tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 28, 2015 11:00pm-1:01am EDT
re passing laws and ordinances that prevent it cooperate with us in our enforcement efforts, and so we have ended the secure committees program, as i mentioned and put into place a new program that i believe will promote enforcement so that we can get at the criminals. but secure communities, in my judgment, is one of the reasons why we're seeing lower numbers along with a few other things, sir. senator cruz: you talked about getting at the criminals which is the same of the president's purported justification for the illegal amnesty program, that it would allow the focus of prosecutorial resources on violent criminals. it strikes me there is a fairly serious problem with that argument. the number of criminal aliens deported from the interior has declined 23% from last year and declined 39% since the peak in 2011. so when it comes to violent
criminals, the department is not stepping up its efforts and indeed if you look to 2013, in 2013 the department released 36,007 criminal aliens with serious convictions. that included 116 with convictions for homicide. 43 with convictions with negligent manslaughter. 14 voluntary manslaughter. one with a conviction as i.c.e. classified, willful, kill public official, gun and that individual was released. in addition to that 15,635 criminal aliens who had been convicted of drunk driving that were released back into the population. 2,691 who had convictions for assault that were released into the population. why is the department releasing
so many criminal aliens? and secondly, can you tell this committee in the 6 1/2 years of the obama administration's tenure just how many criminal aliens had been released, how many murderers, how many rapists, how many people convicted of violent assault had been released into the population? secretary johnson: yes. as you pointed out, senator, in fiscal year 2013 there were about 36,000 individuals convicted of a crime who once in our immigration system were bonded out. that number declined to about 30,000 in fiscal year 2014 but in my judgment that number is still too high. so in reaction to this situation, i directed that we do a number of things differently including elevating the approval for a circumstance where somebody who had been convicted of a crime is released from
immigration detention. it is the case that some of these cases are due to releases by immigration judges or by the supreme court jurisprudence in zavadas vs. davis. but i do think we could do a better job which is why i elevated the approval for that. and we no longer release people for lack of space. that was an issue in 2013. especially when we were dealing with sequestration. we had a situation where we released a lot of people because we were concerned we didn't have the space. and i directed that that should not be an excuse for releasing somebody. we should find the space. and so this is a problem i recognize exists and i'm , interested in promoting public safety and that's why i directed these changes, sir. senator cruz: thank you, mr. secretary. i'll follow up with the written request for the information i requested. senator franken: i think it's
important to acknowledge the events taking place in baltimore right now. my heart goes out to freddie grey and the city of baltimore. i understand the events surrounding the death of mr. gray are subject to an independent investigation and i believe that a full and thorough accounting of the facts is a necessary first step in helping restore trust between police officers and the community. as we await for the result of that investigation and as we secure justice for mr. gray and his family, join mr. gray's family in urging all the protestors or those that do protest do so peacefully. secretary johnson, cooperation between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve remains the focus of national attention and it seems that everyone agrees that racial and ethnic profiling undermines
trust in the authorities, that it causes resentment among targeted groups. i was pleased to see former attorney -- rather, attorney holder -- former attorney general holder -- i got to start saying that now -- revisit d.o.j.'s policies on profiling and extend the banned on profiling to cover gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. and these new guidelines do not apply to the t.s.a. or customs and border protection which are d.h.s. agencies. these agencies are still permitted to use profiling when screening airline passengers and individuals crossing borders. i understand that it is challenging to ensure public
safety while simultaneously building trust with communities who have experienced profiling. minnesota, as you know, is a large -- has a large community of somali minnesotans, somali americans, for example, and i want to thank you for traveling to minneapolis last year and meeting with members of the cedar riverside community to hear their concerns. but i continue to hear from members of the community to report they experience profiling who are singled out for additional screening and questioning at the same minneapolis-st. paul airport so routinely they prefer to drive to chicago, over 400 miles away, rather than fly out their hometown. instead of fostering respect and cooperation, i worry that our current practices are nurturing fear and resentment.
i'd like to know what steps, in your view, d.h.s. can take to ensure we do a better job of protecting our security while simultaneously respecting the dignities of those that are new to our communities. secretary johnson: thank you for that question, senator. first of all, we looked pretty hard at whether we could sign on to the d.o.j. nonprofiling policy last year or earlier this year. we found that given our different missions, that policy, which was intended for law enforcement, didn't quite fit. as we have -- as you pointed out, aviation security, border security. senator franken: i understand. secretary johnson: administration of our immigration laws. there is the general rule we should not engage in racial profiling. that was the case before, that's the case now. nationality, given the nature of our mission, is taken into account, for example.
i have heard, just as you have heard from the somali community in minneapolis that because of the profiling that they perceive occurs at the minneapolis airport they prefer to go to chicago. i have heard the exact same thing. i asked t.s.a. to undertake an evaluation and study of that. they have come back to those in the community to address the concerns. i think it frankly continues to be a work in progress but t.s.a. knows my view that we should not profile at airports. and we should not make it the case that somebody prefer to go to chicago versus minneapolis their own airport, and we've had, i think, some productive conversations with the community
along these lines but i think it also probably continues to be a work in progress and it's something that's on my radar personally. senator franken: thank you for that response. i understand that last night a court issued a decision that needs to be evaluated regarding families in immigration detention facilities, but i'd like to talk about that issue nonetheless. in the past few years, the department of homeland security has significantly increased its use of family detention centers at an annual cost of nearly $2 billion. family detention centers often separate parents from their children and their recent expansions led to complaints of poor conditions, inadequate services and physical dangers for those detained. such allegations would suggest that family detention centers pose long-term developmental challenges for immigrant children and families. what is your view of the current family detention system? should the use of family detention facilities be expanded
or reduced in the future? secretary johnson: before we encountered the situation we had in the rio grande valley last summer, we had among the 34,000 beds for immigration detention only 95 for family units, for members of families. and so in the face of what we were dealing with last summer, which included a lot of families, we expanded our detention space beyond 95 and we opened several new facilities which i believe are important to maintain. i personally visited several of them to ensure myself that the conditions of confinement are appropriate. i know that the very purpose of family unit space is to keep families together so that you're not sending the parent in one
direction and the child the other. the very purpose of it is to keep the families together, as you point out. there is a case or two involving family detention, one in california, one in washington, d.c., and as recently as yesterday and friday i have -- and i continue to evaluate whether our current policy is the appropriate one for family units. i'm hearing a fair amount about issues with family detention. and so i'm currently evaluating whether the current policy is the best one. i'm pleased that the numbers of family units crossing our border illegally is down considerably from last year, and i want to continue to evaluate it and make sure we're getting it right. because i hear the issues being raised by a number of people. senator franken: thank you. i'll ask further questions for
the record. i'll submit them, rather. senator cornyn: good morning secretary johnson. the chairman said you have a very difficult job, and i think that's an understatement, but notwithstanding the difficulties of the job either that you have or that we have, all of us must be held accountable for the way we discharge our responsibilities. that's what this hearing is about. but it's particularly difficult to be effective when the administration continues to sabotage its own efforts by embracing unconstitutional policies like the president's executive action. 22 times the president of the united states said he didn't have the authority to do what he did, and now we have, of course, as you know, an injunction preliminary injunction in place issued by federal district judge in brownsville. obviously the stay is on appeal to the fifth circuit, but i'd like to just refresh your memory and ours, what the court said
