tv Hearing on Immigrant Military Members Veterans CSPAN June 30, 2022 11:17am-12:48pm EDT
military. currently, immigrants account for apart -- approximately 3% of active duty service members. 13% of veterans are of immigrant origin meaning either they or their parents are immigrants. throughout our history, immigrants has been key to some of our most critical military victories, for example, the revolutionary war would likely not have been one without the essential contributions of two immigrants, the marquita lafayette -- marquis de la fayette. both were prosperous -- properly made honorable citizens of the u.s.. a more recent example is u.s. marine sergeant rafael geraldo. he was born in mexico. in 2004 sergeant peralta was wounded in fallujah and in his
last moments used his body to shield fellow marines from a grenade blast, saving their lives. sergeant perrotta obtained citizenship during military services and was posthumously awarded the navy cross. in 1862, recognizing the important role immigrants play in the military, congress passed a law expediting the pathway to citizenship for those that serve in the armed forces. quick access to citizenship is good for service members and the military branches they serve. as with other aspects of the legal immigration system, the trump administration imposed barriers when it comes to naturalization for noncitizen service members. fortunately, the new administration has been working to reverse these policies. the president passed the to improve access to military naturalization. as part of this mandate, the
department of homeland security and veterans affairs worked to create something called the immigrant military members and veterans initiative to assist immigrant veterans with parole applications and facilitate access to v.a. benefits. the mandate is to provide care and assistance to anyone who served in the military regardless of citizenship status. this gets more difficult when they are removed from the country of origin, often due to a crime stemming from, that occurred during the veterans service with our military. approximately 11% to 30% of veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder or ptsd. veterans with ptsd are 60% more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system than
those not suffering from this illness. when american citizen veterans are convicted of crimes, their punishments do not include banishment from the country. however, even after they serve their sentences, veterans who are not yet citizens are subject to removal. that means a veteran who risked their life for our country and has suffered long-lasting mental health problems as a result could be deported, preventing them from accessing the resources promised to them when they volunteered to serve. we can do better by our immigrant veterans. that's why i, along with representatives to cotto and representative correa introduced the veterans service representative back to address the issues faced by immigrant veterans in a holistic way. i look forward to our discussion and hearing from all armor -- all are witnesses. i would like to recognize ranking member mr. mcclintock. rep. mcclintock: in april
secretary ellen mayorkas told the committee in sworn testimony that the southern border is secure. this, of course, was untrue. we later discovered that while he was testifying, his cv p was encountering the highest monthly number of illegal migrants in our history, 240 -- 234,000 in a single month. in his best under his orders and policies they were deliberately trafficked into the u.s., the equivalent of adding a population the size of lansing, michigan in a single month. it is no surprise that the border chaos continued in may, setting a new record for encounters at 239,000. already in just 18 months, this administration allowed into the u.s. and illegal population the size of the state of west virginia. now, may arcus could not tell --
secretary mayorkas could not tell us how it would benefit the american people to have classrooms packed with non-students and emergency rooms flooded with illegals and how families will be safer with increased gang activity and fentanyl inundating communities while working families foot the bill for social services. there are 42 million foreign nationals in latin america and the caribbean who did -- who intend to come here and more than 8000 per day are illegally entering our country. 18,000 per day will be arriving if the democrats pass title 42. i am not aware of any civilization in history that has survived and illegal mass migration on this scale. how do my democratic colleagues react to this?
do they call on the biden administration to stop the releases? do they call on the president to enforce u.s. immigration laws, or, at least stop incentivizing illegal migration? nope. they called as hearing to discuss immigrant military service members. 31,000 are currently serving in our armed forces, less than four days of the barter dashboard or incursion we are up seeing. the immvi nationalized the number of illegal arians in six months the number of illegal aliens streaming across our border every six hours. foreign nationals who come to america legally, obey our laws and seek to serve our country because of the love for it and principles upon which it is found in our our greatest throwing. -- strength. 11 years ago i spoke at the
funeral of a man his family immigrated from india legally 11 years before. his father told a reporter he was always a very patriotic man for the u.s.. from the time he was a little boy, he knew he wanted to serve and in the u.s. military. he was very proud of his service. the corporal was wounded in combat. he chose to return. he overstayed his assignment to relieve a friend and was killed in action june 27, 2011. i pray that the majority is not attempting to equate such heroism, devotion, and fidelity with the lawless illegal mass migration that they are not only ignoring, but actively aiding and abetting with their policies. with a staggering death toll. we just saw 51 illegal migrants baked to death by illegal traffic is on a truck on monday. the legal permanent residents who enlist in our military are offered special avenues for
nationalization, as they should be. 3% of u.s. veterans today are foreign-born. any have chosen to become u.s. citizens. unfortunately, for a while, we allowed non-legal residents including those here on student visas, refugee claimants, and daca recipients, to enlist to claim a fast track to citizenship called the matney program. the obama administration had to suspended in 20 put -- 2015. one enlistment was found to be a chinese spy. a number of foreign nationals who enlisted in the military were deported for committing crimes. yet, the democrats don't differentiate between heroes and those who abuse the system with ill intent. i look forward to a discussion about these and other important issues with witnesses today and i yield back the balance of my time. chair lofgren: i am pleased to
recognize the chairman of the judiciary committee, chairman nadler for any opening statements he may wish to offer. rep. nadler: emigrants have served in the u.s. armed forces in every major consulate since the revolutionary war. today there are 45,000 immigrants actively serving in the u.s. to armed services. every day, great immigrant servicemembers risked their lives in support of our country. we rely on them to keep our nation safe and protect u.s. global interests. in return, we must honor their sacrifices by supporting them and their families. and, by giving them every opportunity to become u.s. citizens if they so desire. unfortunately, the previous administration instituted many policy changes that made it harder for foreign-born servicemembers to actualize. it inhibited our ability to recruit and main -- retain highly qualified immigrants for important positions in the armed services.
