tv Homeland Security Secretary Testifies on National Security CSPAN May 6, 2022 6:15am-9:09am EDT
>> the committee will come to order it secretary, welcome back to the committee. i am thankful for your continued service to our nation. the department of homeland security and it's hard work, and its employees continue to face challenges and challenging missions each and every day. i appreciate your effort to tackle these obstacles, and the men and women that join u.s. part of homeland security. today's hearing is an important opportunity for this committee to discuss the administration's 2023 budget request and hear
directly from the secretary on how that apartment plans to use those resources. as lawmakers, we must examine these to ensure the safety and security of every american. this year, the budget proposal includes investments that will be essential for tackling the most serious issues facing our nation, including persistent cyber attacks that disrupt lives and livelihoods across the country. i have appreciated the administration's vigilance and work. but in attacks from solar winds or jbs or the pipeline, cyber criminals will continue targeting our networks. we must be prepared for the russian government and its
proxies to continue these efforts in retaliation a provision in support of ukraine in order to the portraits were payments to the federal government. there is more we need to do to enhance cybersecurity across the board, especially for the most frequent targets of ransomware attack's, like retailers and small businesses. at the same time, dhs must continue its work, especially by addressing harmful violence that has affected communities across the nation, that live in fear because of how they look or where they worship. according to our national security agencies, domestic terrorism driven by white nationalist and antigovernment ideologies continues to be the most serious threat facing american communities today.
i look forward to continuing to working with the administration to ensure that the government has the necessary tools, resources, and the data to fight back against these hateful ideologies while respecting the civil rights and liberties of every american. as the department tackles this significant issue, we also must work to ensure and secure efficient travel and trade across our northern and southern borders. while i am pleased the president's budget proposal includes funding for this, i will continue to work to secure resources for the blue water bridge and other resources across michigan so mike state -- my state can serve as a vital hub. we will also discuss the serious challenges we face at the southern border. once title 42 is lifted, the administration must have a plan in place and the necessary resources to deter illegal border crossings and prevent
deadly and illicit drugs from reaching our communities. while, at the same time, safely and efficiently processing a number of asylum-seekers expected to arrive at the southern border. this is no easy task, and it is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach to both secure our borders and address the anticipated humanitarian challenges. i look forward to hearing additional details today on how the administration plans to address this policy change, and the committee will have another opportunity to hear from senior administration officials on this issue tomorrow morning. finally, this committee must ensure that dhs is tackling long-term threats to the american people. natural disasters continue to cause death, destroy property and small businesses, and harm livelihoods. congress and the administration must work together to provide resiliency efforts that will save taxpayer dollars in the wrong run -- long run.
today's hearing provides a vital opportunity to examine how we can all work together to protect all americans, and i hope today's hearing reflects the seriousness of the issues facing the department as well as the nation. once again, secretary, thank you for being here. we all look forward to this discussion. you are welcome before our committee, so it is great to see you, and i will recognize ranking member portman for his opening statement. >> mr. secretary, thank you for joining us again for this budget hearing. at last year's budget hearing, we were facing the worst unlawful migration crisis in our country in two decades. we will show you that not only was it the worst in two decades, but since then, it's gotten even
worse. as you know, in your recently released border plan, you suggested that it could get worse yet by removing title 42. here is your quote. you noted in your border plan that when title 42 is lifted, we expect it to increase as drug smugglers expect to take advantage from -- of and profit from vulnerable migrants. this will vulnerably strain our system even further. i could not agree with you more. a record one million people coming here illegally were admitted into the united states last year, and those who came to the border unlawfully, having been turned away under title 42. it's clear to all that losing title 42 will turn this border crisis into a catastrophe.
as the border patrol has told us, they believe they will lose all observational control -- operational control at the border. there is no plan to substitute title 42. there is no plan to fix an asylum system that everyone agrees is broken, you have said that in the past, publicly. there are no plans to put tools in place during the last administration to help this, including the remain in mexico policy. the proposed plan provides more ways to move people through the system and to do so more quickly and efficiently. and effectively make it easier for people to get to the border to the interior of the country. but decisions deemphasize internal enforcement to ensure no word -- and a shift away for detention. this does not do anything to
deter unlawful migration, and smugglers know it. we also saw the threat that terrorism poses across the country, and more than two decades after 9/11, our borders can still be breached by those who mean to do us harm. one of our closest counterterrorism partners in the world, united kingdom, did not prevent a dangerous man who lied on his online application in the dhs visa waiver program from making his way into a small town in texas, colleyville, thankfully, none of the synagogue members he took hostage were harmed, but that easily could not have been the case. we were recently shocked when we were informed that 42 people who have come to our southern border unlawfully have been encountered by the border patrol are on a terrorist watch list. additionally, a recent report from the department of
defense highlighted that over 76,000 afghans, dhs failed to screen new evacuees using deirdre's tactical information collected from the most dangerous terrorists. the result? dod's after-the-fact analysis indicated there are 50 afghan evacuees with essentially serious security concerns who were released into the united states. of course, there is also assault on our borders by criminal drug trafficking organizations. this is not new, but it has gotten worse. with this shift from fentanyl production from china to mexico, they have profound consequences. fentanyl seizures in march compared to 2021 a year ago, and over 300% increase from march 2020. these numbers don't actually tell us how much is flooding
into our communities. in fact, the border patrol tells us they believe that the vast majority of drugs are not being apprehended. in my home state of ohio and around the country, these drugs are coming in and resulting in broken families, damaged communities, and the loss of lives to overdoses. on a massive scale. we are also facing constant cyber attacks to critical government infrastructure and federal networks. i believe we are just in our support of ukraine. we are at higher risk than ever out of -- of a russian cyberattack. the critical infrastructure act that sender pete -- senator peters and i cosponsored, we
should put this new law into work to safeguard our nation as soon as possible. as you know, the author of the bipartisan law that -- at the state department to combat the evolving threat of disinformation, i do not believe the government should turn tools used to assist our allies on the american people. our focus should be on bad actors, gresh oden from china, iran, north korea, not our own citizens. mr. secretary, you've got a very full agenda at the department. you have been put in a very difficult position with regard to the border. thank you once again for being here to answer our questions, but it was only today that we received your answers to the committee's questions for the record from last year's budget hearing. i hope you will commit to
answering our questions much more promptly as we discuss these issues today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> it's the practice of homeland security and government affairs committee to swear in witnesses, so if you would please stand and raise your right hand, do you swear that the testimony you get before this committee is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> yes. >> thank you. you may be seated. you are the seventh secretary of the department of homeland security. you previously served the department as deputy secretary and as director of u.s. citizenship and immigration services, you began your public service at the department of justice. thank you for appearing before this committee today, and you are now recognized for your seven minutes of opening remarks. >> chairman peters, ranking member portman, distinguished members of the committee, thank
you for the opportunity to join you today. for nearly two decades, the department of the homeland security -- department of homeland security has stood as the cornerstone to protect the homeland by confronting terrorism and targeting violence , countering malicious cyber activity, securing our borders, building a humane immigration system and much more. we do this while safeguarding americans privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties, and building trust between our agency and the public we serve. we remain vigilant against all forms of terrorism and violence. the nature of these threats has evolved and our vigilance and resolve are constant. we play a leading role in implementing the first-ever national strategy for countering them act -- direct domestic terrorism, establishing a new branch within our office of intelligence and analysis,
designating domestic violence extremism -- and extremism as a focus, increasing our support in the nonprofit security grant program, increasing support to hbcus, historically black colleges and universities, in the face of bomb threats, and distributing cap suitable intelligence. we are leaving the federal governments work to protect critical infrastructure. we answer the colonial pipeline incident with directorates requiring pipeline companies to report intrusions. we conducted vulnerability assessments and created contingency plans. he adopted similar measures for airports, air carriers, and rail operators. we also launched stopransomwar e.gov, a website with resources to help groups stop ransomware.
we formed multiple agencies to bring government sectors and private agencies to the table to identify vulnerabilities and assure response when they occur. russia's response has only intensify the threat of cyber attacks, so we initiated the shield campaign to increase a collective awareness, resilience , and more. we are expanding humanitarian programs like temporary protected status and developing new ones like uniting for ukraine. that initiative in the united states. this hearing will provide us with the opportunity to address questions some of you have posed regarding the disinformation governance board. the internal working group was established with the explicit goal of ensuring this protection of free speech, privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties is
incorporated into all of the department's disinformation related work, which has been ongoing for years across different administrations. we have been executing a comprehensive strategy to secure our borders and rebuild our immigration system. with the cdc's title 42 order expected to be lifted, we expect migrant levels to increase as smugglers expect to take advantage from an profit from migrants. we will continue to enforce our immigration laws. after title 42 is lifted, noncitizens will be processed pursuant to title eight, which assumes citizens across the border without legal authorization and cannot establish a legal basis to remain in the united states are promptly removed from the country. we began planning last september and are leading the execution of the execution of a whole of government strategy which stands on six border security pillars to prepare for and manage
against a rise in noncitizen encounters. i issued a memorandum last week that provide more details. one, resources including transportation, medical support, and facilities. two, increase efficiency without compromising the integrity of our stte -- screening processes. three, criminal prosecution and removal. four, the removal -- the coronation of state, local, and community partners. five, target and disrupt transnational criminal organizations and human smugglers. and six, deter irregular migration south of the border in partnership with other federal agencies and nations. we inherited a broken and dismantled system that is already under strain. it is not built to manage the
current levels and types of migratory flows. only congress can fix this. yet we have effectively managed an unprecedented number of noncitizens seeking to enter the united states and interdicted more drugs and instructed more smoke -- disrupted more smuggling operations than ever before. an increase in migrant encounters will strain our system even more and we will address this challenge successfully, but it will take time, and we need the partnership of congress, state and local officials, ngos and communities to do so. we cannot address our core issues alone. dhs is a department of partnerships. i look forward to working with this committee to confront our ever changing threat landscape and protect the american people. thank you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. mr. secretary, as you know, we have a number of administration
officials before this committee hearing coming here tomorrow. we are going to have an in-depth conversation about our challenges at the southwest border with a number of experts who are on the front lines, and part of that discussion will include the departments plans for determination of title 42. once title 42 is terminated, border patrol needs to returns to secure reinforcement strategies. before, there were consequences to coming across illegally. now folks keep coming over and over again because of the way title 42 works. these are people, we keep stopping them and sending them back and they keep coming over and over again. my question for you, how was the department preparing to resource efforts to lean into conflicts, like the expedited removal and the prosecution to limit the
number of individuals crossing the border illegally, as well as limit the high rates of recidivism we are seeing as a result of title 42? >> if i could take a step back. the title 42, the cdc's authority calls for the expulsion of an individual, which means they are not placed into immigration removal proceedings and does not have an enforcement record established by the attempted illegal entry. so we are seeing a great deal of recidivism. the number of encounters does not necessarily reflect and does not in fact reflect the number of unique individuals who we encounter, but rather the same individual trying repeated attempts to enter in between the ports of entry. what we are doing is urging personnel, both at customs and border protection, specifically the border patrol, as well as
enforcement and removal operations within immigrations and customs enforcement, to bring expedited removal and immigration enforcement proceedings to the fullest extent that we can, as well as working with the department of justice, the united states attorneys in the jurisdictions along the border to address conduct from criminal prosecution that warrants it. >> in recent years, with high arrivals of unaccompanied minors, we saw children spending significant amounts of time in cdp facilities, and instead of hhs facilities. the lack of appropriate planning in years past. dhhs and dhs are cooperating across the departments to protect these vulnerable children of a similar situation occurs? >> mr. chairman, the law
provides that unaccompanied children in the care of u.s. customs and border protection must be turned over to the department of health and human services within 72 hours. when we saw those border patrol stations become overcrowded early in 2021, that was by reason of a challenge of throughput, that the department of health and human services did not have the resources to actually receive an shelter the unaccompanied children. we in the department of homeland security to -- dedicated tremendous resources to the department of health and human services and brought tremendous expertise to reengineer the process. we built a more efficient and agile process to move children from border patrol stations to hhs, to department of health and human services shelters, then