when it issued the preliminary injunction. so this court finds that dapa, that's the name given to the program, the executive action -- the court finds that dapa does not simply constitute inadequate enforcement. it is an announced program of nonenforced laws that contradicts congress' statutory goals. it does not adopt mere inadequacy. it is complete abdication. the department of homeland security does have discretion in the manner in which it chooses to fulfill the expressed will of congress. it cannot, however, enact a program whereby it not only ignores the dictates of congress but actively acts to thwart , them. the court went on further and said the department of homeland security secretary is not just rewriting the laws. he's creating them from scratch. finally, judge hannon said the
department of homeland security does not seek compliance with federal law in any form, but instead establishes a pathway for noncompliance and completely abandons entire sections of this country's immigration law. closed quote. i know you disagree with judge hannon and the courts will finally decide the propriety of his judgment and of course this is going to take some time. i would imagine. given the fact that he's only issued a preliminary injunction and the trial on the merits still remains and this could go back and forth to the united states supreme court a couple of times before it's over with. but to me beyond the unconstitutional act by the administration in issuing this executive action, i agree with judge hannon's characterization that won't surprise you. i think perhaps the larger tragedy is that the president has poisoned the well in congress and destroyed any trust
whatsoever between the executive branch and the congress when it comes to fixing our broken immigration system. and i know our friends who are on the gang of eight, senator schumer, senator durbin said they haven't answered. if the house will swallow whole hog the gang of eight bill, all the problems would go away. well, the constitution gives the house authority to agree or not agree. and one thing i think we should have learned from this whole exercise is a comprehensive immigration system does not work. that's what i learned in the last 10 years working to try to fix our broken immigration system. so we need to do what we can and where we can and i still have not given up hope that we can do that. but i will say the president's executive action poisoned the well and made the congressional branch, the legislative branch so distrustful of the president's actions that it's
going to be very, very hard. much harder than if the president had not undertaken this action. so i'd like to ask you, do you regret the actions that you and the administration have taken that have gotten us to this point? secretary johnson: no, i do not, senator. i believe that the undocumented population in this country which at least half of which has been here more than 10 years has to be reckoned with. we know they're here and they are not priorities for removal. i would note in two places judge hannon's opinion refers to the fact that secretary has -- he acknowledges has the authority and the discretion to engage in prosecutorial discretion. prioritize who we should remove and who we should not. there are millions of people in this country who are not
priorities for removal. there are dozens of states that allow them to have driver's licenses. there's one state that says an undocumented immigrant has a right to practice law. so in my judgment we have to deal with this population. you refer to the fact that the president supposedly poisoned the well. we took the action we took after waiting literally for years for congress to act so - senator cornyn: so do you think it is an excuse for the president to act unconstitutionally because congress does not act? secretary johnson: i have an opinion from the office of legal council that we have the legal discretion to do what we did. unfortunately judge hannon disagrees but the case is on appeal now. senator cornyn: and my guess is
it's going to take literally long past the time that president obama leaves office before this matter is finally resolved by the courts. which means that not only has the president poisoned the well for any meaningful reform of our broken immigration laws during the duration of his presidency but it will also endure beyond his presidency. i'd like to ask you in the short time remaining, you have said on numerous occasions we have good results in terms of the number of people being detained at the border. last year 479,000. don't you think it is a little premature to be declaring victory when it comes to border security? let me asked you as well, -- let me ask you as well i've always found it strange that we count success when the number of people actually detained goes down. because it strikes me that it's an equal inference that you may be doing a better job. the truth is you may not be doing as good of job and fewer
people are being detained. yet you believe that that represents a victory and the problems are taken care of. secretary johnson: senator, i'm very definitely not declaring victory when it comes to border security. virtually every statement i issued like the one last week, i say here are the numbers but we're not declaring mission accomplished. i refer what more we can do to strengthen border security. and that is reflected in our f.y. 2016 budget submission. senator cornyn: mr. chairman, if i could just close on this. we didn't have the time yet. 57% of the children who were -- came across in the wave of the humanitarian crisis last year were issued orders of removal in absentia which means they did not show up for their court hearings which to me means they basically successfully navigated our broken immigration system and they're going to stay here , and that's a problem. we still haven't fixed and we still need to address. thank you. senator blumenthal: thank you,
mr. chairman. thank you for having this hearing. thank you for your service to our nation, mr. secretary. i am very pleased to learn that the department is re-evaluating its family detention policy. as you well know, the judge's opinion in my view, at least requires it. and also many have objected to family detention policies, including myself. so i'd like to work with you in devising and implementing better policies. i think that these policies cannot only provide for more humane and productive treatment of young people when they come here, but also continue to have the effect of perhaps providing for fewer people actually crossing the borders. and that's been the result, i think, of some of the conscious decisionmaking and policymaking that policy -- the department has adopted.
so i'd like to ask you what specific measures and steps you contemplate in revising the family detention policies? secretary johnson: well, the family detention issue is under review in litigation in washington, d.c.. there was an injunction issued there with respect to a class of people who had made credible fear claims and the issue in the case is whether somebody can be held as a deterrent to mass migration. and so we're looking at that case. we have a pending motion for reconsideration in the case, but i'm continually evaluating whether such a policy is necessary in the current climate. there's another case in
california right now where the judge has given us 30 days to try to find an appropriate settlement and so i'm working with the lawyers beginning this week on responding to the judge's request. but overall i think it's important for people to know that i'm sensitive to family detention. i've personally visited artesia, dilly to satisfy myself that what we're doing is the appropriate course. i believe that our expanded detention capability in the face of last year's situation was the right thing to do and i believe that it had an influence on our overall efforts. and so i think that overall we need to maintain this capability
, but i want to -- i want to continually evaluate and re-evaluate the policy. because i hear the concerns raised by you and others, sir. senator blumenthal: maintaining a capability is expensive, isn't it? secretary johnson: yes. senator blumenthal: and detaining whole families can be a lot less humane and productive than adopting other policies, am i right? secretary johnson: detaining whole families is indeed expensive. it is a notable item in our f.y. 2016 budget request, and it can be a challenge. and so i believe that the capability is important to our overall border security efforts, but i want to make sure we have the policy right. senator blumenthal: let me ask you about access to legal services. is it the pop -- policy of the department to permit and enable lawyers to visit those facilities where folks are
detained? secretary johnson: yes. senator blumenthal: in terms of providing counsel where private attorneys can't do so, has the department provided that kind of resource? secretary johnson: we do not. in immigration cases of this nature provide counsel if one cannot be provided. we do not guarantee counsel. we do promote access to counsel, and we do a number of things to put people in touch with lawyers locally or those who are interested in representing individuals. and i know we have made improvements in those efforts since we began opening our family detention capability last summer. senator blumenthal: i know it may not be the sole responsibility of the department of homeland security, but the processing of visas in central
american countries, the screening of those people who want to come here has begun. is there anything that can be done to expedite that effort because i think it represents a real hope for stopping the flow of unaccompanied minors and others who are sent to this country and have to be sent back? secretary johnson: a piece of advice i received last summer from the u.s. conference of catholic bishops is in-country screening. in other words, you can't lock the door and not provide a legal safe pathway at the same time. and so that's what we've done in the three central american countries. i'm disappointed that not more people are utilizing this, and i believe that we need to promote the new program better.
