tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 8, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EST
>> let me first thank secretary jeh johnson are coming before the committee -- for coming before the committee. i know you are done this a few times. -- have done this a few times. i can't imagine this is a real thank filled position. it is a serious responsibility. i know you try to do everything you can to keep this nation safe and secure. inappreciate your efforts working in a difficult department. it is never easy to consolidate 20 different agencies. i think you have brought the right approach to the job. part, i what to
thank all the members of the committee for coming here. when i became chairman and sat down with the former chairman, now my wingmen, the first thing we did -- i thought it was helpful to have a mission statement. we developed a mission statement the committee, to enhance the economic and national security of america. you cannot separate those two, they go hand-in-hand. on that, on the homeland security side we established five priorities. they are all top priorities border security, we felt 14 hearings on 14. -- on border security we've taken trips down to the border with central america. the border is not secure. cyber security. it is the greatest transfer of wealth in human history, these cyberattacks.
third priority, protecting infrastructure, including our electrical grid. i'm appreciative that we had a book talking about the vulnerabilities involved. that is something's committee has to do more work on in the fourth priority, what can we do as a committee to counter islamic terrorists and other violent extremists. the fifth priority, and the purpose of this hearing, commit myself to do everything we can to assist the secretary as well as james comey and -- in succeeding in their missions in keeping this nation safe. what this hearing is all about is a budget hearing, providing
the funds and why we consider a top priority of the government the defense of this nation and the homeland. i want to focus on those threats , what we can do to keep this nation safe, secure, so that america can be prosperous because economic security and national security go hand-in-hand. i ask that my written statement the submitted to the record. secretary johnson, thank you for your service. you andecretary, thank i want to comment on the chairman's comments. we have had a chance to spend time with the leadership and we are grateful for their service that you20 people collectively -- collectively lead at the department of homeland security. thank you for discussing the fiscal budget for the year 2016.
1% increase -- decrease from the budget enacted last year. while i am pleased that he many vital homeland security missions are funded and this is wireless, i have concerns about several of impactposals and the they may have on our ability to do our collective jobs. i understand we need to do more with less in our efforts to bring down the nation's deficit and debt. making additional progress is critical for the well-being of our nation. we also need to make sure that the department has the funds it needs to keep the american people safe against a constantly evolving and growing threat that we face as a nation. i am concerned by the proposal to cut funding for several homeland security grants. some grants could be cut by as much as 35%. these funds are vital to helping our communities better prepare
for major disasters and terrorist attacks. poland security grants are critical in training first responders and comparing to respond as they did for the boston marathon bombings. i also have questions about the fee increases proposed for aviation security. i know that raising these fees has been popular with some in congress, but i felt that if something is worth having, it is worth paying for and that is why i support a reasonable fee increase that will help dhs carryout its missions. if congress does not raise these aviation freeze -- aviation fees , that will leave a roughly $900 million hole in tsa and that is deeply concerning. concern,hese areas of there are a number of positive items in this budget request. for example, there is a sizable
investment in cyber security. there is a 30% increase over last year. this new funding will help the department carry out several laws that this committee has worked to pass over the years and i think my colleagues for all their work in doing that. for instance, the budget requires included testing -- needed increases for cyber security tools to better secure our federal networks. also funding for additional cyber personnel and an information sharing portal. the budget also continues investments in border security. i was pleased to see increases in funding for force multipliers , equipment such as ever a stats, helicopters, vehicles, drones, asked wing aircraft that can help our men and women on was also pleased to
see counterterrorism at home is also a high priority. last month, this committee marked up my legislation that was -- that would codify this office. i think we passed it out of the committee unanimously. i would like to thank the director of the office. encouraged to see funding for the ongoing construction of the new headquarters. by cutting down the number of cost -- costly resources we used to house dhs personnel. i want to close by recognizing your leadership and your deputy as well as the efforts of your senior staff, some of whom are here today and over 200,000 right in file dhs employees in support in your unity of effort and initiative.
along with members of our committee staff, we are working diligently to move legislation that would codify a number of your proposed reforms and willing forward to hear more today about how we can work together to ensure the department has the tools, resources and authorities it needs to go stronger and work effectively. >> thank you senator. please rise and raise your right hand. do use or the testimony will give today is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> i do. >> be stated. secretary johnson is the fourth dhs secretary. these served as general counsel for the department of defense and let more than 10,000 military and civilian workers across the department.
his career has included extensive service and national security, law enforcement, as an attorney in private and corporate law practice. >> i keep thinking i have to rewrite that bio. people think it is more impressive that i ran an organization of 10,000 lawyers rather than our that -- rather than an organization of 200,000 people. members of the committee, you have my written statement. ,his year's budget submission as i think senator carper has outlined, reflects hard and difficult choices to fit within the budget caps. because we had to make hard choices, there are some things i could have wanted at higher levels that we do not in this budget request. let me say that i appreciate very much the true partnership that i think we have had at dhs
with the members of this committee, and what i believe to be a very effective, bipartisan working relationship with members of this committee since i have been secretary. i think we have published a lot. going back to before i was confirmed and i began courtesy calls with members of this theittee, i took to heart message i received from you about the importance of management reform. reforming the way in which our department does business. secretary isoal as to leave the department of homeland security in a better place than i found it. what that means is improving the efficiency and effectiveness by which we deliver homeland security to the american public. the centerpiece for that has
been our unity of effort and initiative, under which we have established joint task forces or border security on the southwest and southeast orders. we have established a joint requirements council to improve our acquisition practices and efficiency, we have beefed up our office of immigration assistance -- statistics. we are developing better border metrics for it by waiting and measuring border security and total attempts to cross the border under initiative that we started called border stat have -- i have appreciated the advice i have received the members of this committee and in this regard, we have initiated something called the data framework initiative, to better integrate data that we collect within the departments so the data itself is not stovepipe and is effectively utilized against all of our databases. this committee can help us
through the authorization of a number of activities so that they are cemented into law and institutionalized and go beyond my job as secretary in the time i have as secretary. i appreciate the effort and i have reviewed the legislative language of this committee to institutionalize our joint task forces, our joint requirements elevate joint duty, to dhs,ffice of policy within the undersecretary level and to elevate the importance of that office of policy would think is indispensable to our unity of effort initiatives. thank you, senators for passing at this committee, legislation to authorize our community partnerships which spearheads our cbe efforts. we also believe it is important
to consolidate our dnd oh health affairs functions more effectively and efficiently around our security office, the chemical/biological/radiological and nuclear defense office which is impending legislation right now. i also support the restructuring of -- the national protection and programs directorate, into a more streamlined and effective and operational citizen of cyber security and data protection agency. we have been working with your staff authorizing a number of these things. i support this effort and hope that we can continue to work down this path in the future. thank you very much and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you mr. secretary. i want to go to community
