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Kirstjen Nielsen
  DHS Secretary Nielsen on Security Resources  CSPAN  May 15, 2018 2:28pm-3:54pm EDT

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not palatable to democrats and many republicans, and what they loopholes,g asylum which would reform asylum laws. though they say they want administration to deal with dreamers, they want that and a much grander package of laws. host: looking at the larger issue of daca, is this part of the permanent solution or is there reality to this effort? >> we are going live to the homeland security ski and secretary nielsen is taking her seat. and expected to talk about border security as well as counterterrorism and other efforts her department is undertaking to protect the united states.
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senator johnson: i welcome secretary nielsen, thank you for your service. i did read your press release on national police week and i think it is fitting and proper that we pay tribute to law enforcement officers killed in action and really honor the families for their service as well.
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according to national law enforcement officer memorial 541 lawnce 1791, 21,000 enforcement officials paid the ultimate price. last year, 129. year to date is 5 . it would be fitting and proper to have a moment of silence to onor those and their families. thank you. i would unanimous consent that my written opening statement be entered into the record. the title of this hearing is authorities and resources needed to protect and secure the united states and i know secretary nielsen you testified before the appropriation committee and they can ask any questions they want,
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we are the authorizing committee, i want to concentrate on the authorities of that hearing title. and i would like to go down the list that are on my mind and hopefully yours as well. but i think this committee did a very good job and we are known for a bipartisan nonpartisan approach to find areas of agreement and we did that with the d.h.s. authorization act which i'm hoping we can pass through the senate and marry up with the house bill to provide you the authorities that have become obsolete. i know the omnibus, the flexibility of reorganizing your department was taken away which important when we look at nmpd and these are the things that you need to do to do your job to keep this nation safe in
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cooperation with your department. we are working with a number of members, i see two of them are co-sponsors to preventing emerging threats act of 2018 which is encountering unmanned systems which is a real threat and it's confusing. they are conflicting authorities, no authorities from your standpoint in terms of addressing those. a complex and the fact that we have laws, legal precedent, loopholes that because you follow the law really prevent you from detering illegal immigration. a classic example of how that would work is in 2005 we had a flow of illegal immigrants coming in from brazil. so we had over 30,000 brazilians
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coming in 2005 and secretary cherthoff apprehended, called the texas hold them. held them in detention until their case could be adjudicated and returned them. and the following year, less than 2,000 came in here. his goal was to reduce if not stop the flow as opposed to -- right now, you are forced to apprehend, process and disburse and that is a huge thing for illegal immigration. i want to discuss this during this committee and those are the types of authorities i want to provide you as secretary of homeland security so you can fulfill your mission of providing greater security for our homeland. i turn it over to senator mccaskill.
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senator: i would like to talk .h.s. budget policy in two important areas and one as it relates to border patrol staffing. i am concerned about border patrol staffing. i think the men and women of the border patrol do an amazing job. i think they are brave, courageous and hard-working and it is national law enforcement week and it is important to recognize the men and women who protect us. when you look at the staffing along the border, the diagram of the staffing, it has been on a downward trajectory since president trump took office. in september of 2016, there were border
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and in april of 2018 it's actually down 500, 400 and some staff. and that is in spite of the fact that there is an authorization for many more as you are painfully aware of, i'm sure. have an authorization for 21,370. we are hundreds and hundreds lower than we were when president trump took office and we are many more under for what are authorized. and we keep debating additional authorizations as if that is somehow going to solve the problem. and we talked about this in various hearings and i know everyone wants to point it to the polygraph but doesn't seem to me that is the only reason. you can't keep up with attrition and we have some outrageous
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contracts for recruitment -- one of the things i want to talk about today, are we missing the boat here in terms of improving pay and working conditions? i mean many times people leave a job because they don't feel that they are getting adequate pay or they're not being asked to perform in ideal working conditions and i know it's impossible to make this ideal because in law enforcement, you have to take what comes. but there's a real problem that clearly we are not getting at and i want to talk about that today. the other thing i want to talk about is the difference between border patrol agents and officers. and i don't think most americans understand that we use those terms and for most people they think that is the same thing. i don't know how that happened and i don't know how we named them that way because it is terrible misleading. the officers are at the port of
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entry and the agents are at the border. unlike the border patrol agents, we are not authorizing significantly new officers, even though it is very clear in a report i released from the minority staff of this committee analyzing what is happening, we found that 88% of all the opioids seized over the past five years were seized at the ports of entry. 90% of what is being seized is happening with our border patrol officers at ports, not along the border, not in the desert or along the river, not what has been described by people in this administration that this is a problem with people trying to enter illegally with drugs, this is coming in through the ports. in two fentanyl seizures fronts are in the ports and mail
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facilities. and you are understaffed. these are the two areas i want to talk about where your staffing demands are clearly not being met and we have to figure out this problem. people can give speeches and talk about -- we have to turn back illegal immigrants and too many illegal immigrants coming across and no one is disagreeing with wanting to secure the border, but when you can't hire the people you need and the people you are hiring are leaving quickly, there is more than a fundamental problem here. and i would like to get to the bottom of that today and i ask that my written statement be made part of the record. senator johnson: without objection. it is the tradition of this committee to swear in witnesses. if you could stand and raise your hand.
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sk nielsen is the sixth secretary of the department of homeland security and former d.h.s. employee. prior to joining the department, she served as the deputy white house chief of staff. and served as deputy to chief of staff john kelly. she was a special assistant to the president and senior director from 2004 to 2007 and holds a bachelor degree and j.d. from the jufert of virginia school of law. secretary nielsen. secretary nielsen: good afternoon. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today and i would like if i could to submit my full written testimony for the record.
