tv [untitled] April 25, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT
i've heard from law enforcement all over the country saying they support their. does the department of homeland security support this provision of thcht is increases of u visar the purpose of cooperating in criminal cases? >> absolutely. >> and i've told you and i've run over my time, but inch we had the question of i raised with you before about the technology used for screening. i was very concerned about the earlier ones that the x-ray type machines that in effect my worries, not yours, did a virtual strip search of people with very graphic images of people going through. now, those first machines, how much did dhs spend on acquiring them? >> well, mr. chairman, the machines themselves are at a
unit cost of approximately $17817 $130,000, we can get you the exact number but i think the expenditure is probably total with some installation and other things about 130g million. >> and then the changes, i'm told the changes when they will -- after the reaction on the original ones the retrofits and upgrades cost about $12 million. >> i'm not sure they cost that much because part of the contract with the vendor was as the software changed, that the hardware would be able to accept the software but i'll verify if it was $12 million or not. >> the what companies were awarded contracts to provide this? >> rapiscan and l 3 are the two major vendors. >> senator graham, i apologize for taking the extra time. please go ahead, sir. >> welcome, madame secretary. i've really enjoyed working with
your office on things unique to south carolina and the country security issues as a whole. my experience with the secret service is very similar to what will senator leahy said. really it's basically the time i traveled with senator mccain during the last presidential election and i am very impressed by the people, very hard working a lot of time away from families and long hours. so just as any time you eventual military discipline problems, you don't want to the paint with a broad brush the 99% and let's start with that baseline. >> i concur, yes. >> just very much, but just like in the military it, abu ghraib and other situations, systems obviously failed then and obviously, there's a system failure here. the likelihood that this was the first and only time that many such behavior occurred, do you think that's great or not so great? >> well, i think part of our investigation is of confirming
that this was an aberration or not. but i agree with you, senator, that the secret service does a marvelous job. i've worked closely with them. >> the only reason i suggest that we need to maybe look a little harder is because we're lucky to have found out about this. if there that been an argument between one of the agents and i guess a prostitute for lack of a better word about money, we'd probably never have known about this. so the point is i think you've got a good order and discipline problem. do you believe the agents were confused that the their conduct was wrong? >> they should not have been. >> no, i don't think it's a lack of training. i don't think anybody -- >> i mean, you know, i think the conduct was unacceptable. it was unprofessional. >> right. >> and as i said in my statement, i think that the people who are most disappointed are the other men and women of the secret service. >> i couldn't agree more, but you know, human beings being human beings, we all make
mistakes and sometimes organizations can get loose. being a military lawyer for 30 years, one of the first things that we would advise new commanders, a new squadron commander is you've got a bunch of young people in the military for the first time away from home. of go to the barracks when they least expect you to go. show up at 3:00 in the morning with the first sergeant and word will get out pretty quick you got to watch what you do in the barracks because you never know when the commander is going to show up. is there any similar program where supervisors from the home duty station would go out and visit people in the field on a random basis? >> you know, i'm not aware of that, which is not to say there isn't one. i don't know the answer. that's one of the reasons that we're continuing our work and want to the continue to brief the committee. >> mate i suggest that you may look at a program very similar to what the military does where people from the command, the central body would show up on an unannounced basis throughout the
world and just let people note that will somebody back home is watching might do some good in the future. is there any exit interviews done for people who are leaving the organization when you ask them, does anything bother you? have you seen anything during your time that bothers you? because we do that in the military trying to find out how the unit actually works when people are leaving. >> right, a civilian agency. senator, i know there are exit interviews done. whether that will specific question is asked or something like it, again, i'm not -- i i don't know the answer but i can find the answer out for you. >> i would just suggest that maybe we look at changing the system a bit so the that people whom are away from home never really believe they're away from home, that somebody's always watching. >> senator, we are looking at this from the aspect of, as i said earlier, one was the president's security impinged, two, discipline for the agents involved and three, what doing we need to do to tighten any