partnerships because you just mentioned that. in a briefing with fbi officials , i was struck by one of the comments that when officials go into communities, muslim communities and talking about potentially viewed and may be radicalized, oftentimes, members think we have perfect information, that we know exactly who could be prone to radicalization. nothing could be further from the stroup -- from the truth. could you speak about what you are doing in terms of engagement? >> given the nature of the problem and the nature of the current threat, which in the homeland includes terrorist inspired attacks. the u.s.cement and government is not always in a position to know about someone who is self radicalizing. is the case that in almost every
instance i can think of, of self radicalized actors, someone close to that person was in a position to know. since i have been secretary, i put a top priority on our cbe efforts which are fundamental to the homeland security mission. build bridgese, with communities, including muslim communities. travel tosonally almost every major metropolitan area in this country that has a significant muslim ovulation. want to be sure that state and local law enforcement is with me, so building bridges with these communities to say, help us help you and if you see something, say something. beyond that, the mandates that i given for community partnerships is to engage the tech sector so that the tech sector health communities amplify the counter message to isil and engaged
philanthropies, how can they help and support a lot of community activities. budget, we have money for cbe efforts and in this year's budget, we also requested money for our efforts but those are basically my three goals for our cbe efforts and i believe they are as important and -- as any other homeland security mission. >> i appreciate your efforts. one of the most important things we do is engage the communities in a positive way. i do have to bring up unaccompanied children. crisispotentially beyond proportions because largely, we are incredibly impressed with your department did in addressing the crisis of 2014, but we have gotten more efficient at apprehending and processing and dispersing and we
had a great hearing in psi on the children who had been processed and dispersed and we kind of lost track of them. year,h january, of this we have had 16,000 or hundred 38 unaccompanied children -- 16,438 unaccompanied children. if we did the math on that, hadate that, in 2014 we 51,000 unaccompanied children come in, this was the crisis year. wewe maintain this pace, will have 77,000 in 2016. we don't have the february numbers yet, but how many unaccompanied children were apprehended and processed and probably dispersed in february? >> i want to compare numbers with you.
i'm looking at my latest in terms of you may see numbers. you are correct that in the fall of 2015, we saw increase. strike thatw the everybody knows about. fy 15, after the things we put in place, we had a good year. it was down significantly from fy 14 in terms of total apprehensions on the southwest quarter. it was the second lowest number since 1970 -- 1972. in the fall, we saw an increase in ua sees, the number was 6775 in the month of december. in january, the number went down by more than half. >> this is just the chart in
terms of total, by fiscal year through 2015. we had despite in 2014, last year went down, but my point being in the first four months were i had numbers on it. those and you lies numbers, we are up to 77,000 for fy 16. >> january, we saw significant drop off to 3111. there were a 2016, 3113 in terms of you macy's. uacs. acs -- we are pretty much at the same pace as larry, slightly higher. as everyone knows in early january, we began a series of inlic, concerted efforts
interior enforcement that focused on families, but we have also focused on just about every other population that has entered this country, recently. those apprehended at the border are our top priority. we have focused recently on those who came into the country , and those or adults people are in removal proceedings. the total number of those sent thisto central america fiscal year is just over 28,000. the total number sent back by or -- is around 128,000. those are pretty significant we are sending a very public message that if you come here illegally, and you do not have a valid place for
asylum and have been ordered deported, we will send you back and i have been very public about that. being, in february of 2014, i did not have the numbers to compare. 3400 unaccompanied children coming in. of 2016, itebruary is about 3100. isthe february 2014 number 41,000 -- 4100. >> we will take a look at that. we are pretty close and you annualized where we are for fiscal 2016, we are looking at 77,000 versus 51,000 in the crisis year of 2015. we can massage the numbers, but it is close. >> i do not think that is accurate, sir. >> what the you have year to date -- what do you have year to
date? -- 23,553. tofour months, we are up 23,000. >> five months. >> we are still at a pretty high pace. the numbers are high, higher than i would like them to be, -- i have not done the math and i am not sure they are at the same february 14 pace. >> we will look at that, but my point being is, 2014 was a crisis, right now we are running ahead of 2014 levels. >> i don't believe that is true. >> we will compare notes. i have run out of time. quicklythe numbers real
-- i have run the numbers real quickly. it would equate to an annual number that holds for the next seven months, looking at about 57,000. mayere the difference here be is you're looking at central america numbers, i am looking at the total numbers. let's stick with central america for just a moment. i want to applaud the administration for deciding to not just support force multipliers on the border, we need to invest not just in border patrol officers but to aircraft, invest in unmanned aircraft, helicopters, boats, motion detectors, all of the above. the administration's budget calls for a very small reduction out of 22,000 border patrol
officers, but a significant investment in technology that will enable those officers that we have deployed to be more effective. my colleagues have heard me say more than a few times with respect to central america and the flow of unaccompanied children and families, they are not coming from mexico. -- there areare more mexicans going back into mexico that coming in. for the most part, these numbers represent people, but most of them are coming in from honduras, guatemala. dollarsr of a trillion to strengthen our border with mexico, the same 10 years, we spent less than 1% to address the root causes for why all of these folks are trying to get out of el salvador and guatemala
and honduras to get to our country. they like hope, economic market -- opportunity, the have rented violence, it is a situation we are complicit with because we buy drugs, it flows through that country and we sent money and guns to that country to make light as rubel for the people who live there and they want to leave and come here and rather than just built our fences and addresse also need to the underlying root causes. they have come up with their own plan that was very successful in turning columbia around. is plan in central america called the alliance for posterity offices on governance, security, rule of law, economic development and the idea is not for us to turn over american tax dollars to those governments,
they have to raise their own money and what we do is provide funding that goes through our own efforts and a nonprofit organization. i think it is a strong strategy and i think the proposal will do that and i applaud that. the german has touched you -- touched on it with you with the unaccompanied minors. january andfor february are much better and i think you sent a message that has been received by the folks down there that would otherwise try to come up. . i want to focus on the last minute or two on the impact of dhs fees and their impact on the department of homeland security and the public. could you talk a little bit about why we need to increase some of these. and tsahem, the cvp collects, what will be the impact on the average american
if these are increased slightly? what would be the impact on the department of homeland security, and if we don't support fee increases that the administration has requested? request does reflect hard choices to stay within the caps. part of our request is a request for authorization of the fee with respect to air passengers and airline fee increases. the proposed increase would revenue fees from the airlines. i believe the amount is $470 million. >> about a dollar a ticket? >> that is for the airline. the passenger increase proposed is about $5.60.
the underlying rationale for the proposed increase is a goes to pay for aviation security and border entry at airports and that those who use the system as opposed to taxpayers, generally should help a little more in paying for those things and paying for those services. is that thesen proposals would generate about $900 million in revenue for the department. if these are not increased, we will have a real problem finding where to pay for aviation security. aviation security, right now, given the world environment in my judgment, is critical for the congress to support. this very pleased by year's budget and next year's budget request.
