HLS.Today – Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas’ Testimony to Committee on Homeland Security on the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security
Chairman Green, Ranking Member Thompson, and distinguished Members of the Committee:
Last month we marked the 20th anniversary of the Department’s creation, which brought together different agencies from across the Federal Government in a determined effort to safeguard the United States against foreign terrorism in the wake of the devastation wrought on September 11, 2001.
Over the past 20 years, the challenges facing the homeland have grown increasingly dynamic and complex. The Department’s 260,000 public servants meet these challenges with unflinching dedication to mission. With acts of targeted violence occurring more and more frequently, we are sharing with local communities the best practice models of detection and intervention when an individual is exhibiting signs of moving towards violence. We are on the ground assisting communities impacted by increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events. We are attacking cartels and smugglers through new campaigns and enforcement surges – efforts that have resulted in the arrest of more than 9,100 smugglers, the disruption of over 9,000 human smuggling operations, and record seizures of fentanyl at our ports of entry. We are rescuing victims of human trafficking and child exploitation and bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice – we made 3,655 human trafficking arrests last fiscal year alone. We are defending networks and our hospitals, schools, and electric grids from wide-ranging cyberattacks. We are on patrol in the Arctic and in the Western Pacific to protect our interests. This is just a snapshot of the work our extraordinary personnel do every day to keep the homeland safe.
The evolving set of challenges we face requires a modernized budget, and the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget for DHS provides the Department with the resources it needs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the threats of today and tomorrow.
The displacement of people across the region is greater than at any time since World War II. I have visited the Southwest Border approximately 16 times as Secretary to meet with our personnel and to see firsthand the challenges they face and the tools they need to do their jobs. The Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposes the hiring of over 1,400 additional personnel to secure the Southwest Border, including 350 additional Border Patrol agents and 310 additional Border Patrol Processing Coordinators to get more agents back into the field performing their critical law enforcement mission. The budget proposes $535 million in new funds for border technology, $305 million of which is to deploy new technologies and capabilities in our fight against the trafficking of fentanyl through our ports of entry.
The environment across the Southwest Border is dynamic, and the annual appropriations process does not provide the flexibility to address challenges that often change, sector to sector, month to month. We propose that Congress create a fund that can be spent for specific purposes when certain migrant encounter thresholds are met. This would equip our personnel with the tools they need to meet migration surges if and as they occur, like transportation resources, soft-sided facilities for processing, and grants to support state and local community reception.
The budget will also enable the Department to process the increasing number of asylum cases, address the backlog of applications for immigration benefits, support the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, and improve refugee processing to meet the goal of admitting up to 125,000 refugees.
Our critical infrastructure is increasingly the target of cyberattacks launched by transnational criminal organizations and hostile nation states, including the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. This budget invests in personnel, infrastructure, and enhanced tools and services to increase our cybersecurity preparedness and resilience. We look forward to working with the Committee this year to codify our Cyber Safety Review Board in law to ensure it has the authorities necessary to be effective.
We must also continue to build a culture of preparedness so that communities that face increasing extreme weather events are ready and resilient. This budget provides $20.1 billion for FEMA to assist individuals and state, local, tribal, and territorial partners impacted by major disasters and funds efforts to build climate resilience.
The United States Coast Guard provides critical capabilities to defend our national interests in the Western Hemisphere, the Arctic, and the Indo Pacific. This budget makes strategic investments in the Coast Guard’s fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters and Polar Security Cutters that will advance our security and economic prosperity.
Finally, the men and women of DHS who serve our nation are our most important and vital resource. We cannot expect to recruit and retain a world class, diverse workforce if they are not compensated fairly. We are asking for $1.4 billion to honor the promise of pay fairness for our TSA workforce.
This budget will enable the Department to respond to the threats of today and prepare for the threats of tomorrow.
Thank you very much.
The committee will come to order without objection the committee May recess at any point I’d like to go ahead and welcome everyone back to the full committee and I recognize myself for an opening statement good morning secretary mayorkas thanks for joining the committee we look forward to hearing from you as we discuss the Department’s budget and the crisis this Administration has created at our Southwest border this year we recognize the Department’s 20th anniversary and thank the many public servants past and present who have worked tirelessly to keep our homeland safe in the aftermath of 9 11 the department was created to safeguard the American people this Mission includes securing the U.S borders and approaches Mr secretary you took an oath where you swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and well and Faithfully discharge the duties of the office your job is to protect the Homeland and one of those obvious duties is to secure the United States Sovereign borders and to implement the laws duly passed by Congress however you have not secured our borders Mr secretary and I believe you’ve done so intentionally there is no other explanation for the systematic dismantling and transformation of our border into a lawless and dangerous open border you’ve asserted in the past that it’s an issue of resources but the numbers show a very different story in just the two years of your tenure more people have crossed our Southern border into the United States than the previous 12 years of two administrations combined did the budget suddenly decrease and result in this massive surge no did the number of border patrol agents suddenly get cut in January of 2021 no what got cut were 89 effective policies as Chief Ortiz told us in our Hearing in McAllen Texas we don’t have a resource crisis we have a policy crisis we will fulfill Our obligation to the American people and our oath to the Constitution secretary mayorkas need I remind you that congress makes the laws and the executive branch is obligated to follow those laws apparently the answer to that question is yes because since you’ve become Secretary you’ve disregarded the laws written by this branch of government laws passed by both Republicans and Democrats behind me you can see a list of the ways you’ve made our border and our country less secure you intentionally ended all construction of and contracts to build the border wall system you attempted to terminate the migrant protection protocols remain in Mexico policy and when these efforts failed you refused to fully enforce the policy you illegally and without Congressional approval created Mass parole programs for countries like Cuba Haiti Nicaragua and Venezuela and expanded the use of the cvp-1 app to facilitate these programs this is ultimately playing a shell game Mr secretary wherein those who would otherwise come illegally with no justification for entry now get to enter under the pretense of legality you lowered the credible fear standards so even illegal border crossers who’ve broken the laws of the United States can claim Asylum despite knowing that 9 out of 10 claims will be found illegitimate you instructed ice agents not to detain or Deport the vast majority of individuals illegally in the country while also stating that the crime of being in the country illegally is by itself no longer grounds for removal you just made that up you refuse to detain illegal aliens persuade it to the immigration and nationality act and instead allowed them to be processed in Mass into the United States you moved northern border agents to the southwestern border leaving our northern border vulnerable which has led to an increase in Encounters in some sectors as much as 900 percent and finally you ended title 42 in May without any plan to deal with the surge what’s this gotten us well here behind me you can see the results unfortunately the facts are overwhelming more than 5 million encounters at the Southwest border since President Biden took office 1.4 million gotaways known gotaways who evaded U.S border Patrol agents since President Biden took office and these are only the ones we know about we learned from U.S border Patrol Chief Ortiz that these numbers are likely 20 percent higher 80 individuals on the terrorist watch list have crossed the Southwest border so far in FY 23. fourteen thousand one hundred and forty eight pounds of fentanyl seized in 23 enough to kill the entire U.S population the U.S population you swore to defend and protect over nine and a half times and this is only the amount we know about we have no idea how much of this poison is actually being brought into the country by drug smugglers taking advantage of our poorest border and your lacks policies last month this committee held a hearing in McAllen where Chief Ortiz stated under oath that DHS does not have the operational control of our borders contradicting testimony that you previously gave before this committee g4ts went on to say that five of our nine sectors of our Southwest border are under the control of the drug cartels unimaginable secretary mayarch is your Reckless border policies are enriching the drug cartels and these cartels are laughing in our face they find it amusing that the most powerful Nation on Earth is not only unwilling to stop them but is actively facilitating their business model unfortunately your admission during the March 28 23 here Senate Judiciary hearing that you’re unaware that cartels are using illegal aliens as decoys to detract border patrol agents while they smuggle illicit Contraband and illegal aliens across the border only emboldens these cartels honestly your admission reflects incompetence imagine a general officer in the Army who has no clue about the strategy of his enemy we’d fire that General on the spot Mr secretary every time you fail to acknowledge that this is a crisis you lose even more credibility with the men and women of DHS to say nothing of the American people as you ignore the crisis at our border thousands of border patrol agents and CBP officers are on the front lines putting their lives at risk to keep our country safe and what kind of treatment do they receive from you they’re accused of whipping migrants crossing the border and now we find out that your department knew the whole time that this report was bogus you went on national television and vilified these agents of the horse Patrol unit these men and women are proud to fulfill their duty to secure our border and they do this with no thanks no support and quite honestly dishonesty from this Administration it’s downright shameful I don’t blame our border patrol agents for feeling the way they do about you as former as a former Army officer and doctor and CEO I know that when a leader loses the trust of those he’s entrusted to command and serve it’s over now let’s turn our attention to your budget proposal for DHS Mr secretary this budget proposal is an insult to every American it fails to take seriously many of the most pressing National Security threats especially our wide open border President Biden himself likes to quote and I quote him don’t tell me what you value show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value end quote well this budget clearly shows us what this Administration values and it’s not the safety of the American people like your past budgets like your policy decisions and your actions this proposed DHS budget has the singular purpose of continuing to encourage people to come into this country illegally here behind me you can see a this very clearly pet projects at the DHS we’re going to add four billion dollars but for CBP we’re going to cut their budget by 1.2 billion U.S citizenship and Immigration Services the folks that move people into the United States we’re going to give them another one point billion that’s what you want to do ice you’re going to decrease by 421 million this is all about moving people into the country and not about border security the objective of this budget is not to secure our border but to force CBP Personnel to process illegal aliens into the interior of the United States the proposed 4.7 billion Southwest border contingency fund is just another gimmick to spend American taxpayer dollars on a crisis you created with a goal of processing illegal aliens quicker out of DHS custody so that you can settle them into the interior of our country the administration say in the quiet part out loud by requesting funding for Border management instead of border security you’re signaling you have no intention of securing our borders instead of spending money spending any money on wall construction that would actually have both a practical and deterrent impact the Administration has proposed spending 3.9 billion 3.9 billion of DHS money on a climate resilience program meanwhile you propose spending a mere 40 million dollars to combat fentanyl that’s devastating our country do you think the parents and families who will continue to lose their children their brothers their sisters to fentanyl will take comfort in knowing that DHS has at least added more to the massive money already spent by this Administration on climate change I don’t think so Mr secretary I could go on and on but I will yield I do hope you’ve come here today ready to be honest with the American people because if you’re bold enough to make these policy decisions you should be brave enough to own up to them and their consequences I will now yield to the ranking member for his opening statement thank you very much I want to thank secretary milorkers for being here today to testify at the commit his annual budget hearing the president’s fiscal year 2024 budget request 103.2 billion dollars for the Department of Homeland Security to carry out its mission of safeguarding the Homeland and the American people while preserving our values the request reflects the needs of the department given the current threat landscape with mounting challenges at our borders increased fentanyl trafficking primarily by U.S citizens at ports of Entry persistent cyber threats growing domestic terrorism and more frequent and severe natural disasters it also reflects the state of the Department’s 20 years after its establishment in the wake of 9 11 and just two years removed from the damaged wrought by the Trump Administration the Biden Administration inherited a Department of Homeland Security illegal by four years of politicalization and mismanagement among secretary mayorkas’s predecessors were so-called leaders often unqualified and sometimes unlawfully appointed who did the former president’s bidding even if it meant separating small children from their parents pandering to domestic extremists and violating American Civil Rights by detaining peaceful protesters and spying on journalists one of those predecessors was not only unlawfully appointed but also refused to testify at the committee’s annual hearing on worldwide threats to the Homeland even defying a subpoena to appear under the Trump Administration DHS regularly refused to comply with regular Congressional oversight ignoring requests and subpoenas for documents for the last two years secretary mayorkas has had the difficult task of undoing the Damage Done by the last Administration while leading the department and its more than 260 000 employees through challenging times unfortunately Republicans seem intent on making a hard job even harder maybe because they think berating the secretary will get them there five minutes on Fox they spend time tweeting about their quote unquote accomplishments during the first hundred days of the 118th Congress and touting the number of television appearances they’ve made meanwhile they haven’t moved a single Bill through this committee not one I was dismayed to see that speaking to a group of campaign contributors last week about today’s hearing the chairman said and I quote get the popcorn it’s going to be fun I think that tells Americans all they need to know about the Republican agenda here they don’t want solutions to Homeland Security challenges they want to make a headline or photo op they want a political wedge issue and something to talk to that deep pocketed donors about more than what they want to work together to get things done in Washington at its worst and a sad departure from the proud bipartisan history of this committee so today Democrats want to talk to the secretary about the issues facing the Homeland and how the department would use the president’s budget request to address them we want to learn about the proposed border contingency fund and how it would be used to process migrants in an orderly and humane way we want to understand how the budget would allow CBP to deploy more technology at ports of Entry to identify and interdict Fentanyl and other illicit drugs being smothered smuggled across our borders we want to discuss what the department and its partners are doing to stop the southbound flow of American guns that are fueling cartel violence in Mexico we also want to hear about the terrorism landscape and how the budget would support the fight against proliferating domestic terrorist threats and persistent foreign terrorist threats we want to know how the budget would help strengthen our cyber defenses against adversaries like Russia and China and other Milan actors who want to know whether FEMA has resources it needs to respond to the unrelenting pace and scale of disasters in recent years and we want to ask how can we support the DHS Workforce help improve morale and provide better pay in rights for Frontline employees that’s the work of a functional committee on homeland security at a budget hearing and that’s what you hear from the Democratic side of the aisle today I also want to take the opportunity to thank secretary mayorkas for his responsiveness to congress not just to date but since taking the job over two years ago the speed at which the department under his leadership has responded to congressional oversight by both Republicans and Democrats is unprecedented in the 20 years I’ve served on this committee on a personal note I appreciate the secretary and FEMA administrator Criswell being on the ground within hours of an ef4 tornado stracking Mississippi last month and the president and first lady visiting shortly thereafter the tornado devastated parts of my district and the department has worked quickly to help provide resources communities like those I represent were often ignored in times of need by the last Administration it’s good to see that the Biden Administration not only talks to talk on equity and Disaster Response but is also walking the walk when it matters most while we are looking for your continued support Mr secretary as survivors work to get back on their feet as long as the recovery process continues in closing I want to note that today marks the 28th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and last week we commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who were killed or injured in those tragic attacks and their families we are grateful to the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security who work every day to help prevent future attacks and keep Americans safe I look forward to today’s discussion and I yield back a gentleman yields back other members of the committee are reminded that opening statements may be submitted for the record we’re pleased to have secretary Marcus here before us for this time uh I’d ask the secretary if he would rise and raise his right hand do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give before the committee of Homeland Security of the United States House of Representatives will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God thank you let the record reflect that the secretary has answered in the affirmative I appreciate that and we’ll get started I would like to formally introduce our witness The Honorable Alejandro mayorcas is the seventh Secretary of Homeland Security a role in which he served since February the 2nd of 2021 prior to his appointment he served as the deputy secretary of DHS and the director of USCIS I thank you for being here today Mr secretary the witness’s full statement will appear in the record I now recognize secretary mayorkas for five minutes to summarize his opening statement thank you very much chairman Greene ranking member Thompson distinguished members of this committee last month we marked the 20th anniversary of the Department’s creation which brought together different agencies from across the federal government in a determined effort to safeguard the United States against foreign terrorism in the wake of the devastation rot on September 11 2001. over the past 20 years the challenges facing the Homeland have grown increasingly Dynamic and complex the Department’s 260 thousand public servants meet these challenges with unflinching dedication to Mission with acts of targeted violence occurring more and more frequently we are sharing with local communities the best practice models of detection and intervention when an individual is exhibiting signs of moving towards violence we are on the ground assisting communities impacted by increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events we are attacking cartels and Smugglers through new campaigns and enforcement sergers efforts that have resulted in the arrest of more than 9 100 Smugglers the disruption of over nine thousand human smuggling operations and record seizures of fentanyl at our ports of Entry we are rescuing victims of human trafficking and child exploitation and bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to Justice we made 3655 human trafficking arrests last fiscal year alone we are defending networks in our Hospital schools and electric grids from wide-ranging cyber attacks we are on patrol in the Arctic and in the Western Pacific to protect our interests this is just a snapshot of the work our extraordinary Personnel due every day to keep the Homeland safe the evolving set of challenges we Face requires a modernized budget and the president’s fiscal year 2024 budget for DHS provides the department with the resources it needs to prevent prepare for and respond to the threats of today and tomorrow the displacement of people across the region is greater than at any time since World War II I have visited the Southwest border approximately 16 times as secretary to meet with our personnel and to see firsthand the challenges they face and the tools they need to do their jobs the fiscal year 2024 budget proposes the hiring of over 1 400 additional Personnel to secure the Southwest border including 350 additional border patrol agents and 310 additional border patrol processing coordinators to get more agents back