tv DHS Secretary FBI Director and Others Testify on Threats to U.S. - Part 1 CSPAN October 1, 2021 8:31am-11:00am EDT
every year, this committee hears from our nation's top national security and law enforcement leaders to examine critical threats to our homeland security. our nation recently marked the 20th anniversary of the september 11th terrorist attacks. from the fearless first responders who bravely ran into danger to save others, to families who were torn apart, we will never forget the sacrifice and the sorrow of that tragic day. we must also continue to support our selfless service members who have fought in afghanistan, iraq and all around the world. it was out of the ashes of 9/11 that the department of homeland security was created. with one primary mission, keeping americans safe from all threats. in the 20 years since those horrific attacks, the threats to
our nation's safety have become increasingly complex and widespread. we must stay vigilant to the threat posed by foreign terrorism and we must do more to address the growing and deadly threat posed by domestic terrorists. our national security agencies have noted that domestic terrorist pose the most lethal, violent threat to our nation's security. in recent years, we have seen the tragic and deadly consequences of the threat, including massacres at houses of worship and the shocking attack on the u.s. capitol. we must do more to ensure that our counterterrorism resources are being used effectively to address this danger and prevent further violence. our nation also continues to experience an increasing number of cyberattacks which jeopardizes sensitive information and have the potential to disrupt our daily
lives with just a few clicks of a button. from the solar winds and microsoft exchange hacks to the attacks on the colonial pipeline, every sector of our economy and every level of our government are at risk of cyberattacks from foreign adversaries or criminal organizations. our financial networks, critical infrastructure and vital institutions all remain vulnerable. we must ensure that we are taking every possible measure to secure our networks, hold these attackers accountable and deter future breaches. finally, one of the most challenging threats does not come from a foreign nation or criminal group. it does not follow an ideology. yet year and year, we see destruction caused by storms, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. these disasters driven by worsening climate change post a
threat to our nation and to the entire planet. the scale and severity of the security threats we are facing today are certainly be daunting. given the increasing strains placed on the department of homeland security, we must ensure they have resources and personnel to faekeffectively ca out this mission, from securing our borders, including our southern border, that is currently seeing an unprecedented number of migrants, to responding to natural disasters and taking the lead role in vetting and resettling afghan refugees, dls -- dhs is playing a vital role. dhs personnel, along with our fbi and other national security personnel are on the front lines working to address these critical situations. while many of us will never know the names of the thousands of
personnel working tirelessly behind the scenes at your agencies to protect our country, we are all counting on you, and i appreciate each of our witnesses for taking the time to join us today. i look forward to a comprehensive and insightful discussion of how we can best safeguard our nation. with that, turn it over to ranking member for your opening comments. >> thank you. thank you for convening this incredibly important annual hear ing on threats to the homeland. thanks to our witnesses for attending. we look forward to the opportunity to hear from you today. there's a lot to talk about. the theme of the hearing is 20 years after 9/11. so our focus today is the evolution of the threat landscape since the devastating attacks on that fateful day. in 2001, it was the taliban who provided a safe haven for al qaeda in afghanistan. a safe haven to launch a
devastating attack on our homeland killing nearly 3,000 people. the united states responded, as our nation became all too aware, we needed to take the fight to the terrorists overseas so that they could not bring their fight here ever again. we needed a new security architecture to keep us safe, which included the creation of the department of homeland security. it also, by the way, was the recreation of this committee as the committee on homeland security and governmental affairs. to a large degree, you have to say we have been successful. we have not had a mass casualty foreign attack during those years. i don't think any of us thought that was possible on 9/11. the reason for that success is not because the terrorists have stopped trying. it's thanks to our armed forces, intelligence community and law enforcement that we have succeeded in stopping those terrorists.
this hearing is timely. a little more than 20 days ago, the last american troops withdrew hastily from afghanistan and the taliban once again took back the government of afghanistan. the new taliban looks very much like the old taliban with terrorists on the united nations security council's black list at its highest ranks. in fact, the leader of the network, a u.s. designated terrorist organization which maintains close ties to al qaeda was named the acting interior minister. he is on the fbi's most wanted list. the cia and defense intelligence agency have moved up the time line of when terror groups operating in afghanistan are likely to threaten the homeland. from possibly two years to
within one to two years. the dea noted this is a conservative estimate. the cia has seen potential movement of al qaeda into afghanistan. the catastrophic way the biden administration withdrew from afghanistan surprising our nato allies and abandoning our afghan allies has left us without highs and ears on the world. it signals the united states is an unreliable partner. the unplanned nature of the evacuation resulted in too many left behind. some american citizens and green card holders and many afghans who had stood by us as drivers, interpreters, who worked for the u.n. and because of the chaos at the airport, it appears that many who did get evacuated and admitted to the united states do not have a record of working with the u.s. government or our partners. yet, they are not being subject to normal security screening and vetting procedures.
we have a moral responsibility to welcome the evacuees who stood by us and who have had to flee their country because of the actions of the biden administration. i agree with that. we also though have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure the safety and security of american citizens and american gs accept 1, the day after the withdrawal, members of the committee have yet to receive a classified briefing on vetting procedures. even as we are told that evacuees are being resettled in our states. we cannot do proper oversight without basic information. i realize there was a classified staff briefing yesterday. a few weeks after the request. i was told by the staff that they did not learn anything in addition to what was presented
in a non-classified setting. i repeat my request today that members of this committee be provided a classified briefing as soon as possible. these recent events have put the heightened foreign terrorist threat top of mind. in fact, the director of national intelligence has stated that terrorists remain interested in using chemical and biological agents in attacks against u.s. interests and possibly the u.s. homeland, end quote. the broader threat landscape, however, has evolved since 9/11. we face an elevated threat from domestic and home grown violent extr extremists, including lone ak actors. we have experienced cyberattacks from nation states. russia frequently operate with the blessing of the government. officials turn a blind eye to ongoing crimes. i would say that china create
creates an issue by recruiting scientists for china's economic and military gain. further, we cannot ignore the ongoing crisis at the southern border. this affects our homeland. the biden dismantle previous policies with nothing in its place has resulted in a surge of unlawful migrants, unaccompanied children and deadly narcotics coming into our country. make no mistake, the mexican cartels are benefitting from this and gaining strength. on both sides of the border. the trafficking of dangerous drugs has helped fuel an addiction epidemic that hit communities in ohio particularly hard with overdose deaths increasing over the last year after we made so much progress in saving lives over the few years before the pandemic. we must redouble our efforts to
stop these drugs from flooding our communities. as far as i'm concerned, demand reduction remains test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. number of drugs available and causes more devastation. it's clear the border is a public health and humanitarian crisis and has been for months. particularly now, look at del rio, texas, where haitians who have been living in latin america have been living in squalor under a bridge. this is not new. it's just a logical extension of what has been happening on the border since the biden administration came to order and reversed the policies that were in place without putting in place policies to deal with what was totally predictable. a surge. it's a national security threat. more than one in four migrants at the border were not from
mexico or the three central american countries sometimes called the northern triangle. 25% were not from any of those countries. nearly all of them avoided going to a port of entry and were apprehended by agents. the border patrol made more than 1 million apprehensions of unlawful migrants since president biden was inaugurated. they will tell you, a lot of folks got away. we have a lot to talk about today. we have the right people here to talk about all these issues. i appreciate you being here in person to provide answers to the tough questions i imagine you will get from both sides of the aisle given all of the crises we face that i mentioned. i look forward to a productive conversation about the threats we face and about the actions being taken to prevent them. >> thank you, ranking member. it's the practice of the homeland security and governmental affairs committee to swear in witnesses. if each of you will stand and
raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony that you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? you may be seated. our first witness is secretary mayorkas, the seventh secretary of the department of homeland security. he was the deputy secretary and as director of u.s. citizenship and immigration services and began his public service at the department of justice. mr. secretary, thank you for appearing before this committee today. you are recognized for your opening statement. >> thank you very much, chairman peters, ranking member portman and distinguished members of the committee. good morning and thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the threat homeland face our homeland 20 years after 9/11, alongside my colleagues
from the fbi and national counterterrorism center. i've attended events to remember that tragic assault on our democracy. each was a powerful reminder of why we serve. in memory of those whom we lost and in pursuit of our noble mission to protect the homeland. today, we face a diverse and evolving threat landscape that includes domestic and interest naergs -- international cyberattacks, climate change and more. through the extraordinary talent and dedication of more than 250,000 individuals who comprise our department, we are meeting the challenge to protect our homeland and keep our communities safe. our personnel make tremendous sacrifices to achieve this mission. i would like to take a moment to describe the threats facing our country today and the work we are doing to combat them.
we have built a security and screening and vetting architecture to combat the evolving terrorist threat. we remain vigilant to protecting the homeland from foreign terrorists seeking to do us harm, the reason the department's creation. while combating the most significant and persistent terrorism threat facing our country today from home grown and domestic extremists inspired by a broad range of ideological motivation. they launched a program and partnerships to provide evidence-based tools and resources to address early risk factors and redoubled our efforts to share timely and actionable information and intelligence with our partners across every level of government. this year for the first time, we designated combating domestic
violence extremism as a national priority area in fema grant programs, results in $77 million being spent on capabilities to detect and protect against these threats in communities nationwide. at the same time, we are working with our partners in the intelligence community to assess the security and counterterrorism threats that could develop over the coming months and years, including those potentially related to the fall of the government of afghanistan and the risks associated with the environments being exploited to plot attacks against the united states. he would continue to combat counterintelligence and malign threats from nation state adversaries. they include the people's republic of china, the prc, which continues to engage in intellectual property threat, use of economic coercion to threaten our economic security. during pandemic, dhs has
targeted prc-based manufacturers to prevent the prc from exploiting covid-19, to profit from the production of fraudulent ppe and medical supplies that especially endanger our country's front line workers. dhs has prevented goods produced by forced labor from entering our markets and continues to work closely with the department of state to prevent the prc's exploitation of our academic system. third, as cyber threats have grown, so have our efforts to increase our security resilience and protect our critical infrastructure. last year, victims paid $350 million in ransom, 311% increase over the prior year, with the average payment exceeding $300,000. in july, in partnership with the department of justice and other federal agencies, dhs launched
stopransomware.gov to combat it and adopt cybersecurity best practices. our experts at the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency stood up the joint cyber defense collaborative to bring together partners from every level of government and the private sector to reduce cyber risks. to better protect our critical infrastructure, tsa issued two new security directives after soliciting industry feedback to strengthen the cybersecurity and resilience of our nation's pipelines. they are working with all 50 w state, local jurisdictions and election technology experts to keep our elections secure. to further lead the way, we are building a top tier cybersecurity workforce by investing in the development of
diverse talent appliance and building expertise to keep addressing changes threats. we are also increasing and optimizing grant programs to improve cybersecurity capabilities across every level of government and in local communities. fourth, we continue making risk-based investments to keep our borders secure, including from threats posed by transnational criminal organizations. we're collaborating with international partners to disrupt these groups, combat their illicit activities like drug trafficking and human smuggling and hold accountable those with ties to their logistical operations while streamlining multi national cooperation on investigations and prosecutions. fifth, dhs continues to support nationwide efforts to combat the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. fema has helped stand up more than 800 community vaccination centers, including almost 200 mobile sites to more equitably
increase access to covid-19 vaccines across vulnerable and rural populations. the trapgs and rural association acted to protect by implementing a federal mask mandate at airport, on commercial aircraft and in various modes of service transportation. meanwhile the u.s. secret service and immigration and customs enforcement have partnered with other federal agencies to protect americans from covid-19-related fraud and criminal activity including by preventing more than $3 billion worth of much-needed covid-19 relief from fraudulently ending up in the pockets of criminals. finally, we are countering the current and existential growing threat posed by climate change. hurricane ida was the latest of a devastating reality. natural disasterers rising in intensity and destructive reach. however the threat is not new or
unique to any region. to rep, to help. president biden --. dhs also authorized nearly $3.5 billion in hazard mitigation grant program funding to help states, tribes and territories adapt and prepare for the impacts of the climate crisis. further fema revised its policies to overcome historic iniquities in its aid programs and ensure a fairer and more equitable distribution of assistance to minority, low income and other disenfranchised communities. two decades after 9/11 the department of homeland security remains focused on protecting our country from evolving threats both scene and unseen and safeguarding our communities.