line on tso's.e we are not producing them anymore and we are making a number of investments in aviation security. we need help to pay for that. aviation security is critical given the world situation. >> i agree, thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good to have you before the committee. i will try to get some rapid responses to some issues. first, is an issue we are dealing with witches this epidemic of prescription drug and heroin overdoses and overdoses -- heroin addiction and overdoses. understand that this is primarily coming from mexico and we had testimony in the house judiciary committee from the texas director of public safety,
saying his porous border provides cartels reliable means to infiltrate this country and traffic drugs to the people of the united states. can you give us a sense of what we could be doing better to entered get these drugs and keep them from coming to the united states and specifically, tell us what percent of the heroin coming in is apprehended and stopped at the border or what percent is coming into our communities? >> a couple of things. -- most of things the heroin that is brought into the country is brought by lands, not by see. the coast guard is focused on this, but most is smuggled by land. i do know that the percentage of cbp, thoserdicted by numbers have been going up between last year and the year before. that has been going up because
of our sustained and enhanced efforts. this is an effort that our joint task forces have undertaken, is an effort that cbp has undertaken it is an effort that homeland security investigations have undertaken. , as well. i don't have an estimate of what percentage is interdicted versus what percentage gets through. if we have that number, i will see if i can provide it. >> the number you hear commonly is nine out of 10 of these packages of heroin that are killing our constituents and the people we represent are getting through. >> i do know the volume of seizures by cbp and homeland security investigations have been going up. >> i would love to follow up on that with you. that many ofsues
my colleagues and i are concerned about is how do you stand this flow and therefore increase the price because of the issues is prescription drugs are being replaced by heroin because the price is so low and its running our communities. on this issue,ng this is where a company children comment would talk about the numbers and it looks like the numbers are going to be high again, this year. the fact is, we have thousands of these kids in detention with hhs. they detain them and provide these children to adults who are cosponsors. theidea is they go to sponsors before they come to an immigration hearing. do we found is that some of these children were actually placed not with sponsors who were family members or surrogates, but actual traffickers and in cases of ohio, we had kids from guatemala who ended up at farms being
exploited. these traffickers got the kids from the department of health and human services. my question to you is, are you aware of this and are you working with hhs to help -- come up with a way to limit legislation that is in place that would prohibit his children from being place with traffickers? these veryware of important -- unfortunate situations, including the one in ohio. i know that secretary burwell is focused on the placement of the children. it is for legal obligation and together, -- it is her legal obligation and together, we have been working on an adequate placement system in accordance with the law. report, we indicated that hhs can work better with dhs to address this issue. my final question, is an issue -- is the issue of social media
and terrorism. we saw with regard that -- with regard to the san bernardino attack, one of the shooters was on social media talking about her jihadi agenda. she went through several screenings and the that was picked up. can you tell us what you are doing to ensure that social media is something that is looked at as people are scanned and screened? >> as the fbi director has commented, her social media was not public prior to her entry into the united states. notwithstanding that, over the last two years, we have enhanced our use of social media in connection with immigration benefits, we have a number of pilot programs going on right now. there is a social media task forces that recently gave me a report.
i have recommended we go even further in the use of social media. we use it now for 30 different investigative intelligence purposes, but we are enhancing the use of social media in connection with immigration benefits, both refugee and k-1 review. >> thank you. >> thank you ranking members and for your job as secretary. you and your team should be commended. i want to talk a little bit outside the door, there was a recommendation to reduce it from 24 to 18 hours. thank you for taking public crossingthat border with the folks that live in that region because it is important. i think from a security economic standpoint, i know you will look at both and i think it is really important. as we try to continue to grow
our trade with canada, and i think it is just very important we take a look at that perspective. as long as tsa was brought up and fees, i want to talk a little bit about robotic annners because administrator was in front of our subcommittee on appropriations and we had a number of them in montana. he said there is a percentage of people who do not have the full body scanners available. is that because of a lack of money? sure whether it is lack of money or if we believe some other technology is better. are doublingt we down on our use of technology at airports for aviation security
in reaction to the ig's test results last summer. verye the administrator a aggressive plan to reevaluate our technology. would agreeay i with you and we talk about air travel and i can tell you that in a lot of these, they airports, but there are also smaller airports. it is critically important that they have the same -- that we put forth the same effort of security and if you could look after that, i would appreciate it. i want to talk about community partnerships. proposesnistration $560 million in cuts for fema grants which includes operation stone guard funding which impacts our indian communities in a big way. it is pretty steep. you aretell us why doing it this year?
i support the president's budget. the budget request reflects hard choices to live within our caps. i have seen firsthand the importance and the effectiveness of our fema grant money, that is delivered to state and local law enforcement, to communities for such things as active shooter training, over time for police and fire, grants are very important. >> i think the are critically important and i often wonder if the administration does not cut programs that are really good programs, disfiguring figuring we will bump them up. -- just figuring we will bump them up. we will have to do something about that because frankly, i feel the same as you.
i want to talk about border staffing real quick. 2017 budget the request, 300 border -- fewer border agents than last year. that's on the northern border. tell me how that will work. i thought you were undermanned at this point that you are looking for more agents. if we are going to cut an additional 300, it looks to me like we are putting something at risk. that the allocation that you see reflects a judgment the risk is and where the vulnerabilities are. active southern border right now. are not doing as
good a job as i will like to see us do in terms of hiring. hiring up to the levels that congress has authorized and appropriated and the commissioner of cdp has very aggressively taken steps to recruit and get people through the process. in terms of the allocation at the northern border, it is something that i insist that we look carefully at every year that we make these judgments, but i do believe it is a judgment about where the vulnerability and the needs are. i just think that's what we are talking about drugs coming across the border, they all come across the southern border and if we have a northern border problem with hiring, there are some things we can do. places where i live are pretty rural. you probably won't get someone from chicago to move out to montana, but you would get someone from solely to do that.