standards that need be tightened. so i take your suggestions very seriously. >> i think this is a bipartisan, you know, mr. sullivan, i've never met the man but everybody who knows him seems to have nothing to say but good things about him and we want to get this behind us and not have the problem emerge again. homegrown terrorism, you mentioned that in your opening statement. would you agree that probably the idea of homegrown terrorism, an attack from within system greater today than it was, say, maybe five years ago? that the radicalization? >> i think that's right. i think we have seen -- when i say terrorism continues to evolve, that's one of the evolutions that we're seeing, radicalization, radicalization to the point of terrorist violence, and we've seen several episodes across the united states in the past several years. >> let's go to the recent recent tragedy in france where you had a young french citizen muslim
who went toity think the pakistaning to study at a madrasah there, came back to france and engaged in horrific acts of terrorism. do you worry about that happening in the united states? >> one of the things we did in the wake of the of incident in toe luz was to analyze what happened in that case and were there any early signs, indicators anything that would give us an early trip wire that somebody in the united states was getting ready to do the same thing. >> i think some of these terrorist organizations are actually trying to come to our country and recruit within our own. is that a fair statement. >> i think there is recruitments. it doesn't really require a visit. you can do it online. >> that's exactly right. you don't have to come here but you can talk to our people through the internet and through the cyberworld to try to recruit them to our cause. unfortunately, there's some tankers and we need to be vigilant about that the. now, immigration has got a case before the supreme court today. each person can make their own
mind up about, you know, south carolina, arizona, and the laws and what we need to be doing. but president obama in his campaign until 2008 promised comprehensive immigration reform in his first year. do you believe there was a real genuine effort to make that happen? >> as someone hon spent a lot of hours visiting members of congress on the hill to see if there was any room for negotiation of a comprehensive bill, i would say yeah, there was a serious effort. >> so it's congress's fault? >> senator, i think all of us have a responsibility top deal in a bipartisan way with a national problem. >> well, we didn't deal in a bipartisan way with health care. not one republican in the senate voted for the health care bill. you had 60 u.s. senators on the democratic side. you had a huge majority in the house. so the i guess my point is, that i don't believe there was much of an effort to deliver comprehensive immigration reform in the first year and i don't think it's congress's fault.
i think the president failed the country by not making there a priority. he had a large majority he could have worked with and he chose health care over immigration and here we are, so not to say that my party's blameless. we're not, but i'm just want to understand that when people talk about this issue, that we remember exactly what happened. 60 democratic senators large majority in the house. do you remember any bills coming out of the house of representatives dealing with immigration reform? >> you know, senator, i'm not familiar with any, and i obviously disagree with kind of how you are putting the issue, but i think we can both agree that at some point, we are going to have to deal with comprehensive immigration reform. >> thank you very much for your service. >> thank you. well, i would just note parenthetically, i sat in on the meetings with former president bush on immigration reform. i strongly supported his efforts. il sat in the bipartisan meetings that president obama
had with some off the same people who were at the president bush ones and the follow-up and i recall being told don't bring it up because it's not going to go anywhere. but i hope and i still hope that we will have comprehensive immigration policy. we need it. senator feinstein and then -- senator feinstein. >> thank you very much. madame secretary, i'm one that thinks you're doing a very good job. >> thank you. >> in an agency that's perhaps too large. i think it's 22 departments and over a coup counsel hundred thousand people. it's a vet big job. i wanted to concentrate might questioning on three areas. the first is student visa and fraud and earlier, i last year, i joined in a letter with
senator schumer on this program. and i am concerned that i.c.e. is not adequately certifying each educational institution. in may of '11, we have a case of trivalley university in pleasanton, a sham school certified for 30 students, bringing 1555 students in. making $4 million. the head is now being prosecuted. to make a long story short, the united states immigration and customs enforcement knownaround here as i.c.e. wrote an interesting letter on may 3rd,town of 2011 saying this. the student savp does not have the statue transcript authority to close noncompliance schools immediately, nor does it have the authority to restrict dso