into the field performing their critical law enforcement mission the budget proposes 535 million dollars in new funds for Border technology 305 million dollars of which is to deploy new technologies and capabilities in our fight against the trafficking of fentanyl through our ports of Entry the environment across the Southwest border is dynamic and the annual Appropriations process does not provide the flexibility to address challenges that often change sector to sector month to month we propose that Congress create a fund that can be spent for specific purposes when certain migrant encounter thresholds are met this would equip our personnel with the tools they need to meet migration surges if and as they occur like transportation resources soft side of facilities for processing and grants to support state and local community reception the budget will also enable the department to process the increasing number of Asylum cases address the backlog of applications for immigration benefits support the citizenship and integration grant program and improve Refugee processing to meet the goal of admitting up to 125 000 refugees our critical infrastructure is increasingly the target of cyber attacks launched by transnational criminal organizations and hostile Nation States including the People’s Republic of China Russia Iran and North Korea this budget invests in Personnel infrastructure and enhanced tools and services to increase our cyber security preparedness and resilience we look forward to working with the committee this year to codify our cyber safety Review Board in law to ensure that it has the authorities necessary to be effective we must also continue to build a cultural of preparedness so that communities that face increasing extreme weather events are ready and resilient this budget provides 20.1 billion dollars for FEMA to assist individuals and state local tribal and territorial Partners impacted by Major disasters and funds efforts to build climate resilience the United States Coast Guard provides critical capabilities to defend our national interests in the Western Hemisphere the Arctic and the indo-pacific this budget makes strategic investments in the Coast Guard’s Fleet of offshore Patrol Cutters and polar security Cutters that will advance our security and economic prosperity finally the men and women of DHS who serve our nation are our most important and vital resource we cannot expect to recruit and retain a world-class diverse Workforce if they are not compensated fairly we are asking for 1.4 billion dollars to honor the promise of pay fairness for our TSA Workforce this budget will enable the department to respond to the threats of today and prepare for the threats of tomorrow thank you very much thank you Mr secretary members will be recognized by order of seniority for their five minutes of questioning the secretary has a hard stop I believe at 1 30 and so we’ll only probably have time today for one single round I now recognize myself for five minutes of questioning I want to show a video but first need to set the stage earlier in the year we had a hearing at the border with border patrol Chief Ortiz and I asked him if by the definition written into the law we have operational control of our Southwest border he said resoundingly we do not following that Mr secretary you were questioned before the senate about operational control this was March the 28th just a few days ago let’s watch your testimony with respect to the definition of operational control I do not use the definition that appears in the secure fence Act and the security Defense Act provides statutorily that operational control is defined as preventing all unlawful injuries into the United States by that definition no Administration has ever had operational control so here you admit that according to the definition that’s in the code no secretary has ever had operational control so you know that that definition written into the law has not been achieved now let’s go back a few months to the testimony you gave here in the house this is before Chief Ortiz admitted and told the truth that there was no security at the Southwest border next clip will you testify under oath right now do we have operational control yes or no yes we do and we have operational control of the borders yes we do in Congressman we are working two weeks operational control defined in this section the term operational Patrol means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States including entries by terrorists other unlawful aliens instruments of terrorism narcotics and other Contraband do you stand by on your testimony that we have operational control in light of this definition Congressman I think the Secretary of Homeland Security would have said the same thing in 2020. Mr Roy reads Mr Roy reads the very definition you just admitted last month in the Senate that has not been achieved he said according to this definition do you have operational control according to the definition that you just said no one has operation I’ve ever had operational control he asks you under oath in the United States Congress if you had operational control according to that definition and you said I do that is a false statement because you admitted in the Senate that no one has ever achieved that you make it very clear Mr secretary that you’ve known all along according to the definition that is written in the law passed by the Congress that you do not have operational control and yet in testimony to this house under oath the definition was read to you you’ve asked according to that you’re asked according to that definition whether control exists and you say yes that sounds like a lie under oath now I want to I want to change the subject just a bit I want to set the stage for another clip Senator cornyn just last month is asking you about the cartel strategy and he describes what border patrol officers and leaders have come before this committee Congress told us on trips to the border is the strategy of the drug cartels they’ve been telling us this for 18 months the cartels are overwhelming The Crossing sites tying up the Border Patrol and then they’re slipping the drugs and the human trafficking and the nefarious folks they want to get in the U.S around the CBP when they’re tied up it’s a it’s a distraction in the military we’d call it a neutralizing attack he even says that Merrick Garland the Attorney General of this Administration came before their committee and said yes this is the cartel strategy let’s see clip number three are you familiar with that strategy do you agree with the attorney general I I am not aware of uh that as a strategy so the cartel’s main strategy is something you’re not even aware of I guess there’s no Communications between you and the Attorney General inside this Administration do you you guys don’t talk to one another um that’s insane Mr secretary you just admitted you have no clue about the central strategy of the cartels you’ve created by your open border what again what general officer would we allow to stay on the job in the Army if he didn’t understand the strategy of the enemy not only have you lied under oath you just admitted your own incompetence it’s it’s really quite unacceptable you knew very well the definition wasn’t being fulfilled you told Chip Roy Congressman Roy yes I have operational control by that definition and then later under oath you admit no one’s ever had control by that definition then you tell the senate I don’t even know what the cartel’s main strategy is I’m out of time Mr secretary but that doesn’t paint a very good picture of someone who’s doing their job very well I now yield to the ranking member thank you very much uh since we’re talking about uh the secure fence Act definition uh I was here when Congress voted on it under secure fence act operational control is defined as preventing all unlawful entries into the United States all people and all narcotics 100 percent what wasn’t mentioned at the hearing last month is that the definition of operational control the chief was asked about has never been achieved by any Administration democrat or republican not by Trump not by anyone Republicans have acknowledged that this in the past the former Republican chairman of the committee Peter King the author of The secure offense act said during the 2013 markup you know we had a hundred percent in the secure offense act and we’ve met with secretary shertov and secretary Napolitano and the fact is I think a 100 percent is unreachable at the same marker representative Michael McCall also a former Republican chairman of this committee said but when you put this number as a matrix in the definition of operational control you make it impossible to achieve operational control Perfection shouldn’t be the enemy of the good under this definition again we will never ever get operational control because nothing in life is a hundred percent yet Mr secretary Republicans are criticizing you for not achieving something that no secretary has ever achieved it seems like their standard changes dependent on the administration that’s a double standard that’s partisan politics and that’s Washington for you when I met recently with Chief Ortiz he said that no secretary has been more supportive of the border patrol than you and that you and he are in close regular contact I was glad to hear that and I look forward to heading back to the Border again to see my own view what’s happening so can you for the committee uh share uh the explanation of this hundred percent uh Target as a as a measurement for securing the Border ranking member Thompson Mr chairman the secure fence act provides that operational control means that not a single individual crosses the border illegally and it’s for that reason that prior secretaries and myself have said that under that definition no Administration has a operational control that is why if um Congressman Roy had actually allowed me to answer the question fully and not cut me off at every time I would have continued to say as I did in response to Senator Langford as I have testified under oath multiple times that we use I use a lens of reasonableness in defining operational control are we maximizing the resources that we have to deliver the most effective results and under that definition we are doing so very much to gain operational control so that is my response with respect to secure fence Act of I believe it is 2007 a response that when given the opportunity to provide to Congress under oath I actually have delivered multiple times so this budget that you’re before this committee today uh does that budget move you toward that goal we believe it it does a regular member Thompson and I should say uh this year for the first time since 2011 we have been budgeted to receive an increase in the number of border patrol agents the first time since 2011. 300 to be precise next year for our fiscal year 2004 24 budget we request an additional 350 border patrol agents as just one example of how this advances the security of our Southern border through the extraordinary work of our Personnel in the department and let me say for the record that in each time that the request for increasing the numbers in the border patrol Democrats on this committee have always supported the increase it’s been my Republican colleagues who’ve opposed uh the increase so either you’re going to support the border patrol in securing the Border or you’re not I yield back uh the gentleman yields just point of clarification my comments were not about the content of the definition the fact that you said the definition was happening you you said I did that definition yes so uh it was about integrity and not about success on that particular point I now recognize Mr Higgins from Louisiana thank you Mr chairman Mr secretary you stand in your testimony of the day regarding an operational control of our Southern border which by any reasonable man’s definition certainly been lost you’re standing on a word in this in the legislation that gave birth to the specific loss and all illegal Crossing and no one’s ever we’ll take a drip America be okay with that which you and your execution of your inaugurated president’s policy have given America as a flood we’ve identified over 11 laws that you violated some of the most egregious the secure offense act 2006 concerning operational control immigration nationalization act 236 section c 8 U.S code 1226 concerning detention Ina 241 section 82 U.S code 8 1231 concerning detention immigration and nationalization act section D5 Alpha eight U.S code 1182 concerning parole we’ve given you ample opportunity to to seek some sort of honorable exit from your executive position sir we take no pleasure in witnessing you dismantle yourself as a fellow American before the whole country your legacy millions of illegals enter our country Millions under your watch Lost of operational control of our border aligning DHS policy as an asset to Mexican cartel drug and human trafficking the disintegration of our national sovereignty destruction of countless thousands of Texas family lives overwhelming crime waves sweeping across our country over a million criminal Runners you call gotaways flooding into America many carrying backpacks loaded with deadly Fentanyl and meth or hurting teenage girls into prostitution sex slave networks Across America 225 000 Americans dead from Mexican cartel drug overdose since you took office two years ago you and your inaugurated president but mostly you sir because you have your whole mind about you and you have a highly decorated background in Border operations so you’re supposed to be the expert you sir are the Secretary of Homeland Security who has failed in your sworn oath to protect our nation from invasion you had an obligation to execute the president’s policies or advise the president if his policies were bringing injury to America ultimately your oath requires you to secure our nation’s Sovereign border with Mexico and do anything necessary to stop the Mexican cartels from trafficking endless wave upon human wave of illegals into America along with miserable death unspeakable grief graveyards Filled from sea to shine and sea with the bodies of American Sons and Daughters dead from Fentanyl you’ve brought generational trauma Upon Our Country I believe history will witness your era of service as a transitional time in our country well what was America like before secretary mayorcus what was America like after him it’s stunning that you could sit there and and smugly grin as if you’ve not miserably failed your country we could give you money to to hire a thousand new border agents nobody wants to work for you they’re coming forth we can’t keep up with the whistleblowers that are coming to testify against your command we could give you money to deploy all sorts of new technology I have evidence in my file that you’ve given command to not deploy technology that you currently have because it interfered with the cartel’s business model we’re done done done with your lives to America it’s shameful what you brought Upon Our Country chairman I have no interest in asking this secretary any questions Mr obfus Gates and lies Mr chairman I yield Mr chairman the gentleman yields the chair recognizes Miss Jackson Lee Mr secretary I’ll give you a moment but my question is before as I start my questioning and you know time is short do you take an oath and on behalf of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security particularly those responsible for border security in the North and the South to protect the American people and are you doing it in the best manner the securest manner the honest man with Integrity to save the lives of the American people and to ensure that Hamlet cities counties and otherwise are safe and that our domestic security is safe yes I am congresswoman and did you want to have a sentence responding to the gentleman oh I’ve chosen not to thank you and so under oath your answer is yes and that is on behalf of yourself and those men and women that are now serving as we speak at the border both North and South yes it is my Republican colleagues have been painting quite the picture today and to hear them tell it you inherited a secure orderly situation at the border I for one have been to the Border many times in the midst of mass confusion and everything would be fine that of course was not under your tenure if only you had kept things just as they were or nothing could be further from the truth now I know that many members of Congress only pay attention to the latest news cycle and whether the clip of their five minutes at this hearing will go viral but some of us remember the previous administration and its disastrous border policies as a 20-year member of this committee I truly believe that comprehensive immigration reform and border security must not be partisan it must be nonpartisan and in actuality that is not what we’re facing today we’re here for your budget presentation the dollars you need to continue to safeguard our cities counties and States so I’d like to direct your attention to a couple of images one that you will see shortly deals with the dhis office was taken by the DHS office of the Inspector General at a border patrol station at McAllen Texas in June 2019. reports on the overcrowded conditions at this and other facilities found that migrants including many children had not been able to shower in weeks were not fed adequate food we’re getting sick from flu outbreaks women and children were forced to drink from toilets when they had access to running water at all hundreds of children were detained for more than 72 hours in violation of the law and that was when our border patrol agents and others were overwhelmed I was present during those times in the past administration and tragically many migrants died while being held in these kinds of conditions including at least five children I guess this is what Republicans idea of operational control it’s a secretary would you please remind me who was president in 2019 when this photo was taken congresswoman that was President Trump that’s right now at least in this picture children seem to be with their families let’s move on to the next image foreign The Pride Administration announced a zero tolerance policy which resulted in children being torn away from their parents I was there then including you have citizen children American Kids worse yet the administration not had no plan to track family separation and allow for reunification as of a couple of months ago more than a thousand children have still not been reunited with their families now some might say that child separations and death and custody are just the cause of achieving border security and if we reinstate the previous administration’s policy we could keep the Border I find that despicable however the truth is that these policies weren’t even effective in securing the Border in fact border patrol recorded 41 percent more illegal entries in the fiscal year 2019 under the then president during the last year under President then during the last year of the Obama Administration again Mr secretary just in case people don’t remember the president was at the time of this picture that speaks to a child yeah doing that time frame congresswoman there was President Trump you’re right again so let me in my final question ask as a refugee yourself do you believe the inhumane and ineffective border policies of the Trump Administration really equal to operational control and does your budget reflect your serious commitment to ensuring more Personnel morale boost and to be able to do this job so we safe guard and secure the American people Mr secretary congresswoman the uh the policies of the past administration those that were cruel and inhumane not only did not achieve operational control under the definition of the secure fence act they also disobeyed our values as a country our budget that we have proposed for fiscal year 2024 advances the position of this department to gain operational control under a reasonable definition as all secretaries have said the um it is unachievable to prevent any alien during a year from crossing the border not a single one we’ll have to get that New York Times article out that’s about the migrants being enslaved uh I recognize Mr uh guest from Mississippi uh thank you Mr chairman Mr secretary we know that uh earlier this week DHS released its National encounters by month uh March the sixth highest month on record ever uh with a total of 257 910 immigrants that were encountered just last month alone uh we know that physical year 2021 that we set a record for Encounters of over 1.9 million fiscal year 22 we shattered that record with more than 2.7 million encounters and currently uh we’re on Pace in physical year 2023 to break that record once again uh March marks the 12th straight month that we’ve had more than 200 000 Encounters in the 24th straight months that we’ve had more than 185 000 encounters uh we see what is going on on the border just within the last two weeks we see that information there behind me g4t’s uh uh put information out on April the 7th he called it his week in review which he does every week for the week of April the 7th four agents assaulted 34 000 apprehensions ten thousand eight hundred gotaways eighty thousand dollar C’s five hundred and eighty pounds of marijuana 202 pounds of fentanyl 15 pounds of meth twelve pounds of heroin two pounds of cocaine 10 Firearms 14 sex offenders nine gang members and four individuals arrested with outstanding warrants all that in the week of the seventh of April the week of April the 14th the chief’s week in review and another 11 agents assaulted 34 600 apprehensions ten thousand one hundred gotaways 1.24 million Seas 146 pounds of methamphetamine 106 pounds of fentanyl 39 pounds of ecstasy 14 pounds of cocaine 29 Firearms 11 sex offenders seven warrants and four gang members uh just last month uh at a field hearing uh down in McAllen g40s was asked about the borders being secure he gave an answer that I thought was very truthful very forthcoming when he said that he could not testify before this committee that the Border was Secure he actually testified that five of the nine sectors along the Southwest border were not secure and so my question to you secretary mayork is is it your testimony that all nine of the Southwest sectors from the Rio Grande Valley to San Diego that under whatever definition you use that you believe that all nine sectors are secure Congressman you and I have spoken about this issue before both under oath and in your office uh I do not understate the challenge that the border and I’m not trying to cut you off I’m very limited on my time is is yes or no do you believe that all nine sectors are secure and I’ll be happy to have a conversation with you outside of this hearing uh but my time is very limited Congressman as I have said before we are devoting all of the resources available to securing the border so currently yes yes or no as we sit here today based on these figures here based upon all the figures we’ve had for the last two years is our every our all nine sector to the Southwest border secure Congressman um it is my testimony that sectors at different times month to month um experience different levels of challenges and and I understand that Mr secretary and I’m not and I’m not trying to cut you off I’m asking you that today as we sit here today are all nine sectors of the Southwest border secure and I’m just asking for a yes or no answer Congressman I know you are asking for a yes or no answer and the fact of the matter is that the challenges of the Border are very complex and dynamic all right well I’m going to take from that that if you can’t answer yes then the answer is no that is that is not true all right so then you’re saying all nine are secure it is my testimony that the border is secure and we are working every day day and night to increase its security the challenges that we are experiencing at the border cannot be overstated all right let me ask you another question more because last year physical year 2022 how many non-citizens were