Skip to main content

tv   1D - UK - Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Testifies on...  CSPAN  March 6, 2019 1:51pm-2:33pm EST

1:51 pm
i know we were talking a lot about the southern border. let's remember that we have significant border locations to our north and they shouldn't be ignored. i'm also a former cia officer and d.o.d. official, so i'm a big believer in border security and have spent my life preventing homeland attacks. but i also believe we have to be a country of morals and values. and the separation of children, it didn't matter who you were, where you got your news, the vision of a small child in a cage separated and crying, i
1:52 pm
think, just hits everyone's heart, and we cannot be a country that perpetuates that. so i just want to understand, separate out from the situation the unaccompanied minors which are a large of group of people, there are parents who send them up here, on their own, coming across the border. leave that asaid because that was a big problem under the obama administration, many administrations before, the separation of families, the purposeful separation of families once they arrived as a family unit, did you initiate the separation of families for the express purpose of deterring families from coming to the united states? >> no, i did not. again, the whole purpose of that was to increase consequences for those who choose to break the law. that's a bedrock of our criminal, as you know, the way our criminal system works. if there are no consequence, do you not see the instances of the crime decreasing. so what we did is we increased the number of prosecutions, we
1:53 pm
didn't make up the law, the law was already there, former administrations also referred adult parent force prosecution, we took the prosecution numbers from about 20 to about 55%. >> so what did you do, i understand it's complicated, we have a big bureaucratic system. when you saw those pictures of babies in cages, what did you do? what did you do to just scream bloody murder up the chain to the president to say i cannot represent an agency that is forcing its border patrol to do this. what did you do? >> so i went to the border, i spoke to the men and women there, i looked at the facilities myself, i talked to hhs, to understand and visited their facilities as well, to understand the care that they provide to the children, once they're in their custody. and then i spent a tremendous amount of time working with the northern triangle in mexico, to stop the phenomena, closer to the source, to help stabilize those areas, so that the children and families are not
1:54 pm
traveling here. >> it just feels like it potentially wasn't enough, we're still dealing with the separations. >> just to be clear, we're not. we do not refer parents, currently, for prosecution, even when they break the law, by entering our country between ports of entry. >> so switching gears to the northern border, so i'm also very concerned, our border agents do amazing things every day, we have a much higher volume of traffic, of trade, coming through our northern borders than through our southern border and i'm concerned about the vacancies. have any border personnel from the northern border been moved in detail to the southern boarder to fill staffing gaps? and can you give me a couple of details on that, if so. >> sure. we did have, we have surge models throughout the department, whether it is at fee marks whether it's tsa, we do everything based on risk. so when we saw a risk in gaps, we move around the personnel in a temporary fashion, to address that gap. >> i just feel like the attention has all been focused
1:55 pm
on the southern border, when in reality, the volume of trade and then also the people watch listed, the volume is much higher coming through the northern border. i think you made some misleading statements and i think it is important to be very, very specific when we're talking about a terrorist threat, or watch listed individuals, misleading information about the number of watch listed individuals coming through our southern border. can you state for the record, are more watch listed individuals coming through our northern border our southern boarder. >> i don't remember actually answering that question. i think the question was about known or suspected terrorists that we stop a day, on the southern border was i was saying is there is about 3,000 special interest aliens that we've stopped at that border compared to again the northern border as you know, the number of terrorists is different and i would be happy to give that at a different setting. >> i yield my time. >> we take the northern border seriously. i met your colleagues on the
1:56 pm
senate side for michigan we have the border strategy implementation plan coming out soon. we do have a northern border strategy. which you know focuses on security, critical infrastructure, and all of the inter-dependencies so happy to come talk to you about that. >> the gentle lady from new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think it is really important, taking, continuing on what the congresswoman was talking about, about making the record very clear and not allowing any misleading statements. it was a policy announced by the attorney general of this country, that families were going to be separated. that was a policy, he did not say we're going to start enforcing a law. it was a policy by this administration. that only ended when there were pictures of little kids in cages, that had been ripped away from their parents. so i think it is really important, madam secretary, that you talk about it and use the right language. this was not the law, okay?
