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tv   DHS Secretary FBI Director and Others Testify on Global Threats to the...  CSPAN  October 19, 2021 7:12pm-10:33pm EDT

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fbi director christopher wray and the homeland security secretary testify to the house committee on global threats facing the u.s.. 20 years after the september 11th terrorist attack. this is about three hours and 20 minutes. >> the committee on homeland security will come to order. . the committee is meeting to seek testimony on worldwide threats to the homeland, 20
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years after 9/11. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare that the meeting is in recess. good morning, i want to thank secretary of homeland security alejandro mayorkas, fbi director christopher wray and national counter terrorism director christine abizaid for your service to the country in coming to the committee. this month, americans have witnessed the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of september 11th, 2001. we will never forget the heroic first responders who ran into the twin towers. the brave fight flight 93 passengers who fought the hijackers, or the service members killed at their posts. we remember all those who lost their lives and their loved ones.
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on 9/11. and those who have suffered ground zero related health effects this committee was created in the aftermath of the attacks and earlier this month we met to mark the 20th anniversary. we visited the 9/11 memorial and later met in remembrance. we met in one world trade center with first responders to discuss how far we have come in the last two decades and what more remains to be done to secure our nation while upholding american values. today the committee is meeting on worldwide threats to the homeland, 20 years after 9/11. it is the committee's long-standing practice to meet annually with national security leaders to discuss the global threat landscape and the u.s.
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response. this year, especially, we reflect on the incredible transformation of our national security apparatus and an expansion of the homeland security enterprise over the last two decades. we recognize the success we have had in preventing another 9/11 style attack but are sober by the challenges ahead, posed by long-standing and emerging threats. some of these threats include the recent domestic terrorism, or frequent cyberattacks, and increasingly from sophisticated actors. and the security applications of the taliban in afghanistan. with respect to domestic terrorism, our witnesses have testified before this committee previously about the grave nature of the threat. secretary mayorkas called it the greatest threat in the homeland.
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i hope to hear from the panel today about current domestic terrorism threats and their assessments, in the wake of the january 6th attack on the united states capitol. over the past year we have seen our adversaries burrow into networks, exploit vulnerabilities and we have seen cybercriminals work to extort millions of dollars from critical infrastructure owners and operators through ransomware attacks. our command administration has a sustained commitment and making the federal government a more valuable part of -- we still have a long way to go. i'm here to sit and learn today about how dhs can execute their shared cybersecurity mission,
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regarding afghanistan. this committee has been and will continue to engage on the threats related to the homeland. while recognizing that the terror threat has testified across the world. we are conducting careful oversight of u.s. efforts to resettle our afghan allies in this context. in this country and will continue to do so. finally, i want to address the situation at the southern border. the biden administration inherited an immigration system badly broken by the previous trump's cool policies that to families being separated and children dying in custody. those immoral policies did not represent who we are and the pew as a people in, and the biden administration was reject right to reject them. as i spoke to secretary mayorkas a regular basis about the border, and more frequently
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in recent days, as events unfolded in galveston, texas. the administration has committed to enforce the laws and processing migrants in a safe, orderly, and humane manner, and this committee will hold the administration to his commitment. finally, i want to say a word to the men and women working to secure the harlot. if jobs have never been easy and they are particularly difficult right now with the covid-19 pandemic, and worsening natural disasters, followed by climate change threatening their health, disrupting travel, and diverting homeland security resources. please note that this committee greatly appreciate those working on the front lines and behind the scenes to secure the homeland on behalf of the american people. as we learned in 9/11, nothing short of it well coordinated whole of government effort will protect the nation against
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[inaudible] threats. 20 years on, the committee on homeland security remains committed to working with federal, state, and local partners on that critical effort. again, i thank our witnesses for joining us today, and the members for their participation. with that, i recognize the ranking, gentleman from new york, mister [inaudible] , for an opening statement. >> thank you, mister chairman and thank you to the witnesses for being here today. i'm pleased that the committee is holding this very important hearing as the united states fights itself facing increasingly dire threats on a number of threats impacting our homeland security. for the guiding the administration's deadly and chaotic withdrawal process from afghanistan to the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis on our thus bridgewater, to the [inaudible] severe threat threatening our american way of life, the american people are deeply troubled by what they are seeing. these threats are of course all happening in the context of the covid-19 pandemic. in which clarity for the
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administration they did to vaccine boosters has been tough absent, similar to the department of homeland security's mitigation of the pandemic at the southwest border as rusty recently concerned by the dhs inspector general office. what is most troubling for bc overwhelming lack of accountability this administration is going to step. nearly ten months after president biden's inauguration? [inaudible] political class continue [inaudible] glimpse the last administration for the current administration's shortcomings. this is just tired. and it's inaccurate. he's talking points have been repeated consistently alongside [inaudible] americans and afghan allies being left under taliban rule and or well known terrorist operatives are integrated into the taliban cabinet on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. let me repeat that. known terrorist operatives were inoculated into the taliban cabinet on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. that is significant. but that is not the only crisis
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for the whether ministration blame geishas up. we also hear from officials blame the last administration for the deadly and increasingly untenable crisis along our southern border. last month, we saw the sixth straight month of more than 170,000 encounters along the southwest border. which meant that has never been recorded before. these numbers [inaudible] 1.5 million illegal border encounters that have occurred just this fiscal year while the recently departed boarded cheeses on record stating that no one [inaudible] suspected terrorists are crossing the border at, quote, a level we have never seen before, end quote. this administration continues to avoid american people's demands for transparency. this issue has hits home for me. this year in my district in central new york has seen a very big increase in opioid -related deaths. this trend is repeated in communities across the country. proving that in 2021, every
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state truly is a border state. [inaudible] customs and border protection has seized twice the amount of illegal fentanyl this year compared to last year and not just [inaudible] and more than three times more than in 2019. we all know that everything, for everything we interject, morris flowing undetected into american communities as the drug cartels exploit the administration's feelings. on the issue of cybersecurity, the american people are facing unprecedented threats to their livelihood, their privacy, and their overall way of life. this year alone, we have seen a number of high-profile attacks aimed at americas critical infrastructure, leading to important conversations in congress on the merits of incident reporting and identifying systemically important critical infrastructure. two issues i would like to get the panel's thoughts on today. last, but certainly not least, is a rapidly increasing challenges facing the homeland from adversarial nations states overseas, namely china. the chinese communist party
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aims to address and by the united states at every turn, i see aggressive terms on beijing spot to increase investments in the western hemisphere. threats posed by china underpin supply chain security challenges that are leading the country to economic security oversight efforts. i recently traveled to new york city with a number of my colleagues to observe the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and i thank you, chairman, once again, for making that happen. as we spoke with individuals at nypd, and fdny, two things became clear. first, that first responders and law enforcement are true heroes. on the front lights off our homeland security, risking their lives every day to protect the american people. and secondly, that these same first responders are troubled by what they see. on many accounts how trump [inaudible] how frontline [inaudible] about the whole insecurity implications of al-qaeda and isis having a safe haven in
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afghanistan was to get along with [inaudible] stemming from the poorest southern border. these threats, combined with low moral and retention, caused by the ship for [inaudible] defunding the shape of the fund the police movement is putting american journey to segway to reset our calista for trump. did there hope to see solutions rather the talking points from panelists. [inaudible] police play a critical role in preserving american. hundred [inaudible] i look forward to working them and their efforts on the behalf of the american people. but make no mistake about, it is very, very frustrated right now, especially with respect to the southern border, and i will pull the punches on either of my colleagues when it comes to. that i'm looking forward to having this discussion today. so thank you mister chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. >> [inaudible] members of the committee are reminded that idea committee bras opening statements baby submitted for the record. [inaudible] but also operate according to the guidelines laid out by the
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chairman and ranking members on a february [inaudible] with regard to [inaudible] procedures. i welcome our panel of witnesses. our first witnesses is the honorable alejandro mayorkas, the home secretary of homeland security. our next witness is the honorable, the director of the federal bureau of investigation. our [inaudible] panel with this is the honorable christine abizaid, director of the national counter-terrorism [inaudible] in the office of the director of national intelligence. without objection, the witnesses [inaudible] for statements will be inserted in the director. i asked secretary mayorkas to summarize a statement for five minutes. >> chairman thompson, ranking member [inaudible] , distinguished members of this committee. good morning, and thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the threat [inaudible] facing our homeland 20 years after 9/11. alongside my colleagues from the federal bureau of investigation and the national
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counter-terrorism center. mister chairman, with your indulgence, i may ask for a minute more of time. i do want to address it was that emanated from dell rio, texas, over the last several days, and correctly unnecessarily, were met with our nation horror. because they do not reflect who we are as a country, nor do they reflect who the united states customs and border protection is. i want to share with you, with ranking member katko, and this interactivity, the fact that we are addressing this tremendous with tremendous speed and with tremendous force. i have ordered an investigation to be conducted of the events that are captured in those images, the office of professional responsibility [inaudible] our conducting the
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investigation. we have ensured that the individuals [inaudible] of the investigation, are not conducting law enforcement duties to interact with migrants, but rather are conducting only administrative duties. i have informed two of the appropriate the channels are office off in the inspector general. the facts will derive the actions that we take we ourselves will pull your punches, and we need to conduct this investigation thoroughly, but very quickly. it will be concluded ndas and not weeks, and i want to ensure this committee that you, mister chairman, and mr. ranking member, are [inaudible] that. during the past few weeks, i have attempted numerous events to remember the tragic assault the tragic assault on our democracy that occurred on 9/11. each commemoration was a
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powerful reminder of why we serve. the memory of those whom we lost, and the pursuit of our noble mission to protect the homeland. today, we face a diverse and evolving threat landscape that includes domestic and international terrorism, malicious cyber activities, and ongoing global pandemic, transnational crime, climate change, and more. through the extraordinary talents and digit caution of the more than 250,000 individuals who comprise our department, we are meeting the challenge to protect our homeland and keep our communities safe. every day, how departments personnel make tremendous sacrifices to achieve this mission. i would like to take a month to describe the major threats facing our country today and the work we are doing to combat them. first, we have built a multi layer security screening inventing architecture to combat the [inaudible] evolving terrorist threat.
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we marry remain ever vigilant to protect the homeland from foreign terrorists seeking to do us harm, the very reason for the department's creation, welcome back to the most significant and persistent terrorism related threats facing our country today, which thrown stem from both home ground and domestic violent extremists who are inspired by a broad range of ideological motivations. to meet this challenge, dhs has established a dedicated domestic terrorism branch within our office of intelligence and analysis, launched the center for prevention programs and partnerships to provide communities with evidence based tours and resources to address early risk factors, and we doubled 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 combatting domestic violent extremism as a national priority area in the grant program, [inaudible]
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77 million dollars spent on capabilities to [inaudible] and protect against these threats in communities nationwide. second, as supporters have grown, so have our efforts to increase our nation's cybersecurity resilience and protect our critical infrastructure. [inaudible] or on the rise. let's do you, [inaudible] an estimated victims peyton lasted 350 million dollars in ransom, [inaudible] increase over the prior, with the average payment exceeding 300,000 dollars. in july [inaudible] .gov to help profited public organizations [inaudible] combat ransomware and adopt cybersecurity best practices. our experts at the cybersecurity institute and infrastructure security agency or [inaudible] stood up the [inaudible] to bring together depart news from every level of government at a private sector to reduce sober risks, to better protect our critical infrastructure,
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[inaudible] you should to do security directives to strengthen cybersecurity and results are foundation's pipelines. and our office cisa under office of intelligence and analysis are working with all 50 states, local jurisdictions [inaudible] technology exports to keep our elections secure. to further lead the way, we are building a top tier cybersecurity workforce by infest investing in [inaudible] diverse talent plight blown and building the expertise to keep addressing changing threats. there it, we continue making risk based investments to keep our border security, including from threats posed by transnational criminal organizations. we are collaborating with our international partners to disrupt these groups, combat the illicit activities like drug trafficking [inaudible] and hold accountable those who tied to their [inaudible] screening multinational cooperation on investigations and prosecutions. fourth, dhs continues to
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support nationwide efforts to combat the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. fema has up to 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 transportation security administration act to protect the health of established public and transportation personnel by implementing of federal mask mandate at airports, on commercial aircraft, and in various modes of surface transportation. meanwhile, the u.s. secret service and immigration and customs enforcement has partnered with other federal agencies to protect americans from covid-19, related flood, and criminal activity, including preventing more than three billion dollars of much-needed covid-19 relief from fraudulently ending up in the pockets of criminals
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finally, we are countering the currently growing existential threat posed by climate change. hurricane ida was just the latest manifestation of the devastating reality. natural disasters rising in intensity and destructive reached. however, the threat is not new, nor is it unique to any region. to help communities recover and romania salient, president biden doubled the size of the building resilient infrastructure and communities program, pouring one billion dollars into wildfire [inaudible] efforts, flood control initiatives, and much more. dhs also authorized do nearly 3.5 billion dollars in hazard mitigation grant program funding to help states, triumphs and territories adapt and prepare for the impact of the climate crisis. fema provides its policies to overcome historic inequities in it's a programs that ensure a fairer and more equitable distribution of the system to
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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. you can execute this critical issue because over incredible workforce and because of our key partners, the members of this committee, our counterparts aboard, the private sector, non governmental organizations, and local communities. we will remain vigilant, resilient, and agile. we will do so and continue countering the threats of today and of the next 20 years. thank you for your leadership, for your support. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much, mister secretary. our nose with her wray [inaudible] idea it might be a little more
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than five minutes, but we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you, mister chairman. good morning to you and to ranking member [inaudible] and members of the committee. i'm honored to be here today to discuss them any threats facing our homeland. a week and a half ago we marked a somber, really sacred anniversary is [inaudible] the 20th anniversary of the september 11th attacks. september 11th reminds us of evil and loss, the nearly 3000 victims taken from us that gay and from their families. it also, though, reminds us of sacrifice and selflessness of a common purpose. it reminds us that the first responders, and everyday heroes we lost today, and all those who suffered illness as a result of their selfless work
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after the attack, including members of our fba fbi family. and still, to take insulator, our response to september 11th, and the lessons learned from those attacks, through drive our approach to combatting all those many threats america faces today. it was 9/11, after all, that turned the fbi into an agency focused on disrupting threats, and to building depend even more effective partnership spot here at home and around the world. and a good thing we make these changes because as i will discuss this morning it there's no shortage of dangers to defend against. just [inaudible] before we even get to terrorism, on [inaudible] we're now investigating over 100 different types of ransomware, each of them with scores of victims. and that's on top of hundreds of other criminal and national security cyber threats that we are working against every day.