i think this is a joint effort by us in this state department and the governments in the central american countries. but i've been disappointed that not more parents in the u.s. are utilizing this program to petition to get their kids here. so -- senator blumenthal: and i would agree very wholeheartedly and i was surprised at a hearing that was held here just last thursday, literally, to learn that only a small number of parents so far are taking advantage of this program. in fact, the rules available to them, they are the same rules that would apply if their children were here and i hope the department will make efforts and the state department obviously has a role to spread awareness about this program. thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. my time has expired. i thank you, mr. secretary, for
your service and for the service of the many men and women who serve in the department of homeland security and the very diverse and difficult task that you have. thank you. senator tillis: thank you, mr. chair. welcome, secretary johnson. thank you for being here and for your service. i know that senator grassley chair grassley asked questions. so i'll go back to the record to see some of the specifics. in your answer you did mention there had been some retraining revising the protocol, reviewing the protocol, revising and retraining so we can avoid future instances of this -- what on the surface looks like negligent decisionmaking. but the question i had for you -- i have two questions. one, i believe that mr. rangel-hernandez's deferred status has been decided a month -- rescinded a month or so ago. my question is, how many instances have been identified
in the audit or review that were similar to mr. hernandez's and what is the current status of that review and the potential that others deferred status will also be rescinded and their disposition after it? secretary johnson: i know there have been a handful of others who have been identified in the same category. i do not know the status of whether they have been rescinded or not but we can get that , information to you, sir. senator tillis: yeah. i'd like to get that and if possible on a -- to the extent that information is available, geographically what we're talking about if i have any other instances in north carolina i'd like to know about it but i'm sure the other members would be interested as well in each of their states. so i'd like to that and -- in particularly as we go through this process for those that were granted deferred status. if there is a decision either because they've come up in the audit to continue to allow them
to have the deferred status or that it's been rescinded, i'd like to get the information on both of those. secretary johnson: thank you. we'll look at that. is there any reason why you can't say as i said in my opening statement that there's been 282 rescinded? secretary johnson: thank you for refreshing my recollection. i believe that that is the correct number, yes. senator grassley: i believe that's the correct number. secretary johnson: i apologize. senator tillis: does that mean it's an exhaustive list and in the opinion of the department there's no longer any need for further review, or are there other cases that are being reviewed that may add to that 280 or so rescinded? are there more or have we gone back and see 280 -- or had characteristics similar to mr. hernandez's that warranted a rescinding their deferred status? is that done, are we done or are there more to look at?
secretary johnson: i believe that the review has been completed. i could be wrong about that but i believe the review has been completed. senator tillis: that would lead to my next question before i get on to the h-2-b, these couple of questions i have. i asked the same question of representatives that came to us from the uscis. -- last week. i think going back and confirming these 280 are it, i'm looking to -- i'm going to ask the same question to you. ask you say in the future the agency will not make the same errors that were made with hernandez and that there are not any that should be subject to rescinding, that the cue has been drained the mistake that was made that allowed these folks to get deferred action will not be repeated? secretary johnson: i'm confident that we have improved our
process so that if somebody with suspected criminal gang membership is identified in the process it's going to be flagged and given a lot of attention as a result of this case. senator tillis: but it may or may not, in affiliation with gang membership would not constitute for rescinding their status? secretary johnson: no member in a gang should constitute a disqualifier. senator tillis: the h-2-b -- moving on to the h-2-b program. mr. secretary, i think that the perez vs. perez case caused a little bit of a problem, kind of a two-week blip but for some reason adversely affected my state, some others particularly in the seafood industry. i guess the question i have for you really relates to just -- want to go on the record.
i have some things that are north carolina specific so i don't necessarily want to tie up the committee time with a couple of things. one would be, are there potentially unused visas that could potentially solve some of the problem, the negative impact that's occurred in north carolina? and if the department has any ideas on anything else that we may be able to do to relieve them it looks like it's largely , just the result of that two-week period where visa applications were not submitted, if you're prepared to speak on it i'd appreciate to be enlightened. secretary johnson: yes, senator. i have received a lot of inquiries from congress on h-2-b visas from both sides of the aisle. after the court's injunction, we issued on a temporary basis h-2-b visas. the court and the litigants agreed to a stay of injunction so we can do that.
my understanding is that when we did that we quickly exhausted the number, but going forward we just issued a new rule jointly by d.h.s. and the department of labor that i believe addresses this issue and addresses the lawsuit so we can continue going forward to issue h-2-b visas. senator tillis: mr. secretary, that would apply going into next year. it's my understanding we already hit the cap on h-2-b visas for this year. secretary johnson: yes. senator tillis: is there anything else we can do given the unique circumstances of the blip with perez vs. perez? is there anything we can do to provide temporary relief until we move into next year? some have talked about the potential for temporarily increasing the cap or something else that may still for some of these seasonal industry still provide some relief, has there been any discussion or anything you'd be open to?
secretary johnson: well i would be open to a discussion what we can do temporarily to deal with this issue. i'm interested in having a more comprehensive discussion with congress about lifting a number of caps on green cards and addressing in a more comprehensive way a number of things in which i think our immigration system needs to be fixed through legislation. and this could very well be one of them. i think going forward we have addressed the h-2-b problem in a pretty aggressive, vigorous way. senator tillis: thank you. i'd like to state for the record we're going to be calling you all again. i'm going to be meeting with some of the seafood processors this week. they'll be coming up from north carolina. i think it's the industry that's primarily been hit by the h-2-b program. and -- in north carolina anyway. i'd like to speak with y'all about anything we can do to provide temporary relief and hopefully avoid it going in the
outyears for the program. thank you. thank you, mr. chair. senator schumer: thank you, mr. chairman, thank you secretary. mr. secretary, i was shocked and appalled by the gun smuggling ring that operated out of atlanta, georgia, in which criminals abused loopholes to bring loaded weapons right on to airplanes. i know you shared my outrage when it was revealed by our d.a. in brooklyn. ken thompson. i applaud you for quickly acting and ordering a top to bottom review. can you provide an update in the security of our airports regarding t.s.a. activities, what changes can we expect, how long will it take? question one. i have a bunch of questions. i'm trying to move through these quickly. and how can they be held accountable for the security at the nation's airports? secretary johnson: good question. senator, you said you appreciated my candor at these
hearings. so i have made a public fact of the record number of firearms seized by t.s.a. last year so -- at screening points in carry-on luggage. you can imagine my reaction when i found out that somebody is bringing loaded weapons in the overhead compartments of commercial airplanes. so i was, to use your words, shocked and appalled, upset and i directed our t.s.a. to work with the airline industry and to work with airport security authorities to tighten up our system. our advisory committee came back with some recommendations. i have endorsed them. they include random continuous unpredictable screening of airline and airport security at the airport at the sterile checkpoints. if an airline or airport employee is going to fly, they
have to go through the t.s.a. checkpoint. continuous back criminal history background checks, and reducing the number of access points. there were a number of recommendations made that i have embraced. those are in my judgment the big four. i believe that our nominee for t.s.a. administrator is an excellent choice and i believe that he will be very focused on aviation airport security. i also believe his name will be announced sometime this afternoon. senator schumer: don't let us in on the secret. ok. just one question with regard to that quick answer. wouldn't it make sense that wherever it's feasible in some airports, it may not be, that whenever possible these employees go through a screening the way the pilots do and the flight attendants do? secretary johnson: you know, i asked myself that question and i think that a one-size-fits-all
approach to every airport in this country is not -- senator schumer: i said wherever feasible. secretary johnson: atlanta is not martha's vineyard. i think that appropriate balanced way to go is random unpredictable, continuous screening of employees when they show up. the way it works in atlanta is there's a guard house at the parking lot and you show an i.d. and then you drive on through. and i think that some form of continuous random screening of those people is the appropriate way to go. senator schumer: i have two questions on the northern border. one is the peace bridge, an issue we talked about regularly. as you know is my urging customs and border protection instituted pilot projects. your predecessor was very active in making that happen. as were you. we were thrilled to hear the results last week.
