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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: June 18, 2002 (House)]
[Page H3642-H3643]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr18jn02-100]                         



 
                           HOMELAND SECURITY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Souder) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SOUDER. Mr. Speaker, last week the hearings began on the new 
Department of Homeland Security. Yesterday my Subcommittee on Criminal 
Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources held a hearing titled 
``Homeland Security Reorganization: What Impact on Federal Law 
Enforcement and Drug Interdiction?'' Last week in the Committee on 
Government Reform, our Subcommittees on Civil Service and on National 
Security held a joint committee hearing, the first ones on homeland 
security. I wanted to share a few of the things that we have already 
learned through these hearings as well as in the media the last few 
days, because we are starting these and we may be actually moving the 
markup through committee next week. So we are on a fast track.
  Many people are reacting, ``Aren't you moving awfully fast?'' The 
answer is yes. The biggest problem we face in the government whenever 
you tackle one of these things is bureaucratic inertia combined with 
congressional committee inertia, and everybody can find many reasons 
not to go ahead. Unless we put this on a fast track to get it out of 
committee by the July break and out of the full House and Senate by the 
August break, the likelihood is that this government reorganization 
will die just like they have every other year. In fact, the class of 
1994 came in committed to all sorts of reforms of government, and 
anything we did not achieve that first year was very difficult to 
achieve as the organization and the inertia kind of takes over. So I 
strongly support moving ahead.
  But it also means that we need to understand certain basic trade-offs 
we are making and go into this with our eyes wide open. The witnesses 
yesterday at our hearing were all nongovernmental, which meant that 
they had the ability to speak out without any restrictions. They 
included the former Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Kramek; Mr. 
Donnie Marshall, the former Director of DEA; Mr. Peter Nunez, former 
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement of the Treasury Department; Mr. 
Doug Kruhm, former Assistant Commissioner for the U.S. Border Patrol in 
INS; Mr. Sam Banks, former Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs; and Dr. 
Stephen Flynn from the Council on Foreign Relations, who had worked 
with the Rudman-Hart Commission.
  Among the things that they pointed out at the hearing, and I thought 
Dr. Flynn made a terrific point that many in Congress and many in the 
media simply do not understand, which has led to much of the confusion 
about why is this agency not in, why is this agency not in, why is it 
done this way, and that is if you look at this, and this is the way the 
Rudman-Hart Commission looked at it and clearly was behind the 
President's thought, is this really deals with catastrophic security.
  It is our basic function of every department to provide for security, 
and most of those are homeland security. We cannot have one Cabinet 
agency have everybody in it. So you look at this as catastrophic. 
Furthermore, the agencies that have been combined in the Department of 
Homeland Security are basically the meet-and-greet, in Dr. Flynn's 
words, basically; in other words, a border agency. So if you called 
this the Department of Border Catastrophic Security, you would 
understand why INS is there, why Border Patrol is there, why Customs is 
there, why the Coast Guard is there, and the logic behind the system 
that we are about to address. Because if you view it as homeland 
security, you can have every policeman in, you can have every 
enforcement division in, you can have every sort of organization in 
this.
  FEMA is also in this. It deals with the catastrophic results. So 
although it is not border, it also deals with catastrophic security. If 
we broaden this too much, we will not have any agency that makes any 
sense. But there are some things that possibly should go in it, and 
there are some things we need to look at.

                              {time}  1545

  Number one, by putting Customs, Coast Guard, Border Patrol and INS 
in, we have now multitasked a number of these agencies and changed 
their primary mission to homeland security away from their previous 
mission.
  I would like to insert at this point an article from Newsday 
newspaper that ran today by Thomas Frank that picks up a couple of the 
difficulties on multitasking. I wanted to touch on a few of those, and 
then I have another insertion at the end of my remarks.