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you know violent crime work, we recently arrested over 600 gang members in a single month. that's just one. [inaudible] our nation's innovation, we are opening a new china counter intelligence investigation every 12 hours. and every day, we receive thousands of tips through our national threat operations center, many of which require imminent action against threats [inaudible] . that list goes on and on, and i'm not going to 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 us 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 fact loan actors.
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because they lacked alone, move from radicalization direction, often using easily obtainable weapons and targets, these attackers don't leave a lot of thought for investigation to connect. [inaudible] we're time in which to connect them. we continue to see individuals here at home inspired by jihadist ideologies, inspired by foreign terrorist organizations like isis and al-qaeda, what we would call homegrown violent extremists. but we are also in countering loan domestic violent extremists, radicalized by personalized grievances ranging from racial or ethnic fire bias to anti authority or anti government sentiment, just conspiracy theories. there is no doubt about, it today threat is different than what it was 20 years ago, and it will most certainly continue to change, so to stay in front of it, we've got to adapt too.
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that's why over the last year and a half, the fbi has pushed even more resources to our domestic terrorism investigations. it's the theme of 2020, so about 16, 17 months ago, we've more than doubled our domestic terrorism caseload from about 1000 to around 2700 investigations. and we've surged personnel to match, more than doubled the number of people working with [inaudible] from the year before. but we are also surging against [inaudible] foreign terrorist organizations like isis, al-qaeda, and al-shabaab. they're operators continue to search 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
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us, at the fbi, as i know it does for my colleagues testifying here with me today, it remnants it represents the danger that we focus on every single day, and make no mistake, the danger is real. our adversaries are committed. and they're working to succeed just once, what we are working to combat 1000. so we are working side by side with our partners to identify and stop would be attackers before they act. just within the past couple of years, we've supported potential terrorist attacks in areas like las vegas, tampa, new york, cleveland, kansas city, miami, pittsburgh, and elsewhere. and we are proud of our successes, but we need to say [inaudible] we need to steal the balls of our feet. relentless [inaudible] our adversaries and their next attempt to attack us.
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our workforce is 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 had that last part because over the past year, we've seen a sharp and deeply disturbing uptick in violence against the law enforcement community. in just the first eight months of this year, 50 to law enforcement officers have been [inaudible] killed on the job. to put that into context, that's an officer murdered every five days. and that's more than all of 2020. and of course, that doesn't even count all those who died in the line of duty facing the many other inherent dangers of this job, much less the scores of officers, agents, analysts and other dedicated professionals who lost their lives to covid-19. we will be forever indebted for
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their bravery and their sacrifice. and are determined to honor the ball through the way we do our work while we remain focused on [inaudible] mission, protecting the american people and upholding the constitution. thank you for taking the time to hear from me today and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. mr. director. now i asked director abizaid to summarize your statement for five minutes or whatever you require [inaudible] . >> like you, very much, chairman johnson. ranking member cato antisemitic members of this committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the global counter-terrorism environment and to hire you highlight the tireless work of our pieces and ip professionals across the
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board for working to protect our homeland. as noted in my statement for the record, 20 years after 9/11, the united states faces a changed threat from foreign terrorist organizations. the threat today is less acute to the homeland, but it continues to become more ideologically diffuse and geographically diverse. the united states continues to have success at the foreign terrorist organizations, including those directed at the holiday, though these terrorists have often also approved adaptive oh of over years of pressure. the pressure has spread to [inaudible] a new government [inaudible] isn't expected, requiring constant vigilance on the part of the intelligence community as we monitor for threats. [inaudible] international counter-terrorism landscape, in the 26 august suicide bombings by isis correspond at the international airport in kabul, which tragically killed 13 u.s. service members and scores of
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afghans, illustrates that these groups continue to place a premium on attacks against the united states. i just coin at a record syria maintains a strategic interest in attacks on the eighth even while remains committed to the long term goal of establishing an islamic caliphate. it is fomenting discord and exploiting security gaps in iraq and syria to create conditions favorable to [inaudible] territory again. for its part, al-qaeda has changed significantly since 9/11. the group and its [inaudible] allies have demonstrated their ability to adapt there [inaudible] and butter this adaptation has included shifted from his core leadership in the afghan and pakistan region to avoid this geographically dispersed network of affiliates and veteran leaders across africa, the middle east, and selfish. well years of [inaudible] pressure has degraded the are
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guided network, at the crib and it's officially affiliates remain intent all using individuals with access to the united states to conduct attacks. this was most recently demonstrated by al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula's probable [inaudible] 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 homeland comes from individuals inspired to violence either by foreign terrorists or by motivations more domestic in nature. u.s. based homeland found extremists or hves [inaudible] the personal and ideological grievances. that they're attracted to foreign terrorist messaging, and access to weapons that tire gets. one of the most pressing terrorist threats to the home that also comes from domestic violent extremists, dves in
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particularly ethnically or racially motivated violence eastwards or militia extremist [inaudible] independent of direction from a formal organization. since 2015, the threat from these individuals has increased and since 2018, dves have posed the most lethal threat inside the homeland. we assess that dves will continue to pose a heightened threat in the coming. years we also remain vigilant against iran, it's mo i.s. and [inaudible] agents, and its proxies, principally lebanese hezbollah, but also iraqi militants. it is alive risk in the region. we remain concerned about [inaudible] because the united states for the january 2020 killing of [inaudible] qassem soleimani. and we face an increasing number of indirect fire and unbaked aerial systems attacks against u.s. facilities interact especially over the
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last several months. now looking ahead, we will continue to face a diverse range of threats [inaudible] the background [inaudible] including the effect of the global 19 pandemic, a great power competition, the destructive effect civically mid changing climate and rapidly evolving technologies. more than 17 years after its establishment the national counter-terrorism center is uniquely positioned to lead in this moment along with our partners in the fbi and the dhs as we move into the next phase of the counter-terrorism fight. we will continue to discover, and realize, and one about ongoing at future threats as part of a broader set of foreign policy challenges that the united states will face in the 21st century. we will continue finding innovative ways to [inaudible] and exploiter unique access to terrorism data across a spectrum of sports is to identify threats that might otherwise go unnoticed we marked the 20th century of the
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9/11 attacks recognizing the remarkable successes of the past decades and with great gratitude to the military, line for, cement diplomatic and intelligence professionals who have made them possible. working together we have succeeded in preventing another major 9/11 style attack on the homeland but we must not be complacent. >> [inaudible] the larger intelligence committee must continue to collaborate and maintain the ability to innovate, to stay ahead of the next evolution of the threat thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. >> look forward to your questions. >> thank you for that testimony. i remind [inaudible] will have [inaudible] to question win when witnesses. i recognize myself the question. director wray, you testified before this committee two years ago that domestic terrorism
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threats where the most concerning terrorism threats in terms of [inaudible] more recently, you testified that threat of domestic terrorism was testified. secretary mayorkas, you testified before it earlier this year that domestic violent extremism represents greatest threat of the homeland right now, despite these acknowledgments, the [inaudible] and warning signs were disregarded for the domestic terrorist threat was not prioritized appropriately, and in the lead up to the january 6th attack on the capitol. director wray, and secretary mayorkas, what is your current assessment of the threat posed by domestic terrorism to the homeland? >> [inaudible]
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with our partners across the federal government and local law enforcement consider domestic violent extremism to be the most prominent terrorism related threat to the homeland right now. i think all response and anticipation of what could have materialized on september 18th demonstrates the lessons learned from the january 6th insurrection. we gathered a great deal of intelligence and information from public facing sources, as well as leveraging academic and other third-party institutions. we disseminated that information intelligence to state, local and private tribal and territorial partners. we focused on the national capital region and we were far more prepared should anything materialize on september 18th
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then was previously the case, mister chairman. >> director wray. >> thank you, mister chairman. i guess i'll say a few things. first, starting back in june of 2019, i was a did [inaudible] extremist into our national threat [inaudible] which is our highest thread priority level. and i think that has already shown [inaudible] in the fact we have already effectively doubled the number of domestic terrorism investigations [inaudible] since that time. we had about 180 domestic terrorist threats last year. we've had over 600 now in connection with january 6th alone. i would say that we have also created a [inaudible] transfusion sell to help increase the level of intelligence and information before it goes up. thirdly, from a [inaudible] perspective, as you noted,
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mister chairman, we have seen those kinds of domestic violent extremists responsible for the most lethal activity of recent years, although i would add that in 2020, we thought he significant uptick in lethal action and violence by anti government, and the authority violent extremists to go along with the racially motivated violence extremists. and former perspective are pushing out intelligence as we did before january 6th, we've been pushing out dozens of intelligence products to our federal, state and local partners to highlight the threat. >> thank you very much. director wray, when congress passed the ada act and as you know we have been trying to make sure that the fbi [inaudible] information on domestic terrorism in a manner that not just members of congress but the public at large can
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understand what's going on. we finally got a [inaudible] subject to the ndaa legislation but there are still some gaps in terms of detail missing from 2009 to 2019. can you commit to helping clothes those data gaps in that report so that members of congress and other [inaudible] can have the understanding necessary about [inaudible] domestic terrorism in this country? >> thank you, mister chairman. yes, you can count on us to work with you and your chaff and the committee staff to try to produce more information. [inaudible] responses to those requests. certainly of [inaudible] some of the information
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requested as it gets overly involved for the study, involved information that at least wasn't maintained in earlier years, in a form that would be most useful. so we are trying to work through that with your staff, and certainly i recognize that the earlier report took longer to get to you than it should have. some of that in, all fairness, was in part due to the pandemic and the fact that the people that we really needed to rely on for that work were both [inaudible] by the pandemic, but also working on is significant domestic terrorism caseload, that does i testified a few minutes ago, much from last year. so we're going to work with you and will try to [inaudible] more complete information. >> thank you very much. the chairman recognizes the ranking member of the civil committee, the gentleman from new york. >> thank you, mister chairman. thank you all for being there. director wray, [inaudible] to you again, i'd appreciate your service to our country and being your counter.