we can execute the mission because of our incredible workforce and because of our key partners. the members of this committee, our counterparts abroad, the private sector, non governmental organizations and local communities. we will remain vigilant, resilient and agile. we will do so to continue countering the threats of today and the next twenty years. thank you for your leadership and continued sport and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you secretary mayorkas. our next witness is dr. christopher wray. the eighth director of the federal bureau of investigation. previously served as assistant attorney general for the criminal division at the department of justice. he also served on the president's corporate fraud task force and supervised the enron task force in addition to playing key role in a the national security objectives for the department. thank you for appearing before the committee here today.
and you are now recognized if your opening statement. >> thank you. and good morning chairman pieters, rectangle ranking member portman, members of the committee. i'm honored to be here today discussing the threats facing our home depot. 20 years since the september 11th attacks. september 11th reminds us of evil and loss. the nearly 3,000 victims taken from us that day and their families. but 9/11 also reminds us of sacrifice and selflessness, of common purpose. it reminds us of the first responders and every day heroes we lost that day. and all those who suffered illness as a result of their selfless work after the attacks. including members of our fbi family. and still, two decades later,
our response to september 11th and the lessons learned from those attacks drive our approach to combatting all the threats americans face today. it was 9/11 after all that turned the fbi into an agency focused on disrupting threats and taught us how to build deeper, more effective partnerships both here at home and around the world. and good thing we made those changes because as we'll discuss this morning, there is no shortage of dangers to defend against. just a flavor before we even get to terrorism. on the cyberfront we're now investigating over a hundred different types of ransomware, each with scores of victims. and that's on top of hundreds of other national security and criminal cyberthreats we're working against every day. in our violent crime work, we recently arrested over 600 gang
members in a single month. just one month. protecting our nation's innovation. we are opening a new china counterintelligence investigation every 12 hours. and every day we receive thousands of tips into our national threat operation center. many of which involve imminent threats to life requiring swift action. and the list goes on and on. i'm not gonna have time to discuss most of them before we get started. but i do want to spend a few minutes on terrorism. and the challenges facing those protecting against it. preventing terrorist attacks remains our top priority. both now and for the foreseeable future. today the greatest terrorist threat we face here in the u.s. is from what are in effect lone actors. because they act alone and move quickly from radicalization to action, often using easily obtainable weapons against soft
targets. these attackers don't leave a lot of dots for investigators to connect. and not a lot of time in which to connect them. we continue to see individuals radicalized here at home by jihadist ideologies espoused by foreign terrorist organizations like isis and al qaeda. what we would call "home gown violent extremists." but we're also countering home domestic radical extremists, personalized grievances from racial and ethnic bias to anti-government, anti-authority sentiment, to conspiracy theories. there is no doubt about it, today's threat is different from what it was 20 years ago and almost certainly continue to change and to stay in front of it, we've got adapt too. and that's why over the last year and a half the fbi has pushed even more resources to our domestic terrorism
investigations. since the spring of 2020, the past 16, 18 months or so, we've more than doubled our domestic terrorism caseload from about a thousand to around $2,700 we have surged personnel to match, more than doubling the number of people working that threat from a year before. but we're also surging against threats by foreign terrorist organizations like isis, al qaeda. their operatives continue to look for vulnerabilities and have not stopped trying to carry out large-scale attacks against us. and we are certainly watching the evolving situation in afghanistan. 9/11 was 20 years ago, but for us at the fbi, as i know it does for my colleagues here with me, it represents a danger we focus on every day. and make no mistake, the danger
is real. our adversaries are committed, and they're hoping to succeed just once while we're working to bat 1,000. so we are working with our partners to identify and stop would-be attackers before they act. just within the past couple of years we have thwarted potential terrorist attacks in areas like las vegas, tampa, new york, cleveland, kansas city, miami, pittsburgh and elsewhere. now, we're proud of our successes. but we need to stay on the balls of our feet, relentlessly vigilant against the next plot by our adversaries and their next attempts to attack us. our workforce has been battling the threat of terrorism and every other threat we face right through the teeth of a pandemic and rising danger to their own safety. and i say that because over the past year, we have seen a sharp
and deeply disturbing uptick in violence against the law enforcement community. in just the first eight months of this year, 52 law enforcement officers have been killed on the job. put that in context. that's an officer murdered in this country every five days. already, more than it was in all of 2020. of course that doesn't even count all those who have died in the line of duty facing the other inherent dangers of the job, much less the scores of agents, officers, analysts and other dedicated professionals who died from covid-19. we will be forever indebted for their bravery and sacrifice and are bound and determined to honor them all through the way we approach our work. while we remain focused on our ultimate mission, protecting the
american people and upholding the constitution. thank you for taking the time to hear from me today. i look forward to your questions. to your questions. >> thank you dr. wray. our next witness is dr. christine abizaid. director of the national counterterrorism center with 14 years of national security experience. the eighth senate-confirmed director and the first woman to lead the united states counterterrorism enterprise. formally served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for afghanistan, pakistan and central asia. and as senior inte analyst for the defense intelligence agency. dr. abizaid, thank you for appearing you are now recognized for your opening comments. >> thank you very much chairman peters. ranking member portman and distinguished members of this committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss global counterterrorism
environment and to highlight the tireless work of the nctc's professionals and the work they do to protect the homeland. 20 years after 9/11 the united states faces a changed threat are foreign terrorist organizations. the threat today is less acute to the homeland but it continues to become more ideologically diffuse and geographically diverse. even as the united states end its longest war in afghanistan and takes on a broader away of national priorities, nctc remains committed to our mission to deter and disrupt terrorist efforts to hurt and harm the united states both at home and abroad. the united states continues to have success in degrading terrorist operations.
the 26 august bombing by isis k in kabul which tragically killed 13 u.s. service members and scores of afghans indicates they continue to place a preem on attacks in the united states. ice isis core remains committed to its long-term goal of establishing an islamic cal fate and fomenting sectarian discord. for its part al qaeda has changed significantly since 9/11. the group and its affiliates and allies have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to adapt to changing ct
environments and geopolitical realities. part of this adaptation has included shifting from its core leadership structure in the afghanistan/pakistan region to a more geographically disperse network of affiliates across africa, middle east and south saiz. while years of ct pressure has degraded the al qaeda network, the group and affiliates remain intent on using individuals with access to the united states to conduct attacks. most recently demonstrate birthday al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and approval of a 2019 attack in pensacola florida where a saudi air force officer killed three and wounded eight u.s. service members. here in the united states the primary threat in the homland is different. u.s.-based home grown violent
extremist, hves who are largely inspired by al qaeda or isis will likely continue to attempt attacks because their personal and ideological grievances and attraction to foreign terrorist messaging and access to weapons and target. they act independently and often with few associates which makes detection and disruption very difficult. separately, one of the other most pressing threats to the homeland comes from domestic violent extremists, dves, and in particular racially or ethnically motivated who often mobilize to violence independent of direction from a formal or centralized organization. since 2015 the threat has increased and since 20i we saw dves pose the most lethal terrorist threat inside the homeland. we assess dves will continue to pose a heightened threat for years to come. and in part because of many
factors that underpin their motivations are likely to endure. social polarization, negative perceptions about immigration, conspiracy theories promoting violence, distrust of government institutions and biases against minority groups will likely drive some dves to conduct attack this is year. we also remain vigilant against iran and its agents and proxies, principally lebanese hezbollah and their attempt on retaliates in the united states more the january 2020 killing of former quds force congressmaner qassem soleimani. the threat from iran alsommande soleimani. the threat from iran also faces us overseas and particularly in iraq where shiite militants pose the most immediate threat. they have conducted increasing number of indirect fire and unmandate aerial systems attacks against u.s. facilities in the past several months with the
objective of expelling u.s. forces from the country. ahead we'll continue to face threats that play out against the backdrop of global trends, including covid-19 pandemic, great power competition and disruptive effect fs o changing climate and rapidly evolving tech knowledge. more than 15 years after its establishment the national count terrorism center is uniquely positioned to lead in this environment. working alongside partners in the intelligence and fbi and dhs as we move into the next phase of our counterterrorism fight. we'll continue to discover, analyst and warn about ongoing future threats as par of a broader set of foreign policy challenges the united states will face in the 21st century and we will continue to find innovative ways to synthesize, manage and exploit our unique access to terrorism, data from
across a spectrum of sources to identify threats that might otherwise go unnoticed. we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 recognizing the remarkable ct successes of the last decades and with gratitude, deep gratitude to the military, law enforcement, diplomatic and intelligence professionals who made these successes possible. working together we have succeeded in preventing another major 9/11-style attack in the homeland. but we must not be complacent. nctc and homeland security and the structure must continue to collaborate and maintain ability to innovate in a era of rapid technological change and stay ahead of the next evolution of the terrorist threat. thank you again for the opportunity to be here today. i look forward to your questions. thank you. thank you dr. abizaid. for your opening comments.