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senator johnson: without objection. secretary nielsen: we greatly appreciate your advancing the d.h.s. authorization bill this year. we have not been re-authorized since our creation 15 years ago. this results in critical gaps that affects our ability to protect the american people. and i thank you in general for being strong supporters of d.h.s. and listening to our analysis of emerging threats and what we need to do to do our job. the threats have evolved, our enemies have adapted and our adversaries are resurgent. our authorities have not kept pace. so today i want to highlight several years where d.h.s. requests your support to secure our country including achieving border security and closing immigration loopholes, transforming our cyber agency, authorizing and countering weapons of mass destruction office, providing authorities to help us counter unmanned aerial
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systems and supporting the president's 2019 budget request. first and foremost, border security is national security. and while we have made vast improvements, we do face a crisis. we see unacceptable levels of illegal drugs, criminal gangs and illegal activity flow across our southern border. we deployed the national guard and this should look at the stats. our officers apprehended 200,000 people and interdicting drugs that likely would have gone undetected. at the same time, my message to smugglers traffickers and criminals are clear, if you try to enter our country without authorization, you have broken the law. the attorney general has said we will have zero tolerance and i stand by that. anyone crossing the border
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illegally will be detained, referred for criminal prosecution and removed from the united states as appropriate. but our national guard deployment zero tolerance policy, border wall construction will only get us part way there. we need congress to pass legislation to close the legal loopholes that are fueling this crisis. it is easier to get relief into america if they claim asylum and if they are part of a family or unkpped children. we are seeing a spike in all of these categories. word is getting out. asylum claims are up 200%, family unit apprehensions are up 600% and u.a.c. apprehensions are up more than 300%. five years ago, apprehensions of families were one out of 10 apprehensions, now they are
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almost half, 40%. some increases are the result of spreading crime. but in those places, we are actually seeing economic growth and lower homicide rates. the reality is that their economies are cratering. the reality is not that their economy -- america is the land of opportunity. and that is a factor for anyone. but if we have a legal system of immigration for those who want to come here for economic reasons, they should do so legally. asylum is those leaving persecution. the court rulings and gaping loopholes allows illegals to come into our country any way. this gaming of the system is unacceptable. we need urgent action from congress to close these dangerous loopholes that are making our country vulnerable.
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i would also note and it's important, i try to say this at every opportunity, that the journey itself to our borders is risky and endanger the illegal aliens and the agents at the border and u.s. communities and our homeland. to be clear, human smuggling operations are lining the pockets of transnational criminals. they are not humanitarian endeavors. smugglers prioritize profits over people and when aliens pay them to get here, they are contributing $500 million or more to groups that are fueling instability in america. there are other options, if there is a legitimate need to flee, they should seek protection in the country they enter including mexico and not subject themselves to a long and dangerous journey. this is not and should not be a political or partisan issue and i hope we can discuss real
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solutions today. the past four presidents have asked congress to act on this security challenge but this administration is tired of waiting. in the meantime we are doing everything in our authorities to secure the border and enforce our laws. turning to the cyber domain, i make clear that we reached a turning point where digital security is converging with personal and physical security. cybersecurity can no longer be relegated to the i.t. department. now it is a matter of preserving our lives, our livelihoods and american way of life. one of the most critical parts of the d.h.s. authorization bill is evolution of our cybersecurity mission. transforming the national protections division into a new operational component, the cyber security and infrastructure security agency is imperative on the front lines of the digital
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battlefield. it will be a focal point for our industry and international partners and help d.h.s. to recruit and retain employees and will clarify d.h.s.'s role as ational risk mamminger for cybersecurity. i ask and thank for the committee's continued support. i also want to take this opportunity to mention the department of homeland security strategy that is being rolled out today. it is on the concept of mitigating systemic risk and strengthening defense and will defense networks in the private sector in increasing the security and resilience. i do look forward to discussing that with you further today. i'm seeking your support to confront another category of evolving threats. weapons of mass destruction. from the chemical attacks in syria to russian attempts against a u.k. detector, we have
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seen the damage and we know terrorists are not only using them on the battlefield but working them to incorporate them in. december i announced the countering weapons of mass destruction office which is leading a response to these incidents. but the office still lacks critical authority. while we have the ability to respond to nuclear threats, we lack comparable authority for chemical and biological threats. i ask this committee and all of congress to work with me to permanently authorize this office and equalize the authorities that we possess across all threat vectors. our enemies are exploring other technology such as drones to put our country in danger. they have struck in syria and will try the same tactics on our soil. we have seen drones used to smuggle drugs and conduct
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surveillance. so today i would like to thank chairman johnson and ranking member mccaskill for responding to our requests in introducing a bill to help d.h.s. counter the growing threats posed. we need to identify, track and mitigate drones that could pose a danger to the public. our proposal and your bill would authorize d.h.s. and the department of justice to conduct limited counter u.a.f. operations on important and prioritized missions, all the while protecting privacy and civil liberties. we are debateful for your leadership and look forward to working with you as the legislation goes forward. i would like to ask support for the 2019 budget, and that is discretionary funding and
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disaster relief fund for response and recovery to major disasters. this sustains our critical programs and capabilities and emphasizes our nation from countering threats, securing and managing our borders, preserving and upholding the prosperity and economic security, securing critical infrastructure and securing homeland security preparedness and resilience. the budget prioritizes my goal of putting our dedicated employees first and ensuring d.h.s. operations. i ask you to continue supporting our employees and missions and help our country more secure. i thank you for your time. senator johnson: before i turn the questioning over to senator mccaskill and i would like to put up a couple of charts. the reason i'm doing this is to make the point that regardless of what a particular law says,
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we within our laws, legal hoop holes create incentives for people to come to this country. take a look at the number of children coming in here from central america in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. and in 2012 and see what happened afterwards. i don't have the figures, but i think we are on face for an increase again over 2017. years chart has 5 1/2 of apprehension history at the porder and again, nothing's definitive, this isn't scientific but pretty indicative when president trump came into office dedicated to securing our
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border and secretary kelly said all the right things in terms of being dedicated and giving i.c.e. the authority to enforce the law, there was a dramatic drop in apprehensions which indicates the number of people coming in illegally. the reality of what our laws are has gone into the fabric of peoples' consciousness and people realize they go up to the border and unaccompanied child and only returned 3%. and you still have the issue of people walking up claiming incredible fear and going the through a similar type of process. so that's the reality of our law. and so a deterrent factor worked for about a year but until we change those laws, we will have
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a tough time. i turn it over to senator mccaskill. senator mccaskill: i wouldn't alled the them illegal immigrants. i think apprehension is a weird word to use. senator johnson: that is my point. senator mccaskill: daca was wiped off the books by this administration in march of this year. and since march, the number of people coming across the border has increased, not decreased. so daca is gone. it is no longer the law and we went from having 36,000 people apprehended at the border in february, to 50,000 in march and then almost 51,000 in april. if daca was the magic thing that is causing this, seems to me we
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would see -- and by the way, daca doesn't apply to these kids. none of them are qualified for daca. none of them. i think we have problems securing our borders and i don't want to argue about that because we all agree we have to secure our borders. i want to focus on this opening statement. you talked about drugs at the southern border. 90% of the opioids that are being seized are being seized at the ports of entry? secretary nielsen: yes. the majority of drugs that we seize -- enator mccaskill: 85% of the fentanyl, which is killing all of our constituents every day, 85% of it is coming in through the ports, not across the southern border. so whenever this talking point it's the people coming across the southern border bringing the
