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tv   Homeland Security Secretary Testifies on Agencys Mission - PART 1  CSPAN  July 29, 2021 9:23pm-10:37pm EDT

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you think this is just a community center? it's more than that. another hearing on the department of homeland security. testifying before the senate
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homeland committee about the president's 2022 budget request. he answered questions about border security, domestic terrorism, cyber security in and cuba. michigan senator gary chaired the hearing. >> [inaudible conversations]
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the committee will come to order i would like to take a moment to recognize the passing of one of our colleagues, senator mike enzi was a long serving member of the committee and someone who really anybody to the nonpartisan tradition of the committee as well. he was always a willing partner when it came to common sense legislative ideas, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family. i'd like to take a brief moment of silence for us to honor his memory. thank you. thank you, secretary, for being here today and for your service to our nation. and accepting the nomination to be the secretary of homeland
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security. you inherited a number of very serious challenges. you have a difficult job, and i appreciate your unwavering commitment. i've been pleased to see the department and administration take concrete steps to combat threats against communities including the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. today the committee will discuss how we can help you and the dedicated workforce at dhs better protect the american people from the threats by examining the administration's budget request for 2022. every year, the homeland security secretary testifies before this committee to discuss the challenges that were made to arrive at the final budgetary numbers. but we often don't hear about how those decisions were actually made. the numbers in the budget proposed represent decisions that will have a real effect on the safety of the american
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people, and it's our duty to carefullypo consider your propol and thoroughly evaluate the process that led you to these conclusions. this year i'm pleased to see your proposed budget focuses on tackling some ofha the most serious challenges and threats facing the nation. challenges that have only been compounded by a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 600,000 americans and left serious economic destruction in its wake. and it's clear these threats to the american people will only grow and continue to evolve. this is especially true as we continue a scourge of ransom where attacks against everything from k-12 schools, networks, small businesses, a major pipeline and even meat processing plants. these attacks which continue to disrupt countless of lives show the infrastructure security
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agency and other federal entities responsible for the federal defenses have the necessary resources to formulatd and all of government response to the adversaries and criminal organizations who are relentlessly targeting network vulnerabilities and disrupting american lives and livelihoods. at the same time the department must bets able to fight against physical threats to thousands of american communities at risk. in recent years violence driven by the supremacists and antigovernment ideologiess continue to rise and lead to real-world harm as we saw from the deadly breach of the united states capitol. i'm pleased to see it supports addressing the root cause of this horrific violence by supporting innovative community based methods for countering and collecting more information and data on the domestic terrorism while respecting the privacy of
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american citizens. on investing in effective security that not only protects the nation but also provides fou the efficient and fair processing of asylum-seekers at the southern border. i hope to also continue working together to p ensure secure trae and travel at the nation's ports of entry so that the border states like michigan can continue to remain for international commerce early investments and adaptive resiliency efforts will save taxpayer dollars in the long run. i appreciate that this highlights the need to allocate more funding to reduce the risk for communities when disaster strikes. it's my hope that this budget
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and our discussion here today will reflect that broad scope of responsibilities that you have and also the department's opportunities. i look forward to hearing from you today. you are recognized for your opening remarks. >> i want to thank you for taking a moment of silence this morning to recognize and pay tribute to our former colleague. mike was the best for the people of wyoming during this difficult time. mr. secretary, welcome to the committee. your appearance before the committee comes at a critical time because the capabilities of
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your department have never been needed more. we are facing simultaneous threats as you know and as we have discussed. of course the borders facing the worst migrant crisis that we have had in over two decades and it is obviously proven we need a new approach. rkwhat we are doing now is not working. it's the worst crisis in terms of migration and illicit drugs and other contraband coming across the border and we will talk about that today. second, the nation is under attack. the colonial brand somewhere attack and so many others demonstrate the vulnerability of both the public and private and critical infrastructure. we've got to be better at anticipating and defending ourselves and breaking back. that's why i hope today we can
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discuss the organization within dhs is more effective at leading this effort and defending against cyber threats and the ie government and within the private sector, not just defending but going on offense.i whether it's foreign terrorists or domestic extremists, there are significant threats to the community. in my state of ohio and across the country the communities are facing more threats.ev the departments work at the national level was critical as the nation's in the security program. for the federal expertise and resources to help the communities be able to address and prepare for a variety of threats. i'd like to focus on the situation at the border where two sources are still underway as we talked about the unlawful migrants at the highest level it's been in over two decades
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and the illicit narcotics particularly the opioids like fentanyl which unfortunately over the most recent year for which we have data which would be 2020 that result in more overdose deaths in the country than ever in the history both of the sources are at record levels. in the first case the administration's policies that caused unlawful migrations for every single month since the nomination day and that is the migrants themselves who are exposed to these. president biden the elevated order numbers should expect those to go down as the summer approach but now that we are in an audit and dangerous summer month, they continue to rise.