1:57 pm
this was a policy that the attorney general of this country announced was a new policy that they were going to rip kids away from their parents. so i think it is very important that the record reflect that, and i thank my colleague and i yield back. >> okay, so respectfully, sir, i would like to respond to that, because -- >> let me just say, do it in writing, so we won't have -- >> i would like to respond quickly because -- >> well, young lady, we've been back and forth -- >> we have, but it's, it's appropriate for me to clarify for the record, because i think you're trying to get to the truth, i think that's what you were, too, so i just want to just quickly say, that the ag memo that was issued directed all u.s. attorney offices along the southwest border to prosecute all adults who were referred for prosecution. that's what it did. >> that's a policy. >> but that is a -- >> not as you described it. >> that is a policy. when you knew that that policy was going to result in children
1:58 pm
having to be taken away from their parents. that's a policy. you should admit it. >> the consequence of any adult going to jail in this country is they're separated from their child. that wasn't the point of it. the point was to increase prosecutions for those breaking the law. and not exempt any class of aliens. >> madam secretary -- >> i was very clear. >> we'll follow up. for the record, madam secretary, are we still using cages for children? >> sir, we don't use cages for children, in the border facilities that you've been to, they were not made to detain children, as the children are processed through, they are in sub-parts of those facilities. >> madam, madam secretary -- >> i'm clear as i can, respectfully i'm trying to answer your question. >> are we still putting children in cages? >> to my knowledge, cbp never purposefully put a child in a cage like this.
1:59 pm
>> purposefully or whatever, are we putting children in cages as of today? >> children are processed through the border facility stations that you've been at, some of them -- >> i've seen the capables. i just want you to admit that the cages exist. >> sir, they're not cages. >> what are they? >> areas of the border facility that are carved out for the safety and protection of those who remain there while they're being processed. if we have two, we separate -- a father and daughter, we separate that from another son. >> we're not going to go through this semantics. now i saw the cyclone fences that were made as cages. and you did, too. all you have to do is admit it. if it's a bad policy, then change it. but don't mislead the committee. do not mislead the committee. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. >> their, mr. chairman.
2:00 pm
and ranking member and secretary, thank you for the hard work that you do leading probably one of the most diverse departments in all of our government. as an emergency medicine physician, i've trained in my emergency medicine residency down in texas, did some rotations in austin, texas, i have pronounced opiate overdoses, i have pronounced those people dead, and it is a horrific thing to have to do. as i understand it, 300 deaths a week in this country are happening due to heroin overdose, and that 90% of that heroin is coming across the southern border. it's been suggested by the folks on the other side of the aisle, that that's only at points of entry. and i'd like to ask you, if you could tell us about what's happening between the points of entry, the drugs that you guys are seizing, and what you're expecting is going through. >> sure. so first of all, this is another example of it's not an
2:01 pm
either/or. we think this committee and others who supported our request for additional inspection equipment which will help at the ports. we do see criminals continuing to take advantage of gaps between the ports of entry where there is no barrier and smuggle drugs in. we also unfortunately see them using families and children as pawns. so often, they will send a group of migrants across the border in one area where there is no bare yes, while cbp is responding to that location, they then will smuggle drugs nearby, through another vulnerable part of the border. >> there's a, changing the subject a little bit will, is a "new york times" artle, i believe it was saturday, and the title of the article is you have to pay with your body. and it's about a woman who hired a coyote to bring her over the border, of course, she was assaulted many times during that process, "the new york times"
2:02 pm
article then said that she was held, once she got to the united states, and repeatedly raped by the coyotes. and i just ask the question, i guess it's 31% of women that are coming across the border this way, are having to face similar experiences, how many women does it take being raped before this really is a crisis? >> if you're asking my opinion, it's one. it's one child who dies, it is one woman who's raped because the system doesn't need to work that way. we can fix the system to protect vulnerable populations. >> thank you. i would agree 100% with you. in regard to the child separation, and we've talked about the cages here. as i recall, the images that circulated around the internet, were actually from the obama administration. they later found out that the picture that circulated the
2:03 pm