access to sevis. and it goes on to say they've done a risk analysis of the of 6,487 sevp certified schools was active records. and they had schools fitting into low, medium or high risk categories. here's the breakdown. low risk, 4,794. 74%. medium risk, 1276 schools, 20%. and then there's high risk, 417 schools or 6%. of all the schools examined. now, here's what they say. many of the noncompliant schools relies already the subject of criminal investigations. forestalling any administrative action to limit access to sfiv
to issue the form eye 20. please note that sevp can begin immediately such assessments and site reviews once clear to do so. can't they be cleared to do this early on? >> i think -- >> let me just say -- i think we have to remember, 9/11 hijackers came in on student visas, went to schools that taught them how to fly but not to land and nobody thought it was unusual. so i'm really concerned bedroom sh -- about sham schools and that we have a good sense of who's coming in under a foreign student vissa, whether they're attending the school at all. i've been at this, madame secretary, for about 1 years. and you know, initially, everybody objected to it. then they began to do it. now i see it easing up. and so i wanted to bring it to your attention. >> i share that concern.
these sham schools shouldn't be allowed to operate. we have increased our efforts against them. i haven't -- that particular letter, i suspect, is that we are coordinating with u.s. attorney was 0s in the relevant districts and they've asked us to postpone demonstrative action till their criminal case was ready to go. but i will follow up on that. >> will you take a look at it. >> absolutely. >> and let me know? >> yeah. >> the second thing is agriculture enforcement audits. obviously, i have a bias. we have 81,000 farms in california. mpb virtually all of the labor is undocumented. what happens is unless mar vest season, canning season, i.c.e. swoopes in. we've got a problem. i've tried for ten years to get an ag jobs bill through, and i can't get it through. the fact of the matter is that if we want american produce, the labor is generally undocumented. and we have to of find a
solution to this. so i am hopeful and i know that you're doing aggressive i 9 audit kds of ag employers. i'm very concerned that these are going to decimate on farm and farm dependent jobs. >> i think -- >> what are your thoughts? >> yeah, i think the base of the problem is that there is no provision under the current immigration law that enables more agricultural workers to be documented. and so we have some employers, and we try to pick those who are really knowingly and intentional little violating the law when they have other options. trying to focus on them through the audit process. but the underlying issue goes back to the immigration law itself. >> senator schumer just murmured to me, most don't have any other
options. california is a state that the can't use the h 2 a program, the visitor program. so the it depends on a large skilled rotating generally undocumented of coat terry of about 600,000 workers. for 81,000 farms. i.c.e. swoopes in, farmers can't plant, they can't harvest. they can't can. and this has been happening. i want to bring it to your attention. and you know, it's a hard problem but if this body won't take action, you're going to put ag -- we're going to put agout of business. and i'm really concerned about it. so if there is any thought you might have, i would very much appreciate them. and the last point i wanted to raise with you is another
long-standing issue of mine, and it's the visa waiver program and biometric exit. for many years, i've been trying to get data on visa overstays for each country to no avail thus far. last month, dhs assistant secretary david hay man informed me that by june of this year, dhs will have a fully operational biographic exit system in place. it's going to provide realtime information on those who exit united states airports. this new exit system is expected to allow you to calculate overstays per country by may of this year. here's the question. i think this is very important because we've got 15 million people that come in every year. we don't know whether they leave or not on a visa waiver. is dhs on track to have a fully
operational biographic exit system by june of 2012? >> senator, i believe we are. the final plan is in the clearance process with omb. but that is our intent. >> good. will dhs be able to provide overstay rates per country by may of 2012? >> we should be able to provide some of that information if not all. >> good. thank you. >> thank you. we will -- now we will go to senator grassley. senator kyl, next with -- no, we'll go to senator kyl next. senator grassley would have been next, but he's -- yielding to senator kyl prior to me and then we'll go to senator schumer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, senator grassley. this isn't the first time that senator feinstein and i seemed
