tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN December 9, 2009 8:00pm-11:00pm EST
although no one new it, that the epogen that amer isource resold had most likely run through a cooler in the back of this strip club. in the backroom of a miami strip club called playpen south. here is the chart that shows the distribution system that this drug went through. again, this is not an import. this is a domestic drug. and you can see this unbelievable, complicated distribution system. and at the end of that, they traveled through strip clubs, they traveled through homes, they traveled through trunks of cars without proper cooling. and this story was told in great detail by some outstanding
investigation by katherine eban, in something called "dangerous doses." in that -- mr. president, i ask to be allowed to continue to use -- i ask unanimous consent that we extend the period of debate until 3:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak up to 10 minutes each and no amendments in order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dorgan: i ask to speak with as much time as i may consume. as much time as i may consume. without objection. >> again, talking about the issue i just described, it traveled through strip clubs, homes, the trunks of cars without proper cooling -- again i am talking about the issue of domestic drug supply that was counterfeit. the amendment that we're
offering would fix this supply chain problem and require a pedigree for all drugs, not just those important, all drugs. should have been done long ago and some of us have been trying for a long while. it will allow us to track every single drug from where it is made to the pharmacy where it is sold. in my amendment will require a set of anti counterfeiting measures that are not in place now. if you think of it, i have a $20 bill and most people who have looked at the new bills will understand there's very sophisticated and very substantial anti counterfeiting technology in a new $20 bill. that does not exist by the way, that's sophistication, that relentless search for the ability to detect counterfeiting does not exist regrettably in our drug supply. the pedigree that we require, that raising capability, the batch lots will make that requirement on our entire drug
supply. this amendment will make our entire drug supply safer, allow americans to benefit from lower prices, the prices at which the same identical drugs are sold in other countries. many cases, half the price and in some cases much much lower, 10 percent of the price they are sold in this country. now, i want to talk just a moment about the issue of drug price inflation. because the drug price what is happening to us in this country is the drug price inflation, the premise increases year after year is the red line, 9.3% this. this is the rate of inflation so if we don't do anything to do with the issue of the price of prescription drugs we will have missed the opportunity to do something to help the american people. now, let me just describe a two-story is about the need for this amendment.
my home state, in north dakota, marianas wrote to me. my husband has parkinsons sony takes a drug called your pecs. we have medicare part d but he adds up in the donor bullet in 2008 we paid a hundred $6 for his medication and increased to $187 in october and november, $190 in december and now as september 2009 the price was $286, $180 increase in one year. >> will the senator yield for question? >> i'd be happy to. >> can i ask the senator i know of where has talked about this, how does the senator count for the fact that there is nearly 9% increase in the cost of pharmaceutical drugs well as the consumer price index this year has gone down 1.3%? and this is probably the highest increase i understand in history
or in most recent years in the cost of prescription drugs. what is the explanation between the divergence of those two lines? >> well, the explanation i suppose, probably better address of the pharmaceutical industry how and why you increase this way and my guess is they do it because they can. the fact is the cost of living index, the inflation rate is the yellow line, the price of prescription drugs is the red line. >> would that have anything to do with anticipation of incoming reductions or reductions in increase the cost of pharmaceuticals? >> my expectation is a the pharmaceutical industry has said that this is a time to increase the prices and the most of for an element here is there is no restraint, no one has a capability and restrain them and the only way to provide
restraint on this is if you said to the american consumer, you know what, you don't have to buy it from these people at this price because it's olinda for chile every other country in half the price and you say to the american people we're going to give the freedom to access the drug elsewhere. i think quickly the pharmaceutical industry wouldn't be able to impose these price increases because then you have competition. freedom equal competition in my opinion. >> and i ask another question? we understand that you can buy less from overseas, you can buy a many other products from overseas, you can buy dairy products, almost any item except perhaps prescription drugs. and yet the canadians in particular as well as the countries that are included in the senator's amendment all adhere to the same standards or higher standards than the u.s.
does and now i am understand that one of the senators, not you, has received a letter saying that this is still a problem. i don't get it. it may be the senator from north dakota can explain a little better. >> there is not a safety issue here. to the extent there's a safety issue is that we intend to increase safety of both the domestic supply prescription drugs and every in foreign -- supported supply of drugs because the fact is there is nothing at this point dealing with batch lots and pedigrees and raising capability. that doesn't exist at this point and we will insist on it in the senate so for anybody to suggest that somehow we're going to end up with a prescription drug industry of that is less safe or prescription drug products less safe, that's not the facts and as i indicated before the senator came to the floor, europe has been doing this for 20 years in parallel trading. if you are in germany and want
to buy a prescription drug from spain you can, italy from france you can, they do successfully. i don't believe anybody should tell us we are not capable of doing what the europeans have done for 20 years and is giving people the freedom to access those prescription drugs or the are sold at a better price. >> can i ask another question? isn't it true that a letter was written to one of our colleagues from the administrator of the fda, the organization in that would basically make sure that any product that goes to american consumers along these lines would go through that bureaucracy, it said it would require significant amounts of assets and resources. i have since been told there is 11,000 employees of that bureaucracy and i wonder if he thinks about that argument and again was the senator from north dakota and front about this
position which by the way is in the same position as the previous administration? >> well, mr. president, the senator from arizona is correct. there is a letter from the fda. you know, the practice we have seen it this over the years that they say, well, we don't have the resources or it will impose more risk. the fact is this amendment provides the resources for them. because of those that are going to register to be able to ship fda-approved drugs into this country and a better price are going to have to pay a fee. the people that are selling will pay a fee and those pharmacies and others in our country who will be receiving will also pay a fee. this actually funds -- >> require no additional funding from the taxpayer? >> no additional funding from the taxpayer at all, those that decide they will offer these lower-priced prescription drugs
will be paying a fee for the purpose of being able to do that but this is not a taxpayer funded issue at all and it will provide the additional resources and pay for those without asking the taxpayers to come up with the money. >> two these countries that are included in the senator's amendment, do we have absolute assurance and can we look at the american people and say those countries and the agreements we would have with them that you could have products that are safe if you could safely by in it would not impose any hazard to anyone's health? >> mr. president, the countries that are involved in this amendment and they are limited to, they have identical chain of custody to our country. and so these are countries that are accessing the same drugs. i just mentioned, let me do it again because i showed two bottles of medicine. there are empty obviously but both of these bottles contains
lipitor. most of my colleagues know what lipitor is. in this was made by an american company in ireland to ensure all of the world. this little bottle was shipped to the u.s., this was shipped to canada. the same bottle, one was blue and red in the label but the same pills the same company, inspected by the fda. now, what's the difference? the price. the american consumers are told guess what you need to do. you pay almost triple. why? and it is not just in the american consumer. if i can just hold up a chart that shows to drugs of i can find it, one is nexium, and one is lipitor. here is the price for nexium. you think the industry is selling nexium at $37 for the equivalent quantity in germany and losing money.
i don't think they're losing money but instead 37 they charge of the american consumer $424. my point is, their pricing policy. >> i ask, what of the pharmaceutical company said its cost $424 because we have to absorb the cost of all the research that went into developing nexium? >> i would say that that is also always raced to say, well, you know, if you don't allow us to charge of the american consumer the highest prices in the world we don't get to do the research and development that produces the next new miracle drug. you know what, most of the recent studies have shown that those industries, the pharmaceutical industry spends more money on promotion, marketing and advertising than on research. there's one other piece -- the congress gave without my supports a proposal that said in those american companies that have money overseas should bring it back into a lower tax rate.
guess which industry was one of the lower -- largest to repatriate profits from abroad -- the pharmaceutical industry. they are making big profits abroad and charging lower prices to those consumers abroad, why can't the american people have access to those prices? not because they're born to his money because in the middle lot of money abroad and that's why they prepaid treated much at a lower rate. >> and i asked the senator come into the seniors from his state and other citizens from his state travel to canada and by the use prescription drugs because they know it and are confident they are getting at a much lower price the same product? unfortunately citizens in my state have to go south and that is unfortunate when they have to do that because we do have a much larger problem in there, i'm sorry to say. >> well, nexium -- mr. president, the citizens from
north dakota often have to go to canada to buy prescription drugs and i've told this story about the old codger sitting on a bill in a firm on what i had a town meeting, he was sort of nibbling on a piece of straw and said to me, my wife has been fighting breast cancer for three years and said the only way we can pay for our prescription drugs was to drive to canada once every three months because when you buy tamoxifen in canada you pay one-tenth of the price for one fifth to pay in the u.s. so he said we did that every three months of my wife could keep fighting breast cancer. of course, they do that. what is happening is consumers are allowed to bring back as an informal strategy about 90 days' worth of supply of prescription drugs for personal use only by most american consumers can't do that. they don't live anywhere close to a border and the question is can the rest of the american people have access to the same prescription drugs that are sold at a fraction of the price? >> and i ask is it to the congressional budget office has
determined if this measure of yours, this modest measure of only country is that our highest vel inspection, of all the standards that we have, with its aims american consumer $100 billion? $100 billion -- is that true? >> mr. president, the cbo says it will save the federal government about $19 billion and then about another $80 billion will be saved by the consumers of that's about $100 billion. nearly $100 billion savings in total, 19 billion of which will be saved by the federal government for its purchases and the rest by the american consumers. >> finally i like to ask the senator, what is the basis of the argument against the senator's amendment? what possible reason frankly except for or perhaps the influence of special interest in this our nation's capital?
>> well, i'm not a very good advocate for the other side. i mean, if one were to ask what's the best argument oppose my amendment i would say there aren't any arguments that are the best. there's a range of poor arguments or arguments that don't hold much water. my own view is that -- let me just describe, i started by saying i don't have a brief against the pharmaceutical industry, i want them to do well in be successful, want them to keep finding in searching for a miracle drugs and by the way much of the work they will do with that comes from the national institutes of health and the massive investments we make in research. i want them all to be successful. my beef with them is i think a pricing strategy that says the people here's what two pay into nothing about this because we've decided this was a bang and will offer everyone else around the world lower prices. they are wrong about this pricing issue and i think the way to correct it is to give the
american people a little freedom here. he will save money for the government, save money for the american people and and i want to make an additional point of the senator is here -- yesterday i read a series of advertisements. at the senator from arizona is like me, when i brushing my teeth in the morning and have a television blaring and i hear all these ads. go ask the doctor if the purple pill is right for you. i don't have the foggiest idea what it would do for me but to feel the ads are so compelling you almost feel about to get out of here and stop brushing my teeth and go get a phone and call a doctor and see whether my life might be improved by taking a purple pills. i read a series of these advertisements, does your restless mind keep you from sleeping, the you lie awake exhausted, though as your doctor how to get seven nights of sleep. i've read a bunch of these, i will now, but bladder problems, lomax, ambien, they advertise it
all day every morning and i just say, knockoff will love that. give us some better prices. god bless you for doing all you do and i would say give us fair prices to the american consumer. and now, little of the advertising. the advertising and draws for a product that only a doctor can prescribe it. you can't get this unless a doctor things you need it. so stop asking me of the purple pills right for me are asking me to ask a doctor with a purple pill is right for senator mccain a. knock it off. >> could i say, ask unanimous consent to just make an additional comment, mr. president? >> is there objection? >> without objection. >> i want to thank the senator from north dakota who has been pursuing this issue for a number of years. i really believe that we're in the verge of success. i appreciate his eloquence and his passion, but most of all on behalf of the citizens of my state who can't get up to
canada, who now are experiencing an unprecedented economic difficulties, who need these life-saving prescription drugs, and many of them senior citizens, that i does want to say thank you for your advocacy. i think he made an eloquent case and i hope that my colleagues have been attention and will vote in the affirmative for your amendment today. >> mr. president, let me say senator mccain has been a part of this effort for a long time and this is -- it's interesting with all of the action on the floor and the senate in recent weeks, this is one of the few examples of a significant policy that is bipartisan. we've got republicans and democrats over 30 co-sponsors who have worked with us to make certain we can do this and do it safely and give the american people the opportunity they deserve. this is really bipartisan and i appreciate that a lot. i want to say that the national
federation of independent business supports this, the aarp supports it, we've got a long list of organizations that are strong supporters of this legislation in this amendment i should say. i really hope that today perhaps at last, at long last after eight or 10 years we might finally achieve a breakthrough and get this through the senate. i said previously the pharmaceutical industry is a formidable opponent, i understand that and we've had difficulty getting this in a piece of legislation that gets sign to get the american people the freedom and their pricing and when we do this senator mccain, myself and others it is suggested somehow that we have no regard to this industry. it's not the case at all, it just is not. we have no regard for a pricing policy however, that we believe is unfair to the american people and it's been that way for too long. a long time, too long and perhaps today with the vote on
this amendment i expect the leader this afternoon perhaps today will be the first up in getting that changed. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> this week senators continue their debate on health care bill, watch live gavel-to-gavel coverage on c-span2, the only network with a full debate and edited commercial free. now the latest updates from reporters and editors of the congressional quarterly roll-call group. we have a partner in for enhanced coverage of the senate health care debate throughout the month. find out more at c-span health care hub.
