that my predecessor whereas anything other than a great professional,
8:32 pm
but we do have a new attitude towards not only the congress but the press and we're trying our best to respond. and, frankly, just anecdotally i spoke to a few senators and congressman and said you've gotten much better. much better is nice to hear but it's not enough for me, so. >> well, on behalf of the entire committee, i know that that's encouraging and we appreciate you doing the very best that you can to get back in a timely manner. senator leahy. >> thank you, mr. chairman and secretary kelly. i kont start off in discussions about building the wall, asking if the check is in the mail from mexico. but you can keep watching the mail, i don't think it's being sent by express mail. now, in the campaign trail, president trump promised to support a total and complete shut down of muslims entering
8:33 pm
the united states. he's taken office, he's twice tried to block individuals from six muslim majority countries from entering our country. >> i mention that not as a political thing but the practical effect of it, it has an effect on vermont's economy. we border canada. one vermont ian wrote to me abot the school trips to the united states because of what's been said about muslims. and this vermont relies heavily on canadian student destination trips as a driver of the more than $3 billion the tourism sector generates within the state. this is the state of only 625,000 people so the $3 billion is a big factor. other vermont innkeeper, resort operators restaurant owners have contacted me about the cancellations they've received
8:34 pm
from canada. the president claims this blanket travel ban is necessary for our national security because individuals from certain countries pose too great a risk of terrorism. i've never felt terrorized and i've gone to canada. even with my limited french in the province of quebec my wife's relevant tifds treat me with some respect. butta citizenship alone without any additional evidence a reliable indicator of the terrorist threat? >> is citizenship alone, no, sir. >> good. i ask then, director comey this same question and he gave basically the same answer. your department from the office of intelligence and analysis concluded that citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable
8:35 pm
indicator of potential terrorists activity anymore than it was in probably one of the biggest terrorist acts in the united states, the oklahoma city bombing. now, i also mentioned earlier about our border crossing. hardly a week goes by, sometimes not a day goes by without a vermonter or vermont business letting me know about long delays at vermont's high gate port of entry, and the wait times are impacting not just tourism but business very substantially. and i know that since 2009 cbp in vermont has lost 25% of its staff at ports of entry. i know many of the people work there, they're fine men and women. but it makes it hard doer their job. and then if they have long lines on top of that, with travelers
8:36 pm
who are so used to going back and forth between vermont and canada or upstate new york and canada, they can get pretty angry, that doesn't help with the whole thing. so i've been asked since the beginning of april i've been asking cbp to brief my staff about how they plan to improve the situation at high gate. i haven't been able to get a response. but finally this week probably because they knew i might ask this question when you were here, they scheduled a briefing in june. i want to know, will you look at this problem at our port of entry and will you see if there's someway to address it so we don't have these delays which actually almost seem insulting to a friendly neighbor. >> absolutely, sir. and let me say i popgz for that
8:37 pm
and i'll have someone over here to brief you on that. and i know ben is texting someone over here at cbp to do just that. you'll have someone over here this afternoon. >> you know the amount of respect i have for colonel cassidy so i'll look forward to that. i think we need more help, we need more officers on our northern border. we always address the southern border and i understand the reason for that. i'm not disparaging that. but the northern board, he are for example canadians use a camera system to process the nexus lane as opposed to a staff booth. if we could even consider something like this, the u.s. inbound nexus lane using a camera system rather than when we're shorthanded anyway having it manned. >> yes, sir. we're looking at all -- there's a whole series of things we're looking at technologywise,
8:38 pm
facial recognition technology, that kind of thing. we're already working inside canada to -- to preapprove vehicles, i mean, they're really hitting it very, very hard. i was just -- i've been to canada since i've been in the job, i was on the border. the good news is our border was canada is the -- to use their term, the thinnest in the world, meaning it is about as open as it can be. now it's not totally open, obviously, but at the ports of entry trying very, very, very hard tacoma prove, as i think the senator would agreat degree, as over the years as commerce has increased with canada, with probably not far enough out in front on these kind of measures to speed up the passage. one of the things certainly the president told me when i took this job, the one point, you know, a number of discussion ports points about the borders and what i should do and what i
8:39 pm
should perhaps not do, but one of the things he said, we have to not impede the normal, legal, human things traffic and vehicular trafbl through the board fer anything we should speed it up. so i've got that -- if we -- when we get a commissioner approved, that will be his number one task for me to look at the ports of entry and do the best he can, the best we can to improve the efficiency, the movement working with both canada and mexico and i should say my time's up, but ha i should say is that my relationship with the -- my counterparts in canada and in mexico just couldn't be better and are getting better every day. so regardless of what you might hear back and forth at a higher level than me, we are working shoulder to shoulder with our canadian brothers and sisters and mexicans as well not only on movement of commerce,
8:40 pm
immigration, but also just other aspects of border security. it is an amazing amount of collaboration. >> you know, from your own career, a number of countries that have to fear militarily and all, countries on their borders, we're fortunate to have countries on both our borders where we have open commerce, families, everything else. i don't want to change that and i'll submit the rest of my questions for the record, but i also want to talk to you at some point about the so-called sanctuary cities. >> yeah. >> i don't want to cut law enforcement in these cities to make a political point because in the long run we're all going to suffer. >> neither do i, senator. >> thank you. thank you, mr. dharman. >> thank you, senator. chairman cochran. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i join you in welcoming and expressing our appreciation to the witness for his help in
8:41 pm
figuring out appropriate funding levels for the activities under the injurjurisdiction of the u. army engineering research center in vikzburg, mississippi. we've supported research requirements over the years at that site, and most notably there have been successes in new developments of technologies and critical infrastructure protection for our guards, for all federal laboratories and research centers that contribute to our knowledge of how to do a better job of assuring our safety and security. i want to ask you the response you have about the suggestion that the facility at vikzburg which covers the entire nation
8:42 pm
in terms of producing solutions that face us in our ever changing threats to our national security, were these resources continue to be actively utilized? >> sir, in our quest to stay out in front of the threats, whether it's, you know, government-run lab, financed or the civilian, you know, industry there it's defense industry or technoindustry, we're in a never ending quest to buy the right kind of equipment or get the right kind of capability to protect the nation. so not familiar with the lab, but we'll certainly get smart on that and i can get back to you with an answer in more detail. but, again, we are -- every good idea, in my mind, is -- every idea is a good idea until we prove it to not be useful. it is a constant quest.