added great efficiency to ensure that those children could be united as the law provides with qualified family members here in the united states who would sponsor them. that collaborative work and relationship, of course, has not waned in the ensuing months. >> there's no doubt that the departments effort to respond to security and humanitarian need at the southern border requires significant resources in the days and months ahead. are you preparing to submit a supplemental funding request to congress to address some of these needs? >> we are very grateful to congress for the appropriation we received in fiscal year 22 in this current fiscal year, and have submitted a spending plan with respect to how we are using those funds. we believe it is a matter of fiscal responsibility for us after those funds are expended
to first look within the department and where we can reprogram funds as necessary. if indeed we need to seek a supplemental from congress, we will certainly communicate that with this committee forth with. >> mr. secretary, we are facing supply chain bottlenecks in the busy summer traveler season. in order to make sure the ports of entry are functioning as efficiently as possible -- in the past, we have seen dhs pull s& -- personnel pulled from the northern border and airports. what are you doing to make sure these ports of entry are properly resourced? >> we are mindful of the ports of entry as an engine of
economic prosperity, the lawful movement of people and goods in the promotion of trade and travel. we deploy our personnel, if needed, to a different area, according to the needs of the ports of entry. we do not sacrifice those needs to serve others. we have known how to move our personnel and resources around so we achieve all aspects of our mission ably, as our people are extraordinarily talented in doing. >> mr. secretary, this year's budget request is lower than what was appropriated last year. sifa is still growing and congress has provided, as you know, extensive new authorities to the agency. running a.gov domain, a joint cyber office, and congress is now working to updatefisma. why is the budget lower than
what congress appropriated and why do you think this is appropriate? >> we are grateful for the budget that was enacted for fiscal year 2022. the amount that we dedicated in fiscal year 2023 budget for the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency is actually considerably more than the budget we proposed for fiscal year 2022. it's a matter of timing. we were unaware that congress would so amply fund sifa. it's a matter of funding, but we continue to grow the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency and we have we have funds -- we have funds from other sources. we are working as quickly as we can to efficiently absorb the funds and grow the organization to ensure it is quality to meet
the challenges we confront. >> i appreciate that. we have had numerous conversations about this. i appreciate your passion and defending these -- the country from cyber attacks. >> mr. secretary, over the past year, one million people have come into our southern border unlawfully, coming to the border and being allowed into the country. most of them have claims under the asylum system, we are once their claims are adjudicated, more than 80% are denied. this year, dhs is expecting 1.5 to 2 million people to come to our border unlawfully. you have been using title 42 to turn back another one million people. clearly, not having title 42 will lead to a lot more folks coming to the border unlawfully and being allowed in this country. on fox news sunday this past
week, i was watching you -- you said asylum-seekers "make their claims under the law, but those claims do not prevail, they are probably removed from the united states." -- promptly removed from the united states." people go through the asylum process and their claims are adjudicated, and they are denied. you only deported 59,000 people last year. that would be the lowest percentage in the history of the country. with these numbers, how can you say that asylum-seekers whose claims are denied are both promptly removed from the united states? sec. mayorkas: that is not the figure i have. sen. portman: do you know what figure you have? sec. mayorkas: i believe it is
over 74,000. forgive me, ranking member, you are correct, that is the number of arrests. we removed 59,011 people. let me, if i can, first focus on the 59,000 figure. our focus has been on individuals who pose the greatest threat to our public safety in the execution of smart and effective law enforcement. 46% of the ice removals war for people convicted of felonies, compared to 18% during the previous four years and 17% the year before that. our focus in execution of our security mission is the removal of people that pose the greatest threat. sen. portman: i understand that. you are deporting a lot fewer
people, so you are focusing on those who have criminal records and therefore your percentage will be higher. you were in the obama administration. you were the deputy secretary. your deportation numbers are 80% lower than they were under the obama biden administration. dhs was deporting 300 50,000 unlawful migrants a year on average, as you know because you were there. sec. mayorkas: there is an important factor to explain that distinction. that is the implementation of title 42, which does not account for removal. under title 42, we have used title 42 to expel more than 50% of the people -- sen. portman: i'm talking about the people who come into the country. we are at record levels of people are allowed into the
country because they have made a claim under asylum, for central america and mexico and the 15% of those who will be allowed to stay in the country, but they tend to stay because you are not deporting them and not doing what you said on fox news, which is that if their claims do not prevail, they are removed from the united states. we can argue whether that is right or wrong, but the american people deserve to know that we are not removing people at this point. sec. mayorkas: we are removing people as quickly as we can. sen. portman: 59,000 is about 3% or 4%. sec. mayorkas: if i may, if you thoughts. first, we are working with customs enforcement, specifically removal operations, to increase the number of removals we are able to effectuate. we are seeing now an increasing number of individuals from
countries of origin to which we have difficulty removing them. for example, cuba, venezuela, nicaragua. we are seeing more than 1200 cubans each day because of the oppression of the authoritarian regime in cuba. and i believe that there are members of the united states senate that would not endorse our removal of cubans back to cuba. sen. portman: let me continue. sec. mayorkas: it is a very complex -- sen. portman: the vast majority of people we are talking about do not come from cuba or any other country where they cannot be returned. i will give you a chance. would you like to change your assertion that asylum-seekers who do not prevail are promptly removed? sec. mayorkas: we are doing that to the fullest extent we can. sen. portman: you are not and you know that. 59,000 people, 3% or 4%.
in the obama administration, you are doing 350,000 per year. i'm trump to help you here to clarify the record. -- i am trying to help you here to clarify the record. when the american people are hearing everyone goes through and it process and if they do not get asylum, they are removed, it is not accurate. you can argue that is how it should be, but it is not accurate to mislead the american people. sec. mayorkas: it is not my position that that is the way it should be. we should remove individuals who have made their claims -- sen. portman: now we are making progress. you believe we should not be doing what we are doing, we should be removing more people? who do not qualify? sec. mayorkas: we should remove individuals who have made a claim for relief, who had that claim heard by an immigration court and the immigration court denied that claim. those individuals do not have a legal basis to remain in the united states and therefore
should not be permitted to do so. sen. portman: you and the administration have a policy not to do that. sec. mayorkas: that is why we propagated the asylum officer will to more expeditiously be able to remove individuals. sen. portman: the asylum officer rules as at the border, a great adjudication but if you do not qualify because you are an economic refugee, we understand people want to come here for economic reasons, but those people are then allowed to appeal that decision to the regular immigration court judge, so we are back into the backlog, which is enforcement. we will have an opportunity for our second round to talk more about this. i'm glad to hear you say that you think we ought to be following the law and removing people who do not qualify and i look forward to working with you to make sure that happens. sen. peters: there will be another around and i'm sure you will get another bite of the apple. mr. secretary, thank you for not
just being here, i think you for your continued service to our country. when people take on this responsibility, their spouses and children serve as well, so give them our best. i'm going to ask a couple of short questions if you don't mind. i will ask you to try to answer them in a yes or no format, i'm not a big yes or no guy, but if you want to elaborate on them, feel free, but start with a yes or no. first question, is our border open? sec. mayorkas: it is not. >> is a true that title 42 is a public health order, determined by the centers for disease control and prevention, not an immigration policy, decided by the department of homeland security? sec. mayorkas: that is true, the centers for disease control and prevention has exclusive authority with respect to the public health law of title 42. sen. carper:'s title eight no
legal authority under which the border has regularly operated and does it all now the department to impose consequences for repeat border crossers? sec. mayorkas: it does and title it provides a series of different consequences. a consequence regime both in the civil arena as well as in the criminal arena. frankly, before my service in the department of homeland security, i prosecuted title eight cases under the criminal authorities as an assistant u.s. attorney and united states attorney for the central district of california. sen. carper: do you intend to enforce the law under title eight once the title 42 public health order is lifted, and at has title 42 increased the number of repeat crossers? sec. mayorkas: in the six lines
of effort that i outlined in my opening statement reflected in greater detail in the plan that is set forth in the memorandum i issued last week. i spoke of the consequence regime, it is one of the key pillars, and that includes proceedings under title eight both in the civil arena, expedited removal, which is a faster way of removing individuals from the united states, and criminal prosecutions. sen. carper: does your department have a plan in place that congress is aware of which includes short-term and long-term solutions for managing our borders? sec. mayorkas: we do and that is a plan that we developed beginning in september of last year. it is reflected in the memorandum i issued last week, but fundamentally, the solution is legislation to fix what is
unanimously -- what is unanimously understood to be a broken system. with respect to the plan i detailed, there are a few solutions that are more enduing than others. one is the targeting disrupting of the transnational criminal organizations and smuggling organizations. two is deterring a regular migration in cooperation with not only other federal departments and agencies, but with our partners to the south of our border. yesterday, i met with the foreign minister of mexico, not for the first time, and over the last month, i have been in panama and costa rica. sen. carper: thank you. i turned to addressing root causes of domestic terrorism. we don't need confirmation from the intelligence community or law enforcement officials to tell us that the threat of domestic terrorism is rising.
we only have to think back to one of the devastating attacks over the last couple of years that continue to lock communities around our country. whether attacks are on places of worship, they have been in my state and others, institutions of higher education, or other community-based organizations, the reality of these attacks are disturbing. we must be doing more to address them. i often say we need to find out what works and do more of that. how often does the department's center for prevention programs address the root causes of this problem and how is it reflected in the budget request? sec. mayorkas: the centers for prevention programs in partnership is a concerted effort on a date in and day out basis to address the root causes. the model of that center is to equip and resource and empower local communities to address the
dissension into radicalized violence by individuals within their neighborhoods, within their communities and jurisdictions. no longer do we think the optimal course is for us in the department of homeland security and federal government to go into the community, but to equip local first responders, teachers, faith leaders, parents , family members, and neighbors to identify when someone is exhibiting the signs of death sending into of -- of descending into violent acts, it is about preventing that. sen. carper: i'm happy to yield a time if you want to respond more fully to questions asked by other colleagues. sec. mayorkas: thank you very much. i look forward to speaking with ranking member portman further
about the issues he has raised. i appreciate the opportunity. sen. carper: i think the next person is senator johnson. >> thank you. i cannot tell you how many times as chairman of this committee i talked about the problem-solving process in the first step in that process is admitting you have a problem. i have heard you say that we have a secure border, you are managing it. do you not admit that this is a problem on the southern border? sec. mayorkas: that is certainly a challenge, we recognize the challenge. sen. johnson: can you say the word problem? sec. mayorkas: it is precisely why in september of last year -- sen. johnson: i have questions i want to ask. you said you inherited a broken system. i contend you broke a system. it is time for a history lesson here. this is a chart i developed as
chairman showing the growth and unaccompanied children crescent are over illegally. it was between 2000 and 4000 a year. daca started 10,000. in 2014, 50 1000. president obama called that a humanitarian crisis. going to this chart, that crisis pete one month -- peaked one month, slightly over 2000 month. president obama responded. you had the florettes court decision reinterpreted. you could not break up families. i understand that. it took a while longer for people to recognize, even when president trump ran for office, the immigration inclined dramatically because people thought we would be serious about securing our border. once we found out the laws had not changed, that we had this
low standard of credible fear, not the asylum standard, but all you had to do was say i'm afraid to go back, you can come in, so we have the crisis that culminated in 2019 and a little more than 4000 in one month. generally, we are averaging 3000 for five or six months. then president trump did something about it. he modeled his return to mexico of a program i worked on called operation safe return. they turned it into return to mexico. he had agreements with central american countries and mexico. you have to admit that at least in terms of unaccompanied children and families exploiting asylum law, we almost stopped the flow. what happened during 2020 is during the democratic presidential debates, every
candidate said they were going to stop deportations and carefree health care, so you see single adults started rising, but the full-blown c but the full-blown crisis did not start until you and president biden took office, you dismantled return in mexico, dismantled those agreements, sent the signal to the world that america's borders were open, can you testify the root cause of the current crisis isn't how you dismantled what worked under the previous administration? >> that is my position. >> you don't believe your dismantling of successful policies that obviously worked didn't cause this crisis, i understand the system can't handle 7000 people a day which is what we have been averaging,
last month at 7000 day, the system can't handle at, that wasn't a broken system, what is broken is the uncontrolled flow caused by your policies of opening up the border, you won't admit what you did because this? >> i disagree with your framing of the question but let me answer if i may, the challenge of migration is not unique to the united states. i traveled to the south of the border lodz let me share a few facts with you. there are more than 1.8 million venezuelans in colombia. i was in the small country of costa rica. costa rica's population is approximately 2%. >> you are secretary of homeland security for the united states of america. i've seen the surveys, there are tens of millions of people who want to come to this country and i understand that. i'm sympathetic to that but we need to secure the border and we had it done.