it is important we start building bridges with our university systems in those states because they can help you out. with that, i will leave you with these words, do not forget about the northern border. it is very important. if we take our eye off of that, they will go to where the weakest link is. >> senator baldwin. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking members. i want to thank secretary johnson. to airst question relates question that senator s rich statesked with regard to grant programs, the mouth, preparedness grant programs. preparednessfema, grant programs. i have a concern about the impact and potential for impact
in the state of wisconsin. the homeland security program which is budgeted at $260 million less than fiscal year 2016, this funding has been critical in my home state. recently, these funds have provided equipment and training to our fusion center in milwaukee, which i might just add where a terrorist attack was awarded a couple of months back. let me ask a question about that and then before you answer, put an additional question related -- cuts -- sed are there other efforts that we should be aware of that may supplement the critical work of these programs? switching to the cuts in the fema preparedness programs,
particularly a 63% cut to the national preparedness consortium , i also want to port out the impact in the state of wisconsin. the transportation technology center uses funding for its crude oil by rail program. over the past five years, wisconsin has seen a huge escalation in the number of oil trains that are coming through in two points west and south. because of this, it is important that our first responders have the opportunity to receive horriblein the instance of a train derailment. we have had several in the state, by the way. in your assessment, can you
explain why the request for the national consortium was more than $60 million less than to whatear 2016 and extent does dhs prioritize funding for proactive programs that prepare local first responders to respond to natural or human disasters? let me begin with the last part of your question. place top priority on get ats that proactively preparedness, prevention, which is why at various levels, we are state and local law enforcement, first responders, paramedicresponders
equipment, even. having said that, as i remarked before, this budget does reflect hard choices. the budget deal that was made by congress and the president 2016 and 2017 provides for greater inels in 2016 than it does 2017, so regrettably, the proposal you received at the cut in the various different grants. whatess will ultimately do you believe is necessary and appropriate by way of funding, but that is where we believe we need to make some reductions. i do believe these grants are very important. -- i want tot in
fit in one quick question. last november, i wrote a letter to the commissioner along with congressman from my state about an issue at the international airport in green bay. this airport, a port of entry serving northeastern wisconsin, has hosted the cbp's green bay port office for over 20 years. cpb said that1, office did not meet its needs and that a general aviation facility would be necessary for cpb to remain at the airport. airport subsequently worked for cpb to construct a general aviation facility and spent over $3 million to meet cpb's specifications. cbpuly of last year, reversed course and inform the
airport that it would no longer occupy the facility. let me emphasize that this was after the airport paid more than $3 million on construction of the facility. this was after the airport worked with the cbp on the design of the general aviation cbp signedd after off on the facility. this is unacceptable. as i made clear in my letter, there are no laws or rules that we can find that prevent cbp from occupying the next the general aviation facility as it has claimed. it has been over four months since we wrote that letter and i raised the issue with the commissioner and have yet to receive a response to the letter. andnt to ask you today raise this to your attention, will you commit to looking into this issue and responding to my constituents concerns? >> i am looking into it and i will ensure that you receive a
prompt response and i am interested in it. >> when can i expect a response? within the next week. >> thank you. >> i don't know what the status of the response is, but i will ensure that you get it within a week. thehank you secretary for great work that you do on behalf of the people of this country. --ant to reiterate what which is those of us on the northern border believe that we are entitled to a level of security that we don't always see and we measure the open positions, the ones that your folks have already said, this is what we need to protect the northern border, yet we have a huge vacancies, recognizing the challenges that you have in recruitment. i want to reiterate, the
absolute critical importance of getting more attention to the northern border. with that said, a couple of things, one of the things i frequently hear from the folks down on the southern border is that there is not really a plan, that the last kind of organized plan for the southern border was in 1990's. there isn't a sense of coordinated -- of coordination. what is your response? >> two years ago, we created joint task forces for the southern border where a joint task force director is responsible for coordinating all assets and resources parted in the -- to the -- of that responsibility is that every year, they have to submit a plan for border security which
includes, not just people but also prohibited items, illegal archon x and so forth. we do have strategic plans for how we intend to secure the border. >> why do you think the other law enforcement agencies believe there is not an overall strategic plan? >> i'm not sure. other law enforcement agencies are aware of our task forces and how to support them. by way ofhis not criticism, but that communication seems to be a gap in what you say you have and what people on the border whether it is people living on the border or people who are charged with responsibility believe there is. increased communication and understanding, especially making sure that the people who work for your agency actually understand what that plan is, and that is not some document on a shelf in washington, d.c.
we were talking about movement of narcotics across the marijuanavement of that i think is basically carried across, but one can write i have with narcotics is that they are typically titled led tunnele nnell across. tunnelhave a title -- protection and if you cannot do , i wouldn open hearing accept a secure briefing. >> i would have -- i would be happy to do a secure briefing on that. >> in this budget, do you believe there has been enough allocated to that kind of technology? of thein the confines
yes,we have to live with, but i could always use more in the absence of budget restraint. am -- we had an opportunity to see some of this in israel as it relates to securing their border and i'm very interested in what kind of tunnel detection -- whether we are deploying the number of resources that would reflect our concern about what it is that is moving through. finally, i would like to talk about first responder grants. i think we have been very concerned about preparedness for first responders, whether it is trains, terrorism activity, and yet we see a decrease in that kind of funding for first responders. i will run out of time but i want to impress upon you that those folks are on the front lines. there is not enough federal
agents, not enough role personnel to protect this country. they are asking a minimal amount of investment in helping secure that mission, and the last place we should be cutting is first responders, whether it is trains or responding to terrorism and being prepared to respond. when we had a very high-profile incident with a train exploding, the single thing that the fire chief told me is that the command control incident training that he received was critical. it is deployed every day. let us not lose sight of our partnerships with local folks. >> senator booker. >> thank you very much and i want to echo the words that were income lamenting you and your work and her dedication --
income lamenting -- in complementing you and your work and your dedication. we pass authorization for the office of community partnerships and i am grateful for the leadership of senator kirk -- carter and johnson. i am pleased to see that the funding that was in this bill is really becoming a part of the president's budget which is something that i am very grateful for. 49 million dollars has been requested for the dhs's efforts. foree $10 billion requested grant funds at the local level and $39 million for activities targeted at preventing and preparing for responding to complex coordinated terrorist attacks. my concern with this language is that the majority of this money
would be spent on preparing for a law enforcement response, which cbe is intended to create partnerships for community groups to do work to prevent radicalization really before law enforcement gets involved. it seems almost as if this funding is not really targeted towards the idea of cbe in the first place. how do you envision this money being spent and how can we ensure that we are really bolstering some of the efforts that we are already starting to see some signs that can be very fruitful in general as opposed responsew enforcement that ignores unity organization, universities, educators, textbooks and others. the language you read is for 16, right? to be candid, i had the same reaction you had. we learned we had $50 million
for cbe, but upon closer examination, 39 billion of that for- 39 million of that is terrorist preparedness, but that leaves just $10 million for our cbe efforts. cbe is a huge priority. one of the things i heard repeatedly when i go to these communities is we need resources and we need help supporting our efforts at the local level. theecollection from language you read is there was some line in there that gave me some flexibility in terms of how we allocate that, but i could be wrong. senator booker: you and i both know we could say this is a inority but the investment being a local leader and i know you noticed better than i do is
creating these partnerships and creating these relationships is incredibly valuable, not just in cbe efforts but in helping to detect radicalization in the first place. i would really talk about the importance of that. i'm curious of your folks could get back to me -- there's a lot of folks in the muslim community who says this is focused on the muslim community and there are a lot of hate groups and neo-nazi groups that have perpetrated violence within our committees and i'm hoping some of the cbe effort is focused there as well. just real quick, being that you in newave this kinship jersey -- we appreciate your taxes even though you spend so much time here, but i need you to comment on something that i get so much anger and
frustration from people who live in our metropolitan area, which is the lines at newark airport, which are just outrageous. the holiday season, i'm sure perhaps you do know, it was reported that we had such long lines that led to delays exceeding an hour. one single airline reported 200 passengers missing a flight. we have to do something to create more efficiencies. i get people screaming at me on social media and the like so frustrated about this particular airport being worse than others in our country. with the plus up in funding for tsa and the presidents budget, what flexibility do you have -- i fly into other airports and i just don't see it as bad as what other people are experiencing. we have spring and summer travel season's approaching.