director wray, this morning it was reported that the fbi held back the digital key necessary to unlock the computers of hundreds of businesses and organizations that were subjects of kasia cyberattack for almost three weeks. i want to hear why the bureau would do this, sharing the key sooner certainly could have potentially avoided millions of dollars in recovery costs. and i understand we need to both support cyberattack victims and bring perpetrators to justice. i understand that dual task that you have. but certainly i think this committee would like to hear your explanation for the bureau's actions in related to this key. >> first let me say kaseya in
particular has been a great help to law enforcement and they have joined in our response to the threat and i will say there's no substitute, as you and i discussed for a private sector partnership in this space to stop the attacks we continue to see. that we obtain through our investigations and pushing it out to enable effective defense. and we don't wait for our investigation to be done to do it. but when it comes to the issue of encryption keys or dekripgs keys there is a lot of testing and validating required to make sure they are going to actually do what they are supposed to do. sometimes we have to make calculations how best to help
the most people because maximizing impact is always the goal. whenever we do that in these joint-enabled, sequenced operations, we are doing it in conjunction with other government agencies, sisa and others. we make the decisions as a group. not unilaterally. these are complex, case-specific decisions designed to create maximum impact. and that takes time in going against a adversaries where we have to marshal resources not just around the country but all over the world. >> director wray you mentioned other federal agencies consulted. what other federal agents were consulted in making this decision? >> i want to be careful here not talking about specific ongoing investigation other than to say that when we are working in -- as a general matter in joint sequenced operations designed to maximize impact against an adversary, we of course work closely with our usual partners,
prominent among them is sisa but also members of the intelligence community and other agencies as well and that depends on the industry whether there might be other agencies involved. >> i just want to characterize your comments in the explaining your actions. are you saying that the key was not ready for the last three weeks as was reported? >> again mr. chairman, i certainly understand why the keen interest in the topic. and i'm trying to be as responsive as i can be. while trying to be sensitive to an ongoing investigation. so i'm doing my best to try to be responsive and informative while also being careful not to as department justice policy prohibits me from discussing an going specific investigation. >> well i understand that director wray but i believe, you know, this committee certainly deserves, and needs full accounting of fbi cyberactivities, including classified activities.
and i would hope today you could committee to me and this committee that you would provide us with a complete briefing on this operation but also the broader fbi cybersecurity operations and plans. would you please commit to the committee you would be willing to do that. >> happy to workout the committee to see what information we can provide and responsive and i agree some of that might be better done in a classified setting. i'll have my staff follow up to see what we can do to be more illuminating. recking again that some of this has to do with a very sensitive on going, very much on going investigation. >> i'd appreciate that. secretary mayorkas, on numerous occasions during this administration, as well as the last administration, i've asked for additional transparency regarding the ongoing border restrictions between the united states and canada. i will tell you that my constituents are deeply
frustrated by this. particularly given the trade and the relationships that people have across the border with two of the busiest border crossings in north america are between michigan and canada. and the restrictions remain in place for canadians to come across who have been fully vaccinated to enter the united states at land ports of entry. my question, will you commit to provide my office and the public with a specific criteria the administration is using to justify ongoing restrictions for fully vaccinated canadians at land ports of entry? >> mr. chairman i most certainly will. i know you have expressed your concern directly to me on a number of occasions, and i can assure you that we are reviewing our exercise of the title 19 authorities to restrict travel through the port of entry in light of the pandemic. we are very mindful of the economic consequences and not
only the economic consequences but the consequences on family members who haven't seen one another for quite some time. and so i do make that commitment to you. >> could you tell us some of the criteria now? >> so we are looking primarily, mr. chairman, at the public health rationale, the fact that the arc of the delta variant is not yet where we need it to be. however the president did make an important announcement yesterday to provide relief to the 212-f international travel restrictions in early november to vaccinated individuals. that is a first step in our ongoing review of the travel restrictions born of the pandemic and its current situation here domestically. >> so why those but not canadians. >> we are taking it iteratively,
looking at the situation not only on points of entry on the northern border be thank you southern border. we have similar concerns in the south and we are looking at what we can do operationally. and we are moving in a very sequentially controlled manner. and i'd be happy to provide more information with you -- to you after this hearing mr. chairman. >> i appreciate it mr. secretary. we will want that information provided as quickly as possible. and will look forward to meeting with your folks on it. i need to step aside for an armed services committee meeting. many of us know what it is like to be double booked. i will pass the gavel to secretary -- not secretary. to senator hansen who will take the gavel but before i leave, i recognize ranking member portman for your questions. >> thank you mr. chairman.
we've discuss ad broad away of threats already this morning and i agree on the necessity to have the information on the cyberfront, whichs of course something that continues to grow every year in terms of a threat to our homeland. we talked about domestic extremists, certainly that is a threat as we've said today. i want to focus on the enhanced threat that just occurred in the past month. and that is again the way which we left afghanistan in a chaotic, rushed way and what we've created in the meantime. director abizaid you said in your testimony this morning the u.s. has ended its longest war. and i suppose that's true. but in a way, we haven't, have we? the war was about terrorism. and keeping afghan -- afghanistan from being a platform for terrorist attacks against the united states. what we lost a month ago was eyes and ears on the ground and
the ability to do just that. we have 2500 troops there, prior to the evacuation. we hadn't had a single casualty, thank god, in 18 months. we have 7500 nato troops with us. and we had the ability to do what we do not have now. the best example of that might be what happened tragically with the drone attack. the so called "over the horizon" alternative that biden administration keeps talking about failed miserablily, didn't it? and again not having those eyes and ears on the ground makes it harder to protect the homeland. so i guess in a way we ended the longest war. but in another way we've made things more dangerous. let me ask you about that. you talked ab the isis k suicide bombing as an example of a threat. well that happened during the evacuation. again, we hadn't had, thank god, a casualty in 18 months, until we lost those 13 brave soldiers, sailor, marines.
you also sailed in your testimony that the terrorists around the world are, quote, using individuals who have access to the u.s. to conduct attacks. i look at what is going on with the evacuation and us not knowing what's coming to this country. and that is a statement of fact. we just don't know. having tried my darnedest to find out from the state department and department of homeland security it was happening so quickly and chaotic we just don't know. so i ask you, director abizaid is our homeland more or less safe following this withdrawal from afghanistan? >> thank you for the question. with respect to afghanistan, as groups we're most concerned about presenting a threat both in the region but also a future external threat is obviously one, isis-k. it's isis coursen and two, al
qaeda and al qaeda's affiliates. over the years, sustained ct pressure on both groups, al qaeda but given isis k's more recent arrival also pressure there has really relegated those two groups to primarily a regional threat. now, in the wake of our withdrawal, the question is at what point does that regional threat build to a capability and intent that is focused externally. and particularly focused on the homeland. and i would say from an intelligence community perspective that is one of our highest priorities, which is to monitor and assess the degree to which those groups present external threat. >> you have done some monitoring of it. i mentioned they have adjusted their projections as to the threat to the homeland and particularly al qaeda moving back into afghanistan. is our homeland more or less
safe? >> the cia and dia assessments are within the area one to three years. i think it is fair to say -- >> they are saying it is less time now and that is a conservative estimate. >> i think it is fair to assess the development of those groups external operations capability, we've got to monitor and assess whether that is going to happen faster than we predicted otherwise. >> i'll take that as a yes that we're less safe. following the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan. that's i think is pretty obvious. director wray, do you have any comments on that? do you think we're more or less safe following the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan? >> well i think i would share most of dr. abizaid summary's. and you have cited some information you have gotten from our intelligence community partners.
obviously we are concerned about what the future hold, whether it is the possibility of another safe haven, whether it is the possibility of isis k being able to operate more freetly in a less secure environment. >> does it concern you the network leader is now acting secretary of interior for afghanistan. >> certainly concerns me. >> he's on your most-wanted list, isn't he? >> i believe so. >> well, look, the question is, what do we do now? you know, and i hope that we haven't enhanced response to the enhanced threat and not just the kind of drone strike we saw. with regard to the evacuees, mr.
secretary we haven't had a chance to talk yet. i know you tried to reach me and i appreciate that. and i do think that we've got a real problem here. the best numbers we have are that very few of the people who have come over are so called sivs, meaning the people who actually helped us, who were drivers and interpreters or otherwise assisted the u.s. effort. secretary blinken last week said there were about 20,000 people who applied, 708 have come through the evacuation as far as we know. that is the best numbers we have. in fact when you look at who's come, not only did we leave american citizens behind and obviously leave lot of these sivs behind who, you know, stood by us, but it looks like there are about 6500 american citizens who came, that is about 11%. about 3500 lawful, permanent
resident, about 6 percent. there are about 3,000 people with visas including these sivs, about 5 1/2%. and the rest around 75% of the people who came are called parolees, meaning they don't fit of categories. and we're pushing hard to get the fgs in. information. trying to get a classified meeting to hear it. but does that concern you that three quarters of the people who we have brought into this country. and by the way we've brought about half the people in sberk, about 60,000, about 120,000 are still oversees and we're told even fewer american citizens or green card holders or.
>> first of all i was disappointed to learn of your disappointment with respect to the information you have received, even in the classified context. and i will -- >> we haven't had a classified briefing yet. >> well yesterday i understand the staff and -- >> the staff had one and their report to me at least was they didn't receive anything new they hadn't already received including in our phone call yesterday which was not classified. so the point is we would love to get whatever you need to do to give us the information. we just don't have the information. >> and precisely why i wanted to articulate my apology and make sure we remedy that information right away. >> thank you. >> -- entitled to that information. >> thank you. >> we do have a robust screening and vetting process in addition to expertise both in the transit countries and here domestically to ensure the safety and security of the american people. let me say with respect to the population of individuals who are not american citizen, lawful
permanent residents or special immigrant holders, we also have in that remaining population individual who is applied for special immigrant visas but who is applications are not yet been completed at the time of the evacuation. we have individuals locally employed by afghanistan by the united states who assisted us in afghanistan. we have other individual who is qualify for special immigrant visa status and individuals who class for p one or p two. so it is a very mixed population and we screen and vet that remaining group as we screen and vet all. >> thank you. >> we'll chance get this into more later but there is some discrepancy there. >> senator i'll note there is going to be a second round of questions and we've gone well over here. so i'm going to turn to senator
carper now. >> the last vietnam veteran serving in the united states senate. i remember full well our withdrawal from vietnam. i remember watching on television as american helicopters rose from the ground in saigon and attached to all el them all over the helicopter were vietnamese people tieing to get out of country. i remember watching helicopters rise into the sky and people fall to their deaths. ands as i watched the withdrawal and efforts to try to get 125,000 people out of afghanistan, a month or so ago, i was reminded of what happened in vietnam . i think from the time donald trump sat down with the taliban, i think the i think it was cast.