patrick leahy of vermont tears in this judiciary committee, it is two hours and 15 minutes. >> [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. thank everybody for being here and i welcome secretary napalitano back to the committee for a second oversight hearing since her confirmation hearing in january. in the first-ever loss of the secretaries tenure, the department of homeland security, we have seen some market changes in the with the immigration security is in conducted, i hope this will serve as well as we consider broader immigration reform legislation in the new year. i know that senator schumer as
chairman of the subcommittee will be will it working on that and we will try to have an immigration reform legislation. we often hear that we can't begin a comprehensive reform of our immigration laws to deal with control of our borders. since the senate last considered immigration reform, many of us republicans and democratic members alike worked with the former president george w. bush to try to get a comprehensive reform and i several times publicly applauded him for his efforts on that pier and but most of the enforcement benchmarks include in prior legislation were substantially met. indications are illegal immigration has receded and madam secretary we commend you and in the men, women of their eastern their efforts and border
control. it has been more pragmatic and effective to -- conducting targeted audience and were properly the groundwork for meaningful prosecution of employers. the prior administration launched large-scale immigration raids, disrupting business operations, depriving arrested workers of due process. i think that was an overreaction and it madam secretary you have adopted a sensible approach to immigration enforcement. the department reflects your significant experience as a prosecutor before you were here. and as a governor. sensible enforcement in the current law will not by itself solve our problems and we do need reform and comprehensive reform. an example from my home state of vermont, demonstrates how badly we need broadbased reform of our
immigration laws. three weeks ago poor in vermont firms were visited by enforcement agents as part of a nationwide workplace immigration on it. a vermont dairy farmers, law abiding people, want to respect the law, they want to higher unlawful workers, but they struggle to find american workers and unlike other agriculture businesses they are not eligible to hire temporary foreign workers under abc programmer. we do hire temporary workers and vermont for apple picking and things like that. unfortunately in dairy farms you need a year round, you can't tell the house will be back to milky in six months. doesn't work that way -- they are forced to choose between their livelihood or adhering to our immigration laws. and i have urged the department
of labor to modify this to a program in the current bull making process to continue to fight for enactment of the enforcement and i would urge you madam secretary to enforce these. another example again from vermont that demonstrates how we can use immigration laws to promote job creation and foreign investment in the united states, we found a hearing in july, saw how the investor program known as eb5 is three millions of dollars of foreign investments to the state of vermont helping create jobs. i want to commend senator sessions, a strong supporter of the eve d5 process. we work together in legislation on this. and i want to thank the secretary of the department's recent approval an expansion of the ed5 center program in vermont. long advocated making this a permanent program.
extended for another three years, i think it should be permanent. it has soared across the country, alabama, new york, oklahoma, illinois, pennsylvania, south carolina, wisconsin and, of course, vermont. it creates jobs. we also have to have immigration laws that haven't reflection of our american heritage and that is why appreciate the secretary napalitano, who has addressed the shameful detention system. it should have systemic reform with enforceable standards of detention systems internal independent oversight, broader use of security and alternatives to detention, expanded access to legal counsel for the detained. we want americans to live up to our ideals of welcoming and protecting the asylum seekers the refugees. the problem has made progress, resolving the harm to genuine
refugees caused by overly broad application of material support. we are a nation of immigrants. my maternal immigrants -- grandparents immigrated here from italy and my maternal great grape and parents from ireland. that is what makes this country what it is, but more still needs to be done. in i heard the secretary to expeditiously issue regulations on severe gender based persecution's on the basis for asylum claims. these matters have been pending for 14 years. we need regulation to protect other victims. but i want to commend the secretary for working in a constructive manner to address the impending december 31st real id compliance deadline. the residents of the state's
that are not materially compliant with the real idea mayn't be denied access to airplanes in federal buildings, the national governors' association failed to comply by december 31st i can just think of thousands and thousands of americans from the state's will get them on planes to go visit relatives over christmas. and if there is a strict enforcement of the laws when they go to fly back, they will be told they can't. ..
the coble that together. it takes some strong leadership from the top and you have the background that would qualify you for that and we want to be supportive when we can, and provide the oversight that we are required to provide. the primary mission of the department is to lead a unified national effort to secure america to deter terrorist attacks and protect against threats. i believe the attorney general holder testified before us not
long ago his decision to bring khalid sheikh muhammad and other terrorist in new york city for civilian trials is inaction that makes your mission more difficult, bring foreign nationals into the united states allows them to take a definitive the immigration laws and certain rights and federal courts, though our last department of justice oversight hearing, the attorney general seemed unfamiliar with these consequences when asked about them, so i would hope that you can clarify that for us today. and see what we can do about this action that i think would bring into our country some very dangerous people. and it has the potential of resulting in dare being released in the united states. a major component of your mission is securing of the nation's borders, deterring those who attempt to enter illegally and finding and removing those who have come
here in violation of the law while facilitating entry of illegal immigrants in a fair and timely manner. so, i am disappointed by some of the actions that you have taken that i think undermine the enforcement measures for those in the country now illegally, which i think is critical to the during illegal immigration in this country. at a time when the unemployment rate is 10%, i believe it is not responsible to invite our allow illegal workers to take jobs that should be available to american citizens and legal immigrants. by pushing for the legalization of an estimated 12 million people here illegally or by turning a blind eye to the estimated 11, 8 million illegal workers who are now displacing americans from jobs i believe that your policies are not
helping. earlier this year, i told the president at a meeting we had that there should be a real possibility for us to reach an agreement on a number of the important immigration issues. the american people however, cannot and will not accept a bait and switch like the 1886 bill, where it in effect provided immediate amnesty to millions of people who entered illegally in exchange for provinces-- promises for enforcement that never occurred, so i do think it is important that we demonstrate in you demonstrate an enhanced and improved enforcement if we are going to be able to ask the american people to support any kind of comprehensive bill in the future. we have i am pleased to say, made some important strides in securing our borders and i know the department took some
effective steps in the final years of the bush administration to strengthen the interior enforcement through the construction of fencing and increased border patrol agents. we have seen a dramatic agent-- in the amount of apprehensions at the border and i hope and believe this indicates that fewer people are trying to enter illegally. in fact the number of people caught illegally attempting to enter the united states dropped by more than 23% in 2009, and 556,000 apprehensions made in 2009 represents an almost 50% decrease from the 1.1 million arrests made at the border in 2005 and 2006. the department homeland security has over 340 miles a pedestrian fencing and almost 300 miles of
vehicle barriers and this in addition to almost doubling the amount of border patrol agents seized in 2005, so these are developments that have been critical to this progress but to be frank, the leadership did not come from the executive branch. it came from congress and the american people, who insist that these things be done. the fact is that the current dhs policies are systematically beaconing i think our interior enforcement. we need to talk about that. i believe the american people rejected this philosophy in 2006 and 2007 come and we need to be able to assure the american people that laws will be in force and we are not going to just look the other way. faith in the system is a message
sent worldwide when we fail to enforce our laws and the message is if you can just get into this country, you are safe, don't worry about it. cqynar or later they are going to give you a legal status. works on enforcement has been in freefall under your leadership. based on sadistic, administrative arrest inside the country pursuant to work side enforcement actions have fallen 68% since 2008, 2009, just in that period of time. criminal arrests of fallen 60%. crème mall indictments have fallen 50% and criminal convictions have fallen 63%. so, i think they are dramatic reduction in worksite enforcement efforts is not healthy, and it is not going to be made up by ini audits that have not proved historically to be effective.
under current policies, dhs has rescinded the noam rule, weakened the 287 local law enforcement cooperation program and pressed for passage of a bill that was unacceptably weak in the real id act. these actions are troubling, because they indicate the administration is saying that if illegal aliens are able to get into their country, they will not be bothered, so this is i think a wrong policy and it's wrong message. this country is a nation of immigrants. we do welcome millions of people, millions each year who follow the law and into our country to the lawful channels. this country is the nation also of loss and the cannot refuse to
enforce those laws. it undermines respect for the great tradition and heritage of american law. so i look forward to discussing these issues with you during the hearing, the important questions i really and truly believe we have an opportunity to continue to make progress and immigration far greater than a lot of people have thought and at this time with the surge in unemployment i feel it is important we do so. thank you for your work. thank you for the skills and talents to bring to the office and i look forward to working with you on matters on which we can agree and to raising matters to which we don't agree. thank you. >> thank you senator sessions. madam secretary. >> thank you chairman leahy, senator sessions, members of the committee. securing our borders in enforcing immigration laws is made top priority for the department, and security. over the past year, we have
taken the unprecedented action to achieve our goals and the results have been striking. as part of the southwest border initiative we have added more manpower, technology and resources to the border. wit implemented a southtown strategy to prevent illegal weapons and cash from crossing the border into mexico supporting a large drug cartels there and expanded our partnerships with their federal, state and local wittstock was border and mexico and mexican law-enforcement. compared to last year, seizures and all categories, drugs, smuggle cash, illegal weapons are up dramatically as a result of the southtown strategy. as noted, apprehensions are also at decade lows, down 23% this year, and senator sessions i agree with you, interior and enforcement as part and parcel of immigration enforcement.
we have in the last year identified and removed criminal aliens, fugitives and gang members in record numbers. and fiscal year 2009, i.c.e. removed a record number of illegal immigrants, 387,000 of which 136,000 were criminal aliens. secured communities, which we are expanding throughout law enforcement agencies in the united states. it checks the biometrics booked in local jails, identified more than 111,000 criminal aliens just in this first year. we have improved oversight in the 287 gee program and renegotiated the agreements there to make them more effective. we have enhanced in expanded e-verify. this is also part of interior and enforcement. over 175,000 employers and more than 600,000 work sites are using the system with thousands more joining every week.