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drugs it's like fingernails on a black board and it's not accurate. there have been zero requests for additional port officers. zero, this year or last year, to be used at these critical places. you did ask for 60 but it was all for a training center not for actual deployment into these ports and according to your own staffing, your own staffing studies, you are short by over 4,000 officers at these ports. our citizens are dying from fentanyl every day. our emergency rooms are overloaded. there isn't a week that goes by that i don't talk to a parent in missouri who has lost a child to fentanyl overdoses coming in in this manner. can you explain why we are continuing to ask for more agents along the border when we can't hire enough, but there's
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no request for this critical need in our country? secretary nielsen: yes, senator, i would like to say it is a huge problem and one that we take seriously, the full administration. let me give you a short answer and long answer. the short answer it's not just the people at the ports. what we have done is we have asked tore additional technology. we have now trained k-9's to actually find the drugs. what we find is far, far and away the best way to detect the drugs coming through the ports is through increased technology and k-9's and we continue to ask for additional resources. we have taken the approach to push the borders out rather than waiting for the drugs to come here, we are working in a forward did deployed fashion through what we have in key west which is a multi 20, 30 country
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effort to identify and track the drugs before they reach our shores or the ports of entry. you mentioned in your opening remarks the vast increase in mail. we thank you for the interdict act and we need to do more there, because that is the ownership way fentanyl is getting in. what are all the different interdiction points that can best after this. from are our cyber capabilities within i.c.e. and secret service. we increased our capability to track them down and track them to their source and turn off not only their market but the ability to get the drugs. yes, we have to continue to do more but do it in a layered approach. senator mccaskill: is there an answer why there was zero requests for additional port officers when you have 4,000
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under your staffing model and 750 additional agents requested along the southern border even though you can't even fill or the attrition you are having now? is there a good reason why there would be a dichotomy? ? . secretary nielsen: happy to have folks come and look at the model. what we tend to see is the drugs themselves will be smuggled through the ports of entry. again, we used the technology and k-9's. but the people, the actual t.c.o. members that will sell the drugs come in between the ports of entry because they know if they come in at the port of entry they'll be stopped. we need to stop the people and the drugs. but in terms of the staffing model you're discussing, i'm happy to come talk to you in detail. senator mccaskill: yeah. it doesn't -- if you look at your staffing at the united states in terms of mail
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facilities, it's even worse. i mean, you got 17 officers covering two shifts in cincinnati. screening almost 46 million import shipments in one year. that's just overwhelming. i just think somebody's got to get off the political speeches and get to the problem and be pragmatic. you know, all of us want to support what you need along the border, but this notion that if we can just say, look over here, look over here, it's all about people coming across the border and totally ignore the biggest public health crisis this country has ever faced by not adequately staffing the places where the drugs are coming in is just heartbreaking to me. secretary nielsen: i am not saying that. what i'm suggesting what we find is the best way to identify those drugs is through technology and k-9's and that's what we're increasing. senator mccaskill: you have to have -- every dog needs a handler. in fact, more than one handler.
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secretary nielsen: so, again, happy to walk you through but i do want to make clear we're attacking the opioid crisis from many levels with many capabilities. senator mccaskill: i have questions about the air marshalls but i'll hold those until the next round. senator johnson: senator hoeven. senator hoeven: thank you, chairman johnson. thank you, secretary, for being here today and for the important work that you're doing every day. i'm going to follow up on some of the things we talked about at our d.h.s. appropriation hearing which you were at recently. i'm pleased to co-sponsor legislation with this committee's leadership that will give you authorities at d.h.s. in regard to addressing some of the challenges with making sure that in our airspace we manage the u.a.s., unmanned aerial vehicles and systems, adequately not only to protect privacy but security. that's very important work. and my first question, while
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we're working with you to provide those authorities to track and disable threatening unmanned aircraft, and as you develop these counter-u.s.a. capabilities, do you have a plan in place -- u.a.s. capabilities, do you have a plan in place to get them validated by the department so you can use them in this effort? and how will you go about testing and evaluating counter-u.a.s. technologies? secretary nielsen: thank you. so we've learned quite a few lessons from the department of defense which is, you know, has this authority already and uses it in theater. so we're looking at their testing models. the approach would absolutely be to go to the private sector. it often is at d.h.s. it doesn't make sense to reen vent the wheel if -- reinvent the wheel if something exists. we need towns what we need to -- we need to understand what we need to do. there are centers of excellence.
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particularly, as though in your state. we're doing work there from the university, everything from intern programs to other capability, building exercises to help get both the people and the technology. senator hoeven: so you hit the nail on the head there. that's where i was going. we are working with you to get to see what we're doing in counter-u.a.s., not only from the military standpoint but customs and border protection as well as the private sector. as you develop that plan we think we can be helpful and leveraging some of the technology development for d.h.s. when secretary mattis was in front of other defense appropriations committee, we talked in terms of the military. in the same way they're both seeking authority and developing some of these counter-u.a.s. technologies. we think it will be helpful. secretary nielsen: thank you, again, for the bill.
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you have an incredible ops center in california that is managing your unmanned aircraft along the border. so i guess my question is, does air and marine -- that air and marine operations center have sufficient capacity to handle all these far-flung u.a.s. activities? do you have backup? both capacity and backup? that's another, i guess, area that i know you're going to continue to develop and grow. how's that going? can we be of help there? secretary nielsen: yes, thank you. so as you say, the ops center in california allows us to deploy, to understand, and track where we are using and to help us with a model for when we need to use them, where we need to use them. we are frying to use a task force approach effort so we borrow help, if you will, from other parts of d.h.s. that either have the technical
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capability to fly and to have the flight hours to use the u.a.s. but also in terms of their models. as you know, we use u.a.s. on the border but we also use them for disaster response, to understand what it looked like before the hurricane, what it looked like after to determine public assistance. so there's quite a few areas within d.h.s. to use it. we'll continue to use this center. as you mentioned, redundancy. what we are looking at in addition to the underlying capability is we make sure we have the redundancy, that is the next phase we are in. senator hoeven: actually, i and the ommend you commissioner with customs and border protection for creating the association at grand forks which provides jobs for young people that are getting their training in aviation at the
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university of north dakota. not only does c.b.p. get a great young person and of course they need demand power, as we talked about, it helps them get an education because they're working for c.b.p. great program. it helps with the pilot short in the aviation industry, both manned and unmanned. i want to commend you for that. then i want to switch gears for a minute and ask about, for, you know, when you do detain, apprehend, unaccompanied children coming across the border, as well as others, what are you trying to do to address the adjudication process which is a bottle neck in terms of trying to address this issue? i know you're short there. what can you do and what are you doing in order to try to adjudicate these individuals? secretary nielsen: so as i continue to find out every day, our immigration process is very
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complex. as you well know. it involves many, many departments. what we tried to do is look at it from an end-to-end approach. in the example you just gave, there are three or four different processes that those groups would undertake. in some cases we need additional immigration judges. d.o.d. is working on that. in some cases we need additional processes and agreements as part of the interagency process. others. rking with we hand them over to the marshals. we want to make sure that's a process that works. and alternative detention. as you know, rather than detaining them, we will have check-ins. in some cases ankle brace lets but other ways to -- bracelets but other ways to have them detained as they're awaiting their removal. senator hoeven: is it working? secretary nielsen: it's working.