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through the deserts of northernc mexico and with covid-19 cases on the rise again unfortunately, the administration is considering. we are all adults and we've had adequate preparation particularly. we've done this before. we did this with regards to unaccompanied children and withr regards to families, most families in fact not subject to title 42 anymore but we did it starting on an operation date thinking that, this was somethig but we didn't prepare at all. the administration wasas overwhelmed. it occurred at the time when it was raging throughout the
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country. we w will teach lessons on whato do now. dhs was not prepared, and we've got to be sure that dhs understands that is not appropriate going forward. it's very clear to us what is going to happen because it has already happened with the kids and families. it's certainly very clear in the border patrol when i was down there earlier this year and with you, mr. sec. ihe had the chance to visit with agents and talk about this. they are very concerned as youhe know. they said they would be overwhelmed. i got back from a bipartisan delegation. all four of these countries have had more migrants over the past several months. all four of those presidents said they want to young people
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to stay in their country. they don't want them coming forward to the united states. they want them to stay and be part of the future of their own country however because of the bill they are coming north in large measure because they can say to the migrants and to their families because of the way the sound system works in particular if you come north and come to the border, you can come in and you can stay. so the smugglers and traffickers don't care about the treatment of migrants or their well-being and the ability to say that because the system effectively provides for that. they don't understand why america would want to createus this cool factor that we talk about and i think all of us want
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even more with regards to dealing with the circumstances in central america and elsewhere but we are also providing the pull factor and that isn't fair. according to the second part from the centers for disease control said that they've risen to record levels and the main driver of that is fentanyl. on this committee we worked hard to put in place the stop act and we passed the legislation now to be implemented by the department. they've done a better and better job in my view. they still haven't been able to work with the postal service to make all the requirements of the legislation but frankly it has helped. the problem is instead of coming in on the system and the communities it's not being sent through mexico and often then
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it's made into fentanyl and comes into the border. that's what all the data shows. the s operational statistics shw that it's 78% higher than all of fiscal year 2020. how much are we missing you? a lot according to the border patrol. of course these two issues are related because they are not just smugglingg the people but traffickers also into the communities. to help efficiently detect and stop illegal drugs and other
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prohibited items in the country. some of that technology working first to the border and i think this is important to ensure the borders are enabling congress and trade for the economic vitality of the communities and stopping the contraband. at the same time, i was disappointed to seee the deemphasized customs and border protection renewed the capabilities to combat trafficking of humans, illicit drugs. i am very concerned about technology investments that are not in this budget. investments in various towers as an example the effort to ensure
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that yes we have very years in place where appropriate, but it's accompanied with technology. without technology it is a powerless. m i don't understand that. and i can be corrected in this hearing because i can't believe that that technology would be reduced at this time. i hope to talk about the tools and technology available to the law enforcement personnel at the time that it deserves our support in the crisis at the border. we look forward to the testimony. >> it is the practice of the government affairs committee to swear in witnesses. so if you would stand and raise your right hand, please. do you swear the testimony you
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will give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, trso help you god? >> i do. >> thank you. you may be seated. the seventh secretary of the department with homeland security. previously he served the department as the deputy secretary and as director of u.s. citizenship and immigration services and began his public service at the department of justice. thank you for appearing before the committee today. i understand that you have a limited time with us and a very important counternarcotics engagement immediately following this hearing so we appreciate that he will be available for one round of questions. we also look forward to you appearing before the committee in two months for the annual threats hearing and i will now recognize you for seven minutes for your opening statement. >> chair man peters, ranking
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member portman and distinguished members of the committee, good morning. thank you for the opportunity to be with you again today. please allow me to join you in expressing my sorrow upon the passing of senator inslee with whom i had the privilege of working in my prior tenure at the department of homeland security, and allow me to join you, please, in expressing my prayers and thoughts for his family at this difficult time. every day the 240,000 public servants at the department of homeland security face a dynamic landscape. theynf do so with unflinching dedication to the mission and a deep sense of purpose. i'm here today to ask for your continued support for their work. as you know, as the resources afforded by this congress that enable my outstanding colleagues
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to keep the american people safe and that enable us to recruit and maintain the nation's most talented professionals. the president's fiscal year 2022 budget helps us meet to these essential goals. first, the president's budget and invests in a secure border. it directs $1.2 billion towards more effective and important border security including a 655 million-dollar investment towards modernizing the land ports of entry. m another $47 billion to integrate customs and border protection, detection capabilities and robust investments and borderit surveillance technology. there is no request for additional border wall construction. our team employs a wide array of proven tactics and cutting edge technology to defend the american people against dangerous threats to the borders.
