tv John Kelly Faces Questions on Border Wall Construction and Extreme Vetting CSPAN April 8, 2017 2:32pm-5:01pm EDT
would ask them questions like who in their command a work a little concerned about, who in their command keeps them up at night. >> sunday night at 9:00 p.m. on c-span two's book tv. >> no -- next, homeland security secretary john kelly testifies on president trump's proposed wall along the u.s.-mexico border. secretary kelly was also asked about the current security procedures that require some travelers entering the u.s. to turn over their cell phones. this hearing is two and a half hours. >> this hearing will come to order. i'd like to welcome the secretary of
>> this hearing will come to order. i would like to welcome general kelly. it should come as no surprise that the security of our border has been a top priority of this committee. a top priority of this committee. in november 2015 after about 13 hearings and three round tables we published a report if state of america's border security. we've got a bunch of copies, so any new members or old members that didn't get a copy, i'd be happy to give you one. we've learned an awful lot. i would ask that my opening statement be entering into the record. ask for consent for that. >> no objection. >> i'll the take silence as conse consent. thanks. but i'd like to read some of the findings out of that opening statement as well as just some other things we've learned. just kind of bullet points. first and fore most what we've
learned between now -- this is going to be our 23rd hearing on various aspects of border security. our borders are not secure, number one. number two, america's insatiable demand for drugs is one cause of an unsecure border. we heard this yesterday. algts need full situational awareness including the ability to see on the other decide ofst border. this can be achieved with appropriate fencing and technology. we had a hearing november of last year. we had former heads of border patrol and deputy border patrol and they said that fencing works and we need more of it. we found out last week in hearing from the front lines, hire is a challenge. and personal issues must be addressed and work with the secretary and his deputy to try to address that really based off of senator hide carp's one
hearing were where she said this is insane and there are some insane policies we want to fix right away so you can staff up, provide the manpower element of securing our border. ports of entry must not be forgotten. the majority of drugs in our country are through ports of entry. that's something i'd like to talk about. one difficult hearing to have was victims of an unsecure border, victims of not enforcing our immigration laws so the truth is, tragedies have occurred as a result of our insecure borders, tragedies that could have been prevented. going down another list not on my opening statement. drug cartels and coyotes use minors to avoid prosecution. unaccompanied children have been trafficked in the sex straight. drug cartels are as if not more brutal, depraved than isis. arrow stats. good technology but as we found
out in one of our shifts on the border, they're not good in wind. in certain areas they can only operate about 40% of the time. we had an interesting hearing -- this is something i'm interested in. no technology can beat the nose of a dog. in brooks county we found out that 435 deaths of people who have crossed this crowd illegally occurred just in the last five years. it's a very dangerous journey. we need to try to disincentivize people from making the journey. drugs is not a victimless crime. we are in guatemala in one of the shelters. senator hide camp, carpenter, senator peters. i think the average age is 14. it's not a victimless crime. i think we all realize that but unfortunately we need to
understand the responsibility we bear because of our insatiable demand for drugs. that's just a list. but we've earned a an awful lot in 22 hearings. i think we'll learn more today. as senator mccaskill said yesterday, i don't think there's one united states senator who doesn't believe we need a secure border. so let's start there. we share that goal. we want to secure our border. we want to keep the folks that we represent in you're states, we want to keep them safe and secure. now we got to figure out the details. so again, i want to welcome general kelly and i'll turn it over to senator mccaskill. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary kelly, thank you so much for being here today. we are cognizant of the demands on your time and part of our goal and the chairman and i agree on this is trying to be careful about what we ask for and how much we ask for, but
we've got to ask for stuff, because our job is with oversight. we're aware that you're being pulled a lot of different ways. that's why we look forward to you getting a full team in place so we can begin to have some of the people in charge in your operation come and answer some of these difficult policy and oversight questions. you and i have worked together on the armed services committee. i have -- i'm in very -- i'm a fan of how you have served as a marine and a general and no one can question the sacrifices you made for our nation. ever stint your confirmation i've considered you a voice of reason within the administration. you have displayed throughout your career a willingness to speak to power, to say no rather than nodding and base your decisions on facts, not political expediency. those characteristics are needed more now than ever. i'm counting on you to speak truth to this committee and the
president. i'm also expecting you to speak the truth to us and the american people. we are now three months into the new administration. i know you want to settle in and we're pleased that we confirmed elaine duke yesterday. i think she'll be a terrific edition to your position. i was going to bring the vote tally. i'll get it to her to frame for her office. we have two executive orders that ban travel from middle eastern countries. the department has overhauled the inner there are enforcement to take the shackles off immigration and customs and border control. you have ordered the department to begin plannings, design, maintenance and construction of a wall along the boarder. even though missouri isn't on the border, my state is affected
by it. the drugs that get through have a huge impact on the opioid crisis. it is causing death and destruction to families all over the united states. i know you share my concern about drugs coming over the border. i'm deeply concerned that all of the rhetoric and all of the budget requests have focused on the border and not the ports of entry. that there is no plan to increase resources at the ports of entry, which we know along with the mail, is the primary place that drugs are coming into our country. i certainly hope that we have a chance to address that today. away from the border i'm concerned about the secret service and the unprecedented challenge of protecting the president and his family at numerous locations, the white house, trump tower and mar-a-lago as well as the international travel by the president's sons. in the meantime the secret service is reviewing incidences that have threatened the physical security of the white house, including a case in march
where a fence jumper was able to elude security and rome the kbrounds for 15 minutes. i'm concerned that the secret service is being stroechd its breaking point. yesterday i read reports that the extreme vetting procedures that the president has ordered could force visa applicants from places like australia and japan and the united kingdom to disclose not only all the information on their mobile knowns, social media pass words, financial records, even to answer questions about their beliefs. i've got to tell you. if my family was traveling to the united kingdom and they told me that we would have to answer questions about my beliefs to get into the country, we would not go. and i have a hard time imagining those countries would see us as their friends. i think this has a profound impact on our standing in the world, a profound impact on the
nature of our alineses around the world and a profound impact on our national security. and i will ask questions about that today as i indicated to you in our conversation yesterday. because i think we are doing things that no way as a former prosecutor trips up the bad guys. the this changes our image forever in the eyes of the world. permanent and irreparable harm. we've been trying to ask questions about policies within your department. there have been times it's difficult to get answers. willing to do a reset and check that off as you not having all hands on deck but going forward i hope the chairman and i can work to make sure we have department of witnesses from the department of homeland security answer some of the questions that need to be answers. frankly, i think it works to the benefit of your department. in you're not here explaining, assumptions can be made that
sometimes are unfair. going forward i hope we have a new beginning as relates to not only getting questions answered but also having witnesses at hearings. i'm glad you're here today. there's a lot of important issues before us and i've got a lot of questions. i hope we can count on you and your department be willing to answer them going forward. thank you very much. >> senator mccaskill, would point out general kelly has already made himself available for a briefing and he's here in early april. so i appreciate his willingness to testify. [inaudible]. . >> secretary or general kelly we have a tradition of swearing in witnesses. would i please rise and raise your right hand. do you swear the system you'll give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? [inaudible]. . >> please be seated. secretary john f. kelly, general kelly was confirmed to be the
fifth secretary of homeland security. he previously served as united states marine corps general and commander of the u.s. southern command. he once again answered the call to serve the nation and the american people by leading the kep of homeland security. general, we thank you for your service past, present, and future and look forward to your testimony. >> well, thank you, chairman. and certainly ranking member mccaskill, all the members of the committee, it's really an honor to be here. i'll make myself available any time by phone, by drop-in. just recently i met with just yesterday with the entire hispanic caucus on the house side. week fliert with the entire democratic caucus on the house side. i've met with the democratic caucus on this side last week and i think i'm scheduled to speak with the republicans, so anytime, any population. happy to do it. just need a little unless.