125,000 other people afghans who helped us that they have a chance to get out of there and be resettled here. and how do we handle the resettlement? how do we handle that and that is big part of your job. to make it go well. i think one of the questions for me today is what do we need to be doing not just the senate or a country but as a body writ large to help the new folks coming here have a new chance in their lives, new chance to get settled. lot of them want to work. we have lot of employers looking for workers and maybe at tend of the day something good hopefully can come out of something very tragic. i stood on the tarmac with the president, military leadership. congressional delegation about a month ago as we receive the remains of our heroes.
navy, air force, marines, army. and it was a sad and hard -- hard day. what do we do now going forward? there is a lot to do we need to work together to make sure we've learned from what's happened in the past, learn from the last 20-some years and go for it. with that having been said i want to ask my first question if i could to mr. wray, director wray. in 2020 the fbi arrested 180 individuals on domestic rosm tro related matters of these arrests, 75 identified as white supremacists. for years we've been hearing about the rising threat of racially motivated attacks, specifically attacks carried out by white supremacists. and you may have heard me say before that in order to address, you probably must understand and address the root causes of that problem. director wray and secretary mayorkas, why have we seen such rise in racially and ethically motivated extremist and violence
in this country in recent years, and what is the root cause and how are we tackle it mr. secretary? >> senator carper, let me if i may take a moment to answer. a point you made, or respond to a point you made. there is important legislation that is pending that would bestow upon individuals evacuated from afghanistan the same benefits that refugees receive and that would assist in their resettlement here in the united states and their integration into our communities. and we're extraordinarily proud and inspired by the unity that we see across the country. we have seen regrettably over the last several years, senator, a rise in the manifestation of hate. wave seen the propagation of false narratives. we've seen an increase in anti-government sentiments. and we are very watchful of and
vigilant in response to any signs of connectivity between those ideologies and acts of violence. that is where our focus is. >> thank you. director wray please, same question. root cause, what is it? what are we doing about it? >> so i think our focus is of course on the violence, not on the ideology itself. i would say one of the things we have done about new two years ago is create a domestic terrorism hate crimes fusion cell, which was designed to bring together both ore domestic terrorism experts as well as our hate crimes experts and try to get ahead of the threat and be more proactive in going against the threat and we are very proud, for example, of the work of that fusion cell in preventing an attempted attack on a synagogue outside of las vegas, for example. i will say that a big part of the threat that you are asking
about is the social media dimension. some of these same people before might have been stewing away in, you know, the basement or the attic one part of the country and not communicating with the other. but today terrorism moves as the speed of social media. and you have the ability of lone actor, disgruntled in one part of the country, to spin up similar like-minded individuals in other parts of the country. and urge them into action or inspire them into action. i think that is a huge part of the threat that you are asking about. >> all right. thank you. another question if i could with respect to afghanistan and counterterrorism. this will be for all three witnesses. and i'd like to start if i could with director abizaid, please. as we grapple with the fall of the government of afghanistan, our focus remains how to get americans and at risk allies to
safety. however as we know and i believe you mentioned in testimony, terrorist organizations thrive when they can exploit instability and weak government institutions that. said it is important that we look ahead to our ever changing landscape in the region following the taliban takeover of afghanistan to. that end i'd like to ask each of take a moment to address the following. how has our threat landscape changed from since the u.s. withdrawal and how are you agencies working to address the shifting threat landscape that will continue to evolve. and follow up. i have a follow up but that's the one i'd like for you to tackle please if you would. >> i'd ask each of you to be relatively brief. there will be a second round of questions. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. the threat from afghanistan is i think is the top of our priority in terms of understanding what that dynamic landscape is likely
to produce in terms of an external threat. we do think that principally the operating groups, isis k and al qaeda present significant threat in the region. they are going to have to contend with the new threat, princeably isis-k. and as we develop capabilities to make sure we're monitoring any changes in the threat landscape and able to arm policy makers to address that. >> thank you very much. madam chair i'm going to ask the other two witnesses respond to that question and thank you for being here. service and leadership. >> and i'll note addition to the response for the record i'm sure others asking you a similar question and you can elaborate on senator carper's question then.
senator johnson. >> secretary mayorkas. i'm putting a chart that i've been keeping on southwest border. to date this calendar here, have been almost 1.3 million apprehensions. we are averaging last two months 67-6,800 people per day. that is a large caravan per day being apprehended by border patrol. 8-1100 known got a ways. equates somewhere 300,000 got a ways for the year. if you analyze these figures, couple hundred thousand people per month. we'll be up to about 2.1 million apprehensions. add the get a ways. we're. you have repeatedly stated our
boarders are not open. they are closed. do you honestly believe that our borders are closed? >> senator, i do. and let me speak to that, we -- >> no. let me ask you a couple questions here. this committee received, it was dated september 11th. but apparently this letter was not received until thursday. i didn't find out about it until yesterday. i release you had it to the public immediately. by recently retired u.s. border patrol chief rodney scott. in this letter, former chief scott states, he is sickened by the avoidable and rapid disintegration of what was arguably the most effective border security in nation's history. and of course the chart shows it. we've pretty well secured the border. we'd stopped the flow of unaccompanied children and stopped flow of family units because of the protection protocols and agreements president trump put in place, the building of the wall.
we were serious about border security until your administration took oufsz. you stayed be ever this committee and said that you would enforce the laws. you have not done that. let me go on. to think organizations are not going to do the same, in other words, exploit the open border is naive. here is what's very troubling. he said the secretary and other political appointees have provided factually incorrect information to congressional representatives and to the american people. so let me ask you mr. secretary of the 1.3 million people we've apprehended, how many people have been returned. how many people are being detained and how many people have been dispersed? and i want some numbers here. so what are we getting 1.3 million people. how many people have been returned. how many people are being detained.
how many people have been dispersed to all points around america? >> senator i would be pleased to provide you with that data -- >> i want them now. why don't you have that information now? >> senator, i do not have -- >> why not? why don't you have that basic information. >> senator, i want to be accurate in the. >> i'm looking for ballpark figures. is it about half? have we dispersed about half? up to about 600,000 people we've dispersed. >> senator these are the tools that we employ. we use the title 42 authority that is the public health authority empowered by the centers for disease control to expel individuals in light -- >> so i'm hering that you are not using that to the full extent and we've got 40-50% of people even apprehended under title 42 that are not being returned. is that accurate? >> that is actually inaccurate. >> okay. -- >> senator would you care to let the witness finish an answer. >> i actually want answers to my question. what is the real figure then? >> if i may say we use the title
42 authority t public health authority, of the centers for disease control to the fullest extent we are able to. >> so what is the percent that you are returning under title 42? it is about 750,000 people apprehended under title 42. how many of those individuals have been returned? >> senator i will provide that data to you. >> so you are saying that 40-50% is not accurate. if, you know, that is not accurate you must have had the real number. >> what i said was not accurate was your assertion that we are not using title 42 authority to the fullest extent -- >> that's not what i said ad all. i said we're not returning everybody under title 42. we're dispersing a number of those individuals. >> senator, we are not doing that. not for reasons of our limitation of use we impoeds on ourselves but rather because certain of our capacity to return people under title 42 is
constrained by the mexican authorities' ability to receive them. this is a matter of bilateral and multi lateral relationships. we recognize the authority to the fullest extent we can. we then work with mexico to receive what its capacity to receive individuals is? >> you are talk about the processes. i want numbers. i'm going to expect numbers. by the way last year which you didn't stake around for second round of questions, you didn't come here in person. i send you questions for the record and i've gotten no response whatever. and you came and committed to responding to congressing oversight. and you have not done so. and according to former chief scott you have provided factually incorrect information to congress. so we're expecting you to up your game as it relates to congressional oversight. let me quick switch to afghanistan. we had a briefing yesterday morning, telephone briefing.
and one of the assertions is out of the 124,000 afghans evacuated out of afghanistan, the vast majority, i can't remember -- almost all worked for some government agency. military, whatever. i asked the question how do you know that? i didn't get an answer. i've also talked to commanding general and people on the ground that have about 14,000 of these afghans in their custody right now in wisconsin. i continue to ask. i understand the screening. that we're screening against the terrorist watch list and no fly list, that type of thing. i understand how if, for example, an isis fighter or al qaeda terrorist, if they just happen to be one of those watch list, if we have a match we're going to keep them out of the country. what are we doing to positively identify people?
to connect them to the agencies or members of the military that they did have connection with so we have positive id before we disperse? let's face, 124,000 people. 700,000 sivs, about 6,000 u.s. citizens. that leaves 117,000 people we don't know who they are. how do we know who they are positively? not just in terms of derogatory information. >> so not only do we vet individuals against our intelligence databases but we also vet them against the department of defense databases. we capture their buy graphic and buy metric information in the transit countries before they are allowed to board flights to the united states.iometric info transit countries before they are allowed to board flights to the united states. we have expert screeners and vetters whom we have employed to transit countries so they can use their expertise in addition to the information we have captured biometrically and buy
graphically before they board their flights. >> the senator's time is expired. i'll now recognize myself for my round of questions. i just want too thank the ranking member as well as chair peters for this hearing. i want the thank the witnesses today not only for being here but for your service to our country. and i hope you will thank all the women and men you work with for their service as well. secretary mayorkas, i want to start where senator pooets left off on the issue of the counter status of the northern border.it off on the issue of the counter status of the northern border.e off on the issue of the counter status of the northern border. in july i asked, you and your staff were partners of a board meeting and i just have to say i was very disappointed with the administration's decision yesterday about the canadian border. right now, i just want to be clear.
non vaccinated canadians who have a non positive test can get on a plane and fly to the united states and vaccinated canadians cannot cross port of entry into our country. one of the things that came up in august in our meeting was the department's obligation to assess the economic impact of border closures on the domestic economy. for states like mine where tour simple the second largest sector i want to understand whether you have provided that analysis to the house. you said in the meeting this is ultimately a whitehouse task force meeting. i do not understand the public health rationale here at all for closing the northern border to vehicular traffic when it is essentially open to air traffic. >> senator, i know of your disappointment. you have expressed it quite clearly to me. i should say that the decision
is an all of government decision. the relevant equity holders are involved in the decision making. we're very mindful of the economic impact. we are reviewing the public health and the family impact consequences of our decision on a daily basis. and we are proceeding iteratively in light of, quite frankly the arc of the delta -- >> and i understand that. and i'm going turn to some other questions now but this is the same response we've gotten for weeks and months without anybody explaining to us the public health rationale for a decision that is keeping canadians and americans from seeing each other. businesses from doing their business with each other. tourists from coming to states like mine. nothing like being at nascar in mid july in loudon, new hampshire, our biggest single event of the year and realizing our stands are partly empty because the canadians who
usually visit and enjoy the magic mile couldn't come even though they have a high vaccination rate and the public health threat was not explained at all and the fact that we're allowing canadians to fly in. candace. some assessments indicate al qaeda would reconstitute itself and be capable of threatening the u.s. homeland in the next 1-2 years. what are the fbi and dhs each doing to detect, investigate and disrupt possible al qaeda attacks on the homeland amid assessments of their resurgence? we'll start with you director wray. >> i appreciate the question. certainly, as we get to the 20th anniversary here now, it is worth remembering that al qaeda has not stopped trying to hit us.