and that is important because that provides a way for the american worker to know that the legality of workers is being checked. we have taken action to reform immigration detention systems to ensure that those in custody are treated humanely, given appropriate time the medical care. we are improving federal oversight and management including more direct supervision of detention facilities by i.c.e. and we are also developing strategies for alternatives to detention to be used where appropriate. these efforts are part of our enforcement but as we both noted, we also facilitate the illegal entry into the united states, and mr. chair, i had the honor of being at ellis island last friday and swearing in 140 new citizens to the united states including ten active duty military and one is the great pleasures of being secretary of
homeland security and while i was there they gave me the ship registry where my grandfather came over and emigrated, so it just illustrates once again that we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. with respect to that, we have eliminated the name check backlog. we have launched a very customer oriented web site. we also have eliminated the so-called widow's penalty and other things that were not consistent with our overall immigration values. finally, we are continuing to ensure that lawful travelers and commerce move across the border as quickly insecurely. is unimplemented that land, sea and airports. complaints remains very high, but 95%. we are strengthening u.s. visit and then lastly on the issue of the driver's licenses, 9/11 commission recommended that there be more secure provisions
surrounding issuance of driver's licenses. there was a provision tacked onto an appropriations bill called real i.d., to do that. unfortunately, it was tacked on without adequate consultation with the state's elected minister the driver's license program for the working with the national governors' association, working in cross party lines, it was developed and i urge you to see if you can move this legislation forward. the deadline is fast approaching and as mr. jimminy noted, this is something even if we extend the deadline, we have to for the 9/11 commission report which is to get to a more secure driver's license system. >> but you do support the pass id? >> absolutely and we are very interested and i think national security as we build the architecture of it, requires the take on that recommendation a
move the agency forward. finally, we need to no, or we look forward to working with you on immigration reform. the president is committed to that. he is committed to reform that includes serious, effective been sustained enforcement that includes improved legal flows for families and workers, and a firm way to deal with those already illegally in the country. we need to demand responsibility and accountability from everyone involved, the department, and security, our law enforcement partners, businesses and we must be able to find the workers they need here in america, and immigrants themselves, as we enforce the law of moving forward. so i look forward to working with you mr. chairman, senator sessions and others on this committee to develop a path
forward early next year to reform the immigration system as a whole. >> thank you very much. were going to go around to ask one question. i have already discussed it with senator sessions. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you secretary napolitano. just a brief question. this is on the western hemisphere travel initiative that went into effect on june 1st in buffalo new york and rounder nor them border. we have seen a precipitous drop off on border crossings in the good part of that, at least the people there believe is because of the lack of education. that canadians believe they need a passport to travel across the border. obviously they don't. was put together to make easy to travel across the border but the problem is they believe that and a good number of our americans believe the same. western new york and buffalo depends on cross-border traffic. it is probably the number-one
thing in their economies so would you be willing to work with me and commit to working with you and your canadian cully to get an education campaign on both sides of the border informing people with the requirements are of witi that you don't need a passport and it is not very hard to travel across the border because it is hurting our economy up there pretty badly. >> senator schumer yes. in fact we have had an extension campaign for several months including when people get to across point they are giving you sheet sing this is all you need to do and you can get over here and get your witi card, one-stop shopping but we are more than willing. >> they think they need a passport. less than one-third of canadians and slightly higher percent, less than one-third of americans and slightly higher percentage of canadians have a passport, so we need to get that education to the people who have not gone across the border and if you
could help us with that and work with your kannady and colleague and would be most welcome. mr. chairman and my colleagues thank you. >> i hear the same questions in vermont. many of us go back and forth regularly to canada as though we are going to another state, and it does affect commerce considerably on both sides of the border, and others-- my wife does, family members and can the and i know it is just a personal thing but i know hundreds and hundreds of people in our state of vermont where it becomes an issue with family, said the education, the canadians doing the same would be very helpful. last, apparently the tsa, the transportation security
administration, you and i discussed this before you came in, poston airports grading manual on line last spring and detailed procedures for screening passengers, how certain materials can be masked and so on. they described x-ray machines and explosives, listed the countries from which passport holders would be subject to greater scrutiny. apparently tsa learned of this last sunday after a blog varon put it on the internet. then they initiated an internal review. who should be held accountable? >> first of all, mr. chairman, let me say two things about the posting itself. and that is that the security of the traveling public has never been put at risk and the
document that was posted was an out of date document. nonetheless the posting of it did not meet our own standards for what should be available on the net and not available on the net, so we have already initiated personnel actions against the individuals involved in that. we have already instituted an internal review to see what else needs to be done so the incident never occurs, and i have directed that not just to tsa but that we delay rereview of departmentwide, all of our departments because
as you know we have got one of the the biggest apartments around, to make sure that we are being rigorous and very discipline in what is posted in what is not. >> am i correct that this involves a contractor? >> the individual involved was a contractor. some of the supervisors
ultimately were ntsa. i should also say with respect to this particular incident we have also asked the inspector general to do his own independent review to supplement and complement what we are doing. >> thank you. this week new terrorism related charges were filed in the case against david hadley, a u.s. citizen who was originally rested for conspiring to commit terrorist attacks in denmark. but now he has been charged with helping to plan the didley mumbai attacks in india last year. darrah binnun number brass within the united states. persons charged with plotting attacks.
i'm not going to ask you to going to the individual cases but as you can imagine, this raised a great deal of concern among americans when we have people plotting attacks from the united states even though they may be conducted outside of the united states because it is just as easy to apply such attacks
inside the united states. how do we and how does dhs plan to contribute to confronting the problem of homegrown terrorism in a targeted an effective manner? how much coordination goes on here? we know that 9/11 could have been stopped before it happens if all the dots have been connected. i am not going to go back in rehashed who dropped the ball there but how do we make sure we are not dropping the ball today? >> well, mr. chairman, with respect to hadley, i will keep my remarks restricted on the nature of the case and the justice system as you yourself noted, but we coordinate and are coordinating extensively with the fbi, the cia, the dni and other intelligence agencies in
terms of cases that emanate from broad-- from the interior of the united states. secondly we are increasing our sharing of information at the state and local, so those are the eyes and ears, local law enforcement that need to be more fully engaged and plug in, watching for those who would seek to do us harm and have the information and situational awareness to do it. one of the ways we are doing that mr. chair is through support of fusion centers across the country. >> support of what? >> fusion centers where we have a federal state and local law enforcement collocated and to give you some nuts and bolts, one of the problems we are working through a security clearance so people can get information top-secret and above levels, and that is a process
that is underway right now, and lastly, we are really asking the american people to lead forward and that the individual, business, the community level, whereever come to recognize our security is really a shared responsibility and there things that can be done at all levels even as we work at the dhs to prevent something from occurring. >> but, i agree with you it is important to come forward with things, but then we have to make sure the word gets the route the government. 9/11 could have been totally avoided. there had been warnings from the at least one fbi agent to washington about the concerns he had with the people who were getting the flight lessons and he was told, well that is above your pay grade. we have got it under control.
and nobody did. it really worries me that that could ever happen again. one issue totally different, i mention this in my opening statements, the h2a worker bees up. worker visas. the fact that dairy farmers cannot use this program is a problem. it makes little since when you consider the reason for h2a worker visa programs. it is a problem in wisconsin, in a problem in every state that has the dairy industry. i have commented formerly to a rulemaking process and of its written to secretary solis about this. age to waive rules from sheepherders to obtain h2a visas, even though the job is
exactly what prevent dairy farmers from obtaining workers and that is really not fair. i suggested we-- i'm not with suggesting we cut it from them but to encourage the labor department to make the rules necessary on the h2a program. >> mr. chair, yes and we have been working with the department of labor. there is the issue presented is whether through rule or preg we can fix this issue for the dairy farmers under age two a or whether there will need to be a statutory change and the lawyers are looking at that issue right now. >> god bless the lawyers. but, we do want a solution one way or the other sns we can. >> agreed. >> thank you. senator sessions again i appreciate your courtesy. >> thank you and i know senator leahy is always working to be
effective in helping his constituents, and there are some problems with this farmworker policies we have. let me just say fundamentally what i think we have a problem with. under the last two proposals of comprehensive reform, it basically allowed people to come to work temporarily for three years to bring their families and then opt to re-up again. that clearly is not a strategy that would be effective in the sense that it has no real potential to see them return home. they put down roots. their children start going to school. so if we are going to have an ed program, i think it clearly has to be on a temporary basis or a person wants to come for a season or in the case of terese, maybe they would have to people
come and work ten months each or something of that action but the idea that we would call a temporary worker program a program in which people come for multiple years but their families, with the ability to extend immigration policy puts the us and it's very difficult position. there are so many tough questions on this immigration issues but that is one of the matters were think we have to get our thinking correct about. madam secretary, i was troubled and i raised with you earlier about the statements in washington state, it workplace investigation and you said you were going to get to the bottom of it and the way i anders that it, the message you were sending was, and i told you that, that you didn't want those rates. you didn't want agents out doing what the law requires and that is to investigate businesses to have large numbers of people who
are here illegally, and statistics by isaf show the rest of illegal immigrants are down 60% man that is the category i'm talking about. criminal arrests are down 60%. criminal indictments are down 50% and criminal convictions are down 63% last year. the only activity that this increases the amount of requirements under the ayn ayn audits. such audits which were a fixture of inez policy during the clinton administration, a widely consented to be ineffectual and fines of businesses small and too small to deter the activities were concerned about. and in addition to on paperwork issues the administration has repeatedly refused to take into custody or deport illegal aliens found working when you do the
investigations. one high-profile case for example, american apparel the notorious dos anjos based immigration law garment manufacturing were allowed to terminate hundreds of illegal employees in a series of small dismissals and illegal aliens were allowed to walk free in a way that would allow them to seek employment elsewhere. a recent story on minnesota public radio recounts a similar practice were 1200 illegal aliens were found employed, well-paid janitorial jobs instead of obtaining and applying them the officials went to great pains to ensure the public that they were not being arrested. when misspoke about worksite enforcement at the last hearing you told me "we continue worksite enforcement." and we continue all our
enforcement actions and we will very vigorously. in your written response to questions for the record you also stated, i set strategy would target employers who knowingly hire illegal labor while continuing to arrest and remove illegal workers. you promised that worksite and enforcement operations will continue. administrative arrest will occur and eyes will conduct work sais enforcement investigations of any business regardless of size that is suspected of knowingly employing an unauthorized workers, so how do you square those statements with the numbers that indicate a significant reduction enforcement actions? >> senator i'm glad you ask those questions because i think it is important to emphasize all of the work that has been done on the interior of our country
to enforce immigration laws and just let me repeat, this year since i have been secretary, i.c.e. removed a record number of illegal aliens and their record number of criminal aliens and what we are doing is really focusing on those in the interior of the country who have broken the law and also those who impact public safety. now with respect to work fiec -- work site inspection itself, if we have not supplied you with these numbers, i would be happy to do that. a record number of businesses and individuals for immigration violations. record number of notices of intent to find in with you, the fines are too low. is one of the things i hope congress will take a look at when it addresses immigration reform. final orders to seize violations, to seize violations at record highs. we have literally done dozens
upon dozens of worksite enforcement and i think one of the key differences is that i would like to emphasize is almost the change and intense as we go into a work site. when we go into a work site, our focus, our intent now is to go after the employer, him or herself, themselves because they are creating the demand and you have to deal with immigration, the supply and the demand issue. that is difficult under the current law i will say because the current law doesn't give us some of the enforcement tools be like to do that, but that is why i think you have to look at all the numbers, not just a few to see if there is actually been more worksite enforcement this year than in prior years. lastly i would reiterate e-verify. e-verify it is a fast-growing system. it is a way that is easy.