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we do it on a case-by-case basis. there is criteria we look at to determine when it's appropriate. the opening remarks the chairman made, if you look at u.a.c.'s, 66% of those who receive the final orders receive the final orders primarily because they didn't show up for court. we find we're able to remove 3.5% of those who should be removed, who a judge said has a -- so if we can track them, it's a much more efficient process while we wait for the final adjudication. senator hoeven: thank you, madam secretary. thanks for the work you're doing. i know it's challenging work. we appreciate it. thank you, mr. chairman. senator johnson: senator carper. senator carper: again, secretary nielsen, welcome. thank you for joining us. secretary nielsen: thank you, sir. senator carper: we have a couple of recovering governors on this panel and i still think like one. i do customer calls in my state. i visit businesses, large and small, throughout the year.
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and a governor i visited yesterday, fairly large. financial services company in the northern part of our state. last week i was in the southern part of our state where we do a lot of agriculture. i don't care where i go, i hear employers, large and small, talk about how difficult it is to find people who will come to work and actually do a job. i don't care if it's landscaping. i don't care if it's food processing. i don't care if it's someone working in financial services. they are having a hard time come to pass drug tests, have skills, who will come to work. you and i talked a bit about how to address at least part of this challenge. we talked -- in fact, i led a letter a couple dozen senators who wrote to you and urged you to use the authority that we granted in the spending bill for the balance of this fiscal year to go ahead and issue additional h-2-b visas. i think you have -- you're
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basically -- legislation we passed, we authorized doubling of that cap to maybe another 169,000. i guess my question, it's not going to solve all our problems for all the employers, as you know. you have this authority. we lear literally this week from -- we hear literally this week from companies they are afraid they'll lose their business because they have seasonal jobs. what's the timeline for visas? al h-2-b how many visas does the department plan to release? secretary nielsen: thank you, sir. it's in final interagency process. it involves regulation so the regulation should be ready here shortly and the -- senator carper: i don't mean to be rude. i don't mean to interrupt you. that's not good enough. these companies, they are highly seasonal. they need the folks now. they needed them a month ago.
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to say that -- whenever i talk to you about this, we are working this, working through the process. they need the workers now. secretary nielsen: i understand. senator carper: if they were here they would tell you. secretary nielsen: everyone i talked to i asked to give me examples so i could package it and send it back to congress and say, please put -- next year, please put this in law. senator carper: we gave you the number to double the number of visas. this administration is not reluctant about using executive power. secretary nielsen: if you are wanting to help the companies, which i know you are, the best thing we can do is give them stability and predictability. putting them into a situation each year where we wait on the appropriations cycle and we wait on whichever secretary is secretary to make a determination does not give them the ability to plan and keep their businesses open. so i would respectfully request, again, that congress work with us to put this in law. we know it's a need.
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let's just put it in law and then everybody knows what it is and the businesses can plan. senator carper: we put it in law. we said there are 69,000 visas that could be issued. now additional visas. all you have to do is do it. there is plenty of need. there's plenty of need. secretary nielsen: sir, if you wanted 69,000 additional put it in law and then there is no discretion and timing. everyone can plan to it. senator carper: that's a very disappointing -- secretary nielsen: well, it shouldn't be. i think we both want to help the companies. i'm telling you in my experience, this is the best way to help them is give them predictibility and -- senator carper: pardon me, if our roles were different and you were the senate and i was the secretary of the department, we would issue those 69,000 visas. we would put a lot of people to work and save a lot of businesses going under. let me ask my second question. thank you. the decision to extend or terminate t.p.s. lies with the secretary of homeland security, as you know. in consultation with the state
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department, elaine duke declined honduras four months ago in november. did you speak to her prior to terminating t.p.s. with honor doneas or our former ambassador to honduras? secretary nielsen: at the time before ambassador neiland and then deputy secretary duke left, yes, i did talk with them. senator carper: can you give us some idea what was said? secretary nielsen: no, i cannot, sir. those are conversations. senator carper: secretary kelly said on n.p.r., we should fold all the t.p.s. people who have been here for a considerable period of time and find a way for them to -- a path to citizenship. those are his words. from last week. do you agree with general kelly's remarks? secretary nielsen: i have said the same under oath. senator carper: we talked in
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this room oftentimes about root causes. why people come here from honduras, guatemala, el salvador. they come here because their lives are not just difficult, their lives in many cases are horrendous. we contribute directly to that. the last administration there was a fair amount of discussion about root causes. we put in place, congress passed the lives for prosperity. sort of like a central american know, plan ou colombia. plan colombia has taken a long time, 20 years, but over time it's been very successful. what's going on with the lives pour prosperity and how are we doing there? secretary nielsen: the state department is distributing funds. you know, it's a state department program. what we are doing at d.h.s. is we worked in conjunction with state and the government of mexico, spain, canada, others last year to host a conference with the northern triangle to talk about this issue and talk
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about how to increase their prosperity in addition to security. we planned to host such a conference again next month. senator carper: when and where? secretary nielsen: in d.c. we don't have the exact date because it will be around the organization of american states. so it's a bit up to them as to which date works. so we're still finalizing a date. but we are working on some interesting programs to help in the same way. one that i have found to be very interesting is one with el salvador where it's a microcompetition and the company who wins receives about $27,000, equivalent, which is the amount they would pay a smuggler to come to the united states. so it allows them to stay in country and open up a business. so we are working on creative ways to try to help. i agree with you. we have to help the countries as well with the push and pull factors and, of course, as you and i have talked about before, we have to increase our overall drug demand here so we don't have that pull factor. senator carper: as they say at home depot, you can do it, we can help. they can do it, we have an obligation, i think, a moral
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obligation to help. thank you. senator johnson: senator hasen. senator hasen: thank you, ranking member chair. thank you, ranking member mccaskill. thank you, secretary, for coming before the committee. i traveled to the u.s. southern border to talk to port officers and i.c.e. detention officers. we know people are dying on both sides of the border as a result of the drug cartels drug narcotic trafficking efforts. drug overdoses killed more than 60,000 americans. while in 2017, mects could he hit a record of nearly 30,000 homicides. the vast majority of which resulted from the drug trade violence. these numbers go hand in hand. the drug cartels use violence and money to dominate their smuggling routes killing many innocent mexicans and mige rants. the cartels' success means more and more drugs make their way into the united states. where americans are dying from overdoses at unprecedented