to have been thinking about exactly the same thing. let me just quickly touch on the three things that she mentioned which were also concern to me. on student visas, it's not just a matter of the sham schools but also the failure of i.c.e. to follow up with students how have overstayed their visas and the very poor record of schools providing information to i.c.e. second on the ag worker, the h 2 a regulars could be reformed. it's not just a matter of our failure to pass legislation here. h 2 a regulations were reformed toward the end of the bush administration. they were more workable i'm told. that was then changed with the obama administration. if we could the work more toward the kind of regulars that existed toward the end of the bush administration, i think that might be at least a help for some. and on the vis sals overstays and the exit system, i was going to ask about that. i think your budget actually was denied $308 million by the appropriation committee because of its frustration with the lack of a plan. we need to get that plan
implemented as well as up here. let me go on to something. >> if i might, senator, can i talk about the visa overstay issue with you a bit? >> sure. >> one of the things that we have done over the last few years is the -- we have added databases and been able to link them so that the before visas are issued, there's a check against our data, nctc's data and up certain nsa data. we have done now the same thing. we've gone backwards to find visa overstays. and we have looked at and prioritized those that is provide any kind of public safety or security risk. and so and we have now looked at the entire backlog and i will give you the inventory of what we have found and we are prioritizing those visa overstays within i.c.e. >> i understand that. what is your estimate now, just
approximately, of the number of the visa overstayers as a percentage of the total of illegal immigrants in the country today? supposed to those who is have crossed the border illegal littly? the number here is around 40%, is that -- >> that may it be a high number. a lot of people marked as visa overstays had in fact left. >> so 40% might be too high an estimate. that's the number that is usually given when we complain about the lack of security at the border. they say well, remember, 40% of the people here illegally actually overstayed visas. you think that number is a little high. >> it may be a little high. >> the in either event it's a big problem, and it's fine to prioritize for criminals but that's a very small percentage of people who overstay visas. >> we have the to make the best use of those i.c.e. resources we can. >> excuse me for interrupting but every year i say if you need more resources ask for him.
no, we've got everything we need. and then the excuse of not moving forward on something is we don't have the enough resources. you can't have it both ways. if you need more resources, ask for them. >> senator, thank you. as you all know, we're all working under the constraints of the budget control act. that's the deal that was struck. but to your point yes, and to senator feinstein's point, yes, we believe visa overstays are a keen interest. >> so do we and we appreciate that. another very parochial and very important point and i know you appreciate this, every time i go to the border, the first thing people talk about is not illegal immigration, it's the incredible delays at the ports of entry. we need a lot of things, including more officials at the border on the american side. that's not the total solution to the problem. a lot has do with the inadequate linkup on the mexican side of the border but at the mayorry posalts point of entry and san luis, we need more agents.
that's what they tell us down there, and yet that was not in the budget request. i would just ask you top please either ask for the agents that we need there, and this is just to facilitate commerce between the two the countries. >> yes. >> and to make life a little bit easier for people they'll have to cross every day, either ask for it in the budget or find some other place where we can get it or make a recommendation to us as to how we can move money around to provide for those additional agents. the estimate at mariposa for example is about 250. doesn't seem like that many. many. we ought to be able to find the money for that. >> we will he'll definitely work you on that, senator. >> i appreciate it. i note you know the problem. >> very well. >> and it's not a partisan problem. we all agree we need to resolve it. >> and we want to facilitate that trade in commerce. there are a lot of jobs depending on it. >> absolutely. last point i wanted to make, six months ago you were written a
letter and another three months ago about the lack of enforcement of federal detainers. specifical specifically, for example incomes cook county. last night at 6:30, we finally received a responsibilities to our letter. and it certainly is a good response. terms of pointing out the problem. where i fail to see of the response is in what you're doing about it other than writing letters. this letter dated april 24th from nelson peacock, i'll ask you now to put it in the record because as i said, i think it lays out the problem everybody i.c.e.'s perspective and your perspective very well. cook county is simply not abiding by federal law in detaining officials have criminal records that you've asked them to detain. for example, since the ordinance was enacted i.c.e. has according to this letter, lodged detainers against more than 432 removable aliens in cook county's custodies karnled or quicked with the crime including serious and violent offenses.