8:43 pm
i have an s&t, science and technology section within that is just world class and they are in contact with every conceivable lab industry and when we say we need something, as an sex in -- we're looking for the -- kind of the technology after next in terms of aviation safety, and they're already beating the bushes worldwide to look for the kind of technology. so we're very open to good ideas from any source. >> we appreciate very much your leadership in the research effort and we commend you and those who work with you for helping make sure we have what we need in order to make our nation safe and secure. thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator lankford. >> thank you. secretary kelly good to see you again. >> sir. >> glad that you're here.
8:44 pm
i would ask from our community and our family that you continue to express the condolences to agent morales and his family. >> sure. >> that is a heartbreaking for all of us to be able to see that kind of news. and is difficult for your entire team. it has reminded me yet again, though, this week as i've gone through just the hearings this week how many times your department has been a lead player in a lot of conversations and just conversations that i've had this week on the hill. whether that be ms-13 gangs and the movement of those gangs from central america across all of the united states and what is happening, fentanyl coming into the united states, and your customs and border patrol folks trying to intradict that in the mail as it comes from china, cyber issues as dhs is engaging with cyber protections for all of our u.s. government systems or whether that be immigration. have you people on the front lines of just about every major issue we're facing as a nation right now, so i tig thank you for the work that you're doing and for the encouragement that
8:45 pm
you can put on those men and women that are doing that. let me ask you a whole series of questions i'm going to run through as many as i can that we have time for. >> i mentioned the cyber issues ant cyber protection. dhs has a responsibility for u.s. government systems and computers. tell me what the conversation is right now in the planning for looking at supply chain software/heart wear and the planning for pooep keeping all of our government systems safe. >> well, senator thanks for the condolence comment, it means a lot to the workforce and, you're right, they're here rose. relative to cyber, sir, you know, the threats constant i don't need to goe all of that. we need to up our game, you know, the -- the -- the ran some air attack that the world suffered a little over a week ago, what was really impressive to me and you say that we played, you know, across the spectrum of threats, what was impressive to me in all of the high-level meetings i was at at the white house on this topic as
8:46 pm
we watched that threat go across the world into asia, millions of infected systems, how almost every part of every conversation ended with dhs is in the lead, dhs has got this, whether it's nsa, fbi, there's a lot of tremendous defensive organizations within our government. but on that particular point, the fact that millions, i believe, of systems were infected around the world and it barely got into the united states, a handful of individual computers and that was a direct result, not just dhs, but to a large degree dhs and how that was defected initially, how we are working with our partners outside the u.s. government as well as inside, pretty impressive. as far as u.s. government goes, we have to up our game. there's an eo out from the president holding everyone accountable. i would say this. since i've been in this
8:47 pm
administration i have not heard more discussion on anything else than cyber. so people have got it, senator. >> we won't to be able to work with you on that the certain is that of the many things you're doing and it's quite a bit to be able to protect the nation that it's easy for that to get dris distracted because it's complex and expensive. but for someone who has the point on all of our systems aifr cross all of government, it's exceptionally important to us to be able to stay on that in our supply chain and how we're managing software and hardware on. give me the status of the funding that's been given to your agency on the border wall. there's a request pending for a larger segment, but this past session there was a request made for repairs on existing wall and that 650 mielsz of walls, new gates and other things that need to be done. what's the status of that and that use of funds? >> on the repair of the fence, 6,050 miles generally speaking it's all fencing and it does work. and it's exactly where it needs
8:48 pm
to be, that's why it works. it's effective. >> right. >> we want to repair that. i've done down along that part of the border a couple times now and the officers, again, rely on that -- on that fencing and there are place where's we need to fix it, some places have been washed away, other places it's been cut and repaired so many times that, you know, it's kind of failing. so we'll spend the initial money that we received now three weeks ago in doing that. as far as the request that's in this budget to start looking at putting in a limited number of miles, i think you were here for my comments. >> i was. >> we've got a competition out there to decide what exactly we're looking for, wall, fence, everything in between. >> and that's fine. the issue of the future construction and things obviously is pending on good maintenance of what we're doing right now. >> that's right. >> we've got to maintain what we alled have have of that 650 miles and expand out from there. so i think that was congress's
8:49 pm
initial statement wheel we're working on the details of the future let's repair what we have and make sure it's in good working order. where are we in the conversations on hiring process? this has been one of the great kmal lenges for customs and border patrol in particular that we're well over 400 days for hiring in the process. what's the conversation right now? >> we've reduced the number and astounding to me it would take 4- -- >> astounding to us. >> unbelievable. i think we've got that down by, you know, two-thirds now or we expect to have it down by two-thirds. we're looking at some of the issues, we are not going to lower the quality of the officer that we -- or the individual that we take in, whether it's ice, border patrol, secret service, doesn't matter. and we will not skifrp on their training. that consequently we will grow the force as fast as we can grow it, but not skifrp on quality and trapg. but we have the hiring and i'd have to get back to you specifically but i know it's down significantly than of 400
8:50 pm
days. >> and we just passed out of a different committee with -- on the homeland security issue, trying to give permission for dhs to be able to hire individuals into those roles that hufr00 days. >> those that are coming out of military to have a good standing. we have spoken about the real i.t., whii i.d. there are several states, including mine that are waiting on information that is due to us before january 6th. we have a temporary extension that expires at that point. everyone kind of leans forward as we're getting closer and closer to january 6 to see when that notification will come out. do you have any idea when notifications will come out for those affected states in. >> there's only a small number of states now -- >> i happen to be one. >> yes, sir. that are lagging behind. we're in contact, in some cases, i am personally in contact with
8:51 pm
the mayors, particularly those states that are frankly, not going to be able to pull it off. in a couple cases now, i've offered to the governors, rather, to send out members of my team to help them evaluate where they are and where they need to go. so we've done that. where a state can get to a point where they can accomplish the real i.d. requirement, extensions would come. >> our state is one of those states that was a pending legislation to be done. that piece of legislation was completed february. but we have not received our exit tension yet. from our understanding what we needed to have done has been done for many months. >> i'm on it. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator land beingford. >> we're so proud that you've agreed to serve in this
8:52 pm
position. we're very proud. and every one of your co-workers that work with you, not for you, but with you. i understand that a good leader has people with them, not for them. appreciate all that hard work. i want to go just a couple questions on the guts of the organization. your organization, cbp, is the second largest revenue collection agency next to the internal revenue service. a lot of people don't understand that. but it troubles me, because our retro speck testify duty collection system. we're the only country that does retro speck testifily. we do not require a dumping duty at the time the merchandise is imported into the united states. instead, the importer can request a review to determine the exact duties due to the dumping that occurred during a period. we're the only major user of
8:53 pm
anti-dumping countermeasures that does duties in this manner. most countries collect duties at the time of import. once the proper duty is assessed, they will now have to pay back these dut he iies. many of those yes, ma'importers disappear without paying. we don't know how much money we're losing, and i don't know if that's been brought to your attention at this level, but i would sure hope that you look into this. we think there's an awful lot of revenue left on the table. >> i appreciate you bringing it up. i'll look into it. >> there's currently $2.6 billion uncollected. $2.6 billion. we all kind of look at that fund, we all use it from time to time, which i know doesn't make
8:54 pm
your agencies real happy, but we hike to make sure you have enough to do your job too. that's, i just wanted to bring that to your attention, sir. it's so serious. and we'd be happy to tell you what we found. >> absolutely, senator. >> okay. border security, i know everybody's talking about the wall. i'd like to know your assessment and your evaluation, because of your former position, if mexico was able to build a southern wall on their southern border, their southern border, the threat of all of the gangs that come up through, the dumping that we get, the drug trade and all the other trade, if we were able to stop it, mexico was able to build their wall and have hitter border controls on the southern border, would that be effective? how helpful would that be? >> senator, it would be effective, and i have to give a shout out to mexico.