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just a very brief question because i've got a lot of questions secretary mayorkas. that's the situation in afghanistan give you a concern about the possibility of terrorist networks and reconstituting there, and in effect, trying to incite violence in the homeland? >> yes, actually there are a number of reasons why we're concerned. advocate my system all just take them off really quickly. one, we are of course concerned that the ability and opportunity for a state agent to be recreated their, which is something that we've seen in the past, and allowing for terrorist organizations to operate more freely in the region. we are concerned that isis k can take advantage of a significant weekend security environment to operate more freely. we're also concerned that the events there can serve as a catalyst for or an inspiration
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for terrorists, whether they be members of afghans or terrorist organizations a homegrown powers to conduct these attacks. most importantly, we are concerned that foreign terrorist organizations will have an opportunity to reconstitute [inaudible] , inspire in a space that's much harder for us to collect intelligence and operate against then was the case previously. >> well thank you very much, i wish we had more time to spend with you on this. but a cup of coffee your breakfast is a notice i can talk more about that. secretary [inaudible] i want to commend you on many of the things you've done a dominant security says you've been there, particularly the our cybersecurity area. the people that are appointed to leadership positions are doing a tremendous job and we have a very difficult task ahead of us. and as you know, and as chairman thompson knows, i provide myself on being one of the most bipartisan members of congress, and one who has hopefully is seen as a
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gentleman. but i've got to try, secretary mayorkas, there's one major problem that i have. and i've just got to, i just go on my bed myself of this. and that is the southern border. i started my career as a federal organized crime prosecutor on the southern border. and i spent my adult life trying to keep this country safe. and what's happening in the southern border is absolutely out of control. and you and the administration have repeatedly referred to this water situation as a, quote, unquote, rebirth, you need to rebuild the body. but something that just wondering about. is rebuilding a body having an unprecedented level of alien [inaudible] at the border [inaudible] last six months, wasn't 170,000 a month over the last six months. is rebuilding the border releasing many of the [inaudible] you know communities without vaccinations? or for covid? is the rebuilding our border not testing people and [inaudible] custody for covid, because you don't have the facilities to keep them there? is rebuilding our border
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allowing more elites today in custody this year than in any time in recent memory, and as a matter of fact, in 2018, six people died in custody. 2019, 11. 2020, this year, the number has quadrupled to 51. is that we are building our immigration system? let me ask, is rebuilding our immigration system allowing cartels to get [inaudible] across our border in record numbers? and there's been more fentanyl seized in this year than all of last year, and last year was a record number. fentanyl sees this year is enough to kill every man, woman and child in the united states six times over, but many of those deaths have rip reach my jaw strapped in oligarchic knee where [inaudible] i die this year died of [inaudible] . that's just my county that's going on across the country. i guess we will another thing too is that the numbers of [inaudible] seized at the board of this year, caught, not got away, at
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the border this year, is obviously, is [inaudible] in numbers, you and i know that. is that rebuilding our immigration system? is it? so, you come to that the inescapable cumulation from [inaudible] september 11th, robert career customers that border control agents who was [inaudible] rodney scott, who said, quote, in my professional assessment, in the u.s. border patrol is rapidly losing the situational awareness required to do and what is entering our almanac. he goes on to say amongst many other things, he says it's important to remember that the border is not a destination but only a transit point, on route to cities and towns in the united states, that these gaps in the bordeaux floated to easily smuggled contraband, criminals, or even potential terrorists interview lighted states. now, this is not from some political hack, an appointed by the trump administration. this is from somebody who had served 20 that years at five under five different
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presidents. and so i, to be it is unbelievable what is going out at the border, and not [inaudible] deflections about saying haitians at the borders closed, and now we know the butter is not closed, because the haitians have been, some haitians have been sent home, some are being set here, and we don't know either distinction is. and that goes for every other type of person coming across the border as well. so mister chairman, before i ask one simple question of secretary mayorkas? , are you asking orchid said to enter this letter to the record, september 11th 2000 [inaudible] from rightly scott. >> i'm so so. >> thank you very much. . >> the check [inaudible] has expired, we would be happy to get the secretary answer some of the questions submitted. >> that's one question he can answer, mister chairman. also, i was going to ask, why the actual number of notices suspected terrorist is at the border to conserve [inaudible]
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just that simple number. we asked for that [inaudible] still haven't got it. >> ranking member katko, you and i have discussed the southern border and davis respectfully disagrees that some of the staples [inaudible] your question. i also say have the greatest confidence not only in the united states portable 12 but in its new leader [inaudible] ortiz, who is a three decade veteran of law enforcement in the united states border patrol. and so, i look forward to discussing more with you some of the statements that procedural question. we are indeed addressing security at the border. we are exercising and enforcing both the laws of enforcement, the laws of accountability, and the humanitarian laws that this country and the congress haven't acted and recognize. thank you.
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>> the chair will now recognize other members for questions they weigh wish to ask the witnesses. i will recognize the members in order of seniority alternating between majority and minority. from our members are reminded to [inaudible] when recognized for questions, and to the needs of selves once they have finished speaking, and to leave their cameras on so they can be visible to the chair. the chair now recognizes for five minutes the gentle lady from texas, miss jackson-lee. >> good morning, thank you mister chair, mr. ranking member, and let me express my appreciation very quickly to all of the men and women represented before us and all of your teams, and the entire team that has provided us with a safe journey post 9/11, as it relates to international threats coming to the united states. we have not had that kind of
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attack. my candles short time is short and i would appreciate your quick response. two director abizaid, can you provide me with the interaction and the potential of a new [inaudible] or an extended friend to pakistan in light of the circumstances with afghanistan and the potential rise of isis. i will be looking to use assets and collaborate as relates to domestic security. my time is short, would you give me a brief answer, please? >> yes, thank you very much for the question. pakistan has been a long time ct partner. it is a complicated partner given some of the dynamics in the region. but we will resolutely look to collaborate with them on city whether emanating from afghanistan, pakistan, or elsewhere in the region, consistent with our shared interests. >> thank you.
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you've been [inaudible] director wray, under advising us about domestic terrorism. i would like to get it writing, again, the protocols to put in place a post january 6th, very devastating insurrection, attack against by not democracy, and i prefer to have that in writing to the committee and directed to myself as well. let me indicate that many of us know that your responsibility for national security is larger, and so as i think of areas, man drawn by, mccullough maroney, and maggie nichols, they deserve the protection of the united states and the attention of the fbi. i know that you provided an apology and as well i also noted in the testimony of the young women [inaudible] balls from texas, all of them contributing to the national ties if you will, throughout their lives. indicated that the had seen no
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prosecution, no extensive investigations. my time is short and i have questions for the secretary. what is your singular comment about moving forward on further investigations of agents who ignored these young women and caused additional harm and violence against them and other athletes? >> so thank you for the question. as i said last week, i consider what happened, or more importantly what it did not happen back in 2015 [inaudible] to be totally unacceptable. and i'm deeply sorry about the [inaudible] it happened there. we have fired the one individual [inaudible] [inaudible] just a second, please. as far as prosecutors go, as you beto, it that's the responsibility of the department [inaudible] the fbi. we have done what we have the power to do. so i would refer [inaudible] justice department on the larger. >> thank you. [inaudible] information to the doj for them
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to go further? >> well, on that issue, the inspector general, as you may know, took over the investigation. so it's really a conversation between the inspector general and the defense department. if we can't be helped fall in that regard and that's appropriate, we'd be having to do that. >> thank you so very much. i'll pursue that. mister secretary, thank you very much for your heart and thus while your commitment to serving the united states. i think the narrative about immigration is so wrong. first of all, the southern border is 1954 miles. it's not out of control. thank you to those who are protecting it, we have many people who have knowledge that. we quickly raise the point that we should refrain from these types of [inaudible] attacks against migrants. we are least the nation of laws and democrats. so let me first of all raise the question of the terrible scenes that are all over the internet now and also the mockery of [inaudible] who are taking [inaudible]
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the border. first of, all how much did race play a part of these actions? are you looking into that as well? and also, have you considered this [inaudible] title 42 not eliminating but an extent j [inaudible] in light of the fact that haitians have been determined to be no national security threats, ahead there are haitians in my district right now, migrants, who come from in ceos on the border, we were all working among them. i'll be visiting them of the weekend. but i must know how we can do better in this particular instance. you've answered all of the questions about asylum opportunities, the opportunities for them to be taken by sponsors or family members, which they have. we can't do better. i know you want to do better. can you give me those answers? thank you. >> congresswoman, thank you very much. the investigation is going to be all encompassing. we are not going to cut a single corner or compromise any element of thoroughness. it will be a sweeping investigation. number one.
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number two, with respect to title 42, and is exercise, [inaudible] authority of the centers for disease control, it is not a matter of immigration policy. it is a matter of public health policy driven by the situation of covid-19 and where the trajectory of the pandemic is based on the data that cdc analyze this and it is a cdc order that determines the applicability of the title 42 [inaudible] . lady's t thank you mister chairman. i'd like to thank the chairman to discuss the worldwide threats beyond the 25th anniversary of 9/11. americans watching this hearing
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today wondering why the focus of our narrative was only on the obvious threats, as we look at the immediate future of our nation and security of our homeland. the threat of jihadists are coming into our country, due to the abhorrent failure in afghanistan and the disintegration of our southern border. our national sovereignty has been lost at the southern border. we have been invaded. my colleagues refer to seeing this on the internet. you don't have to look very far to see imagery that none of us have seen in our lives. i am 60, i have never seen anything like this in america.
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and we have witnesses -- with all due respect, good lord, step away from your talking points and let us share truth as americans. after the biden administration's disgraceful retreat from afghanistan, the pentagon is actively warning congress of the increased likelihood of terrorist attacks on u.s. soil. that's a fact. regardless, this committee's recent mockup of the democrat's three and a half trillion dollar reconciliation monstrosity bill did not include a single dime for counter-terrorism efforts, despite these warnings. and it ends with republican amendments to attempt to correct that. they were voted down by a party line vote, by democrats with the majority control. for their, during this time, the security crisis at our own southern border, has gotten worse and worse. we did not think it could get worse. but it has.
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and we have witnesses who consistently stick to these talking points like baghdad bob, that there is nothing wrong here, we belong in america. everyone in america is wondering will congress embrace the truth and have honest discussions of they are actual threats to our homeland on the homeland security committee? we have had 170,000 documented interactions. based upon known formulas of estimated -- this means you have a quarter of 1 million illegal crossings, attempted illegal crossings in a month. we have never seen numbers like this. and yet we keep getting told, oh, it is all cool. the border is under control. i don't know how you would define failure of securing our southern border, if it is not
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what we are witnessing right now. but to no one surprise in the republican party, there was zero funding in the majorities 3.5 trillion dollar bill for border security. we face significant national security threats, made worse by this administration's policies. there is no shame in admitting that. but we are responsible for dealing with it. and that begins with honest communication, which we see -- we are boarding this right now. with all due respect to my colleagues, in a very disciplined manner, they're sticking to their talking points. director wray, i will ask you yes or no, did 19 terrorists execute the jihadist terrorist attack on america? not the planning -- the execution. >> there were 19 hijackers, yes.
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>> there you go. that is the number i am referring to. now you will not tell us, although members of congress, they had the high security clearance. we get briefings all the time. but we cannot get an answer on how many known or suspected terrorists have been detected crossing our southern border. my sources tell me it is -- a conservative estimate is 200. a percentage of undetected being 20 to 25%, that means 40 to 50 known terrorists are very likely entering our country at the southern border. and yet my colleagues across the aisle want to talk about, you know, americans wearing trump shirts. it is unbelievable. secretary mayorkas, good sir, all of us --
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>> the gentleman's time from louisiana has expired. >> i have a question i will submit in writing to the secretary, mr. chairman. thank you for having the courage to convene this hearing today. >> the chair recognize the gentleman from rhode island. >> thank you mister chairman, i want to thank our witnesses. for all you have been doing to keep the country safe. director wray, yesterday you testified before the senate about a russian focus story, that the fbi did not distribute a key to help victims of ransomware attacks for three weeks. and you response, you emphasize the need to, quote, maximize impacts against an adversary. and quote. so i appreciate that as the lead agency, the fbi or sponsor
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will for going after the bad guys. however, i am deeply concerned that your response to chairman peters does not reflect the description key and what it could do to victims. i would like you to examine this analogy, if you could, director. a business is on fire. there is a strong reason to suspect arson. the police argue that firefighters are in -- that could be used to catch the arsonists. so that argument is down. i don't think anyone feels we should not put out the fire or even, if it does not maximize the impact, of an adversary. so understand these decisions are difficult and complex. and you may not be able to discuss the specifics. however, i would like to give
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you the opportunity to correct the record and affirm that asset responses a critically important factor when responding to a significant risk. >> thank you for the question, especially knowing your long-standing interest in the subject. i am somewhat constrained about what i can say about an ongoing investigation. but what i would say, is that, speaking in general, that encryption keys are something that are just one of many kinds of tactical information provided to the private sector. turning that into decryption tools that can actually be used, they have unintended consequences. there are a lot more complicated. and that takes time. so what i would refer to, when i talked about maximizing impact, is making sure, that to use your analogy of the house, that we would be supplying
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water and not water that may have something like traces of gasoline in it. and would have unintended consequences. so that is one of many considerations. but absolutely, we recognize that asset response has to go hand in hand with direct response. and that is why we have such a close partnership with dhs and these kinds of decisions are made in consultation with a host of inter agency partners. so i would push back and say that asset response has to be higher, i higher priority. so much of these decryption keys have been given to businesses that were impacted. can you comment specifically to say that -- i think there will be a greater emphasis on asset response and not just preserving the crime scene so that you can gather forensics. secretary mayorkas, i want to commend you for your leadership and on cyber hiring initiatives
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with the dhs. my concern about the vacancies in the workforce -- i am hopeful about the management system that starts in december. however, given that these authorities, that exist in 2014 have not been used, i am concerned about how effectively they will be used. so i did appreciate an update on the status of the talent management system. and how dhs headquarters is going to coordinate activity with cisa to coordinate the activity it needs. >> thank you so much, for your support of cisa. i had a meeting yesterday on staffing and the prioritization of staffing for our cybersecurity portfolio specifically. i look forward to speaking with
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director easterly and i know that she has prioritized the staffing of the directorate. and the initiative to which you refer. we are incredibly proud of our cybersecurity hiring initiative, which is frankly the biggest in the department. this is assuredly a department priority. and i think we are very pleased to update you on it regularly, because i know how important it is to you, in light of your tremendous support of cisa. and the criticality of our nation's security. >> thank you. i know my time has expired -- >> thank you very much, the chair recognizes the chairman for mississippi for five minutes, mr. guest. >> thank you mister chair. i want to thank our witnesses
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for the dedication that they helped provide, to further our country, particularly to make sure that they are keeping the homeland safe each day. before i begin, i would like to -- please pull from customs border that outline the southwest -- that we have currently seen. my concerns today are many, my time is limited, so i will focus those on the current situation that we have seen, along our southwest border. and from each of our witnesses, who the statistic should be put forward by customs and border patrol, which shows recent encounters along the southwest border. secretary mayorkas, i know you have recently visited the southwest border. in response to what we have seen, and the number of haitian immigrants that have recently crossed.