removed from the country bye uh Congressman I I have uh that um it 72 177. that’s what was in the annual ice report in in which fiscal year Congress oh that’d be last year and the physical year 2022 that was released then the report put out by your Agency on December the 30th do you know the number of nine number of cases on the non-detained national docket you know what that docket is correct that’s a number of individuals who have entered the country do you know the number of cases that are on the non-detained national docket as of physical year 2022. so if I may your I believe your figure for 2022 is is incorrect I have a different figure for that all right well what’s in your report and I’m going to say what’s in the report that your agency put out and here’s the report on page 16 it says that the number of non-detained cases was 4.7 million and that was at the close of fiscal year 2022 at a hearing I held that I was in just yesterday the director of ice Mr Johnson testified that that number is now 5.3 million and is expected to grow to over 6 million cases by the end of this year so six million cases of individuals who are in the country 1.2 million who have orders of removal and yet your agency only removes 70 000 last year I think that your agency is not enforcing the law Mr mayorkas and I think that you can do a better job and Mr chairman I know I’m out of time and I yield back gentlemen yields uh the chair recognizes Mr Payne from New Jersey thank you Mr chairman and um you know we we have such short memories uh in this committee um with respect to the situation at the southern border um I was just like to um admonish or condemn the person who came up with the idea of saying hey I know how to stop people from coming across the border when they get here we’ll take their children from them and lock them in a fence and forget about them and walk away let your children find theirselves in that position let you find yourself in that position it’s a shame it’s absolutely a shame to use children as props as a way to get what you want and to also just ignore that the fentanyl problem is that ports of Entry by American citizens whenever you hear that you just close your ears obviously there is some fentanyl coming across the southern border but the fact of the matter is most of the fentanyl coming into the United States is coming through ports of Entry by American citizens keep denying it keep keep not you don’t want to hear it you don’t want to know about that you want The Narrative of the Southern border as the problem everything wrong with this country is the southern border you should look around you should look around because while you’re looking only at the southern border there are folks bringing fentanyl in from every port of entry in this country and they’re doing it because you know they know you’re looking at the southern border amazing Mr secretary I’m going to give you an opportunity to talk about your budget which is what we’re supposed to be here for but you know the buttered popcorn is being given out on the other side so anyway um let’s talk about climate change and uh it’s a profound threat to our national security we’re seeing this threat in many um of the natural disasters that are occurring more frequently and with more intensity but my colleagues on the other side don’t believe that either uh in this um 2021 this committee received expert testimony that stated America lost years of progress on addressing climate change due to the Trump administration’s outright refusal to accept science and its work to dismantle climate science programs bind Administration in contrast has taken commendable steps on focusing on climate change Mr secretary could you please provide a few more examples of how under your tenure DHS is focusing on climate change and the threat it poses to our national security Congressman the gravity and frequency of extreme weather events is only increasing we used to speak of hurricanes tornadoes fires in terms of Seasons we don’t do so anymore as the ranking member Thompson mentioned I was in Mississippi but a few weeks ago to see what a tornado could do to an entire town in just 20 seconds with winds traveling at up to 200 miles per hour I was in Kentucky last year to see another town ripped to shreds by a tornado in light of that what we have to do is build communities Readiness for extreme weather events their ability to withstand them to the best of their abilities their ability to recover from them when they strike and prove resilience we have invested heavily in the building resilient communities fund this past year we doubled it we are seeking in the fiscal year 2024 budget more funds to build communities and protect the American public from extreme weather events that are striking and destroying more than ever before thank you Mr chairman and I will yield back the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr Bishop from North Carolina for his testimony our first questions secretary Mario because I’m I’m very glad that the gamesmanship about operational control is finally out in the open you said just a moment ago that if Congressman Roy hadn’t cut you off in that hearing I was in that hearing in the Judiciary Committee as well you are one of the most assiduous bureaucrats I have witnessed at evading and filibustering in response when members have five minutes to ask you questions instead of coming forward directly here’s what you could have said to Congressman Roy no Congressman Roy we do not have operational control but no Administration has achieved the standard of operational control set forth in law that took about two three seconds and then he could have followed up with this and I’d like to secretary mayor orcas given that illegal immigration has been setting records for your entire tenure the fact is that under your leadership the Department of Homeland Security is farther away from the legally mandated standard of operational control than ever much farther away correct Congressman our apprehension rates are consistent with the apprehension rates of Prior administrations over the years and the fact by the numbers by the Numbers if if the standard of operational control is no illegal immigration coming across our border then you’re farther away from that than ever the fact of the matter is the migration that we are experiencing at our Southern border is not exclusive to our Southern border it is gripping the entire Hemisphere and the entire world your policies are causing it Mr secretary Congress set an objective in law you haven’t pursued it you have pursued its opposite who are you you just said a moment ago that by a reasonable definition of operational control you’ve achieved it who are you to displace the legal definition of operational control by this Congress in favor of pursuing one of your own invention I’m not displacing the definition well you just settle reasonable one is a different one right what do you mean by that what how is the one defined by congress not reasonable you understand what law means you’re a law you’re one of you’re an excellent lawyer you know that not to be tenable you’re a member of the administration charged with the duty to execute the laws that congress has passed isn’t that right absolutely and we are doing so not the operational control standard you’ve abandoned it to adopt one that you say is reasonable correct Congressman um that is a definition you’re asking me whether we enforce the laws that congress has passed and the answer is yes we do no you don’t because Congress set forth an objective in law and you have seen fit to disregard it let me ask you this Chief Ortiz when he testified before us in March didn’t just admit that we didn’t have offer don’t have operational control of the Border didn’t just admit that the Border much of the border is not secure there was this I said the cause is change in policy is it not sir will you be candid enough to be unequivocal and clear that that has driven the change and here’s his answer I will tell you sir that when I was a deputy chief an acting Chief down here in 2014 a lot of people described what was happening here in South Texas as a humanitarian crisis or voter crisis and I was very candid and I said I think we have a bit of a policy crisis and I still hold true that we have some policies in place where we need to ensure that the men and women out there patrolling the Border investigating these criminal cartels are actually allowed to do their job each and every day and I said and their job is to detain and remove immigrants and he said yes sir how about you Mr secretary do you admit that your policies have led the country farther away from operational control of the Border as defined by the Congress Congressman no I did not I’m not surprised here’s your admission here’s one of your admissions look at page seven of your own written testimony guess what you have there you’re asking for a 342 percent increase in the funding for combating child exploitation you want to know why that is let me tell you because you won’t tell me candidly the reason is that your policies have led to 345 000 unaccompanied children entering this country which now the New York Times and multiple articles has revealed what has led what that’s led to in the quality of their lives you apparently believe this to be a game Mr my orgas I think that’s why all the acrimonious interchanges that happen over and over even you know the last time that I asked you whether you maintained that we have operational control back in November and you said yes and we’re trying to make it we’re trying to do more every day they played that on 60 Minutes and let me tell you this it wasn’t because 60 Minutes is a fan of mine it is because everybody of any reasonable sensibility looks at what you have been saying and what you continue to say and recognize that it is it blinks at reality and you know it you’re not delusional but you are prepared to be dishonest with this Congress repeatedly I yield back the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr Carrera from California thank you Mr chairman um Mr secretary welcome thank you for being here if I’m taking a minute let’s talk about congress’s role in helping you do your job let’s discuss achieving operational control fiscal year 2023 Government funding package provided U.S customs and border patrol with over 7 billion dollars in funding including almost a 20 percent increase in Border Patrol not a single Republican in this committee voted for that package last year 2023 this same funding package was the first to increase border patrol agents since 2011 as he said do you believe these extra border patrol officers help you do your job I most certainly do congressman and that is why our fiscal year 2024 budget seeks an additional 350 border patrol agents as well as other personnel secretary let’s talk about fentanyl deaths in my district I’m very disturbed very concerned Republicans have advocated 20 capping the fiscal year 2022 budget at 2022 levels Republicans seeking to essentially cut the funding for your Department that cap would essentially result in a reduction of 200 2400 2400 CBP agents and officers would that mean essentially that 155 000 pounds of cocaine would not be seized over a thousand pounds of fentanyl would not have been seized over two thousand pounds of heroin would not have been seized how would reducing 2400 agents at the border affect your job sir Congressman if our budget were reduced as you identify it would seriously it would Gravely harm our ability to apprehend individuals who are attempting to cross our border illegally who would Gravely harm our ability to interdict Fentanyl and other narcotics coming through the ports of entry and elsewhere and cause other harm and I should say with respect to fentanyl the challenge that this drug that death and destruction that this drug causes has been um building year over a year for a number of years there were 58 nearly 58 000 fennel overdose deaths in 2020 alone this is a challenge that we all have to work together to address fundamentally fundamentally in the context of immigration thank you Mr secretary we’re dealing with a broken system and we need reform thank you secretary Mr chairman what if I may without any objection I’d like to submit a letter for the record from the office of ledge Affairs to the Appropriations Committee that does a complete analysis of what capping fiscal year 2024 discretionary spending at 2022 levels would mean to the services the Department of Homeland Security without objection so ordered and finally in the last minute I have left let’s talk a big picture here Mr Mr secretary refugees after World War II there were 60 million European refugees moving throughout the world Wars famine covid-19 have an interesting way of affecting the refugee movements you stated a minute ago that this was not only a U.S issue but a issue for the continent is Colombia having issues with refugees are other nations in this continent having to address challenges of the refugees is this a worldwide phenomena Congressman it most certainly is our hemisphere is gripped by an unprecedented level of migration since World War II you mentioned the country of Colombia Colombia now is a residence to approximately 2.5 million Venezuelans who have fled that authoritarian regime the causes of people being on the move of course were spurred by covid-19 pandemic but also because of authoritarian regimes public corruption extraordinary poverty violence and other elements that force people to leave their homes thank you Mr chairman the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr Jimenez from Florida thank you Mr chairman um uh Mr majorcus secretary America’s uh you were named uh to be the Secretary of Homeland Security uh I believe on November 23 2020 is that correct I don’t remember the price precise state but I think yes I think that’s probably true okay did you and the and the president have discussions about how the policies that needed to be implemented uh in the department uh during the transition period um a congressman um that’s a simple yes or no answer did you have discussions or not yes yes we do okay thank you uh did you advise the president on his first day to rescind and then issue executive orders in the Department of Homeland Security uh rescinding the migrant protection plan stopping the construction of the wall and then various other uh executive orders that he signed into effect actually on his first day in office a congressman I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to speak of the deliberative process you mean did you did he do that on his own or did you have any say-so in that Congressman I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to speak of the deliberative process interesting do you advise the president on the the issue of Homeland Security I certainly do in the in the course scope of my services secretary all right um the you know my colleagues on the other side say that you inherited a mess at uh at the border um in 2000 fiscal year 2019 um or actually yeah in March of 2019 president then president Trump issued the the MPP the the basically remain in Mexico policy and in that year uh there were 977 000 encounters according to my numbers anyway and and you could see that after he issued that uh that executive order that it took a while for it to take effect but then it started to take effect and we have fewer and fewer encounters at the border where in fiscal 19 you had 977 000 Encounters in fiscal year 20 you had about 458 000 that’s a 50 drop in the number of encounters and then we get to the Biden Administration and your time uh right after the bite Administration rescinded a lot of these orders and issued their new executive orders we went from Encounters in January of 78 000 and jumped to a hundred and one thousand 173 178 180 189 213 209 192 where we had a 1.7 million encounters at the border that’s like a four-fold increase over what we had the previous year then the year after it got even worse so that we’re at 2.3 million Encounters in fiscal year 2022. now in light of this have you advised the president to change his policies at all a congressman I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to speak of the deliberative process but let me say this that the challenge at the border year to year is the function of many different factors so for example no sir I’m just I’m asking you it’s not about I’m asking you do you have you advised them that to change his policies and you refuse to answer that I understand that fair enough okay uh and so these numbers reflect abject failure at the border and so somebody has to take responsibility for it and since I guess you and he don’t talk or maybe if you do you’re not having been very effective at changing policy then maybe we need a new Secretary of Homeland Security uh and with that I yield back thank you the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr Carter Mr chairman thank you very much Mr secretary thank you for being with us today the Biden Administration is to be commended for recognizing that disasters exasperate existing inequities and further entrench existing social and economic disparities under your leadership in September 2021 several important actions were taken toward increasing equity in disasters they include ending a policy that prevented many families particularly rural families in the south from getting help to rebuild their inherited homes after natural disasters secretary Marcus can you explain the Biden administration’s approach to supporting communities impacted by disasters is the Border more secure under your leader thank you I don’t remember interrupting anyone when they had the floor I don’t know who said that when did that come who said something you may video a technical issue on the video so we’ll give you uh an extra 20 seconds thank you sir yep secretary Marcus can you explain the Biden administration’s approach to supporting communities impacted by disaster how is FEMA ensuring that communities have more Equitable outcomes and how will you measure whether these efforts are effective Congressman um the extreme weather events are impacting many communities across this country and it is Our obligation and our responsibility to ensure that there is no community that is disenfranchised from receiving the relief to which it is entitled as a result of the damage It suffers by reason of an extreme weather event and so one of the policy changes that we made recognizing that some poor rural communities do not necessarily have the documents that are traditionally evidence of home ownership to reach them where they are and how they live and perhaps for example if an individual does not have a deed of trust or mortgage documents because the home was passed from generation to generation to accept utility bills an affidavit regarding ownership to not leave them disenfranchised because of the traditions in that Community as well as the limited resources they have and Mr secretary I will note that that action has made an incredible difference for not just Democrats but for people throughout Louisiana throughout the country who find themselves in Dire Straits after natural disaster so I commend you and the administration for recognizing that disasters don’t identify party they don’t identify race and neither has this Administration I appreciate that while these policies should be commended I’m concerned about the national flood insurance programs new risk rating 2.0 system the new risk rating 2.0 system may leave my constituents especially in low and moderate income communities priced out of their homes by premium increases or they may have to choose to forego coverage entirely as a climate change as climate change worsens and brings about more frequent disasters which may increase flooding risk how are you insuring communities like mine that are negatively impacted by flood insurance plans that are supposedly aimed to help but in fact sir respectfully are doing just the opposite Congressman their two efforts underway number one as as you know and as you and I have discussed in the past we have significant Grant programs that are intended to reach uh communities and help them uh rebuild as well as to prevent uh harm from initially occurring we are reviewing our grant programs to ensure that again they leave no Community disenfranchised um we are reviewing uh and need to continue to review the risk rating 2.0 given the concerns that have been expressed with it and I can assure you that we are doing so and we will report out our results thank you uh risk rating 2.0 as we have said repeatedly is a game changer for many people um some people have to make determination can they live in the home that they’ve always enjoyed can they live in the community that they’ve always enjoyed so I’m happy to hear you say Secretary of America said this is not a done deal that there is an opportunity for revisiting with the recognition that it has caused harm and we should modify so with that sir I thank you very much net yield back the general had a little extra time if you want to take it you’re good okay the gentleman from Louisiana yelms I now recognize Mr Pfluger from Texas thank you Mr chairman this is a sad day America’s security has never been weaker than it is under the Biden Administration and you’re reign as Secretary of Homeland Security on March 13th of this year a Texas DPS Trooper attempted to stop ration Comer for speeding and Khmer refused to stop in a reckless high-speed chase in student at one point during this chase the suspect began to nonchalantly live stream himself driving at 105 miles per hour and evading the police officer behind him at the same time a 70 year old 71 year old grandmother and her seven-year-old granddaughter were on their way home after a play date their names were Maria and Amelia tembunga Maria is the mother of two of my constituents as Maria passed through the intersection of State Highway 163 and I-10 Service Road Comer blew through a red light and struck Maria in Amelia’s vehicle they were pronounced dead at the scene along with two other people after law enforcement secured that scene it was revealed that Khmer was a human trafficker smuggling 11 illegal aliens in his truck evading the law over the last few weeks I have heard countless stories of this beautiful seven-year-old girl about Amelia and Maria about how Amelia was an outgoing fashionista she wanted to be an influencer about how she loved to play with her friends and dance with her Aunt Jenny and cook with her grandmother Maria I’m wearing a pink tie today Mr secretary in honor of that little girl most importantly Mr secretary the Tim Bunga family is here today Emilio Maria’s husband and Amelia’s grandfather Elisa Maria’s daughter and Amelia’s mother in Virginia Maria’s daughter and Amelia’s ather sitting right behind you they came here today because they want answers they came here today because of the failures of you and your leadership they came here because they want closure they deserve answers Mr mayorkas will you turn around and offer them your condolences and an apology for the failure of your Administration that led to the death of their loved ones they’re right there they’re standing right there Congressman Mr secretary they’re standing there and I think they deserve an apology from you Congressman Mr chairman may I stand and turn certain certainly our heart outbreaks to your loss of heartbreaks for the loss of all victims of criminal activity it is a failure of the policies that have allowed hundreds of thousands of families to go through this grief they want to meet with you today Mr secretary I’ll host it in my office will you commit to meeting with them Congressman I most certainly will as long as you can politicize the meeting Mr secretary the only person politicizing anything here is you the security of this country is not a political matter in fact on September 21 2021 you told me in this committee room that the Border was Secure if we can play that video Mr chairman I think we have a video that is going to play my time is continuing yeah go ahead if you