such policy changes also undermined congress' clear intent to provide an expedited naturalization process for military servants and veterans. the trump administration ended naturalization at basic training at made it more difficult to receive a certification of honorable service, a document that is essential to naturalization based on military service. the changes made by the trump administration were unnecessary and cruel. they serve no purpose but to make it harder for individuals serving our country to become citizens. as a result of the changes, military naturalization inclined 44%. the number of denials of military naturalization applications decreased by nearly 50%. fortunately, the biden administration has been working to reverse the harmful effects of these policies. in one of his first acts in office, president biden directed the department of defense, home unsecured, state, and justice to collaborate to facilitate
naturalization for noncitizen servicemembers. since receiving the directive, dhs and the v.a. have corralled -- collaborated to create and initiative known as the immvi, that helps immigrant ephedrine access v.a. benefits and -- immigrant veterans access v.a. benefits and apply to be paroled to the u.s.. the dhs is working to remove barriers to naturalization for servicemembers and veterans. these efforts paid off. in 20 21, military naturalization numbers returned to the levels seen in 2016 prior to the trump administration intentional targeting of the population. members of the military place of their lives at risk in service of this country each day. we should not prevent them from becoming permanent members of our society. i am pleased that the biden administration is working to write these wrongs. during the hearing we will
discuss the efforts of the administration is undertaking to help immigrant servicemembers and veterans including those that have been removed from the u.s. as a result of convictions or transgressions tied to posttraumatic stress disorder, brain injury, and other physical trauma suffered in active duty. such circumstances can make the transition to civilian life extremely difficult for veterans. we can all agree that individuals who are rightfully convicted of a crime should serve any reasonable sentence imposed. once that sentence has been served, we cannot completely turn our back on those who sacrificed so much in service to our country. i want to thank chair lofgren for holding the important hearing and all of the witnesses were testifying. i look forward to hearing about the efforts their agencies are undertaking to insure we are fulfilling promises to our nation's veterans regardless of their citizenship status. chair lofgren: the gentleman yields back.
i don't believe the ranking member has arrived. if he does, we will certainly invite him to make a statement at that time or except his written statement of the record. at this point, i would like to introduce today's witnesses. emma rogers is the director of the immigrant military members and veterans initiative at the department of homeland security. previously ms. rogers served in a variety of leadership roles at u.s. citizenship and immigration services including as the director of the potomac service center, associate director for the u.s. field operations directorate, and achieve for the information and customer service division. she served as deputy director for the dhs office of citizenship and immigration services throughout her career. ms. rogers has focused on helping the military community in the immigration space. most recently, she helped create a uscis military helpline and
established a uscis as basic training -- at basic training sites to assist service members with naturalization. ms. rogers received a bachelor's degree from northeastern university. dr. jennifer mcdonald is they see -- the senior advisor for health to the secretary of veterans affairs. dr. mcdonald held several high-level roles at the department including senior advisor to the deputy secretary, chief consultant to the deputy under secretary for health, lead executive for the implementation of physician act and director of clinical education -- innovation in education. dr. mcdonald is a family medic in -- practicing family medicine physician and a veteran. she served as a white house fellow and advisor to the secretary of the u.s. department of homeland security. she served 11 years in the minnesota army national guard and it deployed in operation iraqi freedom earning a bronze
star. she received her bachelor's degree from the college of saint benedict and her md from the university of minnesota and completed her residency at ucla. stephanie miller is the director of officers and enlisted personnel management and an advisor for senior officer matters in the offices of the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. previously she served as the director of recession policy from 2015 until 2022. prior to that she was a special assistant to secretary of defense chuck hagel and ashton carter where she was responsible for a broad spectrum of programs including military and civilian personnel policies, military force readiness, defense health affairs, and, defense sexual assault prevention and response. ms. miller received her bachelor's degree from villanova university and holds a masters
degree from george washington university. i would like to welcome all of our distinguished guests. and thank them for participating in today's hearing. i will begin by swearing in our witnesses. i ask each of you turn on your audio and make sure i can see your face. raise your right hand while i administer the oath. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information, and believe so help you god? >> i do. chair lofgren: but the record rep -- let the record reflect the witnesses answered in the affirmative. your entire written state will be entered into the record -- statements will be entered into the record. we ask you summarize your testimony in about five minutes. to help keep track and stay within the time limit, there is a timer on your screen. let's begin with ms. rogers. then we will go to dr. mcdonald
and ms. miller. thank you for your testimony. ms. rogers: thank you. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. on july 2, 2021, sec. mayorkas and secretary mcdonough announced the immvi. the interagency effort was established to provide coordinated support to our countries service members, veterans, and their families. it was also a call to action to consider the deeper meaning of thank you for your service and we support our troops. immvi has focused on reviewing and updating policies to support veterans, expanding early access to naturalization, and assisting veterans who wish to come home. as part of the initiative, dhs has extensively reviewed and updated policies to ensure that
military service receives proper consideration. we launched an online resource center that centralizes federal resources available for service members, veterans, and in their families, and created a dedicated online portal for previously removed veterans who need help returning to the u.s.. through these efforts, we have built trust by responding to hundreds of requests for assistance. the law rightly provides an opportunity for current service members to apply for and again citizenship when they first become eligible. often, servicemembers and veterans believe they are already citizens by nature of their honorable service and because they swore an oath to support and defend our country. dhs and d.o.b. are working together to improve outreach and educate service members on the steps they need to take to achieve sarah's -- citizenship and completing the process
before they transition back to civilian life. the circumstances of veterans that have been deployed are complicated and often reflect complex societal challenges. these veterans of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities, and most came to the u.s. legally as children. they also served their country in vietnam, desert storm, and some more recently in the global war on terror. what most have in common is they committed crimes that lead to removal from the u.s.. these veterans omitted they made mistakes. foremost, the mistakes occurred in the district -- distant past. those convicted of serious crimes served sentences in the u.s. before they were deported. many accepted responsibility for their actions and demonstrate rehabilitation. we have succeeded at rebuilding their lives and they often dedicate their lives to
supporting others. some are suffering serious medical conditions and needed treatment they are entitled to but cannot access at v.a. medical facilities in the u.s.. these veterans are united in their desire to come home to the country they serve and where they grew up and where their families are. through this initiative i have met many veterans that have been removed from the u.s.. i am moved by their loyalty to our country and each other and their resilience and optimism. i would like to share a story of one vietnam veteran i had the honor to meet. this veteran immigrated to the u.s. with his family when he was seven. he honorably served in the army for two years after being drafted in the early 70's. he was deported over 20 years ago after a conviction for possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. he hoped to return to the u.s. to help his son, also a veteran,
