tv Hearing Examines Security Implications of Visa Overstays CSPAN May 27, 2017 3:58am-5:28am EDT
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live from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern sunday june 4th. the house homeland security subcommittee on border security held a hearing about people who stay in the u.s. longer than their visas allow. the homeland security department testified. will come to order. the subcommittee meeting today to exam visa oversays and their impact on national security. conversations about the best way to secure the southern land border have been the focus of media, congress and the administration for the last months. today i want to transition to an equally important by overlooked
part of our border security, visa overstays. dhs released the 2016 overstay numbers and this year they expanded the number of categories to include students and other nonimmigrant visa holders. i want to commend dcs but the numbers are stark. cpb calculated that we had nearly 740,000 people overstay their visas at some point in fiscal year 2016. even using cpb's more generous numbers that account for some of those overstays who eventually leave, albeit late, we had almost 630,000 overstays still in the country at the end of last fiscal year. over more time as more and more overstays left the number gets smaller and by january of this year we still had 544,000 overstays from fiscal year '16. suspected of being in the country. still an incredibly large number. to put that number in context,
we only apprehended 310,000 unique individuals crossing the land border illegally last year. meaning we had almost twice as many overstays as people apprehended at the land southern border. it's probably time to jet son the conventional wisdom that visa overstays make up about 40% of the elicit flow with this years number of border apprehensions at record low, visa overstays are a much bigger problem than it has been historically. so, why does closing this gap in our border security defenses matter? well, there are unidentified national security and public safety risks in a population that large and visa overstays have historically been the primary means for terrorist entry into the united states. time and time again terrorists exploited the visa system by legally entering america. the 9/11 commission put it this way, terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons, end quote. since the 1993 world trade center bombing, terrorist abused
the hospitality of american people to commit attacks here. an egyptian committed of the 1993 world trade center bombing worked illegally in the u.s. as a cab driver. at least four of the 9/11 hijackers overstayed their visas or were out of status, a missed opportunity to killed nearly 3,000 of our fellow americans. the attackers exploited the poorest outer ring of our border security. the hijackers passed through u.s. border security a combined total of 68 times without arousing any suspicion. more recently, amin el khalifi attempted to conduct a suicide attack on the u.s. capital in 2012. he had been in the country since 1999 on a tourist visa but never left. that's why i wanted to hold this hearing today. i do not want the threat posed by visa overstays to get drowned out by the challenges we face on the southern land border. we can chew gum and walk at the same time. we have to keep the dhs focussed on both problem sets.
elicit traffic flow that crosses the land border and the growing problem of visa overstays. in order to tackle this challenge, the department has to identify the people who overstay their visas in the first place. a mandate to electronically track people who enter and leave the country has been a requirement for 20 years. and biometric has been a requirement for 12 years. cdp has made in fits and starts only marginal progress when it comes to the biometric exit. there have been a series of exit pilot projects over the last ten years, but no plan to ever implement a exit capability was seriously considered by the department. recent executive orders make it clear that finally finish the exit system is a priority for this administration. building on previous testing and pilots, cdp will engage in a series of operational demonstrations with a planned rollout of a facial recognition exit system at some of the nation's largest airport. the previous administration committed to a 2018 rollout of a fully operational biometric exit
system a the nation's highest involve airports. i look forward to hearing about the plans exit beyond the operational demonstrations. putting a biometric exit system into place as the 9/11 commission noted an essential investment in our national security end quote because without a viable biometric exit system, visa holders can overstay their visa and disappear in the united states. in the current high risk environment, it is imperative we place greater emphasis. once we identify overstays especially those who present national security and public safety threats we must dedicate the resources necessary to promptly remove those in the country here illegally or we put our citizens at risk unnecessarily. the recent report by dhs's officer of inspector general, cast doubt on isis' ability do just that. multiple i.t. systems, stove pipes and lack of training have appeared to hamper the work of
our agents. according we have a backlog of 1.2 million overstay cases and wasted manpower chasing leads that already left the country or changed their immigration status. in one instance an i.c.e. agent spent 50 hourps tracking down a lead that turned not to be an overstay afterall and we're closing cases thinking that a public safety threat has left but in reality they are still here. we have to do better. adding a reliable exit system would be an immediate force multiplier allow national security professionals to focus their efforts and only spending time tracking people who are still in the country. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas for a statement he may have. >> i thank chairwoman mcsally for holding today's hearing on the border security risks imposed by visa overstays. while the white house focuses its border security rhetoric on building a wall along the southern border, attention and resources should be paid to issues like overstays. i represent border communities i know firsthand the security challenges we face along the border, but to keep our focus mainly on walls is a
vulnerability in and of itself. the approximately 740,000 individuals who overstayed in fiscal 2016 is a far greater number than the 331,000 individuals who were apprehended along the u.s./mexico border that year. i believe these figures illustrate the challenge overstays pose. over the last few years, dhs renewed its efforts toward a biometric entry/exit system. i look forward to hearing from the panel about its progress of development and plans for the deployment of that system. i hope to hear about how the department plans to address biometric exit at our land borders particularly along the mexican border. unlike canada, mexico currently does not have the entry infrastructure technology in processes necessary to share traveler information with the united states. i hope to hear from i.c.e. about how it prioritizes individuals who have overstayed and may pose a national security or public safety threat. with limited resources, we must first address those who may do us harm.
deploying biometric exit at ports of entry and addressing overstays is no easy task, but it is a necessary part of ensuring meaningful border security. i thank the witnesses for joining us today and yield back the balance of my time. >> gentlemen yields back. other members of the committee are reminded that opening statements may be submitted for the record. we are pleased to be joined by four distinguished witnesses to discuss in topic. mr. michael doherty is the assistant secretary for border immigration and trade policy at the department of homeland security. he previously served in dhs as a citizenship and immigration service and senior policy adviser for immigration with the border and transportation security direct rat. mr. daugherty's federal experience also includes service as legislative council on the personal staff of senator john kyle an staff on the subcommittee on terrorism, technology and homeland security. mr. john wagner is the deputy executive assistant commissioner for the u.s. customs and border protections office of field operations.
mr. wagner formerly served as executive director of admissibility in passenger programs with responsibility for all traveler admissibility related policy and programs including the trusted traveller program. the electronic system for travel authorization, the immigration advisory program and the fraudulently document analysis unit. >> mr. clark settles is the assistant director for the national security investigations division within the homeland security investigations. in this capacity, he's responsible for strategic planning, national policy implementation and additionally mr. settles oversees hsi's national security programs which includes the joint terrorism task forces and visa security programs. mr. john roth became the inspector january for homeland security in march of 2014. his long record of public service includes time at the food and drug administration where he served as the director of department of justice where among many positions he served as section chief.