8:55 pm
i can't emphasize enough the relationship that my department has generally and i have personally, with the military and the upper echelon ministers within the government to mexico to include some team wiime with president of mexico. i can't geoive enough credit. when i was working with their military, under the radar, quietly for a lot of different reasons, the southern border is very narrow. couple hundred miles across. >> it would be very easy for them and fulfill some promises made here. >> they've established what they call the southern border strategy. last year they stopped 160,000 migrants and turned them back, humanely, processed them and turned them back. they have much different immigration laws than we do. >> they might be much more receptive to building a wall. >> i think now, i think now they're looking even harder at
8:56 pm
the southern border. the other thing we've done, senator is working with the governments, particularly the northern tier countries, bought it guatemala. the illegal crossings are down 70% to what they were 120 days ago. >> mexico is the key, they have a smaller border. they can control it much better. >> drugs are a different story. the amount of drugs, the amount of drug money that is generated because of our demand in the united states is virtually unlimited. unlimited to a degree that there's so much money available to either pay off officials in every country, to include our own, to pay off officials, or simply have them murdered or their daters murdered or their kids murdered. it's amazing. so there is a corruption problem throughout or an intimidation problem. it's directly due to our drug
8:57 pm
consumption in this country. we need to get our arms around that. >> my belief is if we shut that southern border down in mexico, between the united states and the mexican government, we can have a better chance of controlling the drugs that come out of mexico itself. >> but demand, sir, is hugely important. >> that's a shame. i think where senator lankford was going, everything was open source, and i asked the question during our worldwide threats evaluation we had fbi, nsa, cia, your major co-workers, colleagues, and we asked the question about casperski labs. and it's an open source. do you know if you have casperski labs software in your system? >> i believe we do. >> and, and do you know if, i
8:58 pm
would like to get a report on this from you all. we have great concerns about, thank you. as you know, this has been noted. and also if you would go one step further, with ca sperski, could you find out if any of your contractors that you rely on, is using casperskis software? >> absolutely. >> with that being said, i have one other one. the jaitc, in west virginia, i think you know about camp dawson, i knyou know what we do there. it's a tremendous chance for us to be able to train tragic events in manchester, national guard training is something we rely on, as a former governor, that's our first heine of defen -- line of defense as you know, and we hope that you would look at homeland security as training there. it's very inexpensive.
8:59 pm
it's very close to the nation's capitol. so we want you to fknow that we're able and willing to help in any way possible. >> we'll take a look at it. >> thank you, senator manchin, senator kennedy? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thanks for being with us, thank you for your service currently and before you became a secretary. i wanted to talk to you for a second about sanctuary cities, if i could. every country that i'm aware of has immigration laws and respects its border. we spend billions of dollars every year of taxpayer money trying to respect our borders. we are a nation of immigrants, but we're also a nation of laws.
9:00 pm
but if you get across our border illegally, and make it to certain cities, in america, you can relax a little bit, because the mayors don't want to enforce federal law. and i know many of them have, have good lawyers, and they can explain why they're not doing, why what they're doing is not a violation of the law in their opinion, but it's an attitude as much as anything else. we have that issue in louisiana with new orleans, as you know. and our mayor has said, publicly, several times. he's a friend of mine, but -- i'm quoting now -- i refuse to be a part of trump's deportation force, closed quote. and i, this is america. you can believe what you want. but you can't choose which federal laws you want to comply
9:01 pm
with. what are we doing about the sanctuary city issue? >> pretty contentious, to say the least. i'd start out by saying in the 120 days or so i've been in the job. i've met, every teime now i travel, boston, new york, chicago, san diego, i always meet with the mayor of the big city and the senior police officials. and that includes when i go to smaller cities as well. i've also interacted with organizations here in washington, national sheriff's association, hundreds of sheriffs come in, big city police chiefs association. they all, to a man and a woman, want to cooperate with the federal government in terms of removing criminals from their municipalities. the best way to do this is for us to have access to their jails and prisons.