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to support this challenging task, the president's budget includes $37 million to integrate the aerial border security technologies that will provide a common operating picture for law enforcement. this will enable the border patrol agents regardless ofon their location to act based on consistent shared information. this is absolutely essential to protecting the homeland in the 21st century and it is just a snapshot of the incredible work being done on the front lines as part of our layered approach to border security. i urge you respectfully to support the president's budget on these requested investments for smart and strategic border security measures. second, consistent with the recently released immigration blueprint: for safe, orderly and humane policies and practices, this budget reflects the administration's commitment
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to rebuilding the system into one that is fair, efficient and upholds the values in the laws. it includes a new discretionary request for $345 million for u.s. citizenship and immigration services to reduce the backlog of applications, rank of interview capacity, and made the goal of welcoming up to 125,000 refugees per year to ensure the safe and humane treatment of migrants at the southwest border, it includes $163 million for medical needs for those in customs and border protection custody. >> third, the budget tackles a rising threat to the national security. cyber attacks. the president is requesting new resources for the cybersecurity and infrastructure security
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agency that leaves the effort to defend against cyber threats and promote resiliency across the federal government. we are seeking $2.1 billion for cyber activities, which builds on the $650 million already provided in the american rescue plan. this funding will help respond to government breaches, increase cyber defenses, hire qualified experts and obtain support services to protect and defend critical infrastructure and federal id systems. fourth, the president budget invests in what we need to prepare for increasingly costly, devastating and frequent natural disasters. the federal emergency management agency has stepped up to meet this challenge, but the challenge is one that requires new resources. this budget invests $542 million
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for fiscal year 2021 to help the workforce combat the realities of climate change in an equitable way including significant commitments to predisaster planning and grant programs that benefit communities across the country.t finally, the budget invests necessary resources and one of the top priorities of the department of homeland security. on the growing threat of domestic violent extremism. domestic terrorism is the most lethal and persistent terrorism related threat to the united states today. that is why we are requesting $131 million to support innovative methods to prevent domestic terrorism while respecting privacy, civil rights and civil liberties. the funding also looks up research on the root causes of radicalization, enhanced community outreach and locally
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driven prevention efforts. it's one of the great honors of my life to serve alongside the dedicated public servants at the department of homeland security. their commitment to a complex and dynamicd homeland security mission is unwavering and i am committed to ensuring that they are compensated and recognized appropriately. i ask for your continued support andon partnership in this effor. thank you again for the opportunity to be here today. i look forward to discussing the president's budget priorities for the department, and i welcome your questions. thank you. >> thank you, secretary. as you know, this past year we have seen hackers target the water supply, the chinese government has exploited vulnerabilities in microsoft services. the russian government conduct cyber espionage against the dozens of federal agencies and
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cyber criminals are attackingre the critical infrastructure. this budget does contain a request for $2.1 billion. could you please tell the committee why this figure is sufficient for us to deal with these attacks? >> thank you very much, chair man. the budget recognizes the fact it is not only a matter of homeland security, both national security as well and it invests in every dimension of our defense to this threat to the homeland and to the country. it resources to develop response teams that can assist not only federal government agencies across the enterprise but state, local, tribal and territorial partners as well as the private sector in understanding the threat, building the prevention
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capabilities. we are under way in executing the largest cybersecurity hiring initiative in the department's history. we invest in technologies and the capabilities that we have a z department to address this increasing threat. technology, human resources, the human capital, the talent and also increasing our footprint so that we are present and more able and nimble to respond to the events whenever they might occur and support our partners from border to border and from sea to sea. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. secretary. as you know, canada will soon begin to reopen its border with the united states allowing those
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that are fully vaccinated to cross the border. u.s. restrictions however remain essentially unchanged since the beginningsi of the pandemic, and those are hurting the cross-country communities in michigan as well as all along the northern border. so my question is what criteria are you using to inform the decisions on restricting the cross-border travel with canada? >> mr. chair man, we are very well aware and mindful of monitoring every single day the economic impact of the travel restrictions. our greatest priority is the health and safety of the american people. just last week i spoke with my counterpart in canada. i was aware of the measure canada would take and we are