the witnesses' full written statements will appear in the record. the chair now recognizes mr. daugherty for five minutes to testify. >> chairwoman, mcsally, ranking member and distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss work in progress at the department of homeland security and to identify report and address overstays. some 50 million nonimmigrant visitors entered the united states each year. they enter for business, to study, to see family or loved ones or to vacation here. the united states welcomes these visitors while recognizing it's imperative that they depart the country when their visas or period of authorized admission expires. our ability to identify foreign nationals who overstay their visit is important for numerous reasons. chief among them we need to determine whether individuals pose a threat to national security or to public safety. and we need to protect the integrity of our immigration system by removing those who are present in violation of law. the key way to ensure that the federal government has the means
of accurately determining the presence of unlawful overstays in the united states is through a biometric exit system that will provide a high level of assurance when a visitor has the left the country. as most of us know, biometric exit has been a federal objective for many years. it is a priority for this administration in his executive order of march 6th, the president directed dhs to expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry/exit track system for in scope travellers to the united states as recommended by the 9/11 commission. yesterday the department released the fiscal year 2016 overstay report. it contains new data unavailable last year when the fy 2015 report was issued. the fy 2016 report has been expanded to include foreign students, exchange visitors and numerous other classes of non-immigrants. dhs's ability to provide new analysis on these non-immigrant classes results from
improvements made by dhs in expanding its data collection capabilities. the fy' 16 report reflects that 98.53% of inscope nonimmigrant visitors departed the united states on time and abided by the terms of their admission. while that is an impressive level of compliance, our data indicates that 1.47% of nonimmigrant visitors overstay their period of admission. that means a total of 739,478 individuals who are expected to depart the united states in fy 2016 did not do so. while the number overstay numbers declined, these numbers are significant concern for secretary kelly and the department. as is reflected in the work performed by our indicator general.
dhs is collaborating with the state department, with the doj and odni to improve screening and vetting standards and procedures so that we can better determine when nonimmigrants intend to fraudulently overstay the terms of their visas which is a task assigned to us by the president's executive order of march 6th. secretary kelly is also committed to increasing the number of i.c.e. agents to undertake enforcement agents against violators. we have a clear commitment and direction from the president via the executive order to prioritize biometric exit/entry. we appreciate the strong support that it is continuously received from congress in favor of implementing such a system. building on recent biometric exit pilot programs, ongoing work includes an aggressive effort to re-engineer and to redesign data handling, to develop next generation facial matching capabilities and to build a back-end communication portal to connect with the travel industry and with our security partners.
ultimately the goal of our collaborative efforts with government, industry and international stake holders is to accurately identify passengers and to deliver a seamless and secure travel experience. while implementation of a robust and effective biometric exit solution will take time and presents significant operational challenges, dhs's aggressively advancing the development of a comprehensive biometric exit system. our strategy is to expand activities underway in the air and sea environment to include our land borders as well. dhs will continue to build on the progress made in the fy 2016 overstay report to identify report and take appropriate action against those who overstay or violate the terms of their admission to the united states. chairwoman mcsally, ranking member vela and distinguished
members of the subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to testify today on this important issue and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, mr. dougherty. the chair now recognizes mr. wagner for five minutes. >> good afternoon, chairwoman mcsally. thank you for the opportunity to discuss u.s. customs and border progress since last year implementing. before that let me touch on the overstay report we released yesterday. this year's report accounts for 96% of all air and sea nonimmigrant admissions from fiscal year '16 at air and sea locations. we expanded the report to include additional categories of temporary visitors including foreign students, exchange visitors and certain worker classifications. last fiscal year there were approximately 50.4 million inscope nonimmigrant admissions through the air and sea locations who were expected to depart. of this number, dhs calculated a total overstay rate of approximately 1.47% which is about 739,000 individuals. of these about 628,000 remained
in the u.s. or 1.25% at the end of the fiscal year. due to continuing departures that number is currently at about 455,000 or .9%. i'm happy to discuss that report further. moving to biometric exit, last year i testified before the sub committee and described some of the pilots that cdp and dhs conducted over the years and the many challenges we faced in developing a feasible exit solution. i understand your frustration with the pace of this. i also recognize that congress has made a billion dollars available over the next decade for biometric exit and essentially funded a program in advance of dhs having a real plan on how to implement. as i said publicly, we're out of time and we're out of excuses. so the good news is we have developed a feasible solution. we've had a lot of discussion with private sector technology experts and many stake holders. we knew this -- for this to be successful we couldn't implement another stand alone stove piped process adding yet another
process for travelers to learn. we certainly couldn't rearrange in the near term our airports built or operating model of the airline industry, so the biggest factor in our struggle to find a solution was relying on finding that single magic piece of technology that would accomplish our needs. previous efforts never really took a deep look at the processes behind how our data systems already function. so we figured out a way to better position the data we already have on travelers, make the inspection process a lot more efficient. non-technical terms we moved the biometrics off a traveler expected to be on a departing flight out of the dhs data base and into its own temporary and secure data base until we encounter the person. by doing so, we can now skip reading the passport first like all other countries require who have smart gates and lot of the technology we've seen developed. we can go straight to collecting a biometric and matching against the gallery. this makes the process a lot quicker and the infrastructure
footprint much smaller, less expensive and much more manageable to implement. so we put this concept to test using facial recognition on a flight in atlanta. we created a preposition gallery of facial images we already collected and compared a live photograph of a traveller boarding the plane, thus creating a biometric record of departure. we processed about 28,000 travelers through this atlanta demonstration over the last ten months matching at a rate of high 90 percentile for travelers who had a photograph available. this validated our concept how to use the data coupled with the latest technology and fitting with the operational model of the airlines and the airports and it's easy for travellers to use. while facial recognition will be used, we'll continue to collect fingerprints from foreign nationals upon initial encounters. both biometrics will be fused together in our systems and the fingerprint results can be returned by matching a photo associated with them. getting the same vetting results as if we had read the
fingerprints or the passport, this is just a more efficient, convenient and user friendly way of traveler verification without losing any of the security benefits. we introduced this vision to the air travel industry. beginning with summer we will roll out to six to ten biometric air exit demonstrations at airports. the demonstrations will occur at select flights at each of the airports. some of these will be using technology through cameras and self boarding gates. this will allow our stake holders to work with the new process and we can jointly develop an implementation strategy that also conforms to their own modernization plans. cbp is not neglecting the land environment. the main strategy will consistent of requiring third country nationals to self report their departure from the u.s. at the land border ports. there's very few of these travelers making a final departure from the u.s. only a few a day if that. we will commence a notification process later this year to advise travelers of these new requirements.
in addition, facial recognition technology will be deployed at two southwest land ports of entry. this configuration will be developed to expandable to other pedestrian locations. so in conclusion, we will have a feasible efficient biometric exit solution in all modes with the exception of land border vehicles. it's a matter of building out the i.t. back end services and infrastructure to support this on a national basis. while simultaneously working with the industry stake holders to incorporate their own automation efforts into the exit infrastructure. so thank you for the opportunity to appear today and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. wagner. chair now recognizes mr. settles for five minutes. >> chairwoman mcsally, thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss how i.c.e., homeland security investigations, hsi investigates visa overstays and to highlight improvements hsi has implemented in overstay enforcement.
hsi's counterterrorism and criminal exploitation unit ctceu, focuses on identifying and prioritizing its enforcement efforts towards overstays who are still in the country, otherwise known as in-country overstays who may pose a national security or public safety threat. on a daily basis, hsi agents and just thousands of potential overstay leads from u.s. custom and border protection, cbp information hsi student and exchange visitor information and other referrals on foreign nationals who may have overstayed their admission period are otherwise violated the terms of their admission to the u.s. when ctc -- when leads are received by the ctceu lead team, they go through an automated and manual vetting system. lead packages that include all available information and instructions on how to adjudicate the leads are sent to
the hsi sack offices nationwide for further investigation by local trained and experienced field agents. in fy 2016 they reviewed approximately 1.2 million unvalidated overstay leads. numerous leads were closed through the above described vetting process due to subsequent departures from the united states, a change in status, pending immigration benefits. those that did not meet hsi's threat criteria were referred to i.c.e.'s removal operation for further action. of the overstay leads remaining within hsi's purview, 4,116 lead packages were sent to hsi field offices for further investigation. from those leads, hsi special agents made 1,261 arrests, secured 97 indictments and 55 convictions.