want to ask or talk about something else while they tee that up um see what’s going on here with our here we go we’ll give you a little extra time so it took some time is the Border more secure under your leadership than when you started a congressman the border is secure we’re executing our plan and I’ve been very clear and unequivocal in that regard Mr secretary the question is is the Border more secure now under your leadership honestly this is no less secure than it was previously Mr mayorcus are you going to tell the tambunga family that the border is secure today Congressman you are politicizing it tragedy I’m Not politicizing Tragedy they came here to Washington D.C of their own volition to get accountability for the loss of their family two beloved members of their family this year we had a hearing at the border which no Democrat came to not a single Democrat came to the hearing that we had in McAllen Texas and chief Ortiz said that the border is not secured do you disagree with Chief Ortiz Congressman uh let me return to what you said accountability is brought in a court of law Mr mayork has delivered accountability for 12 years Mr Mayor Chris do you disagree with the head border patrol agent when he said that our border is not secure Congressman I have testified to that issue so you do disagree with him you disagree with your chief of border patrol I respectfully do in that regard not a single border patrol agent that I’ve talked to in the past three years has said that they trust your leadership or have faith that you’re keeping our country secure I look forward to the meeting with the tambunga family and coming up with real solutions and I hope that all of my Democrat colleagues will meet the tambunga family and listen to their story and understand the things that are happening in my state and in others because of the failure of these policies and we have the answers right in front of us I hope that every one of you will do that you have the opportunity in McAllen Texas and it’s time to meet with them I yield back the gentleman yields I now recognize a gentleman from Michigan Mr Theodore Dr thenadar thank you Mr chair secretary America’s my colleagues on the other side have spent a lot of time today talking about securing the Border almost to the exclusion of everything else the fact is our border security challenges are a symptom of the broader failure to overhaul our immigration system we must expand legal Pathways for immigration including by raising the calf for H-1B visas in addition DHS has a broad range of missions Beyond The Border that are critical to securing the Homeland that deserve our attention for example we must make sure the Transportation Security Administration is able to carry out its mission to secure all modes of transportation for far too long TSA employees have labored under unfair working conditions while Frontline officers receiving 30 percent less pay and inferior labor protection when compared to other federal employees doing similar work Republican proposals to address these issues have fallen far short and have only come in response to more sufficient proposals from ranking member Thompson and other Democrats thankfully last year Democrats voted to fund expanded labor rights and pay raises for TSA workers which will take effect this July uh Mr Secretary of the 1.4 billion proposed for TSA pay Equity what percent will go to the tsa’s operational and front line failed positions uh Congressman thank you the the 1.4 billion is sought for a fairness we have we have fought for this a fairness for quite some time I don’t know the precise breakdown but I would be very pleased to Circle back with you and answer your question Mr secretary the data I have from TSA indicates that more than 98 of the funding will go to employees working in those positions additionally administering two separate pay systems within one agency would carry its own costs refusing to fund the initiative because a tiny fraction of funding would go to headquarters employees would be nothing more than a sorry excuse Mr secretary would you please describe what impacts failing to fund the annualization of the pain initiatives and effectively cutting TSA workers pay would have on employee morale and the agency’s ability to carry out its mission a congressman the impact on morale would be um quite negative but it’s not only an impact on morale it would negatively impact our ability to recruit and retain Talent at a at the very time uh that the United States travel industry is once again prospering in a post-covet 19 pandemic environment additionally Republicans have proposed limiting 2024 funding to the 2022 levels however I understand you wrote a letter to appropriators on March 19th describing some of the impacts that would have including wait times of more than two hours to receive security screening at many large airports Mr secretary what kind of security vulnerabilities does it create if airline passengers must wait in large crowds for more than two hours to receive security screenings Congressman your question goes to a fundamental point then we ensure that the Public’s travel is safe and secure we also help promote economic Prosperity through that lawful trade and travel and this not only with the security be impaired but also the facility of travel as well as trade would be impaired if our budget is cut that budget cut would impact negatively our department in so many different ways across so many different agencies and offices thank you Mr secretary the TSS workers must be paid a fair wage and ensure adequate Staffing levels uh Gemini yield back the gentleman yields the chair recognizes the gentleman from New York Miss Garbarino thank you chairman um secretary there’s been a lot of focus on the southern border today and as there should be um is my third year on the committee and I’ve been to the Border several times and have really seen the travesty that’s happening down there and there really needs to be a focus on fixing it and uh I hope we can somehow work together to get that way but uh Homeland Department oversees several other agencies and I have some questions regarding uh cisa uh cyber security because that’s another border that we have to make sure is protected and CIS is required uh to do that so the fiscal year 20 24 assists a budget requests relatively few additional full-time employees despite a persistent Workforce shortage in addition seven years after Congress gave Homeland DHS Authority it finally launched the Cyber intelligence cyber talent management system in November 2021 but public reporting indicates that hiring has been slow painfully slow both factors are very concerning considering the nation’s cyber Workforce Gap or cis’s current Staffing level sufficient to meet all of its current obligations a congressman um I’m sorry I didn’t or is is cis’s current Staffing levels sufficient to meet all of its existing obligations um this is a cyber security and infrastructure Security Agency is doing phenomenal work across its many different responsibilities we do have vacancies one of the things that we are seeking to overcome because we are very focused on recruitment is to pay disparity between government service and the private sector but we have indeed engaged in an intense focused effort to recruit talent for the very reason Congressman that you identify and I have spoken with directories she’s come in front of my subcommittee next week and she has been trying to make an effort but the department DHS has still not submitted cis’s for structure assessment which is over a year late that sisa is that’s assessment is crucial to understand cis’s Workforce and resource needs what is the delay when can we expect that report Congressman I’ll look into that and we will get back to your office promptly okay so what concerns me is that the delay in that report plus the delay I think there’s over eight reports that congresses do from DHS and cisa and and I believe there were I don’t know where the holdup is sister said they’re done I think and it might not even be with with with you but there is a delay in them getting to Congress some of them are over a year late and we’re here talking about the budget and budget requests and these reports are how we do our oversight that’s you know we we passed these and we want to we want to see what the information we want to make sure the money’s being spent properly we want to make sure that plans are going but we can’t do that if these reports come to us late and to have these budget requests keep coming for more money for other money to go to other projects there’s no we can’t just keep sending money without getting these reports so I don’t know where the hold up is there’s at least eight uh by my Accord that are late just from cisa and DHS so if you could have your team figure out when we will see these uh reports that would be uh that would be great because there’s a lot of good reports that were passed on a bipartisan level that we really need to see uh what’s going on Congressman let me let me assure you that work mightily to be responsive to Congress and to be responsive to Congress in a prompt manner one I think the only recommendation of the 911 Commission that has not been adopted is a restructuring of the oversight of the Department of Homeland Security I believe that there are more than 90 committees with jurisdiction over the department so you can well imagine the number of reports that we are obligated to prepare we understand the importance of this those reports which is why we work so diligently to prepare them for Congress and I am sorry for the delay in some we’re doing the best that we can I understand that just with cyber security it’s another border that we have to protect and we have to make sure that uh we have not only you’re acting with your proper authorities but we have the proper oversight in putting money where it needs to be I want to go back to the the the employment situation because of how slow and I want to emphasize this there’s a request for some for some more money but last year we actually rescinded over 50 million dollars because of how slow hiring has been system yeah it was over I think it was 53 million dollars what is the plan to make sure that we are properly staffed up and that we can do our job and make sure the federal cyberspace is protected Congressman you correctly noted that in 2021 we we undertook an effort an intense effort to recruit cyber Talent before that we engage in a cyber Sprint uh that I announced earlier in that year we are developing different models to reach Talent we understand the importance of Recruitment and we’re very very focused on it I’m out of time so I yield back thank you the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr magazine thank you chairman and thank you secretary one of the greatest threats to our nation’s Homeland Security is the rise of far-right and racially motivated violent extremism over the past decade more than 145 Americans were killed in domestic extremist attacks the most common motivations of the attackers have been racially motivated extremism and anti-government extremism accounting for 67 percent of domestic extremist attacks easy access to weapons of war and particularly assault weapons have only emboldened the extremists hear me now when it comes to racist and anti-semitic and anti-government violence there are not fine people on both sides the extremists who ran over and killed Heather heyer in Charlottesville was not a fine person he was a terrorist the white supremacists who killed 10 people in Buffalo and 23 in El Paso are terrorists the anti-semite who killed 11 at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was a terrorist the far-right militia group that attempted to kidnap the governor of Michigan are terrorists the January 6 rioters are not political prisoners they are criminals who attacked police officers and paramilitary groups like The Proud Boys The Oath Keepers and the three percenters wrapped themselves in the flag but they are not Patriots they are bigots with guns nothing more but the victims of these extremist attacks are what we should focus on because they were innocent Americans all of whom deserve to be alive today victims like Roberta Drury a woman in Buffalo who dedicated her time to helping her brother treat his leukemia and assisting her family and running their restaurant Andre McNeil a father who was picking up a surprise birthday cake for his three-year-old son Jordan and Andre akinodo two parents in El Paso who died shielding their two-month-old baby from gunfire Javier Rodriguez a 15 year old who loved playing video games in soccer Angie inglesby a grandmother who raised seven children by herself and worked multiple jobs to support them officer Brian sicknick a healthy 42 year old former Air National Guardsman who served our country in the Middle East and succumbed to his injuries after he was beaten and maced by a violent mob of insurrectionists at the Capitol on January 6 2021 among many others many of these attacks have been inspired by the racist great replacement Theory which falsely claims that there is some Grand conspiracy to replace white Americans with non-whites in order to eliminate the so-called white race this false conspiracy theory has seeped into the media with some members of Congress and Fox News personalities repeating it and inspiring domestic terrorists and their heinous attacks I want to be clear because it’s important not to paint with a broad brush I commend many of my colleagues including some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle for condemning domestic violent extremism in all of its forms however it is infuriating that some of our Republican colleagues have taken to cheerleading extremism and many others have stayed shamefully silent the fact is this more Americans have been killed by domestic extremism over the past five years than by International terrorism cracking down on domestic extremism is vital to protecting our American Homeland and our citizens I commend the Biden Administration for launching a national strategy for countering domestic extremism and I encourage you secretary mayorkis and the administration to continue to prioritize this growing threat I ask you secretary can you describe the efforts of the Biden Administration to combat domestic extremism Congressman um we have taken a number of different steps over the past two years to address this increasing threat I created a domestic terrorism Branch within the Office of Intelligence and Analysis we have increased the level of our information sharing to State local tribal and territorial Partners so that they understand the threat landscape in their respective communities we have increased our grant funding to equip and Empower communities to address the threat we are sharing best practice models on how to detect and intervene when an individual is moving towards Violence by reason of an ideology of hate anti-government sentiment personal grievance whatever the motive we are focused on the connectivity between an ideology and violence it is violence that we are focused upon thank you my time has expired so I’ll yield back the gentleman yields the chair now recognizes the former chairman of this committee and the current chairman of Foreign Affairs Mr Mike McCall from Texas famous chairman and I just want to say in response what about the hundred thousand Americans who died due to fentanyl poisoning more than Vietnam over 20 years in just one year you know Mr Secretary of United Federal prosecutors on border states we’ve known each other for a long time when you took office we were securing the Border um you said that you have operational control the last month your border patrol Chief Mr Ortiz testified before this committee that DHS does not have operational control of the border and I agree with him in my 20 years in Congress as a former chair of this committee and as a federal prosecutor tasked with securing the Border in Texas I’ve never seen this border more out of control and I believe it’s because on day one you rescinded the migrant protection protocols Otherwise Known remain in Mexico and at that time two years ago you said it was necessary to terminate this program that was working because quote it was unjustifiable human cost associated with it but I ask you is it justifiable that migrant encounters have risen to 5 million people since you took office is it justifiable that more than a hundred thousand Americans have died from fentanyl flowing across the border is it justifiable that 98 suspected terrorists attempted to enter the Homeland last year alone and who knows how many have made it in when I was chairman I wanted that stat every week I got briefed is it justifiable at least twelve thousand criminals attempted to enter the Homeland last year a thousand with assault related charges and 62 with homicide related charges is it justifiable to human costs at least 853 migrants died trying to make the dangerous journey across the border last year the most on record in the history of this country I don’t always quote CNN but they had a phenomenal documentary The Journey the dangerous Journey from South America to the United States is it justifiable that in my state First Responders found stacks of bodies that’s a quote abandoned by human smugglers in a trailer who suffocated to death are these human costs justifiable because they align with your political agenda because I don’t think any of these things none of this is justifiable this is the biggest human trafficking crisis of my lifetime and you sir are complicit with it I’ve been down there so many times but now it’s completely out of control what do we got to do with five million people that have no legal status in this country how do you deal with this problem they’re going to live in the shadows where are they going to go the women the girls are going to be sex trafficked and the young men are going to go to MS-13 that’s going to be their family and you know it and I know you know it because you know better you’re a smart man you were a U.S attorney like me that’s why I’m supporting our bill that we’re going to mark up to try to get control of this thing once and for all and as chairman of the house Foreign Affairs committee I’m going to compel this Administration to renegotiate remain in Mexico you know in the final analysis or your job is a solemn one it’s probably one of the most important cabinet jobs because your job is to protect the American people from threats your job is to secure borders air Land and Sea and in my judgment it’s hard for me to say this I’ve known you for quite some time but you have failed in your job and I think you know this and I agree with our border patrol agents this is one of the most to me most profound things that I saw in their tenure when you went down to the Border and the border patrol agents turned their backs on you because quote you have turned your back on them I think that speaks volumes that your tenure in office for God’s sakes work with us to get this done it is out of control and it’s a great human cost and none of it’s justifiable and one recision one stroke of the pen we’re sending migrant protection protocol remained in Mexico it was a direct cause and effect and your agents On the Border tell me this what caused this crisis I ask it’s because the president rescinded remain in Mexico because they couldn’t get in the United States before that and now they get in and it’s catch and release all over again and now we have this crisis at the border so I uh I know my time is running out but I would like to entertain in your response you have Congressman you um you invited me to work with you and work with this committee uh to address the challenges at the border and I welcome that invitation and I accept it our immigration system has been broken for decades for decades and it is in dire need of legislative reform you ask about what is justifiable and what is not evidence of a broken immigration system is compelling for years and years you know that in the Years 2006 2007 2008 there were more than one million gotaways per year the challenge of fentanyl we you and I have both prosecuted narcotics trafficking cases I have prosecuted cocaine trafficking methamphetamine trafficking black tar heroin trafficking we’ve seen nothing very much but we’re going to sanction China for the precursors coming in and my bill will sanction Mexican officials for being complicit with this drug trafficking that’s killing a hundred thousand Americans for God’s sakes and you sir I believe are complicit with this by your inaction at the border oh we are taking more action than the gentleman’s time has expired um and uh gentleman yields I now recognize Mr swalwell from California for his five minutes question Congress Mr you want to respond today 20 seconds to say that we are doing nothing is an absolute falsehood we are taking it to the cartels do I think that nearly 58 000 fentanyl overdose deaths in 2020 are quote unquote justifiable this department has worked to stop the trafficking of Narcotics since its very Inception and we both know very well that the drug problem in this country requires a two-prong approach to address the supply and to address the demand and this Fight Continues and we are taking it to the cartels in an unprecedented way and Operation Blue Lotus that we launch in the middle of March is one powerful example of what we are doing to only increase our effort to address this Scourge that is killing so many Americans but to say that we are doing nothing is unequivocally false Mr secretary you oversee one of the largest law enforcement Personnel in America is it the position of the bite Administration to fund or defund the police it is to fund the police and does that include to also train them to catch the bad guys and also not to harm the good guys Congressman that is the sworn oath of officers and you would agree that unlike any time before in our history police officers are in danger today they have a Target on their back violence committed against them um Congressman I know that law enforcement officers are under tremendous uh attack and do you think go ahead do you think anti-police rhetoric hurts morale or helps morale as you’re trying to recruit people to be law enforcement officers Congressman it hurts morale and that is why it is so important that law enforcement leaders continue to communicate their Mobility the nobility of the law enforcement profession I’m very proud to say that and does anti-police rhetoric put Targets on the back of law enforcement for their safety Congressman it does that’s why I’m disturbed about a recent tweet from the former president that says republicans in Congress should defund the Department of Justice and the FBI I’m also concerned about people on this committee and their own anti-police rhetoric this is a defund the FBI campaign effort again thousands of FBI agents who work hard every day to take bad guys off the streets in fact after the FBI rated Mar-A-Lago someone armed the teeth went to an FBI field office to try and kill FBI agents I’m also concerned that the chairman of the Judiciary Committee invited a witness when you could have any person who walks this Earth as a chairman of a committee to come in and Testify the chairman of the Judiciary Committee invited the author of this tweet well the gentleman yield the gentleman yield so it concerns me that there is this anti-police rhetoric that’s happening among some in the mega Republican party because they vote against police funding that was included in the covid relief package they vote against police reform efforts that would put millions of dollars in community police officers on our street they vote and are against the union protections that allow them to collectively bargain and as we honor the hundreds of January 6 officers who were hurt that day too many of them gave comfort and Aid at the D.C jail I also want to ask is anti-Semitism on the rise in America Mr secretary Congressman yes it is and are we seeing increases in violence toward Jewish Americans Congressman yes we are and we are seeing