can we do something to ease this outrageous problem that is angering people at the newark airport? first, part of the increase in weight times is due to the increased volume of air travel. that is a fact. due to theis also re-emphasis the administrator and i have put on airport screening of those in the longer line. one thing you can say to your constituents is join tsa pre-check for the shorter line. to get through faster. with respect to the budget, it is the case that in 16 and 17, we have reversed a steady decrease in the number of tso's for this reason. reflectset submission holding steady on it with an
emphasis on technology so that we are not focused solely on risk based strategies that lead to an increase in personnel. to deal with weight times and the like, the increased boy was also contributing without a doubt. senator booker: i understand a pre-check warning and we tell people to show up in our before their flight and it seems like we should be telling them to hours before their flight. could someone get back to me with a plan to reduce wait times? as you know, a lot of it depends on whether you are in terminal a or terminal c. senator peters: i want to thank secretary johnson for your testimony today and thank you for your recent visit to michigan to meet with members of the arab american and muslim community.
they expressed a number of issues and concerns to you and they appreciated your hands on talkach to come out and directly and listen to the community. i want to say i look forward to working with you and your staff as you work through the number of issues -- sec. johnson: that was a good visit to dearborn. signature -- senator peters: as you know, canada is our largest trading partner. our ports are actually -- are absolutely critical to our nations trade and commerce. in terms of freight measured by the value of shipments that goes through those ports of entry, detroit and port huron ranked numbers two and number three in the country moving over $200
i appreciated the and ir visit in 2014 accompanied you in detroit and we went to port huron to see firsthand what was happening at those border crossings. in the fiscal year 2016 budget, you testify the case for expanding customs capability at the blue water bridge was clearly there and its response to a letter i sent along with senator stepanov and senator miller -- senator stab and now remains a topller priority. delay in the customs plaza at the blue water bridge has become portden for the city of huron and saying clare which continues to lose out on
potential revenue as the land that was required for the expansion sits vacant, as you are well aware. over 100 properties were demolished to prepare for this expansion. area of justge vacant land which doesn't do much for the tax base of the city which also has other issues it has to deal with and new revenue from the customs plaza would help offset that. not to mention very critical for our nation. obviously efficient border crossings is going to be critical as an economic issue given that canada is the top export destination for 35 states and nearly 9 million u.s. jobs depend on trade with canada. water bridge specifically was identified in the 2011 beyond the border action plan agreement and that surprised the project
hasn't received funding so far. you've receive those concerns before and there is the need, the local community is ready and the project is ready to go. i does wonder if you could explain why the department did not include funding for the blue water bridge in the funding submission. sec. johnson: as you noted, i have into the low water bridge and i have seen the backup of tractor-trailers trying to get and the blue water bridge as i said last year, i think the cases there. afterreport to you that projects currently underway or soon to be under construction, the expansion of the customs capability at the blue water bridge is the highest priority after the projects currently underway or soon to be underway. there, is not just a top priority, is the highest
priority on teacher projects. senator peters: any timeline you are willing to offer on that? sec. johnson: i'm sure customs and border protection can give you that. peters: i'm sure there is a public-private ownership that could be formed to accelerate that. some of these alternative processes may even see that at. that may even be another way to accelerate timeline. sec. johnson: in my experience over the last two years, great minds can think of some creative ways to come together and solve these problems. public-private partners and alike. senator peters: i appreciated has gone from a high priority to the highest priority. if it is on paper, it must be
true. thank you, mr. secretary. i personally also believe in the case, having seen it myself. : i want to thank you, mr. secretary for your leadership and service. you've done a -- you got a very important job. weant to follow up on what were talking about on the northern border. the northern border security review act and it would make an assessment of the current state of the border between canada and the united states. .o me, that makes sense is that something you think would be sensible? sec. johnson: sounds right. yes. ought: hopefully we can get that past and get it to you. i also wanted to follow-up on the senator -- the question's senator portman asked about heroin interdiction and i think
it would be helpful for us to understand what has been the trend because other committees i serve on, the testimony i have have seen a significant increase in production of heroin and it would be helpful to understand as we look at what is happening on the southern border how much is being interdicted and how much is coming through because new hampshire, the price on our street is so cheap right now. anything we can do to drive up that price and stop the flow will help what our first responders are doing on our streets to keep it away and obviously protect people. i wanted to ask about the issue of sentinel. are we seeing an increase in sentinel, which could be as much as city times more powerful than heroin? it's a huge driver of what is killing people in new hampshire. have the numbers
here for heroin and heroin seizures which have increased from 15 over 14. phenolic i do not have off hand. ought: someone i know who is in recovery and is an amazing young man described it as a serial killer because it is a much more powerful than heroin. good toit would be understand those numbers and whether those have increased. understand you just came back from a trip from turkey and the issue of the foreign fighter flow to get your perspective on where we stand with regard to the foreign fighter flow, with regard to isis and in addition , before theently senate armed services committee, we had general breedlove, who
i'm sure you know, a european commander come before the committee and i asked him about the refugee issue. he told me he is concerned that in fact, criminality, terrorist and returning foreign fighters are a daily part of the refugee flow now. could you give me an update on your meeting to turkey and what you see with the fighter flow issue. he sees this as one of their strategies. how much of this is something you are focusing on from a homeland security perspective? sec. johnson: all good questions. i was in turkey last week and met with my counterpart. we are making good progress in terms of information sharing with the turkish government. that is something they are
interested in doing with us and we are interested in doing with them. use -- mou'sral mo with a government with respect to cargo inspection and people. discussions further in further areas that i would be happy to brief you on in private. overall, i was a very productive visit. we know from prior experiences isil have left that area posing as refugees. that is a fact. terms of refugee, i believe with general breedlove's comments in so far as the worldwide refugee problem is something that poses a risk to us in terms of what isil is trying to do. in terms of refugee resettlement
in the united states, we have a thorough, multilayered process that takes something like 18 to 24 months to complete for each refugee and we recently added further enhancements to the security of that process just in the last several months, which will most likely add to delays, but we are also adding resources and personnel to satisfy our undertaking. thorough process right now and we are adding more and always looking at whether more is necessary in terms of our own u.s. refugee betting. senator ayotte: do you think that process can eliminate all risks? sec. johnson: the way i can say it is in a free and open and that has asociety,