1,884 cases are still currently under investigation. another 1,126 were closed as being in compliance. the remaining leads were cycled back into continuous monitoring for further research as new information is revealed. however, we are committed to always doing better and advancing our capabilities as technology is developed and as resources allow. overstay enforcement is certainly no exception. i would like to take a moment to highlight a recent pilot program and overstay enforcement and effort to prevent overstay by pushing the borders out and our effort to improve data. first, our overstay life cycle pilot is an effort to ensure continuous monitoring. started last year hsi is tracking non-immigrant visitors who filed visa applications at certain visa security posts. from the time they apply through their departure from the united states.
this continuous review allows hsi the ability to take action should derogatory information be uncovered at any point in the visa life cycle. second, hsi in collaboration with the department of defense and cbp developed a biometric program called bit map to target high risk subjects who are in route to the u.s. through bit map we provide capability to our foreign partners to tactically collect biometric and bio graphic data of persons of interest they encounter. if such individuals are identified as threats to u.s. national security, hsi and our u.s. government partners work with host nations to take appropriate law enforcement action. in addition, bit map collections bring individuals of interest to our attention so we can prevent them from acquiring visas and stop admission to the u.s. at future encounters. one example of bit map program success involves an eastern european national encounter in south america.
through bit map, the subject was found to be a match to a no-fly record and when confronted and questioned, he identified himself as a foreign fighter. he was detained for deportation in south america and his travel was stopped. this is what hsi is striving to do, identify such individuals that prevent them from reaching the u.s. third, hsi has been an integral partner in improving the system to stream line our ability to identify overstays. through modernization of lead track and cvis we are advancing dhs information sharing and expediting overstay vetting. a number of initiatives are on going at dhs to enable systems to provide person-centric rather than event specific data to help us better prioritize our cases. before concluding, let me emphasize how seriously we take the recommendations from oig and gao reviews. when i came into this job from the field just a few weeks ago
and was given the last oig report, i took action immediately in response to concerns about field training and overstay investigations. i resent the ctceu overstay handbook and guidance to all of the hsi field offices and agents. this handbook provides detailed instructions on what systems to use and how to conduct overstay investigations and launched a plan to reinvigorate our regional training program. including training on systems. because if even one agent is confused on how to investigate one of the leads, it's not acceptable. thank you again for inviting me today to explain hsi's critical role in the overstay enforcement process. i would be pleased to answer any of your questions. >> thank you mr. settles. the chair now recognizes mr. roth for five minutes. >> chairwoman mcsally, thank you for inviting me here today to testify to discuss our work relating to visa overstays including our most recent audit report. the results of our audit reveal that dhs information technology systems do not effectively
support i.c.e. visa tracking for a number of reasons. first, identifying potential visa overstays requires pulling data from dozens of systems and data bases, some of which are not integrated and do not electronically share information. this is necessary because four different dhs components, i.c.e., and the national protection and programs direct -- direct drert -- directorate. as well as numerous entities outside of the dhs are involved in managing the overstay issue. much of the data that is stored is not in easily retrievable fields. as an illustration of the disjointed nature of the i.t. systems involved, i.c.e. investigators need to retain up to 40 different pass words each with different access restrictions and expiration dates for up to 27 different information systems. second, realtime access data is hampered by restrictions. i.c.e. personnel are sometimes unable to gain access to systems
despite having a need to do so. some data is retained in paper base file which is can take considerable time to access and some systems are not frequently updated. third, i.c.e. personnel do not have the training and guidance they need to effectively identify and utilize the numerous systems currently used for visa overstay tracking. i.c.e. personnel in the field are not always sure which systems to use to perform their specific job functions. personnel we met at multiple locations expressed concerns that they were unaware of all the systems available to them across dhs components and agency potentially limiting their effectiveness in carrying out their visa tracking responsibilities. lastly in the absence of a biometric exit system at u.s. ports dhs relies on third party departure data such as passenger lists from airlines, which is not always accurate and fails to capture land departure data, which accounts for the vast majority of visitors leaving the united states. these deficiencies have a significant real world impact
including a backlog of more than 1.2 million visa overstay cases. an inability to estimate with any degree of confidence the number of individuals who are actually overstaying, which results in a poor understanding of the problem and incomplete reporting to congress. considerable resources wasted investigating thousands of leads that could have been eliminated such as individuals who had already left the country or applied for and received immigration benefits. in fact, during our review we found that agents spend 40% of their case load investigating individuals they should not be investigating largely because they were in compliance with the law or had left the country. part of the problem is that the department has historically done a poor job of requiring i.t. integration which results in a fragmented and decentralized system. the chief information officer should provide greater oversight and centralized management of dhs i.t. systems.
this is a long standing issue we repeatedly reported on. they must provide training and guidance to personnel in the field about how to properly use current data systems. finally cdp must continue to work on moving forward with the biometric entry/exit system to assist in the efforts. until the department properly equips its personnel with the tools and training required for the vital work of tracking visitors who overstay their visas, timely identification, investigation and adjudication of visa overstays will not be possible, increasing the risk to public safety and national security. we made five recommendations in our audit report we believe will assist in making the process more efficient. the department in its components have agreed with each of our recommendations and is implementing corrective action. we will monitor the progress the department makes and report as needed. this concludes my testimony. i would be happy to answer any questions you or other members of the committee may have. >> thank you, mr. roth. i now recognize myself for five minutes for question.
listening to your testimony is deeply concerning the situation that we're in. it's troubling. it's frustrating. it's infuriating. this is a significant issue that we need the will and capability to address, right? and from my view, again i look at things often i was a fighter pilot. we have two main challenges. the first is we need to make sure we have good data and good information. we need to know who has overstayed and who hasn't overstayed. that's on the data front. our situational awareness is high and we have good data. then the second piece is once we know who has overstayed, what are we doing about it? how are we using your resources mr. settles to prioritize so we are quickly not wasting time and prioritizing in order to address the issue for enforcement with the highest priority those are national security risks. in both these areas we had significant failures and challenges that bring us to this place of the report. we appreciate the information in the report, but we still just have so much more to go to
address the will and capability in both of these areas. we have shown, mr. wagner as you said, the will in congress. we have funded money for a program without a plan. we are now anxiously awaiting for the will and the capabilities to increase in these areas. so mr. wagner, i want to start with you on some of the challenges we've had in the past is when we've had biograph ca cacal call -- biographical data focused versus biometric, still relying more on the airlines and private industry to give information to something that many believe is a inherently governmental speedometer. talk to me about this official recognition approach and how that will be implemented and what is the in the airline industry and what is the government doing and how is that impacting u.s. travelers? are we getting our facial recognition collected and brought to a government data base because we're not foreign travelers. how does that all work? >> so on the manifest issue with the third party data, i mean, we find it's very accurate. this is data collected by the airline when you check in. it's verified by the airline when they give you your boarding
pass. it's verified by a tsa officer when you go through the check point when day compare it with your boarding pass. and it's the basis we do all our national security check for no-fly list and including on all your domestic travel. our work by adding biometrics is that that data is very accurate. true, the have you been vulnerability remains of an imposter departing the u.s. the biometrics are essential to closing that vulnerability and doing it. it doesn't mean the data we are relying on today is inaccurate. this is the biographic data we caught the times square bomber leaving the united states. if he flies out of someone else's pass port, we may not catch it unless somebody looks at the passport closely. we've got pictures of everyone from their arrival records.