that for other minority groups as well and so when an influencer like Kanye West who has millions of followers on social media says that he’s going to declare Defcon 3 on the Jews do you think that increases threats to Jewish Americans or decreases threats words like that increase the threat to minority groups congressman and that’s why it surprises me that the chairman of the Judiciary Committee tweeted out Kanye Elon Trump well we know what Trump thinks about law enforcement and what is happening in law enforcement right now with Targets on their back but this tweet was kept up for months after Kanye West said that he was going to declare Defcon 3 on the Jews Mr secretary do you believe that all of us have a responsibility to elevate our rhetoric and to denounce anti-Semitism and anti-police rhetoric in this country so that Jewish Americans and police officers can be safer Congressman I do thank you now you’re back the gentleman yields and now I recognize the gentlelady from Georgia Miss Green that was quite entertaining from someone that had a sexual relationship with a Chinese spy and everyone knows it but they moved to take our words down completely inappropriate yeah stand by just a second while we research the rule um give me just a second I need to reclaim my make sure I have my full five minutes a motion has been made the gentleman will uh the committee will suspend and the gentleman will state the words that he wishes taken down everything that the gentlelady from Georgia has said no you need to be more specific accusations of an affair with a Chinese spy those are engaging in personalities and this those words should be taken down and the gentlelady should not be able to speak anymore in this hearing that is not the latter part of that is not an appropriate motion but we will evaluate the Striking of those words give me just a second the chair uh recognizes the gentlelady from Georgia and asks if she would like to retract those words no I will not for those members who are wondering uh we are looking into rule um Clause one of rule 17 and the rules of the house foreign okay the chair rules that those uh words that were spoken are not going to be stricken from the record let’s hear the gentleman the gentleman from Mississippi is recognized um I don’t think there’s any question about uh what the young lady said I’ve been on this committee uh from day one we’ve never had an accusation made of any member like that and I’m appalled at it we all ought to be embarrassed at it we are better committed than what the general lady is trying to make of this committee so I appeal the ruling of the chair the ruling of the chair has been appealed we will now gentleman moose Mr chairman of point of order yeah right over here could you explain what part of those words are not engaging in personalities and what the basis of your ruling is no we’re gonna let the vice chair take over uh the committee at this point thank you now Mr chairman I moved to table the motion there’s been a motion to table all in favor say aye aye aye those opposed say no no no and the opinion of the chair the eyes have it and the motion to table is agreed to most here the gentleman is recognized a request a recorded vote a recorded vote has been requested the clerk will call the roll Mr chairman with the gentleman from New York Mr Goldman yield the clerk will call the roll Mr McCall aye Mr McCall ‘s eye Mr Mr guest Mr Bishop Mr Jimenez Mr fluger Mr fluger votes eye Mr Garbarino Miss Greene aye Ms Green votes eye Mr Gonzalez Mr Gonzalez votes I Mr lalota Mr loloto votes eye Mr Ezell aye Mr Isel votes I Mr diasposito Miss Lee I miss Lee votes eye Mr Latrell Mr strong Mr burkine aye Mr burkine votes eye Mr Crane Mr Crane votes I Mr Thompson no Mr Thompson votes no Miss Jackson Lee Mr Payne Mr swalwell no Mr swalwell votes no Mr Correa Mr Carter no Mr Carter votes no Mr tanadar Mr magaziner Mr Ivy no Mr Ivy votes no Mr Goldman no Mr Goldman votes no Mr Garcia no Mr Garcia votes no Mrs Ramirez no Mrs Ramirez votes no Mr Menendez no Mr Menendez votes no Miss Clark no Miss Clark votes no Miss Titus Mr Higgins Mr guest Mr Bishop Mr Jimenez Mr Garbarino Mr diasposito Mr Latrell Mr Latrell votes I Mr strong Miss Jackson Lee Mr Payne Mr Correa Mr tanadar Mr magaziner Miss Titus are there other members in the room who wish to have their vote recorded Clark how am I recorded you are not recorded the chair votes I chairman green votesai the clerk will report to tally Mr chairman on that vote there were 11 years and nine no’s the eyes have it and the motion is agreed to the motion the previous motion is tabled uh the gentlelady from Georgia is recognized and we will give her her time the time when the clock was stopped and we’ll give you an extra 10 or 15 seconds thank you Mr chairman secretary mayorkas since you have been in charge of the Department of Homeland Security there have been zero miles of border wall added there have been over 5.5 million illegal alien encounters at our border 1.3 million known gotaways and approximately 870 percent increase in apprehensions in just one sector of the northern border American Mothers and infants suffered a severe baby formula shortage all while this Administration was happily stocking the shelves for illegal aliens at one of one of the largest processing centers in the country American Mothers were forced to delay inductions at the Yuma Regional Medical Center because of your policies they have flooded their maternity unit with illegal aliens tens of thousands of Migrant children have been forced into slave labor in our country but because of your policies at least 853 dead migrants and Counting the most ever in a 12-month period died trying to cross the southern Border in 2022 and now there are over 300 Americans a day dying every single day every single day without without fail every single day because of fentanyl deadly fentanyl which is the number one cause of death in young people between ages 18 and 45. now we have rain rainbow fentanyl which even NBC News was acknowledging that the cartels were bringing across our border and it comes from China this rainbow fentanyl looks like Sweet Tarts or Skittles clearly made to Target America’s school children 50 times more potent than heroin 100 times more potent than morphine and now under your tenure secretary Marcus schools All Over America have to have Narcan to save children that overdose on this deadly poison let me explain something to you I’m not from Texas I’m not from any border state I represent a district in Georgia which is in Northwest Georgia we’re not anywhere near Mexico we’re not anywhere near the ocean but in my district in my district people die nearly every single day from Fentanyl and I want to know from you how many more people do we have to watch die every single day in America how many more young people do we have to see die how many more teenagers how many more parents cry themselves to sleep at night if they can even sleep because their child overdosed on Fentanyl how long are you going to continue this outrage complete outrage where China is poisoning America’s children poisoning our teenagers poisoning our young people how long are you going to let this go on congresswoman let me assure you that we’re not letting it go on we are fighting this no I reclaim my time you’re a liar you are letting this go on and the numbers prove it you lie about the facts secretary secretary mayorkas while you live in denial and sit over there with this attitude that you’re doing everything right you are killing Americans with your policies and that is a fact your policies are killing people over 300 Americans a day over 300 and it’s outrageous let me ask you another question we talk about here um the the ranking members recognized you know we can disagree but just the fact that we have people watching uh you don’t have to call uh a witness a lion and and I just excuse me this ranking member have a point of order well no actually I want you to take the words of the speaker down so uh I mean but I need to explain so the gentleman does have a is Raising report yes so the point is uh in raising this point of order in general age time will be restored you know we have a history of being a bipartisan committee that work on Solutions now we can disagree but we’ve gotten to the point of the language that we’re using uh is not the kind of language that historically we as members of this committee uh we’ve used and again I just think in the interest of Civility of this committee I would employ all of the members that understand the strength and concern but you know there’s a way that we ought to conduct ourselves and what I’m hearing uh is not how a majority is committed conducts business and we can do better so I asked it the words be taken down committee will suspend the gentleman will state the words that he wishes to be taken down the generator uh referenced the secretary and called him a liar uh chairs the gentle lady if she wishes to see unanimous consent to modify or withdraw her remarks I will not withdraw my remarks because the facts show the proof okay um so in making a ruling on this uh it’s pretty clear that the rules State you can’t impugn someone’s character identifying or calling someone a liar is unacceptable in this committee and I make the ruling that we strike those words sorry just a point of order legitimate question you’re recognized thank you Mr chairman did you move to take the words down or to strike them Mr Thompson yeah sorry I just stepped in to take them down so that’s what we do yeah yeah my understanding is if words are taken down that means that the the member can no longer speak in whatever the proceeding is that those words were set I personal inquiry point of personal inquiry that’s there’s no such thing by just a second so in Consulting the roles of the house uh when we strike it does terminate the time of the individual who is speaking so uh the gentlelady is no longer recognized uh the chair now recognizes Mr Ivy I believe uh can I make a point of inquiry Mr chairman you can so the the ruling was that because she used the word liar um that was taken down which I agree with yes but but accusing a statement of fact is very similar to the posters that uh Mr there’s no stable effect No statement of there’s no there’s no basis for the statement we’re not here to debate this okay and the ruling was made by the chair that these previous words were not against the rules of Clause 1 and class four of rule 17 but to tell someone that they are a liar is it’s pretty clear in the rules slander is clearly covered by the rules the the impurement I can’t imagine an allegation worse than the one that she just made I mean that has got to be certain the category of taking the taking the words down no no it it is not it does not fit the rules by the ruling of the chair and we’ve already voted on that it has passed us we have the secretary until about 1 30. we’re going to move on and Mr Ivy you’re recognized for your your five minutes of questioning well Mr chairman let me say this I appreciated your opening statement where you st you admonished actually Mr secretary about the reasons the committee was formed and and the department was for which is to protect the United States uh from enemies foreign and domestic and I I certainly agree with that you reminded the Secretary of his oath um and I appreciate that and I recognize also that all of us took similar Oaths to that so one of the reasons I was excited about being assigned to this committee was because I thought that was the work that we were going to be doing I thought we were going to be focusing on issues like cyber security yes we have issues at the border but I sure thought there’d be a good faith effort to try and address it for example like putting up budget budget dollars to address the issues expanding resources and the like this committee’s done nothing with any of those the disinformation issues that are before this committee not touched at all so I’m a little distressed and so I got really distressed when I read your comments in the New York Times I couldn’t believe look I I first came to the hill in 1987. so I understand Congressional politics I know how the game is played but to joke about trying to have the secretary removed let me read the quote I know the the ranking member did before I said on April 19 next week get the popcorn Alejandro mayorcas comes before our committee and it’s going to be fun that’ll be really that’ll really be just the beginning for him that is totally Off the Mark for what we’re supposed to be doing on this committee we were sent here not to have fun not to eat popcorn not to try and take somebody down I was also amazed to see the five-phase plan that you discussed at this donor meeting too on top of that this is about raising money this isn’t even talking to a group this is Raising dollars just like the the FBI t-shirt that Mr swalwell showed a few minutes ago just like do you uh Mr Mr Trump raising 12 million dollars after he makes a statement about we should defund the Department of Justice and the FBI but keep in mind if you defund the Department of Justice and the FBI who’s going to deal with the the types of issues the international prosecutions that we need and by the way we’ve got another colleague that has a bill actually to defund the ATF I was very heartened to see Mr mayorkas that on Friday you didn’t they didn’t mention this but there was a huge takedown of the Sinaloa cartel the Department of Justice working with DHS and DHA and other agencies um you know had a huge takedown of the cartel and that’s one of the things I think we’re supposed to be talking about I think it should be commended for that and it’s important to remember that if we don’t have doj FBI ATF to do that kind of work it won’t get done and so all of the things we’re talking about especially the the fentanyl issue won’t get addressed because we won’t have the apparatus to do it and just a quick reminder on the fentanyl piece 92 percent of the fentanyl that comes into the United States is not coming across with these people walking across the border it’s coming through the ports uh we learned from the the takedown when they briefed us on Friday that they have planes and tunnels that they also used to bring these materials into the United States so you know we can talk about people walking across the border and I think that’s important we should deal with it but if we really want to get at the fentanyl issue building a wall doesn’t address it because the planes fly over them the tunnels go under them and the cars drive by them and all of these are driven by Americans by the way or almost all of them are driven by American so I hope one last point I got one last minute on Monday I went to New York City uh with Mr Jordan and the the Judiciary Committee and that was ostensibly about crime in New York City and I said at the time you know what I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt I’m not I’m not going to try and look into your heart and attribute any kind of ill motives you know things line up I kind of wonder why we were actually there but I’m not going to do that but when I see this kind of statement um it was kind of an eye-opener for me and I unfortunately was the day after I had just made those statements in public about not attributing bad motives to the people who went up there for the Committee hearing now I can see it’s a five-phase plan it’s an effort to remove Mr mayorkas and damage the Biden Administration Mr Jordan had said that earlier anyway but you know I try and give people the benefit of the doubt the gentleman’s time is expired and I’m going to make a point of clarification about the New York Times article they did misquote me so you might want to get with me later and I’ll give you the exact details of what I said but uh I some of what you said was right some of you what you said was incorrect this is about Mr mayorka’s time here in front of the committee and not about what the chairman said about us holding him accountable and any phases that we might have in holding him accountable uh this is about him and so I now recognize Mr chairman I would move for unanimous consent to enter this article into the wreck oh yeah absolutely uh without objections so ordered foreign Mr Gonzalez from Texas uh thank you chairman thank you chairman for your leadership thank you secretary mayorkas for coming before us you’ve had a hell of a week uh I’d say uh in my district we’ve had a hell of a three years I represent 42 percent of the Southern border over 800 miles places nobody knew of three years ago that are in the news every single day Eagle Pass El Paso Del Rio Uvalde knippa Hondo Ozona you heard from the tambungas earlier today Ozona is 120 miles from the southern border and yet we’re having Smugglers going 100 miles through an hour in my district killing Americans and what I’ve seen is this crisis continue to spiral and I’ve also seen the politics around it it’s very lucrative for a lot of people to just constantly go to the well I do not have that option you do not have that option A lot of us who are trying to solve this problem don’t have this option this is what I am seeing I am seeing and and to me border security should bring this country together more than anything else and I want to talk about one thing in particular when I think of border security because I think this is something we can all agree on certainly you and I can our children the children if we can’t agree we need to protect American children and P and and children that aren’t Americans We can’t agree on anything else and right now I’ve got a family that lost a seven-year-old daughter a month ago I sat with them in Ozona uh last week um the grandfather Emilio served in the Marine Corps he’s an honorable man he served 20 years in law enforcement while I’m sitting with him there his phone goes off and that’s the alarm that he would go pick up his granddaughter and so this is affecting everybody on the other side I see um children that that aren’t American citizens that are abandoned in fields uh one border patrol agent gave me a story when there was a baby that they came across that was covered in fire ants thankfully they were able to save that baby it was just an endless amount in kanipa a couple weeks ago there were there were some illegal aliens that were found cooked to death in San Antonio about a year ago 53 migrants guess whose District I was in yeah my District 53 migrants found cooked to death uh you know the last uh uh last Administration Democrats came out and they said the Trump Administration no more kids in cages I’m asking that the Biden Administration have no more kids in graveyards that’s where this is at and we need help um I spent 20 years in the military and um and what I am worried about is this round and round we go pointing fingers pointing blame I know you’ve been in this this uh process a long time you understand what it takes you you know uh how to implement some policies that work I am concerned that that um the department has lost its way and I go back to my time in the Navy where the goal and I hope the goal for you is the same the goal was always make the place better than how you found it and turn it over to your predecessor so they could make the place better for how they found it what I see right now is it might be time for a change in DHS and what I would like to look at is what does that change look like at some point I don’t know how I don’t know when at some point you will no longer be the DHS secretary and you will move on to something else I want to see what does the department go from here how do we strengthen it how do we get back to making this committee a bipartisan committee that is focused on the DHS the Department of Homeland Security being successful I I give a lot of credit to uh to Chairman Greene and his staff for working on this border package I think there’s going to be a lot of good things in there as we shake through this as we go into markup next week some things that are very important to me I I think instead of instead of demonizing children I think we should demonize the cartels they are the enemy it’s not what each and us it’s not all of us the cartels are the enemy I’ve been pushing I will continue to push to label cartels as terrorist organizations I think it’s important that we throw the book at Smugglers you can’t just give them a slap on the wrist we have to throw this the book at the Smugglers the tambunga family you know Emilio he’s a quiet man he wasn’t asking for an apology the man doesn’t need an apology you know what the man needs he needs action he wants the people that killed his wife and his daughter his granddaughter to be held accountable so I would just ask I have no questions for you today you’ve been you’ve been very generous working with me on various different things I would ask that you look internally and you go whenever your time is expired and it’s time for you to move on that the Department of Homeland Security have a plan to be successful for your predecessor for that I yield back the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr Goldman from New York thank you Mr chairman um secretary mayorkas is it the uh policy of the Biden Administration to allow as much fentanyl in this country as possible no it is not Congressman it is our um our plan to interdict and prevent as much fennel of that is being sought to enter the country from preventing it from and is it the policy of the Biden Administration to allow as many children to be smuggled into this country as possible no it is not Congress no of course it’s not and we’re sitting here with a shocking lack of decorum to have a secretary cabinet secretary in front of us who has been subject to ad hominem insults and accusations that are completely baseless I have now counted that six of my Republican colleagues have not asked you a single question they have used their five minutes to speechify to accuse you of lying to accuse you of making false statements and what is a clear effort to try to set up I suppose the first step of the five-phase plan to impeach you well I have a little experience with impeachment and I can tell you as well as everybody else that there is no grounds for impeachment based on a policy dispute and there is absolutely nothing that I’ve seen here today that amounts to a false statement under oath in fact Mr Bishop my colleague in referencing operational control and that standard stated himself that it is an objective it is the objective of the Department of Homeland Security to have operational control and as you pointed out that is to allow no unlawful entry into this country that of course is an impossible standard and you are certainly to be applauded for recognizing the problem that we have at the border and providing more resources and asking for more resources to solve that I have another question secretary mayorkas if there are more encounters at the border between Homeland Security officials and Smugglers migrants coming in you name it does that mean that the Department of Homeland Security is doing its job better or worse Congressman I’m not sure I understand your question but let me just say this that encounters are a function of a number of factors um and what we are seeing is an increase in migration around the hemisphere and the factors involve why people leave their countries of origin their home for a better life because of authoritarian regimes because of extreme poverty violence persecution by reason of their membership in a particular social group of because of the adverse impacts of covid-19 our country our country um has advanced in conquering the covid-19 pandemic more than any country to the South our country has 10 to 11 million vacant jobs that are incredibly meaningful for people who are fleeing extreme poverty the United States of America Remains the greatest country in the world the country in which so many people want to live for a better life the number of encounters often reflect all of those factors including right the fact that your officials are doing their job and encountering people who are