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rates. i was impressed by my visits to el paso and mcallen, texas, to see the robust screening effort conducted by c.b.p. of incoming traffic from mexico. in el paso just before i arrived, they had seized 25 pounds of cocaine because we have vigilant, excellent c.b.p. port officers, as i know you know. however, stopping the drug cartels is not solely a matter of securing traffic coming into the united states. we have to attack the cartels' business model. that means stopping the flow of both drug money and weapons that travel southbound into mexico from the united states. unfortunately, as i saw on my trip, our saab screening effort for traffic leaving the u.s. from mexico pails in comparison to -- pales in comparison. we are in a system that our officers referred to as pulse and search. so intermittent checking of southbound traffic. we were told they need expanded
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facilities, more personnel and updated technology in order to try to strengthen our ability to stop the flow of guns and money back into the cart tells' hands. so are you -- cartels' hands. so are you ok with the southbound inspections? secretary nielsen: no. senator hassan: what do you need and what actions will you take to address the shortfalls? secretary nielsen: the ports are very different. the infrastructure. part of what we're doing, i had multiple conversations with the government of mexico on this exact issue. i committed to them that we will decrease the flow of guns and money headed their direction. but part of it is an agreement with them how we can restructure the ports so we have the secondary leans so we can pull people over we suspect. so we're doing more. we're working on agreements back and forth and then we're working on some modeling and data that would lead us to a resource request that would come to you. senator hassan: that would be excellent. as we heard from our wonderful subject matters at the border
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is we need more people. that's what you echo what you heard from senator mccaskill. we need more people at the ports of entry. we need them southbound as well as northbound. the second leans of traffic and the like. i look forward to working with you on that. i also wanted to touch on another issue that we heard about on the border. as you know last year, congress passed the interdict act which requires d.h.s. to increase the number of fentanyl screening devices available to c.b.p. officers. the officers have faced a shortage of these devices which are essential to identifying correctly fentanyl and other drugs as well as keeping c.b.p. officers safe from these toxic chemicals. despite the passage of the interdict act, the poor personnel i spoke with made clear the devices are in short supply. when i spoke to them about the interdict act, legislation,
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they were encouraged about the more devices headed their way but they have clearly not received the benefits that we ended when we passed this bill and when the president signed it into law. that was i think in december. so why aren't the devices getting in the hands of these port officers? what accounts for the delay? what are plans to get more devices there? secretary nielsen: first of all, that's unacceptable. you have my commitment to look into it and get back to you this week. i am not aware they don't have the devices. they need to be trained. they need the protective gear to, as you know, touch packages. also they need the devices. senator hassan: you know, i swan of the devices. the issue is they don't have enough for them to be used and i think our intent was to get -- secretary nielsen: absolutely. senator hassan: technology to our personnel as quickly as we could. then, another issue that came up, because i went from the border then down to mexico city. in my meetings with u.s. embassy personnel in mexico city and with key mexican government officials, we
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discussed how mexico has to significantly grow its federal police force if it's going to have success against the drug cartels. while the mexican government has to find the resources and the will to expand the federal police force, the united states can certainly play a key role in helping to train and professionalize the police force. in a meeting with the national security commissioner, solis, i conveyed how every law enforcement officer in new hampshire attends the same facility in order to standardize and professionalize their training. i ensured how d.h.s. runs the federal law enforcement training center to have training for over 90 federal law enforcement units. has d.h.s. considered working with its mexican counterparts to help provide trainings to mexican federal law enforcement? secretary nielsen: absolutely. we actually do. we graduated some already from trake facilities. we're continuing to expand that. we also work with parts of the military as you know play a
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huge role. we've done a lot of training with them. we do a lot of joint operations back and forth across the border. yes, this would be a priority for us. senator hassan when you say a lot of joint -- senator hassan: when you say a lot of joint training, can they come over and train? secretary nielsen: we do offer courses for mexican counterparts. yes, ma'am, i'll get you the locations. . 's a d.h.s.-owned facility senator hassan: ok. i'm happy to yield. senator johnson: senator harris. senator harris: i'm concerned about the administration's repeated attacks on some of the most vulnerable communities and in particular children and pregnant women. as it we lates to the work of -- relates to the work of d.h.s. in particular, under your leadership, d.h.s. has recrended the daca program and predating your arrival as secretary. d.h.s. has rescinded the daca program, putting 700,000 young
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people at risk of deportation. it has separated 700 children from their parents at the border since october, 2017, including more than 100 children who are under the age of 4. the agency has released a directive that allows for more detention of pregnant women to immigrant detention facilities. the agency has instituted a new information sharing system between the office of refugee settlement and i.c.e. that will have a chilling effect on sponsors who would otherwise be willing to come forward to provide care for unaccompanied minors and instead allowing those children to remain in detention. the agency hags increased enforcement action -- has increased enforcement action that has left some children in the child welfare system. then just last wednesday "the washington post" reported that you are considering undermining the flores agreement, an agreement that ensures
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standards of care for immigrant children such as the provision of meals and recreation. and that they are placed in a least restrictive setting as possible. in the course of carrying out these actions, the administration has routinely provided misleading information to this committee and has even gone so far to claim separating families are carried out in the best interest of the child. which many consider to be cruel. so my question to you is, last thursday, when "the new york times" reported the president has directed you to separate parents from children when they cross into the united states as a way to deter illegal immigration, is that correct? have you been directed to separate parents from children as a method of deterrence of undocumented immigration? secretary nielsen: i have not been directed to do that for purposes of deterrence, no. senator harris: what purpose
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has you been given for separating parents from their children? secretary nielsen: so my decision has been, anyone who breaks the law will be prosecuted. if you're a parent or you're a single person or you happen to have a family, if you cross between the ports of entry, we will refer you for prosecution. you have broken u.s. law. senator harris: at an april 26 hearing, i asked undersecretary james mckamitt how many cases exist in your agency where a child has been separated from a parent or guardian since october, 2017. wherein the case resulted in trfing charges. i have not been -- trafficking charges. i have not been given that information? secretary nielsen: i do not have that but i will give it to you. senator harris: can you give it to us by the end of next week? secretary nielsen: if i have it, yes. senator harris: what training and procedures has been given to c.b.p. officers as it relates how they are instructed to carry out separation, do you have that?