                     [From Newsday, June 18, 2002]

     Getting ``Lost in the Shuffle'', Concerns on Nonterror Duties

                           (By Thomas Frank)

       Washington.--A group of former top federal officials warned 
     yesterday that President George W. Bush's proposed new 
     Department of Homeland Security could weaken other federal 
     law-enforcement activities, such as drug interdiction.
       The concerns arise because the new department would take in 
     22 federal agencies that do every thing from investigating 
     counterfeiting and intercepting drugs to rescuing boaters and 
     providing immigrant benefits.
       ``A major concern in a reorganization like this is that 
     their nonterrorism duties are going to get lost in the 
     shuffle,'' Peter Nunez, a former assistant treasury secretary 
     for enforcement, told a congressional panel studying the 
     proposed department. Adm. Robert Kramek, a former Coast Guard 
     commandant, said the new department ``will be detrimental'' 
     under the Bush administration's plan to give no additional 
     money to the agencies.
       ``We're talking about moving blocks around on a playing 
     board without increasing the number of blocks,'' Kramek said. 
     He noted that the proposed homeland security budget of $37.5 
     billion would be one-tenth of the $379-billion Bush has 
     requested for the Defense Department.
       With 41,000 employees, the Coast Guard would be the largest 
     agency in the new department, followed by the Immigration and 
     Naturalization Service and the new Transportation Security 
     Administration, which will employ about 41,000 when it hires 
     security workers at all U.S. commercial airports. Kramek said 
     the Coast Guard is planning

[[Page H3643]]

     next year to scale back functions not related to domestic 
     security, such as drug and migrant interdiction, maritime 
     safety and fisheries enforcement.
       ``We're going to have to put some money where our intention 
     is to make sure this is done right,'' Kramek said, echoing 
     members of Congress who have called for additional funding 
     for the agencies that would be moved into the new department. 
     White House officials have said more money could be added 
     after Congress adopts an initial 2003 budget for the new 
     department.
       The hearing yesterday marked the beginning of an intense 
     period of deliberations as Congress tries to create the new 
     department either by the year-end goal set by Bush, or by 
     Sept. 11, as proposed by House Minority Leader Richard 
     Gephardt (D-Mo.).
       The hearing's topic--how the new department would affect 
     federal law enforcement--is one of many questions Congress 
     will debate as it decides what agencies should be included 
     and under what conditions.
       ``There will be a profound impact on federal law-
     enforcement agencies unrelated to terrorism,'' said Rep. Mark 
     Souder (R-Ind.), chairman of the House criminal justice 
     subcommittee. Congress must ``determine how best to ensure 
     the continuation and preservation of these missions in the 
     new department,'' he added.
       Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) pressed witnesses on whether a 
     heightened government focus on fighting terrorism would 
     signal a lessened emphasis on anti-drug efforts that might 
     embolden local drug dealers who intimidate neighborhoods. 
     ``We're fighting terror every day,'' Cummings said of his 
     inner-city Baltimore neighborhood.
       Donnie Marshall, a former Drug Enforcement Administration 
     chief, said authorities need to continue fighting dealers and 
     recognize that terrorists will increasingly look to illegal 
     activities such as drug dealing to finance their operations.