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i know congressman sheila jackson lee recently said, in a question a few minutes ago, that she felt that the border is not out of control. i would say i completely disagree with her statement. i think the figures that are before the witnesses today clearly show that the situation along our southwest border is a situation that continues to deteriorate month after month after month. taking out from those figures, the month of october, november, december, and january, just starting from the numbers from when this administration had completely been in control of customs and border control. those numbers are 1.2 5 million encounters along the southwest border. looking at that and comparing that to the population of our state, that number is greater than the population of montana, greater than rhode island,
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greater than the population of delaware and of north and south dakota, greater than the population of alaska. greater than the population of the district of columbia. greater than the population of vermont. greater than the population of wyoming. and soon, when figures become available, i believe it will surpass the population of maine, new hampshire and hawaii. i think that clearly these figures show that what we are doing along our southwest border, with the current administration, and what they have done, that that is not working. and not only that, but i believe that that is clearly the sentiment of the american public. politico had an article published yesterday, they cited recent polling that said 38% of the united states adults approve of president biden's handling of immigration. and so secretary mayorkas, i
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would like to turn that to you and -- it was reported in august that you met with a group of border patrol agents in in a closed-door meeting, he said, our borders are going to lose and this is unsustainable. my question is, one, did you make that statement? and you still stand by that statement? do you believe that what currently is happening on our borders is unsustainable? >> congressman, thank you for your question. i did make the statement. and the fact underlying it is that our border is not our first line of defense. we have a multi layered strategy that includes our partners to the south, not only mexico but the countries of guatemala, honduras and el salvador. so in fact, our border is not our first line of defense. it was a statement that i made and i stand by it.
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it reflects a strategy that we have been employing and executing. >> and could you see those figures there, in front of you, i believe. hopefully those are visible to you. i think that you see the month after month rise, the small dip from july and august. but those figures are extremely troubling, particularly when you look at day-to-day figures, the numbers from fy 21 and fy 2018 and fy2019. it's 1.25, and the fact that the administration had november, october, december. all through the prior administration. the numbers, they continue to grow. i guess my question, mr. mayorkas, is how would you write the administration?
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how would you rate the job that has been done to secure our borders since the president -- would it be a, b, c, d, f? give me a grade i would be happy to let you explain your answer. >> it is interesting, congressman, you describe a small dip in the last month of data. i cannot see the visuals you presented. that dip is actually a decrease, a decrease because of some of the enforcement tools that we have employed in execution of our plan. i have been quite clear that we do have a plan to address migration at the southern border. we are executing it. we take the time and we are starting to see the results. i would be pleased to meet with you and discuss with you the tools that we have employed to actually see the results we have seen this past month.
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and we expect to see in the ongoing months. those tools are not met with unanimous approval but we are using those enforcement tools to help secure our border, which we are doing. >> could you answer the question on giving a great of a, b -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i would like to enter into the chart into the record the chart that was previously published. >> thank you, the representative from california, mr. correa. >> think you. can you hear me okay. >> yes. >> i want to thank the ranking member in the chair this morning. i want to also thank our guests. his hearii was also in new yorko remember 9/11. we met with our first responders. our heroes. i remember back 20 years ago, watching those images, those first responders. they ran into the buildings knowing they were probably going to lose their lives while
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civilians ran away. we will not forget. gentlemen, your witnesses, your testimony, thank you very much. as i hear my colleagues on this committee, it brings out a universal truth that i have learned in congress. which is, we are always managing crises. we managed by crisis. we never seem to move beyond yesterday or today. i agree with my colleagues that sentinel is a major issue. i would propose to all of you that if you seal off the southern border, you seal off the northern border. you see lofty ports of entry. we are still going to have that major issue, which is a medical issue call drug addiction in our country. as long as people want to do fentanyl, they will do it. 40 years ago, i saw my neighbors dying from a heroin
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overdoses. the challenge that we have is not going away. and mr. mayorkas, i would ask you, are you prepared to deal with the social issue of drug addiction in our country? yes or no? >> yes, i am, in collaboration with our partners across the federal enterprise and -- >> and do you believe there is a medical issue called drug addiction in the united states? that's not a homeland security issue entirely. it's a societal issue. we need to stop drug addiction at the border. thank you very much. and mr. wray, thank you for the job you are doing in defending our country. you all have to hit 100 percent. you can't let anything happen in this nation. the universe of threats has multiplied. terrorists, domestic terrorism, i hear experts telling me now
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that it is no longer essential for the bad guys to import the bad guys. rather, the homegrown terrorists that keep being inspired by these radical ideas are the big issue now. so trying to figure out how to protect our nation against domestic terrorists, it's a major challenge. i think the big issue here becomes intelligence. how do you figure out and stop something from happening before it starts? my question would be, do you gentlemen get enough support coordination from our foreign partners? >> -- >> would you talk to -- to do your job? and i would ask the same question to the fbi director. do we have enough intel internationally, to be able to coordinate your intelligence services? you are trying to find a needle
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in the haystack. mr. mayorkas? >> information sharing is one of our highest priorities in the international domain. we have a significant footprint in many countries around the world. we have information sharing agreements that a number of our component agencies and offices lead. immigrations and customs enforcement. customs and border protection. our office of policy, strategy and plans. our international operations, a part of that last office i mentioned. >> mr. mayorkas -- is there anything we can do to make sure that your job is more affective? meaning, is there anything more we can do to address our foreign partners, to make sure that you have a better level of cooperation with folks overseas? >> congressman, thank you for the question. we greatly appreciate and have
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greatly appreciated the support that this committee has provided to us in funding. the department of homeland security's request to execute our mission, it is greatly pre shaded. >> fbi director wray. >> thank you, congressman, certainly we benefit a lot from information sharing with our partners. you mentioned mexico. and our office in mexico city is our biggest and office oldest office. we could always use more. certainly, with the threats we are facing right now, with homegrown jihadists, and domestic extremists, we benefit. there are fewer dots to connect. if that is the case, then it puts a real premium on making sure we are able to find a few dots that are out there. that's why we appreciate this committee support for more agents, more analysts, more
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data analytics and other tools, which we desperately need. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you mister chairman. >> the chairman recognizes the gentleman from florida for five minutes. >> thank you, mister chairman. i appreciate it. and some excerpts -- the biden administration is laser focused on expediting migrants into the u.s.. and downplaying the significant vulnerabilities this creates for terrorists, narcotics smugglers, human traffickers to gain access. -- within dhs, have provided multiple options to reduce the illegal entry and we establish some semblance of border security, to proven programs and consequences. every recommendation has been
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similarly rejected. secretary mayorkas is choosing to ignore the recommendations of korean government leadership, despite his own beliefs that he agrees with them. other political appointees within dhs have provided an accurate or incorrect information to congressional representatives into the american public. furthermore, they have directed personnel to remain in the u.s. consistent with title 42, and establish this process in law. the professional staff within dhs's left wondering who is really in charge and what the objective is. this is a scathing indictment on the secretary and the administration and its handling of the border. i have a couple of questions. secretary mayorkas, how many immigrants have we apprehended at the border? >> congressman, i respectfully
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disagree with mr. scott, of course. and let me forward if i can the data from august which show -- i think we show -- >> that is not the question. how many immigrants have we apprehended this year, not august, this year. >> i believe thus far it has been, congressman, it has been approximately 1.5 or 1.2 million. but the dad i would cite from august actually shows the measures that we are taking, and our use of our title iv authority, which is not an immigration enforcement authority, it is a public health authority which belies some of the statements that you just made. and also our use of title eight authority, which is an immigration enforcement measure. i think the data from august
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suggest that our law enforcement measures, which are not, as i mentioned -- >> with all due respect, i only have five minutes. i am not worried about august. i understand august. but a focus on it is there because the american public does not like what you are doing. so let me keep going. let me ask you -- >> that is not accurate. >> if 1.5 million people, of those that have been apprehended, how many have been returned? how many have been detained? >> i would be pleased to provide you with specific data subsequent to this hearing, congressman. >> your prior statement was inaccurate. but i look forward -- >> that is my opinion, sir. okay? so i am entitled to my opinion. >> i respect that, congressman. and i would be pleased to provide you with specific data you have requested. >> well sir, yesterday you asked the exact same question
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and you gave exact same answers. you have been asked that question, maybe someone else will ask the same question. you don't have that information. >> congressman, let me share something with you quite clearly. i work 18 hours a day. so when i returned from yesterday's hearing, i actually focused on mission. you will get that data. and so will the senator who opposed it yesterday. and to you congressman, today. >> so you don't have any estimation at all about the numbers that i am asking for? i'd all? you don't have any opinion? you don't how -- you don't have any estimation at all of what those numbers are? >> congressman, i want to be precise in my communication of data to the united states congress and to you specifically, having posed the question. >> thank you very much. >> in the provision of by data to you. >> i yield back, thank you. >> the chair recognizes the
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gentlelady from michigan for five minutes, ms. slotkin. >> think you mister chairman and thank you for our witnesses. i think a lot of us are struggling to understand with the withdrawal in afghanistan. and whatever we are in, now that we have had this 20th anniversary of 9/11. how should we look at the threats facing the country? we have course have foreign terrorist organizations. we have homegrown folks. we have our problem with domestic terrorism. and domestic extremism. we have border issues, we have cyber issues. so my constituents are trying to understand, where are we and what are sort of the biggest threats we are facing? director wray, you have always been a straight shooter about numbers. about being clear about data and cases.
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the bread and butter at the fbi. so if you could help me understand the order of magnitude. when it comes to open investigations that you have, on foreign terrorist organizations. people connected to a terrorist group, versus homegrown guys or gals, inspired by someone abroad, versus a domestic terrorist or domestic violent extremists. can you tell me, order of magnitude, where you have the most open cases? >> thank you, congresswoman. on domestic violent extremists, we currently have, as i said in my opening statement, now up to about 2700 open investigations. this is up from about 1300 last year, itself up significantly from when it was when i started. on homegrown violent extremists, which is a reference to, as you know, jihadist inspired or
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foreign terrorist organization inspired but not necessarily directed, terrorism, we have consistently hovered at around about, i think -- sometimes it has been less than 1000, sometimes more than 1000. it has been up and down. as far as the third category, foreign terrorist organizations, i don't have that number at my fingertips. the last time i looked, i think it was probably around 2000, maybe. so the foreign terrorist organization cases and the homeland homegrown cases, i think that gets you, give or take, to around 3000 investigations total. >> gotcha. >> about 2700 domestic. >> okay. so if you could just tell me and give me a sense of -- [inaudible] and in front of --
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i'm sorry. director wray, there are few people that i trust more than you are in afghanistan. you were a deputy assistant secretary on afghanistan. i think what i'm getting from my constituents is this question on, are we safer now than we were on 9/11? are the abilities of these terrorist groups to reconstitute something i should worry about, at the same level of worry that i had on september 12th? so help me understand where we are. are we safer now? are we at the same level of safety? with all the investments we have weighed. we are way? >> thank you for the question. as i mentioned yesterday, years of pressure on afghanistan and pakistan have really relegated both al-qaeda and isis k to more regional threats.
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as i testified today, you look asked how the threat has changed over time since 9/11, and the al-qaeda network, it operates in a different way than it did on that fateful day. and you have a broader array of terrorists operating across a broader swath of territory. not just afghanistan but africa, the middle east, other parts of south asia. and general, this broader, diffuse terrorist network, exemplified by isis, and al-qaeda and expanding isis network, it does appear more regionally focused. that said, that we regional focus is something that we in the intelligence community are monitoring very closely, to understand at what point it presents a threat to the homeland. when is that regional ambition turned back into a trans national ambition, that they
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are actually pursuing executing a plan against? with respect to a constitution in afghanistan, this is exactly what we are focused on as a top priority. which is, how do we understand how the changed circumstances in afghanistan will affect the trajectory of two groups that had sustained significant losses over the last couple of years. in the case of al-qaeda, over the last 20 years, and what does that mean for their plans and intentions going forward? my own concern is very specifically our round isis-k. and the degree to which isis-k, building off of the notoriety it received after august 25th, will it become more focused on the west? more focused on the homeland than it was previously?