who served in many combat missions in iraq and suffered from ptsd. the veteran needed the support of his father and the father needed medical treatment to address his heart condition. this was fully covered by his v.a. benefits. not every veteran is approved to return under the initiative. every request is handled on a case-by-case basis. after carefully reviewing this case, dhs granted his request for parole so he could support his son and received life-saving medical care. i am proud to work alongside the dedicated professionals from dhs , the v.a., and d.o.b. in support of our veterans. their commitment is the definition of public service. i am grateful for the partnership with advocates and veterans to support groups who have been on the forefront of the issue for decades. they call on us to do our best, to follow through, and to leave no one behind. i am pleased to report that this
effort is bringing us closer to real solutions. we look forward to continuing to work with congress on this important issue. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i look forward to your questions. chair lofgren: thank you very much. i want to hear now from dr. mcdonald. dr. mcdonald: thank you, chair lofgren, ranking member mcclintock, and distinguished members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting me here to discuss these efforts in support of the immigrant military veterans initiative. alongside my colleagues from that apartment of home unsecured he and department of defense. when the initiative was launched in 2021 secretary mcdonough reiterated the mission. it is our responsibility, he said, to serve veterans no matter who they are, where they are from, or the status of their citizenship. we at v.a. are proud to work alongside federal partners to make that happen. v.a. operates according to
statute when determining benefits and health care eligibility and we have a responsibility to serve veterans regardless of current immigration or citizenship status. we are working closely alongside dhs and dod to identify eligible deported veterans. we are collaborating with veterans service organizations and nonprofit groups to engage the veterans. notably, our veterans benefits administration operates and off it -- office dedicated to support veterans abroad and is working to contact veterans located abroad who may benefit from the program's efforts. i have personally had the opportunity to witness the positive impact on cash of these outreach efforts in 2021. dhs and dod and v.a. partnered to provide covid-19 vaccines for veterans. we worked side-by-side with dhs to set up a blue tent to shade
the medical observation area and rows of bottled water. when everything was in place, the dhs team began to escort veterans into the port of entry for vaccination. one of the first veterans to sit down at my vaccination station had all that a quorum of a trained soldier. he sat down quietly with his back straight, hands set neatly in his lap, as if we were both back at basic training. i would recognize the army etiquette anywhere. veteran to veteran, i said, thank you for your service. i am glad you are here today. his eyes widened and he shifted for a moment out of his perfect posture. what branch? army, i said. he responded and visibly relaxed. as i asked him about allergies and covid history, he joked he said so many tattoos the vaccine cannot possibly hurt.
over my shoulder he saw a group of v.a. personnel just past the observation 10. are they medics, he asked. that is our veterans benefit team. after we are done, they want to talk to you about benefits you may be eligible for. he did not respond. the silence was so long i looked up. he was looking straight up at the bright blue sky trying with all his might to hold back tears in his eyes. after taking a moment to compose himself, he turned to look me in the eye and said in a quiet voice, thank you for not forgetting us. that story played out repeatedly over the course of the morning. not just at my station, but with the exceptional nurses and pharmacists coordinating the event that day. i heard the dhs team thanking
medical personnel for vaccinating u.s. customs enforcement colleagues. 54,916 of them through the mission. that is our mission to support the nation in times of national emergency. it has long been an essential element of that response to hurricanes, earthquakes, and natural disasters. it is thanks to our world-class workforce delivering on that mission that we have been able to support the nation throughout the pandemic, from vaccinating federal partners to supporting communities across america. communities where veterans and families live and thrive. we have completed nearly 200 missions spanning all 50 states, the district of columbia, puerto rico, and tribal communities. clinical care, testing, equipment, training, consultation on protocols, and saving lives. v.a. remains committed alongside federal partners to ensuring that veterans receive the
benefits and services they have earned in a manner that honors their service. we will continue to conduct outreach to veterans who wish to access the care and services they have earned and deliver excellence when federal partners call upon us. this concludes my testimony. thank you for the opportunity to appear today. i look forward to your questions. chair lofgren: thank you. let me turn to our final witness. ms. miller, you are recognized. ms. miller: members of the subcommittee, it's an honor to be here today. in the offices of the undersecretary of defense, in this capacity, i am responsible for matters pertaining to officer and enlisted personnel policy and by extension the recruitment of the military personnel. my responsibilities include oversight. chair lofgren: i am having
difficulty hearing the witness. it's a little bubbly. i wonder if she could get closer to the microphone? ms. miller, can you do that please? ms. miller: i can try. cc it could be on your side. >> it could, but the other two were very clear. chair lofgren: let's start again, ms. miller. my responsibilities include oversight of the department military naturalization partnership managed in part with the department of homeland security department of immigrants and services. since the founding of the american military the u.s. has supported the recruitment and naturalization of persons who are not u.s. nationals. the department has a long tradition of welcoming noncitizens as principal members
of our fighting team and supporting their efforts to obtain u.s. citizenship on the basis of hard-won military service. during my career in the u.s. navy and as a department of defense civil servant i have served under several administration and always understood the importance of taking care of the many men and women that serve in the u.s. military. with respect to non-service members, stationed on bunker hill in california included service officers and preparation of requirements for naturalization. participating in a naturalization ceremony for qualifying family members where some of the most meaningful experiences i had in service. today, the military recruits a proximally 10,000 individuals annually who bring unique knowledge, skills, and abilities and support national security priorities. most recently, the interagency working group formed executive
order 14 100 in february 2021. in collaboration with the department of homeland security and veterans affairs, that apartment has continued to expand and improve essential services which support naturalization of qualifying service members who choose to apply for u.s. citizenship. prior to the establishment, the department worked hand in hand to improve the naturalization process. for example, to address the challenges associated with the current 2019 pandemic, our agencies collaborated to establish a private process for virtual video interviews with service members seeking naturalization rather than relying on traditional in person interview environments. we were able to resume a naturalization process and address a backlog of approximately 400 qualified military advocates stalled in
the naturalization process by the pandemic. a standing option available for qualifying applicants to ensure streamlined means to provide citizen -- opportunities around the world. until recently recently, this demonstrates the value of the innovative process. a path to citizenship for members of the armed forces. within the department, we continue efforts to refine and improve notifications for service member eligibility. section 523 of fiscal year 22 natural defense authorization act ensures a military recruiter that is not a citizen of the u.s. has options for naturalization.