it was your administration, you stopped completing it. you can sit there and deny the actions you took, your policies sent a signal to the world, title 42, the final signal that our border is completely open, you stopped calling it apprehension, now it is just an counter, you encounter, by making that processing, dispersing so much more efficient. >> i would like to finish my answer. >> you are not answering the question, you are just dodging it. >> i already answer your question, if i may, we did not believe the policies of this administration have caused the migration. >> you are living in an alternate reality. is the goal of this administration to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants or is the goal making it more efficient to let them in and disperse, what is the goal of your policy?
>> the goal of this administer and which has been articulated publicly many a time is to build safe, orderly and legal pathways for individuals to access the laws of immigration congress has passed, not to come in between the port of entry, not to take the dangerous journey, not to place -- >> that is not working very well. you said congress has to pass laws, is there any law you proposed that would tighten that credible for your standard so that we don't have this beacon and exploiting our very low standard, anything you are proposing that would reduce the flow as opposed to making it more efficient to process and disperse? >> i believe senators sinema and cornyn presented a proposal to fix the asylum system. we would look forward to
working with them. with respect to that proposal or other proposals. >> why not go back to return in mexico because that worked? without congressional action because donald trump didn't you go back to return in mexico, complete the fence, reenter agreements with central american countries and do what donald trump did, fix it, you can do that with executive action. >> we do not agree with many of the inhumane and cruel policies of the prior administration. >> you think human trafficking, sex trafficking, 100,000 drug overdoses, because we are completely open border, you think selling of children, to excuse that loophole in our asylum laws is humane? you think what you are facilitating, the business model of some of the most evil people on the planet putting billions in their pockets you think is humane? >> i will treat that is a rhetorical question, you know
the question compels the answer i would give, of course we don't consider that human suffering to be humane. of course we do not -- >> you are allowing it, facilitating it. >> of course we do not consider one thousand 500 individuals raped, murdered, tortured -- or otherwise -- or otherwise victimized under donald trump's execution -- >> you know how to fix it. >> of course we don't consider that humane. >> senator paul, your recognized. >> do you think the steel dossier included russian disinformation? >> that is not a question i'm equipped to answer. >> it was in the public news, you heard of the muller investigation, 32 million-dollar investigation over a couple years. horowitz was investigated general i looked at the fbi's activity and what the fbi concluded was there were fbi
agents throughout this time who concluded the dossier was full of russian disinformation. let's say it is russian disinformation, your new disinformation governance board will help the public with this information, that it will be about foreigners, those evil russians. here's my question. the fbi concludes the steel dossier includes russian disinformation, cnn propagated this disinformation gladly for years and years. the difference between your opinion is our opinion is as despicable as it is that cnn propagated this disinformation i wouldn't shut them down to wouldn't put it on a government website that cnn is wrong for propagating this information. the problem is you are not willing to admit, we can't have agreement on what the government said was disinformation. how do you propose an office of
disinformation and governance if you determine what is disinformation? >> our work is not focused on disinformation writ large. we, the department of homeland security, become involved when there's a connectivity between disinformation and threats to the security of the homeland. >> you mentioned the russians when you tried to pivot from this meeting about censorship but say it is the russians, i know you will never agree the steel dossier was disinformation but it was and the fbi concluded but say there's imaginary disinformation, you discover tomorrow russian disinformation that will hurt our national security and cnn is broadcasting it, what do you do? do you tell putin you shouldn't do this? >> let me explain what we do in the department of homeland security with respect to
disinformation and what we've been doing for nearly ten years across different administrations, the cartels, the cartels propagate disinformation where title 42 does not apply to a particular community of migrants. >> how are they propagating? >> through social media and what we do through us customs and border protection is communicate via social media and other channels that that is false, that we do apply title 42. >> say there's russian disinformation, will you take to social media and broadcast that people are broadcasting something incorrect about what you think is russian disinformation? >> let me emphasize -- >> you said the other day russians and now you say the cartels -- >> no, i am not, you're mischaracterizing my statement. >> what do you do there's russian disinformation, broadcast on social media? >> allow me to share when we become involved in the butt
with homeland security, we become involved when disinformation poses a threat to the security of our country. it is when there is a connectivity to a threat to our country, it could be a threat of violence. what this working group does, what this working group does is precisely what i would think you would want it to do which is to take a look at the work, the disinformation workout department has done and ask the following questions, do we have policies, do we have guardrails -- >> we can't even agree what disinformation is, you can't even agree that it was disinformation, the russians fed information to the steel dossier, you can't agree to that, how do we come to an agreement on what is disinformation so you can police it on social media? >> i have two points if i may
finish. number one, with this working group does is not an office, what this working group does is ensure that there are guardrails, definitions, standards to make sure the free-speech rights, the civil rights, civil liberties and privacy rights of individuals -- >> do you think covid disinformation threatens our national security? >> if i may, senator, if your proposition when cartels spread information with respect immigration policies to lure vulnerable migrants to the border illegally -- >> you have no information what disinformation is. you know the greatest propagator of disinformation in the world is? the us government. are you familiar with mcnamara,
the pentagon papers, are you familiar with george w. bush and the weapons of mass destruction, are you familiar with iran contra? think of all the debates and disputes we've had over the last 50 years in our country, we work them out by debating them, not by having government being the arbiter, i don't want government guardrails, you think we can't determine speech by traffickers as disinformation, the american people are so stupid you need to tell them what the truth is can you can't even admit what the truth is with the steel dossier, don't trust government to figure out what the truth is, government is largely disseminating disinformation so i do have a question and here's the question. maybe the russians, maybe some cartels, what about covid disinformation, is that in your belly with for your disinformation governance board? >> you would have to give me the details. >> i have said a million times
cloth masks don't work, youtube takes me down, they are private company, i can have that beef with of them. what about you? you going to look at that? i say natural immunity from having had the infection is equal to the vaccine or better, you going to take that down? those are very specific. >> it is not for us to take it down. second of all -- >> will you put information out there that i'm spreading disinformation? >> we are not the public health experts. >> public health won't be part of the disinformation governance board, yes or no? yes or no? 's is public health going to be part of your censorship -- >> allow me, you are presenting hypotheticals that are vague -- >> i gave you a specific one on cloth masks and immunity from previous infections. >> let me answer the last
question that you posed. do not under certain any circumstances accept fema overseeing vaccination center because they are peddling fentanyl. should i sit back and take that or should i actually disseminate accurate information, should fema issue accurate information that the vaccinations we are administering, the sites that we oversee actually are the -- >> i have great respect for the american people than you do. i think the american people can figure out the truth and if you think the american people need to be told there is not fentanyl and vaccination feel free to say it but if you're going to go around saying you're the arbiter of information and of disinformation i think you have no clue, don't have the
perspective history knowing the largest progenitor of disinformation in our history has probably been the us government. >> i never said that. i've said the opposite, we are not the truth police. >> recognize for your questions. >> i will jump into it, mr. secretary. a breakdown of the us immigration system is failure to consider the fate of the children of long-term visa holders, these are children who have applied for a green card and are in the us with legal status, legal status but applications remain stuck in years long backlog and as a result there are currently 250,000 children who are at risk of aging out from the protection of their parents lawful status, lawful status, when children turn 21 they face
the impossible decision of leaving their families to self deport to a country that is often completely foreign to the more remaining in the united states undocumented and living in the shadows. i introduced the america's children act to fix this often overlooked in equity in our immigration system. it enjoys bipartisan support including from senator paul and members of this committee but we have a lot more work to do to reduce processing times at us cis. the $765 million included in the president's budget request this year to help work through the processing backlog. do you think it makes sense for
immigration system to allow children to be brought here lawfully on their parents visa, raised and educated here often for decades but not have a clear opportunity to become an american citizen because their parents's green card petitioner stuck in the backlog? >> i think the legislation you proposed is one element of a much-needed massive fix to our broken immigration system. >> thank you, please explain what the $765 million requested will be used for and whether it will be sufficient to work to the backlogs. >> the $765 million is comprised two parts, one, to address the backlog if i'm not mistaken at 2, to hire additional asylum officers, to implement the asylum officer rule that will take effect later this month which we believe is a very much-needed
reform to the asylum system. that will not be enough to put us citizenship and immigration services on firm financial footing, that agency was dismantled. it was on the brink of bankruptcy. it is funded predominantly through the fees it collects and that is why we are focused on a fee rule, the fee rule calibrates the fees that we charge, applicants, according to the costs incurred in administering those benefits. it is the law that a fee rule is to be promulgated every two years and it has been over six years that a fee rule has been promulgated which is why we are focused. >> there are two to issues to get to, whatever additional resources you would need to successfully fear the backlog share that with my office and the vicinity, would be helpful.
second i want to highlight fema's emergency food and shelter program which provides funding for ngos and state and local jurisdictions along the border. i was disappointed to see the amount requested in the budget for this part of the program was only $24 million and as you know border area local governments and ngos doing this kind of work provide critical services that are typically functions of the federal government such as temporary shelter, food, transportation for families and adults who are released from government custody. without proper funding support operations will be scaled back. my question is yes or no, will you work with me to assure we have necessary resources to meet the needs of organizations and local governments providing humanitarian assistance to families and individuals. >> that's one of the 6 pillars
in our plan we detailed in the memorandum i published. >> historically, what governs fema's disaster efforts has not been explicitly inclusive of wildfires which are increasing in frequency and severity in the west, not just telling you, due to the unique nature of wildfires california has experienced tremendous difficulty after catastrophic wildfires in getting approval for federal disaster assistance. most recently the calendar fire denied victims individual assistance despite the fact that more than a thousand structures were destroyed and despite president biden himself having visited the area and committed assistance from the administration, will you commit to working with my office to
ensure that the disaster assistance needs of all communities impacted by wildfires are more fully supported by dhs and fema? >> yes i will and we have a number of efforts underway in that regard, understanding that both the frequency and gravity of wildfires this country is experiencing have increased and in fact our department is working with the department of agriculture and the department of interior in setting up a commission to address this very threat to the security of our homeland. >> i reserve further questions for the second round. >> thank you. >> thanks for being here, you have had a long couple weeks. there are a lot of folks that have talked to you today and before about the disinformation governing board. there are questions and problems with the rollout of
this. i will tell you i have major concerns and part of the concern is lack of information. i want to balance those things. before i jump into that, last year in our budget hearing in july last year i asked some different questions for the record, your team send me the answers for those questions for the record three hours ago. i will give you a couple things because it may take tweet months to get the answer back and some of those were yes or no questions so i do appreciate the answer on it but let me give you a couple things. is there written mission statement, strategy document, principles, charter, job description on this disinformation governing board, written documents whistling what it is and what it is not, what they are doing? >> if i can preface my answer with an apology, both to you and ranking member portman in this committee with respect to responses to requests for the record.