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and as we look at the dynamism of what is happening in the region, that is what our analysts are going to be focused on going forward. >> the gentlelady's time from michigan has expired, the chair recognizes the gentlelady from tennessee. >> thank you, chairman thompson. i have a couple of questions. my question is for secretary mayorkas. from what happened in afghanistan, and the taliban assuming control, the assumption that al-qaeda can operate -- these sin yes no questions. do you know how many terrorists have been apprehended at the southern border, sir? >> i do know of known or suspected terrorists how many. i would be pleased to provide that. that is classified content. >> that would be awesome.
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do you think there is an opportunity for more terrorist to come across the southern border, al-qaeda, taliban, whoever, since it is more open, yes or no? >> no. >> okay. with the remain in mexico policy being implemented and forced -- is it being enforced? >> it is being implemented. we are developing the implementation plan as we are being required to. i would like to mention, congressman, that that requires a bilateral agreement. the remain -- >> we just need to know yes or no. the supreme court, sir, said it needed to be implemented. do you think that that would stop people coming across the border illegally, sir, yes or no? >> i do not believe that the continuation of -- >> you don't want to build the wall. are we still paying the
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contractors not to build the wall, sir? >> congresswoman, we are meeting our contractual obligations and -- >> okay, thank you sir. director wray, can you give us an update on [inaudible] ? from the january 6th? >> i'm not sure i understood you. can you try again? >> yes. yes. >> can you hear me now? >> yes, can you give us a -- [inaudible] >> [inaudible] >> when i can tell you is that we have a little over 600 arrests. the status of each of those cases varies. some involve guilty pleas. a number of them are still pending. and this --
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[inaudible] >> [inaudible] ? >> this 600, give or take, are all people who have been charged. obviously we have other ongoing investigations and there will be more charges there. i think you could expect to see in some instances, superseding indictments that will have additional charges. >> can you [inaudible] being held? >> i am not sure whether that is a classified issue. i think it varies from person to person. i would have to see what information is appropriate. if there is information we can upright provide, i am happy to do so. i'm mindful of the fact that with those 600 cases, that is quite a number of federal judges, who have strong opinions, criminal cases. i spoke with prosecutors and
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defense attorneys, to respect the views of the judges, responsible for those cases. >> do you agree that [inaudible] our national security, sir? >> i believe that china -- and by that i mean the peoples republic of government, the communist party. there is no country that represents a more significant counter intelligence threat or a more significant threat to our innovation, our economic security, and our ideals. that is why i said in my opening statement, we are opening a new china counter intelligence investigation about every 12 hours. and i can assure you that is not because our agents are looking around for something to do. it is because there is a need. that is why we have about 2000 plus open investigations of that sort. going back to different parts of the chinese government where people acting on behalf of the chinese government, even as we
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speak. >> i believe that to. i agree with representative correa, the fentanyl and the math is coming across the border. we need to hold these cartels accountable. and i was told this when we went to the border, to the rio grande border, let us do our job. are we letting them do are their job? >> we most certainly are, congresswoman. we are developing new strategies all the time, as to meet the threat of the transnational criminal organizations. >> the gentlelady's time has -- >> [inaudible] thank you sir, i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri for five minutes. >> thank you mister chairman. i appreciate all the witnesses. director wray, we got into this
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last time you were here. i expressed an appreciation for how you conduct your job. let me go further. and say that i am very much concerned about people crossing our borders. but i'm more concerned about the fact that we are a nation that is simply cross. and it is very disturbing and i can speak experiential here. one gentleman who firebombed my office in kansas city missouri, he is in a colorado super max prison. and then there is a congressman gentleman who was just invited and had a plan to kill me his name is kenneth hubert. and then there was a man who
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was shot and killed by law enforcement. he had plans to blow up a hospital using vehicle base explosives. i am very much -- i mentioned this to the chair. to the chair last night. i am very concerned about where our nation is. and some of this is coming up in a hearing today. but director wray, is there something we can do as members of congress, i'm not asking anything political -- but other things we can do to arrest or reduce the domestic terrorism threat? i am all in. and that goes for any of our
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witnesses today. if you can suggest something that this body can do, i am ready to try to do it before lunch. director wray? >> thank you congressman, for the question. and your kind words. as i mentioned earlier, we need more analysts, more agents, more tools for data analytics. because of the volume of threats, as your own experience demonstrates, the significance. i would also say that more and more, across every threat area we contend with, including in the terrorism arena, the issues of and to end encryption, views are controlled encryption, both on messaging and on devices, it is something that is making law enforcement increasingly blind to the threats that are present and our ability to protect.
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that is a real problem. and it needs to be addressed. and i think a lot of americans do not understand that we are moving rapidly in a direction we are no matter how ironclad your search warrant is, no matter how much the judge vigorously enforces the order, and no matter how horrifying the criminal activity is, we are moving in a direction where we will not be able to save the nation and we will be significantly hobbled in our ability. we have lawful access, lawful access to encrypted information. it has got to be addressed somehow or we will all make wake up in a much more dangerous spot so that would be one thing. and then, the last point, everyone, including prominent members of the public and politicians and officials, and -- >> the gentleman's time is
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running out. i apologize. mister chairman. >> i thought i had a little time but i will take it a few boys give it up. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. garbarino, for five minutes. >> thank you mister chairman. thank you to the ranking member for hosting this hearing. r. chairman, director wray, last week, it was said that there is no indication that the russian government, through president putin has taken stops steps to stop the ransomware attacks against u.s. entities. in fact, just yesterday, there was an attack on the new cooperative, and iowa-based farm services provider, it with a ransomware attack. and we think a russian linked criminal rupe is demanding a 5.9 million dollar ransom. this is an attack that president biden has warned mr.
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putin against. this is off limits. so i understand from your testimony that the fbi is working with the state department and the national security council to increase pressure on countries that fail to stop ransomware actors, like russia. what's specific steps does the fbi take to pressure these groups? what work should the administration be doing to hold these foreign adversarial groups accountable? >> thank you congressman, for the question. certainly it's a topic that is the subject of quite a bit of discussion and planning and operational activity. there may be more that we can share it more classified setting. but what i would tell you in the setting is that russia -- the reality is that russia has a long reality of being a safe haven for cybercriminals, where the understanding has been, that they avoid going after russian targets and victims. and they can operate with impunity. the russian government has long
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refused to extradite russians for cyber crimes against american victims. and worse, their ministry of foreign affairs has long been warning, publicly been warning, which other countries to avoid because those countries, they say, will extradite those russians back to the united states. to face justice for cybercrimes. so it is too soon to tell whether any of the matter is underway our have-ing an impact, but in my experience there is a lot of room for them to have meaningful progress. if they want. >> so you are saying -- you talked about [inaudible] is that why we can't talk about it right now? >> i think i can give you a more descriptive answer. if i don't have concerns about what i can say publicly, that's all. >> i understand, i would hope
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to do that, because this is a huge issue that does not seem to be stopping and it is getting worse every month. we hear about it every week, maybe every week, a new ransomware attack from a russian-backed. or if not russian-backed, they're operating freely in russia. these groups. so i would very much appreciate, if we could have that meeting, mr. wray. secretary, i have a question. i don't know if it was brought up already, but it is dealing with cyber, which i think is a huge threat to our national security. i understand that reports have indicated that the secret service purchased a drones for my chinese company called c.j.. just three days earlier, on july 23rd, the department released a statement saying that these products were a threat to national security. in 2017 dhs's self said that
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cji was operating on behalf of the chinese government. the fact that dhs purchase these drones, this is unacceptable. why would they purchased from a known foreign adversary? especially in light of cybersecurity vulnerabilities. how can the american people trust dhs to protect us from cybercrimes and attacks, ransomware attacks, when the federal government is leaving itself open to security risks by buying equipment from companies like cji. >> number one, cybersecurity is one of our top priorities in the department of homeland security. and we have an extraordinarily talented workforce on that critical mission site and i
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will look into why you have raised and i will get back to you on your staff as soon as possible. >> i appreciate that. because -- [laughs] i don't think we should be using this equipment if dhs and the department have already said that this companies equipment cannot be trusted. so i hope we look into this right away before the drones are actually deployed. thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired, the chair recognizes the gentleman from -- , mr. green for five minutes. >> thank you, i thank the witnesses for appearing. i must say that i have great respect for both of the witnesses. i have observed them for sometime now. and found them to be [inaudible] . they seem to genuinely want to do the right thing. . it's almost as important as
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doing the right thing. so today i would like to have a friendly -- question and answer session. i'm curious because [inaudible] allows -- to be [inaudible] to seek asylum. but title 42 is frequently [inaudible] , as i understand. we also know that tts allows a person to say, because of conditions in the country, that they [inaudible] returned to. this is a very unique position. title 40 allows them to be removed and tps, for those who are already here, because of
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conditions in haiti, we should not send them back there. so, if we should not send them back, because of conditions, and [inaudible] we find that we have persons who should be removed under title 42, i'm asking, is there some way to reconcile so that we do not appear to be contradicting ourselves? so that we show that there is some rationale for them, the haitians, remaining here? and if haitians are expelled [inaudible] . any of them, over 95%, have not been to haiti in years. so we are sending people back
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to a country that they have not been to in years. and there are others who [inaudible] happen to have been in the country third time, and we are doing this under title 42. tps allows for a stay. is there some way -- i'm just making an appeal for haitians. is there a way for us to re-examine this? a way to re-examine this? maybe there is something we have missed. and can you give me some hope, please? >> congressman, i appreciate what you have said. the question you have posed. and the spirit of your question. very muci don't think that we cn overstate the heartbreak with respect to the vulnerabilities of the haitian people who we are encountering, specifically in del rio, texas. and they are vulnerabilities.
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there are a number of things i would like to say. number one, we did grant temporary protective status to haitian nationals who were resident in the united states, prior to july 29th of this year. we, in collaboration with the department of state, studied the conditions they are and made that determination. and we have looked at the country conditions and made this determination that in fact we can we turn individuals who have arrived subsequent to july 29th, to haiti. we are all working with countries in south america, brazil, for example, to see whether they would accept some of the haitians traveling from those countries. it is complicated, for reasons i can explain at a later time,
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when we have more time. and the title 42 authority, as i have mentioned earlier, it is not a matter of immigration policy. it is a matter of public health policy. that determines the center of disease control assessment in this case specifically. this is in this case in over last year, it is projecting covid-19 pandemic figures. and most recently, of course, the delta variant. >> thank you, mister secretary. i do appreciate what you said. what do you need for us to reconcile this, so that the haitians would be able to -- again, get a different result. because i am so concerned about having made a decision that, the country is not that we have
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the ability to send some back. but that conditions have changed. [inaudible] not the most recent one but the one before that. and haiti, on a good day, can be a place that can be difficult to negotiate. i have a lot of constituents from haiti and they love their country to. but my question is, it seems to me that there must be something that we can do. and if it requires something from congress, i am willing to be the guy that takes the risk and asks that we do it. >> thank, you congressman. i would welcome the chance to discuss this further with you. i know that the state department prm, an office in the state department, as well as usaid, is very focused on resourcing haiti and providing greater substance to the individuals there. this is a very complicated and
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heartbreaking situation and i really am grateful for it. i'm grateful for you posing the questions to me and i would welcome the opportunity to sit down with un speak with you. >> thank you. will you contact me? >> we will reach out, congressman. >> thank you very much. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul for five minutes. >> when jay was secretary, we had the rise of isis and the caliphate. i commend your department and the fbi and the nctc for stopping 95% of those threats. i worry, that with a fall of afghanistan, and the taliban, and bagram air base being taken
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over, we have no eyes and ears on the ground. we have no ability to see anymore, we have no isr capability. we cannot see the threats from china and iran as well as we could before the fall of bagram. but i want to go back to the border that was discussed. these haitians, 14,000 of them, in addition to the million that have come in this year, this has caused a crisis. it's unsustainable. and border patrol agents have been told that we are going to lose. i agree with that. i have also obtained emails from cbp agents in del rio, texas, warning and asking for more resources. and the foreign minister of panama warned on june 3rd, about this influx that was coming up through its border.
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did you foresee this threat coming? and if so, what if anything, did you do? >> if i may, congressman, i know again we worked closely for a number of years. i did not say that we are going to lose. that is false. number one. number two, we have not seen before such a rapid migration, regular migration of individuals as we have observed an experienced with respect to haitians across the border indelibly, texas. that has been unprecedented in speed. >> did you have a warning? when the secretary is being warned about this, when the panama foreign minister is warning about this on june 3rd -- here we are, in september, a month later. did you see this coming?