internet, of a child in a cage, came from the time frame when it was the obama administration. my question, doesn't it seem reasonable that if all the investigations that are going on, and you've just recently been subpoenaed to provide information about the names of children that have been separated, unfortunately, they only ask you to go back to the trump administration, the window of the trump administration, in those subpoenas. it seems to me that if it were, because we're concerned about the children, if the images are really from back in the obama administration, why wouldn't we ask for that data going back further than just the trump administration? it's really about protecting and caring for and making sure the safety safety of the children, why wouldn't we go back to when the separations really started, and let me just stop you, you don't have to answer that question, i'll answer it for
2:04 pm
you, because t-is because this isn't just about the safety of children, it's about slamming the president. >> let me ask you this question. it is a hypothetical. i only have a little bit of time left. how many lives could we actually save, yes, how many lives could we save if we really secured our border? >> again, i would be hazarding a guess here, sir, but we have 4300 that we've saved, if you extrapolate out those, unfortunately that we find who have died along the journey, hundreds of thousands. >> i would think it would be that number, too. how many women, if we were going to multiply the 31% times just this year, how many women in the first few months of this year have come across the border illegally ha way, that you've processed? >> i don't have the breakdown of women from family units but the family units have continued to go up. >> it would be great to know that number and we could multiply it times doctors without borders of 31% and
2:05 pm
probably come up with a number that got raped this year because of our failed policies. thank you. i yield. >> the chair now recognizes the gentle lady from nevada, ms. titus. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i've been sitting here listening to this for quite a while, and just want to make a couple of observations. one is the choreography is just amazing, when the democrats ask a question, madam secretary, you never have the answer. you don't have any of the numbers, and you're going to get back to us but when the republicans ask a question, boy you're right on top of that with the statistics and the numbers, you got it all right down there in front of you. i wonder if this is kind of been orchestrated. second, there's a grael degreat deal of obfuscation. we talk about zero tolerance or family separation, you say it is not the policy, it's the law, you're obeying the law, no, it is a policy, you're doing to now, if you're not doing, it you're breaking a low, which is it, and then you said cyber security is a red light that is
2:06 pm
blinking that is the most dangerous thing that is facing this country. yet you requested $8 billion for a wall, and only $1.35 billion to deal with cyber security. it seems to me kind of a misplaced priorities there. and then going back to the chairman's point about the number of vacancies in the border, and our personnel, i would ask you, and i know this is a topic for tomorrow, but it is kind of interesting, that you paid $1.9 million to accenture to help you with that problem and they've hired 35 agents. so yes, i'd say there is a pretty big management problem. but my question is a broader one. we know that we need comprehensive immigration reform. we'd like to see it be bipartisan. we've reached across the aisle since i was first elected here and gotten nothing in return. but it's more than just border control. we need to deal with the dreamers. the daca recipients. tps. they're all living in a
2:07 pm
situation of uncertainty. you testified that you had never met a dreamer last year. i wonder, is that still true? >> no, ma'am, that is, as you know, they have under the court case right now, they are legally present, and we continue to renew those who are part of the original application process. >> so have you talked to this dreamer, do you know anything about their story? i've got about oh, thousands, 13,000, actually, dreamers in my district. i know their life stories, i know about their families, i'm not just sitting across the courtroom from them. have you met with any of them? >> i think that's why we agree that they deserve a legal status, which is what i've said every time i testified. i support a legal status for the daca population. >> so you don't think the dreamers are a security threat to this country? >> when they commit a crime, or they otherwise fail a background check, as you know, they no long remember covered under the daca program. >> do you feel that they are a security threat to this country? >> some of them have committed crimes, they're no longer part
2:08 pm
of daca, so by definition, if you are a daca recipient, you have not committed a crime. >> do you feel like they are a threat to our economy? >> ma'am, i support their legal status. >> so that means you would support a clean bill to give daca recipients a pathway to citizenship? >> no, i would not. and the reason for that is because we can't handle that situation without handling the situation that brought them here to begin with. i don't want to inadvertently create a new poll factor. i want to make sure that we secure the border and that we are able to give legal status to the daca population. >> so you don't think they're a security threat, you don't think they're an economic threat but you wouldn't support any kind of pathway to citizenship. >> i won't support things that will continue the crisis that we have at the border by serving as a pull factor alone, no, ma'am. >> what about the people who are tps, who are here now, they're not being -- they live here now, they've been here 20 years.