tradition of humanitarian goodwill and obligation when it comes to keeping refugees and an we shouldn heritage, welcome with open arms people should do soed, we peoplely and i think should understand in a free and open society, we cannot be free of risk. but we should do best in maintaining security while maintaining our values. senator ayotte: thank you. ensuring we are country ofa vibrant immigrants and i respectfully
disagree on the risk factor as i you are saying on a strategy from isis as far as prevent the flow of refugees. thanks for your work and all who serve underneath you. we all travel so much and very appreciative of those who serve underneath you because they do very important work for our nation. >> thank you, secretary for being with us today. i certainly appreciate the work you and your employees have done as well. i've think you provide such a valuable service for all of us. i would like to take a minute to discuss an issue in iowa that is affecting many of our levee districts across the missouri river as it relates to
accreditation. accreditation and certification of river levee is desirable for community. it ultimately affects the affordability of their flood insurance rates. understand the fema involvement is to accept certification provided by a arty seeking accreditation on levy, on a flood insurance rate map as providing 100 your protection. the cost of the certification is ofating havoc for a number these communities in my state. my question on this is number one, in fema's eyes, how is a rural community with almost no in my particular area in southwest iowa, we have just
a handful of families that live in these levee districts and they are supposed to pay for a million dollar valuation by a professional engineer. this is not good news for a number of these families. i don't know how they can reasonably accomplish accreditation when it's so expensive for these families. why is it that fema has different levee certification standards than the army corps of engineers when it comes to reviewing the effectiveness of a levy? right there and see if you have any thoughts on that. some seems to be
inconsistency between fema and the corps of engineers. there's a memorandum from 1214 that lays out how they are supposed to work together but from what i understand in exchanges of e-mails, this communication process is not happening or is not working. , the cost ofock levee certification and your thoughts on that please. of. johnson: my overall view the flood insurance program is that it should be solvent but also affordable. cannot comment specifically on certification and particularlylity, with regard to the rural communities you spoke of in iowa. but i'm happy to look into that and get back to you specifically on your question. i don't have an explanation in terms of the different methodology that may exist between fema and the army corps of engineers, but i am happy to
look into it. : it's not just iowa where this is happening, it's all across the united states and flood mapping is a big deal. what we are running across in some of these areas, what i have heard from some of my the cost of is their flood insurance, their monthly premiums are starting to what theirard monthly home mortgage costs are. you have to remember we have very economically challenged areas and it is all they can do to pay their mortgage. to double that with flood insurance costs, some of them are simply walking away. if you could provide us with information, it would be helpful or a way we can do better and find alternatives for these
families. question, according to a recent article in bloomberg, dhs suffered over 100 spills of classified information and while i understand it's not quite the same thing as a leak, both forms of mishandling information and the federal government concern me. what are your feelings on this and what are we doing to address these types of situations? thatjohnson: my view is dhs should be a model for other federal agencies. unfamiliar with that article and i know our cyber security experts and intelligence and analysis directorate are focused on addressing spills. not accurate in all respects.
you forernst: thank your very good work out there. and all of your employees as well. i have been cranking through some numbers here. i got your sheet on unaccompanied children and you on a company all children, including from mexico. i was talking about unaccompanied children from central america, which is the problem. let's step through this because this effect your budget. areour budget, you budgeting for 75,000 on a company children from all sources, correct? sec. johnson: yes. johnson: we can put the chart backup year. that was about 16,631
unaccompanied children. above --y, we are 10% i'm dealing with your numbers right now. sec. johnson: 68,541 is what i have. ,enator johnson: year to date 2014 was 20,403. if you include all unaccompanied children, we are up 10%, which would imply that is about 75,000. that's including mexican children as well. four times the population of central america and yet it is 25% of the problem. i isolatey unaccompanied children from central america because we treat them differently. trying to figure out what is the best way.
the length in the adjudication process, the fact that unaccompanied children, when , they disperse and they basically stay, correct? i think there ought to be -- senator johnson: i think there ought to be alarm bells ringing now. 49% over the first four months in 2014 when it was a crisis. would imply if you run the 77,000, about unaccompanied children from just central america. i see february's numbers and i assumptions because we have had about a thousand unaccompanied children from
mexico and the first four months. if i assume thousand four february, i can come up with the number and we are still 28 5 -- 28.5 percent over 2014 which would imply 66,000 unaccompanied children from just central america compared to 51,000. the first four or five months of data, alarm bells ought to be ringing. the crisis has not been averted. it is not getting better. it is getting worse over 2014. it came down in 2015, but early indications are 2016 is going to be worse. that is my point. it's obviously going to affect your budget. here is what concerns me. ofause of the great efforts cdp and your organization, we have gotten very good at processing and dispersing and as i said earlier in the hearing
senator portman had on the situation in columbus, this is not a real humane situation where we just disperse and kind of forget about them. are you acknowledging the fact that this is an enormous problem and we are not from my standpoint addressing the root cause and our public policy ought to be what can we do to stem the flow. not necessarily what we can process and disperse, but how do address the incentives incentivizing people to come here? of thingson: a couple and i hope you don't mind if i exceed 36 seconds. all, nobody in dhs, as ifce or hhs is feeling a crisis has been averted. it's 75,000 or 39,000,
that's a lot of kids that creates a real problem for us and overwhelms my resources, and taxes a lot of other resources. i do think that compared to 2014 is imperfect in that there's a certain trend that existed in 2014 doesn't exist in 2016. the numbers in january were considerably higher in 2014 than 2014 or 2016. having said that, much of this is seasonal, so we have to assume march is going to be higher than february. may, june and july will do what it typically does. we have to assume we're not going to see numbers as low as 3100 which is why our budget
75,000 in 2016. put ae with you we can lot of border security in this effort to deal with kids who are not seeking to avoid capture. there's only so much you can do by way of border security and immigration enforcement. however, i do believe it is important people in central america see that people are being repatriated back to central america, which is why we have been very visible about our efforts in recent months and i do agree that the underlying factor has to be addressed and i'm pleased congress appropriated 750 million for central american and i'm impressed with the new president of guatemala. i hope you had a chance to meet
him when he was here a couple of weeks ago. and i havemic leader some optimism for that country. we have to do more and we are seeking to do more to help those in central america with their border security through training programs and the like, through vetting programs. we have to do more in central america, which is the heart of the problem. in my 26 months in office, i have learned that as long as you have powerful underlying push ,actors, poverty, violence drought and the like, there's only so much border security you can accomplish whether it's more personnel or more walls to deal with people motivated to leave their homes and travel thousands of miles to come here. senator johnson: but we create a lot of pushback here.