the pilot project passed the test with flying colors. the inspection on the canadian side will reduce wait by as much as 70%. -- 75%. will you commit to recommending this report to establish permanent inspection at the peace bridge? that's one question. on the northern end of our border by plattsburgh, today i'm asking customs and border patrol to start a french-speaking program for officers at the quebec border. they process millions of french speaking borders. we love having them here. because we're hampered in french speaking it slows the border down and we get fewer visitors. will you commit to carefully considering my request for a french language program for northern border agents similar to the spanish program we have on the southern border that jeff flake is familiar with.
secretary johnson: last question first, i'm not aware of the plattsburgh situation and i'll look into that, senator. i'm sure we'll have a follow-up discussion on it. i fully support commissioner -- the commissioner's efforts to restore and maintain preinspection on the canadian side of the peace bridge. as you know, infrastructure, building the right infrastructure for this is probably the biggest issue and i understand we have a resolution with that issue. senator schumer: they're willing to put in the $44 million to do it. secretary johnson: money talks yes. and i also believe that privileges and immunities, as you and i have discussed, is crucial. that is something that is important for the agreement to be signed for preclearance with
the canadians. senator schumer: the canadians are doing all right given preclearance. secretary johnson: what you discussed and agreed to i fully support, sir. senator schumer: well, merci beaucoup. senator johnson:tres bien. senator grassley: senators flake, whitehouse and purdue. senator flake: thank you. tough act to follow. i made my concerns regarding operations streamlined known to
the department and to the department of justice. as you are aware, operation streamline has been a very successful zero tolerance policy we've had in the southern border, particularly the yuma sector, and most in that sector attribute the success at bringing that portion of the border under control through operation streamline. yet, the u.s. attorney's office for arizona has ordered kind of a pullback on that policy. i just toured the border, toured yuma and all along the border couple of weeks ago and there's a lot of concern there that as word filters back that we don't have a zero tolerance policy anymore, that we'll start to see movement again and there's a lot of concern in those communities along the border that we're going to see an uptick.
it won't take much, as you know word travels fast as we learned in spades with the unaccompanied minor issue that we had. what can you tell me -- let me ask you -- do you believe the program like operation streamline is an effective deterrent to border crossing? secretary johnson: i certainly believe that law enforcement in general is an effective deterrent to illegal border crossings. i heard the same thing in arizona about operation streamline. as you know, senator, i visited with a number of your constituents on the border. in my judgment, what matters when it comes to illegal migration on the southern border is that we crack down on the smugglers and with the department of justice we ratcheted up our efforts when it comes to prosecuting the coyotes
last summer because of the misinformation that they were putting out and with the department of justice we made considerable headway in the prosecution of the smuggling organizations. i believe that has contributed to our overall efforts on the southern border. i do note that the numbers overall of apprehensions are down considerably on the southern border, including in each of the arizona sectors. so that continues to be a good thing, but i also believe we need to continue our efforts. i think that law enforcement in general is an important part of that. whether that should include prosecuting the illegal migrants i think should be made on a case-by-case basis. you can't federally prosecute every single illegal migrant for a felony prosecution. i think that those judgments have to be made carefully and
they ought to be made wisely because it's the use of d.o.j. resources. senator flake: well, when you talk about going after the smugglers, the effectiveness in that program i would submit and those who are on the border would submit is that it goes after the smugglers because if smugglers lose those who are in their charge for a week of detention that's a big deal. and it makes them rethink, it makes them direct their focus elsewhere. that's been the history and that's why there's such concern that as word filters down these prosecutions aren't going to happen, then we're going to lose control again. we can't afford to do that. are you aware of specifics of the operation streamline changes? is that what it is, just case-by-case basis, no overriding policy of zero tolerance? secretary johnson: i do know
from people in arizona they think very highly of operation streamline and they believe that it contributed to overall border security in arizona. that's what they have told me. i have to assume that the u.s. attorney in arizona is continuing to prosecute in certain cases of illegal entry or illegal re-entry but i don't know firsthand what the u.s. attorney's current policy is there. senator flake: well, i would just note that operation streamline was included in the 2012-2016 border patrol strategic plan so it's part of your department's plan and i would hope we're working closely with the department of justice to make sure that their actions are in line with that plan because like i said in certain sectors it's had great effect and we don't want to lose that. let me turn quickly to an issue
senator grassley raised. the so-called quick trip murder detention of mr. alamorano. this is a man charged with murder. we've not yet received a response on this. as you know, he was charged -- he was released. i.c.e. failed to remove him. they said he was ineligible for bond at $10,000 which he posed. -- posted. while out on bond he had two injunctions against him. four claims of harassment. one woman feared for her life because he pointed a gun at her boyfriend. three days after the second release of injunction, he was alleged to have committed this murder. was i.c.e. aware of these civil injunctions against this man? secretary johnson: i don't know
whether officials at i.c.e. were aware of the civil injunctions, but as i said earlier, senator, that case is definitely a tragedy and that individual should not have received daca. he should not have been in the daca program. as a result of this case, we've retrained the force. we've done the retroactive review. i don't know the answer -- senator flake: he wasn't in daca. he was swayed for removal and then posted bond. so -- secretary johnson: sorry. i'm sorry, senator. i have my cases confused. i thought you were referring to another individual. i don't know the answer to your specific question. senator flake: is there a policy where you work with local law enforcement to find out if there are any civil injunctions against individuals like this that are -- that post bond? that are out?
secretary johnson: well, i do know that those in removal proceedings, when they're being evaluated for release, there ought to be a background check conducted. there ought to be and there should be and i believe there is an evaluation of risk of danger to the community. just like in the criminal justice system. senator flake: if there is a procedure like that it failed miserably this time. and i would just ask if i.c.e. had been aware that there are two injunctions against an individual like this, would he have -- would i.c.e. taken action against him to remove him? secretary johnson: i don't know the answer to your specific question but we'll get you that. senator flake: i want to know if there is a policy where there's some communication between local law enforcement and i.c.e. with regard to civil injunctions, against individuals like this. can you make me aware of that
and if not advise some kind of remedy for that? secretary johnson: yes. senator flake: thank you. i see my time has expired. mention one thing quickly, ports of entry staffing. that's when we've committed to, you know, 2,000 new agents on the border, customs and patrol -- sorry, customs and border protection, in the blue uniforms, officers, we have to make sure they're hiring and i hear it's going more slowly than we thought it should. is there any plan to speed that up to make sure we have are the staffing, we have better infrastructure now, we have to make sure that staffing levels are there? secretary johnson: the answer to your question is yes, we plan to speed it up. senator grassley: senator whitehouse. senator whitehouse: thank you for your work on immigration
enforcement and express my regret we could not pass the bipartisan immigration reform bill through congress entirely that would have i think made your job a lot clearer and simpler and significant responsibility for the immigration mess that we're in now lies with congress, not with you and with congress for failing to pass the senate's bipartisan bill, which i was a strong supporter of. i would like to talk to you about cybersecurity. the majority leader has announced that he's going to try to have cyberweek here on the senate floor at some point. there's a lot of activity in the house. we have bipartisan bills that are pending on information sharing between federal agencies and the big communications providers. on agency public reporting of the cyberthreat to increase public awareness, of
coordinating national notification when companies have data breaches. and updating some of the criminal penalties. when we first were working on comprehensive cybersecurity legislation, another main piece of this effort was on the critical infrastructure piece. now what i hear quite widely is that the d.h.s.led framework process that has pulled together a great number of critical infrastructure industry sectors is going very well and that as a result of that there is no immediate pressure for legislation in that area. now, there may not be an immediate need for legislation in that area, but of all the
different areas that i mentioned where there will be legislation, protecting our privately owned critical infrastructure is probably the most significant national security element. so i'm interested in getting your assessment of how that framework process is going and when you think it might be appropriate for congress to begin looking at legislating in that area. i expect that the executive process will yield recommendations as to what should be done next and i don't know what time frame you feel you are on towards that goal. secretary johnson: senator, as you know, the framework process was in lieu of any effort to legislate. i share your assessment, what
you're hearing that the framework process has been going well, it's been well-received in the private sector and it seems to be working pretty well. i also want to applaud those in congress who were active in cybersecurity legislation. i'm largely very supportive of the bill that passed the house last week sponsored by chairman mccaul and others. i think that frankly some legislation is better than no legislation and i think that information sharing between the private sector and the government is crucial. any efforts by the congress to promote an indoors that -- promote and endorse that is crucial. i also believe that form of immunity, for those that share cyberthreat indicators with the department is crucial and i believe that a national data
breach notification requirement is also very important. and i'm pleased that we are active legislatively in those areas. in terms of -- in terms of your precise question, i haven't thought about it the way you asked it. i think it's a thoughtful question worthy of a thoughtful answer. let me consult -- i'd like to consult my mpbd community and get you a thoughtful answer to that. senator whitehouse: i think there is a bipartisan sense that framework process run by d.h.s. has been effective, has achieved significant national security goals and has enjoyed the support and cooperation of the private sector. so all of that is the good news part. the question is, is it enough, and is there a time when really implementing on it will require action from congress and how far out do you see that coming?