2:09 pm
we have many familied who are mixed status. do you see them as a security threat or an economic threat? would you support some kind of protection for them in a wathway to sinzship. >> yes, ma'am, in a letter to senator shelby during the white house appropriation, the administration already supports this. >> if we brought a clean bill to give tps pathway to citizenship you and the administration and the colleagues across the aisle would support that? because there is a bill that is on the table right now, a promise bill, i believe is the acronym for it. >> ma'am, as the secretary of homeland security, i can't support something that will automatically, i mean every time we have done a program that provides additional paths to sinzship for those who are -- sinzship for those who are illegally present, it does serve as a pull factor. >> tps is not illegally present. >> their status, we have a court case, as you know, ut the program itself was temporary and so they do not have the temporary protected status, but we of course are not deporting them as we work through the
2:10 pm
court case. but i agree with you that yes, we need to provide a legal status, what i am concerned about is i want to make sure that we secure the border at the same time, and reduce the pull factor, so that people are under the impression they can come here without any legal right to stay, to then be subject to protections later. >> in your opening statement, you said you want to encourage and support legal immigration. it's the illegal immigration you're worried about. is not tps and are not the dreamers, are not they under the category of legal immigration? >> the tps was a protected temporary status, as you know. >> legal or illegal? >> it's neither. they aren't -- >> it's not legal -- >> they're legally present -- >> yes. >> but they're not immigrants. >> thank you very much for your parks, i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. taylor. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr.
2:11 pm
joyce. >> thank you, mr. chairman for yielding. i would like to thank you, secretary nielsen, for appearing before this committee, to speak on the vital issue of border security. particularly on the southern border. the consistent inability of congress to comprehensively address this matter has left you and the president with the inability to take the actions that are necessary to provide what we need for protection. lack of border security has downstream consequences in our country. one of these i would like to refocus on, and that is the opioid crisis, and the devastation and the heart break it has created, particularly in my home state of pennsylvania. i too have met with coroners. as a doctor, as a legislator, the opioid-related deaths in my home state are on the upswing,
2:12 pm
and are consistently above the national average. some reports, as we've discussed, indicate that almost 90% of heroin is illegally smuggled into our country through our southern border. secretary nielsen, do you believe that a physical barrier is necessary in places of high risk along our southern border to stem the flood of narcotics into our country? >> yes, sir, i do. >> thank you. as a doctor, as a legislator, facing this incredible opioid crisis, watching families separated, watching children and young adults die, do you and other experts believe that the construction of additional barriers and walls will help combat the opioid flow into our country?
2:13 pm
>> absolutely. >> thank you. i yield back my time. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentle lady from new jersey, ms. watson-coleman. >> in a bipartisan fashion. thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary, for being here. i've got a whole bunch of questions that i'm going to ask that where you can, you just tell me yes or no. question, what is a chain link fence, enclosed, into a chamber, on a concrete floor represent to you? is that a cage? >> it's a detention space, ma'am, that as you know has existed for decades. >> does it differ from the cages you put your dogs in when you let them stay outside? is it different? >> yes.
2:14 pm
>> in what sense? >> it's larger, it has facilities, it provides room to sit, to stand, to lay down. >> do so do my dog's cage. are the jails different than the cages that you have allowed the children to be put am? >> i'm sorry which jails. >> the jails that you put their parents in or the adults that come here with children, that you say are coming here illegally. >> the detention centers, most of them, no, ma'am, they have a border around the outside, but they essentially sleep in dorm-like conditions. >> so they live in better conditions than the children. >> no, ma'am. i want to be clear on this. as migrants are processed through the border patrol station, which were not built again for vulnerable populations they're there for up to 72 hours -- >> i want to know if the children are in cages, what do you consider the detention facilities to be, because i'm suspecting that you're putting children in places that seem to be less livable than these
2:15 pm