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secretary nielsen: no, you have not asked for it -- can you explain a little more what you're looking for? senator harris: your agency will be separating children from their parents and -- secretary nielsen: no. what we'll be doing is prosecuting parents who have broken the law just as we do every day in the united states of america. senator harris: i can appreciate that but if that parent has a 4-year-old child, what do you plan on doing with that child? secretary nielsen: the child under law goes to h.h.s. for care and custody. senator harris: they will be separated? secretary nielsen: just as they do in the united states every day. senator harris: so they are separated from their parent. my question is, when you are separating children from their parents, do you have a protocol in place about how that should be done? and are you training the people who will actually remove a child from their parent on how to do that in the least traumatic way? i would hope you do train on how to do that. so the question is and the request has been to give us the
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information about how you are training and what the protocols are for separating a child from their parent. secretary nielsen: happy to provide you with the training information. senator harris: thank you. and what steps are being taken, if you can tell me, to ensure once separated, parent and child, that there will be an opportunity to at least sustain communication between the parent and their child? secretary nielsen: as children are at h.h.s., but i am happy to work with h.h.s. to get you an answer for that. senator harris: i would like it to be broken down what you're doing for children over the age of 4 or and children under the age of 4. on may 4, the president of the american academy of pediatrics issued a statement, on behalf of the organization, stating that he is appalled by a new policy by the d.h.s. that will forcibly separate children from their parents. he went on to talk about, they will create stressful experiences like family separation, which can cause irreparable harm, disrupting a
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child's brain architecture, affecting his or her short and long-term health. and these findings are generally shared by the american medical association and many child welfare advocates and professionals. last tuesday, before senate appropriations, you testified that you are, quote, working with the community to understand the science as it elates to the impact of such separation. do you dispute that separating a child from their parent will create and cause trauma for that child? secretary nielsen: i believe the question that was asked to me, if i was aware of the information, and what i said is i would be happy to look into the studies. again, we do not have a policy to separate children from their parents. our policy is, if you break the law, we will prosecute you. you have an option to go to a port of entry and not illegally cross into our country. senator harris: secretary nielsen, we do have a policy in this country. as a general matter in the justice system, that if someone
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breaks the law they will be prosecuted. we also have protocols about what is allowable and not in connection with an arrest. in connection with detention and a jail. in connection with how many hours or days with which we can bring charges or not. to suggest the only law in this country relates to what you do at the end is really misleading. secretary nielsen: but that's not what i just said, ma'am. if you're asking if we train and we take care of them and we work with h.h.s. we now have a memorandum of agreement so we can make sure that the children go to people who are actually family members and who are not traffickers and who won't abuse them. senator harris: great. those are the policies i'd like to see. secretary nielsen: ok. senator johnson: before i go to senator lankford, i think it's a good time, senator daines, you showed up, explain a little bit more. when you say we do this every -- you know, prosecutors, law enforcement, local law enforcement, does this every day. so let's consider maybe a drug
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dealer or single parent with children in the home. that drug dealer is arrested. is there any difference really in terms of how d.h.s. handles some -- someone you will prosecute, detain, someone who has entered through the port -- other than the ports of entry, is there any difference in terms of how d.h.s. would handle that situation, those children than what local law enforcement, other than different jurisdictions have different rules? secretary nielsen: broadly speaking, not to my knowledge. the idea here is to make sure that the now unaccompanied children or the children whose parent is incarcerated because they broke a law are cared for. we transfer those to h.h.s. as i just mentioned, we have now worked on a memorandum of agreement to ensure those children are not been in turn placed in the hands of traffickers, criminals, etc. senator johnson: again, i want to underscore it, this applies to family units of parents that crosses illegally between the
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ports of entry if they claim asylum, those family units are kept together because we have a policy for that? secretary nielsen: in current policy, yes. senator johnson: senator daines. senator daines: secretary nielsen, it's good to see you again. thank you for your service to secure our homeland. i am thankful for the leadership you are showing in terms of deploying national guard resources to secure our borders, building the first border wall in 10 years. establishing a national vetting process to better target those with criminal intent who seek to enter this country. as a father of four children myself, i sleep better knowing you are leading in securing our homeland. thank you. i want to switch gears to talk about flooding in my home state of montreal. we had -- state of montana. we had a tremendous snowpack. as a fly-fisherman, i can't wait. until the rivers blow out. to get on the rivers. in the meantime, we have
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flooding in montana. we're facing severe flooding due to rapidly melting snowpack in our mountains, combined with some recent heavy rainfall. surging rivers affect our communities across our state, forcing families from homes, schools, businesses, roadways are closing. in fact, montana has declared a statewide flooding emergency. and mobilized state resources but more flooding is yet to come. federal aid is going to be needed. how is d.h.s. assisting those affected communities in montana now? how can your department provide support in the coming months as we deal with additional flooding as well as, believe it or not, the upcoming wildfire season? secretary nielsen: yes, i can't believe we're there again already. so what we're doing at fema is we're trying to increase capability and capacity towards resilience. so in part that means we're using integrated management teams. we're pushing people out into
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communities to help them build their capacity for instant management. we have conducted various reviews on alert and warning. we're reviewing the equipment needs and requirements. and then as you know, in certain cases, once the thresholds of the stafford act are met, under a national disaster, there are funds available from the disaster relief fund. so it's a combination of on the ground, capacity building exercises, etc., and then funding, of course, when the thresholds are met. daines daines thank you. i know -- senator daines: thank you. i know we will be in touch with your team as we, excuse the metaphor, navigate through the difficult times in montana. i want to switch gears and talk about the national guard in the southwest border. as you point out in your testimony, there is probably no issue more important for d.h.s. right now than border security and immigration. according to c.b.p. southwest border migration numbers for april, the number of illegal border crossers, more than
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frippled in april of 20 -- tripled in april of 2018 compared to april, 2017. secure our borders are crucial to protecting the american people and upholding the rule of law. i'm glad to hear response to the questions. it's about the rule of law. it's what sets this great nation apart, freedom and the rule of law. you're doing an admirable job. i know you and your work force are helping. i know president trump called for the deployment of national guard to enhance c.b.p. capacities at our southwest border. my question for you, what further steps will be taken by the administration to mitigate illegal activity at the border? secretary nielsen: many things, as much as we can do within the law. so we're changing regs to the extent we can to clarify particular issues.