it is continually being built for employers to verify that the employees they are hiring are here in the country legally and i hope to keep driving the immigration system as a whole toward employer use of e-verify. >> thank you and the border area is very important and progress is being made there, but we do need to reduce that jobs magnet particularly in a time of record on employment for our country. >> i agree. >> thank you senator sessions. senator feingold. >> thank you very much mr. chairman, madam secretary thank you for being here. fema has now obligated $44 billion in response to hurricane katrina, read up in wilma since 2005 however according to the excluded party
list system database, fema has not suspended or debarred a single contract. does this mean your department maintains that no fema contractor has committed fraud during the reconstruction efforts or otherwise? >> senator, let me have the opportunity to take a look into that and give you a more thoughtful response later. >> do you have any initial sense? >> i have made no such conclusion but i don't know whether there are any actions underway and that is what i would like to check for you. >> i would very much appreciate that response and really would like to know if this database is being used properly. if in fact there have been fraud investigations, and if not, i would like to know why not. >> fair enough. >> in august of this year the department issued new policies
governing searches of travelers, electronic devices such as laptops are ipod's at the border. i am deeply disappointed with the policy the department adopted come in particular the refusal to adopt any sort of standard for searching u.s. citizens of the border and madam secretary in addition to the inconvenience picasa the international business travelers these policies also do nothing to as a wage racial profiling when it index. >> border searches. this is unacceptable and that is why i am planning to reintroduce the travelers privacy protection act in the coming months. i've been told the department was the least attempting to increase oversight in transparency related to these searches but given the vastly different standards laid out for cd p it is unclear whether even that goal has been accomplished so the two policies when read in tandem seem to create a series of loopholes that allow these electronic devices to be held in
search for long periods of time without requiring a showing of probable cause. for example, is it true that cbp agents have to obtain supervisory approval to keep a laptop for more than five days, but in eyes officer doesn't have to obtain any additional approvals to holden search the laptop for up for 30 days? >> but we are talking about seizures of the border and that would be conducted at cbp. >> that is my point. is in their differential between the two agencies, one standard with regard to laptops and another one with regard to an ipod, depending on the agency? >> senator, yes but i think we would differentiated based-- different types of investigations that each of those components for form. >> i understand with the scotians from your staff that
i.c.e. officers conducting searches of all electronic devices enhances the i.c.e. policy, not the cd policy that would apply. is that correct? >> i would have to have a greater context but i think we at to step back and look at what is it that we are doing from a law enforcement perspective. first of all we have changed the policy with respect to search of electronic media particularly the laptop. that was the genesis of the original set of questions i think you posted my oversight hearing a few months ago. the policy was revised significantly to have more supervisorial inside. the plain fact of the matter is we sees electronic media, sometimes i.c.e. seizes it in conjunction with the crem investigation, sometimes the secret service seizes it in conjunction with a criminal fustigation but the concern was raised with respect to business travelers who are traveling internationally being stopped at
the border and that is the policy we have revised, provided more supervise oral import, but i also have to say as someone whose agency is responsible for the counter-terrorism missions are partially responsible for it, this is an important capacity for still have as law enforcement. >> i don't doubt that all but i am looking here for some appropriate trigger for this kind of search which i think it's serious business and for consistency between the different agencies. >> center if i might, at the border, the law has been for many years now that the reasonable suspicion of standard does not apply for somebody entering the country at the border, and if the question is why do you apply the same standard at the border as is done in the interior of the country, where you would have to have a higher standard, the answers because entry into the
country is something that is not viewed as an absolute right and that is by alaa in that area differentiates the standards for research. >> madam secretary we will continue this does that over time. over the last several years dhs has substantially increased its reliance on state and local law enforcement 40's to enforce federal immigration laws. including recent expansion of partnerships with law-enforcement in the secure communities program. and both of these programs have stated their goal is to remove dangerous but there have been numerous reports of widespread use of these programs by law enforcement including selective enforcement certain laws against latinos and other minorities in pretextual traffic stops and other arrests for minor violations. i think this is unacceptable especially because most of the law enforcement communities that signed on to these agreements do not have policies prohibiting
racial profiling. i understand beaches and tried to address some of these concerns by coming up with a standard treaty that will require law enforcement to prosecute any charges they filed against an individual they arrest but i don't think this will get that many of the concerns of many civil rights groups raised about their for minor traffic offenses and immigration related charges. so with the goal of these programs is to prioritize the rest of dangerous criminals were not set clear guidelines that limit their arrest and referral to felonies? >> senator and the fact that is what has happened because what we did is we took 287g and by the way we still have, there has been some suggestion made that we have reduced it. no, we have refocused it on to areas. one is in the jails come to run immigration checks in the jails and that way if securer-- garr
koppel mance of each other and secondly in conjunction with federal task forces whose priorities are a federal fugitives and felony gang members, you know, the higher level criminals to impact public safety. >> of that is the effect why not have the guidelines to say that? >> well, senator, i think that's that in effect is what happened and those agreements now have all but been renegotiated. >> i would urge the guidelines reflect the purpose which is to get the more serious offenses but i thank you for your answer. >> thank you. senator kyl. >> madam secretary, governor, thank you for being here. you spoke earlier about the tsa breach and i applaud you for having an ig review. could i also make another recommendation and that is that when preaches like this occur in
the intelligence community, the cia for example they do they damage example by somebody not within the agency itself to determine what advantage a potential enemy could have gotten from the information and then usually make recommendations about what procedures or other actions are necessary to ameliorate that damage. if you haven't decided to do that already can i recommend that you do that, and when it is done provide the committee with a classified version of the report and by the way it ordinarily these things are best done really quickly. any comment? >> senator, i guess. that is something we have been looking at. my first question has been what exactly was put there that was not otherwise available either by observation of airport checkpoint or the like? but indeed if it is ascertained
that there was some series of information not otherwise available that was put out, i think the red teaming issue is something that we consider absolutely. >> does from public reports, clearly there things you the one out there spelling out the settings on the x-ray machines and explosive detectors, passenger and baggage screening details, pictures of credentials that are authorized, those kinds of things. clearly somebody could take advantage of those things and i think is really important that not the the parton of homeland security but somebody else i did the park and make that evaluation. >> write senator. that is one of the genesis for the ig taking a look at it, and it is a suggestion i am happy to entertain. >> secondly you know my support for something called operation streamline, a method by deterring immigration by charging those who repeatedly cross the border illegally with misdemeanor offenses and
ensuring they have jail time. there to basic questions i want to ask you about that. first of all i was disappointed that they mentioned in the conference report, this is a report on it has to be done to determine what resources both your deparle burnham doj would need to make available to maintain and expand this program. it has been very effective in two areas that i know of in my understanding is it is that the rocky start in the third. texas and arizona, but very effective. tuscon sector and think has been fully implemented and i think part of the reason may be a look of detention space so to questions. what are your plans with expanding operations streamline? if so where you think it might be, and then secondly i will get into the question of detention space. >> i think first of all i support operation streamline. i think it is effective. i think with respect to the tucson sector which is by magnitude the larger sector that
we have, they provide logistical difficulties. i think we have the dead space available. i think we are de silva-- solving your detention issues. we had an issue with the ninth circuit, piece of these streamline that has just come down a couple of days ago, about how please are done in streamline matters and given the volume of cases, and i know you know that courthouse well, we have had to be working out there in terms of how are going to operationally address the court of appeals concerns so we continue to streamline in the tucson sector, and while i am not free to discuss the president's budget at this time obviously i can say in my view it fully addresses some of our issues. >> thank you for that. the study that is required we
will ask you to report to us your evaluation of what else you need to expand the program effectively. i'm concerned because conference this not increased tensions space at old. in does include alternative to detention but of course alternative to detention is exactly not the point of operation streamline. the whole point is the deterrent effect of detention. >> yes senator and the issue there however is it takes some of the other detainees and puts them in alternative detention any kaput cure streamline detentions and a hard that. >> if you think attention is adequate though, i would respectfully request that you conclude-- conclude that argument in the study you perform for us because they think there's a concern among some of those in congress that we need additional space especially to make operation streamline work. obviously this also gets the question of security in the
southern border, and the first line of defense are the border patrol agents. the bill for funding this year only calls for an additional 100 agents but it also, the conference report also requires the northern border increase by about 700, 1525 to 2012. obviously they have to come from somewhere, presumably the southern border. wrong, in that we can do that especially-- one question, do you still intend to try to reach the goal of 2,000-- 20,000 agents. second, how will we maintain-- you have sid your goal is to maintain a force of 17,000 in the course we have 17,415 as i understand it any more so how these were all these numbers and the fact that the obama administration only requested funding for 100? >> what we are doing i think to
get to the right of your question senator is, how we keep meeting our congressional marks in terms of the number of agents in meter congressional marks on the northern border without subtracting from one to get to the next? the answer is our staff plan calls for us, what we are going to do is we have headquarters staffing and reduce academy staffing at the border patrol in order to make sure that we had both of those marks and stay within the financial needs of the country. congress has been very clear that you know we need to be as rick grists budgetarily as we can become so we really did a scrub and where can we move some fte's? >> that is good but just to interrupt to ask what is the mark for the southern border for next year in terms of active agents? >> i will have to give you the exact number but it is right around 20,000. >> okay. >> it is the congressional mark.
>> okay, also have got a couple of other questions in my time has expired so i will submit them to the record. >> thank you senator kyl. senator whitehouse. >> thank you chairman. welcome. if you don't mind that would like to briefly shift the topic. >> senator whitehouse, senator kyl, i see him standing there and he is actually supposed to be next. >> mr. chairman he is the senior member of our class of senators who came in two years ago so i owe him-- >> i appreciate the courtesy and i am prepared to wait for senator whitehouse and senator cornyn's and i will be prepared to testify. >> senator, go ahead. >> on cyber we had a hearing and it is good that senator cardin is here. he held that in his judiciary subcommittee.
your deputy undersecretary from dhs was there, associate deputy attorney general james baker was there, and a senior official from nsa and the fbi were there and i asked them if any of them were satisfied with the existing legal structure within which the cyberdefense effort currently operates, and i got a unanimous the array of no from each of them. there is understand an interagency process that is led by or through the national security council, but given all the responsibilities of the national security council, i am not entirely comfortable that that is a good and lasting government-- government structure for cybersecurity efforts. i see that more as an interim structure, and i would love to hear your thoughts on the
adequacy of the present legal structure and whether you concur with the views of the other officials who spoke at senator carney's hearing and were you think our governance of our cybersecurity efforts should go, bearing in mind that a lot of principles at the cabinet meeting have a piece of this issue. >> well, i think senator, two things. one is, you are right, the legal parameters in which we are handling some of the cyberissues are being looked at very deeply now i would say. it is not simply a domestic issue in that regard. it is an international issue because obviously the networks are international in scope. some of the logistical issues
involve things like servers that are not located in the united states, but yes, that is part of an interagency process that is on going. with respect to how that is organized, i think what impact has happened is that dhs has ntde policy refuse suggested, to be the lead agency for the protection of the.gov sites as well as an intersection with the private sector on dodd dorgan.com sites in indeed i just had some meetings in silicon valley not too long ago and phil has been out there quite a bit talking with them. >> if i could interrupt on that, ultimately, doj will have the lead on all of the legal determinations. that is their lane of the road. ultimately, other agencies will
have the technical lead, because of the technical complexity of undertaking the efforts that we do, and when you take out the technical aspects and the legal aspects, it is hard to see how homeland security and with a very strong platform for consistence leadership unless there is some vehicle for coordinating the dni and you and the attorney general and everybody together, and i'm not comfortable with that presently. i think the nfc has said they could interim measure but it would seem that that should evolve into a more formal cyberspecific government structure at some point, and are you really confident that dhs at the top of that orbit with everybody else in a layer below
it is their appropriate-- should there be a white house leadership on this? >> there is white house leadership in the process, but i would suggest that the dhs platform is actually much more significant than your question suggests. i was just for example out in virginia at the ribbon cutting for the huge computer center that is being, that is part of the dhs structure now. of course we are working with doj on matters that are investigatory nature for when they need to bring cases and our alliance is very close. the nsa, with all this technical capacity, provides assistance both to us and to dod, which has the lead in on the side of the world, and we take our roadmap from the president's review and
now, what we have been focusing on and by the way phil is a former doj prosecutor, so the lines there could not be closer, but in any event, we take our review organizationally in terms of how the cyberworld is divided from the policy review and one of our key things we are focused on now quite frankly is staffing up. >> in my last minute let me just ask a more precisely, are you comfortable with the existing governance structure or is that still at work in progress and can we expect a more permanent government structure for defense agents structure a tax to emerge as the interagency process goes forward? >> senator, i would think there is an evolution, but i would suggest that, if this is where the question is going, the
absence of a czar per se is not the way we have organized. to me, what ultimately will be involved. to me what ultimately well evolve auto this is a very robust coordination component within the structure, on the operational side, dhs on leta flats adjusted for.gov, intersection on the private sector in dod on the.gov side. >> thank you. my time has expired. i believe senator cornyn now has the floor. >> thank you very much. adams secretary, good morning. good to see you. last wednesday you testified before the commerce
transportation committee post-9/11 and one question had to do with whether you were consulted by the attorney general before a decision was made to try khalid sheikh muhammad and other co-conspirators in new york, rick least attempt to try them there since you know and i know a judge will ultimately decide where that trial will take place, but were you consulted? >> i did not no, i did not talk with the attorney general. that is the prosecution decision as to where and what to bring the case and i believe that is held by the ag. >> and, on i agree that the attorney general is the one who makes that decision at least primarily and of course the president of the united states is going to have to make a decision whether a military authority willen fact turn the detainees over to civilian authorities.