9:02 pm
so when an individual who is an illegal immigrant is ready to be released, we simply take them off their hands. it's inconceivable to me why any public official would not want to do this. we, for free, take them off their hands and send them away. yet, the swaert cities are not doing this. and the police officials to a man and to a woman. >> is new orleans cooperating with you? >> yes, in a way that they have managed to work out a relationship with homeland security. so it's -- >> i don't understand what that means, mr. secretary. >> they'll call us and give us a notification when someone's about to be released, and we'll send a team there, sometimes, there is a limit to how long they can hold people, but yes, we're working with them. what's mo
9:03 pm
what's not happening in places like that, when it's not happening, when we don't have access to jails and things like that, then we have to go into the communities to focus our attention on illegal aliens, which is dangerous for our officers and just as dangerous for the local communities. the best way to do this is in the jails. and sanctiuary cities, if they don't want to let us into the jail permanently, we will train at our expense, the officers, and they'll call and we'll pick them up. i don't understand why the so-called sanctuary cities want to do it. in many cases, the mayors are playing to their citizenry about it but actually they're not doing anything. more often than not, i'll say, look, this is what i want to continue doing with you. are you good with that? if it's acceptable, they say sure. that's a good relationship. but then they'll still talk
9:04 pm
about the sanctuary cities thing. i don't know what it means. i don't think sanyone out there knows what it means. but in any case, i don't want to cut the tremendous relationship we have with law enforcement. but it's insane to me why any public official would not want to cooperate with us to take dangerous criminals off the streets and out of their municipalities. >> i want to ask you about mr. secretary, the jones act, which i know you're familiar with. it's pretty simple. it's a statute passed by congress. it says that if you're a ship or owner of a ship, and you want to move goods from point a to point b in america that ship's got to be built in the united states, got to be u.s. flagged. got to be u.s. crewed. and the way i read the statute
9:05 pm
and the case law is there's no discretion. i mean, that's the test. and the ship either passes the test or it doesn't. i'd hike i'd like to get your thoughts about the jones act. >> probably the first thing i was briefed on was the jones act when i took this job. so call that, you know, three months ago. >> mm-hm. >> the way it was briefed to me in short, was the issue of supporting the oil and gas industry and whether it was u.s. flagged, not u.s. flagged. the way it was briefed to me, senator, by lawyers, it's not clear, you know, we're working on this. it's not clear exactly what the law says, i think it's a 1920 law. and so the way it was briefed was we could either, you know, use foreign flag or any flag or
9:06 pm
just american flag or we really, and the option, it wasn't a kick this thing down the road option. it's what we really want to do is, is study this thing and come up with a comprehensive solution. and my only question as it always is, is what's good for america. i don't care about the industry and all that. what's good for america. we don't know what's what's goo america. let us study this. this came up in my hearing on the house side yesterday. it was briefed to me. if we are in violation of law, obviously, we will change that. but in the meantime, we do want to study this and come up with the right answer for america. but i'm on it and i appreciate you raising it. >> and i do, mr. secretary appreciate your careful
9:07 pm
approach. just don't let your folks stud tee forever. >> no, i got it. yes, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator kennedy, senator shaheen. >> thank you, secretary kelly for your service, and let me begin by expressing my condolences condolenc condolences to everyone at the department, for the agent who was killed as a reminder that protecting our borders, like our other law enforcement positions in this country is a dangerous job. >> thank you, ma'am. >> i know like the rest of america and the world, really, we have watched with horror at the events that happened in manchester, england, earlier this week. and the, as someone said yesterday in a hearing, it raises terrorism to a new level when they deliberately target young people. given those events, given what
9:08 pm
we know terrorist groups have said about the taking the fight from the caliphate in the middle east out to the rest of the world, i'm very concerned about what i see in the respect that would dramatically cut preparedness grants for local states and local communities. i was governor on 9/11. i can tell you that the support that we got from the federal government to help us be better prepared to fight terrorist attacks was absolutely significant and we could not have replaced that in any other way. i was lass very disappointed to see what appears to be a zeroing out of the countering violent extremism section of your budget. i know that that was just getting started. and i had heard some reports that it was becoming more effective as it tried to address
9:09 pm
what was happening in terms of radicalization of americans, some young americans. so i just want to express my concerns about both of those items in the budget, pausebecau do think that's a significant challenge for us as we try to address potential terrorist attacks and other terrorist threats in the united states. i do want to ask you about the heroin and opioid epidemic. in new hampshire we have the second-highest overdose rate, death rate in the country. we are ground zero when it comes to this epidemic. and while i know there are a lot of aspects of it and we're working very hard on treatment, recovery, prevention, interdiction, this is an area where cbp has been very important, and i wonder if you could talk a little bit about what cbp and the coast guard is doing to help us address the epidemic that we're experiencing
9:10 pm
throughout the country. >> i would start by saying that, and i'm putting some energy behind this, even though it's not my job. about the issue of demand reduction. so let me start with that. if we, we have a very, very casual approach to drugs in the united states. legal and illegal. we are the most overly medicated society on the planet. >> absolutely. >> you know, when i was a kid and had my wisdom teeth out, they suggested i buy a, take aspirin if it hurts. now you'll go home with oxycontin. a lot of reasons for that. but we are so overly medicated. and that's part of the opiate problem today. we've never had a drug demand reduction comprehensive program where the president leads and congress is behind it and the national football league is behind it and sports figures and hollywood like we have, say,
9:11 pm
tobacco reaction and mothers for drunken driving and that kind of thing. so it's really all about demand reduction. second, those who do get addicted, we need to help those in terms of rehabilitation whatever. the rehabilitation industry will tell you the best way to get totally clean from drugs is to never start. that's one aspect of it. the specific question, if we are trying to keep drugs out of our country on the southwest border, we've already lost. i mentioned before, i don't think you were here. the coast guard cutter just completed its run on the western pin pacific took off 18 tons of cocaine. that's the place to get it. my view of the southwest border begins in terms of security begins 1500 miles south, begins, first of all, with the relationships with all those countries with the exception maybe of venezuela, not a bad
9:12 pm
situation with nicaragua. but the partnerships down there to stop illegal migration and movement of people for whatever purposes into our country. the amazing efforts that countries like colombia put behind reducing the production of cocaine in their case, and peru's right along with them. right up the isthmus. and i have ice people, hsi, homeland security investigation people, as well as cbp people in almost every capital in the world. so we're working it well south of the texas/mexican border. all of the heroin, 90% plus of it comes from mexico. it's grown there. primarily in mexico. the mexican government is after it, but they're overwhelmed by the problem. we're working with them on it. we can identify the fields, tell them where to go, and they're
9:13 pm
very, very cooperative. so my point is, the real issue is to get at this problem where it's produced. the number one issue is the demand, is to get at where it's produced. again, on the high seas, the coast guard will pick up no less than a ton at a time. the colombians got 450 tons last year before it ever left colombia. once it gets to the southwest border where at one of our ports of entry, we're lucky, 10 kilos. so a ton at a time. by the time it gets to the southwest border, we might get it, you know, 10 kilos at a time. but they're doing their own work. they're doing tremendous things. we're looking at ways to search, for example more vehicles coming through the border. that's a balance, though. the more vehicles you search, the longer the lines. but it's a very comprehensive problem. as far as dhs is concerned,
9:14 pm
we're hitting it pretty hard with relationships, with interdiction, well south of the border, beefing up security at the ports of entry which is where most of these hard drugs come through. and then of course internal, internal enforcement by our law enforcement, state and local law enforcement. it's all a big, comprehensive thing. and no one, no one person, there's no one solution to it. but i'll go back to the demand. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator hoeven. you're recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. secretary, thanks for being here and for all the work you're doing. in the budget, there's $1.6 billion for 32 miles of wall construction along the southern border. i'm wondering why 32 miles?