and, is informed of existing programs and services that may aid in the process. we expect policy soon to ensure a consistent approach. during recruitment, initial entry, training, and severing or retirement from service. naturalization will always be a personal choice. always be a personal choice. the department is committed to proactive engagement with noncitizens within the department in order to do so. the process of naturalization application is ultimately the proceeds -- purview of uscis and its mission is critical. i would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank uscis for their partnership for improving paramilitary naturalization program. their dedicated employees worked tirelessly to facilitate naturalization of military
servicemembers and help support naturalizing military family members making a difference in the lives of service members every day. thank you for this opportunity to address the subcommittee today and your continued support of the service members that volunteered to support our great nation. i look forward to answering your questions. chair lofgren: thank you to all the witnesses for their testimony. this is the time now in our hearing where members can address the witnesses with questions for up to five minutes. first, i would like to recognize ranking member mr. merton talk for his questions -- mr. mcclintock for his questions. rep. mcclintock:: thank you madam chairman. director rogers, in your written testimony, you said that may 11, 2021 the mavni --immvi tema reviewed an -- team reviewed 24 cases for parole.
in how many cases was parole granted and in how any cases what it denied? ms. rogers: i apologize for not muting. thank you for your question ranking member mcclintock. the numbers as of june 24, we have made decisions receiving over 60 requests and related decisions on 32. rep. mcclintock: how many were granted? ms. rogers: we granted 16 cases of humanitarian parole and denied eight. there are two pending. rep. mcclintock: were any of the departed alien -- deported alien veterans convicted of crimes in the u.s.? ms. rogers: yes. rep. mcclintock: what crimes were each of these aliens
initially departed for? ms. rogers: congressman, i don't adjudicate the applications. we put together a very specialized team. rep. mcclintock: can you tell me what crimes they were deported for? ms. rogers: i can get back to you on the individual cases. rep. mcclintock: please do. i would like to get that information. when a deported veteran is deported for committing a crime is paroled or allowed back to the u.s. does dhs contacted the victim of the crime to notify them that the alien perpetrator is being allowed back to the u.s.? ms. rogers: every single case is reviewed on an individual case-by-case basis. rep. mcclintock: is the victim of the crime notified they are letting this person back into the country? ms. rogers: it's, we rep. mcclintock: yes or no?
do you contacted the victims of the crime to notify them that the person will be back in the u.s.? ms. rogers: it depends on the crime the individual committed. rep. mcclintock: if it is a crime there is a victim. do you notify the victim, yes or no? ms. rogers: not all the crimes have victims involved. not all circumstances there are victims involved. rep. mcclintock: where there is a victim involved, do you notify them? or do you not know? just, give me a straight answer. if you don't know, just say so. ms. rogers: i cannot give you a specific answer on an individual case because each case will be reviewed on -- in its entirety. it is possible that the law enforcement officers. rep. mcclintock: were any of these deported veterans allowed back into the country, had they been dishonorably discharged
from the military? ms. rogers: not to my awareness. rep. mcclintock: none were dishonorably discharged? ms. rogers: not to my knowledge congressman. again, i am not presently reviewing the cases. rep. mcclintock: get back to me with an accurate answer to that question. how many deported family members of military servicemembers have come back to the u.s. under immvi. ms. rogers: can you repeat the question? rep. mcclintock: how many deported family members have been allowed back in? ms. rogers: three. rep. mcclintock: does the immigration and nationality act include an exemption for removal based on military service for foreign nationals that commit removable offenses? ms. rogers: there is not an exception. rep. mcclintock: does the immigration nationality act include exemptions for illegals based on a family members military service for foreign nationals that commit removable
offenses? ms. rogers: it is not in the immigration and nationality act, no. rep. mcclintock:, ms. miller, why did the obama administration suspend the mavni in cities -- 2016? why did the obama administration suspend that program? ms. miller: in 2016 the most recent review indicated significant issues with security concerns within the program that led to its suspension. rep. mcclintock: how many mavni recruits were identified as having a foreign influence? ms. miller: i don't have a definitive number or percentage. there was a small pursuit -- portion of the overall population that was determined to have a foreign nexus. rep. mcclintock: can you get to me the exact number in this case? ms. miller: sure.
chair lofgren: the gentleman yields back. i would like to recognize chairman nadler for his questions. rep. nadler: ms. rogers, as you mentioned in your testimony, the immigrant military members and veterans initiative or immvi allows dhs to consider on a case-by-case basis parole requests under section 212 d5 of the immigration nationality act from certain noncitizen current and former military servicemembers and qualifying family members outside the u.s.. this allows these individuals to seek to enter the country to better avail themselves of u.s. legal counsel and assistance and gain access to certain veterans benefits. knowing that the use of dhs has become more controversial recently, can you describe in detail what factors dhs uses in making these parole
determinations and why this is an example of how dhs should be used against parole authority? ms. rogers: thank you, chairman nadler for that question. when i was assigned this responsibility back in july, we understood how complex the situation is and the way we approached this initiative was to make sure that we put together a really sound process that included specialized training, dedicated officers who had a high level of experience in law enforcement as well as immigration with u.s. citizenship and the uscis staff that understands the eligibility for certain immigration benefits. we developed a policy before we started making decisions on the requests for parole. in every single case, what we committed to do for the veterans is a case-by-case individualized review to consider a number of different factors in the request
based primarily on urgent humanitarian considerations or a significant public health benefits to considering an exercise of discretion. the criteria was both positive and negative factors relating to the decision. and, a three-pronged process of review where the officers reviewed eligibility for national realization. -- naturalization. enforcement and removal officers reviewed for public safety concerns and their criminal history. then it goes to a supervisor for another review before the case is made a final decision is made in the case. i think that would sum it >> that was it. have there been any veterans that have been denied? >> yes. because we have to look at every
single case individually, the primary consideration when we deny a case is whether there is a risk to -- a current public safety risk. and that would be -- a national security concern. there -- military service ending in a positive category but unfortunately, sometimes, negative factors outweighed the positive. >> thank you. -- i believe that -- coming so that the department can provide health and better services is that correct? >> that is my understanding chairman. that there are veterans that wish to receive care from the v.a. and want to receive that option. >> very goodbye last question,
of february 2 of last year, president biden sued an executive order -- sent an executive order -- for members in the military. what access has the department of defense resulted in this executive order for the naturalization in the military? >> we listen very closely with our partners to ensure that information that is provided -- one of them were recent activities that we received -- one of the more recent activities that we've done is work with -- to make sure that we have the list of the