because obviously when it's as important as the protection of critical infrastructure, we want to be able to act pretty rapidly and so being prepared, if it's going to be next year -- there's a lot of conversation that has to take place on this issue. again, very strong bipartisan support but it's not an easy one. and so a preview of coming attractions would be very good. my second question is in the same area, and i'd like to ask you and maybe even urge you to consider what the structure in the executive branch for addressing our cybersecurity concerns looks like. there's an awful lot of division and sequestration in the old sense, not the budget sense, of
effort within the department of justice. it's divided into two separate sections, criminal and national security. on the investigative side, it's divided between f.b.i. and secret service with other agencies having even smaller pieces. if you look at the data, you have the nccic, which is a very well-regarded facility. f.b.i. has the ncjitf. the administration announced the cyberthreat intelligence integration center. and from the -- from our side of the legislative executive divide, this looks a lot like multiplicity and confusion. and when you consider the scope of the cyberthreat, the fact we have an agency like d.e.a. that's dedicated exclusively to narcotics trafficking and we have an agency like a.t.f. that's dedicated exclusive to
alcohol, tobacco, firearms and bombs, and no specific dedication of a single agency to this rapidly emerging and very persistent and dangerous cyberthreat, i just think we have more work to do to set up the administrative structure that's going to allow us to be most effective doing this. i'd urge you to consider that and work with o.m.b. and d.o.j. to try to -- think five years ahead. every six months there is a new wrinkle in the administrative process for doing this and some new announcement is being made about some new agency or feature. i think we need a long-term strategy. senator johnson: i would share that concern. i know the defense department is
conducting a review. we do not have to spend a lot of money on that. we can go throughout the entire government. the more we coordinate our efforts to learn how to protect our systems, i think we save money and make america safer. >> they have set up a very coherent administrative structure for taking the cyber issue and making sure that it addresses it in a comprehensive way. if you take that from the military side and try to client to law enforcement, it is scattered. it does not look like we have it right yet. thank you, chairman. secretary johnson -- senator
johnson: i think it is the first time i have heard anyone refer to clarity of structure. senator, i look at it this way the department of homeland it is intended to be the primary interface of the federal government, with the private sector. as your question implies, we have a different number of agencies investigating cybercrime. and a number of different agencies including the nsa and cyber command, dealing authentically and defensively. i came into office and looked at all of that, much in the same way you look at it. what i have committed to do with my cyber security counterparts and i know them well, i have known jim for 26 years.
i know mike rogers because easy my client. i know jack wants a piece of this with the commerce department too. we're going to meet regularly and work together because we don't want turf wars. they are counterproductive and they do not serve anyone's interest. so, i believe that we can and we should and we are working more effectively better. and without the turf battles. a lot of it, frankly, is due to personalities. we have people who know each other and trust each other, we can minimize the confusion and inconsistency. i do recognize there are a lot of agencies involved in cyber security. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to state for the record how much i appreciate your forbearance and courtesy regarding the meetings. and your services, i know it is
a difficult mission you have been given. in the spirit of oversight i like to ask you a couple of questions. your predecessor, janet napolitano, in 2013, a large part of the legal immigrants in this country came in legally and overstayed their welcome. can you give us an update area. . johnson: i saw a report that, in my judgment, lacked fidelity. i told my people to go back and look part of this issue. even if it means consulting people on the outside. let us give our best estimate that these overstays. the work i've seen so far has not been satisfactory, such that
i am prepared to give it to the congress or the american public. so unfortunately, and i know this is taken some time, it continues to be a work in progress. i do want to get to the right answer. >> i appreciate that. can you give us a sense when we might see that. >> i ask that same question to my people routinely. and i'm told that we are getting closer. >> i will take that to be months, not years. is it reasonable? [laughter] thank you. getting back to that issue in texas, regarding the amnesty issue. there is a conflict between the injunction the judge put on it and the actions of the dhs -- mainly the comments of the president. can you comment that, given the president seemed to be interested in being prepared -- there were some 100,000 renewals done in the first three weeks
that upset the judge. he made a comment that the president responded, can you give us some clarity about what the dhs is doing now in relation to that case and being prepared to the outcome. >> in reaction to the injunction, which is not been stayed, we shut down the implementation of dopa and expanded doca. we did that very soon after the injunction became known to us. we were in compliance with the court order. and the things that we were trying to put in place, what we were trying to put in place will either be discontinued or they will be diverted for some other use that we have -- principally, we were complying with the injunction.
>> so, there is no ongoing preparation for what you are planning to do originally? johnson: the implication of the program which have begun after november 20, we had to suspend. >> let me go back to the gang member issue. i just want to ask about a recent decision in the fourth circuit, which involved gang members under the nia. i am sure that gang membership may constitute a protected characteristic that can entitle an individual to asylum -- if you are an ms-13 member, you might be in danger in your home country. you can then not go back to your home country.
we can be set up for significant fraud there. how do you interpret that ruling by the fourth circuit? has it changed any procedures? johnson: i have to confess i am not familiar with that decision. if you don't mind, let me take thatt question for the record. >> i would appreciate that. can you give us an idea going about how many people you estimate going across our southern border? i know there is no accurate number. is there an attempt i know we have this big number of illegal immigrants. we had the study going on for the set overstays. but in terms of people coming in a legally, what are we doing in dhs to quantify that. to make sure we have the resources. johnson: we have apprehensions
which is an indicator regarding total attempts to cross the border. last week, i talked about apprehensions. there is an attempt also to measure what the border patrol cause turn backs and getaways. that number is one that i think we can do a better job of trying to quantify, so that we get to total attempts to cross the border. i'm interested in getting to that number. i've consulted with experts in my own people about arriving at a way to measure total attempts. there are various ideas out there, some of which are published by the council of foreign relations. surveys of people south of the border and what their behavior might be. and so, i am interested in more
transparency on this -- more clarity when it comes to total attempts to cross the border. it is not an easy exercise. and there is a certain unknown factor when it comes to people who evade capture, evade apprehension. so i am interested in getting to a better, clear measurement of that. in the absence of that, total apprehensions, i take as an indicator of total attempts across the border. >> i appreciate your quotes. i appreciate the quantitative report. when you get that information will you share it with us? we will put that in the written record, as well. again, thank you for your service. johnson: thank you. >> there is a quote from the "washington times," talking
about the house hearing on this question. a border agent while testifying -- actually it was a homeland security panel. senator johnson's groups. aliens attempt to infiltrate the united states from mexico border, they are not apprehended. ask any line agent in the field and he or she will tell you that, at best, we get a fraction getting to cross. this number is even lower for drug smugglers, who are adapted at not getting caught. agencies that illegally report groups larger than 30 face retribution. agents will be assigned to a fixed position in a low-volume area as punishment.