adults. i want to have, i have a number of questions, i want to start by discussing marie juarez, a toddler who died in my home state of new jersey after being detained by dhs, after fleeing violence in guatemala, she and her mother were detained by cbp and held in i.c.e. custody at a private facility in texas. within a week, marie began to exhibit upper respiratory symptoms including congestion, cough and a severe fever of 104 degrees. marie and her mother were released after three weeks in custody. and cleared for travel to new jersey by personnel in texas, who did not have the requisite credentials, doctors, to provide medical clearance. after arriving, her mother took marie to an emergency room, almost immediately, and she remained hospitalized for the rest of her life, six weeks, dying on mother's day last year. outside doctors made it clear that marie did not receive the medical care she deserved while in custody at dhs. secretary, after learning of
2:16 pm
marie's death, did you immediately take any action to improve access to the quality of health care at d hs facilities, yes or no? >> yes, we continue to do all we can to improve within our resources. >> is there an outside investigation every time someone dies in dhs custody, so that we can understand what happened? >> opr investigates every one under either, in addition to, or under directiof -- >> on a different topic, we should know that it is not just the southern border and i want to ask about a program i recently learned about where tsa is working with the saudi government to have a air martial program that would have saudi government agents fly armed on flights to the united states. the saudis are actually paying the salaries of several full-time tsa employees working on this program. as a section of the 9/11 commission report stated, while in the united states some of the
2:17 pm
9/11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from individuals who may be connected with the saudi government. madam secretary, is this really happening, number one? and will you commit to provide this committee any and all documentation of this program, including training materials being shared with the saudis, and who is being trained? >> we're happy to provide you materials, ma'am, and come brief you. i'm happy to have a tsa administrator come brief you. >> how long will i have to wait to get this information? >> that i can't answer but what i can do is get you an answer today as to when we could be able to provide that to you. >> thank you. i don't know if i asked this, i was talking so fast, do we continue, do you continue to separate parens from children, as they're coming across the boarder. >> in three instances, when the child is at risk, the adult accompanying them is not a parent or a guardian, and the third instance, is when the parent needs to go to a
2:18 pm
custodian environment. >> so are these, any of these coming at the port of entry. seeking asylum? >> some of, sure, some of them might be claiming asylum, yes, ma'am. >> okay. thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from mississippi. mr. guest. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, i first want to thank you and the men and women that serve under you for the important role that you provide in protecting our country. i want to ask you a couple of questions, as it relates to the current situation at our southwest border. do you believe that we are currently seeing an immigration crisis on our south west border? >> yes, i do, and the numbers are increasing so quickly, that our system, which i've testified to before, was at the breaking point. it's clearly breaking. >> and do you believe we are also facing a human trafficking crisis on our southwest border? >> yes, sir.
2:19 pm
>> and finally, do you also believe that we are facing a drug trafficking crisis on our southwest border? >> yes. >> and particularly, i want to turn my attention through the remainder of my questioning toward the drug trafficking. as i look at the figures that have been provided, it appears that we are on track to seize a record number of illegal narcotics that are being attempted to be introduced into our country. does that seem correct? >> yes. >> and what can we do, as a country, what is the single most effective thing that you believe that we can do to prevent illegal drug from entering america? >> we need to take operational control of the southern border so that is increasing our ability to detect at the ports of entry, and it's also having situational awareness, impedence and denial and responsibilities between the ports of entry. >> and do you believe that a physical barrier is an important part of our strategy to decrease the flow of illegal drugs from entering america?
2:20 pm
>> i believe that, but more importantly, the men and women and professionals of cbp believe that. >> and i think there was a question earlier about what we are doing along our northern border. do we have the same type of crisis at our northern boarder that we're currently seeing on our southern border. >> we do not have a humanitarian crisis, and we certainly do not have the numbers of those trying to enter illegally without illegal a-legal right to stay. >> and i believe you talked, in your official testimony, about the trans-national criminal organizations, or what we commonly refer to as drug cartels. >> yes, sir. >> what can we do as a congress to provide you additional support as we seek to fight drug cartels from bringing their controlled substances into our country? >> congress has been extraordinarily helpful, thank you, with both the interdict act and the stop act and those have been very help nfl giving us additional authorities kprevly look at the drug issue.
