Mr Chairman, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Mr McCall said the border is wide open, Director Ray testified about an elevated threat of guns and money and drugs across the border. Mr Guest laid out a lot of the details about the record breaking numbers and he ended up having to talk more, than get an answer from you on something.
I just want to ask you. I’ve heard you in the Judiciary commission committee recently in the summer testified that the border is secure. Secretary Mayorkas, do you continue to maintain that the border is secure?
Yes and we are working day in and day out to enhance its security.
Congressman thank you sir we have remarkable I get it I just want to make sure that that still is your assessment directly raised and it’s very important if I may well I don’t I know there’s just not enough time for a lot of explanation and you’ve got written testimony and so forth I just wanted to understand that’s your position.
Still I think it is a position that denies reality, respectfully, but I wanted to give you the opportunity to say no. I think the situation’s changed or something like that.
Director Ray, do you believe that the border is secure?
Well I can only speak to border security from our Narrow Lane, but I can’t speak to it from that lane. What I would say is that we see significant criminal threats coming from the South of the Border.
Whether it’s guns, drugs or money violence we see transnational criminal organizations that are sending their drugs here and that are using street gangs here to distribute it and that contributes to the violent crime crisis here.
We’ve had takedowns just in the last few months that I could give you as an example. You know I’ll give you just one quick one.
In Phoenix we had a takedown working with CBP who are phenomenal Partners I should add where we seize in one vehicle enough fentanyl to kill the equivalent of the entire state of Pennsylvania. Yep one vehicle. Thank you director right director Abizadeh does the NCTC assess a significant threat from the historic level of uncontrolled crossing at the the southern border.
Thank you. We know that border security is really important if we look at the nature of the threat and how it’s evolved here in the United States Homeland. It’s been striking how the evolution to Lone actors actually reflects.
How much more difficult it is for terrorists to enter into the United States we look historically at the kind of attacks we’ve experienced here in the Homeland none of them have been connected to Major illegal Crossings or otherwise from the Southwest border.
Right, that remains a top intelligence priority. Director Ray spoke to that earlier about what has historically been true. It makes me mindful of the two of the 9/11 reports. That chapter that said the system was blinking red there was a failure of the United States government agencies to anticipate a threat that should have been obvious to everyone.
So it troubles me that the official response is we don’t think that’s much of a threat. We have an unprecedented number of people coming across the border. A lot of them are being interdicted but released into the United States without enough scrutiny.
A whole lot more apparently, coming in without being interdicted at all and the answer the official answer is, “we don’t think there’s a terrorism problem there” just hadn’t happened in the past.
I think unfortunately we’re going to find out if it happens in the future reporting from the intercept focused on the Department of Homeland Securities and I guess this has been the focal point for its interactions with social media companies.
One thing it related was that DHS sent an email to Twitter about a Twitter account that could imperil election system integrity.
The user had 56 followers in a bio that indicated had references to weed shops.
Secretary Mayorkas does that kind of and that the level of interaction with social media platforms and that one specifically that anecdote not suggests that DHS is engaged in egregious overreach that threatens the First Amendment Congressman.
I would note that the Intercept article focused its attention on the disinformation activities that preceded our Administration let me assure you that our work to address this information which is a tool that our nation-state adversaries seek to employ to sow discord in this country is something that is very very respectful of the Civil Rights and civil liberties of individuals as well as their privacy rights.
You maintain that always, but let me just ask, when you say it’s respectful, are you attempting to conduct censorship by proxy as a means of evading the First Amendment?
We absolutely do not.
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