needless to say, agents got the message. and they stay below this 20 person threshold, no matter the actual size of the group. mr. johnson, you are the head person on this institute have you investigated discharge? about agents being told not to report more than 20 if they see more than 20? johnson: i have heard that allegation. i've heard of that charge, i have looked into it. i don't have a specific answer to that suggestion. i will say this, senator, i think that 6 out of 10 is too high an estimate. i base that on my conversations with experts. i will tell you this sir, i spend a lot of time on the southern border with our men and women in uniform because i want to hear directly from them. what they say is happening on
the southern border. i am not interested in intermediaries. >> is that the head of the i.c.e . association? how may times? johnson: at least once. i invited him to come in, and was probably another time as well. >> have you met with him? johnson: i do not recall the name. >> these are the top people. you have the lowest row in the government in your agency. and the reason is they know you are not serious about supporting them in the mission they have been given. they filed a lawsuit against secretary janet napolitano. so, look, we have a problem. i would like to have a nice conversation here. but this administration has systematically seeked not to see
the laws in force. and want to ameliorate those coming into the country. he also said this in his testimony. i want to be crystal clear, the border is not secure. how can this enormous gap exist? what you hear in washington and what our agents know to be the truth in the field. frankly, it is how you manipulate statistics. i think the statistics are related. you say we have more removals, but you started counting before you started took office. they were never being considered that before as far as i know, you have not had an increase in
removals -- you had a significant decline. i think that ewing knowledge have you not that that counting is a new system of accounting that counts the apprehensions at the border as removals? you emitted that, or knowledge that to the house member and a house committee meeting? johnson: i am not sure what you're referring to, sir. >> i'm quoting pulver's culbertson, the arrest would not have been accounted in prior ministrations. r administrations. johnson: i have learned from 30 years of prosecuting witnesses i want to see the numbers.
>> isn't it a new thing in recent years to start counting both? or you don't know? johnson: you are theyou are the secretary, you should know. i have a chart here that shows the actual removals on the i.c.e. chart. numbers -- that increases the numbers. it is about 300,000 only 100,000 are what would be classically called removals previously. johnson: married you something? ay i read you something? this is from november 20, if you will bear with me for the second. >> when you were in office.
johnson: i have heard the suggestion of double counting. that should not happen. one of my directives from november 20, i am giving them the capability to report to the secretary data reflecting the numbers of those reflecting or otherwise repatriating and to report that data in accordance with the priorities. i want our components to operate, i intend for this data to be part of dhs and be available to the public annually. >> i appreciate that. but let me tell you, you can count that as double counting. i used to only count what we get from the interior. now the count that, plus the border patrol. without those additional
numbers, they don't show the improvement the department has been mclaren. with regards to streamlines this is really important, mr. secretary. the secretary of homeland security genital janet napolitano they are prosecuted for t misdemeanors. they have a conviction on the record. that was the thought that it might deter more people from coming. it was the right thing to do since it violates law. after this was done, the
department prosecuted nearly 70%. what we see both statistically and anecdotally is that when people who cross the border illegally are brought to face the reality that they are committing a crime, even if it is just a misdemeanor, that has a huge impact on their willingness to try again. and on the willingness of others to break the law of coming across the borders. in the fiscal year of 2007, apprehension rates dropped nearly 70%. after operation streamline. recently, the president orf border patrol union said that the operation streamline is one
of the last strongholds we have as a to turn. so, have you talked to initiate these kind of prosecutions? you have to defend your agents these are crimes. i think you demand the department of justice prosecute them. johnson: senator, i speak to the department of justice all the time about how we are enforcing the laws. i do know that our apprehension laws are down in arizona and texas. in my view, that is a good thing. i think it is a result of a
number of different efforts, including law enforcement. our resources on the southern border, the good health we have received on the central american side. our apprehension numbers are down. >> why don't you continue this program that everyone has bragged on so consistently? it is having a real impact, as much as a 50% reduction in attempts. why don't you do that? is there a reason why you don't want to do that? it used to be done. johnson: i do not know that prosecutors in every mom with a young child crossing the border or a federal crime is the way to go. i do believe that the more effective way to go is to focus on the smugglers, focus on the coyotes who are bringing these people across. nobody freelances. i want to get the source.
and that is what we are doing. >> secretary said it dropped 70%. even secretary janet napolitano has bragged on the program, the predecessor said the same. that it would be one of the most effective thing that has ever been done on the border. and you have allowed it to stop. i guess you could blame attorney general holder. but if you not complained about it i will yield you. maybe the secretary could respond if you wanted to. i don't mean to cut you off. johnson: my point is that we work with the department of justice on the most efficient way to enforce the laws. what we determined to do last summer was go after the smugglers. everybody who crosses is paying
the smugglers thousands of dollars per person. they are not freelance. we determined to go after the e coyotes, and that is made a difference. >> i have no doubt. i don't know why you is a long. secretary . >> thank you for your service and your testimony today. let me first start with cyber security, as legislation is being considered on the administration. they have issued a statement of policy supporting the goals of the legislation, but warning that more needs to be done to protect the privacy of americans. so that the current bill does not become a foreign intelligence bill. can you expand on that? and talk about how you view the
homeland security department's role. johnson: through the proper screening of piaa. >> personally identifying information>? johnson: yes, i don't normally use acronyms. we are developing systems now that can screen out the personal identifiers, while getting the information our partners need. i also know that cyber threat indicators, which is what we are most interested in, rarely have what we would consider personal identifiers in them.
but if they do, they should be screened out. we are working on getting up to speed and limiting the dissemination of personal and fires from the personal identifiers from the agencies that should not get them. >> does the agency currently have the resources to do both of those? to screen out all of the information and share appropriately? johnson: we are on the subject now to promote exactly that and get us in a better place. >> that encouraging. privacy is a critical component. we discussed three components regarding due process. you recognize the legitimate concerns regarding the
enforcement in courthouses. at or near a courthouse undermines and impedes. the message of going to court is dangerous, because it can lead to deportation. as a department clarified? johnson: yes, we have a policy. i confess, i have not looked at it for a while. i know that a courthouse is considered to be -- i don't have the words exactly right. it is a special place there are and there should be exceptions for genuine public safety threats. but we do know policy. >>we do have a policy. >> i will appreciate some follow-up if we could. we also discussed nighttime and lateral repatriation.
you said you knowledge of policy since 2004 has been again to be the needless separation of families. i wanted to see if u.s. ceased you had ceased that. johnson: we now have a steering committee in place between the u.s. and mexican governments to better coordinate repatriations to designated places at designated hours. we do not have a policy of separating families, i don't think that is a good idea. i want to discourage that. that is not part of our policy. could i envision an exception for security? yes. last year, we have moved away from night repatriations, and we are working with the mexican government at identifying when we return people -- just be
working with them in a more controlled way. >> thank you. the third area, a general topic we discussed previously, providing the aid files so they do not have to spend time going through the four-year process. i didn't know if dhs had provided that exchange. in the interest of justice, with that increase the time or cost. johnson: i do know we now have a policy on that. we also have a policy concerning congressional request for aid files. sitting here, maybe the cause because -- let me get you that for the record.