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doing all this in protection. we're working with the board of governors. as you know i had lots of conversations. governor abbott, governor brown, not just on the national guard but what we can do with border communities, border this was to make sure when we identify criminal aliens that we can apprehend them and remove them. we also are working through some pilot projection with mexico on ways that we can prevent the flows that do not have a legitimate claim to come to this country. i encourage all migrants if they have a need to flee to seek shelter in the first safe country they encounter. we will do all we can on our side. senator daines: thank you. the issue of children came up in the last line of
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questioning. i want frobe that with you a little bit. i introduced leg with senator hassan, the homeland security for children act. which would simply ensure d.h.s. includes input from organizations representing the needs of children when soliciting stakeholder feedback and developing policies. my question is, do you believe it's important to identify and integrate needs of children into the policies and activities of the department? secretary nielsen: i think it is our duty to protect them. to keep them in a safe environment. to provide for them when they're in our care. and to make sure within that 48-hour period when we transfer them to h.h.s. that we do all we can to help h.h.s. then take care of the children, yes, i do. senator daines: one of the things we've seen is to make sure the necessary steps are in place so children are kept safe during emergencies. we think about preparedness. sometimes we don't always remember in the policies of
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importance of children and thinking about their unique needs. lastly, want to talk about border wall contractors. a number of state and local governments are considering legislation that would require them to discriminate against companies involved in the design or construction of any extension of the wall. cities are providing contractors supporting federal immigration priorities. this type of legislation could obstruct the federal government's lawful functions and cause private companies contracted with the federal government to hesitate in fulfilling the critical roles asked of them. my question is, what position is the department on this issue and how do you plan to respond? secretary nielsen: sir, we continue to work with border governors and government officials. you know, i would just say border security is the most basic and necessary requirement of a country to protect its itizens so i do worry that the
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intended or unintended consequence of this is the federal government can't do its most basic duty to protect its citizens. but we're trying to work with them to explain and find out what the real concern is. because it's not always clear on its face what the concern is other than don't agree with us enforcing the law. senator daines: thank you, secretary nielsen. senator johnson: senator mccaskill has a question for you. senator mccaskill: i want to clarify something. the chairman wanted to equate the process by which children are separated from their parents. to a similar process when someone is arrested in -- let's just take a community where i was the elected prosecutor for years. when a child is left without a parent because of breaking the law in the state system, the police handed over to the social service agency who has primary responsibility ongoing through social workers, placement, a child abuse
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hotline, there are always in contact with the state authorities until there is some kind of perm nancy to their legal situation. let's compare and contrast what happens with d.h.s. d.h.s. keeps the children maybe 48 hours. hands off to h.h.s. h.h.s. then tries to put them somewhere. and very, very, very few even household visits for sponsors. then they're done. after they find a sponsor. there is no handing off to the state social service agencies. that's why nobody's showing up for the hearings, secretary. it's because it's not like the state system. i can assure you that if a child was supposed to show up somewhere that was a state's care, phone would ring or the child abuse hotline would ring or a teacher would be required to call in. that's not happening with these kids. that's why they're not coming to court. nobody's paying any attention. so i just couldn't let it pass that we were equating those two systems because having a great deal of experience in one of them, having handled child
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abuse cases for a number of years, nothing is further from the truth. and there is still not a joint concept of operations which was promised to senator portman and i at a hearing in 2016 as to how we are going to alleviate this problem. so once you start taking these children, please, i don't think any records should reflect that somehow we are -- you are confident or anybody is confident that they are being placed in a safe and secure environment and being appropriately managed because, frankly, if they were they would come to their hearings. secretary nielsen: could i just respond to that? senator mccaskill: sure. secretary nielsen: i think the comparison i was trying to make was in the separation of families. it's not something unique we do with illegal aliens when someone has broken the law. senator mccaskill: you have to separate children from families when there is a violation. secretary nielsen: yes, ma'am. having said that, i just want to say, i couldn't agree with your concerns more. period. we are working with h.h.s. we've done this m.o.a.