what we can do is when the airline provides us that manifest, we'll pull all of the faces that we have in the dhs data base and put them in its own secure data base. when the person goes to board the plane, it's as simple as just taking their picture and denver querying against that small subset of data you put aside. this is really quick and really easy to do and putting a camera at the departure area to do this. now u.s. citizens are included in that because just because someone presents a u.s. passport we still have to determine they are a u.s. citizen. and we can have an officer or airline person standing and comparing the document manually or we can use the algorithm to make that match once we confirm it's a u.s. citizen, we discard the data because they are not subject to the biometric exit retirement. but we do have the responsibility to determine if a person is a citizen and not an imposter to the passport that they're presenting. >> does that happen
automatically or manually? >> that would happen automatically with the facial recognition software. so we take a picture, we compare you against the photograph you've already provided to the u.s. government for purposes of travel. we get your passport photo that we have from department of state. if you match against that we discard the data as you are confirmed to be a u.s. citizen. so the plan for this year is to build out the back end services and build out the ability on a national basis to take all of the manifests in, be able to populate the galleries and build the data base space to store this. and then work on the infrastructure to be able to match that. so you need the space to store the data. you need to build the services to retrieve the photos out of i dent or the data base, stage them and create that gallery per flight. then you have to procure the matchers, the algorithms from the the technology companies that build these. you have to implement that and build the protocol between the camera at the gate and getting into that gallery to match and have a response back.
so, what we're working with -- while we're building that out, that will take us the rest of this calendar year really to build that out. once we build that, we're working with the airlines and the airports on their own modernization plans because they're looking at self boarding gates, facial recognition for boarding passes, self tagging checked bags. we want to combine with them. so it's not a gauntlet of cameras you walk through to board a plane. it's one single photograph that we'll be able to take care of several purposes at once including the biometric exit. all the same data runs in the background. the fingerprints run in the background. the biographical queries all run in the background. you're just pointing it to the same vetting results through matching the face instead of actually reading the passport. so the plan is to combine what we're doing with what the airlines and the airports want to do and build that out over the course of this year and into next year. so we can really leverage each
other's technology and provide the platform and provide the service. now who owns the front end piece? once we build the service out, it's a matter of buying cameras and plugging them in. and our plans include looking at tsa and the check point and some possibilities at helping them with some of their work because you're comparing against the same document. looking at other services within that airport, provided we could work through the privacy requirements of doing so. but you should be able to match against that passport or that visa photo all through the airport any place you would currently show an id. >> i'm almost out of my time. i saw there's no additional funds for this project in the fy '18 budget request that came out. so do you have the funds already from what we have allocated? and what is timeline to complete all this? >> correct. we have enough money this year and next year to get the platform built and get this started. we'll be demonstrating six to eight sites, up to a dozen sites this summer to show the stake holders how it works and start to work on their own modernization plans how to work
it. this year we will be building out that back end. they'll stage those photos, procure the space and procure the algorithms to do the matching. we think there's enough money to do the complete air environment starting this year into next year. land border is a different challenge. challenge. >> got it. we'll circle back afterwards. i'm out of time. i want to know the full time cost for air and sea for this to roll out. >> mr. roth, i want to make sure that i understand your testimony because and subsequently i'm curious as to what the department's feelings are about it because before you began your testimony i assumed that the 739,000 figure that we had for 2016 would be precise. but as i understand your
testimony, you're suggesting that that's not likely so. is that right? >> that's correct. i can explain why. there's a couple areas in which inaccuracies get injected into the system. with all respect to officer wagner, i think that the airlines do an okay job with regard to providing passenger manifests, but during our audit we found that that accuracy rate was in the low 90%, somewhere between 92 and 95%. seems pretty good except if you're talking about 50 million people, 5% of 50 million is still a significant number of people. the other thing that the report -- it's very up front. it acknowledges the fact that it does not include the land border. which obviously is a significant issue. this year, of course, they included students which they hadn't last year, so we commend them for gradually increasing the accuracy. i think when we're talking about this level of numbers of travelers, there is going to be inaccuracies here.
what we found, for example, is the cases that got shipped to homeland security investigations for overstays, these were the high priority cases. 40% of them either got system immigration benefit or had left the country. in other words, we thought that they were overstays and once they got investigated they weren't overstays. there will be a significant amount of inaccuracy in these kinds of numbers. >> so, are you saying that that that figure is probably about 90% accurate? >> that's the problem is we can't tell exactly how accurate is it is and that's the whole nature of the problem. as i said, once we took a look at the accuracy of the numbers that we got from the airlines, we saw that that was somewhere in the low 90% accuracy rate. but again, that's an estimate. we can't estimate what kind of volume we're talking about at
the southern land border, for example, or the northern land border, excluding canadians who will not share that information. so, again, there's a lot we don't know. so i would caution or i would exercise some caution believing the accuracy, the specific accuracies of these numbers. >> so chief wagner, what are your thoughts on that? >> so, the report didn't include the airline manifest data or how it was accounted for or received from the airlines, so i don't know how the 90% figure was calculated. that really wasn't in the report. what i did see in the report was some i.c.e. agent case data from fiscal year '15, but there was no indication of how old or stale that data was, with these cases from '15, '14 or '13. it's hard really to say about the accuracies of that data without having the analysis of what actual data received and how it was calculated other than some anecdotal statement from
the i.c.e. agents and how complicated it was. so there was a lot of summary judgments made based on anecdotal information. i didn't see the analysis behind it. as far as the land border goes, sure. you know, 250 million land border travelers last year, but once you take out the mexican citizens and the canadian citizens, the numbers are very small. out of 190 million -- this is on arrivals, land border travelers last year, only just over 400,000 were nonmexican citizens, nonamerican citizens. very small number. on the northern border out of 60 million travelers there's about 1.1 million noncanadian, non-u.s. travelers. so we think this is a manageable subset to start with. you know, we think there's manual reporting requirements we
can put in for that same population if they depart the land border. you know, as their final departure from the united states. you know, those numbers will be even smaller than these numbers because they include the workers and the people that cross back and forth we'll call them third country nationals at this point. so we think that's a manageable subset, but true. a lot more people cross the land borders, but it's a lot of, as you know, it's the commuting traffic and a lot of local community going back and forth who wouldn't be subject to biometric exit any way. >> thank you. >> chair now recognizes mr. barletta for five minutes. >> thank you. i've been calling for the congress and administration to follow through on one of the key points to committee a biometric screening system an essential investment in our security. as noted earlier as many as four of the nine 9/11 overstayed and we have seen this pattern continue in other terrorist plots biometric entry/exit means
collecting biometrics at land, air and sea. one gaping hole in plans we have heard about today is land ports of entry where about two thirds of travelers pass through. can you please speak to plans to collect biometric entry data at land ports of entry and why aren't we verifying the identity of land arrivals biometrically? >> so land arrivals are collected biometrically when someone leaves that border zone on the southwest border or canadian citizens on the northern border are not subject to the biometric collection, so any third country national coming across the canadian border we would collect the biometrics. on the southern border it's any mexican citizen that wants to proceed pass the border zone and