2:21 pm
at this time we believe we have the authority we need to look at this. this is part of the regional compact that we mentioned that we hope to sign sue with the northern triangle but we also work very closely with international partners throughout the world to dismantle all of the illicit marketplaces. i.c.e. alone has over 200 investigations into the illicit marketplaces to take them down where they're selling the drugs. >> and just in general, would you agree that we as a congress have not given you the tools that you and your officers need to prevent drugs from illegally entering the country across our southwest border? >> sir, we need a barrier. we cannot take operational control of the border without it. >> and so, and i would agree, it is your opinion, the opinion of experts, that you have spoken, with without a physical barrier, it would be all but impossible for us to secure our border from those people seeking to introduce the poise than we know as, whether it be cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, from entering our
2:22 pm
country through our south west border. >> yes, sir, the professionals speak in terms of, on a risk-based way of vanishing time. in other words, there are parts of the border where the cities in mexico and the united states are so close together, that a drug smuggler or mule can disappear in a matter of seconds into the united states. without a physical barrier. >> and ma'am, madam secretary, wouldn't it be advantageous if we were able to funnel all traffic, whether it be commercial, passenger traffic, through our ports of entry, where we could then concentrate our technology and our man power, on screening individuals and vehicles, entering the country there, instead of having to spend man hours and man power securing the unsecured portion of our border that do not currently have a physical barrier. >> yes, sir, tand would reduce the tune tarian crisis. >> one final question, madam secretary, some members of congress have advocated abolish
2:23 pm
i.c.e., the immigrations custom enforcement, which is an agency that is under your control, and my question is, would this make our community safer? or would the american public be placed at greater risk if we as a congress took the unprecedented move to abolish this needed law enforcement agency? >> i can say with absolute certainty that the united states would be unsafer, sir. part of their mission is anti-trafficking, they do counter-child exploitation. they do counter weapons of mass destruction proliferation, they also help with antiquities, in returning illicit goods because they also have customs enform. but they are a top notch investigative unit of the united states government. they are mimicked as a best practice throughout the world. without then, we would not be able to protect children and victims of trafficking. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentle lady from california, ms. barragon. >> thank you. madam secretary, i serve as the second vice chair for the
2:24 pm
congressional hispanic caucus, and it's been some time since you've come and met with us. will you commit today to coming back to meet with the congressional hispanic caucus. >> yes. >> will do you that soon? >> yes. >> great. thank you. madam secretary, we know that ex-fbi director james comey took contemporaneous memos on his meeting with trump and his interactions. we also know that your former boss, secretary john kelly, also wrote contemporaneous internal memos about his interactions with the president, in particular how he was worried to give mr. kushner the top security clearance. my question is very simple, and i remind you, ms. secretary, that you are under oath, have you taken any contemporaneous memos about your interactions with president trump? >> no, i have not. >> madam secretary, do you know how many children have died in
2:25 pm
cbp custody under your tenure as secretary? >> yes, we have the numbers for cbp and i.c.e. >> can you give me the numbers of how many children have died? >> yes, i can. if you'll give me one second. i just don't want to misspeak. but this last year, we had, so far this year, we've had three, as you know in ccbp custody. >> so far? are you expecting more to die? >> no, ma'am, i want to be accurate. to be clear, any death is a tragedy. any death should be prevented and part of what i have asked this body to do is change the laws so we have a better chance. >> do you know the names of the children that have died? >> one was a stillborn death. but the other two were felipe and jacqueline. >> have you spoken to their families at all madam secretary. >> i have not spoke within their families, no, ma'am. >> okay. >> i want to turn to, i want to turn to a slide that i have, if we can put it up there, it is, you testified that asylum
2:26 pm
seekers are not being turned away at the ports of entry. is that your testimony here today? >> they are not turned away, they are brought in, i'm not sure if you're talking about the migrant protection protocol -- >> any asylum seeker who comes to a port of entry, you basically -- >> they are allowed to make their claim. >> let me tell you, madam secretary, either you're lying to this committee or you don't know what is happening at the border. and i have been there firsthand and i have seen it twice. more recently, it just happened on saturday. when i happened to be crossing the border with my mother. and i heard a gentleman say, i'm from honduras, i want to apply for asylum. he was already at the turnstile, at the head west entry, and the agent said, sir, unless you have a visa, you need to leave, you need to go away. they didn't say, what you just said people do, they didn't say, here is where you go get on a list, they didn't say, here is the information where you go get access to counsel.