appropriate documentation area and that the process for naturalization consideration and bring that material and documents within two basic training. so that they are not necessarily having to go back to the family members to try and find these. outside of that we work with cis to ensure new service members -- whether in basic training or initial training or out in the field in force that they have opportunities to meet with case officers both with uscis and for legal services teams to ensure that we are assisting them and completing their applications and answering all questions as well as facilitating interviews making sure that the companies -- know the process during that application. >> thank you my time is expired and i yield back. >> mr. buck is next but i do not see him. so, speak up, if not, mr. biggs will be recognized for his five minutes. >> thank you madam chair, i
asked that we get a classified briefing on the programs that we raised here. i think some members have not had a chance to get a full view on the program. i asked for that. i go now to ms. rogers. ms. rogers, all the veterans that were reported based on the removal issue by immigration judges -- that is -- i think you are muted. >> sorry. yes, congressman, that is correct. >> i want to be clear about that because dhs is using the role to allow immigrants to enter the united states to serve the law. -- quarterly reports from a number of parole request received and granted and those granted the rationale for each grant in this duration. in the first report was due may 14. we have not receive that. do you know what status of that were it is? >> i'm sorry, i do not know the
status of that but i can get back to you congressman. >> it was due may 14 we are over a month late. i was going to ask if you could commit getting that to the committee by the end of this week you do that please? >> that report i am not familiar with that report it is not within my responsibilities i unfortunately cannot commit to providing that to you by the end of this week but i commit to checking and finding the status of it. >> i think that would be appropriate if y'all would get on that. since it is now six weeks old past due. so, i just want to point out that we are having this hearing today and we should be having secretary mayorkas in because he testified that the border was operationally secure even after reviewing the satchel security defenses act. the problem is, for sec. mayorkas is that exactly a week later responses from senator for, he then hedged this bet and said i'm going to quote actually
there is a statutory definition which provides if i'm not mistaken a little i will check to make sure. and i find that interesting because i know i read that to him. he went on to say that strict definition the country has never had operation control. ". -- i want to submit, madam chair, transcripts of those two hearings for the record. >> without objection. >> thank you. also think this committee should be investigating why the biden administration is violating the rights of members of the military to and posting them -- forcing them to get covid-19 shots. it forces members out of the military because of the covenant shot. it is also the biden administration -- in the apartment -- department.
illegal immigrants should be detained even seeking asylum under the biden administration more than a million illegal aliens have been released in the united states since january 2021. nearly a hundred thousand were released last month. i think we need to be holding them. so, ms. rogers, it sounds to me like the biden administration is once again misusing one of its favorite tools the tool of parole. sec. mayorkas continues to abuse the authority that congress has given him to grant parole. the fact that -- 400,000 aliens in the united states since january 2020 -- should be a concern to this committee. that is not what parole was designed to do. how many released officials -- under the program? >> thank you for the question. we've had 16 veterans. >> i thought that's what you would say. yes.
let me ask you this question. did last congress, this subcommittee held a hearing and one of the witnesses was a veteran who was deported after he was fired -- fired a weapon at an occupied vehicle. so, that of itself is interesting. i will ask you this, are individuals that fire weapons at occupied vehicles at times in your office -- at your office is advocating for to be allowed to reenter the united states? >> is that question for me congressman? >> yes. and i will ask ms. rogers the same thing. i mean ms. miller. let me get things right. ms. miller first and then ms. rogers. >> so, with respect to any prior criminal activity, that is something that is reviewed very seriously with respect to qualifications for military services and in most cases, if
it is an egregious criminal act been they would be denied military services. >> your time has expired but ms. rogers can certainly answer the question. >> thank you madam chair. >> so, i am not sure which veteran who testified but -- >> barajas. >> i thought that may be who you are referring to. he was eligible for citizenship. and within the u.s. -- he is a u.s. citizen today because he qualified under the section 329 immigration act. >> madam chair, i yield back. >> missed -- >> -- anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand veterans are estimated to be reported. that is unacceptable. i am very proud that president biden has taken steps to not
only stop deportation of veterans but to allow veterans to return and ensure immigrant servicemembers to them and their families and that they can become citizens and have access to military benefits. i have a number of questions. if you would mind keeping your answers short so i can get through all of them i would certainly appreciate it. ms. rogers the first several are for you. would you agree that it's the best interest of our national security to -- >> i would say my opinion is not relevant because section 329 immigration law they are eligible to apply and become citizens. >> we heard from previous witnesses that this is very important. if we had someone with a green card from south korea on the list that is stationed in south korea this person could be subject to arrest because there is a mandatory military conscription for men in south korea. we put our own military folks in danger by not allowing
citizenship. in your opening statement, ms. rogers, you said that they cannot complete an active-duty -- their service from dod. can you briefly discussed in our agency obstacles that currently exist to making naturalization and basic training a reality for all non-edison service members? >> uscis and dod as my colleague stated, worked very closely in partnership with -- the military accessing citizenship. the form you're talking about the certification of service is required before uscis can proceed with an application. i would differ to my colleague ms. miller to discuss that process further as a dod function. >> would you like to respond to that ms. miller? >> yes ma'am. as a result of the court order in 2020 the department currently is certifying in 14 states --
request as little as the first day of qualification of basic training the individual has the opportunity to request certification. ensuring that the proper requirements are met. and 06 officer or higher goes through the process of certifying that. and working closely with uscis to ensure the next steps in the process are facilitated. between agencies. >> are there additional authorities, ms. rogers that you or dod required to make this happen or make it happen more quickly? >> there are other requirements to naturalization. is that what you're referring to congresswoman? or other obstacles? i'm not sure i understand. >> more broadly the question is for you in terms of how we -- how do we ensure that we are being most efficient and quick
with our -- with these applications. >> i think that, first of all, the most important thing is the partnership between uscis and dod and that they -- the communication with the service member. because it is really important for our servicemembers as i stated in my opening remarks i understand there is a process to becoming a u.s. citizen. there is an application that needs to be filed. they have to get a certification from their commanding officer. it is very important that we continue to foster our partnership with dod. as a matter of -- matter of fact, we've entered into efforts of putting together a formal amendment of where this will be from service members. >> thank you. and i have a question for ms. miller, only the navy has facilitated naturalization for a service members, correct?