since taking on this assignment three months ago, i've learned two important lessons. the first is that the men and women of my department are incredibly talented and devoted public servants who serve the nation in very special ways. in particular, those uphold the laws, this institution, the congress passes by way of the democratic process. it goes without saying the united states coast guard supremely effective, one of the five military services in our country. they just happen to be lucky enough to be in the department of homeland security. there's the i.c.e. agents who have taken on the task of enforcing the laws you have massed and thed do that in the interior of our country, humanely, and always according to the law. it includes the investigators of the homeland investigations,
hssi second to none in their effectiveness. there's the officials at the cvp who among many other functions are the first and last line of defense, depending on how you look at it doing the dangerous work of defending the board ersz. they're out there day and night, 24/7 sufferings the heat of a arizona day. as you mentioned senators mccaskill, want to highlight both the agents as well as the uniformed force. they routinely work and are overworked to protect not only u.s. government officials but foreign dignitaries as well. they're amazing public servants dedicated to taking a bullet and giving their life for people that they don't even know. then there's the tsa who secure the security, among other things
to the traveling public. they enjoy little credit as the work they've been ordered to do and complete by the laws of this nation bring them in direct contact with the public that has little tolerance for minor inconveniences. again, all of this required by the law. testimony same public foergtsz that the alternative to what the tsa does in the airport is perhaps dying in a fire ball falling from 30,000 feet. they're heroes. they do their work effectively and they've worked very, very hard at improving their performance. the second lesson is that what security means. we must no longer think about the nation as defense and nondefense funding. in the world 23467 we live and the threats directed against our nation and our way of live we must adjust our thinking to think about security and nonsecurity which requires an
increasing melding of the thinking of the departments of defense and homeland security. second madison do it every day. the quality -- the equally superb men and women of homeland security that i'm in charge fight the home game. the defense starts with allies and partners willing toss fight the fight in places like syria, iraq and afghanistan. closer to home in winning the home game it is all about increasing the partnership with also and reliable friends like colombia, mexico, canada. indeed all the nations of this atmosphere and around the globe. securing the nation's border is the primary responsibility of any sovrge nation. to those of us who serve the nation as part of d.h.s., this is nonnegotiateble. yet despite passing one law after another to do just that, has not lived up to its promise
to the american people. president trump in early days of his administration issued executive orders focused on these tarvegs and tasked med to accomplish it. various executive orders have been put out there, soming effectively and some not so effectively. but all were worth adhering to once the courts finished with their rulings. what's happened in the last 90 days or so we've seen an absolutely amazing drop in the number of my grants coming out of central america that are taking that terribly dangerous route from central america into the united states. in particular, we've seen a dramatic reduction in the number of families and the number of children that are in that pipeline. it won't last. it won't last unless we do something again to secure the border. the wall and a physical barrier, something to secure our border.
you all know that we're looking at that. in fact, i think the proposals closed out yesterday, what the it will look like, how tall, how thick, what color it will be is yet to be determined. all we know is that physical barriers do work if they're put in the right places. of course, i've already pulsed the men and women who work the border, cvp, they know exactly where they want wall and exactly how long the wall should be in their sector. they're quick to point out that if they can't have a ballwall from sea to shining sea, at least give them the wall, the physical barrier the technology that will do the job for them in the locations they've identified to me and we will do that. i'd like to highlight to the committee and the american people to a relentless threat that thankfully we have probably stayed two or three steps ahead of over the years. i talk of those who would do us harm primarily operating out of
the middle east and they are unl yielding in their attempt to destroy commercial air passenger flights. in response to this, officials are deployed in thousands oefrsz working with airports, air carriers and intelligence and enforcements partners to deny the terrorists' attempt to kill the innocent in the largest numbers possible to make some sick statement. as i say, we, the cia, nsa, fbi, dni, dod, doj, dot and dhs and all our international partners have been successful thus far. i made several decisions that involved baggage protocols in a number of foreign airports that fly flights directly to the united states. this decision was not -- and i recent -- not aboutst muslim religion, anyone's skin color or ethnicity.
but to impact the bottom line of foreign air carriers to the benefit of u.s. air carriers. my efforts were based entirely on our homeland and protecting lifes. if we don't do -- i'll end by saying i thank you so very much for the support you gave elaine duke, the fact that she is now confirmed and with any kind of luck i'll return to my building after this meeting or after this committee, swear her in and put a very, very heavy pack on her back, fill it up with lot of rocks and make the department of homeland security better than it already is. that, mr. chairman, ranking member, stand by for questions. >> she ought to be looking forward to that. so general, let me start, you talked about the study on the border barriers. can you just tell me the -- little more detail the status of
that wells any surprises that you've -- in terms of the initial results of that? >> we know that a physical barrier works. it's -- the parts of the border that have physical barrier now, roughly 650 miles built some years ago, in those sectors, it works. there are other places along the border -- and again, the professionals in cvp, if you walk the terrain and i know some of you have can tell me, boss, if you can give me 27 more miles here, 16 more miles here, i'm not worried about the other parts of the boarder that i'm responsible for. to deflect the flow of bad actors, not all of whom are bad actors but people coming to the united states for various reasons. the idea with the coyotes and
traffickers to cross over as close as possible to a city, gets them away from the city and disappear. it's easier to pick them up and return them, whether they're mexican or whatever. it's safer in many ways. last year i think somewhere in the neighborhood of 4500 near death individuals were saved out in the desert. unfortunately, unknown specific numbers but some several hundred lost their lives in this attempt to get across the border. that's on our border. there's no telling how many in addition to the rapes and the assaults and the abuse that they take in the network flowing up through mexico, not done by the mexicans but by did coy yotes, the traffickers. there's no way to tell how many of those people lose their lives. the point is very, very dangerous trip.
the barriers work. technology works. all of it doesn't work at all unless you have men and women willing to patrol the border. protect the relationships which they do with their kwounter parts across the border. there's no way i could give the committee an estimate of how much this will cost. i don't know what it will be my of. i don't know how high it's going to be. i don't know if it's going to have solar panels on one side. have no idea. i can't give you any type of an estimate. i will say this, that it's unlikely that we will build a wall or physical barrier from sea to shining sea but it is very likely, i'm committed to putting it where the men and women say we should put it. >> in your written testimony the quote is you're going to implement a solution. that's technology, manpower, physical barriers.
one of the issues i had with then candidate trump was when he brought up the issue of securing .he southern border as it is no way we're going to do that unless we get after drug consumption in the united states, and i don't mean arresting more african-american guys, i mean, no kidding, comprehensive drug demand reduction. mr. trump has taken that on and put together a task horse, so enforcement, to try to stop the production in mexico, all of that as up to we will have a much more secure border if we can stop drug demand in the united states, and we never have. some states have, some communities have, some organizations have tried.
>> will that put more pressure on the northern border and other ports of entry? >> the beauty of the northern border is canada. they are committed, to say the least. very, very low rates of corruption. they had tremendous law enforcement, and our partnership with them just could not he stronger, so that is the advantage. mexico, andtime again, the strains on the mexican society, the violence, corruption -- we can hope that that gets better. they are trying. i just had the military leadership, which played a different role in their society than our senior military do.
the collaboration is very, very good, law enforcement. what are those security measures? , for example? sensors? what are they priorities for the northern border? >> right now, there is not nearly the same level of cross-border crime and whatnot. we obviously need to watch it. one of the things canadians did was to allow these a travel, non-mexicans to travel to canada without visas. we are seeing a little increase in mexicans coming illegally to the united states from the north. we are working with them. with myhe phone counterparts from canada all the time, but we always have to watch the threat. if we were successful in drying
in mexico -- ion >> i'm not just talking drugs. as you continue to secure the mexican border, it will continue in other places, and that's why i want to make sure we are taking the necessary steps in other places as well. they have responsibility for 900 miles of order. we're using everything from predators -- the air force there ,as an effective u.s. test site and the cbp station they fly out of grant force air force base, and i would invite you to come up and see the technology. you talk about cooperation with the canadians and use it as an opportunity to build on some of that cooperation with the canadians. you are talking 900 miles of border without a fence. we will have to continue to build those relations and that technology to do the job.