for us if there is good news, the good news is that we're in a fundamentally different posture here in terms of the fbi's stance than we were at the time of 9/11. and that starts with our over 200 joint terrorism task forces which encompass something like 45, 100 different federal, state and local partners. so we are aggressively using those task forces all over the country to engage with sources, follow up with ties between subjects that we have under investigation with individuals overseas working with our foreign partners to put information together. we're putting heavy focus on community outreach as the evacuees settle here in the united states. to both a, try to get in front of any radicalization that could occur while they are here, but also to try to open up the lines
of communication to mike sure that if someone see something about someone in those communities that they will say something to us about it. >> thank you, secretary mayorkas? >> senator, we continue screen and vet individuals t seeking to arrive in the united states by any means, sea, land and air. we have not relaxed our r vigilance over the years. we speak very frequently about a rise in prominence of certain types of threat, the domestic violent extremist, the home-grown violent extremist. that does not mean that rise in prominence suggests that we hav. taken our eye, our focus, off the priority iteration.. that is ever present. >> thank you. another question for you both. terrorists and criminals are using cryptocurrency to facilitate their activities. foreign terrorist organizationst have used cryptocurrency to ti directly solicit donations to
organizations and launder money through the cover of charities to further their goals. c director wray and secretary mayorkas, are the fbi and dhs tracking the use of cryptocurrencies for the ff financing of terrorism and other homeland security threats? what are you doing to combat thr use of cryptocurrencies for r terrorist financing?t director? >> so certainly we are seeing you are exactly right. cryptocurrency how to being used across a wide range of threats both the ones you mentioned and others. we're seeing it in everything de from buying criminal tools like bot nets to laundering proceeds, evading sanctions, as you say raising money for terrorist operations, dark net marketplaces. we are -- and of course all of
it boils down to making it harder and harder for us to follow and then ideally seize the money. some of the things we're doing n technical tools andic technique. but it is becoming i think a phenomenon that permeates pretty much every program we have. and i don't expect that to change. t anything i expect it to increase. >> andec just briefly secretary mayorkas. >> the director and i have spoken about in very issue a number of times, senator. it is a concern of ours, an increasing concern. an we in the department of homeland security, the united states states secret service, conducts investigations alongside the federal bureau of investigation. just a few weeks ago, i met witw ceos of major financial institutions to see what more we can do to address this challenge. >> thank you very much..
senator lankford. >> thank you. thank you all for being here. secretary mayorkas, let me run through some quick numbers and things that are just requests that we have outstanding, trying to get some additional information. none of this should be difficult but we're trying to get our qom hands around what's happening with the refugees and parolees u that are coming from nd afghanistan. just a few quick things to follow up on. we understand from the administration over 100,000 people have been evacuated from afghanistan. we heard a second number, that 37,500 are actually a coming in the united states and going through process. we don't know the remaining, where they are going. who they are, whether they are coming here or not. we don't know the breakdown of refugees and patrol lees, we don't know the breakdown of sivs or special immigrant visas, and partially lled special immigrant visas or folks
that were green card holders. there are basic pieces of information we keep trying to ke get.rm we cannot get it at this point. we're also trying to get information about individuals that come into the united states who go through the vetting process who fail the vetting process, what will happen to them? or individuals that come in as parolees but then commit criminal acts, what happens to them? we've already heard there have been sexual assaults that have h happened in those locations, and we're trying to get more information about that and whatt happens to those individuals and where do they go.lo noneat of those should be unrealistic questions. those should all be data points coming to you, and i want to know if we can get those and how quickly we can get those. >> may i share some of that data with you? > yes. >> over 60,000 individuals have been brought into the united states after screening and vetting. there are approximately 12,000 afghan evacuees located in the
transit -- >> mr. secretary, your microphone, i think, is off. >> i apologize. of the over 60,000 individuals who have been brought into the united states, and i will give you approximate figures and i will verify them, approximately 7% have been united states citizens. approximately 6% have been lawful permanent residents. approximately 3% have been pnt individuals who are in receipt of the special immigrant visas.o the balance of that population are individuals whose applications have not yet been o processed for approval who may qualify as sivs and have not yet applied, who qualify or would qualify, i should say, as p-1 or p-2 refugees who have been employed by the united states government in afghanistan and ni
are otherwise vulnerable afghanr nationals, such as journalists, human rights advocates, et cetera. a >> right, but those individuals, we just need to know how the vetting process is going. this goes back to senator johnson's question earlier. how are we getting a positive i.d. on who this person is. not just say ing they're not on the terror watch list so they must be okay, other than just saying that. there is also a very odd request coming in -- thank you for the r data on that.th we'll follow up.is there is an odd request that came in from omb. omb asked congress to include in cr that is coming up next week, asked congress to waive all grounds of inadmissibility for afghan parolees. i was astounded when i saw that, because the grounds for afghan parolees are things like terrorism, association with terrorist organizations, money laundering, humaney trafficking drug trafficking, polygamy,
prostitution, persecution of individual based on religion or political opinion, those who commissioned torture extrajudicial killings. i was a little surprised that omb would ask would you waive wa all these grounds and ask us tot move people regardless of these? where did this come from?ld >> there must have been a miscommunication because we denl entry, we deny admission to individuals in many of those categories. >> right, and should. >> i will have to drill down on that. in >> this is the request that came from omb -- a request to be able to put it into the continuing resolution so future parolees would not be denied based on these things, and i tell you, d i'm a little bit confused aboutn that, and i would tell you i would adamantly oppose withdrawing any of those and i assume you would as well. a >> there must be a miscommunication, and i will follow up on that immediately. >> let's make sure that stays
clear that congress is not going to give up that restriction for those individuals coming into the country. sta you and i have spoken before, shifting subjects on our southwest border, about mpp, that the federal courts have stepped back in and said to you you have to reinstate the trump policy for the microprotection protocols and to be able to put those back in place. you told me you would deliver the timeline and the process of where that was going to go, how you were going to follow the federal courts to be able to reinstate that policy.ng i've not received that document yet.ou where is that document and that timeline? >> senator, i owe you that timeline. a the difficulty is, of course, a predicate of the implementation of mpp as we are required to do pursuant to court order is our ongoing negotiations with mexico. i do owe that to you.s >> that would be great. i'd like to see that timeline on and know what status we have on that.. last summer you also told me t that you were going to get to me by mid-august during our budget
hearing, that you were going toe get to me by mid-august the i.c.e. enforcement guideline update. that's been a preliminary document that's been sitting out there for a while that you and i have both spoken about. t i don't have that final document yet.t. you had told me before it would be done by mid-august. where are we on that? >> i expect to publish new guidelines by september 30th. that is my goal. >> do you expect that recent crossers would be included in that? >> i do. >> where are we on recent crossers enforcement? we had some information we got this late last night from the ero office saying there was about a hundred -- what was the finalhe number here? pull it up exactly. 107,817 individuals have been released into the united states from theivbe ero office with different statuses. that was a notice to report.
that's been changed to different notations on that, but 107,000 t of those individuals. we have quite a few of those, tens of thousands, that have not now reported. that would be recent crossings. one of the b questions we're gog to have is, are we in pursuit of individuals that did get a notice to report but then haveic not actually report? are those in the priorities? and have we actually picked up any of those folks for detention? >> senator, my understanding is of that figure, approximately 75% have, indeed, reported within the time frame or are within their reporting time me frame, and as to those who have failed to report, that would qualify as an enforcement priority of ours. >> the best guess at this point is about 28,963 as of last night are beyond their reporting time frame. that's around 29,000 people so . far that have not reported that were given a notice to report. i just want to know where are
they? and are we actually pursuing those individuals? >> those individuals we do consider to be a priority for enforcement center. t >> thank you. we'll wait for a second round. >> thank you, senator lankford. senator paul, you're recognized. for your questions. >> thank you. director wray, when orwell first wrote in 1984, people were concerned about that dystopian future, what it might mean, big brother invaded our privacy, our home, our o communication, but defendersio in privacy took som consolation in the fact that technology didn't exist for two-way tvs and so much of it seemed so futuristic. now u.s. intelligence agencies have the ability to record and listens to phone calls from an entire world. we've collected many phone calls at a time. we've been doing it here in america. for years the nsa collected millions of americans' data ng without first having an
individualized warrant. james clapper notoriously lied d as we all know to congress about this massive surveillance program. he's now paid to deliver highly partisan rhetoric on a left wing news outlet. many in the fbi have been accused of bias, many have been convicted, many have been let go.en mccabe, klein smith, peter strzok, lisa page. it's hard to imagine that somehow we can get people in the fbi that are above bias. it seems to go with the territory. maybe it was a bad spate of timo where we had them all at once. i think it's important we realize the potential of bias that exists in the people bringing an t investigation forward but also incredibly important that we should devolve or at least consider using the constitution and not using warrants that are used on foreigners. so we have two different
standards. we have a constitutional standard where wee use the fourh amendment, and the fourth amendmentt says you have to hav probable cause of a crime. the fisa court standard is not a a fourth amendment. it's less than the constitution. it's probable cause of being associated with a foreign government. the problem is when we have so presidential candidates, they're all going to have foreign policy advisors. most of them will have longstanding history in either l government of some sort, they'lm have people who do talk to foreigners all the time. so you can see how someone with bias, and i think that's what happened during the ha investigation that turned out to be untrue on the russia collusion, we had a massive investigation of a presidential campaign, and i don't think ia enough of us have stepped back to say, my goodness, should we t be using fisa warrants?? for the foreign intelligence -- should bewith using that kind of warrant on an american,
particularly an american running for congress who has all these contacts? do you think it's important that we use fisa warrants to investigate?oror >> what i do think is important that we use fisa warrants for counterintelligence threats to the united states as long as it is done consistent with the minimization andnd procedureses- >> you don't think there is any problem with the crossfire hurricane? t you think it was appropriate, nu one in the chain of command was biased and it just occurred because they were curious? we just indicted one of the clinton lawyers for lying to you guys. you guys took it hook, line and sinker and said, we'll just investigate a major presidential candidate. of course there is a huge problem, and if you don't see this is a problem and we need more controls on this and that i we must somehow obey the constitution, i would say the a same for president biden. i would say the same for any party. what a crazy upturned world. t the bias is there.