any third country nationals that would come in. i gave you the numbers on the third country nationals on the mexican border. for mexican citizens, it was just over 15 million last year. it was a pretty significant number, but all of them come in have their biometrics verified. have already been taken by state department when they got the visa. we verify who it is. so the plans on departure, start with the third country nationals. it's a very manageable group. set up a manual reporting requirement for them. have them come in and give us their biometrics. the technology and the vehicle lanes there's just nothing yet. we're testing some cameras to do facial recognition in through a vehicle. we haven't seen anything that's commercially available yet, but for pedestrians i think we can do that using the same system we're building for airports. >> thank you. mr. daugherty, it's good to see an updated visa overstay report which was more complete than the one issued last year. that being said, as noted, this
report does not cover all foreign visitors to the united states such as those that enter through the land ports of entry. it also does not provide the total estimated incountry overstay that are here now. it's a snapshot of time of those foreign visitors expected to depart in fiscal year 2016 and those who did not do so. how do you plan to use the information in the new overstay report and what do you think is the most effective way to address the problem of overstays? >> i personally think that a better means of communicating with people who are here on visas should be explored. i think we're doing that now. i think cbp is looking towards pushing something out on your phone that says, hey, you're almost done. i think it would be nice if the sending countries would do the same thing. i know if i was on travel and the host country was telling me it was about time to go and my own government was telling me
the same that would motivate to me to get going. i think that in terms of compliance and getting people to voluntarily leave, if their intention is to come here and overstay, we need to do a better job of understanding whether or not that's their intention on the front end. so, if we're going to be doing screening and vetting in a more sort of robust fashion, how does that translate into real life? i think part of it is going to be probably increasing training for those individuals who actually do interview people who are intended to come to the united states to better understand their intent. that is, as i mentioned in my opening statement, part of the executive order is that the interagencies getting together and looking at whether or not we can do a better job of determining intent and perhaps denying admission to those people who would intend to overstay. so, you've got in a sense a little bit of a carrot perhaps of notifying people, hey, you're
almost done. but then there's the stick which is we can't let you in because basically i cannot determine based on the colloquy that you and i are having right now that you're not going to the united states under whatever visa category that you don't intend to just overstay. >> thank you, madame chair. >> gentlemen yields back. the chair now recognizes mrs. demmings from florida for five minutes. >> thank you, so much, madame chair. mr. wagner, you talked about the operational model in atlanta and the plans for further buildout at 6 to 10, i believe, additional airports. what portion of the process are the stake holders, the airports, the airlines willing to own and what portions will be cbp's? >> so cbp will receive the airline manifest information about who checks in for a flight, just as we do today. we will build a gallery of
photographs based on the the holdings, the data we've already got from people's arrival information where we took their picture. we will stage that in a gallery in a secure computer data base and we will procure a matching algorithm to be able to match your received photograph against that gallery. now, who owns that front end camera and who takes that picture? i think that could be the government could do that or the airline could do that. >> what about cost wise? >> the cost of the camera would be the inexpensive part of this. the cost would be the personnel. cbp has to staff each one of the 5,000 departure gates at all the airports or look at restricting departures to only locations we could staff -- >> how many additional personnel or officers, personnel would you need to implement the program nationally? >> that would be thousands. that would be thousands of officers to do that or pull them from the in-bound lanes by creating additional delays there. so, if the airlines are already going through a boarding process and verifying passports manually because that's where a lot of gate agents do now, they have to look at that passport. wherever they're going that country always holds them to board the right person.
if we can help the airline with that requirement and confirm their identity based on our records it helps the airlines with their resources. so we want to build a platform that if an airline is looking at modernizing and doing facial recognition which we're in talks with an airline right now about doing that for a boarding pass, well while why not link them up and have just one camera, one picture of the traveller taken that provides both benefits, boarding the plane and doing the biometric exit. so the traveller wouldn't have to go through two cameras and having an officer standing there. should the airlines choose to do that, we want to build a platform that could accept their technology and allow them to do that. if not, the government could procure that. but then the costs would go up but then the resources and the manpower to do that would be astronomical. astronomical. >> thank you. mr. dougherty, how does the department ensure that dhs field
personnel are adequately trained to identity and investigate incidents of individuals who may be in the country longer than thetorium of their visas? ident >> i do want to address one thing, if i could, regarding secretary kelly's interest in bringing on many new ice officers. as a former marine general, he's very interested in the ground troops, he's very interested in the quality of their life, the equipment that they get, and principally in the training that they get as well. so his objective is to add as many folks as we can to, while keeping a high quality of recruit coming into ice to assist as ice agents, the number that has been placed out in public is 10,000 people over time. so his intention there would be to ensure that they were very, very well trained. he believes in professionalism and it's a strong characteristic
of his personality. the remainder of your question, if i could, i would defer to mr. settles. >> i guess from looking at the report it's kind of a two-part question. one is training in the systems, and then the other part is training on how to conduct the investigations. i know that, you know, the main dhs and ice, cios came forward with a plan on the system training that's supposed to be implemented by i believe april 30th of 2018 and it was, you know, concurred with by oig. on the other side, like i mentioned, when i took over this job and i saw that there were some agents out there, and, again, i know there may be new agents and these are difficult cases. i mean, the people don't want to be found, especially if they came here, you know, for -- to
hurt us, for national security or public safety concerns. or if they just ended up overstaying their visa, they're not going to make it easy for us. so just like any criminal investigation, you know, some of them we can adjudicate in a few hours, some of them take a long time because the people just don't want to be found and we have to go through it. as far as the number of systems, we do have work do. there's no doubt about it. i will say we've come a long ways, though, from the days i can remember of the systems that i used when i was a field agent and how you had to type in these long strings of almost like dos-like codes in order to be able to search things like criminal records. we are moving in our lead track which is the ctcu. we've moved to being a single signon and person centric was very important because it allows us to look at everything that that person did, not just the event or the visa that they filed. but, you know, we are going
to -- we've already sent out the handbook. it seemed like there was some confusion that there was at least one agent that didn't, you know, understand how do these. the handbook gives detailed information. the leads we actually send out the reports of investigation says what the over a hundred -- about 130 employees stla here in the national capital region that ingest these leads, the 1.2 million leads, and after the automated screening then they go through, you know, and check all of the systems manually. and part of the reason they do that is because the system is only as good as the information you put in it. and part of that is to amplify the information, make it better, make connections that the technology can't do yet along the lines of loaning through a system -- and find a speeding ticket and seeing that it adds another address. right now you're going to have to log on to a different system in order to be able to do that
because there's concerns of third agency and privacy and other things. so there's always going to be a lot of systems and that's why these guys and gals get paid as -- >> thank you so much. thank you, madam chair. >> the chairman recognizes mr. rulker ford from florida for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. mr. settles and mr. ross's numbers and this kind of goes back to the issue we were just talking about, says.4% of the overstays were actually arrested. that's 3,402. that's obviously a pretty small number. and what i was -- to kind of follow up where you were at, i want to ask just a couple brief questions. number one, do they log in to ncic and look for these overstays being in jails throughout the country? >> yes, sir, they do.