>> please do. i appreciate the follow up and some clarity regarding what the department needs to follow the appropriate process here. let me move to the united states versus texas, executive action. i like to get your response. johnson: that when i have not forgotten about. >> the texas judge blocking discretion to enforce our law more sensibly and efficiently, your directives would have closed the adjudication on merit. to the judge actually foreclose on your discretion? johnson: as i noted earlier in at least two places, the judge said in his opinion that the
discretion of the secretary to decide how to doevote's resources should be an question. he did say that. as part of, and the district judge seems to feel, seems to believe that the policy is an across-the-board, hands off for a lot of people. the way the new policy is written, i wrote it, is to be a case-by-case assessment of whether someone represents a threat to public safety, border security, national security. in fact, there is written into the policy something that did not exist in the old policy. the doca policy. among the criteria for consideration by examining officer is, in addition to as a
person been in the country five years, do they have a child, does the applicant resent any other factors indiscretion that makes them inappropriate. so, i want to encourage a case-by-case assessment of each applicant to see whether or not they are appropriate for prosecutorial discretion. and i know there is disagreement in congress on this committee about the appropriateness of deferred action. i think back to when i was a prosecutor. we entered into agreements with individuals based on a case-by-case assessment. and so, i think this is an extension of that. is it a large extension? yes. but it is intended to be a
case-by-case judgment. that is part of the inherent authority of the executive branch of the enforcement of the laws. >> the court ruled that the government would not assume any harm or delay through the impact of the temporary delay in your efforts. i would be interested in your answer as to what impact is is having on the government individuals, those who qualify for deferred action? any observations you care to make? johnson: i know that there is a tremendous level of disappointment in the community. there was a lot of enthusiasm for the new program and the community. i saw myself, personally. in places like chicago, los angeles and so the injunction requires us to shut down all of
our delimitation efforts. which we have done. and i believe that this. period could have a lasting impact on the success of the program. because the community is confused, there is anxiety with going forward with litigation. i think it has created significant setbacks to the overall success of the program. and as long as the injunction is in place, a huge uncertainty overhanging cis ability to function. the state application is, lest my look, pending with the>> fifth circuit. e fifth circuit. >> law enforcement is critical
to keep our community safe. i just wondered if you thought there were any areas where you believe that dhs assistant and support to local enforcement was deserving of our particular attention? i want to thank the chairman for his and goldman. johnson: i think one operation given how the global threat is evolving, is more more important. the threat of the independent actor, the so-called lone wolf who is not someone who our intelligence community will identify overseas -is- it is crucial that the threats to our country that we issue almost on a weekly basis now
joint intelligence bulletins to local law enforcement. we issued a significant one last week. i was just with the commissioner peace in the city of boston yesterday, talking about this exact issue. it has to be the wave of the future. >> appreciate your attention. thank you for the chairman's forbearance. >> the 9/11 commission issued a number of recommendations after that terrible day when they do their report. one of them is that we have a biometric entry.exit system. it is not affect today. whether you do it with an ipad or iphone, it is very practical. a person coming in to an airport, they have a visa for a certain number of days, and when
the exit, they should block out. so the exit visa has never been done. in the 9/11 commission said no way can you have control over the visas if you do not do that. which is plainly true. so we have discussed it for years. it is a requirement of law, and it can be done. when can we expect it to be done, mr. secretary? johnson: as i'm sure you know, we have biometric entry now for large classes of travelers. i would like to see us have biometric exits, because i agree with you. it promotes security. it is a good thing to have, i know it is a 9/11 commission recommendation. it also involves a huge commission in terms of resource. >> the 9/11 follow-up report
criticized the government. one of the most severe criticism was not in what they recommended a decade ago. have you asked the congress for any money? have you laid out a plan for what it would take to have an exit system? johnson: i believe that we have, at some point. >> i would hope you would send that. i deftly think so that we should do that. i'm glad you would agree. with regard to the sanctuary city problem. we have major cities refusing to honor federal detainers on people who are in the country unlawfully. just saying we do not have any desire whatsoever to support the government in having an effective immigration system.
in fact, we are going to sabotage it. do you think, would you support legislation to clarify that. to make it mandatory? johnson: i do not believe that a federal requirement that the local sheriff or police chief respond affirmatively to a detainer from the federal government is the appropriate way to go. i do agree with the spirit of your question. and that is why we have undertaken a very aggressive effort to work with los angeles chicago, philadelphia, new york, san francisco -- where i was last week. the state of california, where i was last week, on this issue. one of the reasons i think we are having difficulty getting at the criminals is because a lot of jurisdictions are putting
barriers on their ability to operate. >> i think it is an unbelievable affront to law. it is an assertion they are going to sabotage law enforcement in their cities. not only do they have a different view of, they are going to sabotage the law. and now, your i.c.e. director, when asked about the same question i asked you -- if they should not be made mandatory? in the cities, she replied -- thank you, amen, yes. after that, she was apparently counseled and issued a retraction. was that your discussion? did you direct that she should back off? johnson: no, i would not characterize it that way. she did issue a written correction at stake. which i believe accurately and
honestly reflect your own views. i know her well enough to know i will not get her to say something she does not believe. >> she works for you. johnson: yes. >> and agents are saying they do what you tell them to do even if it is in violation of the law. so, what about this problem of countries that will not accept repatriation or return of these people detained illegally? his basic view, which i think you have the power to do now would be mandatory. if a country does not take back people who enter the united states unlawfully, they don't get to have any more admissions. that would send a message. and that will end it. so we have been dealing with our
number one problem. johnson: that was my exact conversation with the chinese three weeks ago. >> i know you made some progress. but the memorandum understanding with china seems to do little to actually fix this problem. it only provides to individuals from the congress to assist with repatriation efforts that involve tens of thousands of chinese national. s. section 243-d permits you to notify the secretary state china, or others, to stop granting visas to citizens and nationals of such countries. have you made any notification to any country that you intend
to execute such a plan? if they do not accept that the individuals who are to be deported? johnson: well, i do believe that we in the state department need to get with these countries and point out to them that they are slow in taking back the people we need to repatriate to them. we have undertaken the campaign to do that. we should not suspend immigration or travel from any of these countries because of this particular issue. i think that is probably not the best way to go. i have had some very blunt conversations with my chinese counterparts above is exact issue, when i was there in beijing. >> forgive me, if i do not think you are going to have a big progress with china. i hope i am wrong.
it is been going on for a decade or more, and people sit in your chair and say they need to use the powers they have. all you have to do is tell china, if you want further immigration to america you the take back these individuals. it is going to cost us a lot of money. they have to be taken care of, their medical needs, or we release them on bail and they will disappear into country and no one is able to find them or deport them. it is just an unacceptable thing. it is part of international immigration policy that if an individual from a country comes to the united states unlawfully they should be able to be deported. with regard to the 287g program it trains law enforcement to determine whether an individual they come up against in the
prison system, that is what alabama did, you do it in a legal and constitutional way. to be cooperative with the federal government area it was a good program. i touted it as a big success. but they removed this language from their website. since january 2006, the program is edited with identifying potentially removable organizations in jails. to help enforce immigration law. but left october, an i.c.e. spokesman said that the program expanded the enforcement and action against criminal aliens and those who fall within the civil immigration enforcement priorities.