we need to be swifter in providing this committee with responses and i you are th respect to this wo group was suboptimal and we need to prove ngress but to the american public. there is a charter, principles are being developed and what this working group seeks to do is develop guidelines, standards, guardrails, to ensure the work that has been ongoing for 10 years does not infringe on people's free-speech rights, rights of privacy, civil rights and civil liberties. it was quite disconcerting frankly that the disinformation
work that was well underway for many years across different administrations was not guided by guardrails. >> we will want those written documents as soon as we can, job descriptions, it is left undefined, we have no idea what this is so we want to get that. you also said they already have guardrails, when can i get that? >> one of the primary goals of this working group is to develop guardrai to protect the rights. >> here is my challenge initially on this. is completely undefined just sitting out there. the fbi already does this, the state department does this so the state department identifies already foreign disinformation coming to us, the fbi is looking for disinformation that could lead to terrorism and all these things, we are trying to
figure out this dhs new invention on what it does, this won't shock you, the leader you appointed to this task, when we do a support question to say who is this person, what we get back is political statements she has made on the steel dossier which we all know was disinformation, that was a clinton campaign document that was very engaged with the russians on it. she actually when it comes up is going to chris steele saying i listened to this last night, provide some great historical context about the evolution of disinformation, worth a listen or when people made a comment publicly about chris steele she responded on twitter april 22nd of 2020 you are aware the steel dossier is a republican opposition research project, clearly disinformation on this, she made the public statements october 14th when we switched this over, october 14, 2020, in
an ap article quoted as saying the hunter biden laptop, we view it as a trump campaign product and then said the emails don't need to be altered, voters deserve the context, not a fairytale about a laptop repair shop. we have a practical question here, we don't have a definition of what it is, we don't have boundaries of what it does, the fbi does this, the state department does this and the person you tap to lead the disinformation campaign has been outspoken on tick-tock and twitter with disinformation on election issues. we are responding to something that is unknown and what we do know is disinformation coming from it. why should we not have suspicions on this? >> i will stay two things, number one, you mention the department of state and the federal bureau of investigation do this work so the department of homeland security has been doing this work for years in
addressing disinformation that poses a threat to the security of the homeland whether it is russia, the cyber domain, disinformation with respect to the resources fema provides the most vulnerable people in the wake of a natural disaster, whether it is addressing a smuggling organization and their disinformation not to us persons but vulnerable migrants who receive disinformation and are goaded into coming to the border under false pretenses. that work has been underway for years and years. what this group is to do is to ensure that that work is performed in a way consistent with the law. it does not infringe on freedom of speech, right to privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. is going to establish, what
should have been established years ago, standards, definitions, guidelines, and policies. >> i appreciate getting it out. you testified last week about operational control of the southern border and you testified we have operational control of the southern border, we didn't get your definition. we look at this and say 220,000 people were encountered just in march illegally crossing the border, another 66,000 people were seen crossing the border that border patrol couldn't get to because they were taking care of the people they did have but you stated in your testimony we have operational control of the southern border, can we get a copy of the definition of control? >> there is a statutory definition which provides if i am not mistaken and i will double check to make sure of my accuracy before this committee
is that operational control is if no individual and no controlled substance passes through the border. under that definition this country has never had operational control but obviously a layer of reasonableness must be applied here and looking at that definition we dedicate now 23,000 personnel to the border, we are looking at facilities and other methods of supporting operational control means maximizing the resources to deliver effective results. >> i would say over 1/4 million people who cross the border illegally in one month is not operational control. we disagree on that strongly. >> i need to step out to vote, you have a gavel and are recognized for questions.
>> thank you for this hearing and thank you for coming before the committee to discuss critical resources needed to protect the homeland. i want to ask about title 42. your memo summarizing the plan for southwest border security and preparedness in anticipation of the lifting of title 42 included more details than it had before, i'm concerned about the ability to get additional resources to the border, your memo states the department is managed increase encounters because of prudent planning and execution but during my trip in early april i heard from border security personnel on the ground that they were struggling to manage
the high number of people they were encountering and anticipate a significant increase in attended crossings of title 42 restrictions are lifted. what should give us confidence the department can handle more attempted crossings if it is struggling with the current situation? >> no question border patrol agents are under strain and i have been very candid with respect to the fact that once the operation of title 42 comes to his legal we anticipate why they are delivering greater resources, we have entered into contract hundreds of case processors to process those between the port of entry so we can push those border patrol agents into the field. that is a very strong example
of what we are doing and why should have confidence because this is what the extraordinary personnel in the homeland security department do, they plan, they prepare and execute to meet the mission. >> i agree we have extraordinary personnel at the border and the country. i suggest that a plan does not deliver resources, we need to make sure the actual resources for the anticipated increase are there and i will push to make sure that happens. >> the plan is quite comprehensive because it is not just about resources. it is about attacking the transnational criminal organizations and smuggling organizations. >> i have limited time. i appreciate that. i appreciate the overall plan. my issue is making sure we have the resources in place and execution capacity before title 42 is lifted and a plan and that capacity are two things and that is what i hope to work
with you and your team on and push the administration on. i want to turn to international terrorism threats. i'm concerned as we all are about a resurgence in threats from international terrorism in the face of a potential resurgence of al qaeda in afghanistan. what processes and procedures does the department of homeland security need to have in place to identify and disrupt international terrorist threats? >> we have an office that focuses on this very issue that is appropriately an issue of concern to you and one of ours, that is why we maintain vigilance in addressing it. our work works with the entire intelligence community in identifying the threat of international terrorism. what we really need, what we really need the senate to do is
to confirm our nominated undersecretary for intelligence and analysis who served as advisor under president bush who is a former united states attorney, eminently qualified to lead the critical office at this time. >> i want to turn to cybersecurity. earlier this year we introduced our bill codifying the continuous diagnostics and mitigation program or cdm which is supposed to provide foundational cybersecurity capabilities to all federal agencies such as the ability to quickly and accurately know all of the devices on agency networks. without the foundational capabilities provided by cdm, other federal cybersecurity efforts will be ineffective at best. the department's proposed budget requests approximately $67 million more than congress
appropriated earlier this year. how with the additional investment be used to ensure all federal agencies have the foundational cyber capabilities as soon as possible? >> we very much appreciate your support of cdm continuous diagnostics and negation. it is a could cool tool. we have been pushing it out, we have been issuing binding operational directives to make sure other federal agencies and department in our purview as leader of the dot.gov environment and civilian dot.gov environment implement cybersecurity measures that they can. we communicate known vulnerabilities and allow those federal agencies to close them so we very much appreciate your support and pushing cdm throughout the federal enterprise. >> appreciate that.
>> it's important we protect the cybersecurity of our nation's quickly infrastructure, we talk about our own federal agencies but critical infrastructure is another concern and that is why work with both parties to create a state and local security grant program and yesterday absent researcher bill to protect government-owned critical infrastructure such as public schools and water utilities. the program is being rolled out and i'm interested in any update on the progress of rolling out those grants and interested in a new cybersecurity grant program the department proposed in its budget. how will this new grant program complement the state and local cybersecurity grant program. how will the department prioritize which entities receive grants so the grants have the most impact? >> the program that is in effect, the state and local
grant program is to equip state and local jurisdictions with the resources they need to strengthen their restrictions. the critical infrastructure grant program would be a complement to that to focus on those elements of critical infrastructure that are target rich and resource poor. we need to be mindful the majority of our critical infrastructure rests in the hands of the private sector so it is an important complement re-program. >> i submit a question about your efforts on russian sanction evasion. as i look at our order here, i believe you are next, senator scott.
>> thank you for being here and testifying. i come from florida, we have a lot of people that have come to florida who were born in other countries, we like immigration but expect it to be legal. you talk to people around my state they don't believe the border is secure. as you talk to law enforcement police chiefs, sheriffs, they have seen an uptick, and the border is closed, the border is secure. even after a -- wave after wave at the southern border, senator johnson, he asked are the borders closed, you responded
senator, i do. in may of last year you made the commitment to be when we talked before your vote on the senate floor that you would enforce the law and i have no belief that that is what you are doing. the numbers are staggering. i don't think there's any question the border is not secured i don't believe you are enforcing the law. i don't know how this doesn't just devastate you. we lost sergeant bishop evans, member of the texas national guard who died april 22nd while trying to save migrants illegally entering the united states, clearly a hero trying to do his job. our prayers are with his family's, the migrants they were attempting to rescue are suspected of trying to illegally enter the us with illicit drugs. >> why would you suggest the
loss of this hero's life doesn't devastate me? >> i talked border patrol agents they don't believe you are doing anything to make the border secured i don't believe you're doing anything. >> do you suggest, senator scott, that i is a human being i'm not devastated by the loss of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty? >> i suggest if you were worried about that you would take action to secure the border and you are not. i have not seen action on your part. i have been to the border, talk to border patrol agents, they don't believe you're doing anything. they believe this is the first administration that has said and done nothing to secure the border, if you look at the actions you've taken since you took this job you promised me you would enforce the law, i think there's no question you are not enforcing the law and you have failure duty to the american public and i don't think there's any question what you have done so i am shocked when you see this, you talk to families that lost their kids with these drugs and it is skyrocketing since you've been
in office. i don't get why you can sit here and go on television and come here and claim this border is secure and you are enforcing the laws, look at the border patrol agents, put them in harm's way, the national guard members. i don't get it. let's go through your numbers, tell me how it is secure when you have 2 million illegal border crossings and half of those individuals were allowed to stay, think of the numbers for a second. a little over 300 million people in america, so one in every 300 people in this country today didn't -- came here is really -- illegally since president biden took office, 7000 apprehensions on the southern border every single day, terrorists, 42 individuals on a terrorist watch list, that's the ones we know you can't, we don't know how many you didn't, we had one hundred 5,000 people die of drug overdose. i can tell you my state story after story of people who lost their loved ones.
i don't get it but let me go to disinformation. we put out information all the time but didn't say we would tell what the truth is, trust us, don't trust the media. we are the ones that tell you what the truth is, this is like george orwell's book 1984 where they had the thought police and in communist cuba where they created an organization to do the same thing and they tell you what the truth is so tell me why you don't simply say here's what we believe and you create an organization to tell people what the truth is? >> why would you call the disinformation board. >> with the senator care to let the witness answer the question? >> a few points if i may.