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>> we watched the flow, sir, of individuals, seeking to migrate a regularly. through mexico, from the northern triangle countries and further south. and we track it. nevertheless, congressman, as i previously articulated, the speed with which this has materialized it is unprecedented. that is why we put in as many resources as we have. we have deployed as many -- >> if i could -- just one more question. you said this is the worst in 21 years. i agree. the speed has been very fast-paced. the migrant protection protocol, we have this agreement negotiated by the prior administration, i believe it was effective. and unfortunately this president, on day one,
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rescinded does agreements, opening up this border. they know that if they touch base in the united states they can stay now. the traffickers know that. you understand this, this concept of deterrence. but also the fact that this was working. my question is, this has now been taken up to the supreme court of the united states. and they have held, and upheld the decision, that the migrant protection protocols need to be reinstated. i believe, and you can call it whatever you want, sir, that it will greatly help in securing this border, that is out of control right now. what are you doing to comply with the supreme court order? >> congressman, as you know, both of us were federal prosecutors. we have an obligation to abide
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by the orders of the court. the district court ordered us to implement the mvp program and that is what we are doing. we are in negotiations with mexico on that and we rely on mexico to do that. we are moving at deliberate speed. we must abide by the court order. >> i appreciate that. i think it will help tremendously, and the assistance you need in dealing with mexico. i was chair on the mexico ivp for years and i hope that they will be willing to take the agreement back. in this crisis that we have. >> the gentleman's time from texas has expired -- >> i'll back -- >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california for five minutes, mr. swalwell. >> thank you. my question is directed to
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director wray. wray. i have been tracking anonymous reports worldwide, including public reporting that they may have been attacks domestically, and the united states. and so director, what are you doing at the fbi, to determine who is responsible for these attacks. and what message do you have to those conducting the attacks if you find out who they are? >> thank you congressman. certainly there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our own work for. and the intelligence community workforce. we at the fbi are working very aggressively in a very concerted way, together with the intelligence community partners, and we also have a huge role to play on this issue. our role is doing interviews
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with victims. pursuing the investigation from potential criminals but also a national security type perspective. again, it's a victim focused effort at the moment. and we are going to make sure that if we can figure out who is responsible that we leave no stone unturned in leaving those people accountable. because it is totally, totally unacceptable. >> thank you director. moving to ransomware attacks, also something that has affected american businesses. john chambers, former ceo of cisco, said that there are 65,000 ransomware attacks -- the bureau has work to try and curb these attacks. but what additional resources do you need to one, reach out and work with businesses who have been affected? we reach out and provide past
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cyber hygiene tools that they may need? and of course to try and claw back any key stolen from them? i would also welcome secretary mayorkas, if you have any insights on that. >> thank you for the question. certainly, ransomware has mushroomed significantly over the last year and is on pace to do so again this year. in terms of what we need, we have significant budget requests that have come before the congress that are pending as part of a five-year cyber strategy that i unveiled last september, a year ago. part of that is designed to make sure that in every field office we have a true model cyber squad capable of handling a colonial pipeline, aj diaz, whatever happens to be in any field office. we also have the need to be able to do our training.
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and we need more tactical tools. i know there have been various legislative proposals around potential pay systems and pay grade modifications for computer training cyber expert personnel. in a number of agencies. and it's something like that were to go into effect, we would want to apply to the fbi as well. and a lot of what personnel will do, is not just respond to and disrupt threats, but engage, to your points, with the private sector and with victims. that is one thing we can provide. the are 56 field offices, and many. we can put agents on the doorsteps of a victim within hours, sometimes. that's why we need the footprint. >> thank you, director. and director mayorkas, i will follow up with you separately.
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but i do have a question about the reimbursable services program for airports. all politics is local and i have a local airport in live or more, california, that would like to use this pay for so that international flights can commence and we have border agents or cbp customs agents to receive the flights. is that still a program that dhs supports? >> it is thank you. it's a program that's implemented under specific circumstances. we will speak about the jurisdiction. >> thank you. i yield back, chairman >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. >> thank you. secretary mayorkas, good to see you. we have a letter i know has
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been a reference from rodney scott. it claims great concern that he's witnessed a lack of meaningful effort to secure the. ? >>. you >> e? >>.r >>, the outgoing border patrol chief said it's at a level we have never seen before -- and i want to know, how many
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known or suspected terrorists have entered the country this year? >> i respectfully disagree with mr. scott's assertion and the information you have requested >> you said in my professional assessment, we require to know who are what is entering the homeland to detect those who want to evade apprehension, an educated smugglers illegally crossing the border ending increasingly evading apprehension daily think of well resourced criminal organizations. the current situation is unsustainable and must be mitigated. i received the brief. i went to del rio. i was there on saturday.
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15,000 people and what your department said yesterday, and by the way, 40 to 60,000 on the way. is the quote true that a level we have never seen before, suspected terrorists are entering this country at a level we've never seen before? >> i respectfully disagree with mr. scott's assertions. i should say that the assertion has no relationship with reference to del rio and a number of haitians have crossed the border there. >> i talk to these haitians. they came. i talked to two cuban couples,
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four people total, from panama to the southern border, 40 hours. it took them 40 hours to get to our southern border, because what they heard on social media through networks was it was open. they paid thousands of dollars to trafficking organizations to get their. to think well resourced terrorist networks are not doing things, secretary, the american public deserves to know what the threat is to our country. why will we not release members? >> congressman, i've been very clear that i cannot share the information in a non classified context. i don't think that the vulnerable haitians, who are in
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del rio, texas now would say that the border in del rio's open. you have seen the heartbreaking pictures. >> i was there. i sought. >> that reflects that fact. >> there's all sorts of bad things going on. but it's a drain on resources. we had to re-purpose agents all along the southern border to del rio. the federal government abdicated their duty. >> i respectfully disagree. we've never abdicated our duty to protect our country. 250,000 men and women in this department work day and night -- >> but you do a phenomenal job. we want to know how many known or suspected terrorists are in this country. i yield back. >>.
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the chair recognizes the gentlelady from nevada. >> thank you, mister chairman. mister secretary, i'd like to thank you for your work in the tps. this was something i asked about the last time we were here. this is a large part of my district in nevada. it's one of the most diverse districts in the country. we appreciate you recognizing the importance of that, and thank you for that. we have heard a lot of concern about the haitians. i'd like to expand on that. but i'd like to go back to where they came from. we know some of the people who pray on immigrants have taken their money and stolen their possessions.
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can you describe how you are working with the state department and countries of origin to counter this or to deal with these people who are praying on folks who just want a better life? >> congresswoman thank, you so much. these vulnerable individuals are being exploited by smuggling organizations. the we are in collaboration with the department of state and other agencies, countering that false information, the false messaging both from the united states and in the countries of origin themselves.
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this past monday, i spoke to a haitian journalist and the messages i communicated her blasted throughout social media and in spanish to make sure we reached the desired populations. this is an all of government effort. and we are working with other countries to ensure vulnerable populations receive accurate information and do not take the perilous journey north that will not be received. >> now that we can take advantage of social media, even those in the most dire of straits seem to have a cell phone they can read this information on. i appreciate that you are all working across means to get this information down.
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the second question has to do with tourism near vegas, we are seeing tourists come back it's a large part of our business. tourists stay longer and spend or internationally. can we talk about some of the things we are doing to accommodate foreign tourists? we got them after 9/11, but now we've got more time to get ready and people are able to travel. and would you outline some of those things you are doing to help with that issue? >> the president did announce
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in the last few days travel restrictions would be lifted with respect to international travel upon certain means. our office of field operations located at the airport will be ready to receive and process and increasing number of travelers. we are also working with transportation security hit ministration who are guarding travel from the united states. we are planning for what we hope to be a resumption of international travel and. >> that's great. a person's holiday begins the minute they leave home, and
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that includes the experience at the airport. we've heard horror stories about waiting hours on the tarmac or in line to get through customs. we want to be ready this time. we appreciate efforts that can be made for that. >> thank you, mister chairman. i yield back. >> pursuant to today's order, the chair clears -- for five minutes. being spent on capabilities to detect and protect against these threats in communities nationwide. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. >> thank you, mister chairman. secretary mayorkas, i'd like to ask you -- you said you'd be glad to answer in a classified context. why can you answer in public? >> congressman, the information is indeed classified. some of it is also law
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enforcement sensitive on a more general basis. these are determinations that are made across the agency and i should note that i believe it was in late july that we provided a briefing to this committee with respect to the requested data. >> i don't want this to become a debate over numbers about who has really been released into the country. now we have the question of the haitians in the last week or so. it's all of this the plan? >> i'm not sure i understand your question. let me say the following. the plan that we have is a multi part plan. one is to address the root
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causes of irregular migration. two is to ensure that there are safe and orderly and humane pathways so that people do not have to take a dangerous journey and claim asylum that will be recognized. third, to rebuild the asylum system at the same time as enforcing immigration laws, which are not only the laws of humanitarian relief, but the laws of accountability for those who seek to enter illegally and do not have a claim under law. >> maybe what i'm getting out is, now that i look back at some of your testimony, back in march she went through something similar. yay you always use the term
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address. you said we are executing on all fronts. yay yay you said we have a three point plan. you've done that repeatedly and testimony before congress. did you have a plan underway to address that? i guess what i want to understand is, are the results that we are seeing -- does the plan result? is that correct? >> let me give you an important example. >> can you give me a yes or no? is this the results of your plan? >> the plan is underway and is being executed. as one of your colleagues
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mentioned, over the last month we did see it decrease, because we were implementing parts of that plan. that's a measure we have taken that's very significant. havequite frankly, it's unprecedented. what's not unprecedented is recognition of the problem that will take years and years -- >> and one more thing. let me ask you. i have limited time. i don't want to get into a sort of down to the granular level detail. you made a point repeatedly that you have a plan and are executing the plan. sometimes i think we are talking past each other. i want your confirmation that the results are the results of the execution of your plan. is that a fair understanding? >> no, it is not. it's a mischaracterization,
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congressman. >> is your plan failing? >> no, it is not. as i mentioned, every time i've spoken of my plan, and i would welcome the opportunity to complete the answer that i was providing earlier because it involves really important information with respect to that plan. the plan takes time, and we continue to work on it thanks to the dedicated men and women of this department. >> to the results you are seeing suggest to you that your plan is wrong, that your plan is ill-conceived and plunging the nation into a crisis? >> no. >> i yield back, mister chairman. >> the chair recognizes the gentlelady from new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman, for
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holding this hearing. i am so touched by something that has a child i embraced and believed. give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. send the homeless. i lit my lamp. this country's greatness and true genius lies in its diversity, and i believe that i am motivated by that. that's american to me. conversations we have with regards to what happens at the border and refugees trying to get here, what's happening with the haitian community, i am concerned tremendously that we will be sending them back to
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haiti, sending some of them for the first time in 20 or 30 years. they are ravaged by instability. i just need to share that i believe we should treat them humanely to process them in a way that gives them the freedom and opportunity to live in a healthy environment. that may not just be the united states. we need to enlist our friends and allies all around the world. mr. mayorkas, i believe everything you say about your intentions with regard to doing our business humanely and respectfully on the border and anywhere to keep our homeland
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free. whipping haitians is unconscionable and un-american, and i know under no circumstances are these individuals able to interact with other human beings ever again. they need to be released and held accountable. for all three of you, i want to ask a question which may be bizarre. is there a hierarchy of concern with regard to the vulnerability of this country? is cybersecurity interfering with our business and
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guidelines and the things we need? is it domestic terrorism that represents ethnic and racial motivation? is it domestic terrorism that's influenced by foreign terrorists? is there a hierarchy of concern? i want to hear a yes or no from all three of you. that i need you to tell me. do you have all of the resources that you need to make us safe and as safe as we can humanly be with the work that is under your jurisdiction. >> congresswoman, maybe i'll answer first. we do have priorities, if you
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will. i think you've accurately identified many of the priorities that we have in terms of protecting the homeland. i'm sure those priorities are echoed by my colleagues in the fbi. i appreciate the pain with which you made your initial remarks. >> director wray? >> thank you. this is the beginning of the question regarding the technical hiccup we had. we did that back in 19.
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the fact that we still have 2700 domestic terrorism investigations that accumulated over the last year and a half should speak volumes. as far as whether we have -- there is a much-needed address for more resources. at the same time that we are having to increase the surge for domestic terrorism, homegrown violent extremist threats have not subsided, and in the wake of events in afghanistan, we need to be even more vigilant about foreign terrorist organizations. lastly, we can't take our eye off of the threat from iran as well. we have a full plate.
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>> thank you. i want to ask you one question, director. >> over time has expired >> it's a ten second question. >> the young lady has ten seconds. >> thank you. can you tell me what the motivation was for isis-k to perpetrate that attack on those who were leaving? >> thank you for the question.
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it's in part because of how high-profile it would be, but they want to embarrass the taliban. isis-k is focused on the taliban. given the taliban's assertion of its own ability to provide security, they wanted to demonstrate that that was not the case. that's our assessment as of now. >> the chair recognizes the lady from iowa for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman mister secretary, you testified before this committee back in march. several members asked about covid-19 testing protocols, and you said we support the testing of individuals, and we've implemented practices to execute on that policy. gdp does not conduct covid-19 testing on migrants and that's
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what i found on my trip to the border. instead, you test symptomatic individuals reporting to officials. you do not have the necessary resources to conduct such testing i don't have to tell you we are in a pandemic. i believe testing of people coming across the border is one of the many keys to controlling the spread of covid-19. that's why back in march and introduced the reactor act to require covid-19 testing for all people. the reports went on to say dhs leadership must commit to strengthening preventive measures. without stronger measures, dhs is putting the workforce and migrants at greater risk for contacting the virus.