and also the sister agency to hsiero has a program that goes around to the jails and, you know, puts detainers on individuals that are within the jails. >> okay. when -- when mr. wagner bills out the facial recognition program, is there a way for 287 g agencies to actually tap into that and let you know instead of you -- because if you check ncic today they may not be in there. they may be in there tomorrow, though. so unless you're continuously checking, you're really missing the boat. but if we had -- if we had those agencies out there helping you hit a database of overstays, then we identify them for you and tell you, come pick them up. and that way we have thousands of officers all over the country
helping to capture this population. so my question is, when this database becomes available, will you have to be a 287-g act to get into that database or to some other structure be put up like through the fusion centers or something like that? >> you know, i don't know the answer to that yet because we're not there to that point yet. but i think it's a great idea. i mean, it would be a very helpful for us, for the departments that want to work with us to be able to run that information and send it back to us. it would also be helpful when the technology comes online to where it can continually search and you don't have go in there every day like you said and rerun the name when the technology comes online that we could put it in there once and, you know, it's out there looking. >> mr. wagner. >> but that database already exists. that exists today. we've collected the biometrics, the fingerprints, the photographs of every, you know, noncitizen that has arrived in
the united states with exception of canadian citizens. so that's already there. alls we're building with this is when the airline tells us who to expecting to fly, because that database is 200 million identities, probably a billion photographs. so it's difficult just to send a picture in and say who is this or send your fingerprints in and say who is this. you've got to read the passport first to find it because the databases are too big the way they've been architected over time. what we'll do when we get the airline manifest we go and pull all those biometrics out so you have a very small file you're searching against. if it's not found in that file then we start to look who is this person really. but i think a lot of those capabilities already exist to run fingerprints and photographs into that main database which is run by dhs's obim's office do that. >> but again i have go back to the same question i had for mr.
settles. if the officers aren't accessing those databases every day, those databases are changing every day, as far as i rests, who's in our jails? do local jails have access to that database? >> i don't exactly know, but what we'll do is we'll run a lot of recurrent vetting or perpetual vetting against the databases that we have. so we take state department's visa database and every day we run that against new information. we take the visa waiver travelers who's been given an esta. we run that all the time against new pieces of information. if the tsdb gets a new entry, we get that and run it against all our hold togz see do we know this person, does the u.s. government have any info on this person. >> okay. >> do they have a visa? are they in the country or are they out of the country or are they an overstay? so if we receive that information at our national targeting 7 center and we see that person as a visa, we look
to see have they traveled to the u.s. and are they here? if they're here, we're parsing it off to ice and saying here's a hit, person's still in the country. we'll also call state department and have their visa cancelled or revoked. >> let at the ask you one other questions baugh i know sometimes the numbers that aren't incollided are as important as the ones that are. the .4% suspect those overstays that were actually arrested. do you have a clearance number for your agents, mr. settles, i think, who even though they only arrest .4%, how many of the overstay cases do they investigate do they actually clear even by arrests or exceptionally clear because they find out they're out of the country or, you know, they passed away or whatever the exceptional circumstances may be? >> yeah, i mean, again vor when they come into us we're look for that derogatory information for national security and public safety. the twhaubz don't meet our criteria we sent to ero. that's about 679,000.
of the leads that come into us, then we through the manual vetting we close about 350,000 because, again, like we talked about, this is a snapshot in time. people are coming and going every day. >> the gentleman's time is up. can we follow-up in a second round? >> i didn't want to least impression that you only now about 3,400, you know about a lot more than that. >> yes, sir. >> the chair now recognize ps be beara began from california. >> thank you. mr. ross, i want to go back to you about this issue of whether the numbers we have are accurate or not. you can tell us the number that we're given, what is the basis on you saying they're not accurate? >> excuse me, yeah. you know, we do this audit and we talk to cbp. so the numbers that i gave you are cited in our report, those are numbers that cbp themselves gave us. the low 90% to 94% accuracy rate of the passenger manifests that they get.
cbp itself says is between 90 and 94% accurate. we put that in the report, we give it to cbp, cbp has an opportunity ton object to that, say it's not accurate. they did not object to that. this was referenced by our auditors according to government auditing standards. we believe that's an accurate number of people who are either underreported, meaning they have not left even though the airline records show that they have left, or overreported meaning that the airlines failed to show that they left. so either way, it's a problem for our visa overstay issue. now that's e that's co, or rated by the fact when we went out to the field and talked to the ice agents, the folks who were actually the ashi agents who were doing the work they found that a lot of their cases were people who had left the country. it was like 17% of their
caseloads. so we have it both ways both from cbp data that cbp itself gave us as well as from anecdotally from hsi agents that said the data that you've given us, these files ever bad. that's how we can tell. it's through no fault of either cbp or ice or dhs that this happens this is the law of large numbers when you're talk about 50 million people at a number of different ports, these kinds of errors are going to happen. >> thank you. do we know how long -- you said that there are times where you go to the investigators and they -- they start to investigate and the they realize that there is no overstay. do we know how long -- how often that happens and how much time we waste in doing that or how far along in the process we find that out? >> we looked at that in our audit report and for fiscal '15, which is the year that our audit looked at, it was a 40% rate.