ipers them that authority will be granted since i can imagine the attorney general would have announced his decision without a least some indication from the president that he agreed with him. but, the question i have for you is, i asked the attorney general about some of the immigration related issues and i know that you know that seven senators on the committee wrote a letter in november asking for further detail on the immigration status of these detainees. do you have an opinion as to what sort of legal status would be conferred on these detainees once they are brought to american soil and what implications that might have in terms of if they were acquitted or charges were dismissed, whether it would be able to be detained indefinitely or not? >> yes senator and we have sent a formal response to your
if their home country wouldn't take them back? >> senator, those are questions that i don't like to answer on a speculative basis. >> on a speculative basis? >> yes, i think that first of all you have to first of all the question that was raised in the letter to me was for what purpose is to they enter country? are they able for example to apply for a silent or refugee status? the answer is no. barely brought into the country for purposes of prosecution. and in the off chance if there were to be an acquittal for those individuals they would immediately be put into removal proceedings and deported from the country. spivak while madame secretary, i understand it would be your intention but certainly they would once in the country have some legal rights, would they
not and possibly you wouldn't be the one making that decision, possibly some judge would be making that decision. >> senator, they are only in their statutory language to does the fact that they are only brought into the country for purposes of the prosecution. >> well, and i guess this goes to my questions i have for general holder and that is that while he says he made a decision that the individuals could be safely tried in manhattan as i alluded to earlier, just a judg is going to decide on a change of venue whether or not they will be tried there or somewhere else. and it certainly was there brought into the country if they have certain additional rights of the right to their presence on american soil, you aren't necessarily going to be the last word judge if they invoke the jurisdiction of the courts is ultimately going to make that decision.
you know, i asked general holder what happens if were some reason since the administration has made the decision that now detainees will be treated like criminals rather than enemy combatants under the laws of war. in some court decides that when colleagues shape mohammed asked for a lawyer and he was denied a lawyer and because of coercive and enhanced interrogation techniques in his testimony can't be used in somehow decides that he can't be tried in an article iii courts. what guarantees do we have that he can be detained indefinitely? either here or somewhere else? >> well, senator again i think that's what the attorney general decided is based on a firm conviction in the values inherited in the criminal justice is done and the american court system and that this trail can be held and held successfully in new york city.
>> well, i think what concerns me the most is that actually i think the decision was not fully vetted and thought out in terms of what the potential consequences would be. i have no doubt as to what the attorney general's attention are, but he's not the final judge so to speak and someone else will be making that decision. for example, as you notice the record i said that you cannot indefinitely detain someone in this country under this on the dos decision and the question is if they're not available for repatriation to their own country where will we keep them? anyway, you get my point. i understand the attorney general has not signed off on the letter yet. we haven't gotten it yet. >> you'll get it today. >> if i can ask you one more question about human smuggling initiatives.
i was in the rio grande valley recently and i is briefly the program -- problems they're having with wire transfers by criminals and dug cartels to traffic narcotics and smuggle people. i'm frankly impressed with the good work they've done, but they tell me they need some additional legal resources for example on to many of the money transfers ibo can claim to be somebody they are not in this not adequate that can allow us to trace the source of the funds. are you aware of that issue generally and what i'm offering is that there are additional legal authorities that your department needs or ice needs in order to track down and prosecute these wire transfers involving narcotics or human smuggling we'd be glad to work with you on that. >> thank you senator and i'm very aware of that issue.
it's something that i worked on when i was attorney general of arizona among other things here and and i would hope that the committee takes up the issue of immigration that some of those tools could eat contemplated. >> when would that be? >> well, the chairman indicated in his testimony that he liked to take it up next year. >> i was one of those who worked with former president bush and complement his efforts of comprehensive package. and i would hope we can get back to trying that. i think that something is going to require republicans and democrats to come together. i think it can be done. i don't think anybody no matter where you are in the political spectrum feels the system we have today is working perfectly by any means. and i would hope to have a comprehensive bill. and i think that we are -- the
efforts will be there and i would certainly be willing to work obviously as i have with so many other issues at the senator from texas and everybody else on this. >> mr. chairman, i look forward to that. we have tried and i hope will try again to address comprehensive immigration reform. narrow issues like providing ice the information they need in order to track down these wire transfers to me seems like such a narrow issue. i hope it doesn't wait on the necessary -- to >> i would hope some of those things could be done in the meantime. that's a basic law enforcement matter and we should be able to do it. senator cardin, you've been waiting patiently. i.t. thank you for your courtesy. >> i'm going to follow up on one of senator whitehouse's comments on sovereign security. the hearing i conduct did in the terrorism subcommittee was rather sobering. the vulnerability of america
that we know that there are nationstates that are actively trying to compromise are cyber security in the united states. we know that these efforts could lead to soldiers or terrorists or criminals invading our country through cyberspace. and one of the sobering numbers that came out at that hearing madam secretary is that when asked how effective are we in protecting this the 80% number came out which word i think the very damage and to think that there's a 20% success rate. now that admittedly is something that is private resources, not always government resources that are being attacked. but it does mean that we're losing billions of dollars a year through sovereign tax. it does mean that we are vulnerable to hostile force trained to comment and interfere with our cyber information, compromising our energy source is our financial systems, our
military. so in your response, you talked about the fact that you have a review going forward and there's an issue now as to whether there needs to be a more focused person within the white house or whether the department of homeland security should take the lead. barely an essay that is a critical role here at the department of defense has their own. i still have concerns whether we have a game plan in place. the initial review show that there was still a lot more needed to be done. this is an urgent issue. i just want to emphasize the urgency of action here. now there's two parts to this. i'd like to have you you respond to both. whitehouse mentioned the legal basis for effectiveness in getting information we need him to have in place we need to protect our nation, but also privacy. there is a concern that there is personally identified information that may be available and we're not sure
that we have in place adequate oversight to make sure that we minimize invasion of individual privacy. now as we move towards einstein three, those same concerns are in place. we want you to work with us to make sure that we've institutionalized the protection of privacy for american citizens over personal information that's not needed for security. but then secondly we want to make sure that we have in place adequate structures so that we can counter double their ability that bad players are trying to perpetrate on the united states, particularly mindful that nsa located in maryland at the premiere collection agency in the world is actively working on this. and i just called to your attention to give this matter the highest attention. >> well senator, i couldn't agree with you more. indeed i believe that the cyber
mission is one of the major missions of the whole homeland security environment. it's also a rapidly evolving one and changing one almost by the time you are talking about a particular intrusion, it is passed and you're onto the next one. so i just want to clarify if i might one thing. and that is i don't think there is any confusion at least amongst the cabinet as to the division of labor. that is that the department of defense operationally have a .mil site. the.gov that the nsa provides technical assistance to both. the institutionalization of privacy in the protection of privacy issues is built now into our own dhs process. so from an operational standpoint, we have moved in a way past the initial review.
the question i think senator whitehouse had goes to somebody coordinating operational efforts in the case of a major attack from the white house. >> i think that was his concern. but i think was also his concern on the broader issues to make sure that we have in place the coronation that requires interagency. and whether that is adequately addressed under the current chain of command. i think that's still an issue that we're not quite confident is in place that the review by the president seemed to indicate that was not clear. i know we've taken steps to counter some of that, but at least the initial information indicated that there was a need for a stronger coronation. >> i think that senator i think that's correct and i think in the months since that review a great deal of work has been done and will be continued to be done in this regard. again, this was an area if i might say that we have really
put a priority on over the last year. and whatever cheap challenges right now, one of the key priorities we have is really speeding up the hiring process to bring on more individuals who work in the sabrina. >> well i thank you for that and we went to work with you closely. another hearing we had in our subcommittee that we can all have the tough topics. that high containment labs in the united states and obvious of concern here with the anthrax attack on the congress it felt. fort dietrich is moving forward with this lab which we're proud of the work that's being done there by very dedicated people, dealing with some of the most challenging risk against america. there is also here an issue of coordination. there's a lot of federal agencies are involved in dealing with our high containment labs. and there's been some reports
here indicating. i know that the committee on homeland security and senator lieberman and senator collins following legislation. part of that would be to try to deal with select agentless by tier so that there are added precautions to those who deal with those chemicals and agents that could very well be used as a weapon of mass distraction. and to require greater background checks, greater security issues, training, etc. greater inventory controls,, ephedra. have you had a chance to review those and do you have any view on its? i have reviewed them and discuss them with members of the department including the newly confirmed undersecretary for science and technology,.err zero tool who is an expert in this area. the way we look at it is that
the department of homeland security provides standards that would need to be met. in a way similar or analogous to what we've been doing in the chemical arena in the ceefax process where you have to cheering as you suggest one, two, three, and four and you have an engagement process by which laboratories are tiered and standards established. >> well, i would just urge you. we need to have a system that promotes best practices, as there's a lot of good things going on. we need to have a much more sophisticated background checks etc. and continuing review for those who have access to those items that could very well be part of the weapon of mass destruction. i think senator lieberman's point is to try to move us in that direction and there's been other recommendations and i hope we can move quickly on these issues as well. >> i concur. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. madame secretary, i just want to talk to for a moment. i am really concerned that we may be unwittingly presiding over the demise of american agriculture. i have never seen one more stressed. i come to the largest agricultural states in the union. california is a driver, sometimes for good and sometimes a driver for not so good. but what we see happening our growing farmers moving to mexico. operating lance in mexico hiring mexicans and importing into this country. i'll give you one example. a man by the name is steve's karami, 2000 acres, 500 jobs, 50 million operation in california to guadalajara. today he exports 2 million pounds of lettuce a
week and he has spent thousands of dollars to start up his new farms and train workers. that's what's happening. western growers tells me back and tells everybody i assume that at least 85,000 acres of farmland from california and arizona are now in mexico and at least 22,000 added jobs are now in mexico. and we see it in apples. we see it in dairy, we see it in pairs, we see it in crops. and if you add to that some of the other economic stressors for the first time in my lifetime i have seen farmers in bread lines in the sinful valley. and you add to this your i-9 audit which sent a chilling effect over the rest of agriculture,. respectfully, i do not agree
with the ranking member. i think we are destroying our culture because like it or not agriculture depends on a non-domestic workforce to the greatest extent. virtually all of the big ad states do. and i think we have two recognize it. and so i have been increasingly concerned by the inability to move any legislation that would give some protection to workers who are committed to work agriculture for a period of years. and that namely is ag jobs. h2 way will not do it. if you are 24/7 828, 365 days a year will not do it. and i am increasingly concerned by what's happening and of course the product of this is that we import more food produced from outside our
country and therefore there is more salmonella concerns as they were with peppers and other things coming into the country. and i think the country that strong really should be able to produce its own food, but you can't do it with domestic labor and that's just a fact. so we have to have public policy that deals with it. so i wanted to say that to you publicly because i hammer it and hammer it and no one pays attention. it's as if we're in this great thrust to drive anybody that's illegal out of this country no matter how valuable their services may be. another problem that i've had is the visa waiver program. i believe the visa waiver program, it is essentially the soft underbelly of the visa system. now we have 35 countries.
