House Homeland Security Hearing on House and Senate Border Bills

On 7/23/13 at 10:00 am (ET) the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on “A Study in Contrasts: House and Senate Approaches to Border Security.”

  • AILA Statement for House Border Subcommittee Hearing on House and Senate Border Bills (AILA Doc. No. 13072341).

Witness List
The Honorable John Cornyn
Senator, State of Texas

The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Representative from the 34th District, State of California

Mr. Jayson Ahern
Principal, Chertoff Group

Mr. Edward Alden
Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Mr. Richard Stana Former Director, Homeland Security and Justice, Government Accountability Office

Hearing Begins
10:00am The Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) begins the hearing with opening statements from the Chairwoman and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). The Chairman of the full Homeland Security Committee, Rep. McCaul (R-TX), compares H.R. 1417, the "Border Security Results Act," with the Senate border-surge amendment authored by Senators Corker (R-TN) and Hoeven (R-ND) included in the final package. (AILA Doc. Nos. 13060647 and 13062165.)

10:26am: Senator Cornyn (R-TX) begins his testimony
I do not believe that the American people will accept any immigration reform package until we regain their confidence on border security results. S.744 does not include any accountability to guarantee results and could go down as the biggest waste of money in this history of the Agency.

10:36am: Rep. Becerra (D-CA) begins his testimony
In the 21st century border security and immigration reform are not an either or proposition, as we build a better border we cannot ignore the ways that our immigration laws tie with the legal immigration system, future flow, family reunification and employment immigration. More enforcement on its own will not solve our immigration problems, we need a comprehensive solution.

10:49am: Second Panel begins
Mr. Jayson Ahern, Principal at the Chertoff Group, begins his testimony focusing on the importance of Ports of Entry.

Mr. Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow from the Council on Foreign Relations, begins his testimony on the factors that have led to the decrease in unauthorized migration across the Southern border.

Mr. Richard Stana, the former Director of Homeland Security and Justice at the Government Accountability Office, begins his testimony on achieving an appropriate balance between border security and interior enforcement.

11:07am Question and Answer begins
Rep. Miller: I want to ask about the terms "operational control" and :situational awareness" as a way to measure whether the amount of money spent on border security is actually effective.
Stana A: I think "operational control" is a fine metric to use, not perfect, but at least a metric. If you're talking about doubling the size of the border patrol there has to be a very good reason to do so. I don't see the rationale for doing it.
Rep. O'Rourke (D-TX): Should we see the U.S.-Meixco border as a threat or as an opportunity? I think far too often we see the border only as a threat, but I want to know how we can quantify that threat and how can we approach this is a fiscally responsible, humane manner?
Ahern A: When we talk about fiscal responsibility we should recognize that CPB was not provide the annual funding for the employee requirements mandated by Congress so what forced to make cuts in other areas.
Rep. Duncan (R-SC): What does s ecure border really look like? Is it an East Germany/West Germany concrete wall or do we need to take trade and other things into account.
Rep. Jackson-Lee: Do you really need a border security trigger to move forward on immigration reform?
Stana A: You can't isolate border security issues from all the other moving parts. Border security isn't the only thing that can be effective in controlling immigration ebbs and flows.
Rep. Miller: Do you think the House or Senate method od addressing border security is more appropriate? All witnesses: In this limited context yes this bill addresses border security in a better way than the Senate bill.

Hearing Ends

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13071746.