>> a man. all services facilitate naturalization on the behalf of qualifying service members. our service officers are helping to expedite that process. >> what i meant to say is the -- facilitated -- basic training. is it only the navy that has done that at basic training? >> and navy is working to determine if it would be appropriate to establish a permanent office within their basic training location. and there other training locations with the other services work with uscis based -- on a periodic basis rather than permanent establishment. >> i would like to come back to this. my time is expired. our understanding is that it is only the navy that has been doing this. so i want to make sure that we are working with dod to expand naturalization among service members. madam chair, i yield back. >> shields back. mr. tiffany's rep denies for
five minutes. >> thank you madam chair. director rogers, we just heard in previous testimony that there are some significant counterintelligence concerns with the program that was set in place during the obama administration. can you guarantee us that we will not allow someone to enter who has those significant counterintelligence concerns? in particular, in regards to china which is extremely aggressive in trying to mole into our services. >> congressman, are you referring to the battery program? >> that is correct. >> i would refer to my colleague at dod to respond to the security checks that went on. >> ms. miller, thank you for that director.
ms. miller would you care to comment on that? >> yes sir. we have a tremendous amount of concern when it comes to the outcome of the program. we were very hard to build and to revise the background investigation and screening protocols. with our colleagues and intelligent security. a few years ago, we had the protocol of expediting screening protocol. it's a program that optimizes data sources from classified and unclassified databases. -- >> ms. miller, i appreciate the answer, i have a limited amount of time. can you guarantee us no one is going to get in as a result of this new program? that is going to jeopardize our intelligence here in america? >> there is no new program. and while i would like to
guarantee their there would be absolutely no one in the future, i know there are current protocol procedure has had positive results. >> yeah, thanks. that is very clear. you can't guarantee it, it is no different from afghanistan when the department of states said just get them on the plane, we will worry about the immigration stuff later and we already lost people using the parole program here by the homeland security. americans national security is being jeopardized every day. we are certainly seeing it on the southern border. we have got the right issue here today but it is the wrong topic. it should be about securing our southern border and we heard about root causes by the vice
president in charge of the border about a year ago, our -- but this nonenforcement of our immigration laws looks that it will just continue. and what do we get as a result of that? we have the largest human trafficking in the world. being conducted by -- united states government is complicit of that as a result of the biden administration. i have seen it. i have been down to panama. i have been down to the southern border. i see how it has been operating. the united states government is complicit in this point. and what do we see? we see 51 people that were boiled to death this week down in texas. these are the type of things that are happening. one in 10 people they estimate trying to get to america from panama are dying in route. this has turned so deadly and it all started on january 20 of 2021 with the biden administration.
the biden administration has done this. what i would say, madam chair, why don't we do something about it? how about in this committee right here, how about if we take action? what if we stop dealing with things -- this is an important issue certainly to the people, as we see with the numbers. this is, what i am report -- referring to, is important to all of americans. we have no controls on the border. we have no idea what is in our country. fentanyl is follow -- is flowing freely in our communities. lastly, a district attorney allowed people off on bail that enough -- that had enough fentanyl to kill tens of thousands of people. taxpayer funds are being used to move illegal immigrants across
our country. that is what americans can continue to expect under this administration. we can do better. madam chair, we are prepared to roll up our sleeves and get solutions so we don't have another 51 migrants broiled to death down in texas. you can be assured though they make time, there is going to be many more because that is what we have been seeing since january 20, 2021. >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. carrero, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> madam chair, thank you. -- since we been here today, it is him important hearing because it is about keeping our country strong. it is about keeping our commitment to our veterans. keeping our promise to those who fight in foreign lands for our freedom. freedom does around the world. -- if they come back to the u.s., we have to take care of them. general question.
if i can have a quick answer. we are talking about non-us citizens. have they been promised by recruiters u.s. citizenship with honorable discharge? to any of you know? >> it seems appropriate for me to answer. our recruiters do not promise because the compartment is not in the position to promise the outcome of the naturalization application. but they certainly do talk to recruits about -- >> let me move forward because of the time. a noncitizen comes into a military camp to protect a flag in our country, many of them don't make it back to the u.s.. -- u.s., many of them make the ultimate sacrifice. i have one of them here. 20 years ago. citizen was the first orange county casualty of the war.
back in the u.s., we gave him u.s. citizenship postulates. his mother could not get a drivers license for another 10 or 15 years. that is how messed up our system is. but my point to all of you is, why haven't we come up with the system where every noncitizen who is servicing our country is honorably discharged? why can't we come up with the system, where they get citizenship? what is holding us back? earned citizenship, why can't they get that? miss rogers? ms. rogers: this is the hardest point of this initiative. -- i think this is the whole point of this initiative. >> excellent. let me move to the next question. how many noncitizens serve in our armed forces right now? what is the percentage of noncitizens in our military?
>> i believe it is 3% but i do for to ms. miller. it is about 10,000 a year. >> ms. miller? >> correct. >> and how many of that is an absolute number? do you know? >> i will certify with the committee the full number. but as miss roger said, we have about 10,000 come in per year. >> and they swear an o to protect our country. -- they swear an oath -- how many of those are from a foreign country? >> some of those answers would be at a classified level. >> ok. it is my understanding, i have went to mexico to visit deported veterans they are deported for a , number of reasons. some battery. some you know, drugs.
the primary reason is they are deported -- it leads to other issues. it is my understanding that a lot of these veterans are able to access health care in sicko is that correct? >> congressman, the v.a. does reply -- supply a reimbursement program for veterans living abroad. for it with few exceptions that is the authority we have to help utterance access health care abroad. it is only within the u.s. we are able to provide direct health care with those limited exceptions. >> i'm out of time so let me jump to a different issue. the immigration judges. one of my colleagues asked earlier, these individuals, once they are convicted of a certain crime, they are deported. those immigration judges do not have any discretion. if they are not a citizen,
resident versus a noncitizen veteran is convicted in the state of crime, and a veteran served honorably -- is that -- honorably, that issue is not taking into consideration by judges. is that correct? >> the immigration court procedure is complicated. what we have seen in these cases is that some of our attorneys have gone back and requested mitigation of their original criminal conviction which is helping every case. it is very complicated and the veterans really need that support. >> i am running out of time is rogers. thank you so much, but i believe there is no discretion for judges when they have these defendants before them. they may have been a war hero, gotten metals, lost limbs, and that is not considered for deportation. thank you madam chair. >> the gentleman yields back. ms. garcia?