  One clear example is the Coast Guard. How does the Coast Guard make a 
trade-off when their primary mission before had been search and rescue? 
A sailboat tips over. They are now down watching, say, a midlevel 
warning, we do not have a hard warning, whether we are going to get 
attacked on a chemical plant on the water, and for practical purposes 
these warnings could be any water anywhere in the United States.
  But let us say we have a boat that is watching along the Ontario side 
north of Detroit. A sailboat tips over in Huron, there is only one boat 
there, where do they go? Do they go for the possibility that somebody 
may be drowning, versus protecting from a catastrophic terrorism 
question? If we do not put adequate resources in this Department, this 
will be the daily trade-off, because we are going from a mission of 2 
percent on catastrophic terrorism of the Coast Guard to it now being 
their primary concern.
  What does this mean for drug interdiction, because the primary 
intercepts in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific, the western side 
of Mexico have been the Coast Guard, but the boats cannot 
simultaneously be off California and down off Mexico.
  Furthermore, what does it mean for fisheries in Alaska? When the 
salmon circulate through, if you see these 3-mile-long nets and things 
coming out of Japan or Russians and other groups that are trying to 
pirate the salmon in the oceans, if we do not have Coast Guard there to 
protect that, they could capture the salmon, and there will not be any 
spawning the next year.
  Clearly if you have a boat out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean 
protecting the salmon runs and the salmon's circular patterns, that 
boat is not off of Washington State.
  So there are many trade-offs, and over the next couple days I would 
like to talk about those. I include my opening statement from June 17 
for the Record.
       Today's hearing is the first we have held since President 
     Bush announced his proposal to create a new cabinet 
     Department of Homeland Security. In that respect, we will be 
     breaking new ground as we begin to consider how best to 
     implement such an ambitious and important reform proposal 
     prior to considering it in the full Government Reform 
     Committee in the coming weeks.
       This is not, however, the first time we have considered the 
     important issues of federal law enforcement organization, 
     drug interdiction, border security, or their 
     interrelationship with the increased demands of homeland 
     security. We have held six field hearings on border 
     enforcement along the northern and southern borders of the 
     United States, I have personally visited several other ports 
     of entry, and we have had two Washington hearings on the 
     implications of homeland security requirements on other 
     federal law enforcement activities. This is in addition to 
     our ongoing oversight of America's drug interdiction efforts.
       Our work as a Subcommittee has made very clear that the 
     U.S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization 
     Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard, which are among the most 
     prominent agencies in the proposed reorganization, have 
     critical missions unrelated to terrorism which cannot be 
     allowed to wane and must be fully maintained. The House has 
     to carefully consider the interrelationship of these law 
     enforcement missions with the demands of homeland security.
       The Administration has defined the mission of the proposed 
     new Department solely as one of preventing and responding to 
     acts of terrorism. The concept of ``homeland security'' has 
     to be defined more broadly to include the many other diverse 
     threats to our nation which are handled on a daily basis by 
     these agencies, as well as other law enforcement activities. 
     It is clear that there is simply too much else at stake for 
     our nation to define the issues solely as ones of terrorism.
       Let me illustrate my point with a brief but very clear 
     example of the risks which could be posed when resources are 
     allocated singlemindedly. This map illustrates the deployment 
     of Coast Guard assets prior to the September 11th attacks. 
     They are balanced and allocated to a number of important 
     missions, such as drug interdiction, illegal migrant 
     interdiction, and fisheries enforcement. I believe it is 
     apparent here that a vigorous forward American presence had 
     been maintained in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific for 
     counterdrug missions and law enforcement.
       A second map shows how the resources were temporarily (and 
     correctly I should emphasize) deployed after the attacks to 
     respond to the terrorist attacks. It is evident here that the 
     enhancement of immediate homeland security had to come at the 
     price of the customary missions of the Coast Guard. The chart 
     also shows the redeployment of our assets from the front 
     lines to a ``goal-line'' defense centered on the east and 
     west coasts of the United States itself. In the critical 
     transit zone of the Eastern Pacific, for example, the 
     deployment went from four cutters and two aircraft to a lone 
     cutter.
       This is not a criticism of the tremendous response by the 
     Coast Guard or, by extension, any other agency. Most would 
     agree that the approach taken was wholly appropriate over all 
     the short term, and redeployments have subsequently moved the 
     picture much closer to an equilibrium today. However, I 
     believe that these charts are a clear illustration that an 
     intensive focus on homeland security cannot be maintained 
     over the long run without coming at the expense of other 
     tasks. This lesson is equally applicable to every other 
     mission of every other agency that will potentially be 
     affected by the reorganization plan.
       However this reform emerges, it is inevitable that there 
     will be a profound impact on federal law enforcement 
     activities unrelated to terrorism, on our nation's drug 
     interdiction and border control efforts, and on operations at 
     several federal departments within the Subcommittee's 
     jurisdiction. Our challenge as we move through this process 
     will be to determine how best to ensure the continuation and 
     preservation of these missions within the new Department. We 
     also must optimize the organization of other agencies, such 
     as the DEA, the FBI, and law enforcement in the Treasury 
     Department, which share tasks with agencies destined for the 
     new department. And finally, we must consider the many 
     incidental benefits and synergies which will arise from the 
     President's proposal. These include increased operational 
     coordination of narcotics and migrant interdiction efforts 
     among agencies that will now be united, as well as a 
     significantly improved focus on the links between the drug 
     trade and international terrorism.

                          ____________________





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