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additionally, with the surge of haitian migrants from south america, they may bring with them lambda variant, which is in south america. these are strong words. the report makes observations regarding lack of social distancing, lack of mask wearing, and overcrowding at the southern border, which would facilitate the spread of covid-19. this is a huge problem, one of the committee has been trying to get after during this entire year. every time we ask, i feel like we get a different response. i've got a number of questions. if we are requiring air travelers to have a negative covid-19 test, why are we requiring the same of land travelers? if we can test afghans for covid and vaccinate them for covid and measles, mumps,
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rubella, polio, and other vaccinations required by the cdc, why is there a double standard on the southwest border? do you agree with the report? do you agree it's your responsibility to ensure that there are strong protocols at the border to mitigate the spread of covid-19? do you commit to implementing the recommendations and identify ways to mitigate the spread of covid-19? do you commit to report back to this committee within a month? >> congresswoman, may i seek your indulgence to obtain a transcript of the questions you have asked and answered them rapidly? i did not catch them all. i will say that i do appreciate your focus with respect to
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migration, whether it's by air or by land. we've made changes to some of our protocols, and i will provide you evidence as rapidly as possible. >> >> i appreciate your respect for the questions i asked, but i've been asking these questions. we've seen no protocol changes. we see a totally different response to afghan refugees coming in the country than those along the southern border. i thank you so much for your testimony. i expect we will see changes in protocol and policy and i will introduce the legislation i can to reinforce such changes >> the chair recognizes that
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gentlelady from new york, miss wright, for five minutes. >> in the chair recognizes the gentlelady, miss simmons, for five minutes. >> thank you so much, mister chairman. thank you to all three of our witnesses for being here today. thank you for the job you do every day to keep us safe. i know you are not perfect. you have awesome responsibility. as members of congress, so do we i would say to you that we can all work a little harder to be better partners and realize that we are all in the same boat, like it or not. and that vote, with this committee, is to lead in
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keeping our nation safe we are a nation of law at the border we are a nation of law on january six. those were criminals and not tourists. and we are a nation of laws regarding foreign entities. and if we would remember that, i think we all could do better. and never let our nation be attacked by anyone. such a cruel and vicious way. i want to acknowledge the victims of 9/11 on that day. and with that, secretary mayorkas, many of my colleagues have noted today that dhs was created in response to 9/11. i remember well. over the last several months, we have held, as we are being
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reminded, hearing on the mission and structure of the department and its ability to meet the threat of today and tomorrow. one concern raised on many occasions that the departments mission has grown incredibly. indeed, in just 2021, the department has led the federal government response to the pandemic every place, every place. natural disasters all over our nation, stunning cybersecurity attacks, immigration enforcement and resettlement of afghan allies. this is because, as one witness noted, dhs is an unmatched connector between federal resources and state and local authorities. secretary, understanding that we are attempting to prevent attacks against the homeland, and it is such an important function of the department, a
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submission of the department of homeland security and its responsibilities of its components -- have these grown too fast for one department? mister secretary. >> thank you so much for your question. i don't think so. we are a department of partnerships. i think we are working now very cohesively, across the department, across our different agencies and offices. and i think that we are working more collaboratively, mostly, with our state, local, and territorial partners as never before. we have, for example, through the office of -- i'm sorry, through the office of intelligence analysis, the dissemination of critical products in partnership with the federal bureau of investigation. through to our local first responder community, so that they have well equipped and empowered to address the threats that they face in their respective communities.
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i know that you know this very well, given your lifelong dedication to the law enforcement and public safety mission. i think we are working very cohesively. we have a lot more to accomplish in that regard and we are very focused on it. >> mister secretary, information sharing certainly was one of the major focuses on, i think, recognized vulnerabilities, 20 years ago. how would you say, as the dhs secretary, we are doing on the local, state and federal level with information sharing? >> i think if you would ask the local, state, tribal and territorial partners that we have, they would echo my assertion that we are doing better than ever before. we have not only issued bulletins and reviewed it several times, we have staked out multiple products in
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different forms. we are focused on we'll time, actionable information in the hands of our partners to strengthen homeland security. i think we are doing that better than ever before. and i think we will do this today as well. >> thank you for what you do to keep us safe, every day. we are committed to joining you as effective partners in that effort. mister chairman, i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. van drew. >> secretary mayorkas, in your testimony you mention that dhs faces malicious cyber activity, organized crime, catastrophic impacts of climate change, among other threats. i understand that. they are all serious threats. i notice that you did not mention, however, the crisis
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that our southern border as a challenge facing the department. let me say to you, i understand your intentions, but you say that we are doing better today than we were. it seems to me that we are doing worse today than we did yesterday. and i expect this to do worst more than we are today. i think there are a lot of people using straight common sense, that we'd reports, that look at information, that have spoken to law enforcement. we know that in 2021, so far, 1.2 million migrants have been apprehended at the border. that is 386% increase from last year. let's call it what it is. it is a disaster. also, six straight months where we had 170,000 encounters at the border. that is unbelievable. we have seen all the pictures,
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we have 9000 migrants that may have entered the united states without being tested for covid-19. they are being issued a notice to appear at immigration hearings. and what are we seeing indelibly oh? people obviously lacking hygienic necessities, people who are sick, people who are involved with drugs. this is all there. i sit back, and again, as i said to you last time, it's like i am in bizarre row world. i see it in front of you. and i don't mean to be disrespectful, but it seems like you don't want to see it. the reality is, we talk about underlying problems. so what we are saying is, other countries have severe problems with poverty, education, nutrition, a host of areas.
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we understand that. but it is arrogant and naive of us that we will fix all of that and make that all better, which throughout history we have not been able to do. that is not going to stop the big push of illegal immigration. that is nonsensical. the way to do this is to use the rule of law, the way you do it is that you have order. when you have order, you have a border fence or a border wall, you have what you need. you have the proper amount of law enforcement to ensure things do not get out of control. and the amount of drugs that we are seeing come across this country -- don't tell me that we are not getting more drugs. because there is so much fentanyl now, that the numbers are going up. for every man and woman and child. it is three times over, five times over. i think the latest number is seven times over but we really do not know. we are using kids as drug
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mules. so we have sick people, drug infested situations, we have a lack of hygiene, we have no rule of law at the border. we are doing the best we can and certainly our men and women who work down there are. and then you say to me, it is better than you then it was when you hear last time? now it is not. it is scarier. it is worse. we cannot absorb all these people, america can absorb all these people. we don't even know if they're healthy. we don't know what problems they have. we don't know if they have taken enough care with the individuals coming over. we just can't -- undocumented migration, that is not appropriate. it is not how it works. if you want to change the immigration laws, i agree with that, but this is not the answer. respectfully, again, i am trying to be nice, but i am
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angry and i'm tired. americans are tired and angry. we want to hear real answers. please don't tell me, we will make the whole world better in six months by addressing climate change and all the social problems that they have, the military problems, it has always been that people came to america from almost everywhere else, every else is much worse, and america's better. but we have to have control of the situation. it is damaging. it is disturbing. it is hurting our people and country. it should be our number one priority. so tell me, do you really believe that it is better now? do you personally take any responsibility for this crisis? >> congressman, you said quite a number of things. i really would like to speak with you fulsomely about it about what you said. you mentioned something that i
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think deserves particular attention. and that is, you referenced our broken immigration system and the need to fix it. that has been an enduring problem. the one thing that there is unanimity about is the fact that we have a broken immigration system. it is most unfortunate that we have not fixed it over many, many years. i hope that we do. because -- >> secretary, forgive me for interrupting, i agree with you. but right now, we have an immediate crisis. an immediate situation. so it's like saying, if a war breaks out, we really have to work on human nature and ensure that we work together as human beings. so -- >> the gentleman's time has -- [inaudible] the chair recognize the gentlelady from california.
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>> thank you mister chairman. thank you to our panelists and mister secretary for being with us today. i want to follow up with the title 42 question. every day, hundreds of thousands of people cross the border, whether student's, business people, whether folks seeing doctors. hundreds of thousands are crossing the border. mister secretary, what is the difference between those people crossing the border and asylum seekers crossing the border, which we are now trying to, under 40 title title 42, to deport? >> i am not sure what differences you are particularly focused upon. but as you know, exercising in between the ports of entry, they cdc public health authority under title 42 --
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>> so is there any difference between people crossing, the hundreds of people crossing the border every day, students, businesspeople and asylum seekers, other than that they are just asylum seekers? >> i'm sorry, congresswoman. but i don't quite understand your question. yes, there are many differences between migration, movement of people through a port of entry, and the and countering of an individual in between the ports of entry. there are numerous differences between those phenomenon in a number of respects. legally, from a public health perspective, a whole host -- operationally. i'm just not quite sure what you are focused on, i apologize. >> i'm focused on the fact that this is a discriminatory policy. it is implemented because people are silenced years.
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because the public health crisis does not discriminate, whether you are an asylum seeker, or not an asylum seeker. so i just think it's a discriminatory practice. and i just want to encourage the administration to end the use of title 42 in his day in age, where we have vaccines and we have requirements we can put in place, for people who want to get vaccinated. mister secretary, moving on, how does cbp choose which stations haitians will be expelled? and which individuals will be processed into the united states? >> congresswoman, our policy is to employ title 42, the cdc public health authority, to the fullest extent possible, in light of the cdc's public health assessment and the public health imperative. it is a matter for example of
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operational capacity, the willingness of partner countries, and they are capacities to receive individuals. there are a host of factors. in addition, there are very limited abilities for title 42 authority. for example, as i think you recognize, we do not enforce it with respect to unaccompanied children. that was a policy implemented early on. there is a convention against torture exception. there are individuals who have extreme vulnerabilities that we recognize. and i would be pleased to provide more information in that regard. >> thank you. i would like to talk more about sea ports. our nation wide supports are seeing record high cargo volumes and increase in car train or ships, resulting in congestion. ships with container eyes to
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cargo are sold at marine terminals and vessels, waiting to anchor at terminals. in fact, the port of long beach and point of law is angeles had 65 ships at anchor this week waiting to unload. before the pandemic, it weighs uncommon for more than one ship to wait on to unload. unfortunately, this is now expected to be an ongoing challenge. can you describe the challenges that port congestion may pose to maritime security? >> if i may, congresswoman, the latest challenge from port congestion is the obstacles for the movement of goods through those ports. and the economic engine. this is a consequence of, a result, as we know all too well, as the covid-19 pandemic. the office of field operations
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and the coast guard and all our services are very focused on maritime security, on the one hand, and of course the lawful movement of imported goods to the united states. that's what we are focused on. >> i have to say, mister secretary, i am disappointed. the question was very specific around the challenges posed to maritime port security. i hope you will follow up. again, it's specific. i want to know what the security issues are from this congestion. what you said to me is we stating the problem. with that, i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back. mr. clyde, from georgia, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, to follow up on a passed line of question, these are for secretary mayorkas.