the opioid overdose deaths in this country in 2020 increased by 50% over 2019, the opioid and drug epidemic in this country is something has been increasing for too many years and we have to address that together, the department of homeland security, every single year since 2,006. we have requested 300 more border patrol agents and the president's fiscal year budget 2023, first time since 2011, individuals are not allowed to stay in the united states unless their claims for relief are adjudicated favorably by an immigration judge. they are an immigration enforcement proceedings, with respect to the working group, the disinformation governance board, it does not have any
operational authority or capability. the agencies, the operating agencies within the department of homeland security execute their responsibilities to address disinformation that poses a threat to the security of our homeland. i gave one example, allow me to articulate it again. when the cartels spread disinformation to individuals in countries to the south of the united states the title 42 does not apply to them and in fact it does, we are applying title 42 with respect to them, us customs and border protection disseminates information to the same population the title 42 does apply and he will be expelled. what this working group will do is not exercise operational authority, does not have operational capability. what it will do is ensure there
are guardrails, standards and policies in place so disinformation the has been ongoing in our department for 10 years does not infringe upon people's free-speech rights, privacy rights, civil rights and civil liberties. >> i have no belief in that, thank you. >> let's talk about this, the fact sheet on the disinformation board you recently released defined disinformation this way, false information spread with the intent to deceive or mislead, you agree with that. >> that is the definition broadly and broadly -- >> you think it is important for us government combat disinformation, you testified to that. >> what i testify to is when
disinformation -- >> threatens national security. >> for the security of the homeland. >> i presume that is why you set this up. let's look at the person you selected to head the new disinformation policing effort and look at what she has been spreading online. she has for starters consistently misinformed the public about the hunter biden laptop story and spread the lie that it was russian propaganda. here she is october 14th saying disinformation exit say there are multiple red flags that raise doubts about their authenticity including questions about whether the laptop actually belonged to hunter biden. it turns out that is totally false, the laptop has been authenticated both by government entities and independent news organizations. she went on, here she is again, the same interview saying we should view it, meaning the laptop and apparently the whole
story, as a trump campaign product. that is also a lie which you know, it is not a trump campaign product, it never was a trump campaign product but she didn't stop there. here she is october 22nd into thousand 20 this time taking to social media saying biden knows 50 former officials who believe the laptop is a russian influenced. laundering here using former government officials to launder the lie that this was in fact a russian influenced pop which is not true at all. here she is also on october 22nd still on social media, this time saying the e-mails don't need to be altered to be part of an influence campaign, voters deserve that context, not a fairytale about a laptop. we know the only person in all
of this telling a fairytale is miss jnankowicz. she has spread claims about the steel garcia which we now know was actually itself a piece of russian propaganda. here she is december 8, 2017, responding to you are united states senator lindsey graham, she says to him your party funded the dossier first, the fbi was investigating trump but didn't make it public, the american public deserves to know. this is false, the people who funded the dossier over the clinton campaign which we now know. this has been verified, this is outright falsehood but she didn't stop there. here she is on august 7, 2020, promoting christopher steel, the stooge who helped launder
russian propaganda including lying to the fbi about it, here she is lauding him as a trustworthy and legitimate source, classic disinformation, she said she listened to this last night, chris steele providing great historical context about the evolution of disinformation. at every turn, mr. secretary, she has used social media and the public to launder propaganda herself, she is also advocating for law enforcement to be involved in policing speech online, here she is in an npr interview this year a few weeks ago april 16, 2022. i shudder to think about if free-speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, we need platforms to do more and we frequently need law enforcement and our legislatures to do more as well and then she goes on to praise legislation in other countries that involves policing speech or here she is february 17th of
2021 saying the free-speech versus censorship dichotomy is false and calling herself in a tick-tock video the mary poppins of disinformation where she sings that members of congress shouldn't be permitted to spread misinformation on the floor and otherwise taking to task those who propagate views she disagrees with. here is my question to you. if your intent was to combat misinformation online or in the government why on god's green earth would you nominate someone who is a human geyser of misinformation? >> senator, i am ultimately responsible for the hiring of miss jankowicz, and -- i bear responsibility for that. i understand that she's an expert in disinformation.
>> yes indeed, spreading it. >> and she will have an obligation to execute the response ability in a nonpartisan way. >> were you aware of disinformation when you chose her? >> i was not. >> how could you not be? did you do any research on her? >> senator, i will not discuss the internal workings of the hiring process. >> let me ask you about this. i am sure there are documents, minutes of meetings, communications about who would serve on the board. will you release those to this committee? >> there are not. >> there are no minutes of meetings about this? >> it is not yet -- >> you've not created any records kick you >> it has not begun its work. >> you hired her, you liberation about hiring her. >> the board has not yet met. >> you had to liberations about hiring her, correct? >> i did not. >> you said you are solely
responsible for hiring her. >> my capacity as secretary, i bear responsibly. >> there are no documents associated with this board? >> you asked for meeting -- >> minutes of meetings, documents pertaining to the board, records of q medications who would serve on the board. will you turn those over to this? committee document pertaining to this board will you turn it over to this coveted? >> we are you documents with respect to the work of this board that already are in existence. >> will turn them all over? you will turn those document over to this committee? >> unless there is a legal basis for us not to do so, i will follow-up with my colleagues on that. >> you started to say yes but you just -- is that a yes or is that a maybe i will get back to you later? >> rao openness and transparency with this committee and we will produce the documents that you have requested unless there's a legal prohibition of us doing
so. >> the last thing i will say on this, we have 2 million unauthorized migrants across the border last year during the calendar year, 245,390 illegal crossings just this year in the rio grande valley and your priority is setting up a board and hiring someone on tick-tock to talk about stopping speech she doesn't like who mocked supporters of the last president, that has been your priority, to say your priorities is misplaced is a dramatic understatement and the time has come for you to resign, thank you. >> i will ask everybody to try to keep to the 7 minutes here. we are going back and forth rapidly. on the second round we go to five minutes because of the time crunch we have here.
everyone will get tweet 7 minutes. you are recognized for your questions, senator romney. >> appreciate the chance to see you and appreciate your service. i like several members have spoken can't begin to understand why you would announce the creation of a misinformation board, it is a terrible idea, communicates to the world we are spreading propaganda in our country, and awful idea. a separate topic, i respect my colleague from kentucky who spoke about misinformation. i respectfully disagree on his contention that america is the largest misinformation entity in the history of the earth. i'm afraid the soviet union would deserve that title if not
perhaps other nations but the soviet union continues under a new entity, new leader with russia, continuing to spread disinformation of extort their nature including that they were not going to invade ukraine, that mister zelenskyy is a nazi and so forth, awful to see but that doesn't mean we have not participated in misinformation. we have much to our chagrin. by and large, people of highest authority in our government who participated have come clean. i was struck by the chart that senator johnson put up and senator portman put up. that is this. it is so overwhelming. in terms of the encounters at the southwest border, in
addition to encounters are people who are not encountered, during the term of your administration, it is more than double. by prior experience as a governor and the private sector, if i had an executive, had a record like that. i find a job they do better. this is an extraordinary failure. don't know where the fault lies. the president, the policies you need for a record that's more like the prior administration but this is a failed record and cry for a change in leadership. you say you inherited a mess.
there were policies in place, you changed the remain in mexico policy, you said we won't completely border wall and you are ready to say title 42, we are going to pull that away. like you are adopting policies which caused that to happen. the result of that, these are not just bars, these are human lives that are affected. this is fentanyl coming into the country, these are lives lost associated with that kind of record. i find it appalling, we have six pillars to make this better. the question is do you believe in the coming several months those numbers will come down? i believe the 6 pillars will do nothing to reduce those bars and they sound good but will
not change those numbers and we will see if that number that high or higher. the level they were prior to the administration. >> the end of title 32 could result in increase in encounters at the border but it is precisely why in september 2021, the understanding that it would not be around forever, began to plan and prepare for its end. >> as accurate as they are -- my question is you are the person responsible for this record. this record is devastating to our country. one of the challenges i hear in my state, don't know if people can recognize the relation between these things, my state is desperate for more workers, more truck drivers, more
healthcare workers, nurses, agriculture community needs more workers to harvest the crops, dairy farmers need people for the dairy farms, they want to get visas who are available to work, just what they needed here but we can't make these reforms to legal immigration system because the illegal immigration system is a disaster. we can't solve the problems of legal immigration until you secure the border. >> >> one of the solutions is legislation this. >> the solution was prior to taking office. and -- if you have a problem that is a problem. finish the wall, finish the
wall, keep the remain in mexico policy and keep title 42 in place. you do that and this is going to come back to the way it was. if you continue on the course you are on you will see that whether there are 6 pillars or thousand pillars. >> i have a number of things to say, let me articulate my logic. you speak of and correctly so the need for labor in this country. there was a powerful article about that on the front page of the wall street journal a few weeks ago. this administration, the biden/harris administration has spoken of the need for safe, orderly and legal -- >> we have 30 seconds. i have 30 seconds. we will never have the labor that we need and the legal immigration system fixed to get is the visas desperately need until you secure the border. you are incapable of doing that with the policies you describe. on lee by returning to
policies before can you do it. or we need new leadership to do that. >> i look forward to discussing this with you because legislation is a solution and the single most enduring solution to the problem of regular migration this country has suffered for more than 20 years. .. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary mayorkas thank you for joining us. i have a few george a specific question straight with you at the outset. since january 1 hbcus across this country including spelman college, albany state and fort valley state university in
georgia have been targeted by terrorist threats. dhs has been a a gate with thj and fbi in efforts to ensure that these institutions are secure and the faculty and students are safe. i want to ask you for your assurance once again that you would use every authority at the disposal our close with the department of justice and other federal agencies to protect hbcus in george and nationwide. >> senator, i will and i myself engage with presidents of historical black colleges and universities in the immediate aftermath for the series of bomb threats that they have suffered. >> will you ensure working with my office at those institutions in georgia are fully briefed on the opportunities available to them through nonprofit security grants to secure federal resources to protect our faculty and student? >> i will, and some of them are eligible for that grant program. of course that's a nonprofit security grant program. i think there are if i'm not
mistaken 26 nonprofit historically black colleges and universities that could be eligible for that grant program. >> i want to talk to you about the synthetic opioids and fentanyl and other lethal drugs that are entering the united states that are killing and creating addiction and depended in communities in georgia and across the country. first of all i want to focus on the port of savannah. in the 2021 strategic plan for dhs science and technology there is research and development of screening systems for cbp to detect illegal drugs such as synthetic opioids or fentanyl at ports of entry. what i want is a commitment from you personally that you will ensure every relevant office within the department of homeland security is expediting
the development of the systems so that we can deploy them at the port of savannah and other ports of entry in georgia and protect my constituents from these deadly drugs that are entering the country. >> senator ossoff, every relevant agency an office in the department of homeland security is indeed committed to that. we have maximized the use of nonintrusive inspection technology. we have maximized the use of what we call forward operating laboratories to test controlled substances to ensure their identity has been illegal contraband, and with interdicted more drugs than in the past. >> thank you for that commitment, mr. secretary. what to draw your attention to an issue raised by law enforcement in the chattahoochee river valley in georgia, specifically the muscogee county sheriff's department about drug trafficking and the importance of drug interdiction operations on the chattahoochee river and
the operations necessary to prevent smuggling and trafficking in that area. will you designate someone in the department to meet either in person or remotely with me and the relevant local law enforcement agencies in that region of georgia so that we can determine how dhs can support our local law enforcement agencies in preventing the flow of drugs on and along the chattahoochee river? >> i will. i'm not familiar with the challenge of that particular geography that would be pleased to engage our department would be pleased to engage with your office to that end. >> i want to ask about the work the department is doing to remediate pfas contamination, chemical suppose a significant threat to human health in georgia and nationwide. the dhs budget proposal includes several million dollars to be used for pfas contaminant management. the contamination of communities
and facilities in georgia by pfas have been typically associate with dod installations where fire retardant chemicals have led to contamination potential of local water supplies. recognizing those are dod facilities what i would like this commitment from you that dhs will engage with my office to determine whether using the authorities and funding you are seeking for pfas contamination remediation to ensure that folks in marietta, for folks who are near dobbins air reserve base,, folks new robins air force base, near warner robins, folks who are near moody airbase are protected from those environmental hazards that we work together to determine if, and if so how dhs can support my efforts to protect my constituents from these chemical? >> very pleased to look into that, senator ossoff to quite candidly i'm not familiar with the pfas challenge, but