we have 16 million people coming in. i believe the overstays still run about 40% of the undocumented population. in other words, there's 40% that you really don't know where it came from is what i'm trying to say. and i've always suspect did people come in on a visitors visa and they just decide to stay. and that's a large part of the undocumented population. so let me ask you this question. what steps has dhs taken to begin to track who's entered the united states through the visa waiver program and if they've left our overstayed their visit? >> senator, we've taken a number of steps on the visa overstay issue. and i'd be happy to supply you with a more complete briefing for your staff in a more complete briefing. but particularly those who come in by air tracking them as they come in and now being able to
measure better whether or not they have left. we are also working -- >> how do you do that specifically? >> one is because we have better air documentation. for example, asked a helps us. other programs that we were using help us. there are mechanisms in place that are giving us better control, particularly the air environment, who's coming in into needs to leave. if these up the question of measuring those who are coming and leaving or not living on the land boards. >> how do you know today how many are leaving and if you do know, what% are actually leaving? >> i don't think that we can say with precision what percentage visa holders are stay over. but i think we can say that the issue of the visa overstay us
have then that kind of the most difficult but property problems that we've been working on these last ten minutes. >> i know you have and we've talked about it. to be candid with you, there still isn't a way to know if people have last. so that's the nitty-gritty of this issue. have people left the country that are here for a specific period of time, the visa expires, do they leave? i mean, even if it were a simple form as in china when you go into china you just fill out a slip and triplicate whether your business or pleasure and where you'll be staying. we don't even do that. so we don't know essentially if that visitor has left our country. >> senator, first of all, we are getting more information on incoming traveler. in the -- particularly in the air environment.
secondly, one of the ways that we are now picking up more of the overstays is by the enhancement of other activities that we are doing and interior enforcement. for example, as we expand secure communities we hope to in the next two years have it in every jail across the country. there will be a biometric data will be taken when you are about. and if you're an overstay will pick you up right then and there and therefore they will be a removal process institute right then and there. so some of these other mechanisms that we have built up i think will help reduce the visa overstay problem. >> i have been trying out this for nine or ten years now. when do you think will have a system where we will be able to know if -- if the visa wasters have left the country? >> senator, --
>> because we keep increasing the pool of countries. i mean, when i started on this i think we were 13 or 14 countries. we are now 35 countries that people can come in without a visa. and yet, we don't have the data as to whether they leave. and so, the blame for the illegal immigration problem is put on poor people who come over the border when it may not be the major part of the problem. we have no way of knowing. >> senator, i think your comments illustrate some of as you and i both know the complex needs of this issue. but there are -- one thing i would caution us against is the notion that we are going to build or should build a massive biometric exit system around the country. the expense and added value that to secure is dubious. there are other mechanisms
better able to tell us not just about overstay but on overstay who is here to do us harm. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator frank and? >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you madame secretary. since october 2003, 104 immigrant detainees have died in our custody. in the custody of the immigration and customs enforcement. i'm sure some of those were inevitable, but others were likely preventable. for example, in 2006 a man from ghana died in custody from a heart attack while guards waited 40 minutes to provide hand medical attention, let alone open his cell. he was alone in a cell for 40 minutes. last year another detainee died after falling and fracturing his skull and then according to the
newspaper account being shackled and pander to the floor of the medical unit of the modes and commented then being left in a cell for more than 13 hours. an ecuadorian woman, died in a minnesota facility three years ago. i've found that her death was inevitable but also found that she was not undergone her medi-cal intake exam despite being detained for two months. you inherited this problem here it i know that. and i know that you are trying to fix it but the first step in improving condition is identifying the problem. so my question to you is what went wrong here? >> well, we did an extensive review of the detention situation and i said senator and
i think we did several things which we move to correct. one is we decentralized it too much. we didn't have ice personnel on-site. we didn't have clear standards that we enforced. the contracting particularly as we outsource all of these detention facilities. what's not all that it should've been. we now have moved and we can brief your stuff in more detail. but we have moved to correct all of those problems and to really evaluate the detention system and hold it to the sanders standards it should meet in any legal system. >> thank you. i want to talk about aside from immigrants, seekers of asylum. every year tens of thousands of
democracy and human rights activists are big dems of religious persecution and ethnic cleansing come to our borders to seek protection. these really are the huddled masses. and our asylum and refugee programs which protect these people and welcome them to our country are important parts of what makes us the land of the free. in minnesota, as a special place in these programs as recently as 2006 we took more refugees than any other state except california. but right now ice is detaining thousands of applicants for asylum, often for months at a time. in fact, in recent reports have suggested that if anything more asylum seekers are being detained and for longer. your department has discretion over whether or not to detain asylum seekers. why are we increasingly
detaining asylum applicants quiet >> well senator, oftentimes what happens is someone who's in the country illegally is arrested and picked up. and at that point they claim asylum. ahab and claimed asylum as they entered the country. we have some categories of individuals who are seeking asylum that we are looking not en masse as to whether or not they should fall in an asylum eligibility. that is a process we're working on with the state department and the justice department. and then with respect to trying to move or increase the speed of the adjudication process, we are doing everything we can to look at methods to streamline. but there are certain limitations that are on that. limitation in terms of availability of hearing
officers, availability of evidence judie cater's. >> well, i've read about people who have come seeking asylum. that's why when they arrive. and they know that if they go back or they claim when they go back there going to be subject to violence or richard duchenne. and has been in prison. in 2005, the congressional authorized found that it wasn't appropriate to detain asylum seekers in prison. that was four years ago but today asylum-seekers are detained in state and county jails alongside pilot and. they are even put in solitary
confinement. and these are people who comment say they are seeking asylum. they aren't criminals. ice currently detained asylum seekers in several county jails in minnesota. in october you announce to take steps to better manage special lines criminal nonviolent populations like asylum seekers. will this include separating them from accusing convicted criminals and getting them out of prisonlike conditions? i would encourage that. >> senator, yes. part of our overall reform is to really do a risk analysis for every individual who comes into our system. and if they are not felt to be a danger to the community or elsewise, to look at how they should be housed.
and under what conditions. and so, not everyone needs to be housed in the same way is your question. >> just following up on that there is a credible fear interview to determine whether these people have a credible fear. and very often they are continued to be detained after it's been determined they have a credible fear if they go back. >> right. and what we have been doing is working with our field officers to increase and speed up the process by which they are paroled into the country temporarily if there has been adjudication of critical fear. >> thank you. i would encourage that. >> absolutely. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i commend you for the good job you do. i appreciated the meeting that
you participated in when you were in philadelphia sometime ago about manufacturing vaccines. and we have seen a very serious problem with h1n1 swine flu vaccine with the delivery falling far behind what was anticipated because the foreign manufacturers by and large. australia illustratively used it for their own purposes. and with respect to the possibility of bioterrorism, there's a long list of problems, anthrax and potential problems and anthrax, botulism, we seem to be bogged down in the bureaucratic fighting between a couple federal agencies with the rumor department of defense and are to about wanting to see us
going in with hhs and barda. they are preteens at the very highest levels with the president and secretary sibelius and myself. and my question to you is isn't this a problem of such magnitude and with eric berrien swift h1n1 that we ought to be moving ahead promptly to try to find some way to deal with vaccines should we have a bio terrorist attack? >> senator, i think that first of all on the vaccine question we are now catching up in terms of projections and availability of vaccines and we still need to encourage the american public to get that h1n1 vaccine. >> our protection hasn't been very good so far. >> it is very now a very robust production schedule and it is
like a meeting. we will at some point in december be at the number we predicted in the fall for the manufacturers. but the real question, which is the availability domestically, the manufacturing capacity, development capacity. i think the h1n1 episode reveals how useful it would be to have that capacity domestically. to answer the second part of your question, i think that that is an urgent issue for us with respect to other bio agencies going forward. >> well thank you. i think it is urgent and i'm glad to have your concurrence and see if we can't break the logjam and move ahead here if i turn now to another subject and that is the subject of the jobs created by the eb five program which gives an individual who
wants to become a u.s. citizen preferred status by investing $500,000 in the united states and creating at least ten jobs from that. and this has been an enormously successful program in pennsylvania, promoted by governor burned-out and it is produced some $2,000,000,300,000,000,000 in investors. the creation of more than 6000 jobs and the expectation immediately and 6000 more jobs. and we have run through a very serious problem with regard to investments in one pennsylvania project, where there was a change in investments. and at the time the processes were made there was a disclosure that there would be the business
plan specifically provided for alternative investments. so those alternative investments were made. and there are five investors who put up a 200 -- $2,500,000 created a great number of jobs. and they had advised from the deputy chief of service operations senator u.s.a. i have it there could be alternative investments. and now their status is being challenged and they're being -- their appeals have been denied. i have read about this matter only recently and wrote to the direct your other u.s. citizenship and immigration services to ask consent that this letter be made a point of
the record. mr. chairman? unanimous consent request? is my request to you madame secretary is to take a look at it. there need to be a promulgation of written guidelines, but it seems to me on the merits and as a matter of equity where there is a substitution of investment in the statement in advance that there ought to be no problem. but you have three people whose appeals have been denied all the way up the chain as they are now being reviewed by u.s. vis that we need to as a matter of fairness deal with them. but as an example of someone who's going to be deported under these constant circumstances certainly are going to be a damper under this important program, especially at a time when we need all the job stimulus we can get.
>> senator, i'd be happy to take a look at that request and see what we can do with that. i'm sure it director mallorca is would like to work on the guidelines of eb5 and working with the department of palmers. as you say these investments lead to american jobs. >> very much appreciate that. one final question. small amount of time i have remaining and ideas is there any process possible to simplify checks at airports. listen, we have to do whatever it takes to be saved in the airports, but you wonder sometimes about all of the rigor role on the ages of the very young to the very old. and the question arises in my mind as to whether we are not over react team. we had the white house ball on
monday night. i didn't see you there. >> i was there. all dressed up. >> big crowd. my credential was checked three times as they walked through a long line. was yours checked three times? >> no, i walked right in. [laughter] >> well, i will not ask you why you have preferred status because i know you are entitled to it. it raises the question in my mind that i'm glad to be checked as often as they want to check us going into the white house. but it's a reaction to the gatecrashers, obviously of a couple weeks ago. and they wonder do you have results as to what all of these lab retest that airport show. remember the old saying, is this
trip really necessary? is all of it really necessary because if it is fine. >> senator, i think a couple of things. one is i consistently ask in the department what is the value added of any procedure that we're imposing. and what is the threats that were attempting to deal with? the second thing i ask is is there a better way. and this is where, for example, there is a project underway that is successfully completed may allow us to get rid of the liquid limitation which is a real -- it's a problem for travelers who don't want to check a bag. were consistently asking those types of questions and they're the type of question we should be asking. you know, and tribal entities of topol is something we want to foster. >> thank you very much.
thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> my statements by december 31 a very short time from now states that materially to be compliant with real id to go under the was to zip through or the sender citizens won't be able to use id in airports all across the country. dirty states are noncompliant. i mentioned to add this horror scene of thousands of americans who have flown to visit friends and family and relatives for the holidays with no problem and then get to board the plane on january 2 or 3 or 4 and are told they can't get on the plane and have exactly the same ids they have to get on the first link of
the plane. but your agency will take administrative steps that we don't have this kind of chaos and confusion after midnight of december 31? >> mr. chairman, this is a very frustrating situation for -- >> i'd love to get the bill passed. >> there is a legislation out there -- >> but go ahead. >> mr. chairman there is a legislative solution that will ultimately have to be a legislative solution. in the meantime, i have a set of not very attractive options and they're not very attractive for the fundamental reason that simply by granting an extension doesn't get us -- and move us forward on the security side and fulfilling what the 9/11 commission recommended. but i am looking at what our
options are now should the congress not act. >> please keep in touch with me on that. >> absolutely. >> you testified and said you're conducting internal review of the effectiveness of internal border checkpoint programs including what is on interstate 91 in vermont. that one has been a source of alarm for concern. it is some considerable distance from the border. if someone is a very serious mugler there's half a dozen parallel roads, two-lane roads that go along to get off the interstate. if you have a gps it's pretty easy to do. i've always been concerned about these kind of checkpoint from years ago when i was asked if i could groove that i was a u.s.
citizen. the license plate on the car, my id that said united states senator did not seem to satisfy the person that i was a u.s. citizen. i suspected they had a deficient civics class when they were growing up. i have not had that happen since. and it's been years but i do get horror stories of people who have taken kids to school and are late for doctors appointments and have to prove they are citizens. people born and raised in vermont and so one. what about this? >> well, we have looked at the issue of temporary interior check points. and i particularly look at the ones in vermont because i know of your interest and will
provide you with greater detail on actual numbers. but my view, senator, is that they are and should be part of a border strategy so that we do have some means off the geographical border to see what is coming across. i do provide useful information and we do make apprehensions. >> i understand that but it is so far removed from the border that the vast number of people going down there -- if you really wanted to get involved you just won't take the interstate. your predecessor proudly gave me a list of the number of marijuana arrest and peoples whose visas have been over a period of several months of stopping people. and i pointed out if you really want to find people with visas can't or marijuana every day we
have hundreds of thousands of people that drive in from maryland or virginia into the district of columbia. just put a roadblock on every single one of the bridges. and the road coming in here. and i guarantee you'll get hundreds of people. now, that may be a bit of an outcry for those who are going to work because you have a traffic jam that would take a week to unravel. i think you and i quickly agree that for the number of arrests you get it's not a very effect it thing to do. and we're just a little staid, but there are some of us who love it and were born there and are concerned about it and wonder if this is overkill. >> mr. chairman, i think it is not. and we have the same question in arizona, which is the state i'm familiar with. in new mexico which is the state i grew up in.
and it is part -- we need to look at the border as the entire region and have some facilities that are not permanent in nature that are off the border that move around that surprise people that they can't depend upon as part of our overall strategic love. now how we conduct those checkpoints and whether they cause undue delay, that is an issue that i think we can take another look at. >> well, it also reflects how we are going to be a better friend. i look at this and i hear the complaints in the very disappointing number of complaints from monitors about their treatment in reentering the united states from canada but also from canadian in entering. so they never heard before in recent years it's a lot of them. and to me it seems pretty
legitimate. and we're walking around the country like you are a criminal unless you can prove otherwise by the people at our border. when you get off an international flight or drive across the border it does not help to the credit of the customs and border protection of vermont they had a recent meeting in newport, vermont, it's a border city, actually when my wife was born in. and they made it very clear they want to hear about these negative experiences. and i know these are hard-working men and women. i know it's not an easy job and they know that are the first people they are going to ask if someone there that it shouldn't he. it's the image of america that's the first thing people see of america is not our border.
and we should not assume everybody is guilty when they come through. >> mr. chairman, will continue to work to improve that. >> i have questions about what senator kyl and the department and authority need to provide waivers and exemptions, certain materials and that maybe one for the record that i really would like an answer on it and also i know judge webster has been announced to oversee the fort hood investigation into extend your department involvement in it. and eventually i told the white house i expect a report to come here and certainly to senator sessions and myself and ultimately to the committee. jim, did you have -- >> madam secretary, senator kyl
and i asked you about the border patrol agent numbers and you indicated there was 100 person increase but you're moving to the northern border. how does that not result in a reduction of agents on the southern border? can you give us an analysis of the numbers? >> icann and i think more appropriately i think i should give you a door staff kind of the staffing plans. but as i suggested to senator kyl, we are not moving agents from the southern to the northern. it's not going to happen. >> while the numbers be up or down a year from now? >> they will be up. >> .good to hear and if you could explain it i would appreciate it. you know the operations streamlined since people are not detained for that long but
appear and it seems to be the quality of the housing that you would do if you are maintaining someone in a prison in the touche and for longer periods of time but what we've learned with crystal clarity and is that releasing people who've entered the country illegally on and he kind of pale results in very few showing back up when their deportation hearing comes. so there's just a devastation of any enforcement idea if you do not hold them pending their hearing. have there been any changes in the number of people that you are releasing on bail because we finally got the previous administration to end the catch and release for the most part here as i think the problem here is that it needed further improvement but it sounds to me
like, as he told senator franken, i think on the asylum cases you are looking to release them as soon as possible. often that means they don't return. >> no, senator. and i think those things should not be confused. i think what he was asking about was the adjudication. and they have been bogged down in the system and we are looking to improve that process. now we also have told the congress and the congress asked us to provide an alternative to detention plan. obviously that has to be contingent upon a credible belief by a bat we will have that individual back in court and ready for deportation. as a matter of practice, there are ways to help ascertain not and supervise that.
and we do do that on streamlined as i suggested to senator kyl i agree that streamline is very, very useful. we also believe that we have enough detention space identified for the individuals apprehended in the streamlined set hers, which include the larger site there's of the border. >> i hope you will look to expand that streamline process. it does seem to be effective and it strikes me if you ask the average american when you apprehend somebody who has entered the country illegally that shouldn't be there will at least be required to have some sort of conviction of the misdemeanor of some kind before they are sent back. i think they would all agree that that makes sense. with regard to be verified, i understand that the arizona law which you signed into effect is
under appeal now in the supreme court. that the ninth circuit under strong it opinion that says the state of arizona basically declared that businesses should check with that you verify system to verify whether or not the person is lawfully in the country before they hired them. the supreme court indicated they would like to ask the united states government to express and file a brief in the case of the decision been made and why would we want to file a brief supporting dialogue that seems to be working well? >> while senator, i think that the process is underway in the federal government as to how to respond to the u.s. supreme court's request. but you are correct.
i did sign that law and i signed it out of my belief that you have to deal effectively with the demand side for illegal labor as well -- which his actions involving employers, e-verify, those sorts of things even as you work to strengthen the border itself. >> i think that's correct and to suggest that once you've gotten into the country illegally that you are now free to work and stay in the country indefinitely is not the message we need to send. i've really become a strong believer that an important part of your job and the president's job and congresses job is to send a message throughout the world were a large number of people through polling data say they would come to the united states if they could. to send a message and say you can't come, with a large number of people that come every year, but you do must so lawfully. that's the message we need to
send in is important. i have been somewhat concerned in recent days as i learned about the cory borjas voice in which this agent complained publicly on a political campaign in colorado that the district attorney was running for office, higher office at that time had he bargained a number of cases to agricultural trespass were people illegally in the country committed drug crime or some other more serious offense. and they were allowed to plead to a misdemeanor of agricultural trespass because apparently that did not result in deportation. after the election was over, he was attacked apparently, criticize, prosecuted, acquitted. and it now turns out from your internal investigation that
supervisors who were involved in that case have failed a polygraph test and apparently have been determined to have conducted themselves probably with regard to this individual. and let's see what to be brief its understanding that the office has documents that the supervisor criticized and apparently moved against mr. forrester was also been terminated and who is now contesting his termination. i presented the supervisor for criminal prosecution to the u.s. attorney. and for felony offenses including perjury and providing false statements in that opie
are sustained administrative charges against the supervisor at the final report was complete on april 3 but apparently i suggest you take any action against the supervisor but they're continuing to remove mr. morris. do you know anything about that? i think we need to make sure this is done right. >> senator, i'm not personally familiar with that matter but i will become personally familiar with it. >> thank you. i think it needs to be looked at. i don't think there's anything wrong with a federal agent or state police officer criticizing a prosecutor. i used to be one, a prosecutor. and to make people happy of her time you enter into a plea garden but i do think they should be disciplined solely for that. but likewise, i don't believe you should allow a climate to develop in the departments that
indicates that people who disagree with the policies of the department will be punished if they express themselves. do you understand the value of that lacks >> absolutely. and as somebody who is running words prosecution i can appreciate the value of your comments. >> senator klobuchar will be the last person and then we will finish the hearing. >> very, very good. i rest back from the floor and made it in time. i want to thank you secretary napolitano. as you know we just talked last week and the week or so and i'll say what i said then and i want to thank you for your great help in addressing the flooding in the red river valley for both minnesota and north dakota and was really impressed by the work of people in your department. ..
concern about the no-fly list and some of the secure flight issues and i'm not going to go at that again. i did want to touch on something i know was touched on briefly about the accidental disclosure of transportation safety administration airport screening procedures when that confidential document was placed
on line. i know that you said to an earlier question that it didn't represent a significant security risk but they did violate the standards of your department, and i was just wondering if -- what steps or taking to make sure these kinds of disclosures don't happen again. obviously they are of concern. >> yes, senator and several things, one is we asked the inspector general to look at the entire issue about what occurred. secondly, several employees have already been placed on administrative leave as the contractor involved who actually made the inappropriate posting has been dealt with appropriately. third, we are going back through our unknown procedures at the tsa for what gets posted and how, and also making sure that the employees throughout the
department have training and memory refreshed as the necessity for went reduction to occur how that is to properly be done. >> very good. thank you. we will look for retrieving the results of this as we move forward. i know we have talked before about the border enforcement security task force in the southwest corner of the country, and i wanted to get an update on that. i don't think you talked to anyone else about that here. have you seen any change in the drug cartel of tactics in mexico since the coordinated efforts began? and the second question would be how you would assess mexico's state-owned local law enforcement officials working out corruption, going out after the cartel and being more vigilant. >> we have increased the number of border enforcement best teams across the border. they've been very effective of collaborative efforts to make
sure that whatever violence is occurring on the mexican side of the border doesn't spill over onto the u.s. side and they are helpful for a number of other reasons as well going after fugitive aliens, flexible, criminal alien beings as another example. so that continues to be a very effective tool for us. our law enforcement relations with mexico are the best i've seen in the 17 almost years that i have been working the border related crime issues and for example, for the first time we are seeing mexico actually create basically its own debt to border patrol so that we have an agency to work with along the border. they basically remove 1500 other customs officials last year and replaced them with that officers. so our ability to work at the law enforcement level has greatly improved. and then lastly, i'd think that
progress is being made against the cartels. there have been several significant of arrests and seizures. some have been kept on the mexican side. others have been contemplated for extradition to the united states. and at the federal level the coordination with between president obama, president calderon is very, very close. >> very good. thank you. one other thing i don't think we have talked about before is the creation of the import ct commercial targeting and analysis center that you have helped spearhead. at the university of minnesota we've national center for fruit dee dee covered protection and defense that has been certified as a homeland security center for excellence. so we have long recognized the importance of securing the safety of the food chain. and i am just concerned about this being from an agricultural state and starting to see some of the products we have the last few years coming from other
countries. food concerns. i'm one of the original sponsors on the bill to bring us more food safety. but i continue to be concerned about what's coming in from outside our borders and the effect that could have on our homeland security. could you talk about that? >> senator, i can. we continue, as you know we have opened up a center in that regard. we are also really working with all kind of food supply change the date could change and will be happy to provide you with a more in-depth briefing. senator feinstein, and her questions to me, related the fact that some agriculture keeping the united states has a homeland security issue, and i think that she has yielded, as have you by your question so we've really got to look at that. >> and i think we called the farm bill the food security act, just how important it is for us to be able to produce our own
food. last question i have is about the recovery act which included a billion dollars for tsa to procure and install explosive detection systems and checkpoint explosive detection equipment for checked baggage at airports, and an additional 680 million to improve infrastructure and technology at the nation's borders. can you give an update how much of the security funding has been spent and how you plan to utilize the funding over the next year? >> yes. i can give you a spreadsheet. but -- in detail -- but the contracts are out come the obligations have been made. a number of jobs have been related to those contracts. the baggage systems are being installed in airports across the country. and the northern ports that the construction contracts have been light and that work is underway. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you. we will stand in recess. thank you, secretary napolitano.