making it the fourth multiplier to enhance the safety and participating jurisdictions by defined potentially dangerous aliens and not be released into their communities. by the way, there was just a news report from madison county, hostileuntsville area, an illegal alien had been convicted of murdering a police officer. he was on the ground, helpless and pleading, and he committed suicide in prison. i would just say, if we want to reduce those kinds of incidents from happening, we have to use the tools that we have. this administration systematically dismantle the 28
7-g program. largely because the amnesty advocates oppose it. they do not like it. we have far too much action on behalf of this president and the secretary of homeland security responding to advocates for illegal immigration rather than serving the lawful interest of the united states. it just is. so today, only 35 programs our existing -- that is less than half of what was. they should have been expanded. tell me, do you believe it is a good program? should be expanded, or do you want to see it with her on the er on the vine? johnson: i believe 287-g is a good program. the biggest problem we have is
our ability to work with local law enforcement in moving criminal aliens was the jurisdiction issue. 239 jurisdictions were refusing to work with us, or imposing limitations. that is a problem. so, we ended the secure communities program and we replaced it with the program that i believe resolves the political and legal controversies. and it takes two to dance. i am now out there meeting with sheriffs, police chiefs, governors, mayors, to introduce a new program that they will work with us again on immigration. >> i just talked to some sheriffs, and they are very willing to help. they are interested in federal
homeland security. even though some cities may refuse others, no doubt, would be willing to dissipate. and sheriff's departments would. the whole tenor of this, if anyone understands what is happening, it indicates that you are not demonstrating a will to see the law being enforced. you will do that effectively wilson the clearl send a clear message and utilize the tools that you have -- we will have a dramatic decrease these overstays. at very little cost. once the message gets out that you're not going to be able to come to the united states
unlawfully, fewer and fewer people will attempt to come. you are having a reduction in appears at the border. we don't know how much? this agent says her everyone apprehended more than that gets by. particularly the drug smugglers. but we are going to have another surge according to your own agents this summer, from central america, it appears. i would like to -- i don't think i'm being unfair. i have watched this for a long time. i don't think i'm being unfair. this president has been focused on reducing the activities and lawful jurisdiction of your agents. a row is in themoreale is in the tank. i think we should be stronger on secure communities. you are right, that is a good program.
it is almost a mean like they do not understand it. or they refuse to participate in it. to take a fingerprint from someone who is unlawfully in the country, maybe you would identify someone who has a particularly violent history. maybe you would identify where they are if they arrested ag ain. i support you on that. i think you should not back down on it. it is a very reasonable thing. i will let you wrap up, and the record will remain open for one week for additional questions. johnson: thank you, senator. i do want to say something in conclusion. i have discovered that as the leader of and its organization,
one of the ways to ensure that we keep up moreale -- the other week, there was a subcommittee on the house side that wanted to have another hearing on low morale within dhs. they called when my people, and they got a visit from me. i said, please stop telling mine workforce you have low moreale. ale. there are a lot of good people in dhs -- i have seen it myself. they work overtime for public safety, border security. i visited with a woman in new orleans who was almost killed by arranged man who was shot in the arm and came to work the next day. that is a level of her dedication and our department. we are on an aggressive campaign
to improve the experience of people in my workforce. more transparency in hiring, mentoring experiences i'm thanking people for the work. we brought back our wa awards ceremony. but those who keep telling my workforce you have low moreale are not helping. i want to improve things, i want to make it more efficient. i know you share that view senator. i want an aggressive campaign to improve how our workforce thinks about their very important mission. and i'm hoping i get the support of congress. one of the things is pay reform. i need congress'health.
we need a pay raise. we are capped at gs9. we want to do more of that. i'm looking for the support of congress on that. >> look, it was before your time. i raised the question with janet napolitano over a series of years. i asked her, for example, has she even met with chris crane the head of the association. she had never met with him. i asked her every time, she refused to meet with him. that problem hasis not pay. the problem is they are not being supported. if they actually enforce the law, there are told by their supervisors not to do so. you have this officer under oath before committee recently in the senate saying they told him not
to report groups of 20 or more people. that is the kind of stuff i've been hearing for years. before you came. i suggest you need to be listening to the agents and get on their side, and try to help them fulfill their legal obligation and your obligation. instead, we are being led by president who is unlawfully giving amnesty to people who entered the country by the millions. illegally. that is where we are. so, thank you for -- i will let you reply. johnson: i have met with chris crane and the people he represents. i consider that to be a fundamental part of my job.
as my job as a leader of this organization. >> i indicated when you came it was good to be a difficult job. you are not going to be allowed to do it you're supposed to do. if you take this job, this president does not want to see the immigration laws in force. that is what has happened. the officers know it. everybody realizes that you are not moving aggressively to help them in the immigration as a result, we have is difficult problem out there. you're a good man. you have good abilities. and i do believe you care about your officers, and you are right. we have a lot of fine, talented people. it is just a level of frustration out there that i hope you will spend some time listening to, and see if you cannot respond to. thank you, very much. we will dismiss.
>> on the next "washington journal," the head of the financial services committee will discuss the upcoming debate regarding the senate budget deal. then john of maryland will talk about terrorists and the need for a u.s. official to oversee the process. after that, senior high for singer-songwriter judy collins and guest will look at
efforts to prevent suicide. send us your calls tweets, and e-mails. the house oversight committee looks at the rules governing the airspace around washington d.c. and the challenge posed by new technologies, such as remote controlled drones that have violated the capital. we will have live coverage on c-span3 and that at cspan.org. >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to congress, with color photos of every center and commerce in. also, district maps -- a foldout map of capitol hill. and a look at congressional
committees and the president's cabinet. order your copy today, it is $13.95. >> coming up on c-span, president obama's joint news conference with the japanese prime minister. then, the arrival ceremony for his official visit. then after that, toasts after the dinner. we will show you the reaction to the ongoing protests and riots in baltimore. president obama spoke for 15 minutes today on the situation in baltimore. his comments were from an hour-long news conference with the japanese prime minister. the leader also spoke about u.s.-japan relations, from the white house, this is one hour.
president barack obama: good morning, have a seat. good afternoon, okonichiwa. once again, it is my letter to invite abe back to the white house. it is an idea rooted in loyalty. it is an expression of mutuality and respect and share obligation. it transcends any specific moment or challenge. it is the foundation of a relationship that endorse, it is what allows us to say that gap japan and the united states stand together. with and for each other. this is the essence of the
alliance, an alliance that holds lessons for the world. prime minister abe visited the memorial of president lincoln. shinzo, on behalf of the american people, i want to thank you for your visit to arlington national cemetery. your gesture is a powerful reminder that the past can be overcome. adversaries can become the closest of allies, and nations can build a future together. across the decades, our nations have become true partners and friends. and that mutual affection will be on display when he becomes the firstt prime minister to address congress. and we have global partners that stand together for safety around the world. opposing russia's aggression against ukraine, providing relief to innocence threatened
about transforming our security alliance. for the first time in nearly two decades, we've updated the guidelines for our defense cooperation. together our forces will be more flexible and better prepared to cooperate on a range of challenges, from maritime security to disaster response. our forces will plan, train and operate even more closely. we'll expand our cooperation, including on cyberthreats and in space. and japan will take on greater roles and responsibilities in the asia-pacific and around the world. our new guidelines compliment our effort to realign u.s. forces across the region. including on okinawa in order to lessen the impact of our bases on local communities and i reaffirmed our commitment to move forward with the relocation of marines from okinawa to guam. i want to reiterate that our treaty commitment to japan's security is absolute. and that article five covers all territories under japan's administration, including the islands. we share concern about china'