-- garcia is now recognized. >> thank you madam chair. thank you for hearing this very important issue. this is something that many of us have been talking about. we had a previous hearing and for many years, it has consistently advocated for the rights of our human right and -- i want to thank you for recognizing the importance of this hearing. we have a moral obligation to those who serve our nation in our armed services. this is a rep -- since the revolutionary war immigrant services continue to fight in a breed major conflict throughout our history. that obligation is not limited to our military. and also to their families. all of us have family members in the service no the pain and
sacrifice to fight for our liberties without knowing if anyone will ever see them again, those who have served our country, paid for their actions and did not pose a threat to us. they should not be condemned to exile because of their status. they should be allowed into the -- allowed do process within the united states. where they took their oath and where they defended their country. i want to commend the efforts of the biden administration and service members for our country. i want to make sure, ms. miller, our notes tell us that there were 45,000 actively serving lpr legally permanent residence in the military. you said you get 10,000 a year,
so with 45,000 be accurate from a number that is currently serving? >> yes ma'am, that is what we believe is accurate. our systems only capture if they are a citizen or u.s. citizen once they naturalize it changes to citizen so it is sometimes difficult to account for the total. >> but there are legally permanent residence. they are not as one of our colleagues characterized in a word i detest i find very offensive use the word alien. these are soldiers. assert -- a soldier is a soldier. they are lpr's. they are soldiers and they are people we need to honor with dignity and respect because they have taken the oath of office to defend our country and our flag.
-- i see we have made some progress. what other efforts does your agency make to ensure veterans that have been deported that have issues with their family, can receive the attention that they need? >> thank you congresswoman. it is good to see you again too. we have taken a very holistic approach to this initiative. we have a special portal we have -- for veterans outs the united states who are seeking to return to the united states. that is a staff with officers addressing their cases. we have a really robust website that provides lots of resources for the families. the best thing to do through this agency is our ability to look at the problems or examples -- for example when we are
working on a case, we are almost daily reaching out to the -- reaching out to verify the v.a. bill, that should benefits, eligibility, health care that they may be eligible for. this will only get stronger and we will improve the services for our veterans. >> in queue. i've seen progress since we last saw each other. i will go back to ms. miller and follow-up on the question that my colleague asked you. you seem to say that all military branches do not have a policy or program in place at the basic training level to ensure the new recruit knows. -- knows that you all are they are to support them in this process did i hear that clearly? or that the navy has considered it. and the coast guard and everyone else. what are you guys doing to
ensure that everybody is doing it so that the soldier would have the expectation that you guys would help does in fact have helped. >> the ladies time has expired but the witness can answer. >> yes ma'am, each service has its own distinct program with which they work with new recruit it's at trick basic training to inform them of their ability to pursue naturalization and what that looks like and that we have legal service officers to help them. the difference is the navy is looking at permanently establishing an office after basic training location where the other services have programs where they bring in the caseworkers and legal services officers. the same services are being provided just in different fashions. >> i do have a follow-up to that but i will submit it in writing. >> very good. the lady yields back.
-- you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you to the chairman or bringing us together on an important matter. as i begin, let me first of all, indicate that texas, because of a number of untoward policies and some inaccuracies in responding to the crisis of smuggling has seen the largest number of deaths of migrants who are coming into this country. under circumstances of desperation. they are coming to be reunited with family. coming and for work, coming and fleeing persecution of gangs, violence, f, murder, and rape. in the last 48 hours, 51 dead migrants were found in an 18 wheeler near san antonio. i want this committee to have my voice on the record to note that
we have acknowledged their death and we are sad regarding their death and that we are taking a mental moment of silence. for this he need us and absurd tragedy. until a mac -- until america fixes its broken immigration system, -- and make reform as myself the chairwoman and many embers of this committee have found over and over again with fast agreement around the nation from the work on aggie --ag procedures to help out farmers to dock a still undone, to united families undone, we have worked very hard to the dismay of those of us who tried to use the legal system -- immigration opponent blinded without thinking without reviewing or understanding. we have blocked legislation.
so i want to add into the record that two men were charged in the negligent death of the 51 migrants are now three. and i would like to submit this to places into the record. >> without objection. >> i would hope that we would have an opportunity, madam chair, to go back to this issue and look at the horrors of what happened and how it happened. it is not just the failure, in terms of the individuals who have come out of desperation, but there are a whole lot of elements that we should address. let me quickly asked, and put into the eckert -- record,, -- i submit washington post article. and then military service was once a fast tracking citizenship the administration keeps narrowing that possibility. these policies affect recruitment. i would like to play set into the record. >> without objection. >> let me ask -- quickly ask a question to the neck --
witnesses and note that there are 45,000 active immigrants -- let me ask, dr. jennifer and mcdonald can you estimate the value of having the opportunity to recruit veterans? and those that happen to have an immigrant history or background, as well and how important it is to address this question as it relates to the dealing with health benefits when they are not treated fairly? and are screened or deported? what negative impact happens? to both the veteran and also military services. >> congresswoman, we know that veterans who are able to access health care benefits do better not just in the first year of transition, where challenges
arise and many veterans face mental health concerns, adjustment to society as they exit the military, this is why we've initiated programs called solid start which aim to help veterans multiple times throughout that first year. but we have no the benefit of accessing health care benefits extends throughout the veterans life. it is essential to us and it is a top priority to ensure that we reach out to each and every veteran to ensure that they are eligible for services that they are in the military. >> we have heard the word criminal and we are all concerned to notify -- these are -- notify the victims to make sure that our nation is safe. can you speak to these victims that are randomly deported because of the heart implementation of the trump administration. that they are making it harder to receive received to forget, background checks, other things that you feel you can put a protocol in place.
two ensure that they can get into services that make them safe in contributing citizens in the united states. >> time is expired but the witness can answer the question. >> i think you chairwoman. >> congresswoman, i will defer to ms. rogers that question. via it does look forward to taking care of each and every valley -- better and that is eligible with us. >> yes, ms. rogers? >> i would add, that under the initiative the u.s. is doing everything in its power within its discretion to make their decisions for all the veterans. but i do think at the end of the day, that parole is a temporary status in the united states. it is not a permanent solution for the challenges we see. -- with veterans who have been paroled. >> the young ladies time is expired. miss -- is recognize. >> thank you madam chair for holding this important hearing.