there's no way to get -- the reason we have checks and balances with a judiciary is so that we can kind of get over the potential bias that occurs in the fbi or the cia or anywhere else. kntou if you don't have to go to a court and youou go to a court tt doesn't obey the constitution that's held in secret, that's not l justice and it's going toe ripen for abuse. you don't agree with that? >> there are parts of what you said that i would like to weigh in on. first as to what happened in the so-called crossfire hurricane e matter, i would say to you today, and i have said publicly on a number of occasions that what that inspector general report describes by certain fbi personnel i consider to be bi unacceptable and unrepresentative of the fbi that i see every day having joined in 2017, and not something that i think can ever happen again. so i want to make sure you and i are talking past each other on that.e second, i've put in place over 40 corrective measures.r
everything the inspector general has recommended and then some to make sure what happened there er does not happen again. >> i think that's admirable and i appreciate that point of view. but when hamilton wrote if men e were angels we wouldn't need the constitution, we still are relying on angels working at thl fbi, we're relying on you saying we're going to get a better set of people, we're not going to have that bias anymore. i think that's admirable. that's what i would want in someone as the director. but we need something beyond that, and this is what the an founding fathers did when they i set up the fourth amendment. we had the constitution and we had theor fourth amendment, an incredibly important amendment. and then we had a fisa system. the fisa system doesn't look at the amendment. it will allow you to have sa warrants that don't obey the fourth amendment. and people don't realize this. if you use a warrant that doesn't obey the fourth amendment, it's at a lower yy standard for going after foreigners. i'm actually fine with the fisaa
standard, but i'm not fine with the fisa standard for americansa particularly americans who are running for office.nd particularly for the person running for the highest office who is interconnected with all kinds of countries and always will be, and once you get biased people, once there is not perfection and we get biased people in the fbi, the problem is the system can be abused. i think the only fix -- it's admirable when i have some checks and balances you put in place, but the only real fix should be that we obey the constitution.he i don't think americans or political candidates should be d investigated using a foreign surveillance intelligence court. >> thank youei senator for your kind words about the corrective measures weave put in place. i would say it occurs within the constitution, so we might have a different way that we w characterize it. i would also saye to you, that, as we sit here 20 years after 9/11, and as somebody who was in fbi headquarters on the day of those attacks and saw the
immediate aftermath as we started to reverse-engineer what went wrong on 9/11, much has been discussed back in those years about the so-called wall that was built up between law enforcement and intelligence. ul and a lot of the reforms that have occurred, thanks to this congress, thanks to the courts,s thanks to the executive branch to make sure there is not a wall between the information sharinge that has to occur, has been part of what's kept america safe since then. i would want to work with you o' any ideas that you have but also make sure we don't rebuild the wall that made us all less safe and cost us 3,000 innocent lives on the day of these attacks thank you. >> i appreciate fisa having the same look at the constitution. they don't.av the fourth amendment says you haveve to have probable cause o commit ad crime or committing a crime. it's a much different standard. the fisa standard is probable cause that you have a relationship with a foreign government. it's a much lower standard, muca more open to abuse and you don'e
have a public court, a public court or judges which might t protect the rights of an individual.'t if what happened in crossfire hurricane is allowed to stand and would allow the fbi to do this again, we can see a time s when the intelligence agencies can completely take over our a political process. it's a very dangerous thing, ant i think most people got caught m up in the partisanship of the time where they liked or disliked president trump, and d instead of really thinking about this, there still is a problem.g to my mind we need to revise the fisa system. i we should not be using fisa warrants on americans because d it's a lower constitutional standard and should be reserved for foreigners. >> thank you, senator paul. senator scott, you are recognized for your questions. >> thank you to each of you for being here. secretary mayorkas, are you ou responsible for dhs, responsible for vetting all the afghan refugees coming in? >> i am responsible for the work
of the department. >> since the 1st of august, how many afghan refugees have been denied entrance into the united states? >> i don't have that at my fingertips.ac i know it's very de minimus. >> why would that be?e >> because we have not found many people with derogatory information relative to those who qualify for admission to the united states by reason ofsi thr status. >> the refugees that got into the united states on our basis,> if you found something, how would send them home? what's your process for doing that? >> there are a number of options available to us, senator.? number one, we can, of course, seek their voluntary return to a third country. number two, we place them -- if there is a reason to do so, we p would place them in enforcement proceedings and seek their
removal immediately. >> and you believe you would bee able to send them back to afghanistan? >> whether it's afghanistan, that's something under review, but whether it's afghanistan or another country, we would indeed seek their removal from the united states. >> dhs was set up as a result of 9/11, right? and so we've had significant military presence in afghanistan for quite a while.fo it's gone.ne so now we don't have the same ability to defend the homeland w that we did when we had military in afghanistan.. so what changes have you made tt make sure that dhs is doing its job to make sure americans are safe? >> senator, the architecture that has been built over 20 years since 9/11 remains in place, and it has only strengthened.em we have a screening and vetting architecture. we have a great cooperation among the counterterrorism and law enforcement communities. c we remain ever vigilant in that regard. and >> do you and director wray, doa
you agree that the taliban is a terrorist organization? >> i agree the tab season a terrorist organization. >> i believe it is identified as such, senator.s aa >> sure. earlier this month the taliban announced the senior leadership. one notable appointment was sir hagani to be afghanistan's interior minister. he is on the fbi's most wanted e list and had a role in the january 2008 attack in kabul that killed six people, including an american citizen. director wray, is there still a 10 million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of hagani? >> to my knowledge, he remains on the list and the reward is still out there.is >> do you agree that it seems to be counterintuitive that it would be against national security interests for someone like that to be in senior leadership of the taliban?tsts you all agree with that, right?
>> yes. >> and we've had conflicting testimony about how many people are left there. we've had someone -- secretary blinken has said 100 citizens to 200. 0 we had earlier it could be as much as 9,000. we don't exactly what it is. first off, were the two of you disappointed when our military came home without all the american citizens? >> if i may, senator, the united states government's enduring commitment is to bring every united states citizen that wantg to return to thee united states to bringng them home. that is our. enduring and continuing commitment. >> were you disappointed it didn't happen before you brought military home? >> our goal was to bring every p willing american citizen home, and of course we werere disappointed if we were not able to accomplish that. but we have not stopped in our efforts.me, >> director wray? >> certainly i would be
disappointed if we don't do av right by all those afghans who worked so bravely side by side with us over the past 20 years, and that's why we're all working so hard, as secretary mayorkas said, to make sure we get the right people -- underlines, the right people, out where they can be brought to safety. i do want to clarify my answer to an earlier question.i d i've been handed a note -- this is on the haqqani question. while the award is still out there, to my understanding, he may not still be on the top ten. >> he's still on the list. >> but still the reward is still posted. >> so first off, director wray, were you disappointed we didn't. get all of our -- just even american citizens, let alone all the individuals that helped us,
were you disappointed those all didn't come home before military left? >> obviously we want to make sure we get all the right people out, including american citizens.ake w i know that everybody worked d very hard to move a massive amount of people in a very short period of time, and the fbi was able to play a small part in helping other agencies on that. >> what do the two of you believe is going to be our ability to continue getting g americans home or, on top of that, individuals who have helped us when you have a a terrorist on the fbi most wanted list -- maybe not the top ten but some number -- and he's part leadership there? what's the chance that this is actually going to happen, that we're going to get american is citizens home or afghans that helped us? >> we're extraordinarily dedicated to that, and i think secretary blinken has spoken powerfully about that, that actions will speak louder than words with respect to the re taliban's willingness to work
with us, to effect the ff evacuation of individuals who have worked with us or united states citizens who want to leave afghanistan. i should say that a number of u.s. citizens are afghan nationals and have expressed a desire to stay. but our commitment is enduring and unrelenting. >> let's go to the border just for a second before i finish. after you were nominated, you talked about you were going to enforce the law. when senator johnson was askingw you questions, you said you thought the border was secure.or do you realize that if you talko to a typical american now and you hear the numbers, that over a million people have come here illegally this year, we only t have o a little over 300 millio people living in this country. and a million people have come here illegally in eight months. isn't that inconsistent with what you're saying, though?re >> senator, i don't believe so. first of all, the number of
encounters isn't necessarily individual encounters, but rather we see some level of recidivism in light of our exercise of the title 42 th expulsion authority under the cdc's legal powers. we apprehend, expel and remove n considerable number of people. i know senator johnson took me to task for not having the dataa immediately at my fingertips in this hearing, but, in fact, i d have some august numbers that i could provide that actually y reflect the number of apprehensions, the distinction between total encounters, the individuals encountered, the on number of individuals expelled under title 42 and the number of individuals processed for expedited removal under title 8i of the united states code. i do have those numbers for august.
>> so it's over 200,000 were apprehended, right? >> in total encounters in august of 2021 was 208,887. unique encounters were -- meaning unique individuals were 156,641.e >> senator, remember, we do have a second round. senator romney, you are recognized for your questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to each of you for the work you do to help keep our homeland safe. director wray, are the threats from domestic violent extremistt rising? and if they are, are they rising baseded on those that are, if y will, inspired from foreign groups? or are they rising from those that arese inspired by domestic groups? and i don't know w whether you distinguish it that way. but is it -- my impression is that it's stanley increasing but
largely domestic but that may not be the case. are the threats greater from these individuals and by source, domestic or international?l? >> so when it comes to sort of homeland-based terrorist threats, we have two buckets, really, that we primarily focus on as the highest priority right now.ig what we call homegrown violent extremists, which is a reference to people here radicalized by i foreign terrorist organizations and idealogies. and then domestic violent extremists, who are radicalized by everything from racial ex animus all the way over to anti-government, anti-authority. >> right. >> the first bucket, the home grown violent extremists has been humming along consistently by about a thousand investigations, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less over the last few years. the domestic violence extremist bucket has been going up vieeistently over the last few years which is why we're now up
to 2,600 terrorist 00 investigations where a few years ago we were at about 2,000. so a significant jump there. we are concerned that there wilp be more inspiration to the firse bucket as well, so i think we anticipate, unfortunately, growth in both categories as wec look ahead over the next couple of years. >> that is daunting and we may t get a chance as to why you believe the home violent extremists is rising. secretary mayorkas, i think any unbiased person would say the biden administration's w border and immigration policies have been nothing short off a monumental s disaster. and were there not so many other disasters the administration is encountering, itt probably woul
be enough by itself for the government to be hanging on by a thread. we have been talking about how the immigration status has pull versus push statures, and my view is that we can't solve thep problems of the rest of the world, in fact, we can't solve o all of our own problems let alone for the rest of the world. but what we can address are theh unnecessary pull factors, if yoc will, the unnecessary features that we have in place that draw people into coming into our country illegally. let me just discuss with taxes. if an illegal individual wants g to work here and wants to pay u.s. taxes, they're able to do that, is that right? they're able to do that by getting an identification number, is that right? >> i believe they are, senator. >> i think they're called an i-10, they can apply for an i-10, they are able to do so. under the administration's human infrastructure bill, their children can also get an i-10,
can also get that tax number for the same purpose or for whatever purpose they might have. >> i don't know the answer to your question, senator. f >> the answer is, yes, they can. the president's so-called human infrastructure bill also provides $300 per month for ma every child who obtains such a number. so under the bill that is being proposed and considered by er b congress, we'll be paying the illegal immigrant $300 per month for each and every one of their children that obtain such a number. so a family of four who would come here illegally would receive as much as $1,200 per month in checks from the u.s. government. well above the wage and the average wage throughout major parts of latin america.he do you think that this provision, which would allow thw children of those that have come
here illegally to receive monthly payments would represent an unfortunate and damaging pull factor that would draw more and more people into our country illegally? >> senator, i think that speaks to the fact that we have more t than 11 million undocumented m individuals already present in the united states, a population that has been growing for decades by reason of a broken immigration system. i don't think it speaks to individuals who have not arrived in the united states. >> clearly, if you can get paid $300 per child even though the child is here illegally and $3 you're here legally, that's going to encourage people to come here. e it's also going to represent a major expense for our government to pay the children of those that are here illegally at $300 per month. one, it's expensive, and two, i. creates a greater draw to come to the country.