certainly our department will look into it and work with you. >> appreciate the, to work with me on that. i want to turn to a topic that has received some heated attention and scrutiny today and that is this so-called disinformation governance board that's been the subject of great controversy, , received an of questions about it today. i do think anything so named anything that purports to engage a department and work-related to purported are real disinformation warns congressional scrutiny to ensure that there are not first amendment issues implemented. can you characterize outboards purpose and any first amendment concerns congress should have related to its operation? >> thank you very much senator. very succinctly, the work of the department in addressing disinformation that presents a a threat to the security of our homeland has been going on for
years. nearly ten years across administrations. when we took office we have observed that there are not policies that guide that work across the department, that the operating agencies such as customs and border protection, fema, cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency, their efforts are not necessarily harmonized. there are not policies that guide that work or guardrails as i have termed it, to ensure that that ongoing work and that critical work, work critical to accomplishing our mission to secure the homeland, to ensure that it does not infringe on people's free-speech rights, right of privacy, , civil rights and civil liberties. and so this working group is designed to ensure that those policies and guardrails and standards and definitions are in
place to protect those fundamental rights. i have committed to provide quarterly reports to this committee with respect to the work of the working group, and i've enlisted the expertise and the outside assistance of two members of the homeland security advisory council, michael chertoff, the second secretary of homeland security who served under president bush, and jamie gorelick, , a former deputy attorney general and member of the 9/11 commission who served as deputy attorney general under president clinton, to assist in ensuring the value and validity of this work. >> my time is up. i will close with this. certainly the cargoes will and to remain engaged in vigorous oversight of such operations to ensure that the first amendment rights about the american are vigorously protected and upheld. thank you. >> and that's precisely why we establish this working group,
thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. and i really appreciate having this oversight hearing of the dhs budget. mr. secretary, thank you for being here today for your patience with all these questions. a number of my colleagues have discussed this issue with you today but it want you to know it's really an important issue in nevada some just going to ask you this again. the administration has recently lifted restrictions on migration at the southern border impose as result of the ongoing covid-19 pendant. it wasn't until after the sissy who made that dhs released a plan to address the resulting increased immigration numbers at the southern border. so it's frustrating to all of us that there wasn't better interagency coordination with dhs developing and releasing a comprehensive plan before it was announced it would lift
restrictions. so the plan released is lacking details and largely repackages earlier plan such as to search resources to the border, encourage better collaboration with state and local governments and ngos. want to be asking this about this tomorrow in her hearing on the southern border but given the budget focus of today's hearing i would like to ask you specific about dhs investments in border security. mr. secretary, can you describe in more detail the funding requested in the budget for new equipment, other technological enhancements of the border that will increase security such as drones, motion sensors and, of course, smart tech? >> senator rosen, if i can, just comment very briefly on something because the plan wasn't devised after these set of the cdc's announcement that it would end use of its title 42 authority on may 23 of this
year. plan was developed at the beginning of september of last year, but there were concerns in response to our assertion publicly that we did have a plan that was concerned, individuals not only in the senate but in the public have not seen debt and, therefore, i published details with respect to the plan on april 26. and i will say that there's been a request for even more detail but one has to be mindful of the fact we're dealing with an adversary and it is not my intention to provide a detailed blueprint of exactly what we're going to do in the six lines of effort to the cartels seek to exploit vulnerable migrants. our budget for fiscal year 2023 invests not only in technology, senator rosen, but critically and personnel as well. for the first time since 2011 we
are requesting more border patrol agents, 300 to be precise if i'm not mistaken. we are requesting additional case processors that will enable the border patrol agents that are doing processing now to get out into the field into the law enforcement work that they signed up to do. we are indeed investing in technology, not only at our ports of entry to increase the interdiction of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs but also technology to serve as a force multiplier in between the ports of entry. on land and in the air. >> thank you. i look forward to maybe perhaps the chairman and ranking member having classified hearings so we might have a discussion with you in private so again we may not make the bad actors aware of what your plans are but that we can get some further questions in place. i want to move on building on what senator padilla talked about, wildfire preparation,
because this is a big issue of course up with you and nevada and the dhs budget must reflect a new reality of a longer and more dangerous wildfire season all across the western states. nevada in particular relies on fire management assistant grants from the call them fmag to prepare for and mitigate wildfires that it was broughy attention last month when i met with the chief and his team at the nevada division of emergency management that f mags are only approved on a county by county basis and i'm told that if a fire starts in douglas county, neighboring line county t begin to prepare into the fire actually reaches the county border. it would be so much easier if we could prepare for the fast-moving wildfires if the officials had the flexible to move resources as the fire progresses. so mr. secretary, can you commit to having fema work with my team and see how we can build flexibility for state officials who are responding to these
active wildfires? they are fast and furious and dangerous, as loss of life, evacuations that have to take place. we got to be in front of all that. >> senator rosen i most certainly do and i very will understand the situation in nevada specifically. and other states of course in the west with an unprecedented number of wildfires and high percentage of federal land. >> i look forward to working with you again off-line on changes we can make to the fmag program to make it more responsive to the more severe and more persistent wildfires that we have and in the minute i left i'm going to talk about something else we talked a lot about, our nonprofit security program. i do appreciate your commitment to increasing funding for fema's nonprofit security grant program in the wake of the anti-semitic attacks in texas in january. for the first time requesting a specific allocation for the
program. in this gp plays a critical role in protecting houses of worship, of the nonprofits against terrorist attacks and targeted violence which is why i work with my colleagues to secure nearly 40% increase in funds this year. mr. secretary, rural communities come smaller communities, suburban communities have extorted ugly experience resource gaps. they face the challenges and accessing his nonprofit security grants. so if congress dash as congress considers your budget request how can we ensure funding reaches all communities and not just the largest communities? this is happening everywhere. >> senator rosen thank you so much for your support of the nonprofit security grant program. you have been a champion of it for many years but it's because of you and other champions of it that we have $250 million appropriated. in my tenure at ucb at 180 and, of course, we are now hoping to
achieve $360 million level four. this is something i'm speaking with fema about, the issue you have raised them access to the grant program, equality of access to the program tomorrow, in fact. chairman peters and i were in detroit, michigan, and heard of course some faith-based leaders who have small congregations who don't have the resources but nevertheless, there's much a target as others. so we have to develop the capability to reach the otherwise disenfranchised and were working intensely on that and i look forward to keeping you updated. >> thank you. i look for to that meeting as well. my time is up. >> thank you, mr. chairman. wait, i'm the chairman. thank you, mr. secretary for being here today. in arizona the state of america's war is not a new crisis. the board has been broken for generations. fact for my entire life the border has been a disaster.
the administration's decision to dispense title 42 will add incredible strength to federal law enforcement, nonprofits and arizona can reason that are at capacity and even the state of emergency for years. i have grave concerns dhs does not currently have the capacity to respond to the influx of migrants expected to follow the suspension of title 42 and will not be able to ensure the safety of arizona communities and the fair and humane treatment of migrants. in order to protect arizona communities and ensure a fair and humane process migrants, dhs would need to put additional resources including staffing, transportation, physical infrastructure and support for local communities on the ground before lifting title 42. title 42 is not and should not be a permanent solution but chaos and arizona communities and threats to my good safety are not viable alternatives. every time migration surges, arizona communities pay the price for the federal governments failure.
our communities, ngos and local and federal law enforcement officers have been struggling to keep up with the flow of migrants for years. while the migration contingency plan discusses the planned response i'm concerned about on the ground implementation period today border patrol processing centers all across the border are false. tucson sector is taking on average hundreds of migrants per day from the ummah sector to decompress the overcrowded facility. while the contingency plan does discuss surging infrastructure, transportation and human capital to affected areas, i'm concerned these resources will not be in place in time so secretary, how will dhs ensure these resources are on the ground before title 42 ends in order to minimize the impact on arizona's border community? >> thank you so much and we spoken about this, you and i, previously. so we're already well underway in of amending the plan. we already -- it is not a plan
where we execute until may 23, the announced date of the in the title 42. we are already surging personnel resources, transportation resources to the border. we understand the need to be already in place when title 42 comes to an end. so that work is well underway and has been well underway. in fact, i set up the southern border coordinating center to bring together all of the elements of the department of homeland security in two lead the interagency effort and resources to meet the needs and challenges that you identify. we are, for example, obtaining transportation resources from departments and agencies outside of the department of homeland security to meet the need. mentse of the department of homeland security to meet the need. >> thank you. arizona continues to pay the
price of washington's failures on the border. our communities are absorbing the cost including sanitation, services for migrants in distress, hospital visits and other costs. many of these are not reimbursed by the federal >> many of these costs are not reimbursed by thehi federal government even though this is the federal governments problem. for example, a small town in southern arizona has spent tens of thousands of dollars to respond to emergencycy calls on the border in recent months. there's no expectation every reimbursed by the federal government for the cost. so what additional authority does dhs require an order to reimburse these community of the local services who are paying the price for washington's immigration problem? >> senator, when you mentioned washington's problems, i can't help but think of the need for legislation to address what is clearly a broken administration system. what is clearly a broken immigration system. we are using the emergency and
shelter program of which you are very familiar. we are looking at other resource vehicles to assist state and local communities that are and we are looking intensely at that. >> title 42 has almost entirely suspended migrant processing which forces most migrants seeking asylum to enter between the ports of entry. as you know, this is dangerous for migrants and requires border patrol agents to spend a significant of time -- amount of time processing migrants instead of the principal job. many of the ports of entry do not currently have the necessary staffing or infrastructure to process those high numbers of migrants while continuing to facilitate trade and travel. what specific additional
resources are dhs putting in place at the ports of entry to ensure they can continue to facilitate trade and legitimate travel and keep our communities safe while also treating migrants humanely and fairly? sec. mayorkas: senator sinema, we are intensely focused on the use of technology, maximizing tremendous personnel, but also bringing greater process efficiencies to facilitate greater travel at the ports of entry. we are also looking at expanding the capacity of ports of entry to process individual seeking relief under the laws of the united states so they do not encounter it -- we do not encounter them in between the ports of entry. we have a virtual platform that we use cold cbp one, that allows individual south of the border to register on the platform and we work with international
organizations and nongovernmental organizations to the south of the border in mexico. they make their claims, they are screened, and if in fact they pass that screening, we are able to bring them to a port of entry at a predesignated time in an orderly way and thereby avoid the encounter and attempted illegal entry between the points -- ports of entry. there are many details that are involved in how we are maximizing capabilities and potential of the ports of entry both for lawful trade and travel and to process individuals in a safe and orderly way and i look forward to speaking with you further on the subject. >> arizona ports of entry process billions of dollars worth of produce and other goods each year which generates revenue for the -- for the federal government. what steps will the dhs takes to monitor the effect of increased migrant processing at ports of entry and ensure any issues are dealt with quickly to prevent
disruptions to commercial trade? sec. mayorkas: we are very focused on the ports of entry and facilitating lawful trade and travel through them. we have agriculture inspectors within u.s. customs customs and border protection to do that and it's extraordinarily difficult with time-consuming work. we are looking at how we can bring digitization to bear and how we can harness innovation and technology to drive greater efficiency and speed without compromising critical security vetting. >> thank you. i'd like to follow-up on each of those issues and still continue to have grave concerns around the ability to implement the end of title 42 in an effective way. the committee will proceed to a second round of questions. as chairman peters noted, this will be a five-minute round and we are asking senators to keep questions and responses to those five minutes. senator portman, you are now
recognized. >> thank you, madam chair and thank you for your patience with us today. so many important issues. one is these individuals found recently to have come in or come up to the border who were on the terrorist watch list. this is a shock to all of us and i think to your people as well. having a border that is so open, people coming in from all over the world including 42 individuals, and you tell the committee with the 42 individuals on the watchlist were released in the united states? >> there are a number of dispositions. those individuals, i would want to provide information with respect to the disposition of the 42 individuals which we know of in a classified setting. >> so you're saying you can't tell us whether any of them were
released in the united states? sec. mayorkas: some of them very well might have been u.s. persons. >> well, where they released into the united states? sec. mayorkas: i cannot tell you the process disposition -- precise disposition -- > so you want to do it in a classified setting. you said in the house last week that you would provide that information. sec. mayorkas: if i may, we know the disposition of the individuals. and some may be placed in removal proceedings and some in criminal custody, some may be cooperating with law enforcement, some may be downgraded from the terrorist rating -- >> i hear what you're saying, you cannot continue unless we are in a classified setting. sec. mayorkas: that information with respect to the disposition -- >> some individuals may have been released in the united states but you won't tell us? sec. mayorkas: if i may just finish.