so about 25% were individuals who had received some sort of immigration benefits. they weren't, in fact, overstaying, they're complying with the immigration law. and the remainder were out of the can't ountry by the time th agents looked at that time. >> do you know what the timing is like on let's say somebody overstays their visa, when ice would actually get this, report, does it take weeks, a months, a year. >> it used to take weeks now we've reduce today down to about three to five days. it's got to come in and be automated, vetted, automated and a manual process through both intelligence holdings and, you know, like we've said, quite a few other databases currently. and then we package it up and send it out to the field. so it's -- we cut did down from two to three weeks tok three to
five days which has been a significant achievement. >> and i guess my concern has been, you know, you hear about the reports of the 9/11 attackers or people of who overstayed their visa and makes this a critical issue that we need to pul actually invest dollars in as opposed to a wall, per se. once you get that the list, i imagine there's a lot of people on that list. how do you then determine who's a priority? do you look at people coming from certain countries? do you look at, you know, how long they've overstayed their visa? what is the process? >> so we get about 3,000 leads a day that comes into us either from cbp or from other sources. and we have -- we chair that board called the compliance enforcement advisory board or the seep and that has other law enforcement agencies like fbi, cbp and other agencies in the
intelligence community and they help us set a ten-tiered priority matrix that we bounce that off. tier 1 are the people that we know they're some type of national security or derogatory information. other tier could be because of travel patterns of concern, countries of concern, and one of the things that after looking at both of the overstay report and the i r oig report i've askedmy team to take to this compliance panel is people that have a very high rate of overstay as another factor. but we bounce it off of those and that gives us a prioritized list and that's what we send out first. we continue to monitor the other. but, i mean, if you don't mind me saying, it really is, and for hsi side it is a resource issue because our agents are doing other things. they're investigating child exploitation where there's actually a victim, you know, and
we have to prioritize those things. or that we get information that a drug load is coming in that day. now, i'm not saying that if we knew that an overstay lead had anything to do with national security or something that was more important, you know, like -- but if it's a fraud case that we have in overstay and the agent, you know, is needing to go out and rescue a child victim, we're going to prioritize that. so, i mean, that's kind of the different layers of how we get down to prioritizing. but what i can tell you is we've sent out more leads already this year than we did all of last year because that ten-tiered system, because we're no longer excluding any classes of aliens, we're -- we're looking at all ten tears again. >> okay. thank you so much. i yield back. >> chair now recognizes mr. rogers from alabama. >> thank you, chair. mr. settles, we know in 2016
that more illegal aliens stayed in the u.s. on visa overstays than were caught at the southern border. is it just employment that's drawing people e them in is that what you're find organize what is -- what is making that happen? >> that's a really hard question for me to answer. i mean, i think i'd be giving you my opinion. >> that's what i'm looking for. hopefully it's an informed opinion. >> well, i just -- i would rather get back to you on that if i could. i think i would just be speculating. i want to work with my team and maybe give you a, you know, a more informed answer. >> okay. when you collect -- when these individuals are caught and removed, are exit interviews done? are they debriefed? >> that does occur, especially if they're somebody that's of concern. we're going to work with ero and we're going to talk with them, try to find out information.
that's what criminal investigators do, try to -- >> every overstay's of concern so i would hope when we do apprehend somebody who's overstayed and we remove them that somebody's asking them a few questions before we send them home. >> absolutely, that's part of presenting the case. if it's a criminal case we're going to have to have interviewed them and we're going to have to have produced evidence. and the same if it's an administrative arrest and we're taking it in front of an immigration judge. >> okay. it seems staying in the u.s. on expired visa is the lowest risk and highest rewards way to live here in the u.s. illegally. i think one way to make illegal labor less profitable and less appealing is to put a fee on money sent back to their home country by these illegal workers and i've introduced a bill to do that to tax remittances or put a fee on remittances. but other than that, what current legal mechanism do you have and i rcbp that can reduce
the overstays? i know you talked a little while ago about the interviews you can do on the front end, but what legal mechanisms do you have to chill their enthusiasm for coming over here and staying? >> i can touch ton briefly and then pass it to my colleague for cbp but depending on how long they stay, that makes them ineling fob applying or getting a visa again. it could be three years or ten years, it also limits their ability to apply for a visa anywhere other than their home country, which can be really difficult. so there are mec -- and then they face detention, you know, and removal. so. >> not in this country they hadn't been. my recollection is from about ten or lech years ago that when folks come here on these visas, particularly if it's a temporary work visa or student visa that they're issued a social security card. is that still the practice? >> i can't -- it happens in some cases people are able to get social security cards but it's
an individual and i think it has do with -- i would just rather get back to you on that answer. >> if you would. my recollection is that we, i it if they're going to be here as a student or working that they have to get a social security i.d. number. so if you'd check and see if that's still the case and get back with me i'd appreciate it. >> yes, sir. >> with that i yield back. >> the chair will now remembering mr. coreya. >> i'm going to ask a question that hasn't been asked before. people come in on temporary visas from mexico. when you return you're not actually required to collect them at the border, is that correct or is it a process to collect those? >> they're provided a paper i 94 if they cross through the land border. >> that's correct. >> and they're supposed to hand that back in at the end of their stay. but there are multiple entries
so they can use them for multiple entries and not and that in. >> so how do you account in terms of guesstimating folks that are still here versus those that are not given that they may be handed in versus not handed -- returned when they exit the country? >> so with the land border, what we look at is what we call subsequent arrivals. so if someone has a border crossing card, a mexican citizen with a visa, 85% of those travelers cross the border again within 30 days. obviously they left if they can cross again. if you push that out to six months, 95% of them cross again within 180 days. so right now that's the best indicator we have of what percentage might be overstaying or not crossing the border again. >> so you got essentially a guesstimate, an algorithm um to try to guesstimate how many folks are returning and how many are not? >> true, because we do not have
the exit collection process on the land border. >> okay. any thoughts on collection process? i guess and even more important question is how u how important is it to really is that, you know, collection process? are we going after an issue that's significant? and i say that to you because i've had many relatives that i go pick them up in tee wanna, they get the permit, come over and when you exit there's nobody really there to take the card. it's not relationship or not to me because other than i tell them let's find somebody to give this card to, otherwise, you may be accused of overstaying your time here. so the question is, is it really an issue and, number two, if it is an issue are we going to move forward to create a process to collect these cards? >> correct. so we don't have the infrastructure or the personnel there to do that to the extent that we do inbound. you know, there's not facilities built, there's no infrastructure, it was never designed to control the
departures. you know, we can do enforcement work and do targeted examinations of people, but to do it on a wholesale process, you know, we're not equipped or built to do that. there's some work with perhaps the mexican government we can do about exchanging information that we're discussing with the mexican government about potentially looking to put extra people and sharing information. similar to what we did in canada. we're exchanging noncanadian data with that right now so the third country nationals. think so there's possibilities to help mm build out their infrastructure do that. or the u.s. government can build it on our side, but, again, there's no infrastructure there now or personnel do that. >> thank you, mr. wagner. i was just going to say that that's an excellent idea given the costs of the infrastructure and the fact that both sides of
the border you are having a lot of infrastructure being built right now and i believe occasionally when you do cross the boshder into mexico, the mexican authorities do check you out to see who you and what you've got in your car, so on and so forth. so i encourage you to try to continue to seek some similar relationships, cooperation as we have with canada with mexico. i think that's a win/win strategy. thank you very much. with that, madam, i yield the remainder of my time. >> chairman yields back we're going to start a second round i recognize myself for five minutes. i want to follow up on the carrots and sticks relating to trying to change the behavior here. with when we look at the penalties that could be a deterrent if you stay 364 days and that be only means once you're told to leave or if you leave on your own you just can't come back for three years, if you stay a little bit longer you can't come back for ten years, coming over the land border illegally a second time is a
felony. do you feel, mr. wagner, that the penalties are appropriate to deter this action and then secondly, as i look at some of these charts, i think about, like, carrots an sticks to countries. we have some countries on here that have rates of 75.21% overstays from air treeya, let's see, and some of them are in the high 20s and the 40s. 56.saichlt for afghanistan. 67% from liberia. if 77% of the individuals that are given a visa are overstaying, are we coordinating with the state department to have some country specific sticks in order to deter continuing behavior like this? because obviously it's not working. >> yeah, so we've provided the overstay report to the department of state. we've, you know, had that discussion with them. i know they've sthard with their posts, those kinds of numbers, and i know we've shared it with our field locations that these are the countries that have very
high overstay rates. so scrutinize travelers with those passports a little close we are that in mind that they have very high overstay rates. >> but, i mean, obviously the state department not here and there needs to be other tools, from my view, of like a country "x" get your act together or you're no lock longer going to be granted visa because if you're having a 70 plus overstay rate, there's got to be some sort of carrot and there's other economic and diplomatic tools for them to tient up their process. how about individual pentz? what do you think the individual pentz? >> we enforce them as the legislation permits. >> i know. i'm asking if you think it's an appropriate deterrent or if anybody's got any thoughts on that? obviously with 700 plus thousand people blowing them off, you know, perhaps we need to be looking into that here to tighten those up. mr. settles, i want to talk about resources.