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watching the trajectory of the pandemic. the pandemic of the on vaccinated. we are watching the delta very and very carefully, and we will lift those restrictions in collaboration with the centers for disease control when the ark of the pandemic so warrants. this is a public health decision and we are mindful of the economic impacts and we urge the american people who've not yet been vaccinated to get their vaccines. this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated at this point. >> as you monitor the situation, mr. sec., is it possible the department will consider easing restrictions based on the type of travel across the border from canada? for example, will immediate relatives of u.s. citizens and green card holders soon being permitted to enter from canada? >> mr. chair man, we are looking not only at the economic impacts
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but the other impacts on people's lives. the fact that families haven't seen one another across the border. we are looking at all the different ways that we can compartmentalize the issue and see whether we could allow certain restrictions in a limited way without imperiling the public health and safety of the american people as well as the people of canada. this is something we are looking at very carefully and in many different ways. i commit to you to continue that close study on a daily basis. >> we appreciate that and it does require that kind of daily look i believe so we look forward to continuing to work with you on this and i can tell you the impact is significant in my state and others on the northern border. mr. sec., 2020 the internet crime complaints found cyber crime victims in michigan saw a loss of nearly $84 million, and we know that malicious actors
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are increasingly relied on ransom where attacks to extort ransoms around the victims. i understand early in your tenure at dhs you launched to begin tackling this issue so if you could please let the committee know how you are organizing the department to assist publicc and private entities to prevent and respond to ran somewhere attacks. >> mr. chairman, ran somewhere as one of the greatest cyber security threats that we face. we have seen a 300% increase in ran somewhere attacks over the last year. we have seen more than $300 million in losses this year alone to ran somewhere. we are working in close coordination with our federal partners and the private sector to educate about the steps that they can take to best guard against a ranar somewhere attac. in fact not only did we start a ran somewhere sprint below that
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galvanized the public attention for all the right reasons, but just last week, we launched the stop ran somewhere .gov website, the first of its kind which is a one stop clearinghouse for information related to ran somewhere. businesses small, medium and large, how american residents, the american public can protect themselves by backing up their systems, by changing their passwords. the tackling that is easily, accessible and could make a difference. >> ranking member portman you are recognized for your questions. >> thank you mr. chair. mr. secretary, we talked about this in our conversations but as tyou know, i'm very concerned about the lack of investment in technology between the points of
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entry which is where obviously the vast majority of the encounters are occurring. the dhs budget request for border security and infrastructure is $54 million which is a deep reduction on the more than 1.5 billion funded for this last year. you are also asking us to rescind 1.9 billion for border security. s so over time a lot of democrats have said wallets are not effective. the technology is what is effective, so if you have barriers you have to have technology so it can be more useful because people are not doing the surveillance and folks are around the world, yet here we see a big cut in investment tools like the towers with cameras and sensors which you when i saw when we were out there were badly needed with regards to the el paso sector as i recall those are about 80 to
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90% in the final completion it makes all the sense in the world. otherwise youd have huge probles protecting those openings. but what is even more shocking to me is i was told about 20% of the technology was completed and on operation day when the so-called construction the technology rescinded, tomac. so i just don't get that and i wonder if you can give an answer as to why you would want to reduce the amount of funding for technology between the ports of entry and specifically as it relates to technology that could be contained with and make these fencing and other barriers more effective. >> ranking member portman, you and i have discussed this issue before. we appreciated this committee's support of its investments in our technology, which is in fact
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needed. we have proposed a budget thatn includes $655 million to modernize the ports of entry as wello as $54.3 million of investments in technology between the ports. i am looking at the projects project by project in fact i just approved the implementation ofti technology with respect to3 that were not previously operationalized. i also approved in the san diego of our border the implementation of technology to complete that section of the border and so as i mentioned before and as i am committed i am looking project by project to understand the technological needs, the mission needs and all aspects of the analysis.