9:15 pm
how did you get that? >> it's a start. as we go through the process right now, senator, of deciding what that physical barrier will look like, wall, wall with fencing, whatever, and there is a competition. so i don't really know how much a mile of the barrier will cost. i mean the fencing, as i understanding, there's advantages to that, there's disadvantages in certain places along the border to put a wall in. but for the money, that's a start. and i'm not being funny, and as we talk to our, the professionals done there on the border and ask the cbp folk, if i could give you a wall, how much would you need and where would you want it, and the answer we get back is if you could give me 12 miles here, 13 miles there. there's places that will tell you, we don't really need a wall here, sir, there's not much movement here in terms of people. but it's as much as we could afford coming out of the gates.
9:16 pm
>> i think you've described the wall concept very well, where you talk about physical barrier, technology and people. all of that is really necessary to have, you know, security. which is what we're after. in terms of a wall. talk a little bit, if you would, about use of unmanned aerial systems on both the southern and the northern border? and as you know i've asked and you've agreed to come up to grand forks where we have a center of excellence established there and one of the test sites for uas and cbp is covering 9d 00 miles of the northern border all the way from lake superior all the way through most of montana. so just talk about your plans in terms of utilizing uas. >> i think the advantages, of course of those kind of aircraft, they're relatively inexpensive. they fly for a long time. if you put the right sensor screen on them, can you see during the day, at night and
9:17 pm
they don't get tired, essentially. and they're quiet lookers. one of the problems we have, if we use things like helicopters, helicopters are great for a lot of things, but from a surveillance point of view, they make a lot of noise and they can be seen and all. i would like to think, looking hard at expanding the use of uavs. but, again, that's some time off, but expanding use of uavs, i think they're particularly, on parts of the border where there's just no one there, there's very little movement. where, you know, an economy-enforced mission. you put your people and assets where most of the movement is, but you don't ignore parts of the border in this case. and it's a great place to use uavs and other types of sensors. >> did you have success in border security, you create pressure in other areas, and that's where the uafs can help
9:18 pm
to cover areas where you don't have as much infrastructure or it's remote or difficult, and it's a day and night solution with infrared. >> right. >> and it also leverages your personnel resource incredibly. we have a large conference in the fall, which might be a great time for you to come up, because we bring up into grand forks all things uafs. i mean, it cuts across military, civilian, all applications. we have people from all over the country and other countries there, but it's a fall conference. it would be a great time for you to come. the, we had a hearing yesterday in homeland security on ms 13. and one of the things that came up from some of the law enforcement personnel, they'd like to have some way to know when unaccompanied alien children are coming in.
9:19 pm
there needs to be some way for law enforcement to know where those individuals are going in the country, because you know, the average age in ms-13 is about 18 years old, and they're recruiting them at 14 and maybe even younger in some cases. so if they come into the community, and they don't have some kind of support network for those individuals, they're very vulnerable to be coerced or to jane t join the gang. is there something you can do to try to get at this gang violence problem? >> first time i've heard of this issue and so i'll specifically take it on. but on the unaccompanied minors, i think the senator knows this, that when they come into our possession, cbp is an example down at the border. if they're young, below -- if they're not adults, then we have to turn them over to department
9:20 pm
of health and human services, i think, within 72 hours. usually it's done faster than that. and by the way, this is a huge scam. they know exactly, most of them know exactly what they're doing. they come across, they identify themselves. the people that traffic them up there, their families are actually involved in human trafficking at this point. they'll send them up, we turn them over to hhs. they usually have in their pocket the name, phone number, address of their mom or uncle or somebody who's already here and hhs will do some, you know, initial vetting of the family, but if it is a mom or relative or something, they will be, you know, at our expense, turned over to them, whether it's fairfax or north dakota or whatever. and most of them don't get involved in crime, but some do, many of them do. most don't, some do. and and they're perfect for recruiting into the ms-13 type
9:21 pm
gang. that's not the only one but that's the obvious one. if we don't alert law enforcement, we can and we certainly will. >> as you say, they're turned over to hhs and there is some checking they do. but these were detectives, police chiefs, police commissioners that we talked to. and they were saying hhs has notification. they talk to social service and some of those things, but law enforcement is not getting. >> i'll take that on, senator. i don't know, it is an hhs thing, but i can put my -- >> i understand you maybe have to coordinate with them. but they're saying, given the growing numbers of these gangs, and this is part of the recruitment process and they were looking for help there. >> the good news is, if i could, in the last 120 days, the number of illegal immigrants or migrants that have come across the border are down by 70%. but the real good number here is that the number of families coming and unaccompanied minors
9:22 pm
is down to tiny lefts. so we've almost stemmed the tide. but we do, frankly, have an awful big problem. >> and in relation to your immigration courts and that whole process, too, and tracking people versus just releasing them into society. they may have a name, that individual actually may not be able to take care of them. i know all these things are going on and you're trying to get your arms around all of them. this is one that local law enforcement thought we could be more effective in working with you. and the final question is, quickly, in the terrible, terrible terrorist attack in manchester, the local law enforcement there has indicated that there has been some information leaked by u.s. authorities. can you comment on that at all is this >> i can't. >> okay i understand. in this open setting. >> sure. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, senator hoeven. senator baldwin. >> thank you. mr. secretary, welcome, thank
9:23 pm
you for your service. i would like to ask some questions about how the budget prioritizes funding for security-related activities across the very diverse dhs mission set. of course your attention, one's attention is naturally drawn to places where there's significant increases versus places where there's significant decreases. the nearly $3 billion increase for dhs overall includes $1.6 billion for a border wall. i would note something that congress in an omnibus consideration rejected just a few weeks ago and certainly hundreds of millions of dollars more for ice, including 850 new officers and 66% expansion of the number of immigration detention beds. and i share your commitment to securing the border, but i question whether these significant increases are the
9:24 pm
most effective way to allocate limited resources to combat the threats that we face. for example, president trump's budget reduces tsa's funding by approximately $200 million, compared to the omnibus, including cutting something that's got and hot lot of atten, the 23 visible intermodal prevention and response teams or vib viper teams, they are critical to the airport and transportation systems. the president's budget also cuts critical support to our state's local law enforcement, including cutting $118 million from the state homeland security grant program. i think my colleague raised that earlier and $156 million from the urban area security initiative. and so given the continued threat, i have to wonder why is the president cutting funding
9:25 pm