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i will look into the con-ops. we have readviced it because we are in con-- revised it because we are in conjunction with h.h.s. to make sure they have a custodial relationship and is not a trafficker or an abuser. as you know, we had terrible instances of that occurring. senator mccaskill: terrible. secretary nielsen: it's not acceptable. senator mccaskill: the fact there is no joint concept of operation and we are upping the number of children we're taking from families is outrageous. secretary nielsen: so there is a con-ops. i appreciate that and we'll get it to you. we're updating it because we have an m.o.a. with h.h.s. which requires both of us to share information so we can vet the sponsor who appears to take the child. especially when that sponsor is not a parent. senator mccaskill: they are not being [inaudible] secretary nielsen: that's why we just signed this m.o.a. i couldn't agree more. senator johnson: i would completely agree states can be better than the federal government in just about anything it does. and the point i was making in
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terms of daca --, i mean, i completely understand it doesn't apply to current arrivals but they don't know that. daca was used as a spark. be told once get there they can stay. by the way. they have. 96.5% from central america stayed. they use social media. that's communicated down to central america and more comes. it's that flood into a federal system that's created the crisis. again, the goal of policy ought to be to reduce the flow. like secretary chertoff did in brazil. senator heitkamp. senator heitkamp: i don't think i can let that go without some comment. daca, if you say it was a magnet that pulled people because they are so connected, they certainly are connected enough to know that the program's been terminated. so we know that central america presents a unique problem as it relates to unaccompanied minors because of a law that was passed by the united states
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congress. so the wringing of hands about what is in fact the draw into this country is critically important that we look at this from what is driving the factors below. and you and i have had long conversations about the need to work with the other countries in the region to allow people to refugee in place, to allow people to live with their families in a safe location, somewhere within the region. we're on the verge of having a very anti-american government elected in mexico. it's going to make your job even harder. and so we can talk about why that is. i think we should just recognize it's going to happen. so we have to prepare for a relationship change that we're going to have that's going to create an even greater problem. but we have to be humanitarian
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about how we deal with this. especially as it relates to children. now, we all sat at this dais about a month ago and i think we said we're the worst foster parents in the world. we don't keep track of these kids. and we are begging you, if in fact this is going to be the outcome where we're separating children in some cases infants from their parents, we need to know where these kids are. secretary nielsen: i couldn't agree more. senator heitkamp: that hasn't been -- secretary nielsen: again, in the last administration, there was no m.o.a. to even screen or vet sponsors. i have to put it out there. senator heitkamp: i am not talking about politics here. secretary nielsen: i'm saying what we've done to improve the situation because you're exactly right. we owe more to these children to protect them. i'm saying i agree. we have taken steps and we will continue to strengthen what our partners do to protect these children. they are not in our custody, but i take it upon myself to work with my interagency partners to do this. senator heitkamp: i would share
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senator harris' concerns about making sure people are trauma informed and trauma trained because what you're doing to children when you take them away from their parents is the most trauma impactful thing you can do to a child. so let's be good -- let's be good people and good americans as it relates to how we treat children. but i don't want to use my whole time. i want to talk a little bit about the northern border strategy. probably figured it's going to come up. you're five months late in getting me the plan. when is that plan going to happen? secretary nielsen: it should be out this week. senator heitkamp: i look forward to seeing it. i thank you again. we have such a hyper focus on the southwest border. high per focus on the open -- hyperfocus on the openness of the southwest border. a lot of the drug traffic are coming through the ports of entry. we know that's a problem we need to address. and that brings me to the second thing i want to get at
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which is technology. and understanding what that technology, what's available, what we're doing right now to train, what we're doing right now to provide resources. i want to associate myself with the remarks of my senior senator, senator hoeven. we appreciate the work that's being done to train pilots. i think we have a great with ce in north dakota the co-location of customs and border protection, airbase, training facility for training pilots along with great a lot of law enforcement folks who are working to try to figure out how we can embed and use new technologies. i invite you to come up to north dakota. secretary nielsen: i'm looking forward to it. senator heitkamp: yeah. i think you will find some very interesting things up on the border. one of the unique problems that we have in north dakota, as you know, is hiring and retention. that's not just a problem in north dakota but a problem across the agency.
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senator mccaskill i think made great point on retention. what do you think is going to improve retention and how do we get a better answer on how we can deal with the attrition challenge that you have? secretary nielsen: yeah. this is, for obvious reasons, all the ones ranking member mccaskill mentioned and you did as well, important. but it's important just for basic morale. it's important for us to be able to do our job. i do take this very seriously. of my six priorities, one is what i call employees first. this is a big chunk of that. what is it we can do to make them willing to continue to serve and to -- senator heitkamp: why do you think they're leaving now? secretary nielsen: one of the things we found over the last year, the system was not built for mow built. o if you are in -- built for mobility. so if you are in the rural --
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it's not even rural -- if you are a young c.b.p. agent, you might be willing to do that for a few years but if the system can't allow you to move, you might just decide to leave. so one of the things we built in is that mobility. we've also builted in cross-training. we find that particularly in some of the areas what you were trained to do is not necessarily what you do because of the limited -- senator heitkamp: one of the pieces of advice that senator tester used to say, there's people that live up there. there are people that live on the northern tier. they like it. that's home. they hunt. they fish. they know exactly what they're doing. you know, they have friends and family. we need to do better recruiting from the local people who live there who have lived that lifestyle. if you move someone in from tennessee, let's say, and then an i.c.e. position comes open in tennessee, we'll lose them from border patrol.
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so we've seen this. we talked to the folks up there very much would like to see, you look at recruiting within the area because those are folks that are used to that lifestyle. secretary nielsen: we found we weren't very good at that which is partly why we're working with them. i know ranking member had some concerns she mentioned at the front end. happy to come and speak to you both about that. part of the concept of that contract is to go into those areas and recruit there for people that we need that because of exactly what you were saying. senator heitkamp: i think you would be more successful in terms of retention. and i'm out of time. i'll probably submit some additional questions for the record. and you probably know i'm concerned and aware of some challenges we have with the border this was. that's a critical relationship. both in the northern border and southern border. and we want to follow-up on some of the issues that we had with local law enforcement.
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secretary nielsen: chairman, do you mind if i respond? senator johnson: no. secretary nielsen: you and i had a brief conversation. i couldn't agree more. i spoke with a sheriff and met with a variety of sheriffs in texas. met with the national this was association last week. we'll continue to meet with them. yes, we look to their expertise , their experience. they are a very important part of understanding the needs. senator heitkamp: and they can be an incredible resource with you if you have a relationship. secretary nielsen: yes, thank you. senator johnson: i want to offer a clarification. you said d.h.s. does this to the children or families. when a parent brings a child illegally into this country between the ports of entry, d.h.s. is responding, reacting to that illegal act. i hate to give advice. if those parents want to do it legally they can go right up to the port of entry, claim asylum and basically have to make the case. they're coming across illegally because they don't want to go
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through that process, legal process. secretary nielsen, d.h.s. is enforcing the laws. if we don't like the laws, we are going to have to change them. again, it's not what d.h.s. is doing to them. d.h.s. is reacting to follow the law. yes, sir. senator peters. senator peters: secretary nielsen, thank you for being here. secretary nielsen, i think you're well aware of the significant threat with cyberattacks. we've seen them increase in frequency as well as in sophistication. as this committee has discussed this issue on numerous occasions, we always talk about a whole of government approach, that we have he to bring all our resources to bear in order to thwart this threat. and yet oftentimes we operate in silos, different agencies are doing their own thing. there isn't any kind of communication between them. so there's been a pretty concerted effort to try to harmonize responsibilities as
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well as understand those whole of government capabilities that may exist across the bred of government. i know d.h.s. as well as certain -- >> you can continue watching this hearing with secretary nielsen online. going to take you live to the floor of the house gaveling back in for debate. mr. capuano: corporation corporation -- cappingscappings [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] . the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: i move to suspend e rules and pass h.r. 613, lieutenant osvaldo albarati self-protection act of 2017 the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: a bill to amend title 18 united states code to require that the director of the bureau of prisons ensures that each executive officer of a penal institution provides a safe storage area located out