as we are working to address a variety of improvement -- immigration matters through this committee, it is important we are keeping our promises to immigrant members of our military and veterans. they served in our armed forces in a wood -- every major conflict since the revolutionary war. i come from a legal services background and one thing that i have worked with over time is helping veterans to receive benefits and often, they need legal representation to work through the benefit system. they get denied when they should not. they have trouble putting together their claim and getting enough documentation etc.. ms. jackson, lee and i have both been working on medical legal partnership bill to make sure that they got more services. legal aid services for veterans. but in this country, we don't provide legal services to immigrants. so, i am curious, if you could
speak to whether you think that providing some aid to veterans who might be seeking legal status would be helpful. maybe starting with ms. mcdonald. >> congresswoman, we certainly know that there are veterans both those who are seeking procedures through the immigration system and those who encounter the legal system and other ways who need legal aid. in order to support them, we have made available on our website a unification of resources from legal services that they may access. this is also available through the resource center that was launched in court nation with the portal in february. as part of the mv. we recognize that access to those services is. and beyond that, congresswoman, i will refer to my dhs colleagues. >> director rogers?
>> i think it is an issue of accessing -- it is one of the biggest challenges we are seeing within this program. to put it in context, we've had about 144 inquiries through the portal from veterans who are outside the united states and as a result of those inquiries we've revise them of what the ash advise them of what the process is if they are applying for humanitarian role and only 60 have applied. and we do think that through our coordination and engagements with the community that the reason for that loan number is because of the problem -- the process is so complex and they do not have access to counsel. >> do you have anything to admit miller? >> only that i agree that we need to have access to inform qualified people of the support services and the department of defense has been very helpful through our services. >> we know that generally, the
immigration system is pretty complex. and that having access to that counsel makes a huge huge difference. in people's ability to navigate that system when they have legal claims under our system. so, i appreciate that input. i have one more question for ms. miller, under the obama administration, there was a basic program -- there was a program called basic training initiative where immigrants who join any branch of the military had the opportunity to naturalize and become u.s. citizens at natural training. this seemed it was an effective way to tick that box and have it happen when people were on board as it were. on boarding in multiple ways. we know the trump administration ended that initiative and made it harder for military members to -- have a number of military members who are naturalizing. i understand the u.s. navy has
reinstituted that process, but the rest of the service branches have not. as the department of defense plan to coordinate with uscis to bring this initiative back to the other branches? >> we are continuing to evaluate the best method to deliver services to qualifying recruitments or whether they are in basic training or initial training. or a learning career. as i mentioned before, the navy has brought back some of those elements of the basic training program. any other services that have partnership with uscis -- where they bring in legal services -- that appears to be working. it appears to be working and the feedback we get is good we continue to evaluate whether it makes sense to reestablish those baselevel offices. we want to ensure that in addition to that support, that we are giving the same level of support beyond basic training. >> thinking.
i see my time is expired so i yelled back. >> the lady yields back. -- i have questions to submit myself or concluding questions. i want to thank all the witnesses and members for their participation today. i think it is very important that we live up to our commitment to the veterans of this country. all of us are so lucky that we wear americans just through the circumstance of our birth. of how lucky we are. these individuals are ones who decided to volunteer to defend the country. they have taken a step, not just the good fortune of getting born into the united states. and the wreckage should of that i think must be taken. as i listen, i am mindful that we need to make this very simple, obviously the naturalization at the front would avoid other problems at the end. i am not a veteran.
i never went through basic training, but my husband has talked to me about what basic training is like. from what he said, they very rarely ask people in basic training what they want to do. they tell them what to do. so, obviously, no one will be naturalized against their will, but i think this should be automatic. an application should be put in front of a noncitizen soldier and they can decide if they do not want to follow through. that would be up to them. but i think it is a comment on the defense department to make that a part of the entire system. like the ranking member, i am interested in additional data. we did get a rundown of the 144 request for assistance through the portal. i think it is interesting that of those who inquired, only seven were under 40 years old.
most were over 40. most of the offensive -- offenses or drug offenses. and some were not any criminal offenses. the age of the conviction, all but two were over five years old. 108 were more than 10 years old. so i think, it would be good to find out the nature of this population. just so we understand it. having said that, the real question before us is whether someone who has volunteered to serve their country in the u.s. military, who gets out and messes up, should in addition to paying the penalty of -- under the criminal law for messing up, to also be expelled from the united states. i-8 -- with human animus consent i would put state in the record in front of the american argue
that a veteran should not be deported. for those who have already been deported, a visa be made available to them to come back. there shouldn't be a special penalty for those who messed up. as we all know, those who served especially in brutal combat can suffer emotional distress, ptsd that can lead to problems later in life. i also ask unanimous consent to put it in the record a statement from the chairman of the veterans affairs committee, mr. mark takano, in favor of these -- as well as a letter with kim olson about the promises. and without objection, those would be made part of the record. i hope that we are able to take some action to smooth the return of those who serve their country
in the united states military and who ended up outside of the united states. i give credit to the administration for the proactive action that has been taken using the parole authority that is within the immigration and nationality act. clearly, that is not the easiest way to proceed to what i think, the american legion would argue is wrong. i am hopeful that we can move forward. to pass legislation. to our -- to honor our veterans. to make sure they get the respect that they earned through their service to our country. i would note also, that looking at the demographics, the vast majority of those who have taken -- who have inquired about the full program have been removed
for more than 20 years. many of them are elderly, over 60. some between 70 and 80 years of age. these are individuals who serve their country in combat, need the veterans benefits that they are in, and we need to honor our service to them. at this point, and without objection, we will note that the record will remain open for five days. five legislative days for additional written questions that can be sent to the witnesses. and we ask, if that does occur, that you answer those questions and to other questions that may be sent to you as well as the data that has been asked. we will pursue. without objection, and without hearing any objection this
concludes today's hearing. again, i would like to thank our witnesses and the members for participating and without objection, this hearing is now adjourn. >> thank you you madam chairman, happy fourth of july. >> and to all of you. >> looking at the u.s. supreme court here on the last day of the term, several decisions headed down today in including the epa's ability to reduce carbon output at existing power plants. -- president bynum efforts to mitigate climate change. the boat is 6-3. the chief justice -- quartz conservatives. today was the last day of stephen breyer's term. he retires after 27 years on the high court today. earlier this hour, he was among those witnessing in -- jim on g -- judge ketanji brown jackson replaced him. here is what that looked like.