that keeps our communities safe from terrorist attack when there is an overall increase in the departmental budget. so my question to you, secretary kelly, with the nearly $3 billion increase that you are working with, why did dhs cut these particular programs, and what do you assess the impact to be on america's security? how much risk are we taking with these cuts, the ones that i singled out? >> on the, taking a look, since i've been the secretary and have been briefed on, you know, all of the grant programs, taking a long, hard look at their effectiveness. there are many that clearly are effective. there are others, it's questionable. so anyways, we're looking at all the grant programs across homeland security. in terms of some of the grants that you mentioned. in many cases, from a terrorism point of view, it was clear on
9:26 pm
9/11 that, i mean, we were shocked into an understanding that we didn't take, we thought that terrorism was over there. and we've learned on 9/11, tragically, that it can come here very easily, and it was clear, as i understand it. of course i wasn't here at the time, but the people who have been in homeland security long enough, way back then, have informed me that many of these grants were poured into state and local communities because, to give them an opportunity to buy equipment that they conditions even think they needed before or to send, form special units that they didn't think they ever needed before or to get specialized training that they never thought they needed before because of the terrorist threat. that was 14, 15 years ago. i would, very proudly say, that the police departments, state, local in our country today, it's
9:27 pm
in their dna to think about this topic, unfortunately, and every time there's an orlando or san bernardino or chattanooga, it's obvious to them. the idea is that they're up and running now and the sense is in terms of the department and certainly in the administration that those moneys now are not needed as much. they're certainly nice to have, and i would certainly take more money if someone offered it to me, but where we're looking to save money, this is an area, that the sense was that these 15, 14 years on, these municipalities now, i would argue, second to none in the world in dealing with, whether it's homegrown terrorism, active shooter or terrorism coming from from outside. that's one part of the answer, at least. there are things, frankly, i'll go back to the grant, i've told
9:28 pm
my people to look at every grant and come and brief me. is it working? we'll keep it if we can afford it. if it's not working or not working so well, tell me how to adjust it and make it better or we're going to stop it because we don't want to waste the money. >> let me sort of follow on this topic. sticking with the urban area security initiative, i believe that the program and its risk formula is due for an update. and regardless of the cut in funding, which i would like to see restored. but i understand and support the need to allocate resources in proportion to risk. but i represent wisconsin. we have the city of milwaukee, the biggest city in the state, and it has been excluded from eligibility to receive urban area security initiative funding since 2011. despite the well-supported need
9:29 pm
for federal terrorism prevention funding to close a gap that simply can't be closed or filled by the state homeland security grant program. and you listed some of the things that were vulnerable to in communities across the country. i think of the tragic 2012 shooting at a sikh temple in oak creek, right outside of the stiff milwaukee, in which six people were killed and four wounded. last year, the fbi thwarted a terrorist plot in milwaukee. a man had planned a mass shooting of at least 30 people at a ma son eck temple in the city of milwaukee. the local fusion center helped prevent that attack. and yet it is not eligible for urban area security initiative funding and needs more assistance. and finally, like many communities across the country,
9:30 pm
milwaukee's jewish community center, jcc, received multiple bomb threats in recent months, again, but wasn't eligible for the urban area security initiatives non-profit program. so secretary kelly, in light of repeated calls by terror organizations for their adherence to attack more vulnerable targets in large and small communities alike, i wonder if you agree that it makes sense to increase the department's flexibility and allow funding to follow the threat and regardless of location. >> ago ys you point out, senato you're exactly right, this terrorist threat, particularly the homegrown is not limited to new york city or las vegas or chicago. in fact, every community, small village, town in america is
9:31 pm
vulnerable. every city is vulnerable. there's a formula, as i think the senator knows, that my organization works with state, local and the formula is, you know, risk-based, or to establish the risk. and i'm not entirely familiar with the formula, but i can tell you, it's worked every year, down to really, to the most specific threats and any city that doesn't receive money, it's simply because in that formula working, the threat's not considered to be high enough. now i say that. i'm not so sure at this point, with the exception of the most obvious targets, washington, d.c. and say, new york. i'm not so sure that, i mean, there's just not enough money. every city, every village in america deserves money, if you look at it from the point of
9:32 pm
view of could terrorism happen there? it's everywhere. and that's the nature of this threat that we're dealing with. so there isn't enough money in the till, paubecause we need an unlimited amount of money. so homeland security, fema and others work this very closely with state and local, they have the formula, they plug in the numbers. they do the threat assessments and come up with i think it's about 33 cities, municipalities that receive money. i think we added two cities to that this year. but in order to do that, we had to take money away from other municipalities on that last to give them money, once we release that list, we kind of held the pay, i'm sure from the people who lost money, but this terrorist threat is so insidious and so decentralized, i worry about the home-grown threat all the time. we can, i believe we're doing
9:33 pm
very, very good. the department of defense they're doing very good overseas reducing this threat. but the end results of reducing that threat is that the terrorists that are fighting in the caliphate, you know, syria and iraq, they're going home. they're not going home to live normal lives. in fact, they're being encouraged to not be killed in the caliphate fight. go back to where you came from and just create manchester-type fights. if you were in europe, i think they'll do, their approximation is about 2500 of their citizens now fighting in the caliphate. these are kids, mostly. men and women, that were born and raised in france, germany, they have legal passports. they have left to go fight in the caliphate. many cases their countries don't know they've left and then they come back. so their countries don't know they were ever gone. and now they're hardened
9:34 pm
warriors that will do things like manchester. as horrible as manchester was, my indication is we're going to see a lot more of that type of attack. we saw in indonesia, yesterday, suicide bombers. so the good news was, when they decided to pull terrain in caliphate in syria and iraq, we knew where to go kill them. now they're leaving. north africa, it's a growing problem, but back to your point, every municipality's at risk, and we just do the best we can to determine the ones that are kind of the most at risk. and we use that formula. it's fair. everyone has a chance for input. there's not an unlimited amount of money. >> thank you, senator. sena senator murkowski. >> thank you for your service.
9:35 pm
i want to ask about two issues today. first is h 2 b visas, and then i want to talk about the arctic a little bit and the resources that we have up there and also the northern border. i understand you've been talking a lot about southern border, but i'd like to talk about the northern. h 2 b visas, the seafood industry is one of the strongest parts of our economy. over 78,000 jobs, $5.8 billion in revenue estimated annually. whether it is our crab, our pollack, our salmon. we have the largest fish ris and the healthiest fisheries in the world. but the problem we have is the accuracy of seasonal labor. we just can't get the men and women out to these very, very, very remote communities to meet the demand of the workforce. we cannot get them in the state.