>> i will do that, senator. >> thank you. appreciate that, general. >> i did not want to disappoint anyone, so i'm going to raise the northern border at the very beginning. obviously, the law that was that you need a june deadline for how we are going to secure the border. can you tell me if we are on target to meet that june deadline? >> we are always on target. in seattle, we met with the local law enforcement folks a number of times on real id with the governor, so we have to look at that relationship, but more importantly, i talked to my people that are responsible for pacificetch of the inland. they have, again, great relations with their
counterparts on the other side of the border. their real strength is the databases. >> so we can expect a report in june so then we can react to in the next budgetary time period, correct? >> yes. you just want to remind that eight of the 15 senators represent the northern border. >> it has not escaped my attention, believe me. deeply concerned about personnel issues on the northern border and hope that whatever you're looking at in that study securing enough personnel to do the job and to meet the challenges. i want to talk a little bit about central america. it is a topic that i know you are well familiar with, and it was one of the great opportunities we have had given opportunities, and given
the fact that you have such a great relationship. we continue to be challenged by the northern triangle countries. the rate of mayhem is unparalleled throughout the world, which is saying something. we are looking at the alliance for progress as a way to build that soft collar and not just look at border security, but how to keep refugees in place. it's my understanding you are keeping a conference in miami. one of the concerns i have is who will be at the table. i think it is critically everyone beat represented, that we all understand that we had a role in .roviding some security can you tell me what the plan is ?nd what you hope to accomplish >> in the short time i've been in the job, i have an down to
guatemala. the president of honduras was .ust up in my office i have met all three from the -- alln tier countries three of their attorneys general can, and we had great discussions. mr. villa great is in and out of washington, so that is where we in terms of what we're doing there. when i had discussions with mr. trump when he was still mr. trump, i talked to him about the issue of drug use in the united states, drug trafficking. i will take a little credit --
not much, but a little credit for this, some of the things when i was still on active command -- some of the things we helped northern tier countries and clement have driven down -- now, the death rates are still horrific -- >> what do you hope to accomplish in miami? economic -- it will be a two day conference. one day will be economic. we have certainly, one of the real powers behind this is the american development bank. eu countries will be there. i am hoping to have the secretary of commerce, secretary of the treasury. i will be there. our vice president is coming down. there will be businessmen and women. i believe there will be all three of these central american presidents and their teams will be there. i have the canadian, the mexicans will cohost this --
>> will you be reviewing the alliance for progress and whether that has been a and what changes we need to make as it changes that commitment? secretary kelly: as you know, the alliance -- >> prosperity. secretary kelly: prosperity, exactly. i have a lot to do with organizing that with the countries. they put their own money against it. the real thrust of this event in miami in june, mid june, i think , will be outside investment, as opposed to u.s. investment. although -- outside private investment. that is what we are trying to a comp list. that is what we will accomplish. >> i think there are tons of folks who want to help out, in the india community especially. -- in the ngo community especially. which brings me to the next
topic, which is why people are leaving central america. there has been a lot of confusion about what is going to happen to women coming to the border with children. just a quick yes or no -- there have been reports that you are considering separating children from their mothers at the border and i want to know, yes or no, whether that is true? secretary kelly: can i give you more than a yes or no? >> you can, just a little bit. secretary kelly: only if the situation at that point in time requires it. if the mother is sick or addicted to drugs or whatever. in the same way we would do it here in the united states -- the childyou thought was in danger, that is the only circumstance -- can't imaginey: doing it otherwise. >> i know a lot of people think that that might provide a deterrent and we have a lot of people within the heartland
--iance program that asked and i know you get a lot of correspondence, obviously, and to you, but it is some comments from women -- >> objection. >> i want to read a couple of them because i think it is important to understand what is driving people north. "my faith was in god when i made the decision to leave. i had never heard of asylum. all i knew was the united states was a place where people could be protected and safe. i did not think about the policies. i was just considering the united states was a thing that could detect us from violence where we were living. i think you know almost better than anyone else who serves in this administration however ripping the conditions are. i appreciate your answer. no one could disagree that if a child is in danger they should be separated and that would be a rare circumstance. is that correct, general?
secretary? secretary kelly: -- secretary kelly: yes. >> good to see you, secretary kelly. appreciate your testimony. i wanted to thank you for coming to detroit and spending some time with the muslim america, latino, hispanic community and we saw one of the busiest border crossings in america from detroit into windsor, canada. and we appreciate your interest and involvement in that meeting. , secretary know kelly, there has been an appreciable uptick in hate crimes and crimes against religious institutions across the country. we wrote a letter that was signed by every single member of asking your department to take action against the rising in hate crimes against mosques and other
religiously associated areas. it is rare to have a letter signed by all 100 of us. it has been 29 days since the letter has been written to you, the attorney general, and the fbi. i was wondering when should we expect a response back to all my colleagues? secretary kelly: it should have been a long time ago. i apologize. and i am honored. but i will tell you, i have added our approach to this issue any religious and building, church, whatever that might be affected by this, so we do have some capability with the department to advise individuals advised ofo be security precautions. my staff told me yesterday, virtually all of the jewish havers, large groups, taken that advice. we have teams that travel.
i don't know if any of the mosques have responded yet, but at all religious communities to that, and let's not just talk one religion. let's not just talk terrorism for that matter. how about we talk white supremacist? i apologize and we will get on that today. >> it is obvious from your comments you believe there is a legitimate fear of hate crimes in our communities a need to be concerned about. given that, will you continue to support programs that support vulnerable location such as the nonprofit security grant program? secretary kelly: i will. >> thank you. i appreciate it, secretary. extension of the real id enforcement, allowing drivers licenses and identification cards from michigan. it runs through october 2017.
what is the current status of real id implementation across the nation? as i know they: senator knows, the real id law was passed by the congress in 2005, and the real first big deadline is january, this january coming, i think the 22nd, to where you will have to have an appropriate real id approved real id, or if you don't have that, something like a passport. i addressed most of the governors of all of the states a few weeks ago. and for those who are not now,iant and that is right i think, five for sure not really trying -- and that is their call. i am not criticizing them, but they are not really trying.
and there's another 18 or 19 states that are going in the -- again, they are unsure if they could be in compliance. i think the governors have to have a real serious conversation with their citizens, with their to decide whether they can hit the mark in january, and if they can't, have a conversation with her citizens that you really need to consider getting a passport. in january, if they don't have some compliant id, they are not going to be able to get on an airplane, domestically or otherwise. this scared me to death, actually, because i thought -- i just bought the people i was talking to in washington, which is really a red state right now,
probably not going to get there. and by the way, the governor, several governors have asked me to send down people from my staff to take a look at where they are, do an appraisal, so they can talk to their people. i made that available to all of the states. but the point is when i was talking to this business men and very,in seattle, who were very well-informed people, they were all under the impression that their state enhanced iiver's license was real id think impassible, which it is not. so, if people like that were unaware of the id situation, i would say the asked majority of --izens in washington state whereas now, if you are not fully compliant on january 22 coming, then you have got to like aform of id military id, passport, passport card in order to get on an airplane. that is where it is right now.