director, a question i would ask you and perhaps the others as well, which is it does strike mk that three of you all have a t very similar responsibility, toa protect our homeland from violence andho extremists of various kinds. are the lines of responsibilityo clear as to who is doing what, or do things fall between the wh cracks as a duplication which is unnecessary? should we be addressing how we organize this effort? because i recognize we're asking all three of you very similar questions. you're looking at very similar aspects of the same challenge we have, which is protecting the homeland.ct should we rethink how we do w this? are we duplicating the work? any one of you could respond to that. >> i guess i would speak to it from the perspective of someonet who was heavily involved in this mission on the day of 9/11 and the first four years afterwardsi then coming back from the e private sector now.
i think we are well organized i against the terrorist threat. we do have, i would view, as not overlapping responsibilities but complementary ones, and i do think one of the real positive o developments learned the hard way from 9/11 is how well we all worked together. our folks in particular worked with other agencies as well on the terrorist threat. and i think there are valuable lessons to be learned from that. it doesn't mean it can't all be approved. i tend w to be dissatisfied by nature. i expect continued improvement, but i think we're on the right track as far as that goes. lord knows we need it because the threats, as we just discussed, are not getting easier, they're getting harder. >> thank you, director. mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. romney. n g senator ossoff, you are recognized for your questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary mayorkas i want to thank you and your team for responding to the letter, the
bipartisan letter that i sent with senator scott requesting reforms to fema disaster relief practices that were discriminatory to black americans especially in the south. thank you to you and your team for making those reforms. how would characterize the specific mission of the intelligence office and what differentiates itr from the othr 17 other agencies in the intelligence community? >> if i can, it dovetails with the question that senator romney asked. i think we are cooperating and are more cohesive now than we have been before. since we sometimes have e redundancies, those are intentional redundancies for a belt, and suspenders approach t our homeland security and our national security. the office of intelligence and analysis is really an office of partnership. what it does is it gathers
information and intelligence from across the threat landscape. what it is uniquely situated to do is to push that information in intelligence out to our state, local, tribal and territorial partners so that the first responder community is equipped and empowered to address the threat in its ts communities. one of the things that the office of intelligence and analysis has become so much better at over the past nine months is, in fact, working with the federal bureau of investigation in the joint terrorism -- the joint terrorist task force model, and we partner in the dissemination of information bulletins, conference calls and the like d with local law enforcement.ll >> thank you, director.ik director abizaid, how would yo rate the quality of information sharing across the ic's 18 component agencies? >> i actually think it's very strong, especially when you're e talking about counterterrorism
intelligence. i think the shift in the post-9/11 environment was a shift to a need to share mentality across the intelligence community but also our state and local partners, our lead federal agencies in the homeland, the fbi and dhs as well.ie i've been very impressed as i've come back in to lead the centerd with the degree of information sharing that happens across then intelligence community in classified channels, but i've also been very impressed by the degree to which we work to downgrade as much information as possible and engage directly b k with state, local, tribal and territorial elements to make sure that we're getting the threat information to the right individuals so they're able to take action where they need to.i >> thank you, director abizaid. director wray, we spoke august 2nd about the extent of violence in communities across the country, the alarming increase in violent crime, particularly from 2019 to 2020, also from 2020 until this year.
city of atlanta, 113 homicides this year. 60% increase from last year. 64% - from 2019. georgia is deeply bothered by the intensity in violence. when you spoke in march you said you were going work to refine your assessment of the factors driving this increase in violent crime and violence across the united states. what are your conclusions? >> so i do think as much as it's a phenomenon in our home state of georgia, it is also in otherf parts of the country as well.a, while there might be variations from city to city, i think there are a number of factors that contribute to it. the impact of covid cannot be underestimated, whether it's trial backlogs, early inmate releases, unemployment, et cetera. you have more juveniles committing violent crime, you have certain prosecution practices and decreased
sentences which put recidivists back outd on the street more readily, and that adds to its challenge. you also have the prevalence of firearms in the hans of those who areit legally prohibited fr having them. all those factors together create a combustible mix. i would add into that a number of police departments are closed partners we work with every day who have an incredibly challenging job. our experiencing recruiting challenges and attrition, as in early retirement. and that in turn adds to it. so you put no one factor by itself, but you putit all those things together. and that is part of why you are seeing i think the increase in homicides. you are also seeing increases in carjackings and other i violent crimes. not just in atlanta. not just innt georgia but in cities all over the country. and it is something that i
suspect ever member of this committee hears about from its constituents with increasing frequency for good reason. >> thank you, director wray. mr. secretary, a couple of questions relate ed to congressional oversight of a department. i recognize you've got a tough job. you and i have spoken in public and in private about the it importance of responsiveness to the senate, to this committee, to the permanent subcommittee on investigations which i would share and for which senator johnson is the ranking member.er but a number of requests that we sent to the department back in july, we still have not seen timely production of relevant or documents and records. i want to ask why.y. i also want to state here publicly for the record while
we've got you that regardless of the administration's party, the senate has an obligation to conduct vigorous oversight and to be assertive in using our authorities and prerogatives tot secure the information necessary to oversee the executive branch passed in current activities, and in my capacity as chair of the permanent subcommittee on investigations, i intend to be n assertive in seeking that t information. but could you comment, please, on why these requests, now three months outstanding, remain outstanding? >> your concern is resonant we've done an internal review of the pace of our responsiveness, and we've implemented new procedures to ensure a greater responsiveness. that is indeed ann obligation o ours andan a engagement of ours and a commitment of mine personally. i will say it's quite a daunting challenge.chal we have over 90 committees of
jurisdiction. it is something about which i t have spoken with this committee, both as the secretary, and in ms prior service as the deputy secretary. it is a daunting number of requests for information and requests for production of t documents that we receive. nevertheless, that is a commitment and an obligation of ours and we'll do a better job of fulfilling it. o >> but where are those documents requested in july, mr. of secretary? i >> i will have to look into that senator, and i will do so forthwith. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator ossoff. ta for the panel, you've been going a long time and i know that a break is warranted, so what i'mn planning to doing is we have senator hawley up and senator rosen. i that gets us really close to an expected vote so it will be a good time to take a break at that time. sold if you could bear was for least two more kbes unless someone elsees shows up. then we'll take a break and have a second round of questions at that time. senator hawley, you are recognized for your questions.
>> thank you to all the witnesses who are here. secretary mayorkas, i want to ask you about the serious threat to our country. in july i asked about the e migrant surge that was occurring on your watch and you said, we haveak a plan. we are executing the plan. the plan takes time to execute and we are doing so. since that time cbp showed data of two straight months of illegal bordernt encounters abo 200,000, whichwh hasn't happene in decades. my question is when is your plan going to work?st >> in fact, we are implementing the plan, senator hawley, and i can walk through the measures we've taken. t >> my question is when is it going to work? >> it is, in fact, working. we have seen in the last severag weeks, if not a month, a drop in the number of encounters at the united states border. we have been working very closely with mexico to increase interdictions.
we have addressed the issue of recidivism.. if, in fact, people have been previously dremoved, we are referring them to criminal prosecution. we have made flights across the border to facilitate the expulsion of individuals under title 42. >> i want to make sure i understand. 200,000 border encounters over two straight months, a record d for over decades, and you're telling me this is success? are you happy with what's happening at the border right 'r now? is this success?ll >> senator, as i said then and i say now.he we have a plan, we're executing on our plan and we will continue to do so -- e >> but you just testified that it's working.t i'm just trying to understand. is this success? are you telling me this is successful currently? m >> senator, we are not finished in the execution of our plan and i never suggested otherwise. we continue to do the work that we are required to do to securet our border.
that is an ongoing process and, indeed, we are executing it. >> are you happy your progress? >> senator, we need to do better, and we need to do more and we are committed to doing so and we are doing so. >> let me ask you about one of the latest crises that we've seen in del rio. w thousands of migrants crossing the border illegally. b reporters have captured images of this. many are now encamped on the u.s. side of the border. how many migrants have come to del rio in the past week? >> last week i think the high h point was 13,000 to 15,000. it is now well below 10,000. we continue to move individuals from del rio to other processing centers to facilitate their repatriation. if i may, senator, we have increased the number of repatriation flights to haiti and to other third countries. the size of the population in n del rio, texas has diminished
considerably, and let me say two important things which i nd observed firsthand in del rio, texas yesterday.xa number one is the human tragedy. just the vulnerability of the individuals who are under the bridge in del rio. we cannot minimize that.no it is an extraordinarily difficult thing to see. number two, i met with quite a number of border patrol agents a and officers in del rio, texas. i saw them working with members of the department of health and human services to deliver medical attention.n. i saw them working with the american red cross to deliver medical kits. >> how many are currently -- i'y sorry, mr. secretary, but we have very limited time. how many currently right now are at the encampment? >> i would have to check today's numbers. it is below 10,000 is the latest information i have. >> i just want to go back to your statement earlier to me
that you have a plan and that it's working. is 13,000 to 15,000 people crossing into the united states just last week, is that working? >> if you take a look at the discreet situation in del rio, e texas, one will view it differently than other challenges along the southern border. >> why? i o >> if i may, senator, that was very rapid increase, a really unprecedented increase in the ea number of individuals, primarily haitian nationals, crossing in one discreet part of the border. what we did there is we developed a plan, and we are executing on that plan. and, therefore -- o >> mr. secretary, this happened on your watch. here's the problem.plpl every time before you come to 's this committee, you always say, it's going to get better, our plan is going to work at some e future point, and you also used to say it's really not as bad as it looks.erer w every time you leave, it gets worse and worse. this is a humanitarian crisis in del rio.it you can spin is any way you want. you're right, we should not
minimize theny humanitarian conditions, for which quite frankly you and your administrationmi are responsibl. tens of thousands of people living in conditions that are startling, brought here because of your policies. lett" me give you an example. the "washington post" reported on sunday that one haitian woman said she and her family decide to do travel from chile where she was residing to del rio because they heard, and i quote, president biden was letting people in. and, of course, you've offered this temporary protected status to haitians illegally residing in the united states starting in may, then you halted the deportation flights early this summer. don't you think you bear responsibility for this latest u crisis? >> senator, let me speak to a number of the things you have e said. number one, temporary protected statusus was in fact extended t haitia internationals in the united states before july 29th.
individuals who arrived after july 29 are not eligible for temporary protected status based on the legislation. >> mr. secretary, my time is almost expired.te i just want an answer. do you bear responsibility for the crisis in del rio? >> second, senator -- >> does that mean you're not b going to answer me? >> i am answering.o if you would -- >> that's a yes or no question. do you bear responsibility for the crisis in del rio, yes or no? >> senator, the smuggling organizations -- >> yes or no, mr. secretary.li do you bear responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in del rio, yes or no? >> senator, it is my responsibility to address the li human tragedy in del rio, to address that, and we are doing so. that is my responsibility and we are executing it as the department of homeland security. >> but you don't think your policies played any role in h fostering and fomenting this crisis which has ensnared so many thousands of people?