>> i will let you go onto the next because you will not answer and i understand. sec. mayorkas: no, if i can provide that information to you outside of a classified setting, i certainly will. i will do both. >> i look forward to getting that information. we look forward and heard from the inspector general that there were 50 individuals with significant security concerns paroled in the united states through the afghan parolee program. you testified last year you were robustly screening the refugees. we know the tactical databases were not used with information collected on combat operations, detention records, fingerprints on improvements to explosive devices. individuals with serious security concerns were
discovered only because the dod ran that database after the fact from the people who already came into the united states. earlier today we were briefed by dhs that you guys did not ask for or did not have access to the tactical database to conduct the screening. my question is, can you assure us today you are screening people at the southern border using these tactical databases dod says are necessary to determine whether someone is a potential terrorist? sec. mayorkas: ranking member, let me share we were not consulted by the inspector general for the department of defense for the publication of that report. we consider there to be infirmities and that report and factual inaccuracies and we are continuing to review the report to identify all of them. i look forward to the specific question.
>> do you disagree there were 50 people released into the country that were afghan evacuees? sec. mayorkas: i know there are factual inaccuracies. >> the first i've heard of that. we will follow-up. quickly yes or no. we talked about earlier, under the trump years, we had a virtual -- we had a border. whether you're for or against, say yes or no, one, a commitment to finish the wall and technology that goes with it which i think is more important and properly fund border patrol, yes or no? sec. mayorkas: no. the commitment of this administration is not to continue -- >> so that's a no. that has changed. return to the safe country asylum program -- that program was in place for guatemala. not other countries.
sec. mayorkas: i would respectfully submit that guatemala is not a safe country given the conditions in that country and the amount of migration we see from that country -- >> i'm talking about people applying for asylum in guatemala. sec. mayorkas: i'm saying it is respectfully my opinion -- >> a no on that one as well. how about return to the migrant protection protocols, they have to -- you started with a small number of people screen. would you put that program back in place in a robust way. sec. mayorkas: i articulated in a memorandum we believe that population should not be released. >> how about stopping people into the united states, the so-called catch and release without detaining them? sec. mayorkas: i disagree with the formulation of that question. >> you are saying you would not
follow the law and detain people. i understand that we -- it would take a lot of funding and a lot of help. sec. mayorkas: that's a mischaracterization of what i said. we enforce the law. individuals who are subject to detention are detained to the fullest extent of our capacity. >> under title eight, people are supposed to be detained pending the adjudication -- sec. mayorkas: but ranking member, there has never been enough -- >> i get that. would you say yes or no it is a good idea? you are saying there's not the capacity to do it or you would not want to do it? sec. mayorkas: that would not solve the challenge -- >> how about asylum? adjudication at the border, when someone comes into the country, they are adjudicated within a month or two. they go back to their country and people back home i thinking it's not worth coming to the u.s. because you aren't getting in for six to eight years.
sec. mayorkas: that's why we problem -- promulgated the asylum officer rule. >> before you make a final adjudication and it would be appealed to the immigration asylum after. it's another bump in the road but doesn't solve it. sec. mayorkas: i would need to more -- no some more details. the border patrol facilities are not equipped to address. >> you are saying that's one you would consider? sec. mayorkas: that is something i would consider. >> we are getting somewhere. how about expedited removal? back in the days of the obama administration, you were removing a lot more people. sec. mayorkas: senator, that is the use of expedited removal, one of the elements of the six part plan, i believe it is
border security pillar three. >> 350,000 in the obama years. would you go back to a policy removing people who don't qualify and have full adjudication? sec. mayorkas: yes. >> ok. we made some progress. thank you. >> thank you. a little bit of ranking member privilege on the time. we would like to stick to five minutes if i could ask the remaining members. senator langford, if we could be strict, i would appreciate that. >> thank you for the time. it is a long day again as i mentioned and i appreciate your time to engage. i do want to follow up. for the chairman, we were talking about some of the facts.
if we could be able to walk through this, walk-through whether it is you or your team and there are a lot of team -- things that are missing. let me give you one thing that came out on the plan. in the plan you lay out, it says in the executive summary that dhs would attain single adults when appropriate. that is in the executive summary. when you go through the plan, there are no to pay -- details on what it means. it is just in the executive summary. can you help me understand when appropriate you will detain single adults? sec. mayorkas: senator langford, the detention capacity does not meet the numbers that we are encountering and that is a challenge that has been experienced by administration after administration. we have to take a look at smart
and effective enforcement and how we should use detention authorities to have the greatest public safety in fact. in the criminal justice system in which i worked for years, number one, no condition or combination of conditions can ensure the safety of the community or no condition or combination of conditions can ensure the individual's future in proceedings. those criteria would be applied here given the disparity between the number of individuals who are eligible for detention and the detention capacity that we have. the detention has been misused in the immigration system for many years. >> here's my
challenge with that. you say detention is used when you are not sure if you will show up for hearings, the vast majority are not showing up.
we can walk back through for a long period of time. the second part about this is, right now the last time i was in rio grande valley a few months ago at this point, they were picking up individuals wearing camouflage that had them they were in the nicaraguan military and within 24 hours those individuals had been released. they were single adult males wearing camouflage what they were released in the country. on the detention side of it in the budget you requested, and 29 fewer beds. it's hard to process you say we are limited on space but the budget asks for even less space and we have a large number of individuals that are not showing
, and single adult males, that clearly could be a risk. all three of those i'm kind of figaro based on what you said. sec. mayorkas: i would respectfully disagree, the data evidence, the majority of people show up for their hearings especially when represented by counsel because the system is extraordinarily complex. the percentage of people who do not show up for the hearings are often misinformed about their obligations and responsibilities and not necessarily intentional abscond or spirit i believe the appearance rate is over 85% of those who are not represented. effective the matter is in our system, we have missed used -- misused detention for years. >> but you requested 5000 fewer beds for single adults and 2500 fewer family units. sec. mayorkas: we are increasing the use of alternatives to detention and using detention
when it is a public safety imperative or imperative to ensure the continued appearance of individuals in immigration enforcement. >> let me say this, i will have follow-up questions for the record. that is this number of people that show up for the hearings. i have seen a number very very different, we have one and a half million people that the court has ordered the removal and they are not being removed. and there's a lot of folks that we don't know for the last year because they were given six or eight years to show up for a hearing so we won't know for six or eight years if they show up. i do want to follow up because dhs has vehemently disagreed with the dod inspector general on the 28 individuals that were afghan refugees that came through that we lost track of and also had shown up as a
positive for the improvised explosive device list from dod. those individuals, we don't know where they are. there in the country somewhere. that number could be as high as 50. we want to get information. dhs has said we be heavenly disagree with that ash the he -- we vehemently disagree. >> i want to remind everyone to be true to the five minutes for the votes. you are recognized for five minutes. >> again, thank you, sec. mayorkas. the toll this has had on families is devastating. due to the massive influx of migrants illegally crossing because of president biden's words and policies, it shows that it is an open invitation. our cbp is stuck and unable to properly patrol the border.
narcotics like fentanyl, it is trafficked across the border. one of the americans lost was a young man and member of our armed services. i heard the story when i was visiting the southern border in arizona. this young man returned home on leave to see his mother and celebrate her birthday. he met up with old friends and was offered a xanax to help with his anxiety. the pill he took was laced with fentanyl and it took his life. his mother and fortunately him dead the next day in his room. this young man made a bad decision but it should not have cost him his life. . to many american families know with this terrible loss is like. fentanyl is the primary drug responsible for more than 100,000 deaths in 2021. what you said earlier is that this was going up before and has gone up to 20,000 more deaths than we saw in 2020. if you knew it was going up, you took this job, what have you
done that is pushing it down and when are we going to see a reduction? is our moms and dads and kids and it is devastating to families. sec. mayorkas: the number of overdose deaths in the u.s. from 2015 to 2021, from 2015 to 2016, it rose 10,000. from 2016 to 2017, it rose -- these are approximate numbers -- 8000. from 2017 to 2018, it rose 17 thousand. >> i agree. what have you done? sec. mayorkas: so the drugs, 50% more 2020 over 2019. so what we have done is enhanced and intensified our use of technology, nonintrusive inspection technology at the ports of entry. we have deployed forward operating labs at the ports of
entry and interdicted more fentanyl this year then well over in 2020. >> when will we see a reduction? sec. mayorkas: senator, it is my hope that we see a reduction as quickly as possible. there have been too many tragic deaths, as the one that you identified of that soldier. the fact of the matter is we have to address demand in this country. that is a fundamental challenge that we have as a nation and is a nonpartisan challenge. way many people have died. >> securing the border would have an impact. next let's talk about cuba. my understanding is we are talking to the legitimate communist cuban regime. my concern is you are going to lift sanctions. you are going to take them off the terror watch list. part of your conversations, this
is a horrible regime, i couldn't get the biden administration to say anything. we talked about this last time about 1300 peaceful protesters they are trying to. . kill including kids i asked you last night -- trying to kill including kids. ask you last time if you would do something. are you going to stand up and do something for these poor kids? all they did was peaceably protest in the country and the regime is trying to kill them. sec. mayorkas: senator scott, i am not involved in discussions with the cuban regime. i would respectfully request that you respect my humanity, because i stand before this committee as an individual, a member of a family, who fled communist cuba. my father lost so very much and he wanted to raise my sister and me in a democracy and quite frankly the greatest country in the world.
