tv Immigration Border Security CSPAN May 23, 2018 5:16am-7:03am EDT
nevada. here is a rundown of the live events wednesday on this cspan networks. house meet at 10 am pick they continue work on the defense program spell. that lays out pentagon policy in the coming year. the senate works on several nominations, and on cspan 3 . secretary of state, my compay oh testifies for the first time as secretary at a house foreign affairs committee hearing. our coverage beginning at 9 am pick in the afternoon, house democrats hear from high school students about gun violence. thursday morning. we are in madison wisconsin, for the next stop on the -- 50 capital's tour, wisconsin lieutenant governor, rebecca clay fish will be our guest during washington girder -- washington journal. starting at 8:30 am eastern. next, u.s. customs and border protection officials talk about border facility --
order security priorities. they testify before a house homeland security hearing on central american migration and border security. >> the committee on homeland security -- and maritime -- will come to order. design committee is meeting today -- to secure the border. i recognize myself for an opening statement. last month, a caravan of nearly 1500 migrants was organized by -- also known as people without borders. extremist advocate -- advocacy group of the stated purpose of abolishing orders. under the guise of humanitarian action, this group facilitated the movement of a migrant caravan traveling more than 2000 miles through mexico toward the southwest border of the united days. the caravan began and happy chula on the mexico guatemala
border with the express purpose of traveling to the united states, by -- are utilizing loopholes within immigration laws. the reality is that this type of activity is happening every day. and smaller numbers, and without the media fanfare. our asylum process is broken. rife with fraudulent claim pick individuals who arrive at the border have no need to dodge our border security efforts because our policies make it all too easy for them. aliens can come to a port of entry or look for a border patrol agency in sibley say that they have a credible fear. saying the simple two words permits them to be released into the country about 90% of the time, regardless of the merits of the claim. once released, they are given a notice to appear for a court date, sometimes years in the future. and, a work permit after 180 days. in 2008, the -- was referred 5100 cases meeting the credible fear threshold in immigration
courts. in 2016, it was almost 92,000 cases. the reason for the increase is simple. individuals have learned how to exploit the system. it should surprise no one that many of those who claim asylum do not ever show up for the court date. most likely because their claim is unfounded in the first place. in order to assure we maximize our ability to accommodate those -- we must combat -- to help those who actually have legitimate a silence claims were getting lost in the sea of fraudulent once pick another loophole stems from the trafficking victims protection reauthorization act. it is a well-meaning law, and as the name suggests, was designed to prevent human trafficking. however, -- treatment of children from mexico and children from noncontiguous countries like honduras, guatemala, and el salvador, create a perverse incentive to put young children at risk. we must and that loophole that puts children in the hands of smuggler who abuse them along the way to our border. once these young people arrive, they are vulnerable to gang
recruitment. especially the notorious ms 13. given the weakness of the vetting -- to those children pick dangerous gangs such as ms 13 are not the only ones in a fitting from these loopholes. drug cartels control the illicit movement of people and narcotics across our borders. every single migrant, whether an unaccompanied child, family unit, or single adult, that illegally crosses the southwest border enriches the cartels. and --. the number of illegal border crossings during the month of march and april showing urgent need to address this glaring loophole. we went to stay 300% increase from april 2017 compared to april 2018. and a 37% increase from last month to this month it the largest increase month-to-month since 2011. traffickers, smugglers, and extremist advocacy groups are exploiting these weaknesses in putting individuals making the journey address. as well as americans were
falling victims to crimes perpetrated by it -- bad actors making the rain. in addition, if we do not address the situation, we will be confronted by another generation of dock check like people in the near future. in the air force, i traveled all over the world. as a desperation and poverty that most americans cannot fathom. countries around the world are dealing with extreme violence, war, and gangs. human beings, we should be most to help them. off into the work of charitable organizations. the truth of the matter is that we cannot bring everyone who is suffering here. the very definition of a country is one who controls who and who does not enter. we are a nation of immigrants and we welcome with open arms approximately 1 million legal immigrants in our country every year. however, we are also a nation of law. and, we cannot sit idly by as our borders are overrun by lawlessness. the time has come to build a policy while alongside the physical law, to force those seeking to immigrate to the united states and rightly. the legal way. congress must act to change our immigration policy and close