trying to come across without a lawful Visa I had a whole lot of questioning that I’m not going to be able to get to but I would like to ask unanimous consent to enter an editorial into the record that is entitled in today’s Washington Post how to stop the Mexican cartels question mark stop supplying them with guns without objection so ordered the there are over 200 000 guns that are exported from gun manufacturers and gun dealers in the United States two Mexican cartels that allow them to control the border and send fentanyl back into this country the laws in Mexico are incredibly strict there is one gun store in the entire country so if we are going to stop the fentanyl crisis and if we are going to stop the cartels then we need to stop the exportation of assault weapons to Mexico from this country and I yield back the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr lilota from New York thank you Mr chairman secretary mayorkas month after month members of this committee receive reports regarding fentanyl seizures fentanyl deaths gotaways and other important data that paints a clear picture of the uh an unsettling image of what is going on in our Southwest border and Mr secretary I want to make sure that we’re all on the same page with respect to that data so so please direct your attention to the board behind me I’m going to ask you what should be some very straightforward multiple choice questions using data from CBP Homeland Security DEA and the Census Bureau and sir I know that we’re limited on time so I would appreciate if when you responded you just say A B C or D and these multiple choice questions sir and so my first question is according to CBP how much fentanyl has CBP seized along the Southwest border in FY 23 and you see the answers uh behind me sir so uh Congressman two quick things number one my distance vision isn’t what it used to be so I can’t actually see that and number two I’m not taking a multiple choice test that you administered let me assure you of that on point number one so the clerk has a physical copy of the questions so you can see them in front of you so I’ll narrate the questions Sir with respect to the amount of drugs specifically fentanyl seeds at the border the answer is 13 800 pounds seized in the first six months of f y23 that is enough to kill 2.5 billion people every American eight times over sir the next question sir according to the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration how many Americans died from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl between January 2021 and January 2022 your first year an officer uh congressman from approximately 2021 uh to the the data in 2022 is not yet available approximately let me give you some stats in 2020 close to 58 000 people died from fentanyl overdose deaths in 2018 uh almost 47 000 people died from fentanyl overdose deaths the challenge of fentanyl the scourge of fentanyl with respect years I’m going to reclaim my time Mr chairman the answer is d uh 71 941 that’s almost 200 per day sir that exceeds the population of Portland Maine uh in essence we lost a small City because of fentanyl in 2021 next slide please uh sir the next question is how many known gotaways was DHS aware of in fiscal year 21. in 2021 I believe the number was almost 390 000. yes the answer is D 389 000 godaways and finally the last slide um sir of which of the following cities um which have pop which of the following cities have populations less than 389 000 the same number as the known gotaways that we just mentioned earlier Congressman I think you know the answer to the question perhaps you could provide it to us well it’s actually a trick question Mr secretary each of the four cities behind me uh are well-known American cities that populations less than the total number of known godaways last year and let that sink in America could have a whole new city based solely how uneffective you’ve been at securing the borders sir and Mr secretary it’s clear to me by your inability to swiftly answer these seemingly easy questions that you and this committee are not on the same page I know sir that you’re well aware of this data and it’s unfortunate you cannot be proud of it in your testimony you only mentioned the word crisis once and it wasn’t even in relation to America’s border crisis in fact it had nothing even to do with our homeland and Surah as the leader of the Homeland Security Department you have a duty to secure the border and to keep Americans safe and Sir with all due respect there is a crisis at our Southwest border and you are failing in your very important duty and the only question remaining is whether you’re doing so out of negligence recklessness or if it’s intentional so let this data serve as a stark reminder of the severity of the crisis at our Southwest border Mr secretary time is of the essence American lives are being lost every day and I beg of you to please act immediately the American people deserve nothing less Mr chairman now yelbeck the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr Garcia from California thank you Mr chairman and thank you Mr secretary for your service and for being here with us today I know that you’re working under very difficult circumstances and you’re trying your best with a team across many departments and we also know the challenges that we Face the Border are not challenges that you can take on uh your own and not and not just the responsibility of your department now we all know we’re battling a functional crisis with also inadequate Mental Health and Drug Treatment programs and we’re also acknowledging the fact that drugs can be easily transported by Americans through illegal ports eventually you’ve heard this numerous times today I also just want to remind us that we also don’t have legal orderly Pathways to citizenship which forces people to come in other ways to our country but Mr secretary I’d like to get your your thoughts on some proposed potential border policies that many of us have heard and that I have heard here in this Congress if you don’t mind I’d like to ask a few questions about these proposed policies uh Mr secretary do you think it would be a good idea to fill and build a trench with alligators along the border like actually building a moat full of alligators across the border would that be a good idea no it would not Congressman uh Mr secretary do you think it would be a good idea to shoot migrants in the legs um as they’re crossing the border would that would that be a good idea Congressman no it would not uh Mr secretary do you think it would be a good idea if the United States launched a military attacks along the northern border of Mexico uh would that be a good idea Congressman no it would not thank you and I I of course agree with you sir and I just want to note that these uh insane ideas have been proposed by former president Trump and members of our very body here in the Congress and so I thank you for uh for your answers I think it’s important to to note that by uh seeing what’s happened today in the rhetoric around this a really important conversation that the majority is not really serious about any solutions but they are serious about a radical anti-immigrant agenda and getting any protections for the rights to Legal Asylum and immigration I like many others Remember When Donald Trump’s attorney general said that we need to take away children clearly a cruel statement that continues to be repeated over and over by by many members of this majority now house Democrats want an orderly system at the border where people have legal Pathways to come to build better lives and we can work together to actually solve the issues that exist along our border and I want to thank you for your work as we continue to do that and Mr secretary finally can you describe the importance of safeguarding the legal right to Asylum so that vulnerable people can get the opportunity to build safe lives like you and I both as immigrants have been able to do Congressman our Asylum system is one of the crown jewels of our country we have taken great pride since our founding as a to be a country of Refuge for those people fleeing persecution I came to this country with my parents and my sister as political refugees from Cuba fleeing the Communist takeover there we understand the meaning of this country as a place of Refuge it is why I have sought to give back to this great country by my more than 20 years of Public Service absolutely sir and I I came to this country as a young child also I became a U.S citizen in my early 20s and like you a proud immigrant of this country and um uh it’s unfortunate that so many choose to forget that immigrants make contributions to this country and can become secretaries of departments and members of congress with that I yield back the rest of my time thank you the gentleman Neons I now recognize Mr Ezell from Mississippi thank you thank you Mr chairman and thank you secretary mayorkun for being here today it’s been a been a tough day but I would like to address uh since the Biden Administration took office CBP reports that nearly 1200 border patrol agents have been assaulted on the job morale is is pretty low and and these agents are being overwhelmed emotionally and physically this increase in agent assaults should alarm all of us uh Mr secretary can you please tell me how your support your front line agents and your officers that are going through this ordeal Congressman thank you very much for your question we are supporting the members of U.S customs and board of protection every single day and let me share with you you mentioned assaults against our border patrol agents as such an assault as a violation of Title 18 of the United States code section 111 and as Chief Ortiz and I and other sector Chiefs have addressed we are seeking the prosecution of individuals who assault our border patrol agents they are doing heroic work our border patrol agents under significant challenges and they deserve and are receiving our support I think I’m also concerned how the body Administration is making it more difficult for our ice agents to do their job uh adding some bureaucratic red tape and an example for my home state of Mississippi uh your department required an agent to call and ask permission from DC to remove an illegal alien who had been convicted a possession with intent to distribute 10 kilos of methamphetamine Mr secretary uh I know if I didn’t enforce the law while I was a sheriff uh you know I’d have been I’d been removed from office and will you help remove some of these obstacles like having to call D.C to get rid of a guy that’s been convicted of 10 kilos of methamphetamine you help remove some of this red tape so these guys can do their job a congressman they look forward to learning more about the particular case that came to your attention because I will tell you that the field office director in Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the authority to approve a removal and in fact in this Administration more aggravated felons have been removed per month than in the prior Administration our focus is indeed on individuals who pose a threat to Public Safety and National Security thank you uh it’s been more than two decades since the Department of Homeland Security was established as a standalone cabinet level department the department has significantly grown it’s now consist of nearly 30 components and offices with more than 240 000 employees I am concerned about the homeland security as being weaponized in ways that distract from its originally intended mission specifically experts have suggested that it’s time to overhaul the Department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis citing the office of inconsistent struggle to provide timely and accurate intelligence as the Secretary of homelandic security can you give me three concrete ways in which you could recommend Congress reform the Office of Intelligence and Analysis to improve the efficient flow of information Congressman let me share with you that we have an under secretary Ken Weinstein who leads the Office of Intelligence and Analysis who served as a United States Attorney has served as the homeland security advisor to former President Bush has served as the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security division of the U.S Department of Justice an extraordinary leader I’m very proud that he agreed to join our department and he is very focused on growing the strength of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis and one of the ways in which Congress can do so is to properly fund that office which is so critical to equipping not only the federal government but but also our state local tribal Territorial and campus Partners in securing communities across this country the men and women the Personnel of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis are extraordinary public servants and I’m incredibly proud to work alongside them thank you Mr chairman I yield back the gentleman from Mississippi yields I now recognize Mr Ramirez of Illinois thank you chairman Greene and ranking member Thompson for convenient convening us into this hearing I can I gotta move a little so I can see you here but I want to start with thanking the secretary and acknowledging that your work is constantly criticized and while the border is in your portfolio it is not the only Department’s responsibility as you’re also responsible in addressing issues when disasters strike you’re responsible in protecting our economy securing cyberspace and critical infrastructure why are we not talking about those issues who we know continue to expand the threats to our country every single day my colleagues to the right only care about the Border because they want to cure the narrative that Asylum Seekers and refugees are illegals they’re they’re an invasion when we know this is really about a denial of Human Rights and our commitment to being a country that welcomes immigrants the way we’ve done in Generations before what we should be discussing today is when is Congress going to pass a law to increase access to legal representation for individuals making sure families are kept together and providing a pathway to citizenship for dreamers and TPS holders what we should be talking about today is cyber security attacks what we should be talking today about is funding that addresses natural disasters what we should be talking today about is supporting infrastructure protections the capacity for our TSA workers to do their job but that is not what we’re talking about today it is nice to see my Republican colleagues suddenly care about migrant children like my little sister across the border at 60 pounds 20 years ago but where were they when the Trump Administration was separating families when were they where were they to protect kids in our schools from gun violence thoughts and prayers I grew up in church and I know that prayer also requires action Mr secretary I want to be clear the administration can do a better job in protecting migrant children I agree with that and I also look forward to working with you and all of you to make that happen I also have to say that I am concerned that the Department of Homeland Security is considering Reviving family detention very simply any duration of the tension is harmful it is inhumane and it is unacceptable it undermines the fundamental right to seek Asylum we want to argue that children are at risk we alternatively have to argue that shutting off Avenues to claim Asylum will keep Kids Safe by keeping them in their in their home countries but we have heard it if any of you have ever been to Guatemala to chikimula to San Ysidro you will know what poverty actually feels like what it’s like to have to live every single day in danger why you would walk 1811 miles to get to this country these people are fleeing their countries with unimaginable poverty and from my own experience you’ve heard me talk about in Central America they’re forced to leave their homes all the time we must take this problem of child exploitation seriously but we cannot do it at the expanse of our children this is why I want to talk a little bit more about family detention and I am aware that there’s been conversations around reinstating that but as you know people are leaving everything and everyone they know behind and Mr secretary where is that it is not a final decision on this policy but I hope to see your department and the administration lead with Humanity as you have done and urge not to reinstate any policy that results in families being placed in detention centers Mr secretary can you provide a full written update on the status of the consideration of family detention to this committee a congresswoman no decision has been made I encourage an environment a work environment where people feel free to present their ideas and we discuss those ideas in a thoughtful and deliberate manner thank you secretary so there’s an update at any time I would like to be able to receive that uh Mr secretary I just want to wrap up here and I know that we talked about TSA and I have a few seconds left but I do want to come back uh to ask you a quick question about TSA would you please explain how expanded bargaining rights combine with increased pay are critical to improving working conditions for TSA officers congresswoman we have had challenges over the years given the um unequal pay the unfair pay of our TSA personnel and the lack of bargaining rights that they have suffered we’ve had a very difficult time recruiting and retaining personnel and we believe in Fair pay for our extraordinary Frontline Personnel for all of the people in the Department of Homeland Security which is why we are seeking the funding to support that fair pay and the bargaining rights they richly deserve thank you secretary and I yield back the general lady yields I now recognize Mr D Esposito from New York well thank you Mr chairman and I want to start by thanking you for your leadership because I think one of the most important things that we’re addressing today is leadership there’s so much to talk about it seems like over the last few hours we’ve spent time going back and forth about funding for border patrol agents what we’ve failed to recognize is that we could provide all the funding that we want for border patrol agents they don’t want to work for you Mr secretary I’ve spoken to them I’ve visited the Border in fact I visited the border before even having the honor to serve as a member of Congress I proudly served the New York City Police Department as a detective for over a decade so I got to speak to these individuals cop on cop they don’t like how you’re operating they don’t like how they’re being treated and there are many people in this room that have served this nation in our military have served in law enforcement and I will tell you there is nothing worse there is no more terrible feeling than going out each and every day and having that understanding that your so-called leader doesn’t have your back and that’s exactly how they feel we talked someone from the other side of the aisle mentioned the fact that the border is just part of the news cycle well I would have to argue that and I’m pretty confident that the victims that we’ve seen of fentanyl overdoses those that we’ve seen as victims of crime of those individuals coming over our border illegally those that have been captured and now completely at the hand of the cartel they don’t think it’s just a news cycle what it is it’s become a disaster you mentioned that you believe we have operational control and you see that operational control in quote a lens of reasonableness well I will speak as a New Yorker and tell you that lens stinks because none of us see it as reasonable you also mentioned the extraordinary personnel and again as many members of this committee have had the opportunity to visit the border and we’ve spoken to those Brave Customs and Border Patrol agents and when they are able to speak freely and talk about what they do on a day-to-day basis when they don’t have one of your henchmen standing around making sure they don’t say anything terrible about you or about Homeland Security they tell the truth they are doing the best work that they possibly can under a terrible Act of leadership and I will say that we are here today your failures your dereliction of Duty your failure to uphold the oath that you took to protect this Homeland it is not a Democrat issue it’s not a republican issue it’s an American issue and when we go back to our home States and we talk to individuals they don’t care what party we’re from you know what they care about they care about crime increasing in their Community they talk about they want people to have the American dream and I think that’s what we’re missing here today we want people to have the American dream you know what we want we want them to come through the front door that’s what we’re asking and that’s what you’re failing to do so I’m going to bring it back home your lack of leadership has created not just the States along the border to be border states every state in this great nation has become a border state in New York City alone there are projections that the city could spend up to one billion dollars with a B to support more than 50 000 migrants have who that have arrived over the past year now there’s talk that they actually want want to take these migrants from New York City and bring them to the Nassau Coliseum right in the middle of my district so I have to ask have you or any member of your Administration been in talks with New York City to move these migrants from New York City to the Nassau Coliseum Congressman not to my knowledge but the uh and and I have to say in what world because if there’s no discussions it’s a yes or no question in what world do you think that housing migrants in a sports facility is a good idea a congressman the the issues that you speak of um very strongly reflect the dire and decades-long need for immigration reform we are working within a broken immigration system we’re also working with a broken Mr secretary with all due respect we’re also working with a broken border and when you took the oath to be the Secretary of Homeland Security it is your job when you wake up in the morning every waking hour you should be dedicating it to protecting our border and to make sure that this Homeland the Homeland that we all represent is secure and you’re not you’re failing it you’re failing Americans and you’re failing your oath Mr chairman I yield back thank you the gentleman yields and I now recognize Mr Menendez thank you Mr chairman and thank you Mr secretary thank you for your service to this country thank you for being a man of integrity because I’m that somehow got lost today you wake up every day and you serve this great country so thank you thank you for doing that thank you to you your department and the public servants you serve with to protect the American people I also want to apologize to not just you but to anyone watching to the staff this Committee of all of us for what you’ve had to experience here today we are so much better than this our country needs us to be so much better in this and to think about the origin of this committee as a select committee put together after 9 11 to find ourselves here today engaging the way that we are is unacceptable and we shouldn’t accept it so many challenges this country faces this committee has jurisdiction over that we need to address together so let’s go through some of those things Mr secretary your department defends our nation against cyber threats to a wide range of critical infrastructure is that correct we do congressman and that critical infrastructure ranges from commercial facilities to Emergency Services to transportation systems and Beyond is that correct yes it is Congressman these cyber threats often come from certain hostile Nations like Iran China Russia and North Korea is that correct yes it is Congressman are those States the origin of some of the most frequent and severe cyber attacks on our nation yes it is yes they are and would you agree that their targets and methods