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the last time you testified before the committee -- >> [inaudible] >> the committee had -- released migrants who had tested positive for covid-19. thousands of migrants have been released from dhs custody. in addition, the inspector general released a report saying that your department has failed to take preventative measures at the border, which puts the dhs workforce and communities at unnecessary risk of being exposed to covid-19. to me, it is clear, that either your department does not have a strategy or it is not effectively executing a strategy that will effectively mitigate the risks of covid-19 at the border. why is that? >> congressman, we do have a strategy and we have heard the recommendations of the
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inspector general office. we are implementing them. we have made changes. and i can walk through the processes that the employees, currently with respect to the population of migrants who we are encountering at the border -- >> okay, well let me ask you this. you say you have a strategy and you are implementing it. when will final implementation of the strategy be complete? because -- go ahead. >> we are working as quickly as possible to implement the recommendations of the office of the inspector general. >> so what is the timeframe? when will it be complete? >> i will speak with our chief medical officer and i will report back to you. >> so you don't know? >> i will speak with our chief medical officer, congressman -- >> okay, okay. so having a plan in executing a plan, effectively executing a plan, is there a difference? it's pretty clear to me that
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the administration is not truly serious in addressing this matter. i would like to remind the secretary that according to your website, 11,125 cbp employees have tested positive for covid-19. and 43 cbp agents have died from the virus so far. so i would urge my democratic colleagues to join me in cosponsoring my bill, hr 2776, the covid protection act, which would require the developments of mission a comprehensive plan of action to testing quarantine every migrants at the southern border and execute on that plan. i would also, mister chairman, like to submit for the record, an article dated august 4th that highlights the number of covid positive cases and it is titled texas border city says more than 7000 positive
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migrants released in the last week alone. i request unanimous consent for this to be added to the record. >> may i say something, congressman? you touch upon a very important subject. you touch upon a that is the health and well-being of our workforce. we launched operation vaccinate our workforce to make sure that vaccinations are accessible to our frontline personnel. and we have -- >> okay -- >> it is a tremendous part of our workforce that has been vaccinated and -- >> thank, you thank you, i appreciate that information. let me ask you this. how long will it take you to fully implement the migrant protection protocol, the mpp, that program? >> i cannot give you an answer because we are reliant on mexico to implement that bilateral agreement. we are working with mexico to
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implement that program. >> so, when i am gathering, then, is that you have no idea when that program will be fully implemented. >> let me be unequivocally -- >> no, just tell me yes or no. you do or not? >> we are seeking to implement that program and we are working to implement in -- >> thank you, i am reclaiming my time. i have a question for director wray and director abizaid. do we know the identity of the kabul airport bomber? and do we have any information that this person was previously incarcerated at bagram air base? if i could get each of one of you, director wray and director abizaid, if i could get your comments on that. >> i know we have identified certain individuals believed to be associated with the bombing. i am not sure, as i sit here right now, whether that information is sufficiently
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developed to the point where we can share it in a public hearing. so if you want more information i will see if we can supply it to you as a follow-up, it may require a classified setting. the second part is, it may be an ongoing investigation. so we will look into that and let me circle back to you. >> okay, and so director abizaid? >> i would associate myself with director wray's comments. the ability to share in this form is something that i don't have information on. but i absolutely will follow up and work with our colleagues in the fbi to provide that information, whether in a classified setting or a declassified one after this hearing. >> thank you, i appreciate your commitment. >> the gentleman's time is expired, the chair recognizes the gentlelady from florida,
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ms. cammack, for five minutes. >> thank you mister chairman and thank you for our witnesses for appearing. my colleagues have discussed a number of national security concerns. i share those same concerns. there is no doubt that our homeland faces more threats than at any time since 9/11. the list of threats as long and reaching far. i would like to zero in on the crisis today, however, on our southwest border. this is our third time meeting to discuss this issue. i would like you, secretary, to answer my questions with a simple yes or no so as to not waste time. please also refrain from offering us promises regarding this supplying of information untimely matter. because i received the answers to the march hearing on august
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24th, 100 or more days after my questions. you can imagine how frustrating that is for a person who has oversight of the executive branch. so i would like to jump in. can you provide me with a name of individuals who made the decision to suspend flights to haiti the 1st of september? >> congresswoman, that was a collective decision. >> [inaudible] >> they were not canceled but, if i may say, postpone perez temporarily. >> did you make the recommendation? >> i'm sorry, those were few in number. >> did you yourself make the recommendation to suspend the flights? >> it is my responsibility, secretary of homeland security, i own that. >> so yes, thank you. yes or no, you have committed to briefing my colleagues in a classified setting on a number
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of known terrorists crossed into the united states or have attempted to. i think we can agree that a known terrorist crossing into the u.s. is a known threat. so can you commit to that briefing before the end of this month? >> congressman, we will provide another briefing to the committee. i understand that we will provided that briefing previously in july. >> by the end of this month? >> i will not be able to do that myself, but my team, congresswoman -- may i say something? >> actually, i have a limited amount of time so i need to get through this. there is a litany of issues. how many dhs personnel, including cbp and uscp have been pulled from their duties at the border to manage the processing of afghans in the u.s.? >> i believe that there were 20
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individuals from the united states border patrol who have been directed to the transit countries. i can get you a complete breakdown of the population of dhs personnel -- >> okay. >> involved in the screening and vetting of afghan nationals. >> i appreciate that. with regard to agencies agents pulled off the line to essentially babysit, can you give me an idea of how many agents are engaged in that activity? >> i disagree with that characterization. >> i did not ask if you disagreed. i asked how many agents have been pulled off of their law enforcement duties. >> i disagree with the question. you are assuming -- we have a multiple -- >> secretary, i must ask to reclaim my time. i can answer the question for you. 75% of border patrol agents
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have been pulled off the line to babysit and process. that is a disgrace. off thei also want to mention s we are sitting here, several agents are watching this hearing, hearing your commentary. you are exceptionally quick to judge one of your own agents and the amount of control. yet you give them zero time -- there are agents who have passed away and committed suicide because of those who have contracted covid in their day-to-day operation. that is shameful. i want to go to my representative lugar, his comments. he asked if the border was secure. you say that the border is no less secure than the previous administration. mr. guest previously provided dead earlier in the hearing, that your agency showed that it is at historic levels. we have 300 a --
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75% of agents are processing in babysitting. a historic level of narcotics. coming across the border. and you still stand by your statement, yes or no, that the border is secure? >> yes. your initial assertion, congresswoman, what is profoundly offensive and wrong. >> well, this is now the second time that you have basically called me disrespectful. in our first meeting you did. >> the lady's time has expired. >> thank you, mister chairman. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. meijer, he's recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for being here today. ms. cammack touched on something that i want to ask roughly about. follow-up information. representative correa sent a letter to you on september 16th. the chair of the homeland
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security subcommittee, asking for specific information on how many of the afghan evacuees, how many of them are special immigrant visa holders? how many are dependence? how many are citizens? and assessed personnel who assisted in the evacuation? local embassy staff of kabul and our dependence and how many other afghans. we have seen other figures floating around, 385%, -- obviously, it's a fluid picture. are you prepared to answer questions we pose in that letter? are you prepared to answer that today? >> yes, i am. if i may, i will provide the
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answer in percentage form, congressman. l pwe have admitted into the united states over 60,000 afghan nationals. approximately 7% of that population are united states edison's. 6% permanent residence. approximately 3% are special immigrant visa holders. the balance is a combination, if i may, congressman, a combination of siv applicants whose applications have not been finalized for approval. locally employed staff. individuals who would qualify under, for example, refugee status, and then other vulnerable afghans as you've identified. journalists, human rights activists, etc.
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>> i appreciate the specificity. it is my understanding that those numbers also accompany the dependence of the principal holder. >> yes, congressman. and we do not have a breakdown of the balance of that population, if you will. we do not have the balance of that breakdown of that data. >> if you could get that to us by october 1st, as requested a letter, that would be greatly appreciated. touching on the border, looking at the numbers we have, you -- the administrations line that this is seasonal increases. i mean, we are at structurally different numbers, coming across, correct? >> yes. >> okay. is that something that you are satisfied by? it is a tolerable situation? i appreciate the emotion and
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enthusiasm when you talk about the investigation you will be doing into the photos that we saw. will there be an appropriate attempt to try to close the border to try to reduce that flow? or get it down from, again, i mean, these are incredibly high numbers -- i am looking at the southwest land borders, the numbers by months. there was that ramp up in february and it has stayed above that 175 level consistently. are we doing anything to try to get that number back down? >> we most certainly are. congressman, we are doing a number of different things to address irregular migration and the number of individuals who are traveling north to our southern border ill advisedly, perilously and unsuccessfully. we are doing a number of things.
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i have spoken about this, with respect to the root causes. the safe, orderly and humane pathways. we building processes here in the united states. >> i would [inaudible] reduce those numbers, sir? >> we have recently seen a reduction. we hope that trend continues. we are employing tools. and we are also fundamentally hopeful that the broken immigration system will be fixed in legislation. >> i think that reduction was from july, 213, 000, august, 208,000. so pitiful to what it was in prior years. but the percentage still something. thank you mister chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. gentleman from new jersey is recognized, mr. gottheimer.
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>> thank you ranking member katko and chairman thompson. thank you to our witnesses, thank you to our service. i look forward to our work together. as we sit here together, 20 years after 9/11, it's clear we face a much different threat landscape. we have seen the rise of a diffuse domestic terrorism, including white supremacist terrorism. -- across 56 field offices, in recognition of these threats, the department of homeland security, fbi, and agencies were each charged with fulfilling specific goals under the first ever national security strategy for countering domestic terrorism. it is critical that congress counters the threat. mister secretary, in july, this committee approved my bill, the darren drake at, in memory of a
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resident, a victim of a terrorist truck attack. the bipartisan bill would directly dhs secretary to disseminate practices on reporting suspicious behavior to law enforcement, involving rental vehicles, to prevent motivational attacks. how will these protect communities, in your opinion, from tax? and one of the reforms needed to prevent terrorist attacks that we have needed in recent years? >> a bill is extremely important. because it speaks to a fundamental need, not only to disseminate information, but for state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement to be involved with the private sector and the sharing of best practices. we are working to implement that very thoroughly. i think it's a very important measure. and we have designed a center
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for prevention program and partnership to precisely accomplish that. to equip and empower all of society to work within the community, to address this increased threat. >> thank you so much. i appreciate that. director abizaid, along with carson and chris mid, i could use the enhanced aviation act of 2021, requiring barriers for aircraft to prevent attacks similar to 9/11. this would require an expensive wire mesh gates between the cockpit door and passenger alleys. this would apply to all aircraft. looking back after 9/11, how can we prevent attacks like this and in your view what more is needed? >> thank you for the question. in general, the threats to
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aviation security are from foreign terrorist organizations. in particular, they remain 20 years later. the enhancement that have happened in the intervening time have certainly predicted us. and the establishment of organizations like dhs and others have all contributed to that. that said, every additional step that would further improve security is something that we think will deter terrorist capabilities with regard to aviation security or other tactics. so we appreciate the effort that you have gone through to do that. >> director, do you think we need that secondary barrier on all planes, not just new commercial ones for existing flights? >> i am not intimately familiar with the legislation. or specifically the assessment
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that would lead us to say that that is absolutely necessary. as a general matter, it is reasonable. i'm happy to look at it and run against what we know of terrorist tactics and capabilities. and come back to anna. >> it is the only recommendation of the 9/11 report that is yet to be implemented. right now we use carts on planes. the flight attendant just stand there in the cockpit doors open. there have been plenty of research studies on this, about the threat to our cockpits and airplanes about this. so i would love to follow up with you on this because i think it is critically important based on the research and the evidence of the 9/11 come more commission report. i don't know why we would leave this vulnerability open. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas for five minutes.
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the gentleman needs to unmute himself. ... ... i think we are having some technical difficulties. we are still not able to hear you. ... standby, we are trying to correct. >> can you hear me now, mister
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chairman? >> yes. go ahead. >> mister chairman? >> you are on, go ahead. >> secretary mayorkas, throughout this hearing, as has been cited, customs and border control has encountered many migrants this past august on the southern border. it is a 317% increase compared to the prior year. cbp he's currently encountering 5000 more individuals per day than in august 2020. we have seen six straight months with over 170,000 encounters. the inspector general also just released a report highlighting the fact that your agency has failed to ensure sufficient covid preventative measures at the border. after nearly three decades of
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service, a former border chief, rodney scott, said that dhs has seen terrorist cross our border, quote, at a level not's ever seen before. this is absolutely not acceptable. this must be addressed immediately. what specifically are you doing at the ages to ensure that our borders are secure and that americans are safe amidst all of this chaos? americans>> if i may, congressmn spell out a number of measures that we are taking. let me focus, if i may, on august, the number of encounters that you identify. it does not reflect the number of individuals encounters. because we do have one level of recidivism. the unique encounters encountered in august was
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156,641. so we have taken a number of measures, a number of enforcement measures. for example, we have increased the number of lateral flights from one area of the border to another. then we have the removal flight from the second processing area, into the interior of mexico, to make recidivism more difficult, and to ease the processing line and facilitate it. that is one example of a measure we have taken. we have in fact taken a policy on to criminally prosecute recidivist individuals who have been move previously. we are working with the northern triangle countries to receive more individuals more rapidly so that we can affect removals. those are some examples of the measures we are taking from an enforcement perspective.
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we also have an obligation, albeit in a covid-19 environment, because we are employing the 42 cdc health authority, we have an obligation to enforce the laws -- that is also not only the laws of accountability but the laws of humanitarian relief. those are equally on the books. many of the individuals who we encounter claim asylum and have a right to have those asylum claims heard as our laws provide >> thank you, mister secretary. can you provide -- what percentage of migrants have been processed through title 42 as opposed to title eight? >> let's take a look, if i may, congressman, at the august numbers. all of the numbers that i've indicated, the 93,414 have been
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process under title 42. 115,473 have been titled process for expulsion under title 48. >> thank you, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the secretary has reiterated on this hearing's willingness to provide updates to members in a close setting. we will work and coordinate that with the secretary. if it all possible, mister director, we may try to get you there as well to give us some of the information you were not able to provide at this hearing, so that the members can ask from you what the landscape looks like in a classified and unclassified sense.
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so we will try to work everyone as well as our third witness, who perhaps can help us on the international front to tie some of the areas together to. but we for sure we'll get fbi and dhs. and obviously if we need to include others we will. i thank the witnesses for their testimony and the members for their questions. members of the committee may have additional questions for the witnesses. we ask you to respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. without objection, i will also include in the record, a letter from the jewish federation on the subject of today's hearing. the chair reminds that the committee record will remain open for ten business days.
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without objection, the committee stands adjourned.
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the senate commerce unsigned subcommittee heard testimony from a facebook whistle blower and how best to protect children online with privacy committee regulations. this hearing is about three hours. >> [inaudible] [iib


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