these loopholes. last september, the speaker appointed me and seven other members, including our chairman, to a working group, tasked with addressing this issue. we spent countless hours, diving into our broken immigration and border policies. for the last nine months, we have been working on refining the bill that became the -- valley and labrador bill. this bill is strong on border security -- security, -- and and the insanity of the body. i received assurances from leadership that our bill would be brought before the house for a vote in june. i look forward to its consideration on the floor. the chair now recognizes the ranking member of the subcommittee, the gentleman from texas, for any statement he may have. >> thank you chairwoman mike valley. i would first like to address -- this hearing. my position on the board a while is well done by depakote would like to express my deep concern about the so-called policy while proposed by the administration, and that we are going to talk about today. as with the physical board a while, the need for a policy
while is unclear to me. the number of asylum-seekers requesting protective from mexico and the united states indicates the humanitarian problem, not necessarily a security threat. a growing number of asylum- seekers are growing from guatemala, el salvador, and honduras. most of us here today are aware that el salvador and honduras rank among the top five most violent countries in the world. including nations that were. even former secretary, john kelly, acknowledged the dangerous and complex conditions on the ground in the know the triangle before he joined his administration and during his confirmation hearing. characterization that the levels of people seeking asylum are on accessible is confusing. blaming and punishing the people who are seeking protection is inhumane. the conditions leading to a humanitarian crisis are inaccessible not to people who seek the protections. we should be redoubling our efforts to work with international partners to fix
the problem. earlier this year, i joined the other democrats on this committee, and sending a letter to secretary nielsen, opposing the practice of separating the migrant parents from the children in cases that do not warrant it when they are apprehended at the border, or in the indic -- immigration detention. i am opposed to tearing kids away from their parents. and i am concerned about what criminalizing adult asylum- seekers will mean to -- seeking protection. the effective family separation is also traumatizing. according to more than 200 child welfare, juvenile justice, agile development organizations, as well as secretary nielsen, opposing secretary for separation. there is ample evidence that separating children from the mothers or fathers leads to serious negative consequences in children's health and development. as dhs separates families at the borders, dhs will likely have -- to detain people of -- age 18 and adult detention facilities and designate children as unaccompanied. i worry that there are no
reliable mechanisms in place to assure that families can be reunified later. if an adult goes to criminal proceedings, or is subjected to expedited removal, how will his or her child who is in a shelter somewhere in the united states know how to get in touch with them? i fear that these policies will be harmful in the long run. lastly, i would like to hear from cvc about how you are managing your resources to address -- more asylum-seekers at our ports of entry. given this new zero tolerance policy for people crossing between our ports of entry along the southern border, dhs is encouraging people to claim asylum at ports of entry instead. the cvc officers staffing shortages a persistent problem. i would like to learn how -- the issues at ports that are likely to be affected by these policy changes. i thank you for joining us today, and i yield back to --. >> chair is now recognizing the -- a gentleman from texas, mr. mccarthy >> thank you madam chair for holding this important hearing. almost 2 months ago, a caravan
of more than 1000 central americans began a 2000 mile journey through guatemala, mexico border, and toward the united states but the journey was not easy. it, the migrants were met with great difficulty. honduras -- hunger, sickness, even exploitation by criminal gangs. so, what motivated them to make this journey? a lawless immigrant advocacy group called -- who's specific goals with circumvention of u.s. immigration law. they organize what they thought would be the largest blitz on the united states border. and, the goal is simple. overwhelm u.s. law enforcement, and tax an already overburdened immigration system with baseless asylum claims. this was not the first caravan. it did not change our immigration policies and laws. and, this will not be the last. -- caravan to lots of media attention, agents and officers have seen a troubling trend.