9:36 pm
we cannot get them in the united states. and so we have traditionally relied on the opportunities for h 2 b visas. on may 5th, the president signed the appropriations omnibus that gave authority to you and consultation with secretary of labor to approve additional h 2 b visa processing for the remainder of the fiscal year to help many of these businesses, these industries that have been unable to find sufficient employees for this cupcoming season. our problem in alaska is the timing here. the harvest is later in the year, so other industries in the country basically gobble up that quota and we are left hanging. the short-term fix in my view is urgently needed for the large employers that are seeking the
9:37 pm
necessary staff as we prepare for this early summer salmon harvest. we're just a few weeks out here, and so our seafood processors are really operating in realtime, facing workforce decisions that will have significant economic impact. for most of these communities, for most of these regions, if there is no one to process the seafood when it comes in, there's no place for the boats to deliver, the boats can't deliver. there's no economy to that community at all. there is no other source of economy. so though is is, this is very ss for us, as we look to address this seasonal worker shortfall so that we can process our seafood within these remote communities. i think we recognize the last
9:38 pm
minute action is not ideal. but after we work with these issue, i want to work with you to find a long-term solution so we don't have to revisit this year after year. i need immediate help to reopen ou u.s. customs and immigration for processing of these h 2 bs so we can get these seafood processors in the state. the question is whether or not you plan to approve additional h 2 b visa processing for this year so that this very important economic opportunity for us in alaska, with our seafood processors can go to work. >> well, this is one of those things i really wish i didn't have any discretion. and for every senator, congressman who has your view, i have another one that says don't you dare. this is about american jobs. you know the argument both sides.
9:39 pm
my staff, members of my staff are coordinating with the department of labor on this. one of the things, and i have my working class root background that keeps reminding me that some of these individuals, not necessarily alaska, but many of these individuals are, are victimized when they come up here in terms of what they're paid and all the rest of it. so we're working with labor, department of labor, to come up with answer to this. but we really do need a long-term solution, so we'll work with the senate, with the congress, with industry this year, and again, i'll have my staff, when they return from labor, and we get some protocols in place. we'll likely increase the numbers for this year, perhaps not by the entire number that i'm authorized, but we really do need, and i really look forward to working with you, senator, in the whole congress to get a
9:40 pm
longer-term solution to this. >> we need one. i've had this same discussion with secretary costas and recognized the imperative of this, and i'm with you. we, we want to make sure that every american who wants that job has it. and i would welcome anyone in this room to come up, i'll sign you up. i'll sign up your kids as long as they're 18 years old, but the ability to, to get u.s. workers, again, out to these extraordinarily remote places has been very, very, very difficult. so i would just ask that you work with us and appreciate the timeliness of this issue that we're dealing with right now, because the salmon don't care when the permits are issued. they don't care whether or not we've got processors in place. so i appreciate your attention to this. >> will do. >> i had an opportunity
9:41 pm
yesterday to ask admiral richardson this same question, and i recognize the efforts of the coast guard in partnership with navy to accelerate the design and the construction of polar icebreakers and we're dealing with a very aging fleet. coast guard's budget's $19 million for an icebreaker program. we all know that doesn't build us an icebreaker, but it's getting us moving. navy has not requested any funding, so i would ask you, as we're developing this fy-18 budget, what funding is needed to keep the program on its accelerated path. i think it's important that we look to, to the savings that can be gained by block buying, but we need to have a program in place. we need to have a vision for how we're going to respond as an arctic nation with the infrastructure that we need. >> i agree, senator. i mean, we clearly need those types of vessels if we're going
9:42 pm
to compete in any way in the arctic, i have to, and let me take it for the record or brief or whatever, i'll get back to you on how the coast guard, dhs, intends to lay out a kpree hen program to get to the, i think it's six icebreakers, three and three. so let me get back with you on that. i'm with you 100% in the fact that we need a program that gets us from where we are now, which is pretty humble, to at least full up camebility with six vessels. >> i appreciate that. mr. chairman, i had mentioned there's been a lot of discussion about the southern border. nobody really thinks about the exposure on the northern end, but the reality is, is that we're seeing arctic sea ice decrease. it's allowing for greater accessibility, which is all good and interesting, but it also presents some security challenges for the united states as well as canada. we do not have border patrol.
9:43 pm
we don't have any security along that entire u.s. coast that is called alaska, some 33,000 miles of coastline that we've got up there. and it's just, it's an open opportunity. so i won't ask you to comment on this now, but know that one of the things that we're looking at is whether partnerships with canadian law enforcement and security agencies can come together to help facilitate sharing of information as it relates to security threats in the north american arctic, whether or not we should consider establishing arctic security office in partnership with canada. these are things that have come about as part of the arctic counsel discussions. but i think it's going to require a review in an area that we just haven't been focussed on at all. >> great point. hadn't thought of it, and i will tell you, and i think you know
9:44 pm
this. i mean, our partnership, information sharing and everything is near perfect with canada, but i had not thought of that point about perhaps even opening an office. but we're on that. >> we'll look forward to discussing it with you, thank you mr. chairman and ranking member. >> thank you, senator murkowski. >> at this point in time, this hearing has either been going on too long or just started in your mind. i very much appreciate -- >> i love this. >> that's good. and i very much appreciate it. it's real mental gymnastics because of the size of this department where you have to jump from issue to issue. i'm going to have to go back and touch base on the one we talked about before this hearing very quickly and that we're kind of in the same boat as oklahoma. i don't know if they've passed a law yet, but we have. to obtain compliant license. i anticipate the governor will sign that law very soon. and so, the question becomes, is, if we will get an extension,
9:45 pm
if we're moving fast enough as a state to get dhs, dhs's support in that we're actually heading toward a real i.d. compliant license. and if you're willing to give an extension or at least give me some sort of idea where we're going to be heading here. >> well, senator, couple points. you know, the vast majority of the states have, are, have either accomplished the task of the 2000, whatever, five law or are making great progress and will be there very soon. as i mentioned before, in those states that are not nearly as close to completion yet, your state is an example. i've talked to you, to the governor, there's a couple other states i've talked to that are in the same kind of place, offered to send my folks. >> yes. >> and we've done that. worked with the states, to say okay, you're close or you'll never get there.