>> what we are learning from individuals is they are ar receiving false information ande misinformation from the smuggling organizations that ug traffic the exploitation of vulnerable individuals. >> in other words, it's someone else's fault. all i can say, mr. secretary, sooner or later this administration is going to have to take responsibility for the e crisis you have fomented on the border that gets worse day upons day, and so far every time we hear from you it's somebody else's fault, something is going to happen later. s it's really quite unbelievable. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator hawley, thank you. senator rosen, you're recognized for your questions. >> thank you, chairman peters, k ranking member portman, for holding this very important s hearing today and i appreciate the difficult service that all of you provide to keep our nation safe.fi thank you for being here.ur i want to talk a little bit about domestic terrorism.wi i'm going to switch up a littlee bit. 20 years after 9/11 we know threats to the homeland have /1 become more diverse, more complex, and the rapidly growing
threat -- we all know this, domestic violent extremism. you testified before, director wray,ti especially in march tha the numbersi of investigations have doubled since 2017 to 2,000 this year. the bureau has now elevated the threat of violent extremism to the same level as isis, and secretary mayorkas, you said domestic violentcr extremism is the greatest terrorist-related threat we face in our homeland.i so i applaud the administration for releasic the first ever national strategy fordm counterg domestic terrorism which codifies a national strategy that domestic violent extremists, specifically white supremist extremes propose the most persistent and lethal threat to the united states.
secretary mayorkas, could you provide us with an update on thw new center for the prevention programs and partnerships, or ae you're calling it cp 3, which helps individuals from radicalizing to extremism when individuals unfortunately do so. >> thank you very much, senator. that office, that center for frames andfi partnership is reay executing a different strategy as previously been undertaken. what we are doing is focusing on disseminating information to localem communities and empowerg and equipping them to address the reasons why people are driven to extrememe ideologies d perhaps even acts of violence. and we are distributing grant funds as well as information. it is all about empowering and
equipping communities to addresi the situation t from the ground up. >> nobody knows their community better than those who work within it. thank you. director wray, i want to direct this question to you. i understand the fbi counterterrorism department has a section to specifically investigate domestic terrorism.. are you collecting data specifically on the threat from white supremacists? and secondly, as part of the national strategy for counter ing domestic terrorism, how do the fbi plan to enhance collaborative reporting, the data collection p we need and collaborating with law enforcementag partners to preve radicalization and attacks? >> we do collect information. i think the category you are describing we put in the category of racially and ethically motivated violent extremism of which the biggest chunk by far is racial or ethnic
motivation favoring white supremacist. so we collect information about that threat. we haveor prioritized that thre at the national threat priority level. we have a created a domestic terrorism hate crimes fusion cell to bringng to bear not jus the domestic terrorism expertise but hate crimes expertise because often there is overlap and gives us ainsights to look ahead, around the bend, if you will. and one of thecehe places wheret kind of collaboration and synergy is alreadyla showing grt progress is is in your home state, the attempted attack on synagogue that we were able to for the first time prevent using hate crimess charges. we hope toch do more of that. i think the big part of the engagement to p collaborate on data is goingng to be through t joint terrorism task forces which are of course all over the
country, of which there are over 200. and that includes federal, state, local pampt participants, probably about 4500 or so bodies all work on those tasks together. able to share classified information.to investigative information. and to ensure we are then able to generate bulletins and things like that, working collaboratively with secretary mayorkas's shop in doing so. >> i'm going to move into cybersecurity, but before i do that, do you have the work force you need?ng and what are the challenges you have -- i guess i could address this in every area.or hiring, training and retaining work force. >> i would say a couple things on that. certainly the domestic terrorism caseload has exploded. meanwhile, the international terrorism caseload hasn't subsided. and that's just within terrorism. we absolutely need more
resources there, and any resources congress sees fit to send our way, i can assure you they would be quick to put to good use.ce agr there is a piece of good news, which is at the fbi the last couple of years, our recruiting numbers have gone exorbitantly up, contrary to the trend you would see more generally in then country. so we 2ri78d theed number of people t applying to be special agents to the fbi in '19, '20 and '21 than it was before that. we're not having too many retirements. orr attrition rate is down to 1%, which i would say is pretty good. but counterbalancing all of that is the threats we're dealing with. there are a lot of people with great ideas and good ideas, butb what we should do more of, i haven't found anybody with much in the way of good ideas that we could suddenly do less of. >> i'll move quickly and i'll probably have to take this m
answer off the record, because cybersecurity resilience, because the cyberspace solarium commission routinely exercises b for identifying, assessing and prioritizing critical infrastructure risks across the federal government between public and private sectors. so secretary mayorkas, what infrastructure sectors do you think -- do you view as particularly vulnerable that we should be putting some resources into right now?ct >> senator, thank you very much on your question. we are very focused on the >> critical infrastructure v secto. as a matter of fact i think one of the greatat moves that we ma following the colonial pipeline cyber attack that really galvanized the public attention was for tsa to issue two sequential security directives after engaging with the pipeline industry to develop standards os behavior to increase the cyber
security ofer that sector. i think the joint cyber collaborative that we are employing through cisa, the cyber security infrastructure security agency, is a very critical step because o it's a public private partnership, it's not just all of government, but it's all of society. >> thank you. appreciate that. my time is up. >> thank you, senator rosen. before a quick break because i forgot to ask this, can i ask consent that we enter recently retired u.s. border patrol chief rodney scott's letter into the record? i would also point out in his letter he describes himself as a law enforcement agent for over 29 years.. he served in under five different presidential administrations and he said he worked diligently to secure international borders as a rk nonpartisan civil servant. this letter comes from somebodyl with a great deal of credibility and should be taken very seriously. anyway, i ask that it be entered in the record. >> without objection, it will be entered.nt
we haveno another senator that joint us. senator sinema is online. i'll recognize senator sinema. this will end the first round, h we'll come to a close, take a break at that time and come back for a second round. senator sinema, you're recognized for your questions. round. senator c sinema, you're recognized for yourr questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secta, mayorkas, one of the challenges the nation and my state of arizona face is the crisis at the border. itit remains critical for congrs and the administration to work together to secure thehe border protect ourri communities and me sure a migrants are treated faiy and hhumanely. i appreciate your efforts as we both know there is more work to do. we'vekn seen close to 1.5 milli encounters this year. cbp officials in those sectors consistently talk about the importance ofth title 42 authory in managing the situation at the border inn those sectors but recent court decisions could limit the use of title 42
authority in thehe future which would put more pressure on our border force and processing capacity. additionally with the severe challenges in the del rio sector we learned last week cbp will be transporting migrants each week to arizona forra processing. so w what steps does dhs need t take to improve processing capability and capability at the southwest border to manage this ongoing crisis including the situation we're seeing in del rio? >> thank you so much, senator. we've taken a number of steps, some of which i alluded to earlier in my response to senator hawley's question. we are moving individuals across the t southwest border to facilitate the expulsions under the centers for disease control title 42 authority. we are using expedited removal under title 8 as an additional authority.r we have begun prosecution of individuals who have prior removal ordersor and who are
recidivists. we are sending flights, repatriation flights into the interior f of mexico to make recidivism more difficult. we are employing quite a number of measures to increase the number of encounters and also to deterr irregular migration. and we are seeing progress in that regard. >> now, following up specifically on title 42, obviously courtpe decisions wil play a significant role in the future of title 42. but thisil authority was always meant to bet temporary and will end at some point. in june, as you know, i led a bipartisan letter that a had a detailed plan for e the end of . will you work with my office to schedule an in-depth briefing for the committee on your plans to facilitate a smoothly and orderly transition forfa the en of f title 42 when dhs will rese relyingg only on traditional statutory authorities? >> we most certainly will do sog
senator. >> thank you.u. now, as you're aware, transnationall criminal organizations pose a significant threat to our national security by engaging in human trafficking, drug trafficking and violence at our southwest border. they may also be capitalizing on the dhs resource strain that the migrant influx is causing. so what capabilities or technologies does dhs need additional investments in to expand your ability toto counte this v activity? >> thank you very much for that question, senator. we areki already taking and hav taken a number of steps to address the actions of tcos. we're working n increasingly in the task force model as a force multiplier. we are using technology, air assets especially are force multipliers and extremely effective tools. we can use more resources with respect to our air assets. and we have undertaken a number
of law enforcement operations to address the activities of these transnational criminal organizations. operation sentinel, which addresses theirir logistical network here in the united states, is but one example. >> thank you. my i next question is for direcr wray. the anonymity afforded to dark side provides significant challenges toen law enforcement. howha has the fbi changed its response capacity and its field offices to help families, small businesses, and managers of critical infrastructure respond to the rise in ransomware attacks? >> so i appreciate the question. certainlyy ransomware attacks, s secretary mayorkas referred to earlier, have gone up, and the total volume of payments have gone up, both quite significantly. and it affects, as you say, senator, not just large organizations but also small ones. and what the fbi can do and is
doing is we have cyber task forces in all 56 field offices. and each of them is designed in part to be able to engage quicklyoo with victims to be ab to respond as quickly as possible to help them manage and disrupt and mitigate against the threat. we, on the virtual currency side, the cryptocurrency side, we have created subject matter teams, experts at headquarters that both train, so create more of a force multiplier effect in all the field offices, but also upport investigations, because as you say, following the money inwi that space is exceptionall challenging and requires new ad more creative, innovative tactics much as we did for example in theol colonial pipele case where we were able to not only follow but seize a big chunk of the ransom that was being paid in cryptocurrency
before it got to the bad actors. and we want to do more of that. but that case illustrates in particular the importance of the private sector, big or small, engaging with the fbi as quickly as possible. speedy really matters in these instances. and when they do engage that ha quickly, there is all kind of things that we can potentially to follow the money. >> thank you, director. backck to secretary mayorkas. the world has changed a great deal since dhs was established in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. today the department has responsibilityreh for a wide s of disparate missions, including cybersecurity andec critical infrastructure protection. as new threats confront our country, how is dhs assessing and adjusting t its structure t respond to thed changing threat landscape and whatt changes do you feel are needed in the short term? >> one of the things, senator, that we o are focused on is makg
sure that our more than 22 offices and agencies are working cohesively together to really bring the fuller force of the department to bear on any one particular threat stream. i think we've made tremendous advancements in that regard. i think we've made tremendous advances in that regard. fundamentally, i think our greatest tool in combatting the threats of whatever nature is really the more than 250,000 men and women who comprise our department. they're extraordinary, not only in meeting the threat that we confront today, but in their readiness to meet the threat that looms. >> thank you, secretary. mr. chair, i know that my time has expired, but i want to note that as we're having our first hearing after the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, i want to take a moment just to express my thanks to all the people who work every day to
keep our country safe. and as our threats continue to evolve, our government must continue to adapt and make changes based on the lessons we've learned since september 11th and i'm grateful for the men and women across our country who are doing just that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator sinema. i know our witnesses, we're thinking you for these answers to all these questions, but it's time for a little bit of a break for you. we have a second round. that concludes the second round. not every senator is coming back for a second round but i know a number have other questions they would like to ask. i will adjourn now briefly for roughly ten minutes. there has been a vote call so i would urge all our members to please vote early, get back to the committee hearing room so that we can move this forward. so with that, we will adjourn for ten minutes.