section 102 of the real id act, the dhs can wave requirements for construction of the border wall. this has been used to waive dozens of laws, including environmental laws. what laws does day it just -- does dhs in 10 to way to build this new wall on the southern border? to wavehs intends to build this new wall on the southern border? secretary kelly: as i understand it -- i would have to consult my lawyers are briefly -- places like the indian reservation would be complicated. we are working with the indian reservation in arizona, they already have some technology there. .hat would be a place there are imminent domain
issues. we will do as much as we can without those kinds of issues coming to a head. i am certainly very, very aware of any critical habitat. big band part of texas. again, senator, not going to build a wall where it does not make sense. we will do something across the southwest border. >> i understand you need time to review these issues. perhaps we can work with your office to do that. i am just wondering if you could commit to one item and that is ia under the fo project so we can have full transparency. secretary kelly: can i get back to you? but it sounds like a yes to me. chest but thank you. appreciate it. >> senator hassan. senator hassan: thank you, mr. chair, and ranking member. mr. kelly, it is good to see you again. there is an element that focuses
on bringing law enforcement scrutiny to the adjudication of the visa applications. right now i and 30 united states diplomatic posts around the world, especially when law-enforcement teams are dispatched to provide recommendations to consular offices to help diplomats make decisions about whether to grant a visa to a foreign national. sense, at lot of to you, me, hopefully too, and it should probably be implemented across the board for issueplomatic posts that visas. we're working on legislation for this topic area i wanted to ask you to question. would you support the advancing of visas to more diplomatic posts? and will they be in the 18 budget request? secretary kelly: i will have to
look at the budget issue. but i would think anything we can do overseas to make better decisions about who may come to the united states for whatever beson is a good idea, should reinforced, and we should constantly be looking at even better ways to do that. i will get back to you on the funding, if that's all right. hassan: no, no, that's fine. i want to talk to you about a different topic. we have seen multiple incidents of violence at the public or erile areas-- non-st of our airports. a tsa officer was murdered and this year and individual killed five people at the baggage claim area of the fort lauderdale airport. last year, there were suicide explosions and public areas of brussels airport and an estimable -- and in is campbell. and yet, the budget for securing
public airports has been gutted. detection officer program illuminated and tsa grants to reimburse state and local law enforcement for their patrols at airports are also being slashed. amid this increasing threat, why is the administration cutting these key counterterrorism measures? the viper teams are something that for sure i am working very hard to save. as far as the grants go, this does not fall under the sanctuary city or anything like that. ishink the expectation parking lots and areas outside -- the tsa security zones really belong to the state and local, the airports are great generators of revenue. it's necessary for the various states, and i think the thinking is the state and local folks
need to have familiarity with the boston airport. it is more the state police that kind of cycle around that airport, not to mention boston police. outsidethe thinking is the security perimeter established by tsa are on board to the local community? senator hassan: as a former governor, i might suggest looking at the more. it is a partnership to be sure. i am very concerned. money is not growing on trees in our state budgets. i think it is something we really need to look at because climate at security area airports, i think would be really compromised. i look forward to discussing that with you more.
an airport staff screening -- i did want to talk a little cyberout dhs and defenses. in an effort to strengthen its cyber defense program, the department of defense launched to programs to capitalize on the vast network of computer do -- computer security researchers who may not want to work for the federal government but want to secure our nation from cyber threats. the first was a program called hack the pentagon and it provided the ability to spot on ability is in dod networks. the second was the establishment of a vulnerability disclosure policy that provides a legal avenue for hackers to hunt for and report vulnerabilities in dod networks without fear of prosecution. i think these are really forward thinking programs that leverage and i'm cap resource in the united ace. the united -- in
states. has the dhs considered similar programs? secretary kelly: i don't know if the senator was here -- one of the things now that i have a deputy, this is a critically important issue. it goes without saying. the whole cyber enterprise within dhs -- but another thing we're already doing, and that is one of the reasons i was in seattle recently, reaching out, as i think it is with all of government. reaching out to the commercial sector because the answers -- it's definitely not just at the federal government. they are everywhere. elaine duke now that she is confirmed, and thank you for among anl take this on a number of other things. i was not aware of these programs. i am now. i can get back to you and we can talk about it.
ofator hassan: we have a lot people with talent and skill who may not want to work for the government, but we need their talent and skill. i know you referenced the president's commission on the opioid epidemic. and i am glad that you were there last week and you and i have spoken about the issue before. and we have agreed on the need to crack down on illegal opioids while also dealing with the demand side of the problem. i am looking to find out more about the goals for the president's new commission on combating the opioid crisis. which he established last week, and i want to ensure the actionc is met by real that reflects the seriousness of this crisis. the news reports on the commission have been scattered.
first, are you a member of the commission? secretary kelly: i am. senator hassan: that is great to know. my understanding is the commission has 90 days to make a report on interim recommendations. you know what the process will be to get to that recommendation? secretary kelly: i don't know. that is in the staff room. to say the least, this is a passion for me. my entire time in southern command, i talked about this to the point of getting i and a fair amount -- getting crosswise with a fair amount of people in the white house and other parts of our government. the beauty, i think, of this president was -- and i do not know if you were in the room when i made this comment before -- one of the first conversations i had with resident electron -- president-elect trump was this issue of drugs and what does to the country, but certainly the hemisphere. this and he is
going to make this work, i believe. comprehensive, from drugs america,g with central working on the heroin production. we have great partners. it is a very long, 2000-mile process. senator hassan: i look forward to working with you on it. i put a plug-in for essential health care benefit so our people can get the treatment that they need. >> thank you, senator hassan. unfortunately, i have not seen money growing on trees. >> i kind of figured when you
put a four-star marine in charge of homeland security, good things would start to happen. secretary kelly: not everyone agrees with that. daines: well, i do. david aguilar was here testifying in and i asked him the question about the reductions that we are seeing an apprehension rates of illegals -- illegal southwest border crossings. that february data point came out and saw a 40% reduction i and february when we typically see the cause of seasonality 20%here from a 10% to decrease.we saw a 40% that release came out march eighth. he says, it looks like it is a 67% reduction in the month of february.
something is going on. we talked about what that is and the message from the admin is ration about in forcing the role -- the administration about enforcing the law. you ando congratulate the administration on early success. my question is, these are encouraging results. what substantive actions will we be taking to make sure we can sustain these reductions we are seeing early on in this administration? secretary kelly: first would be to gain control of our southwest border. much of what we're seeing here in the second would be to work -- i don't know if you were here when we talked about this, the central american issue of helping them with security and economically. again, i have traveled many times. the people from central america coming here are overwhelmingly nice people. for theple -- simple
most part. rural. not highly educated but that is the nature of their societies. come for lack -- they two reasons. economic of violence inand two, their cities. there is still astronomical violence. violence across our country is five per 100,000 murders. high, but the point is they are bringing it down. i was speaking separately with the president of honduras in my office last week. he expects to grow the economy by 600,000 jobs. this is phenomenal information or progress. jimmy morale is from quite a mall a, -- from guatemala,
similar efforts reducing the violence as well as economics. thisis why i think economic forum, if you will, in miami in june will add to it. of aren't they coming? cannot come in for the most part because they don't know what is going on. they have heard the actions of the ice agents internally in the united states. misreportederribly by our press, but that said, it has added to a deterrent effect. what we are doing on the border, what we intend to do on the the turn added to the effect. these people are not wealthy people. their entire life savings are given to the traffickers to get one or two or three of them into the united states. we know because of the focus we are putting on the traffickers
now, the traffickers have raised their fair, there -- their fare, prices. what used to be 2000, 4 thousand people to get in individual into the united states from honduras is now $8,000, $10,000. they can't afford that. personally through the press and the president and theattorneys general, catholic leadership, the evangelical leadership, i met with the los angeles roman catholic archbishop, spoke with the archbishop in houston. their ask them to contact counterparts, to ask, big people not to take that hardly dangerous trip to the united states because you will be sent back and he will have the money
and probably, if you are a woman, you would have been assaulted once, if you are lucky. or if you are a young man, you siphoned off into the cartel gang mexican thing. that is why they are not coming. you're alsoes: demonstrating, in my opinion, the experience you are bringing from your southern command leadership, i think is already impact onignificant our country and protecting our southern border. secretary kelly: thank you. senator daines: no, thank you. and i appreciate your compassion when you're looking at the effect on very poor people. i am from montana. you think about our northern border, but the southern border, the methamphetamines that are coming into montana, and they are coming in from our southern border, having a huge impact on hours eight, mitigating the flow of drugs long before they reach time ater -- your
south, is very important. we discussed this concept at the confirmation hearing. what steps have you taken to stymie the flow of drugs and violence into our country? great question. one thing we know about the flow of hard drugs -- marijuana comes in vast amounts. it is also produced in the united states in vast amounts. methamphetamine and cocaine are the big killers, along with opiates that are counterfeited, if you will, and of course, not a lot of quality control, but you don't know -- the average person abusing opiates in the united states does not know a lot of it is not produced by, you know, credible -- they produce and labs in mexico or other places. most of that comes into the loads from then
ports of entry. so, what have i done? .e are looking very hard look at the ports of entry. if there is better technology out there, and i think there is, to look to vehicles without unloading the vehicle, particularly tractor-trailers, to get after it that way, i will tell you, methamphetamines, working with the mexicans, they are good partners and law-enforcement. my folks, the homeland security investigation, working with the mexicans led them to, i would just put it that way, two huge destroyedamine labs by -- i think the mexican marines in that case. worked with them in identifying the poppy fields in the pacific
south west of their country. and helping, offering them, on what we've done to eradicate cocaine. i huge amount of focus is on the ports of entry. goingnot look as much at south out of our country. mexicans do not look at that very well either. i would like to extend the effort to look at vastly more vehicles looking south. money and unbelievable amounts travel south into the rest of united states. millions and millions of dollars. if we point a finger at the mexicans or countries that reduce drugs, they will point their finger right back and say, what about drugs?