9:46 pm
the point is, and those states, senator, that, and i don't know where montana is right now, but in those states, they simply cannot get there from here. in my mind it would not make sense to give an extension. with that said, we're absolutely committed to working with the states, shoulder to shoulder to make it happen. but i would offer to every state that's not compliant as of yet, to really start talking to their citizens. we've established a public affairs campaign on our own. focussed on people to get alternate means of identification. >> okay. so back in 2005 we passed they have to be in the state legislature back then. we passed a law that said montana's not to comply with real id. with this bill that was passed, the second line says it all. this bill directs the montana department of justice to issue a montana driver's license or id
9:47 pm
cards that comply with the real id act of 2005. it strikes that law that was passed in 2005 and directs doj in montana to meet the standard. it's pretty clear. so hopefully, if you have any issues in this, let me know, because we, this needs to be solved, quite frankly. >> you know me, senator, i want to work it out. >> good. >> eminent domain. one of the issues that were brought up is that the rights of current landowners on the southern border if a wall was to be built. can you confirm that nothing in this recently-passed dhs appropriations changes landowner rights? >> i can't confirm that, i'll get back to you, senator if that is all right. but i am hypersensitive to this issue of eminent domain and private property. as we look at places to put the physical barrier i call a wall,
9:48 pm
in some places perhaps it would require eminent domain action, but i, i'm very sensitive to that as well. >> yeah, and while you're looking at the recently-passed act, look at this one, too, to make sure it also does not facilitate or interfere. that's very important for me, too. >> my staff tells me from the 2008 action on the border we're still in the courted on eminent domain issues. >> that's one of the, there's been a number of questions here today that's been asked by both sides of the aisle on the validity, and i know it's a term, the wall. but i'm seeing a concrete wall go in my head as we talk about the wall. but i'm looking at potential reductions in local, and by the way, if there's reductions to be had there, chairman and i are in with you.
9:49 pm
truthfully. but this whole thing is an issue. you now this better than i. you can't make a mistake. so if you pull it away from local and it does in fact create a problem, we haven't done the right thing. same thing with tsa, same thing with r and d. same thing with fema. that's why there's a concern here, we're going to spend a ton of money on keeping the southern border secure, and are we really getting the biggest bang for the buck? and if we are not, are we sacrificing these other programs which actually can be just as problematic as possible. and you get my drift. >> i do. >> okay. let's talk about the laptop ban. appreciate the heads up on it by the way, by your people. do you think it should extend beyond the tenure where it already is in? >> possibly. if i could elaborate just a bit. >> yes. >> what i have learned in the
9:50 pm
last 120 days, i was not aware of prior to that in the military is this relentless attempt on the part of terrorists to blow up this relentless attempt on the part of terrorists to blow up airplanes in flight. ideally big airplanes with a lot of people, ideally in a u.s. carrier ideally on the way to the united states. we are watching and can't get into it in this hearing room but we are watching a number of very, very sophisticated, advanced threats right now. i obviously wouldn't have put ten airports on the list in march. but -- as we look at the threat and how it's morphed, we are looking at, perhaps, other ways to reinforce the security procedures at every airport in
9:51 pm
the world. >> okay. >> so it's possible it would expand. >> and what are we doing to enhance existing screening technology to develop new systems? are we making investments in those? >> we are. >> types of technologies? >> current technology that you typically see at the airports for baggage as well as for people are just about at their limit. we're looking at advancing that. >> but we are work at that? >> we are. >> how do you square that with a 21% cut in r & d. >> when we look at technology after next we are looking at our international partners they are in with us. we are look at the airlines themselves, national and international airlines. we want to share the cost of r & d but ultimately we have to spend what we need to spend to protect air travellers.
9:52 pm
>> you have has conversations with allies that are of similar mind and airline companies that are willing to pitch? >> they are willing to do anything not to have me do some of the things that we're contemplating. >> and money is one of the things? >> that's my assumption. >> here's the deal as we go through this process. i appreciate this. as we go through this process we can't cut r & d if it's going not going to be back filled somewhere. i think it's good but we need to know that. okay? that would be good. and speaking of tsa when can with we anticipate a nomination to lead the tsa? >> we're really close. >> is that like the end of the week? i would just say, i've got a ton of stuff and we'll put them in for the record. they're all good and haven't been asked here before.
9:53 pm
but i want to tell you the overall heartburn i have with this budget is, is it a budget where we're getting the most bang for the buck especially as it applies to the wall? i don't really care, to be honest with you. if it's a wall or if it's a drone or manpower. i just want to get the biggest bang for the buck to keep the country safe. but it may require you telling somebody that this is a better direction to go. >> wouldn't hesitate. >> good. i know you wouldn't. thank you. >> thank you, senator tester. in regard to r & d, one of the huge problems we have is the toxicity of fentanyl. do we have the ability -- are we working on acquiring or developing something that will detect it and make it such that
9:54 pm
our border patrol officers, the dogs that are out working these things -- >> we are, senator, but one of the ways -- as you well know, fentanyl is so powerful and by the way it's a new thing that is more powerful, the elephant tranquilizer that is worse. but we are working with china. they are -- our dea and others are over there work with china trying to stop it. but the point is, it's harder than anything else because a tiny, tiny amount goes so far, so to speak. some of this stuff is coming by the mail. but i visited one of our cvp facilities recently in seattle, i think, where all the international mail goes through and it is an amazing amount of things they find to include fentanyl. >> this concludes our hearing. thank you very much for being here. we appreciate your testimony.
9:55 pm
also in an effort to really get up to speed on the number of homeland security facilities and you should be complimented in the sense that it seems like morale is up greatly. and the agents of all of the different agents and agencies that you represent appreciate the fact they are able to do their job and i think have a great deal of confidence in you. so we thank you for that. >> they're really good people. >> good people. exactly. the hearing will remain open for two weeks from today. senators may submit written questions for the record. we ask that the department respond to them in a reasonable amount of time. i want to thank my staff and senator tester's staff for their hard work in making the hearing possible. with that, we're adjourned.
9:56 pm
9:57 pm
on sunday, june 4th, author and journalist matt taibbi will be with us on in depth. >> if you grow up looking at thousands and thousands of faces until you find that one face that you feel is put on earth for you and you fall in love. trump was like that but it was the opposite. when i first saw him on the campaign trail i thought this is a person who is unique, horrible, amazing, terrible,
9:58 pm
characteristics were put on earth specifically for me to appreciate or unappreciate or whatever the verb is. because i had really been spending a lot of the last ten to twelve years without knowing it, preparing for donald trump to happen. >> he is a contributor to rolling stone magazine and is the author of several books including the great derangement. griffithopia. and his most recent book, insane clown president. dispatches from the 2016 circus. during our live three-hour conversation we'll take your calls, tweets and facebook questions. watch

19 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on