the fact that we grant length and adjudication process. they learn the term incredible fear. when we had a float in 2008, , started brazil sending people back immediately, the flow stopped. we were in guatemala and honduras. i met with the president when he came here to weeks ago and we actually saw a repatriation of illegal immigrants from water mullah return to the airport. during the reorientation speech, and this is a paraphrase translated to me -- the automall and were told it doesn't matter how poor or rich or big or small, this is your motherland. please consider that before attempting to leave for the
united states. into applause.ed the reprocessing center was very moderate. we had nongovernmental agencies ready to help them. separatedone minor from the group of adults and their form of child protective services, so we talk about these push factors. honduras askedf us to please fix the ambiguity in your loss. they are encouraging our systems to leave the country. i don't know how many people from around the world want to come here, but there are hundreds of millions if not ilion's of people who would like to be in america but we cannot accept them all. it has got to be a legal process and we create in our own laws that are the pull factors
because there are push factors all of the world and we have to deal with what we can deal with here. those countries are beautiful countries but as long as we have this insatiable demand for drugs , the farmers in central america make 50 times what they can make on normal cross selling poppies and they don't have to deliver it anywhere. they come and pick it up. from our 14 hearings on border cameity, the conclusion i to is the root cause among many of our unsecure borders are the insatiable demand for drugs. is let's look at this very clear eyed and acknowledge reality and take a look at overies we have acted multiple administrations and acknowledge that these things are not working and we have to look at what we can do ourselves and we have two state what should be the goal of our policies -- what can we do to stem the flow as opposed to what
we are doing right now in your budget. you have done a good job with great humanity. what dhs did in the throes of that initial crisis was pre-extraordinary. but that is not the solution. you can comment. i've got a couple of questions. let me say a couple of things. i agree with what secretary chertoff told you because he told me the same thing about the situation in 2006. that illegaliew migration is very market sensitive and reacts to information in the marketplace about what is going on and what you can expect to happen after you have paid a coyote $6,000 and have migrated all the way appear. to the consternation and unhappiness of many, i've
been very public about our enforcement efforts. our enforcement efforts this fiscal year with regard to central america, after all these people go through the incredible fearprocess, having their heard in the appeals court and so forth, just this fiscal year, we have sent back 28,000 people to central america. nobody is sitting on their hands. we sent 28,000 people to central america. on average, 14 flights a week. people are being sent back routinely. but out of how: many people who have come? what is the total that have come in of the 28,000? the number of totally who have come in just this fiscal year exceeds that
28,000 number because a lot of them go through the litigation of our asylum claims and that takes months and months. number of judges to hear these claims but once we go through the process, i'm sending people back -- i understandon: the political heat and i appreciate that, but do you know what the estimate is? if you are saying you sent back 28,000 out of how matic came into this country illegally that we know of? so far, this fiscal year, there have been 152,000 apprehensions on our southern border. senator johnson: and there's a dispute about how many get by without us knowing about it. one of the reasons you and i are better interested -- are interested in better developing border metrics.
presumably always people are in deportation proceedings, but as you know, it is a time-consuming process. we are routinely sending hundreds of thousand people's -- hundreds of thousands of people back to central america. johnson: one of the reason we only have a thousand unaccompanied mexican children as we can send them back right away. sec. johnson: it is a different situation. it is not quite the same situation. just finish her sentence about mexico is a different situation. finish that please. sec. johnson: the economy is different. the push factors are different. mexico is a much different country from 15 years ago when the numbers of illegal migrants coming from there were far, far
greater. i think it is notable that though our economy is improving, the number of apprehensions on our southern border is a fraction of what it used to be we andto the investments the congress have made in border security over the last 15 years. could we do better? absolutely. are we concerned about another spike? we have to be prepared for that. nobody is popping champagne corks. i had a meeting with the secretary of the hhs to try to anticipate what could be the worst. said, i don't think 2014 14 is a perfect comparator. the trendlines are different but we can assume we are going to cc no migration trending up again. >> they have a what i'm tempted to call a vibrant middle class
the they did not have 20 years ago. part of that could be attributable to nafta and other things as well. we still have problems with rule of law in this country and they have their challenges in mexico in that regard. the folks coming out of , themala and el salvador secretary has been down there and if we live down there, those countries trying to raise our families, we might want to get them to a safer place. ok, cyber security -- over the last several years, we talked about it a lot and we have done very good work. an earlier congress with tom known was providing greater hiring flexibility. pieces trying to
recognize the responsibilities of the department of homeland and doing thatb in a thoughtful way. and do that with a paperwork drill system to a real-time system where we are able to respond in a real-time basis. thate happy with all of an opportunitye to begin hiring cyber warriors. how is it going? first of all, thank you, both of you for taking on this complex subject and pushing out a really good bill last year. thank you also for the cyber legislation we got in 2014 that gives us additional hiring authorities. we are competing in a tough
marketplace against the private sector that is in a position to offer a lot more money. her peopleulding and are making very aggressive efforts to implement the tree 14 legislation you past and in the interim, to do a lot of things in recruitment and expediting the hiring process. we need more cyber talent without a doubt. not where we should be right now. that is without a doubt. senator carter: one of your top cyber people came out of the private sector. i'm sure she was very well compensated. did reason why when i talk to her about it is she felt a desire to give back to her
country. it's all well and good that for otheriors work companies but there's something to appealing to someone's sense of patriotism and that's one of the things that draws her. that is a calling card, if you will and i'm sure that we do. up by saying there's an increase in the president's proposed budget for next year. ,he cyber security programs some of these moneys will be einstein one and einstein three. personneln the new for your cyber ops. how does the budget support implementation of the
information sharing legislation enacted in the last year we worked on it together? support the budget that? sec. johnson: the short answer is further investments in maintaining technology and building upon what we have. investments in the einstein system, further investments in cdm. it specifically authorizes dhs to go into other departments and agencies to detect and block intrusions. that's a good thing that congress gave us the authority to do that because we were finding considerable uncertainty. one of my top priorities for cyber security while i am in office is to have eta in place to lock intrusions across our
entire surveillance system and that's one of the legal mandates in the bill. platform forlso a building additional capabilities goingt we are not just after known intrusions but suspected intrusions. there are pilots out there now to that and we need to do that for the future. the funding for additional technology that i think was passed last year. carter: just a quick follow-up -- we are learning a lot about apple and the have with thethey fbi. it is a serious matter and we have a mass killing in san bernardino and 14 people were killed by a couple who were radicalized and there is a cell
phone, and apple cell phone in question that i think was not owned by the perpetrators of the violence, but owned by the county where the husband had actually worked. we have a role to play here. think there are some people with one mind set on this issue -- it is a tough issue, but as we consider legislation on this matter, do you have some advice for us? is. johnson: my advice ensure you have the views of all the stakeholders. sector, from the intelligence community and from
the law enforcement community, federal and state. one person who comes to mind is cyrus vance, the manhattan da. he was a friend of mine and has been very vocal about the encryption issue from the local law enforcement level and he reminds us that basically any crime that involves communication, not just federal detectis harder to because of the encryption issue. believe there needs to be a readjustment in the pendulum. response to the demands in the marketplace, the tech sector has gone a long way toward encryption, but it has in fact situation where potential terrorist plotting is harder to detect.
that theres do agree needs to be a recalibration. i of course support the government position in the case involving apple in california. if we are to grapple with this problem, i think smart people can solve the problem but we have to ensure all the stakeholders are represented in that discussion. : one last one if i could, others on the staff have worked a lot on trying to put legislative language authorizing some of the initiatives and their unity of effort. why do you want to leave some of your reforms in for the next secretary and willy's help in some way?