to go aftero better the flow of guns. that will take time, money, effort. i think that is the next step. the stuff we have now is pretty good. we have senator peter's looking at the busiest traffic point between detroit and canada. technology that looks into trucks -- tractor-trailers is pretty good. mostly the drugs come in. we know it comes in in , intively small amounts automobiles and those types of conveyances. just want to remind everybody, watch the clock. i want to make sure everybody gets a chance to ask questions. senator carver -- senator carper.
how are youer: holding up? i have been in this job for 15 years. secretary kelly: this is the most enjoyable thing i will do this week. senator carper: for us, tia well. we say this often. thank you for being the voice, thanks for being a great atria. i -- we have been talking about what to talk about the questions dealing with the border, the border strategy -- i think the message i hear from both sides is we need and all of the above strategy on the border. it's not just the wall, the fences. they are appropriate in certain places. its compressive immigration reform, taking away the need for people when they get stuck appear on the side of the border .nd go back and forth they work for our country and go back to their own. -- i am delighted to
summitout the economic thing held in may. do you have a date on that? secretary kelly: it is going to be in june and that was based on our vice president will desire to attend. i think it will be the 12th, it might be a little later. it mightbe a little -- be in miami because it's a great place to bring latin americans because of the language and everything. that is a great place to do it. senator carper: great. ,ne of the things we need to do to help private organizations do work in central america, to do a set theob, we have example for the funding for the alliance of prosperity is important. i would say for the folks in
central america, you can do it. we can help. i think we are doing that. security. the force multipliers, there are a ton of them. innovation. we talked about the innovation of technology. it's not just drones. it's not just he loves -- key lows. it's the right kind of surveillance technology. 23 years in the navy. mission command. we also did search and rescue. withd search and rescue binoculars. good luck. it's hard to find anything. it makes all the sense in the world. observation towers can be fixed. horses.it can be
the chairman and i have been down -- maybe it was heidi? to look at the horses. there are motion detectors. we can do better with the intelligence in terms of the intelligence we are sharing with folks in mexico and further south. secretary kelly: the law-enforcement information sharing is very, very good. senator carper: speaking to the boats in the water. some places it makes sense. others it does not. it's an all of the above approach. i want to ask you about leadership and the management, the ability of management in this organization. we worked very hard with jeh johnson, to make sure the department had terrific leadership teams. i think many of them are gone now, as you know.
we had an election. helpful.nt to be we want to be helpful bringing the rest of your leadership team i and. you have to let us about them. it would be nice to have, instead of all of the departments having a half acre throughout the greater washington metropolitan area, it would be nice to have people consolidated in a more close-knit area. i was not always up -- a fan of the saint elizabeth's project. i thought it was a fiscally smart thing to do. your thoughts, please? secretary kelly: if i could comment on the leadership -- you're right. elaine, myself, the only to do political types. i cannot quite get my arms round
the fact that i am a political appointee because of my life before this. senator carper: we looked it up in a dictionary for "political appointee." your picture was not there. secretary kelly: thanks. we have tremendous career professionals. the function of the department leftt based from when jeh and the other political appointees left, we have tremendous public servants running the department now and as time goes on, political appointees will theoretically be confirmed by the senate and they will lend their jobs underneath those tremendous public servants . consolidation, to do things. dhs, i don't think that will ever be a functioning organization to the extent that it could be unless it does
consolidate somewhere. the first issue. the second issue is -- as long to as department answers many committees -- jim mattis has four committees he has to consider himself with, a number of subcommittees. that was my life before. this is a very, very different very, very different beast. i don't think it will ever be as cohesive as it could be. i think there's 119-plus committees and subcommittees that still have jurisdiction from the olden days when the department was forms. it won't be the same so long as there are so many disparate communities to answer to. senator carper: does this make sense? secretary kelly: it does make
sense, yeah. senator carper: thank you. my time has expired. >> secretary kelly. i was heartened to hear your ofponse about the question children separated from the parents. i understood you to say only if there's a question about the life of the parent would be choppy separated? secretary kelly: the penny and what is going on the ground. that would be my approach -- depending on what is going on the ground. to issueyou be willing a statement to your staff? secretary kelly: my staff knows already. >> have you issued a directive -- secretary kelly: no, i -- question, sir.my with all due respect, sir, are you willing -- are you willing
to issue a directive to your staff but that is your policy? secretary kelly: i have already done that. can i have as: copy? secretary kelly: through my leadership. senator harris: is that written down? secretary kelly: it is verbal. senator harris: why are you reluctant to issue a directive to your staff if that is your policy? secretary kelly: i'm not reluctant -- senator harris: are you is theng, sir to say it policy of the department not to separate children from their mothers unless the life of the child is -- secretary kelly: i don't mean to do that. senator harris: is your answer no? secretary kelly: i don't need to do it. senator harris: you don't need to do it.
are you aware that the president wanted to take the shackles of individuals in this agency? are you familiar with that? no.etary kelly: senator harris: are you familiar with brandon judge who testified, now we can take the handcuffs off of us and put the handcuffs on the criminal question mark are you aware of that? secretary kelly: no. was that a recent hearing? senator harris: yes, it was. are you aware your spokesperson said yesterday to "the washington post" immigration agents may arrest people at courthouses? secretary kelly: yes. senator harris: are you willing to exempt people who do not have serious criminal backgrounds from that policy? every case isy: different. as agents do their work, people put into custody are in a legal justice system, so that is where the decision would be made to
deport, export, whatever. are you willing to issue a policy that a victim or witness to a crime, if they do not have a serious criminal background, they would be exempt from a policy of picking them up at the courthouse? secretary kelly: no. senator harris: are you aware local lifers have a concern created ais has chilling effect against victims and witnesses of crime? secretary kelly: i have heard some number of law enforcement people say that, but i have also heard the opposite view. during youris: confirmation hearing on january 10, you committed to a top to bottom assessment of dhs. is that correct? secretary kelly: i did. senator harris: have you finished? secretary kelly: i don't know. senator harris: you don't have a goal? secretary kelly: i have a
general goal. senator harris: what is that date? secretary kelly: i have given that to my deputy. senator harris: have you given her a date? secretary kelly: no, because i did not want to present confirmation by the senate. senator harris: so, you do not have a goal for your department on when that assessment -- secretary kelly: she and i will discuss the goal. senator harris: as part of the assessment, have you read the report issued by the inspector general just four months ago, november 7, 20 16, entitled "major management performance challenges facing department of homeland security." secretary kelly: i am aware of it. senator harris: have you read it? secretary kelly: executive summary. senator harris: it says we have highlighted management challenges we have repeatedly identified over several years. we remain concerned about the systemic nature of these challenges, some of which spanned administrations and department leadership.
do you agree that these are deeply rooted in the department? secretary kelly: of course, that was pre-kelly. senator harris: that was four months ago. secretary kelly: p that pre--kelly, -- that was kelly. senator harris: meaning yourself? secretary kelly: we are going to take a top to bottom look at how we are organized and how we can do business better. senator harris: are you aware march 3 second, union leaders and officials from eyes appeared before this committee area during that hearing, chris crane, the national ice counsel resident said "there is a toxic and failed management culture and a good old boy network exists within your department.