are wide-ranging and ever-changing and developing it’s a very Dynamic and complex threat landscape and this would include ransomware malware and phishing attacks is that correct yes they come from adverse nation states as well as criminal organizations resident in them and you’re here to talk about the budget is that correct I am Congressman Will President Biden’s budget proposal allow DHS to combat the Cyber threat posed by these countries yes it does Congressman it calls for an increase of almost 150 million dollars for the budget of the cyber security and infrastructure Security Agency and on that point with this increase which includes I believe almost 100 million dollars for implementing the Cyber incident reporting for critical infrastructure act allow the agency to better understand manage and reduce the risk to our critical infrastructure yes it will Congressman we’re very grateful for that legislation Mr secretary would you agree that domestic terrorism has emerged as one of the greatest threats to our homeland a threat that has the potential to cause Devastation to our places of worship to our schools yes it has congressman is that why your department designated domestic violent extremism as a national priority area reconstitute the faith-based security advisory Council and provide over 250 million dollars through the non-profit security grant program to support physical security enhancements to non-profits at high risk of terrorist attacks yes it is Congressman and I’m so glad that DHS is focused on this critical issue because here in this committee as you might be aware Republicans refuse to include any reference domestic terrorism in their partisan committee oversight plan for this Congress which is just completely unacceptable Mr secretary has your department had to respond to increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather events yes we have congressman and correct me if I’m wrong but emergencies like those aren’t unique to red or blue States is that correct that is correct Mr secretary when providing support after a natural disaster does FEMA discriminate based on the political affiliation of the elected officials from those States or localities no it does not no it doesn’t so the two 20.1 billion dollars for the disaster relief fund in your budget would help American families recover from devastating events regardless of where they’re from is that correct that is correct Congressman thank you my first official trip as a member of Congress was to El Paso to visit the Border because we do care about the situation at the border but I want to be very clear about something Congress is responsible for passing comprehensive immigration and Border solutions to mitigate some of the challenges your department is facing is that correct yes so let’s talk about the Border your budget provides actual solutions to border challenges including 865 million dollars for CIS to process Asylum cases applications for immigration benefits improve Refugee processing is that correct yes it is Congressman so far this year department has encountered more than one million migrants at the southern border is that correct I’m sorry Congressman the the time frame about what you’re asking um so far this year uh so far this year the point is is that you are preventing people from entering the country so when we talk about the number of instances we are preventing the DHS is doing its job and I would just say thank you for doing your job thank you to all the members of your department for doing what you doing I’m so sorry again that you had to deal with what you encountered here today thank you for your service to this country I yield back the remainder of my time gentleman uh yields I now recognize Miss Lee thank you Mr chairman and I appreciate you holding this important Hearing in my home state of Florida human trafficking is a problem that we are working very hard to combat and to stop the exploitation and trafficking of children it is very important we need the federal government to partner with us and eliminate policies that are making children more vulnerable I have here today A Florida Statewide grand jury report dated March 29 2023 containing alarming details about federal agencies roles in the placement of minors unaccompanied alien children or uacs into unsafe and exploitative environments Mr chairman I requested this report be entered into the record without objection so ordered among other things the report shows that the number of us the southern Border in in 27 000 to 7 000 between fiscal years 2015 and 2022 in fiscal year 2022 over 13 000 of these minors were housed in Florida according to the report the children interviewed knew very little about the individuals that transported them during their Journey to the border and disclosed that the individuals who transported them were coyotes one child disclosed that during her journey several members of her group were robbed attacked by gang members decapitated and raped and she disclosed that she herself was one of the victims of rape the Florida grand jury report also found that roughly 40 percent of those initially categorized as uacs were age 17 or above and included reference to the case of a 24 year old murderer who made his way through the UAC system in order to ultimately murder his Florida sponsor the Killer’s mother reported that he had entered the U.S fraudulently because right there at the shelter they helped me this was a reference to financial aid and other assistance given by charitable organizations on both sides of the Border he presented fraudulent documents which were not spotted as we work to protect children from being exploited trafficked and left vulnerable to deadly drugs we need to have a clear picture of the role that our federal government including the policies of the Department of Homeland Security what they are and how they are affecting these children and where we need to continue to improve them so secretary mayorkas I’d like to start there when border patrol agents encounter an unaccompanied child does DHS cross-reference the UC portal to determine any simple details such as has this child been through our system and been processed before congresswoman I very much appreciate your concern for the well-being of children and your concern in the fight against human trafficking it is precisely why for the first time in the Department’s history we have created a sixth Mission set in our quadrennial homeland security review and that is the fight against human trafficking it is precisely why we are devoting increased funds to the Center for combating human trafficking the CC HT just so that you understand if I may our role when we receive an unaccompanied child at the border when we encounter an unaccompanied child it is our legal responsibility under the law to transfer that unaccompanied child to the Department of Health and Human Services after 72 hours correct now when you have that child for 72 hours are you in fact verifying that that child is a minor we yeah of course we seek to verify the age of that child the identity of that child before we transfer that child to the Department of Health and Human Services do you cross-reference the portal to make a determination of whether or not that child has actually been put into our system whether that child has been processed through your system before congresswoman I would be pleased to provide you after this hearing with the details of what exactly our border patrol agents do when they encounter an unaccompanied child and how they verify the identity and age of that child I’d be very pleased to provide you with that information and I must say that our border patrol agents do extra ordinary work in the most difficult of circumstances for caring for those children do those agents who are on that front line of their first point of contact for their children have any any trauma-informed care or verification of legal documents such that there’s any quality control on ensuring that they know what they’re seeing and they understand how to speak to these children congresswoman the border patrol agents are trained in a number of different areas given the dynamism and complexity of the challenges that they confront and I’d also be very pleased to provide you with details about that Mr chairman I yield back the gentle lady yields I now recognize Miss Clark from New York thank you very much Mr chairman good afternoon let me first start by thanking you secretary mariakis for joining us today as well as uh thank our chairman uh green and ranking member Thompson for convening this afternoon’s hearing or this morning’s hearing let me also say how disgraceful the display of rhetoric here today targeting our secretary was for this committee is a member of the committee for my entire tenure here in the House of Representatives this committee has always been bipartisan it’s always been focused on the preservation protection of the Homeland but today’s display of um of of just downright disgusting Behavior Uh is not indicative of of who we should be and who we are as a committee uh so I’d like to first of all lift up and thank and commend the Biden Administration and you secretary mariakas for rebuilding the department uh and your critical efforts to support dhs’s overall mission your job is not an easy one and since 9 11 it has never been easy it’s easier when you have cooperation from a bipartisan panel of of members of Congress that want to seek out Solutions uh to the Myriad of challenges that we face so today I’d like to focus on cyber security Mr secretary my first question is about the Cyber incident reporting for critical infrastructure act or cersea a landmark piece of legislation that I authored in the last Congress which directs cisa to stand up mandatory cyber incident reporting requirements for critical infrastructure it’s been a little over a year since Congress passed cersea and I’d like to know what progress has been made in that one year and how quickly might we expect to see a final rule congresswoman one of the the key elements of our cyber security and infrastructure security agency’s work is to partner um to really to be an agency of partnership because we so much rely on the private sector the majority of our country’s critical infrastructure rests in the private sector so cisa as it is known by its acronym has engaged with the public in preparation for the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement the regulations bringing that’s important legislation to life I believe if I recall correctly that the agency was given 18 months to promulgate those regulations and it is well underway in its work in that regard very well uh how is DHS working with the other Regulators like FCC and CEC excuse me sec to streamline and harmonize incident reporting requirements congresswoman one of the critical needs for our country is to harmonize uh the different regulations that we have with respect to cyber security and we actually have a council that we chair in the Department of Homeland Security to bring the different agencies together to achieve to the best of our abilities to the best of the authorities that each respective agency holds to bring that harmonization to life and we are well underway in that regard I know that Council has met if I’m not mistaken several times already uh last Congress I offered legislation to authorize a critical system OT security program called Cypress cyber Century which allows cisa to enter into enhanced strategic Partnerships to monitor cyber threats to OT systems since that program was authorized how has DHS worked to grow and stabilize cyber century and what do you see is next for the program a congresswoman I will have to um follow up with you in response to your question to provide you with the information you have asked of me very well Mr chairman um I’m concerned about political theater within our committee the only well there are multiple ways that we can address the issues that have been raised with respect to our Southwest border the only one that we have not discussed in this committee which is part of our jurisdiction is comprehensive immigration reform I hope that you will work with the Judiciary Committee um as the daughter of immigrants um this I find the discussion here abhorrent this is a nation built by immigrants for immigrants not anyone sitting here today is native to this land and for us to have this type of rhetoric in the 21st century grown adults who um espouse Christian values um I think uh we need to rethink and recalibrate who we are as human beings because the discussion that was held here today was disgraceful despicable I yield back the gentlelady yields I now recognize uh Mr Latrell from Texas secretary how are you today good afternoon Congressman um you know I had a live a line of questioning I was going to ask you and I got to tell you just um you know to mimic Miss Clark’s statements I think this committee needs to do a better job if we spend as much time solving problems instead of wire brushing ourselves there’s a point in time I forgot you were in here and I want to ask you face to face man-to-man will you meet with me in the next few weeks so we can hash us out because What I Hear What I seem to think that I’m hearing is there’s a breakdown of communication and the understanding of either vernacular or language that either makes you responsible for what we have of our expectation and I think there’s a breakdown there so will you I’m asking you would you meet with me so I can tell you what I’m seeing from my district in Texas yes or no thank you I would gladly meet with you thank you and I gotta I got so I represent Texas eight we are basically a landing zone for the Border okay and I want to bring two names to your attention Mr Ethan Griffin age 22. Mr Joshua Gillihan age 14 both perished from fentanyl okay and I don’t care what administration you’re talking about now right I’m past red and blue okay Joshua died 18 eight months ago okay here here are my numbers sir in my district in 2020 325 deaths in 2021 538 deaths 2022 600 plus and the number is growing this year now sir you are the commander of the ship I have to point my finger at you I wanted you to address me and say what would you say to the mothers of these two young men those babies because they’re in the room I’m not going to politicize you sir but I would ask you when you go to Mr pfluger’s office I’m going to have those mothers day would you please dress it because here’s my issue sir every day every day I run into those mamas every day and I have to tell them I’m working on it every day in my district they ask me why isn’t the border secure what can we do to enhance border security so we are not overwhelmed and every day your name comes up and I can’t imagine after seeing what I’ve seen today how challenging it is to you to lead this department we will do better I give you my word as a Texan and as a congressman that with this committee we will do better to provide you guidance as a United body so you can secure our border that’s what we need do you agree to that congresswoman Congress whoa all right hey back that up buddy I identify as a man and I don’t have any pronouns congressman I apologize congressman we need to work together to address the challenges that have been the subject of this hearing and Fentanyl and the scourge of fennel is one of them let me share with you that the scourge of fentanyl is not new to 2023 it is not I’m not saying it is I’m not saying this I’m not saying that also what I’m saying is these numbers and again you heard me say I don’t care what administrator talking about these numbers are progressively getting worse so you and I and this committee and this body politic need to put aside our differences because it is the American public that are suffering no wonder they’re pissed at us yes agreed congressman let me share with you one thing that we could do just one example of what we can do together fund the Department of Homeland Security for 305 million dollars so we have a greater level of non-intrusive inspection technology to detect it I agree that we need to fund however sir if we’re going to spend what three million dollars on a private Law Firm to help you prep for hearings from what I understand the documentations that I saw today 1.5 million already gone out the door as a fiscally conservative man if we want to fund a department let’s fund it and let’s not let’s just not go spending things that we don’t need to spend taxpayer dollars on how about that honest and I respectfully um must say that you are conflating very serious issues with other issues that do not relate which which serious issue am I conflating the Border problem hey be careful because I’m kind of on your side right now but that can switch especially after you call me a woman Congressman I have I apologize it’s been a number of hours I’ve been here with you the whole time I get it yeah um well let me share with you your seat over these last few hours has been very very different than my seat so my level so I apologize for the error and if you think so you just think because you’re taking darts from this committee and oh didn’t you just hear me say that I got to stand in front of those two mothers back there and explain to them how what I’m doing to make sure they’re babies and other babies you know what the reason that they died I didn’t think so I yield back gentleman yields I now recognize Miss Titus uh of Nevada thank you Mr chairman and thank you Mr secretary for so patiently and honorably responding to the slings and eras that have been thrown at you today I’m sorry that Ms Lee left that she has such a concern for uh human trafficking I was going to invite her to join me on a bill that I’ve introduced with the representative David Joyce called the impact act human trafficking it would enhance your ability to combat human trafficking by establishing a Homeland Security investigation Victim Assistance Program to train investigators and Specialists which is what she seemed to think we needed more of uh I’m glad that there’s 66 million dollars in president’s budget for this very purpose and I would just ask you if you’ll be able to leverage some of that for training and for helping that your own employees who have to deal with the trauma of these cases themselves and the impact it has on their Mental Health congresswoman uh yes we would um and I’m very appreciative of the fact that you recognize how difficult this work is on the Personnel who do it yeah back to another point that was made about TSA and I certainly agreed with it Las Vegas has the seventh busiest airport it’s in my district we have four just millions of tourists who come through there I’ve just lost the figure right here but anyway uh need to have this funding for TSA and we’ve seen that it’s already working here you mentioned that you’ve got longer retention better recruiting better benefits maybe the labor union issue but I hear from my colleagues across the aisle that they want to cut non-defense spending and I’m concerned that the pay raises for TSA might be on their list of things to do away with can you just one more time talk about how we need to do that for the safety of the traveling public and how much that impacts the economy of every District of people who can fly in and out safely knowing TSA is there for them congresswoman there are three elements to this number one the the pay fairness that we are hoping to achieve for our TSA Personnel will um better ensure their well-being it will improve our recruiting and retention number one number two are extraordinary TSA Personnel who work on the front lines ensure the safety and security of the traveling public and third they facilitate that travel by uh streamlining the process and making sure that the experience at the airport is as positive as possible we know that our travelers to Las Vegas we want them to have the best experience from the time they leave home to the time they get back and that includes the whole airport experience so we appreciate what TSA folks do and they put themselves In Harm’s Way on those check lines once you’ve seen angry Travelers you’ve seen them confiscate weapons it’s not just easy job it is certainly not none of our front line jobs are easy but the the individuals who perform them are extraordinary public servants I’m incredibly proud to work alongside them and to support them I’d like to see more people thank them when they search their bags as opposed to be angry and be in a hurry and get aggravated because they’ve had to have another search is for the safety of all our Travelers I can’t let you leave without asking you about the Sears rating for Las Vegas you know we’re going to have the Formula One race it’s going to go right down the strip it’s going to go right through the heart of my district you’ve got hotel rooms looking down on it you’ve got people in those hotels we know that can be a problem from the October 1 shooting I know you’ve been working with our local agencies I want to ask you to look very carefully at that see if there’s a way we can get a three rating because there are a lot of special circumstances there and as you over review that I think you told the senate committee that you’re looking at that process generally is it going to be a fluid process can you change from one category to another depending on what you may find out or what kind of resources are brought to bear congresswoman the The Seer rating the special event assessment rating process is indeed a fluent one are experts and they are indeed experts evaluate the information and if there is additional information that would inform their decision with respect to the rating an event receives then they certainly will consider it and alter their rating according to their determinations we want that to be successful so thank you I yield back thank you Miss Titus uh the chair now recognizes Mr strong from Alabama thank you Mr chairman ranking member uh Mr secretary over the last two years Americans have watched as this Administration has rolled back successful border policies instead choosing chaos at the southern border it’s no wonder when under your direction we no longer handcuff those breaking the law but instead handcuff our border patrol Agents from being able to do their job I’ve been able to visit the southern border twice this year already what I witness concerns every American and from both sides of the aisle cartels are taking advantage of our open borders to smuggle humans and drugs into our country at an alarming rate these cartels have gained complete control of the Southwest border and a significant portion of the U.S drug Market by establishing diverse Transportation routes and Advanced Communications capabilities drones are one such tool cartels are using to conduct counter surveillance pinpoint the location of law enforcement at the border and increase the success success of smuggling operations in a February 7th house oversight hearing U.S border Patrol testified that in the last year one sector of the Southern border alone had more than ten thousand illegal drone incursions and 25 000 detections not only is this a grave concern for the safety of our law enforcement officers at the border but it is a serious threat to our national security during that same hearing usbp shared that our adversaries had 17 times the number of drones to con continue to grow their operations we have mentioned this already today but I believe it were worth noting again cartels have learned to use illegal immigrants to smuggle illicit Contraband across the border according to Homeland Security investigation revenues from migrant smuggling have increased from roughly 500 million in 2018 to 13 billion in 2022 again it has been reported that cartel Rush waves of aliens to the border to overwhelm border patrol as a decoy to allow for smuggling to go relatively unnoticed as we have already established today during your testimony at the Senate Judiciary hearing on March the 28th you claim that you were unaware this was happening Mr secretary I want to ask you specifically in the three weeks that have followed have