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>> with all due respect you're not going to have any money to t do that if you followed your own budget. i know these budgets have to go through a white house process having been a director but i hope you will fight for more money for technology between the ports of entry. that's where the encounters were taking place at record levels in terms of the illicit narcotics we talked about. the worst in over two decades as you've acknowledged with regards to migrants and it's about to get a lot worse with regards to. 54 million you are not going to be able to do this you have 1.5 billion funded last year and you want an additional 1.9 billion so it follows money and in this case you are not providing yourself the tools you need to be able to allow them to
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do their job and i know you know that. with regards to the immigration and customs enforcement office, the numbers of arrests have dropped considerably as the borders faced this surge. about a 58% decrease between the last administration and this administration. so i can't imagine what these agents must be thinking. .. >> the comments that you made
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after i answered your first question i have much to say that regard but let me ask the question in regard to the i.c.e. agents. because it is absolutely not true they have been told not to arrest people. what they are doing is smart and effective law enforcement. they are focusing the threat to public safety the threat to national security the threat of border security justw like any responsible and intelligent law enforcement agency in office just as we did in the united states of which i was apart for 12 years just yesterday we announced operations or and we rested over time 300 individuals that committed sex offenses that we felt were a public safety threat. we are focused for those that
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oppose the greatest threat to the american people and are engaging in smart and effective enforcement. traveler of the country i spoke with i.c.e. personnel to get their ideas about what thosere threats are, how they think the resources should be vested indicated. later today i'm speaking with leaders of that agency on that very same subject. we are dedicated to the protection of the american public in a smart and effective way. >> i have a little bit of time. 50 percent decrease of arrest that are unprecedented over two decades. with people coming into the country. how many have been removed from the united states this year and removal operations
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back. >> i would be very pleased to share that data with you and your staff. that figure in front ofen me but let me say this. when individuals are encountered at the border, single adults, the majority of them are expelled under the cdc authority. a public health authority held by the cdc. the majority are expelled and turned around. the others are placed into immigration enforcement proceedings if they make a claim for humanitarian relief under united states law then as the law recognizes they can stay. the others who are in immigration enforcement proceeding with the claims for humanitarian relief, they are removed in fact we are making reforms to increase the efficiency and that process
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that have never been made before and long overdue. >> mr. secretary myre time is expired. i respect the fact you spend time with the i.c.e. officers and the fact personally would like to see some changes but respectfully i would say it is not true they are removed. i don't think any children have yet have been removed from the last election of 2019 think there isol a 50 percent decrease of arrest that indicates a change of policy think the question i asked about how many unlawful migrants have been removed this year is the responsibly quite shocking because it would be incredibly low as actually very few. we have been asking for this information and i appreciate the fact you have committed to getting us this information
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thank you for your testimony today and for your service and the unprecedented i look forward to working with you on that. >> senator i thank you need to preside over the senate shortly and senator carper has agreed to defer for your questions. >> thank you senator carper that i can participate in the hearing and fulfill my duty to preside over the senate session. also thank you to secretary mayorkas for his service and his leadership at this very challenginghe time for the department of homeland security and better balancing the multiple objectives. and to maintain safety and security along the border but
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also respecting our nation humanitarian laws in the midst of a global health pandemic with the delta variant is reminding us of the covid-19 pandemic but to raise issues on a different topic last month as chair of the senate judiciary subcommittee on immigration citizenship and border safety, i held a hearing on the subject of military naturalization and deported veterans. veteran from advocates how difficult it became under the trump administration for eligible immigrants it became more difficult to go through the naturalization process and we heard heartbreaking stories of families torn apart because of
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harsh immigration laws in a more difficult process than necessary. i had a chance to meet the new citizens personally on july 1st with the naturalization ceremony aboard the uss iowa in los angeles so shortly after thehe hearing you made an announcement that the department was working with the department of veterans affairs and the department of defense to ensure veterans received the benefits they deserved. and those who were deported might be able to come home again. so in the coming weeks a number of reviews will be conducted on cases of deported veterans and feedback from stakeholders can you provide any more details on what resources such as staffing or any interagency agreement have been established to further
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this goal and the timeline for reviewing that cases of deported veterans and family members? >> senator thank you for your kind words and for your dedication to this issue which is so important not only to the department ofes homeland security but to our country that veterans are appropriately respected for their extraordinary service to us. since we spoke about this first, we have embarked on a number of initiatives. number one to remove barriers to naturalization for those veterans who are eligible for the benefit. number two, embark upon a concerted effort across the departmenter to see that veterans who have c been unjustly removed and deported from our country can be returned and over the last few days i selected a leader of this initiative within the