today's white house briefing includes questions on the president's support for a health care compromise being worked out by senate democrats and new efforts at job creation. press secretary robert gibbs speaks with reporters for 45 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> kevin said wait a minute we didn't give the two-minute warning. i said i thought mur as i came down ten minutes ago to give the two-minute warning. all right. he was holding me up, just wanted to make sure. all right. i will just get slightly organized. >> russian foreign minister lavrov said not too long ago
that the signing on the start one replacement would happen soon, and i'm wondering if you can flesh that out and if it might be something that is when to be happening in conjunction with the president's trip to ho copenhagen perhaps. >> we do not have an agreement yet. as you know, we continue to take part in the negotiations with the russians on the replacement start treaty. obviously our hope is to get one done, but can't plan for a signing ceremony until something is done and we've certainly made no arrangements for that. >> are you close to a signing? >> well, i think we are getting closer and making progress on an agreement. i know there are still issues that have to be worked all that stand in the way of that ultimate agreement. and our principles continue to meet and greet the president on what's happening, and that will continue until we do get an agreement. we are optimistic that we can get one. whether or not that happens by copenhagen at this point is just
hard to say. >> i like to ask about the jobs. some congressional democrats have said that they'd like a jobs package but could cost up to $200 billion. now, the white house has been very careful to put no price tag on the president's initiatives, but is there a cost ceiling that he would impose on the efforts to boost jobs, given your trying to cut deficits in the future? >> well, i think what the president would say is the ideas in the areas that he outlined yesterday our targeted approach to creating an environment where businesses can start hiring again. i think the president believed he had a good meeting today with democrats and republicans, and began outlining a couple of the things that he talked about yesterday -- first and foremost, how to do -- how to help small businesses, zero capital gains tax for small business, incentives for hiring, incentives for depreciation, and
things like that. and the president mentioned, along with infrastructure, the second thing he talked about, the president discussed with democrats and republicans that indeed those were initiatives that in the past have enjoyed strong bipartisan support. so i think the president believes there is a commonality to these ideas that he's proposed and that he's heard from capitol hill that they've proposed that we think we can find agreement on and hopefully get some progress on. i don't know what the ultimate figure is. obviously part of the president wanted to discuss with leaders today was what might be in that package. this is not a one-way street. i will say what it comes to the deficit, the president agreed with and reiterated the fact that we have to do -- we have to have a plan for addressing and the medium throopand long-term fiscal responsibility.
the president also reiterated that we are not going, though, to solve that problem of several long-term fiscal health of our growth rate is where it was in the first quarter of this year, which is in excess of negative 6%. let me just come for you -- some visible stuff that the president talked about. this just gives you a sense of where we've been, right? i'm going to give that in a second. don't worry, the big board is coming. save the big finale. again, this is -- this just gives you a sense of the average in quarters of our jobs picture. in the first quarter the average was nearly negative 700,000 jobs; in the second quarter, negative 428,000; in the third quarter, negative 199,000; in the previous two months we've gone from negative 111 to 9/11.
so obviously what happened in the beginning of the year we are seeing progress. let's talk about a second of in terms of economic growth in the first quarter we saw economic growth contract in excess of 6%. second quarter, negative cero .7; and then for the first time in the year, positive chaka growth -- 9/11 thousand jobs lost, sadly, the most positive jobs report that the country has enjoyed in almost two years. now that keith and spoiled my big surprise. this i think gives you a sense and some of you have seen this when we did briefings on the recovery act. this gives you a sense of the genuine depth that we are in in terms of employment. this number is full employment at the time that each recession began. so we have 1990, 2001 and 1981.
okay. this continuum shows the number of months since that recession began. and these percentages show you where we are in terms of employment. this gives you a sense of negative year debt we are trying to pull ourselves out and it also gives you a sense why the president believes we have to take strong targeted but continued action to address joblessness. >> so the whole was very large but is there a ceiling, is there a price tag that's too high? >> that's something we will work with congress on. i will say i do think that -- i mean, even the leader boehner said that he would like to be there to support a plan for jobs. so i think that's certainly a positive to we hope that there will be bipartisan help and support for dealing with
something that we know it affects everybody. >> which of these charts was the one that the president showed john boehner? >> this one. but i mean, this is what everybody in the meeting salles. this again is just -- this is a chart we've used before. as you guys know, where these lines go from solid to adopt it is where it's marked by that -- by that the chang committee that the recession ended. so you see that the point at which the recession ends is -- and this is not updated, that shows you that in the most to previous examples, 1990 and 2001, when the recession ended, wasn't the bottom of the jobs picture. again, it just gives you a sense of the type of problem in employment that we have facing our country -- why the president believes we need to take strong action. plus i just wanted to use the board.
[laughter] >> robert, two questions. the first one on the bipartisanship issue. you have the president coming out saying he wants to work together but moments later republican leaders coming out saying the white house just wants to blame republicans seeking this administration just doesn't get it. how do you move forward together if that's the planet coming out of this meeting? >> writing to come together understanding this. i mean, look, the american people have watched for decades the blame game. all right? if the blame game put people to work we would all be rolling in money. the blame game -- i'm glad some people want to continue placing the blame game, that doesn't work. that doesn't get any of the job. it doesn't cut people's taxes. >> it is time -- i will say the president -- has the president been frustrated about this? absolutely. we took some extraordinary actions. we wish there would have been more republican support for taking those actions and pulling
our economy back from an economic cliff, falling into another great depression. setting all that aside, we are now at a certain point where we have got to begin to fill in the enormity of the hole that this economic downturn created. the president is willing to work with democrats and republicans -- and again, i think it was important the president started the meeting by mentioning the two of the ideas that the president had talked about in his speech -- to of the three ideas were ideas that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support. we heard throughout the recovery debate that there needed to be more money put into infrastructure. that's what the president outlined. we have heard in -- even up to as recently as the past few days, we have to help small business get access to capital, cut their taxes, ensure that we are doing all that they can to create an environment for them
to hire more. the president agrees. i think it's time that everybody took yes for an answer. >> but the attitude is this administration doesn't get it is this administration willing to navigate this alone? >> the president will do what has to be done to help the american people. the president is hopeful through this meeting today that republicans will agree that if the president outlines ideas that the republicans previously supported and and republicans seem unwilling to support the ideas the supported and now you can leave it up to others to judge why it is they don't want to participate in a solution that we all agree, and we'd sit in the past would put people back to work. >> they say they can't sign on to spending more money. they say it is fiscally responsible. >> rich, given the fact that the largest driver in our fiscal irresponsibility were a series
of programs that were not paid for, right? and tax cuts in 2001 and in 2003 that were not paid for, medicare prescription drug care benefits that wasn't paid for. war in iraq and afghanistan were not paid for. again, the the date that we are having on health care now is partly about how to pay for it. the second leading driver in the fiscal irresponsibility has been the downturn in the economy. as i said earlier we are ongoing to find ourselves lifted out of our fiscal situation if our economy contracts at six or seven per cent per quarter. there isn't an economist on the planet that you could find that would say yes, your economy can contract at 6.5% of quarter, 6.4% a quarter and you will be able to leave your way out of a budget deficit or increase in
debt. that's what the president believes. that's why the president believes we have to take some further steps to ensure that we get back to economic growth. but also that we get back to a medium and long-term recipe for fiscal responsibility. yes, ma'am. >> on the military at west point last week the president talked about signing a letter of condolence to the family of each american who gets their life in iraq or afghanistan. what about the families of military personnel who take their own lives? does the president believed that those families deserve condolence? >> the president believes that the previous policy that it didn't write those letters can and should be reviewed, and that review is -- that review is on going. >> how much longer? i know it's been under review for some time.
>> i think the review is some time the past couple of weeks. i don't have an update on it, but i can certainly get it. obviously, the president reviewed earlier in the at ministration the rules surrounding the photography at dover leaving, based on a recommendation from secretary of defense, leaving that decision up to the individual families of the deceased. some have decided and some have not decided to make those transfers public. and hopefully we can conclude this review shortly. >> after his speech when military family told cnn the president's comments were painful to them because their son took his own life and they have yet to receive a letter of condolence. >> that's why we are reviewing. >> would you say to that family? >> first, the first thing that i would say and i am sure the president would say that family
for the courageous service that they exhibited on behalf of all of us in this country so that we might enjoy the freedom that we have. regardless of what happens, nothing of lessons the amazing contribution and sacrifice that is made. that is what the president would tell that family and what tell other families. >> they feel the sacrifice has sort of been diminished -- >> again, that is precisely why the president wanted to review this policy. if the president didn't care, the policy would remain unchanged and unexamined. the president cares deeply and has asked for their review to take place. >> you have a timeframe? >> i can get an update later on. >> how does the president feel about the dropping of the public option of health care?
>> i think you all should have heard the president's comments at the announcement on community health care centers where he supports the ideas we've read about from the senate in the past few hours. as a good policy in a way to increase the choice people have through greater competition and in helping move legislation to reform health care system forward. does the president feel any embarrassment about accepting a peace prize escalating a big war >> the president will obviously address the notion in his speech audibly. the president will address the
notion that last week he authorized a 30,000 person increase in our commitment to afghanistan and this week accept a prize for peace. i will say, helen, that the president understands and again will also recognize that he doesn't belong in the same discretion as mandela and mother teresa. but i think what the president is proud of is the steps that is an administration has taken to really engage the world, that through the dree engagement we see some of that for the engagement is to bring increased peace and stability to this big planet and is proud that the committee recognized that this nation has once again reemerged
in engaging the world in greater pursued. >> we are going to war, accepting a peace prize. >> something again he will address directly in the speech tomorrow. >> obviously it is a historic trip for the president. has the president shared any thoughts that he shared sentiments with the former vice president who also is a recipient of the same price? >> i think if the discussion that was had with vice president al gore dealt with upcoming meetings on climate change in copenhagen. >> can you give a bit of a preview? >> let me get those guys to send stuff around. obviously the president and first lady as i talk to you guys yesterday my and delete, and conrad will also travel aboard air force one and give additional friends and family.
>> just to follow, the president was saying in a school in virginia if he had a choice he would have a dinner with donaghey. that means as for this award these ideas of peace and nonviolence. is that something -- something fit with mahatma conte the? >> i think that he's certainly been asked if he could get their thoughts for those that walk on this earth before him that there are a number of people, including gondhi, that obviously he'd be interested in getting their thoughts on. i don't think that is addressed in a specifically tomorrow. >> he has great respect in india. >> aids advocates are taking new short vv koschel that the five-year plan for the president's emergency program for aids because it decreases the number of people who will
receive antiretroviral so for the next five years as opposed to the number who received them in the last five years. in favor of cheaper alternatives for health care at a lower level, something that apparently was proposed by dr. and manuel. >> let me get some -- i don't have any guidance from omb on that, on what their involvement has been. obviously the president cares deeply about this issue and has talked not just about medicine but steps that have to be taken in terms of prevention to ensure antiretroviral are not necessary >> did the president -- >> i was looking at steve, deacons -- >> to the president in a meeting with congress to republicans and minority leader boehner the almost seem to be rooting against recovery? >> i think the president did mention, and i think republicans agreed the room was not without politics and that