you personally examined these tactics yourself Congressman I have in fact focused on these tactics for some time and let me share with you that I am so appreciative of the fact that you’ve brought up the issue of drones because our countertrone our counter uas Authority expires at the end of this year and it is absolutely critical that that Authority not only be extended that we be reauthorized but that it be expanded we need to be able to work with local law enforcement drones are being used in a myriad of ways in a number of different ways to to create a public safety risk like you have to have the authority to counter them thank you the U.S military needs to be notified also secretary marwark is the facts speak volumes and let’s get the facts straight under the previous administration president trump it is the fact our borders were much more secure our country was safer under this Administration those that cross the border were apprehended processed and president Trump immediately returned them by Ice Air under your leadership it appears our border patrol agents are the ones that are being handcuffed while illegal aliens from Mexico Guatemala Honduras Ecuador Haiti Cuba Iran and yes China too are pouring in into America this budget is baffling to say the least it proves that returning illegal aliens immediately rather than turning them loose in America is telling the big thing in this budget that I’m concerned about there was not increases in air transportation or for fuel and that’s one of the things that we can do that I believe will reduce costs is to return these illegals back it is proven that it worked the other thing Mr secretary can you provide details about how the department intends to spend 91 million for electric vehicles charging stations and 32 million for electric vehicles how many stations and vehicles will 120 million be used for and who created this initiative congresswoman a congressman um two points I’ll be very pleased to provide you with the request the details after this hearing with respect to the electric rate that our Office of Management is working on I want you to know that in 2021 our apprehension rate at the southern border was 81 percent in 2020 it was 75 thank you secretary Mr chairman of yo back the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr McCain from Oklahoma thank you Mr chairman secretary my workers thanks for being here um today earlier in this committee you said I use a lens of reasonableness in defining operational control when you were talking about if we have operational control at the border so I want to kind of go through a series of comments and I want to discuss the concept of being reasonable under your watch the body Administration we’ve had over four and a half million people encountered in entrants illegally in the United States the highest ever in the history of our nation that’s more than the population of Oklahoma the state of which I am in service of and I would contend that’s not reasonable um I’ve got in front of me here 11 different places where your office is in violation of federal law or regulation I’m happy to just apply this the will of Congress the the will of the people and uh I my office just sent you a letter about one of those in regards to this expansion of parole instead of on a case-by-case basis it’s designed to give 30 000 illegals entrants in the United States to lower numbers to make the numbers look better I would contend this is not reasonable I want to talk about tax dollars the way our tax dollars are being spent El Paso the sector is overwhelmed DHS right now at one of nine sectors El Paso is is spending ninety thousand dollars per flight sitting four of them per week to another sector of the of the wall area border and just to process them and I would contend this is not reasonable it’s just a reshuffling of the deck chairs to make sure El Paso is not overrun because of climate ideology as my colleague just talked about your ul’s request to spend 91 million for electric vehicle charging stations 32 million for electric vehicles which is not going to secure the Border it’s not going to there’s a chance those Vehicles could run out of of energy um and and in its adherence to the Church of nature I would continue it’s not reasonable um last month your your border and Customs patrol leader the chief of the border patrol overseas 19 000 of our Patrol agents testified to this committee that he disagreed with President Biden’s decision to shut down construction of the border wall what is reasonable and I’ve heard it talked about a couple of times that you’re in cost of communication with him I would continue would be to listen to your expert the guy who’s in cost of communication was Nineteen thousand who disagrees with that decision and and and so let me kind of give the context of this in 2021 the CD report said that there was 15 billion that was allocated to build a rehab a wall the wall in southern border 738 miles of that with 15 billion around 450 miles was completed in the prior Administration the Trump Administration and then President Biden within his first 30 days said not another foot and shut down what was what was appropriated by Congress 250 miles of border wall construction and and he made the state not another foot um because of this the Department of Defense then had to spend two billion dollars to terminate the contracts that was for something that Congress had needed to happen I would contend that’s not reasonable it’s not a good exponential taxpayer monies uh and it’s a it’s usurping article one section one that says that all legislative powers should be invested in the congress not by executive order letting the president over my undermine Congress now we continue to spend 130 000 a day to store and maintain those those sections of wall rusting and wasting on the ground it’s not reasonable um you were in looking at your history you were under President Obama you served as a deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from 13 to 16 when Obama built 150 mile of wall in in tandem with the secure fence Act of 2006. the the Biden budget that now proposes is you all proposing to spend 4.7 billion at this for a Southwest board contingency funds contingency fund that’s set up to deal with the surge um we look at it we look as a slush fund instead of building physical barriers and I saved physical barriers because I think it’s important to note you served on an Administration where you at some time adhered to the belief in physical barriers there was a time where both Democrats and Republicans believed in it don’t forget that President Biden when he was Senator Biden voted for the secured offense act which included physical barriers um it’s not reasonable where we’re at when the experts even serving directly under you are saying they disagree with that decision um do you agree with your export expert Uh custom and and Patrol border Chief Raul Ortiz who said before this committee last month that he disagreed with Biden’s decision to shut down the construction of that 250 mile of border wall that Congress appropriated funds for um Congressman um I I stand by the decision of this Administration to cease construction of the wall I should say it’s okay and I have a I have approved uh the closing of approximately 129 gaps in completion of gates Mr chairman you said a little diligence here 10 seconds 10 seconds okay um you were secretary under Obama when 150 mile of border wall was was built your secretary of Department of Homeland Security do you disagree with what Obama directed your office to do in in during your time there when Democrats agree with Republicans there’s a three-part solution uh with respect to security uh Personnel technology and barriers the wall um is a particular discrete aspect of barriers with which we respectfully disagree thank you the gentleman yields I now recognize Mr Craig I’m sorry what for a level three rating I should have said level two okay taken care of thank you Miss Titus uh the gentleman from Texas is now recognized Texas Arizona Arizona my apology come on Mr Crane I I will do push-ups for you push them out sir we’ll give you seven seconds back all right thank you secretary mayarkas for appearing uh before our committee I know it’s been a tough day for you um and I think that’s for good reason I want to start my comments um with looking at the causation of this crisis at our Southern border you know it wasn’t more than a couple years ago during the Democratic primary that your boss now President Biden said during a debate We’re a nation that says you want to flee your fleeing oppression you should come everybody with a brain saw this coming sir we all saw this coming we saw this president during his race roll out the red carpet we knew what it was going to cause we everybody shouted it from the rooftops and now it’s here and you all want to act like it’s some it it’s something else you all want to act like you didn’t invite this and you most certainly did sir you said in your opening statements that um you’re attacking cartels and smugglers in an unequivalent unequivocal way you most certainly are not sir as a matter of fact if they were in this room right now the heads of these cartels you know what they tell us they’d say hey re-elect these guys again and by by all means keep that guy right in his seat because he’s our MVP he’s making it so easy for us to smuggle drugs smuggle people get gangs into this country distract our border patrol agents and at the same time destroy the U.S economy so you’re do you’re not doing a good job sir and that is why right here you see that sir you see that one on on your left that resolution those are articles of impeachment that Andy Biggs Congressman Andy Biggs and several of us supported now I’ve never met you before in my life you and I have no personal beef no there’s no animosity as far personally the reason that I agreed to sign on to these articles and P of impeachment with my colleague and others is because of the dereliction of Duty you know I’ve got graphs up here too you see these graphs showing what what it was like at the border before you got into office and what it’s like now here’s the sad thing sir these aren’t just graphs they’re not just numbers that have been thrown at you today they’re American families and I’m so glad that my colleague made you or asked you to get up turn around and face one of them I’m glad that you had to look at something that wasn’t just a data point or a graph but you actually had to look at a family because there’s tens of thousands of them tens of thousands seventy thousand because of fentanyl alone that doesn’t count all the families that have been destroyed by gangsters that have come come up through South America or the families that have been destroyed because of sex trafficking I’m glad you had to face them you know what sir I actually had to face one of them in my district last week I had to face one of them up in my district last week and it was hard this woman was choking back tears asking me Congressman crane what are you gonna do my daughter was killed my beautiful daughter was killed because of Fentanyl and I said you know what we’ve drafted articles of impeachment to remove secretary mayorkas for his dereliction of Duty you know it’s interesting sir because Mr Higgins one of my colleagues up here noticed your smugness I noticed it too and you know for some somebody that has a history of working in border security like yourself and knowing it and and my colleague right here Mr breachen he just pointed out that you work for administrations where they were actually building walls but you know what me and this gentleman right here went on a helicopter tour down in Texas where we flew around the border and guess what we saw piles of Steel just stacked up on the ground like he said of a wall that we’ve all the American taxpayers have already paid for and because of your dereliction of Duty and because of this President and this Administration we continue to have drugs gang members sex trafficking pouring into this country and you sit there with the smug look on your face but I noticed for a second because I was watching your face I was watching your face when the family behind you stood up Mr fluger asked you if you would address them I noticed that just for a second the smugness left your face sir and I’m glad that you had to feel uncomfortable today and that’s not because I don’t have any Humanity at all I look at your story I looked at you immigrated here from Cuba and you know what I think that’s great I really do sir and you might not you might not think that in this exchange right here I think that it’s a great thing that America has so many amazing immigrants here and this side of the aisle we’re not hung up about immigration we’re not hung up about legal immigration what we’re hung up about is how you all day one in office came in and changed policies and started getting rid of infrastructure that was keeping our states our counties and our Cities Safe the gentleman’s time has expired the members of the committee may have some additional questions for you Mr secretary and we would ask that you respond to those in writing I know you’ve made some commitments today to do that and I thank you for that persuant committee rule 7D the hearing record will be held open for 10 days for those written statements and I now recognize uh and yield to the ranking member for his closing statement if he’d like to make one uh thank you very much Mr chairman you and I have had some sidebar conversations uh during this hearing um I think what has been displayed uh by the committee is not who we are as a committee and you and I pledge that uh going forward will make every effort uh to get back to the civility that this committee has been long known for ever since we’ve been in existence all of us represent districts all of us have opinions but as a manner in which we can present the opinion and still disagree and uh you know we talk about our families uh I’m a grandfather and some of the language and and things that have gone on today and as a grandparent I’m embarrassed uh I know we are better as a committee than what we saw today and uh I hope the public if they watched don’t judge the work of this committed by this one hearing we’re better than that uh we have a budget with the third largest agency in government we do a lot uh no system is perfect uh we have to work toward the fashion Perfection so I work at that uh whatever I challenge along the southern border uh it didn’t start two years ago it’s been here uh and so I’ve seen the surges I’ve seen uh the low points but we continue to work on it and and so it’s in that spirit that I I say that we need to continue uh to work on all the problems we have 22 agencies that make up the Department of Homeland Security uh and awful lot of work awful lot of good people uh I’m happy uh as a general lady from Nevada mentioned our tsos they absolutely uh have worked uh on the difficult situations treated less than other government employees and in this budget is money to pay them that that increase that gets them up to where other fellow employees are we absolutely need to take care of them apart from that um we have a lot of missions cyber security it is a constant challenge to us in making sure our sister maintains its integrity and ability uh to protect our cyber systems as I indicated I’m in the midst of a tornado in my district the response has been phenomenal the fact that we’ve been able to Marshal the resources of DHS to address the needs in my district I appreciate it but as I look at all our other districts that are represented sooner or later you’ll have those similar kind of situations and and I want the department to be just as Nimble in that so uh this was supposed to be a budget here it has lasted over three and a half hours uh and and uh Ms secretary uh you labored long and hard I I wish we could have talked about some other issues that uh equal is important as the Border but unfortunately we got uh focused on a single point and your budget is very large and and that that request uh is how we keep America safe and the border is only one we did not talk about uh Maritime border uh we did not talk about uh northern border uh you know it I just want us to get back uh Mr chairman uh and as I said we’ve talked about it and there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing I mean it’s it’s in those disagreements that we have some meeting of the minds and we’ll set an example uh but not just this country but the rest of the world are adversaries uh look at us and when I look at our population makeup uh you know my ancestors came to this country in the belly of a ship as slaves and I don’t think any of us can claim the the purity of being just Americans but we have to understand our America is a global America and and we all have stories to tell and I don’t think we need to impugn uh anybody who’s trying to come to this great country and and for a long time uh Ellis Island and other places we worshiped and encourage people to come and and celebrate uh uh this greatness and and a comprehensive immigration policy will get us to where we need to be and so I look for a budget uh that moves Us in that direction uh look for a budget that we all can support but if this budget uh that ultimately is presented to the house allows us not to work at securing our borders and not giving our tsos raises uh that they so desperately need compromise some of our cyber security Admissions and other missions it’ll be impossible for a lot of us to support because the numbers that this budget uh if cut will make us more vulnerable as a nation rather than more secure and with that I yield back the ranking member yields uh thank you for your for your comments um I’ll now recognize myself for a closing statement um Mr secretary I I have to thank you for sitting there for as long as you have I know we’re close to the same age and I’ve had to leave twice so I deeply appreciate your staying there and staying in the seat and for your time today you know I I agree with the chairman or the former chairman now ranking member that we disagree on a lot of policies we really do and we don’t have to despise someone because they disagree with us we don’t have to disparage someone because they disagree with us um and we do need to dial the rhetoric down in the country and apparently in the committee but um today I want I wanted to focus on the differences of opinion and you know I look at 1.4 million gotaways and I wonder who’s in that group and I know since you don’t know who they are you can’t tell me the border patrol guys can’t tell me because I know right now under your policies that if they just turn themselves in they’re going to get processed and released into the country so who would who would not want to go turn themselves into border patrol well probably people that have some ill intent you mentioned the increase in the detention and and capture of felons and and things like that under your watch how many felons are in that 1.4 million gotaways how many murderers how many rapists when you drug traffickers you can’t tell me and I was really heartbroken to hear that you didn’t understand the strategy of the cartel it’s it’s almost intuitively obvious that they’re sending Mass waves of coyote paid people to tie up the Border Patrol so they can send those godaways whether it’s Contraband or whatever into our country that that really disappoints me I think it’s I think it’s a failure um and what’s caused it is the the incentives you’ve you’ve taken migrant protection protocols all these policies you know we go back to the resources right as I made in my in my opening statement we hadn’t cut border patrol we haven’t cut yet this massive increase in people again more than 12 years of two previous presidents one of which you served under it’s interesting too when I talk to your boss from your the first Administration you served some of the things he suggested we do or the pop were undoing essentially the policies that you’ve undone returning to some things like remain in Mexico this is this is a policy issue it’s decisions made by you and your boss that have caused this Spike it’s incentivized people and when I talked to the chief of the Border Patrol and to some of your sector Chiefs as we prepare to do our transcribed interviews with them um they’re saying that the return agreements have all been allowed to expire so ice can’t even send people back to certain countries because those are this is willful decisions to undo policies that were bringing the numbers down no one can you can’t argue with that and now suddenly we did away with those policies and the numbers are going right I mean it’s astronomical and it’s that surge of people and it can be well intentioned you can say man I I want to help I ran a medical missions we went to Honduras we went to Haiti we went to I want to help people who are hurting but the drug cartels are taking advantage of this with that open border the mass waves of people coming and they’re taking advantage of us and they are making billions of dollars and we’re empowering evil people with these policies you talk about resources and wanting more resources I want to tell you we’re going to drop a bill Friday and uh that Bill’s going to have a lot more resources in some areas than you’ve even asked for um and I think you’ll be very happy with many of the things in it now we do undo what we believe are some of these policies that have resulted in this Mass wave and the cartels being able to manipulate the situation and control five of our nine sectors assisted border Chief has said um but you’re going to like a lot of the resource piece if it’s really if you really believe that it’s resources I also want to talk a little bit about some of my colleagues a lot of my colleagues talk about immigration reforming nobody I’m a small business guy we’re in a Healthcare company and you know employee we need employees in this country 10 million uh empty jobs in America right now I want to fix our immigration system but if we fix that first before we secure the Border we’re just doing more of what you’ve done which is to incentivize people to come without the security being present and that’s just going to make it worse and so if we can secure our border I’m ready to sit down and do immigration reform but not make the incentives even greater so that even more come the the through the illegal mechanisms um so I I just wanted to share that uh very quickly about the budget I think the budget that you presented today increases a lot of money for processing people into the country and takes away money from stopping the illegal Crossings and deporting people who’ve come here illegally I mean I think that’s obvious if you look at the budget and add it all up and again your budget’s just going to incentivize more people to come the cartels are just going to take more advantage of it and more Americans are going to die because of the fentanyl that will come into this country and so that’s why we’re opposed to this um and as I said I believe in the testimony that you gave chip Roy I think you gave some false testimony and I elaborated on that with video and you and I can have a dialogue about that but that’s genuinely what I believe um I will say that you requested this hearing to bring your budget to our committee I appreciate that and it has been alluded to or actually stated out we have plans to bring you back so we’ll see you again um I I will tell you this Mark green has never I’ve resisted any any Temptations to say impeachment because I don’t have the authority this committee doesn’t have the authority to do that so when someone says Mark green said impeach that that’s just not true but what I have said is that we’ve got a five-phase plan of oversight and uh we’re going to look at five specific areas and do oversight that’s that’s my job that’s our job on both sides of this aisle up here and so that is going to happen and we’ll look forward talking to you again um thank you again for being here and with that the committee is adjourned.
Source HLS.Today: DHS.GOV