family units and unaccompanied alien children fled across the border. many of them claiming credible fear. almost every single person who claims credible fear meets the existing threshold in the law. loopholes in our immigration system are well known to the organized, illegal immigration groups, and the brutal drug cartels who facilitate the moves of aliens across the border. cartels use these weaknesses as a shrewd marketing tool to further enrich the cartels. this harms the stability in the rule -- and the role of mexico but building a physical wall along key parts of the mexico border is absolutely necessary. in tandem, we must also construct a wall of sensible policy, to close these legal loopholes that puts families and children at risk. last month, we saw the number of illegal border crossings triple, over the same period of
last year. we have to take dramatic action to reverse this disturbing development. i was pleased to see the department recently enacted a zero tolerance policy for those that come here illegally. prosecuting those who enter the country illegally is the right policy. this will send a powerful message of deterrence. to those who are trying to take advantage of our immigration laws. we have used prosecution successfully in the past. i know that myself as a former federal prosecutor. under operation streamline, nearly every alien apprehended was prosecuted. and, when that policy was enacted, in every instance, we saw a dramatic decline in crossing. i, along with german gillett, and chairwoman mike valley, propose a robust -- robust border security and border belt to secure these legal loopholes. a secretary nielsen and the
honorable -- have pointed out so many times in the past. so many times. without changes to the way we treat unaccompanied alien children, and family units, and without tightening our asylum status, there will always be incentives for aliens to come to this country illegally. this must stop. the time for change has come. and, i am committed to working with this administration, and other like-minded members to make that a reality. with it, i yield back. >> other members of the committee are reminded that opening statements made to -- may be submitted for the record. i asked unanimous consent -- a member of the full committee be permitted -- is a -- permitted to participate in the hearing. we have three distinguished witnesses before us today mr. ron vitello is the acting
deputy commissioner of the u.s. customs and border protection. previously, he served as the chief of the u.s. border patrol. as its chief operating officer, he is responsible for the daily operations of the u.s. border patrol, assisting, training, and directing enforcement and meditative operations. >> mr. thomas pullman became -- performing the duties of the director. >> mr. holman is a 33 year director of law enforcement and has nearly 30 years of immigration enforcement experience. he has served as a police officer in new york, a patrol agent -- border patrol agency -- naturalization service as well as an advisory special agent and deputy assistant director for investigations. >> mr. francis -- was sworn in as director of the u.s. cis on october 28, 2017. recently, he served as a director of immigration policy within the dhs office of policy. he was selected for a detailed to the u.s. senate judiciary committee. were, he worked on immigration related in this -- legislation.
prior to that, -- immigration and border security policy. >> the chair recognizes deputy commissioner vitello for five minutes. >> thank you. chairwoman mike selleck on making member -- distinguished members of the subcommittee. welcome -- thank you for the opportunity to discuss efforts and border protection, to achieve strategic -- objective spirit my fellow witnesses have decades of -- experience. and, i am grateful to work with such dedicated professionals to secure the homeland. -- infrastructure including physical barriers and cover memory capabilities has long been a critical component of cdc's multilayered -- approach to securing our southern borders. -- consolidated act of 2018. the force cdc's mission including 1.4 billion for the largest investment in border wall and more than a decade. we are eager to put this funding to work. to improve our nation security and encouraged charlie to can -- high-priority border wall
system. in addition to border security, -- pays -- plays a key role in the continuum. -- to enhance the security of our nation. -- protect american workers and taxpayers pick these legislative needs -- to perform on our mission. in accordance to the zero tolerance policy, department -- secretary nielsen -- has directed all border crossings for -- the number of individuals apprehended while trying to enter the country illegally in between -- those presenting themselves without entry documentation along the southern borders increased by 40% from february to march 2018, compared to march 2017 increases an extraordinary 203% picked the effort and hours
used to contain, care for, hold, uac's and families distract our law enforcement officer deployments, shrink our capability to control the border, and make the arrest the smugglers and drug traffickers and criminals much more difficult. to enhance cdc's capability in southwest border sectors -- has begun to deploy national guard for assistance, stopping the flow of drugs, gang members, and illegal aliens into the country. initial forces are already on the ground assisting cdc. we are working with dhs headquarters and dod to ensure a seamless coordination of efforts. with the support of congress and in close coordination with our partner, -- will continue to secure the nation's borders through infrastructure, personnel, and technology. we offer every assistance working with congress on the legislative changes that will help fulfill our mission. i want to thank you, i want to take a moment to recognize the many women of cdc.