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department of homeland security who has dedicated her career to this effort and we draw upon the different agencies within dhs across the government and partnering with secretary mcdonough and the administration to achieve this noble and imperativee goal. >> thank you. on the subject of wildfires, california 2020 wildfires season was the worst on record. we experienced 10000 fire incidents with four.2 million acres burned and 10000 structures damaged or destroyed. in 2021, there are already seven large fires burning in california the largest, the dixie fire burning 200,000 acres as of yesterday was only 22 percent contained. fema specifically an excellent
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partner for california as they were the unprecedented disasters year after year but now is the time for increased funding support and understanding for the unprecedented times we are living in particularly as we see the drought conditions in california. mr. secretary what resources does dhs need to ensure fema is supported so they are just responsive to wildfires but also work with state and local partners in the off-season to support mitigation efforts to reduce the chancefi of devastating fires? >> senator i had the opportunity to speak not only with governor newsom but governors across the country in a bipartisan way at a summit hosted by president
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biden on this concern we no longer have fire sues one —- fire season now we see fires year-round. now we request more grant funds in support of the firefighting efforts. and that is critical. in addition thehe office of science and technology is working on innovative technology to best detect the probability that a fire will start with an approximate period of time and be able to assess theed potential magnitude of that anticipated fire. we are using technology and seeking resources to fund the state and local tribal and territorial partners our budget request additional funding fore. this purpose. >> in closing, mentioning your
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leadership and approach at the outset of my comments just three of the many concerns safety and security, public health during a global health pandemic, respecting the nation international humanitarian asylum laws and clearly these are policies not mutually exclusive but have to work well together any comments on your philosophy or approach? >> our commitment is to be a nation of laws of accountability lives of humanitarian relief to respect the dignity of the individual and you put it so powerful that these are not mutually exclusive and i appreciate that. >> senator johnson you are recognized.
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>> let me start by saying under my chairmanship it was rare i did not allow a second round of questions. b the secondve time he has hear the second time we cannot ask a second round of questions i the next time he appears and other officials appear they will afford the committee that respect we deserve in terms of oversight responsibility. mr. secretary i have a short period of timeue with a lot of questions please keep yourwe answer short answer synced. i appreciate the fact we had a whole conversation yesterday we went over some information and some numbers but i want you toe confirm based on that conversation numbers i am dealing with the extent of the crisis on the border are largely accurate. january through june, apprehensions are a little over 900,000.
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is that correct? >> i believe it is but i will provide you with accurate data. >> good. that compares to last year 180,000 about 720,000 individual increase of 400 percent increase. for the first six months , about 138,000 people have been released in the interior with the notice to appear is that about the right number? >> as i mentioned yesterday senator johnson i will provide you with the data. >> again i will tell you the numbers i have got it all have much time. according to the report on the fact we have not completed this wall that's costing us billions of dollars in the report he said there are 35000 individuals released in the
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interior with just a notice to report the also states about 16 percent a little over 5000 have reported so in total in the first six months of this year0 about 173,000 people had been released iner the interior and that compares to 5000 ring the first six months of 2020 an enormous increase. do you have any idea where those 173,000 people went? do wedo keep track of that quick. >> senator you are citing data with which i disagree i could sure the reasons why i disagree. >> good. so no matter what the number is. do we know the people that have been released with notice to appear or notice to report
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to know i where they are going are we keeping track so we can round them up if they don't appear quick. >> i would usela different language. yes we do. and if people flout our laws we will exercise our authorities as the law provides. >> do we notify states and cities we are releasing individuals into their jurisdictions? >> there are times we work very closely with state and local jurisdictions to coordinate. >> i am advising that you don't. does every state and city know when you are sending a truckload or busload or a few people into their jurisdiction with the notice to appear or notice to report? >> there are reasons for that under the law that we do not. >> that's all i need to know. so 173,000 people released in
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the interior for the first six months multiply that times 2,346,000 people. a recent report and it totally we hear on average 750 through 1000 known per day on top of the 6300 apprehensions per day so between 750,000 known got a ways we don't know how many unknown we've got but 753,000 per day translates to basically 269,000 people getting away into the united states and we have no idea who they are or where they are going. is that your understanding of that number as well? >> no it isn't. >> again that something you need to report back on. this is the information i've got. if you have those two numbers