the department has outdated and "practically no are you in place." aware that is the sentiment among leadership in your department? secretary kelly: that is the sentiment in terms of how dhs was run the last eight years. going forward, it will be run like that anymore. once i determine how we are going to change the leadership approach. senator harris: , which is reflected in a survey published by opm. are you aware dhs ranks last among large agencies in terms of its morale. secretary kelly: that was
certainly the case under the obama administration, but we are changing that already eerie at senator harris: you're going to change that in what time -- secretary kelly: it's already changing. senator harris: oh, it has changed? secretary kelly: it's changing. senator harris: has your assessment looked into the morale changes and put into place policies and actions to improve the morale? secretary kelly: it's what i do, yes. senator harris: can you provide us with a list of the policies you have instituted to improve her wrap -- morale at the department? secretary kelly: mike leadership is the starting point. we will look at ways to improve morale. focused on byues the workforce over the last eight years that affected their morale was an inability to do their jobs. now that we have opened the amounte in terms of the of work they are allowed to do outsideecting a lot of
influences into the workforce of they can do their jobs -- senator harris: with all due respect, my question to you is, what have you put in place to turn around the morale in this department, the morale that is the lowest of any large federal agency and the conditions have existed throughout the agency and through many administrations. secretary kelly: under the obama administration, morale suffered terribly. senator harris: what have you put in place? secretary kelly: my leadership. senator harris: by virtue of your leadership, row has changed? secretary kelly: the workforce now is allowed to do their job. senator harris: and that would be they are now unshackled. is that correct? secretary kelly: they are allowed to do their jobs, the professionals they are. senator harris: the administration is dedicated to increasing the number of ice agents and border control
agents, in addition to buildingg to begin the of the border wall, which was discussed. will you bring on these agents before you have repaired the damage that has existed in your agency? secretary kelly: it is simultaneous, sure. >> senator harris -- senator harris: thank you, chairman. >> i'm not sure if we will have round two, but we will have opportunities to submit questions for the record. beator harris: i do want to -- if we have a second round, i do want to be in that. >> we want to be thoughtful people's time. got theglad that we great highland -- elaine, the great ohio when, in your department. 20talked about being -something years in the federal
government and being experts on management and procurement and some of the big challenges that you face. i'm glad she is there. i know she will be a tremendous asset to you. at your nomination, we talked a lot about this rug issue. i agree with you, the single most important thing is to reduce demand. you talked about prevention, education, treatment recovery, and so on. i do hope the commission heeds your comments. but you should also know just by way of information, congress spent three years going through iss process the commission going to do, which is a defined
the problem. we have numerous conferences , andng at this practices came up with this comprehensive addiction and recovery act. it was finally passed last year. one of my concerns is only one of three programs including helping out on drug courts and some of the things you have talked about including diversion, it's not about locking people up -- only three of the programs have been implemented. i pushed the obama administration on this. i am pushing the trump administration on it. i hope you will get us up to speed. of worked on the lot that has been done around the country. i'll think we need to re-create the wheel. we need to go into action. it is a crisis.
it is one that is particularly difficult because of the opioid issue. increasing -- this is increasing in some communities. we are learning more about it. we've got to get this legislation. i hope the budget will reflect this. on fentanyl, it is the new issue. as he know, in so many of our states, we are probably hit higher in ohio then any other state. it goes by various names. it is created by evil scientist 's in a laboratory somewhere. you mentioned it coming from mexico. primarily it is coming from china. -- it ismajority of it
coming from mexico, i'm sorry, is coming from china and from laboratories in china. you and i talked about this during your confirmation process. very difficult process packages.g these the u.s. mail system does not require it grant information about what is in a package. other carriers, do require that. ,hat we heard from your folks including the executive officer from tpb when he testified, having this advanced information would help target the ones that are suspect. senator klobuchar, myself, senator hassan who was here earlier, we are trying to get this passed. we simply say let's require that
these packages have this information. that opinion was reinforced by a discussion i had in ohio. we had to death of your work chiefs there. we had folks from your hsi group . we had a group of individuals who work with law enforcement every day. folks from dea look at this. my question is, what can we do to get this done. president trump talked favorably about these stop act. the stop act. do you agree with me that having us advanced data on shipments from the post office and private carriers would help your officers target illegal shipments? secretary kelly: i do.
senator portman: with this potentially reduce the ability to ship illicit contraband? secretary kelly: i think it will. senator portman: have you had a chance to review the stop act and what are your thoughts and comments on its potential to help? secretary kelly: just in preparation for this hearing, i had a long arbitration with the ecb be people. they don't work for us, but the post office leadership is starting to move in the right direction. just the other day, there was a doj effort, dea agreement, such as they are, with china that the fentanylafter production and shipment out of their country -- i will see how that turns out. one of the problems, as i think -- a lot ofnator the countries where these parcels come from, they just don't cooperate.
they identify the package, what is in the package. i was probably not as aware of this issue three days ago as i am now. kevin, who we hope sunday will be the commissioner -- he is the acting now -- has is very much on his front burner, as it is on mine. you're right,n: china is not doing enough to close down these laboratories. and by the way, it is a problem with china as well. secretary kelly: i think that is why they are interested. it is aportman: problem. a few flakes of the stuff can kill you. do you agree the stop i could be helpful to find these averages? secretary kelly: yes, sir. senator portman: i guess the
final thing with regard to the border, i really appreciate your comment that we are not going to put a wall where it does not make sense. we do need a wall in certain areas. we need the technology we were talking about earlier. you mentioned the big bend of texas. i was there at the end of the year. i was. and i could put a wall on those canyon walls. your comments. thank you. chester:ester: senator -- tester: thank you. we have faith in you. we have faith in you being the adult in the room because of past record.
i have a number of questions. was $20s with -- there million worth of reprogramming money you requested, and that senator bozeman and i signed a letter basically saying, utilize the money in the best way to protect the border. a wall.ssarily could be drones, technology, other things. have you determine how that 20 -- $20 million is going to be spent? secretary kelly: again, senator, on the barrier wall, technology, whatever, we will do it where it makes sense and what makes sense, but we won't waste any money. but we have not determined what this thing will look like, how long it will be. senator tester: and i appreciate that response. really, the question is, as we program $20 million, i don't know that that is the best use
of that money. we did it. the question becomes, if you use that $20 million to put up a , that prettyy wall much tells me what we are going to be doing. if you use the $20 million, part of it to build a concrete wall, part of it to use maybe blue rose technology, part of it to use drones, part of it to use it may be for manpower discussions, that puts my heart at more ease. have howion is, if you this reprogramming money has been used, i would like to know, and if you haven't, could you tell me? secretary kelly: let me get back you on that, senator. you can rest assured we are not going to waste the money. we will not build one prototype. we will take a look at what makes sense along the whole order.