i do not take steps to relax policies against an authoritarian and oppressive regime. >> so you're not doing anything to reduce sanctions? sec. mayorkas: the discussions that i understand have taken place are with respect to the migration reports that have been in place for many years between our two countries. what exactly the terms of the discussions are, not something of which i am intimately familiar, nor something that i would disclose in an open forum given the sensitivity of diplomatic discussions. >> are you going to say anything publicly about the peaceful protesters that the communist regime is trying to kill? sec. mayorkas: i have. i certainly have. and i have condemned the oppression against the peaceful protesters on the streets of cuba. and in fact, my father held me as an infant on the streets of
cuba when the authoritarian regime took over. i would respectfully request you understand my background, you understand why i am here in the united states, and because so much of that background, senator, is why i have served in the united states government for more than 20 years, 12 of which were as a federal prosecutor and more than nine of which have been in the department of homeland have been in the department of homeland security. sen. scott: i am glad you are here. i hope you will start enforcing the rule of law. >> senator johnson. folks have been good about five minutes. we have five minutes because of time restraints. sen. johnson: thank you for staying for a second round. my first round you were quoting some statistics relating to return to mask policy. can you repeat that? i think you were talking about return to mexico. sec. mayorkas: the human rights organization prepared a report that identified more than 1500
individuals subject children remain in mexico program under the prior administration who were victimized by murder, rape, torture and -- sen. johnson: how many individuals are part of the return to mexico policy? sec. mayorkas: i don't have that data at my fingertips. sen. johnson: are they tracking the number of people for example -- sex trafficked during your administration with the mains of people coming into this country illegally. you have any feel for that? sec. mayorkas: senator, let me just say that -- sen. johnson: i understand that. do you know what the trafficking charges nowadays? how much people are paying to come into this country? the coyotes. sec. mayorkas: the number ranges -- sen. johnson: and it is? sec. mayorkas: several thousand
dollars. sen. johnson: how do you think young women pay off the trafficking charge? sec. mayorkas: i am well aware. sen. johnson: they sell children. we had testimony. 84 one dollars -- $84 when child was so for. sec. mayorkas: i am aware of all sorts of horrors the cartels and smuggling network -- smuggling networks commit. so many different law enforcement operations to address the scourge, those heinous crimes. sen. johnson: if we did not have the massive flow, would be able to reduce those human degradations. what happens when someone who has not -- who has gotten a otis to report does not report? sec. mayorkas: they become an enforcement priority. sen. johnson: have you apprehended anybody that did not report? sec. mayorkas: i am sure we have. sen. johnson: approximately how many? sec. mayorkas: i can -- sen. johnson: is it tens of
thousands? sec. mayorkas: i can get you the data you are requesting, senator and certainly more promptly than apparently we provided q first to this committee. sen. johnson: totally switching topics here. i have always been puzzled by the emphasis on the threat of white nationalists. i am opposed and i condemn white supremacist. but, when we had 17,815 murders in this country in 2020, i'm puzzled by why that is. you, christopher wray, the chairman keeps talking about that as the greatest threat to this nation. i would say something causing 17,815 homicides is a big threat. how many murders were associated with the white supremacists last year? sec. mayorkas: i don't have that data but to be precise, director ray at the federal and i have
spoken of domestic violent extremism as a great terrorism related threat. that is not to say that crime in our city is not a -- sen. johnson: i have heard the testimony repeated. it is like the greatest threat to our homeland is white supremacists, terrorism. sec. mayorkas: that is inaccurate, senator. sen. johnson: would you agree to 17,000 8015 homicides in 2020 represent the greatest threat to human life -- all those crimes? sec. mayorkas: senator, difficult to now say what presents the greatest threat domestically with respect to homicides. i would say gang violence which i prosecuted. sen. johnson: gang violence is fueled by illegal immigration. we have things like ms 13 and those gangs come through our open -- our open border correct?
that is a huge problem, correct? sec. mayorkas: gangs are a huge problem. i prosecuted the ms 13. i also prosecuted other gangs. sen. johnson: that is one more of those flows. we talk about human trafficking. we talk about drug trafficking. we talk about gang members coming up from central america. part of the drug trafficking trade in some cases but gang members themselves. i was always amazed because we have a hearing on ms 13 it was not related to drugs. it is just a gang unbelievably violent associated with central america. sec. mayorkas: senator, i would respectfully submit that the migrant population that is encountered at the border should not be painted with a broad brush. sen. johnson: and open border allowed those as visual pin -- allow those individuals. some of those people would probably be gang members. i'm out of tim.
>> i have deferred my questions to the end. senator hawley, i know you will be within five minutes as well appeared sen. hawley: that is a lot of confidence, mr. chairman should can become back to this tim phipps -- this disinformation? you said it earlier this week on cnn miss janco it's was absolutely neutral. those were your words politically. do you stand by that? sec. mayorkas: senator, she has an obligation to be nonpartisan and neutral in the execution of her responsibilities, in her current position at the department of homeland security. she has an obligation to be that and if she fails in that obligation, it will be consequences. sen. hawley: let's take a look at how she has been doing. here is miss janco it's talking about her political opponents i guess she views them as. she says trump talking about how he would put up a flyer in
portland is the language of authoritarianism. it means the violent clearing of protesters and arrest without cause, abusive human rights. that is not law enforcement. that is lawlessness. that was said to between ninth, 2020. here is selection out of her book. also published in 2020. she said this. the president's supporters in congress are homegrown purveyors of disinformation. these would be the people people in my state have elected. they do not want to remind the american people of these inconvenient truths. they choose instead to shout lies through a megaphone capitalizing on their constituent's unfamiliarity, ambivalence or polarization. the president's supporters in congress are homegrown purveyors of disinformation. does this sound like somebody who is neutral to you? sec. mayorkas: senator, let me
share with you i am not focused on her past comments. sen. hawley: why wouldn't you be focused on her past comments? sec. mayorkas: if i may, i am focused on the shin upon us and ahead of us paid sen. hawley: you hired her for this job and you have not looked at her record? sec. mayorkas: that is not what i said. sen. hawley: you have said you are not concerned about her past comments. sec. mayorkas: what i've said is i am focused on the mission ahead. sen. hawley: you have chosen her to accomplish that mission. do you regard her as neutral? sec. mayorkas: she has an obligation while an employee of the department of homeland security -- sen. hawley: you have complete confidence in her? sec. mayorkas: to execute her responsibilities in nonpartisan way. sen. hawley: you have complete record she is going to do that. sec. mayorkas: i have confidence in her and if she fails in executing that obligation as all individuals in the department of homeland security has, there will be a consequence to that. sen. hawley: that is exceptional particularly you told me a few
minutes ago you were not aware of the many comments i read to you then one after another when you hired her for this job. clearly you did not do your due diligence and now you're telling me you not concerned about her frankly outrageous and vitriolic statements that are partisan in the extreme. i cannot believe i am hearing this. sec. mayorkas: let me share with you something. she was hired by the department of homeland security. sen. hawley: you are responsible for that. sec. mayorkas:sec. mayorkas: i am a secretary of homeland security and i bear responsibility. and so, she is going to execute her responsibilities in a nonpartisan way and accomplish the mission for which she has been hired. sen. hawley: why don't you just dissolve this board? sec. mayorkas: you have not heard a single senator support this board. it is an abomination. it is unconstitutional and frankly, it is embarrassing. the fact you have chosen this person to lead it is appalling.
why don't you just dissolve it? sec. mayorkas: senator, this working group provides a very important function. sen. hawley: no it does not. sec. mayorkas: we have been executing our mission to address disinformation that threatens security of the homeland for years. sen. hawley: what does this board add? dissolve it. sec. mayorkas: allow me to answer your question. we have lacked sufficient guard rails, policies and standards to guide that work to ensure that work which has been done for nearly 10 years is done in a way that does not infringe on people's right of free speech, right of privacy, and civil liberties kit that is what this working board is going to do. sen. hawley: they're going to put the guard rails in place. you have chosen miss janco woods who says the distinguished meant between free speech is false who
says the president supporters are homegrown purveyors of disinformation. who has called herself the mary poppins of misinformation. you have chosen her to create guard rails for the entire federal government for free speech. that is exceptional. that is amazing. sec. mayorkas: senator, the deputy executive director is a career employee. the individuals from the -- sen. hawley: so she will not really be in charge? sec. mayorkas: the individuals from the office of general counsel. the office for civil rights and civil liberties. customs and border protection. federal emergency management administration. cybersecurity security agency, the office of planning policy and strategy, these individuals, many of whom will be career employees, over together to make sure the department has the policy standards definitions and practices in place to allow the operators to do their work to
tackle this information's that threatens the security of the homeland without infringing on fundamental rights. sen. hawley: i have no idea what that word salad means. what i do know is you have hired a radical to lead this board. that is an abomination. >> i have deferred my questions to the end of the hearing. i know it has been a long afternoon for you. i want to start off by first thanking you for your support on ranking portman and my incident reporting legislation. i'm happy we are able to get that passed into law. now as you know, cisa has begun double making process. my question for you is does this budget request include enough funding to ensure the rulemaking is going to occur both thoroughly and quickly? attacks are happening today. we need to get this will past as quickly as possible. can you give me an update on your thoughts as to how quickly
we? can move this forward -- we can move this forward? sec. mayorkas: i want to thank you both for championing this critical piece of legislation. it is going to make a significant difference in the cybersecurity of our country. we are already working to implement the legislation. we anticipate promulgating a notice of proposed rulemaking. the implementing regulation for the statute that you both and others of course championed. the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency is working with fema to develop the notice of proposed rulemaking and we have already begun to confer with members of the private sector to understand some of the critical issues that they have to make sure that the statutes objectives are ably met. >> thank you.
every year, more applicants apply for disaster mitigation assistance than we have available for funding. we know mitigation projects save both lives and money. every dollar of federal money we spend on mitigation before a disaster saves on average six dollars. we're going to be a lot better off than picking up the pieces after the storm. that is why i authored the storm back. we have provided funding for it which is going to help states set up a revolving loan fund for hazard mitigation projects. additional funding was under the bipartisan infrastructure law. my question for you is dhs provides this vital funding to mitigate the risk of natural hazards and preferred -- and provide resilience. do i have your commitment the dhs and fema will work with my stuff to permit the storm act
program as quickly as possible so we can have our local communities engage in these negation projects as quickly as possible? sec. mayorkas: yes, i will, mr. chairman. the story mack is going to make an impact as well. i concur with your assessment on the importance of mitigation i know the storm act enables the department of a mind security through fema to work with a tribal and state governments to make capitalization grants with that whole in mind. >> thank you. >> the arab american community in my home state of michigan has long endured intrusive screening when travelling affects their family, their ability to enjoy family vacations that many take for granted. i know you heard directly from the arab-american community when you were in michigan with me there. thank you for making that trip
and you heard that message loud and clear. my question is president biden pledged that reviewing the no-fly list and when you'll have that implemented? >> mr. chairman, i know the work is underway certainly after our trip to your state of michigan, i followed up on what i heard as you well know, you made the announcement with the respect of a designation of community relations officer, but a status of the review of the watch list, the no-fly list and redress has to be something i'll look into right now and notoriety now. >> i appreciate your committee and i want to thank the ranking member for holding this hearing
with me today and secretary mayorkas, thank you for appearing to share the department of homeland's priority for the upcoming here and your service to the country and tackle challenges before you. while there's no doubt that the department faces challenges, i look forward to working with you to make sure that dhs addresses the serious threats to our nation. and finally i want to take the student to look at the women every day at the department of homeland security to keep our nations safe. this committee is thankful for everyone at the department and we hook forward to working close with you to support the department's mission. thank you, if you want to say closing words. thank you for your patience in hearing us out. i think we're at a very difficult point on the border where if we don't make changes
quickly to provide for an alternative to title 42 we will be more overwhelmed and the border patrol already feels overwhelmed. i know, mr. secretary, we have differences on policy, but on one area, asylum, there might be an opportunity for progress and help for an alternative, but we have to do something. it's just not fair to the people on the border, to the people all over this country who are affected by this and to those who want to come here legally. because this is the country the most generous in the world in terms of legal immigration and we support legal immigration, but it's jeopardized and any reform is being impacted by the border. and thank you, and thank you men and women through ice and border patrol and ports of entry, thank them for all they're doing to help them protect our country. thank you both very much.
>> thank you, secretary, i know this has been a long afternoon and thank you for being here and the answers to a lot of questions and your thorough answers. we look forward continuing to work for you. you have a tough job and tough mission and we appreciate your willingness to engage on regular basis in a frank way. open until may 15 for the commission of statements and questions for the record. this hearing is now adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
institute on c-span, online c-span.org and our c-span app. american history on saturday, c-span2, exploring the people and events that tells the american story. at 2 p.m. eastern on the presidency, journalist jeffrey frank looks back at harry truman, including the dropping of the first atomic bomb, the extraordinary president of an ordinary man. then at 8 p.m. on lectures in history, college professor teaches a cross about the mexican-american war, he's looking at history during the mexican-amic
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