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doubling six months of notice to appear and notice to report that is over 600,000 people in this country being apprehended or dispersed with overwhelming cbp to get into this country, get away nobody knows where they are over 600,000 people. to put that into perspective larger than the population of wyoming. it is approaching the population of vermont. that is the extent of the problem i'm sorry mr. secretary you and this administration are denying you are in a state of denial. you said youge will defend against dangerous threats you don't know who these people are. my guess many of them might be drug traffickers, criminal
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organizations, gang members but let's talk about the murders and the deaths occurring in the inner cities mr. secretary are you aware human traffickers sell children so they can create a family unit to exploit the asylum laws are you where that happens? are you aware that happens quick. >> what you give me an opportunity? >> no. what my questions answered. are you aware human traffickers sell children to create a family unit? >> your articulation of what occurs at the border is inaccurate. >> then give us better information because we are not getting it. are you aware of how many of these young girls are raped on their way and being abused by human a traffickers? are you aware of that happening? are you investigating the
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people that are being forced into the sex trade in servitude? >> of course we are. when an individual who suffers that victimization at the hands of criminals comes to our border and makes a claim for humanitarian relief under united states law, we consider the uniteds under states law. that is what we do with respect to those tragic cases. >> mr. secretary have so many questions. i have run out ofyo time i asked when you come you actually will f stay for third or fourth round of question because the american people deserve transparency and accountability they need to understand this enormous tragic races on the border. right now because the mainstream media is not reporting it and you are not even admitting we have a crisis on the border, the
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american people are in the dark of what is happening here. it is a travesty. >> the next time i testify before the committee i have the opportunity to provide answers to explain the laws of the united states. to explain how we are executing those laws to explain the plan that we have. >> i would be satisfied with basic facts and numbers we are not getting because to describe what is happening is probably one of the reasons we are not provided that information. please give us the information with the ongoing basis daily, weekly, give us that information. >> i will. >> thank you mr. chairman spent thank you senator johnson. >> thank you mr. chair and the ranking member not only for this hearing that for sharing
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your own thoughts and thoughts to the mic and the family he was the friend and colleague emil deeply and sorely missed thank you to the secretary for being here today mr. secretary i do have a number of questions for you but i wonder if you would like a minute to respond to anything that senator johnson did not give you an opportunity to respond to? >> senator, thank you for the opportunity. let me be brief. individuals of home we encounter at the border, some are expelled under title 42 which is the cdc public health authority. it is not authority of dhs. those who are not expelled under that public health law are e placed into immigration
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enforcement proceedings under united states law where they can make a claim for humanitarian relief under our laws. if the claim is found to be valid they are entitled to stay under the law. if their claim is not found to be valid they are removed from the united states againla consistent with united statess law. we have a plan underway to address the surge of migrants at the border, a surge that began in april of last year. it is a periodic surge we have encountered for many years in the absence of immigration reform in the opportunity to fix our immigration system once and for all. we are using the authorities we have wisely and in unprecedented ways to rebuild our immigration system after dismantling the prior administration and taking
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measures that areg long overdue and we hope congress will act as well that is a fundamental change. >> thankha you very much mr. secretary i am encouraged to see us cbp budget included a 14 million-dollar increase which will allow the center to expand those capabilities i was disappointed the department's budget does not include any additional funding to continue expanding security program i strongly support the visa security program that allows dhs to interview and that individuals on before they arrive in the united states the department budget request is an opportunity to
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expand and integrate the critically important screening and vetting program in a thoughtful way how will the department continue to do that using programs like thens visa security program quick. >> i appreciate your concerns and i welcome the opportunity to speak with you further about it and discuss our budget request in that regard. we are looking very carefully not only at the vetting process and the eyes on data the how we can use the data analytics and new technology with greater efficiency with obligations at the concerns that you have that we share and how we address the most effectively. >> now i want to turn to a
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topic senator peters raised. the canadian government permitted vaccinated americans to travel back-and-forth from canada beginning august 9. but i am disappointed that dhs announced the us borders would remain closed even to vaccinatedde canadians for another month this border closure continues impact families and local economies in newte hampshire and all around the countryry and i appreciate in your testimonyha you recognize that. but the canadian vaccination rate recently surpassed the rate we have here in the united states what is the departments rationale for extending the restrictions? >> as i mentioned in response to chairman peters question come i spoke with minister blair of canada about this. he was aware because we communicate very closely and coordinate, he was aware i would issue the renewal of our
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title 19 authority to restrict travel between our countries. the one thing that renewal articulates is very important that the renewal of the travel restrictions is in effect for another 30 days should the public health enable us to lift restrictions anyway before that 30 day period we do have the authority to do so. we are looking at it on a day-to-day basis understanding that concerns the chairman expressed in you have echoed. >> i will interrupt you in the interest of time. i will urge you not to extend theea border any longer than it already has been you talk about the steps the department is taking to ensure that you make the analysis correctly i don't understand the public health analysis given the