the secretter: service was brought up earlier. your secret service is probably stressed more than ever before. have you made any work west of any requests of congress? have you made any request for secret service? secretary kelly: not as of yet. first, individually the best men and women are phenomenal people, and they work so hard. they max out their overtime. , they meet and we will come forward to the congress to make the case, but they need a lot more agents, not just because of the trump era, if you will, although that is additional because he has a lot of children, a lot of
grandchildren. whether it is mr. trump, mr. obama, mr. anybody, what they do is much larger than simply the mission at the white house and presidential travel. i mean, things like any foreign dignitaries that comes to the united states. it's much bigger than that. we need a large secret service because we need to >> it's much bigger than just
that. we need a larger secret service. because we need to get some of these people a little bit of time at home with their families. >> gotcha. coast guard, you talked about it in your opening remarks. the president's budget came out and whacked coast guard, along with a lot of tsa and other agencies under your purview. how much input did you have in that budget? question number two, what are we going to do about fixing it? >> question number one, very little. i talked to the onb people about we'll makeward and the money good for the coast guard. they're too vital. >> yeah. >> securing the southwest border and a lot of other things. >> and mar-a-largo. northern ports. where the divisionrugs are coming through. and we are focused like a laser on the southern border and i think that's cool. but the northern border has its challenges too. can you tell me how concerned you are on the northern border, and if your concern is with -- and i don't think this would be classified information -- is it with drugs? is it with undocumented people coming across the line? is it with terrorist activities? where is your concern with the northern border, and then we'll have a follow-up on that. >> not as -- obviously, as concerned with what comes -- with the northern border as the southern border. it is our border, so i'm
concerned with all of the borders. the great -- the absolutely great news story in the northern border is that we have canada there that is -- to say the least, a friend, an ally. they interact with us at every level. they're very careful about who comes into their country. maybe not as careful as i want us to be going forward about who comes into our country. but the good new story up there is the -- the canadians, their law enforcement, their commitment. i would say, actually, this might surprise you. i think -- not a concern, really. i would like to see the northern border to be even thinner, if you will, so that the movement safely and securely of commerce and people can be even streamlined more. >> that's a big deal. last thing, and excuse me if this has been asked before. i don't know that it has been or that it hasn't, eminent domain. on the southern border, if we're going to build a wall, if we're going to do anything, it's going to require permission of the
landowners. they're an extra set of eyes we don't have to pay for. how are you going to deal with eminent domain in the southern border? >> we will do it judiciously. there may be places we have to do it. again, that will be part of the -- of the evaluation about where we build a wall. how we build a wall. >> ok. i would just say that -- this point has been brought up in these hearings before, if you want to get people's attention in rural america, just talk about eminent domain. the hair will be on fire. >> you know, senator, i'm told that back in the -- i think the 2008 effort to put fencing on the border, we're still in court with people about eminent domain nine years ago. >> look, i get it. i have a farm in the family 100 years. those down there are probably 140, 150. if someone tried to emmeant
domain my place, they would take me off in a box because i wouldn't let them do it. so that is where we are at. thanks. >> this hearing is setting a lot of hair on fire. senator paul. >> and his is so special to be on fire. >> general kelly, thanks for coming. if i travel abroad and i'm coming back home, do you think it's appropriate to deny me entry to the country unless i let you search my cell phone? >> under -- under very, very, very critical circumstances, i would say that an american citizen ought to be able to come back in and not have their electronics searched. >> we've gone from 5,000 people having their cell phones searched to 25,000. we are denying people entry who are citizens or green card holders who are coming back home and your department is saying to them, you cannot return to your home without giving us your fingerprint and giving us all of
the data on your phone, access to all of the data on your phone. i think this is an extraordinarily unreasonable standard. i also think that you probably can differentiate between citizens, u.s. persons, and those who are coming to visit. so i'm not saying you can't have some standards. and that based on suspicion, you can deny someone entry to the country. but not a citizen. not a green cardholder. they are they are denying access to our own country. i could travel abroad and be told i cannot enter america unless i let you look at my phone. that's obscene. and do you have a response? we're up to 25,000 of these now. >> well, certainly hasn't increased significantly in the 90 days i've been on the job and 90 days mr. trump has been president. i don't think we ever turn back legal citizens or -- or citizens or legal residents. >> that's what's in the paper.
that's in the last month. they're telling -- there was a guy that had a green card and his wife was a citizen, but he lived here for many years. he was told he could not enter if he did not give his fingerprint to the government. >> let me take that on, senator. this -- the one thing i have learned in this job, that everything i read about this department or what goes on on our borders, there's always more to the story. but in general, just like an american citizen coming in and having his bag searched at the port of entry. generally speaking, it's done for a reason. >> right. but i think there are different -- and i'm not blaming you. it may sound like i'm blaming you. you've only been on the job for a month or two. in your nomination hearing, you said you were going to respect the fourth amendment and respect people's privacy, so my hope is that you'll go back and ask people, are we really doing this? >> you know, i will. >> there are many reports of this. i would also argue, there is a difference between searching my bag and my cell phone.
ok? if i'm coming in, it is known that one of the things that happens at the border are drugs. we have dogs, we have -- and we do random searches of bags. we are doing that even domestically, so i think we can accept that, but i think that people are going to be horrified the more they hear their cell phone, all of their contacts -- we don't even know what's happening to our cell phone while it's gone and in possession of the government. are they downloading? and this is the -- the story was this, they're downloading everybody's contacts and information. it's an extraordinary amount of information on your phone. >> not happening. >> all right. but that is what the stories are saying. >> citizens. and in some cases, it is -- certainly happening to foreigners coming in. but not routinely. >> but it's gone from 5,000 a year to 25,000. if you wouldn't mind, if you would look into it and have your people get back to my office on this. >> will do. >> but we put forward legislation, bipartisan legislation, because we're so upset about this, that really if you're a green cardholder or citizen, even if you had suspicion, the way it would probably work -- i think obeying
the spirit of the constitution, you might be able to seize my phone, but we would then go to a court and a court would determine whether you have probable cause to actually get access to my phone for a citizen. but -- and for a noncitizen, i think if you don't give it, you can probably deny entry. there are rules on travel to our country. but i think for a citizen or a noncitizen to say i can't come back to my country without giving you the contents of my phone is -- i think really -- >> i just don't believe we're doing that. >> all right. but we'll -- please look at the news reports. because it wasn't just one. there was a whole series of them in the last couple days. and a few interviews of people who are green called holders not being about entry. thanks. >> we will do a second round, but i'm going to limit it to five minutes. senator mccaskill. >> following up a little bit on senator paul. i was -- i had to smile when senator mccain said i was being hysterical.
i was being focused and passionate, and i learned it from him, by the way. so i was -- and i want to make very clear, i completely understand that we have to take steps to keep terrorists out of our country that are coming here to kill us. i completely understand that this is a global threat that we have to pay attention to, and i understand and completely accept that there are people being belo trained in raqqa to come he and heard us. my point is, i want to make sure what we're doing is effective. hurt us. my point is, i want to make sure is effective.ing it's now out there that we're taking people's folks. i mean, no terrorist that has the ability to come in this country and hurt us is going to come in with anything other than a clean phone. and the people
who are going to get caught up in this are going to be a lot of people who aren't probably terrorists, because if they were, they would be smart enough to clean their phone. the same thing with some of the -- like i talked about, the questions. they're going to lie. and we aren't going to, you know -- maybe -- for some, maybe we should do polygraphs if we have good information they're terrorists. so i'm not -- i'm not in any way saying i don't want you to go after terrorists. and i don't want you to figure out ways to find the people. and we're taking lots of steps around the globe to do that. and i certainly identify with senator hassen's remarks about the law enforcement teams helping embassies in terms of screening visa applicants. all great. so electronic devices, i agree with senator mccain. i think we've got to be doing some extraordinary steps about electronic devices. and i was supportive. i appreciated you giving me a call of you doing the unprecedented step of not allowing laptops in cabins from certain countries. and if you wanted to take a moment, i only have one other brief question. so if you wanted to take a moment to maybe explain that so we all understand what steps you have taken and why it's important. >> senator, as we discussed on the phone, and i made a -- 15 phone calls that day to make
sure the leadership, both sides of the aisle, both sides of the hill, understood what we were doing. and then we provided classified -- briefs to, you know -- to the hill again. it's a real threat. i mean, we know on any given day, there are dozens of -- of cells that are talking about aviation -- attacking aviation. and you just watch them over time and see if they develop -- if they go from talking to actually doing something. so there is a real threat all of the time. you saw -- the russian airplane that was blown up coming out of egypt, as an example. the somali airplane that thankfully didn't catastrophically come apart, but a hose blown in the side of the airplane, and only because the airplane was not at altitude was the pilot able to bring that aircraft home. it is real. based on the threat, and this was my decision, certainly
breathed into the president, but this was my decision. once i took in all of the information from all of the sources, that -- there is a real threat against aviation. always. but his specific threat. and the airports that i decided to prohibit are to do the additional -- or the new baggage protocol, that is to say, large electronic devices into the -- into the cargo hold are predominantly muslim countries. i didn't do it because of the muslim religion or the color of their skin, or as some have accused, i was trying to help out the american aircraft industry in places like the the emirates. it's real. i think it's getting realer, so to speak. we may take measures in the not too distant future to expand the number of airports. it's real.
>> well, we appreciate your focus on it, and i certainly support the steps you have taken in that regard. missouri is one of the states that's not done real i.d. and i just -- i just want to make sure that you clarify what is going to happen next year. and the reason i say this, the missouri legislature is struggling with this. you know, this -- this happened before i came to the senate. >> both republican senators
voted for this in 2005. in fact, all hundred senators voted for it in 2005. and i understand why it's controversial. and frankly, i kind of identify with that. in many ways, because of the state i am from, and our distrust of government and our dna. but i -- the governor said recently that he had gotten some signals from the trump administration that would indicate that it wasn't going to be enforced. and so as a result, the missouri legislature, i think, is now struggling with whether they need to do anything. i don't know what you're going to do, but whatever you're going to do, the more quickly you clarify whether or not this is going to be enforced next year is really important. because i think there's some mixed signals going on, and as a result, i worry about missourians and their ability to participate in aviation in this country, come this time next year. >> senator, your comment just now is the only time i've heard anyone say that we're not going to enforce the law in january. i mean, as i said, i've been saying it to the press. we have been saying it to the governors. i -- >> well, you need to call the governor from missouri, because the headline was, "trump administration indicates they may make a change." and then it goes on to say that people who are against doing it in missouri say, well, we need to give trump time. >> i'll call the governors right away. >> i think that would be terrific. very helpful. i know he wants missourians to be able afly too. this isn't partisan. we want missourians to be able to fly next year.