cook keep the has not honored any of these 432 detainers. and they point out a case of particular gravity recently reported in the chicago tribune. and plum peacock notes that this probably violates federal law. the only action that i can see taken here is that will two letters have been written and the cook county has been encouraged to change its policy and has been advised that if it continues this policy, it may result in denial of reimbursement to the state of costs under the scap program. you know, the federal government's been very aggressive in filing lawsuits against states trying to actually doll something about illegal immigration but it doesn't look to me like the government is doing that much to enforce the thought currently exists with respect to much detainers. what will moral do you plan to do with entities like cook cheent are obviously flouting federal law and jeopardizing
american security in the process. >> yeah, i agree. i think cook keep the's ordinance is terribly misguided. and is a public safety issue. we're evaluating a lot of options right now. you know, we always start out trying to work with the local authorities and work things out. we have to date have had no success there. so we are evaluating all options. >> and i hope more than evaluating, you'll take some action pretty soon. will you report to us as soon as you've decided what kind of action to take? keep cuss advised rather than waiting for correspondent from us? >> we will keep the committee staff, i think that's probably the best way to do it, advised of how we're proceeding there. >> appreciate that very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator kyl. i also note today is senator kyl's birthday. >> oh. >> happy birthday. >> please don't sing. >> last birthday as a senator.
>> it is his birthday. i appreciate him being here. senator shumer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i wish senator kyl a happy birthday. i guess it will be the last one as senator. so your next birthday may be even happier than this one. thank you, mutually seriously. senator feinstein and i were just mentioning that a second ago. first, two points of housekeeping. i am not going to good news for you, i'm not going to ask you any questions on the secret service. i have a lot of faith in your ability to get to the bottom of this. all of us are shocked and terribly troubled by it, but i think if the kind of investigation you and your department will do, i have a lot of faith in. >> thank you. >> second, senator feinstein mentioned the student visa issue and i believe she mentioned -- i came in in the middle of her testimony, unfortunately, she and i have asked for a gao report which is coming out in about a month and our
subcommittee on immigration with the chairman's permissioning will have hearings on that gao report when it comes out. so let you know about that okay, i have two questions here on other issues in your vast jurisdiction. the first relates to passenger advocates over the past several months there have been increasing number of news stories about passenger complaints over tsa screening procedures. and these complaints include, for instance, a female passenger being told she could not carry her breast pump on board the plane while milk bottles were empty. imagine imagine how her child is that way, asking female passengers to submit to repeated inspections through body scanner machines for nonsecurity reasons. asking elderly and disabled passengers to remove critical medical equipment and undergo strip searches prior to clearing security. i like the tsa and i think they do a good job and i was involved in setting them up.
it's haired job to balance security and commerce. but you can always make it better without impeding -- without one impeding the other. tsa's original response at the lower levels here was to first deny wrongdoing and then issue apologies. so in light of these incidents, senator collins and i decided to introduce legislation called the rights act. and the rights act will help curb abuses in the tsa screening simply by requiring the tsa to establish a passenger advocate program to resolve public complaints and conduct training of tsa officers to resolve frequently occurring passenger complaints, wos also require that every category ex-airport, is that category x or 10? big airport. let's strike category x. x. it's a funny category. wlaxg a through v? we don't know. anyway, every category x
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