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canadian vaccination rates that they allow vaccinated americans in we could reciprocate. would urge you to take the steps you need to do to be prepared to open the border to vaccinated canadians as quickly as m you can. but one more topic before my time expires. the opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities in new hampshire and across the united states. dhs is focus on disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations unfortunately they can adapt and exploit the predictable procedures that us borders drug trafficking organization use pedestrian border crossings concealing drugs for many people knowing cbp doesn't have the ability to intercept a fraction of those drugs they also smuggle many and guns out of the united states with ani minimal outbound screening. what is the department doing for these policies and
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procedures to increase detectability's are there additional resources or technologies dhs can stop these organizations from smuggling drugs into the us? >> this is a very important question. i respectfully request an opportunity to answer it to discourage drugs in the united states has been a problem for many years. in fact in 2020 last year sought a 30 percent increase in fentanyl overdoses in the united states over the year prior over 2019. we are very focused on this. not only are we continuing to invest in technology at our borders and modernization because interestingly and importantly the narcotraffickers seek to move the greatest amount of drugs
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through the ports of entry and that is where the apprehension efforts are also focused as well as b in between the ports of entry by air and sea but we are investing in technology and we are developing strategy to attack the narcotraffickers operation fentanyl which is a concerted effort across the department a new effort focused on following the money and tearing down the infrastructure of the criminal organizations we are doing a lot across the board i would be very pleased to provide further details to you and your staff at the earliest possible opportunity for you. >> i appreciate that and the chairs indulgence to let me go over. thank you mr. secretary and mr. chair.
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>> thank you senator. senator scott you are recognized. >> thank you chairman peters. my heart goes out to the senator and the family. mike was a wonderful person and aen great senator and mentor to a lot of people. thank you for being here today. thank you for your service. first i ampr really surprised and disappointed you have not been more vocal about what is going on in cuba. you probably know this that these are pictures of protesters being mistreated by the castro regime. we know there are over 500 dissidents have been detained and tortured i met with some of the families yesterday and i thank you have a role as secretaryo of dhs to be more
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vocal i'm disappointed you haven't the biden administration blames climate change and poverty for the border crisis march 16 regarding the situation at the southwest border that the unitedhe states needs all of government effort not only to address the current situation on the southwest border but longer-term solutions from other countries that are suffering worsening conditions. on may 7th you went to texas and said we must secure the southwest border by addressing the root causes t of migration. then you are here in may 13 and said the most sustainable solution is the root cause for people to migrate in the first place root causes i think our that instability in latin america and those dictatorshipss to part perpetuate oppression and those that flee in search of a better life we f think about root causes we think of cuba
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the root of instability in latin america according to south, those that are most receptive to bowline influence in the western hemisphere are venezuela nicaragua and cuba to renew a trump administration decision putting cuba as a country failing to cooperate with antiterrorism efforts certifying a state sponsor of terrorism the biden administration cannot tackle the root causes by neglecting the real threats of regimes like communist cuba. other anti- democratic regimes like venezuela and nicaragua insight disorder and stability and corruption across the region cuba supports drug and weaponsin trafficking in transnational criminal organizations to totalitarian dictatorships only multiply the security challenges hindering any change toward democracy communist cuba is a
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threat to our national security and a horrible human rights violator the cuban people are suffering i've talked to families all across florida talking about the atrocities of protesters and their children are taking to serve in the military i know they have been arrested and detained i know they are tortured but they have no idea where they are i have met with a brother sister daughter yesterday they have no idea what is happening to them right now. secretary mayorkas you agree the illegitimate communist regime is a major cause of the instability in latin america striving violence of illegal activity causing them to flee the country and a threat to us national security? >> senator, as you can hear there is a fire alarm and that
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dhs building which i am currently residence i did hear your question. i you can hear what i am saying and then i need to step out for a minute. i'm very sorry for that. i will take to heart your commentst that i need to be more vocal what is going on in cuba. i did speak publicly about that and of course our president and secretary of state the president national security advisor has spoken very powerfully on thell subject as well it is something of tremendous personal importance to me my family lost everything as a result of the communist takeover of cuba the authoritarian regime responsible for the oppression of the cuban people and we stand with the cuban people. i'm afraid i have to step out i will return as quickly as i
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can. i'm sorry. >> we will take a brief recess until we assess is a civil on —- situation at your location. senator scott you have twos minutes when we come back [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]


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