>> my advice to all states that are not right now compatible is to just tell their -- their citizens to -- you know, the best thing to do is to get a passport. and, again -- >> passport card. >> our passport card, and, again, this issue up in seattle, this last week, where i was with this business group, all of whom thought that their state license enhanced will fill the bill, and it won't. if they didn't know that, then i would say the average joe and jane doe had -- they're probably under that misconception. but there's about -- i would say 10 or 12 states anyways that are questionable that they could pull this off. and so i will call the governor. >> i really appreciate it. >> yes, ma'am. >> senator harris, for five minutes. >> i appreciate that. secretary kelly, i represent a state of almost 39 million people. which is also a state with the largest number of immigrants documented and undocumented of
any state in this country. and they have a right to have an understanding, a clear understanding, of the policy priorities of your department. march 8, confirmation hearing for elaine duke. i asked her how the seven enforcement categories from your february 20th memo would be prioritized. and she answered that the priorities are listed in descending order. do you agree with that? >> no. >> and so what is the -- can you please rank then the seven factors and the priority among them? >> those seven factors allow the i.c.e. folks to make their decision as to, you know, who they will develop a target package on and then go try and apprehend. but they're not in descending order. those are the categories. >> so what has been your direction to the folks on the ground about what the priorities should be, understanding that they, like all law enforcement agencies, have limited resources and a very important charge?
are you not giving them any direction around priorities within the seven criteria? >> the direction they have is, the start point is illegal, illegal status, and then something from the priorities. what they're not going to go after is an example, all the murders -- and then all of the very, very serious criminals. then once we get all of them, go after the next and the next and the next. they can go after an individual if they -- according to the law, if they are on the list because they're illegal and then something. >> so, sir, among the seven categories, you have as number one, convicted of any criminal offense. obviously, there is no doubt that especially if someone has been convicted of a serious and violent felony, they should be apprehended and they should be dealt with. second is that anyone charged with a criminal offense, so then there has not been a finding of guilt. the third is they have committed an act which would constitute a charge of a criminal offense.
so they have not been charged with the offense. the list goes on to number seven, or in the judgment of immigration officers, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security. how are you training the folks on the ground to exercise their judgment as it relates to factor three or factor seven as an example? , andey are already trained they, through -- through that direction down through the leadership of i.c.e. down to the local agents in charge and what not, they train them to execute that policy. >> so as a former manager of a very large law enforcement organization, the california department of justice, i am well aware that you cannot lead a department just from the top-down. and it is critical that you communicate the policies of leadership to everyone at every stage, including those at the lowest level who, in your agency, as in most law enforcement agencies, have wide discretion to exert and use their authority.
i would like to know what specifically you are doing to train those people, and i would like a copy of what you are doing that is beyond the conversations that you have had with managers, but actually what policies you have put in place to train those folks on how they should exercise the discretion that you have given them as it relates to the expanded list of folks that can be contacted by the folks in your agency. i would like to have a list submitted, sir. and if you would agree to give us a written copy of the training that you are -- instituting in your department to train folks about how they should exercise their discretion. >> certainly provide you the policy statements from that, the training takes place. again, they're already highly trained individuals. >> well, we have already discussed how they have the lowest morale of any federal
agency. >> under the obama administration. >> ok. so, sir, given the extent and depth of the problems that exist at dhs and that we have so far received no assessment or any program that you have or plan that you have to address these issues, how can you justify such massive increases in hiring and and resources, and should the american public really be expected to give you billions of dollars and provide billions of dollars to your agency when on blind faith in spite of the fact there has been no clear change of direction or course beyond the fact that you were appointed to lead the agency? should the american public believe to have blind faith in the fact that you are now the leader and therefore everything has changed? >> they should have faith in the the fact that i'm the leader. they should also have faith that the rank and file have now been allowed to do their job.
we have already seen a change in the morale. yes. >> thank you. i have no further questions. >> thank you, senator harris. just to add a little perspective clarity to the device searches. in fiscal year 2015, there were 77.5 million people that came to this country internationally on flights. that included canada, mexico. there are 38.4 million that came overseas.rie the 23,877 devices that were searched in fiscal year 2016 was under a different administration. representing.03% of total international arrivals, .06% of overseas arrivals. just put it in perspective. my .03% of total international
arrivals, .06% of overseas arrivals. just put it in perspective. my concern about all of a sudden this now new administration, now all of a sudden this big problem, we're public sizing this. we may be taking a tool out of the toolbox. kind of like when osama bin laden found out we could actually track his location phone.n his cell so, again, i appreciate your comments on how it's being administered and kind of extraordinary circumstances, in many cases. again, .03% of the time. .06% on overseas flights. and, i don't know, it's just unfortunate. >> you know, jeremy, if i could. i think -- and this has a lot to do with the press reporting. not against the press. just -- they pick up and intend to write off whatever the story is. i think an awful lot of people are confusing what we're doing at the ports of entry today and the kind of thinking i have in terms of the additional vetting that we will be implementing, whether it's for, you know, overseas and and overseas locations. whether it's for, you know, visa requests that come to the united states, or for that matter, asylum requests.
we're going to do a lot more of this electronic stuff in addition to other things, whether it's in refugee camps in kenya, or in, you know, some other country. but wewould do it -- won't probably do the same type of additional vetting in, say, britain or japan. it's just -- depends on the country, depends on the threat. but i think an awful lot of people have jumped to the conclusion a little bit, or certainly the press has picked up, for whatever reasons. and i will assume they were doing it, you know, honestly. that we're not going to do everyone's phone and, you know, computer at the border. >> and, of course, that's the impression the press leaves. so we blow it out of of proportion. we take what could be an effective tool out of our tool box and make this nation less safe. again, i think it's unfortunate. i kind of want to lay out. and i think you explained it pretty well. view look at a phone, look at
the photos, password required for that. oh, i see the potential pedophile in there and that helps prevent something. it is just unfortunate that we do publicize some of these things that from my standpoint ought to remain more at a classified level or just not really discussed in public domain. >> mr. chairman, i have to say, i think having these hearings is how we get to the bottom of it and find out the facts. that's why we do this. the questions are important to be asked so we can get clarification. >> i understand. >> i think the secretary now is in a position to understand the concerns and i think he'll respond to them and we'll all be in a better place. >> unfortunately way ahead, and jim comey and people like that sitting at the table with me, law enforcement in general, these new applications that will make it impossible to look into someone's phone or electronic device. we will lose a huge -- this country, the good guys and gals
in the world in the west and other places, well, in the world, that are trying to protect their people, will lose tremendous asset when these applications become more widespread than they are. tremendous advantage lost. >> last time director comey was before this committee he was basically predicting when we finally end the caliphate, you know, of terrorism, unlike this world has seen, you're going to have to be dealing with that, so i want to make sure you have the tools in your tool kit to keep this nation safe. again, general kelly, thank you for your service, thanks for coming here, your testimony, answers to our questions. with that, record remains open for the submission of statements and questions for the record. this hearing is adjourned.
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the chinese president this week, president trump was on twitter earlier today to say, it was a great honor to have president xi jinping and his wife as our guests in the united states. tremendous goodwill and friendship was formed, but only time will tell on trade. yesterday, secretary of state rex tillerson, treasury secretary stephen midocean, and commerce secretary wilbur ross spoke to reporters about president trump's meeting with the chinese leader and the future of bilateral relations. this was an off-camera briefing from mar-a-lago in florida. sec. tillerson: the two leaders had positive meeting and they agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect. the two presidents review the current state of the bilateral relationship and noted the