-- will they help in some way? sec. johnson: are very able secretary who is sitting right -- russ dio, a former client of mine and his cfo and deputy secretary, we've gone a long way to get off the high risk list. a lot of theongly things we are doing to remove the stovepipes in dhs and have a more strategic approach to budget making, acquisitions and so forth should be institutionalized. i think it will make the department a utter and more effective place for homeland security. direction of the more centralized, more strategic approaches to our homeland security mission. we have been stovepipes far too
often and we need to move to a model like the department of defense were you have joint duty and joint task forces and like. there are provisions in the current law that create some limitations on our ability to do that. authorization of our unity effort initiatives is something i very much support which includes reforming and restructuring. i know your committee is working through these rings now and i support the good work there. senator carter: and i think it is fair to say we support what you are trying to do. thank you so much for enjoying us today.
>> i have some questions today and i will kind of step through them. i appreciate you working with me on the board metrics bill and if we are going to secure the a betterwe need situation. i would like to actually get that passed with the effort you are trying to do in your department. koppel's book ted and we held a hearing on this. the empames woolsey -- commission -- i guess you would call them quick fixes. the gfl reported they haven't done a whole lot on that. attackessed the unsolved on an electrical substation and you read about the cyber attack on the power grid system in ukraine.
the solar storms and geomagnetic -- let's look at north korea. with ballistic missile technology. there are reports that arendt have tested scud missiles. these threats are real. can you talk about critical infrastructure? oneuld say it is the number . the electricity goes down, the lights go off, we are in a world of hurt. secretarystioned muniz about this, he said dr. richard garvin is a national treasure. he was referred to as one of the few geniuses. expanded beyond just emp and gmd
and cyber attack. where are we at on that? better than we were, but there's more to do. everything inwith ted koppel's book but he was right to put a spotlight on the issue. since the earthquake in japan in 2012, there were a lot of lessons learned for the u.s. government and private-sector infrastructure. was a seminalich event, we've done a lot of partnering sharing best practices and sharing information about the potential for a cyber attack on power grids. and we do exercises now with them and we are in a better place than we were. team in thedhs
ukraine recently that was a cyber attack. it led to a power failure and we are not in a position to attributed to any particular source. but it was a cyber attack. senator johnson: and highly sophisticated. appear toon: it would have been very sophisticated. that's a wake-up call for those who have not been awakened by this problem and this risk. criticalrking with infrastructure and i have spoken to ceos of utilities about this problem and there is clearly more to do. johnson: what is the lead in your department looking at this? sec. johnson: we have been assistant secretary for infrastructure protection who is part of this effort and also our cyber security efforts as well.
workor johnson: i want to closely with you to do whatever we can legislatively. i've got more questions but i will turn it over to chairman mccain. back,r mccain: welcome secretary johnson. a couple of issues real quick. we are terribly short of staffing at our ports of entry at our southern border. legislation which would expedite veterans being hired, we've done a number of things but we are still, for example, at no gallas, the mariposa point of entry, we are 20% understaffed. you see these vacant lanes and traffic stacked up behind it simply because we don't have the personnel. it's my understanding that it
takes 18 months and we did pass legislation that would expedite veterans and former military but we are still not making up for the shortfall. i am of the view that we need to have some kind of incentive pay or hazardous duty pay placed at that experience high traffic flows and i'm interested in your view on that. sec. johnson: first, senator, we are not where we need to be. no argument from me there. cbp is making aggressive efforts to hire and bring on people to get them through the polygraph exams. i fully support hiring of veterans and making it easier to hire veterans. you are interested in legislation to deal with pay
and these areas and i'm happy to look at that with you, sir. senator mccain: it's a very tough environment along all of our southern border but i would it gets arizona particularly warm and i can understand how tough a duty it is. just as we in the military provide incentive pay for hardship positions, i hope and iuld look at that will be introducing legislation on it because it is just not sufficient when we are well over 100 customs agents short. there is something wrong with the level of staffing required were something wrong with the level of personnel. thatw that you know
there's an epidemic of manufactured heroin and the heroinof manufacturing overdoses that have been described by some governors, including the governor of new hampshire as an epidemic. the heroin is being transported across the border in arizona and 223% as have increased the drug cartels transport and theribute the drug to united states. i think is particularly interesting, the passing of nancy reagan, the just say no to drugs was something i think we got to do a lot more of. agree that heroin drug overdose deaths are skyrocketing? that's just ask we get from the art most of these
manufactured heroin coming across the ports of entry rather than smuggling across the border areas one reason -- for several reasons and what do you propose we need to combat this? some governors have described this as an epidemic. most ofnson: i agree the heroin that is seized is seized at the ports of entry at our southern border. that is what the facts and statistics show as opposed to maritime, for example. greater levels of seizures by customs and border protection's. a national task force with the department of justice to deal with a heroin epidemics specifically. part of the joint task force missions i created two years ago modeled after the structure we
have in arizona is the illegal narcotics problem, not just illegal migrants. i want our agents to be focused on narcotics as well. we are seeing an increase. it is alarming at it needs to be a national government effort within dhs -- dhhs. andave ice and customs border protection focused on this problem and we are seeing seizures at higher levels without a doubt. it also seems: the problem is increasing rather than decreasing. that itotal agreement is supply and demand, but it seems to me that despite our increase in that interdiction that the problem is growing worse. would you agree with that? do you have any ideas? i think we need
more resources at the federal government level, not just dhs and a coordinated, sustained effort to deal with this problem. senator mccain: i hope this committee can get some recommendations from you because i haven't seen anything when i travel to new hampshire and hear the governor of new hampshire say it is an epidemic in her state, throughout the west as well -- maybe we should talk about demand, but no one wants to discuss that aspect of it, either. on the children showing up at the border, is one of the answers allowing increasing our embassy and consulates capability in those three countries, el salvador, nicaragua and