you said you don't have adequate resources. how many hsi agents are there total and how many are focused on visa overstays, what subset. >> the numbers change and we're trying to hire. we have about 6,500 agents and for the last few years we've dedicated i think somewhere between 6 and 7 hundred hundred thousand hours towards overstay enforcement. because that's how we measure -- >> how is that as a percentage of total man-hours? i'm trying to get a sense of percentage of effort. >> i would have to take it back. i think it's around 3%. >> okay. so do you -- i'm hearing that you feel you need additional agents and resource tods be able to adequately enforce this and prioritize it? >> well, yes, ma'am. i mean, obviously with more we could do more. but i would say that we are currently going through, you
know, a big hiring push which is very good for us and that's something we're working on right now. we have a task force, we're doing these two-for-one stops where the agents -- potential agent candidates come in it's almost like the military back when they had, you know, when you were called up for the draft you go through each phase all at the same time from an interview and a physical and doing the physical fit test and that moves us along a lot quicker so we are doing those throughout the country. >> thanks. i yield back. you have a second round. >> okay. >> nothing further. >> anybody else? >> i'd like go back to mr. settles. you had mentioned that you have a ten tier system and you are now look at all ten tears. give me an example of what's at the bottom of the tenth -- what's at the tenth tier? >> i don't have a specifically in front of me but it may be an
individual from a country that isn't -- has some level of concern but not as high because of travel patterns where we've identified that people have traveled for foreign fighters. >> okay. >> and then other criteria like age and -- >> is -- is it -- you say you're now looking at all ten tears. does that mean because there's no longer priorities set in the department and they've been expanded or why is it that you're now looking at all ten tears. >> yes, ma'am, that's correct, because we're no longer excluding any classes of individuals. our guidance now is to enforce the law across the books. >> well, it sounds like you have a resource issue and now without the priority that's making it even harder for your department, is that accurate? >> yes and no. i mean, we've already sent out more leads than we did last year, which is a very good thing. and but i would say the year before we had sent out almost twice as many leads and the subsequent years as well.
so it is -- creates a resource issue and we're hiring more people. but it also, i think, because, again, that's -- of that whole ten tier is working in coordination with other agencies like the fbi and the intelligence community to figure out the people and the travel patterns that would be most like -- most likely to be of concern to us. >> so how do we know, then, if you're looking at all ten tears, let's say you're working on somebody who's in the ninth tier, that means that somebody in the first tier may not be addressed because we're so basically because somebody's working on that nine-tier person. >> no, i mean, every day we're prioritizing and triaging and moving and so, you know, priority one through fours we're going to get to before we get to the nine. we get about 3,000 leads a day and we have about 130 agents and analysts crunching through them
as fast as they can. >> and there, you know, all of the reports about there's going to be 10,000 new ice agents hired. do we know how many of those will be allocated to overstays? >> i do not have any visibility on that, no. >> i think like most of the our priorities we have quite a few. it will -- you know, it will move back and forth depending on whatever the threat is at the time. >> okay. there was also my understanding was that the oig report indicated that some of the investigators were not properly trained to access the systems. why is it that that -- why is it they were not properly trained? >> well, i guess what i would say is like i mentioned in my oral testimony, i mean, that's of concern to me as well. if even one agent feels that way, that's not acceptable. so we're taking steps to change that. but i can say i ran ten field offices in northern california and i just finished running
seven in virginia and d.c. and i don't -- i never had that complaint from any of the agents in those offices that they didn't feel they were trained. but they did sometimes feel like, you know, rightfully so i think we have a lot of passwords and we have a lot of different systems that we have to navigate. and if you don't do that every day, so if you're a -- you know, if you're somebody that works in child exploitation or money laundering or drug smuggling, weapons smuggling and you're taking up some leads in this area and there's some databases with ncis that you haven't used before or only used a couple times a year, you know, we would love for the technology to get to single sign on, you know, across the board. you know, and fetter rated searches. but so i think -- does that answer your question? >> yes r thank you. mr. wagner, if i may, what is cbp doing to ensure the servers and the data, the biometrics
data is not compromises under a cyber attack? >> i'd have to defer to our i.t. staff to provide the technical answer ton that, but, you know, the data's housed within a cbp system. we'll be using some cloud space technology to store that data but what we'll do is what we call -- what's called tem pla advertising the photographs. so it takes your picture, turns it into basically ones and zeros and numbers and that's put into the cloutd space where the matching occurs. so if somebody were to hack that, alls they would get was just a bunch of numbers. when that match is made, the data comes back into the cbp database then where it's secured. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thanks. one last question, mr. kag her, i start today at the end of my first round which is you said you had enough funding for what you're planning to do for the remainder of fq '17 and 18. do we have a sense of what the total cost of the facial
recognition to be rolled out to all land -- sorry, air and sea ports and the timeline and should we expect to get a plan on how that's all going to happen from cbp sfl so we believe there's enough funding there now to do the facial recognition at the air and sea locations. >> at all? >> all of it. >> okay. >> over, you know, depending on how the final deployment goes and what some of the stakeholders take on or provide versus what the government will provide. if cbp has to provide staff at each one of the departure dpats that funding would not be enough. if we can work with tsa and consolidate some of the adjudication of the mismatches in a centralized place, maybe that's an easier way to do it and then partnering with the airlines with the final confirmation at the gate, that brings the taffing cost way down dramatically. so there's still a lot of work to do on that on exactly how that would be deployed spot we'll have to follow up with you as this progresses and to see what the funding will cover.
the idea of course is spend as little as the funding as possible and make that money work for what we have to do. >> great. thank you. i want thank the witnesses for your valuable testimony on this very important topic and way nt to thank the members for their questions. members of the committee may have some additional questions for the witnesses, i'll ask you respond to these in writing pursuant to committee rule 7e the hearing record will be open for ten days. without objection the hearing meeting stands adjourned.
[ indistinct conversations ]? >> it resulted in a naval victory for the u.s. over japan just six months after the attack on pearl harbor. and on june 2nd, american history tv will be live all day from the mcarch thor memorial visitors center for the 75th anniversary for the batful midway. featured speakers include walter burr man, nim et cetera, halssy, leahy and king, the five-star
admirals who won the war at sea. elliot carlson with his book the odd ditsy of a code breaker who outi witnessediama moto. shattered sword, the untold story, and timothy over, coauthor of never call me a hero air legendary dive bomber pilot remembers the batful midway. watch the battle of midway 75th anniversary beginning at 9:30 on june 2nd on c-span 3. up next a senate judiciary committee hearing on hate crimes motivated by religious bias. officials with the civil justice division the antidefamation league and the association of police chiefs
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