2:27 pm
as a matter of fact, they pulled out my phone and i started to record and i was asked to stop recording. why? because they don't want the american people knowing what is happening at that southern border. and madam secretary, i don't know if you know what is happening, but this is happening without you knowing, but it's totally unacceptable. and as a member of this committee, you're darn right i'm booing to hold this, you accountable for knowing what is happening at the bottom. do you know, do you know that two members of congress had to sleep overnight and spend 14 hours in the cold, on the concrete, at the otay mesa port of entry so maria, the woman who was tear-gassed at the port of entry would be allowed to present herself, because she was on u.s. soil, and legally that's what asylum allows? did you know that? >> ma'am, what i know is i would ask you -- >> yes or no, did you know that two members of congress had to do that? >> i know that we have a process. >> you obviously don't know. but see, this is what i'm saying. you don't know these things. two members of congress. does it take two members of
2:28 pm
congress, to be there, to witness somebody presenting themselves for asylum, at the port of entry? that's not what the law says. are you familiar with the asylum laws, madam secretary? >> yes. >> where in the asylum law does it say that when you present yourself at a port of entry, and by the way, when you're on u.s. soil, that you can be sent by an agent to another port of entry? is it anywhere in the asylum law? >> what we're trying to do is process -- >> it's not in there. i know, just, it is a yes or. no it's not in there. because what you all are doing is not within the confines of the law. you talk about a list. under what authority is there in u.s. law that a list could be started to have people wait in mexico? do you have that authority? >> yes, ma'am. >> what is under that one authority? >> the here is to do all ha we can to protect the migrants coming here -- >> well, that is not what the asylum law says. >> the asylum law says that we -- >> can you produce every single
2:29 pm
list at the port of entry that's under u.s. -- >> we do not have the list to be clear, the list is in mexico. >> so you have the authority to do a list but you don't have access to a list? and due control that list? >> what i mean by the list ma'am,. >> so you're basically farming this out to the mexican -- >> you would like me to answer any of your questions? >> you don't have answers? >> how do i know, you're not giving me the opportunity. >> these are simple yes or no questions. there is this law, this is what it is under, and you haven't done that. the very last thing i just want to say because my time is up, is you said that you waited to give direction, i have it, implemented zero tolerance pail because you want to do it with compassion. you know how outrageous ha sounds? you wanted to separate children and families and you wanted it it with compassion. so in the meantime, you didn't do anything at all and you let kids be separated without tracking them. do you know how outrageous that
2:30 pm
is madam secretary? you have no compassion -- >> your time is up. >> i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. >> thank you madam secretary for being here and helping us answer the fundamental question about were we care about the sovereignty and our rule of law and our country and unfortunately, i have this cynical view that i'm not so sure we all agree on that. that we all value the rule of law. and value the ability to manage our border effectively. a lot of questions have come up about the humanitarian of our policies. as they should. there's some rightful anger about family separation. but unfortunately, it's my op-ed, because nobody ever talks -- myopic, because nobody ever talks about the other issue whence it comes to our humanity. a young woman in my office yesterday, she is from mexico, she about 18 years old, taken across the border, kidnapped about five years ago, from the
2:31 pm
third attempt, because they were turned back twice for border patrol, and third attempt they made it through and brought to new york city raped approximately 30 times a day for five years. i don't know why nobody talks about that kind of stuff. when i was at the border in mcallen, in one day, in one location, 16 kids came across with adults that were not their parents. further questioning and follow-through led to a stash house of 54 people kidnapped inside in houston. nobody talks about that humanity. those are direct results of the fact that our asylum laws are taken advantage of. that is a direct result of the fact that that woman in my office was allowed to walk straight across the border, nobody stopped her, there is no wall, nothing. would have been turned back otherwise. and not been in new york city. to suffer the absolute nightmare that she did. then we get to the question of whether walls work. and this has been a really fun conversation over the last couple of months.
2:32 pm
do walls work. madam secretary, would you agree that there is three parts to security, personnel, technology, and barriers? >> absolutely. >> can you just take one of those away? >> no, sir. >> when i was down in mcallen, and brownsville, what we see is brownsville has about 35 miles worth of barriers and as a result, only 6% of the crossings in that sector take place, because walls work. would you agree with that? >> walls work, yes, service, as evidenced. >> mcallen about, a thousand people were crossing, on some days, they don't have the infrastructure, would you agree that the biggest difference between the mcallen corridor and the brownsville corridor would be the physical barriers? >> the wall system, yes, sir. >> there's been a lot of red herrings that have been thrown out there to argue these points. drugs like fentanyl come through points of entry. yes, we know. >> and we're going to break away from this recorded hearing and take you live now back to capitol hill for a senate armed services committee hearing on what's being done to prevent


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on