Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Live-Tweeting The July 12, 2019 Hearing On Migrant Conditions At The U.S. Border

1) WATCH LIVE: Border officials testify on migrant conditions at U.S-Mexico border immigration

2) Going to spend my lunch break live-tweeting as a way of helping the public to see for themselves what is being said, if they don't have time to view the hearing itself.
3) Sen. Johnson: "I want to have an open and honest and genuine discussion about the scope...root causes of this problem...and what we can do...we can make some improvement in the situation."
4) Sen. Johnson: "We have to start doing something. The men and women of @DHSgov are doing what you can do with limited resources."
5) Sen. Johnson asks for "nonpartisan effort," "full involvement in a very open and genuine discussion."
6) Sen. Peters: "Desperation" sends people "into the hands of human traffickers" as well as motivating them to try and come to the United States.
7) Sen. Peters: "Unconscionable that Administration should argue in court" that they don't need to provide "toothbrush and soap" to children in custody.
8) Sen. Peters: "Made inquiries to learn more" to gov agencies
9) Sen. Peters: - "cannot fully address situation on the border without disrupting smuggling networks" and "scourge of human trafficking."
10) Sen. Peters - need a better understanding of this problem, "stable border policies" as "traffickers thrive on chaos". 

"We need less chaos." 

"Status quo unacceptable and unsustainable."
11) Border officials are being sworn in.
12) Brian Hastings - Chief of Law Enforcement Operations U.S. Border Patrol
13) Border Patrol forced to devote 40-60% of resources to apprehensions - distracted and can't do the interviews they need to do to identify the movements of the trafficking organizations. This puts border security/national security at risk.
14) Del Rio sector - rescues up from 44 to over 400 year over year. Smugglers at fault.
15) Smugglers push people out of the rafts they cross on knowing that the Border Patrol will act to save them. Then they run away so they don't get caught.
16) Border Patrol recently saved people from a 124 degree container who were being smuggled. 

Another incident - bodies of children recovered. This is due to smugglers.

464,000 illegal aliens on SW border this year. 144% increase (?) over last year."Still setting record highs."
17) Resources are overwhelmed. The numbers keep going up. Border Patrol is investing in materials to support life. They can't do their law enforcement mission. They've shut down checkpoints. Cancelled leave and training due to the crisis.
18) With partners have reduced people in custody to 12-13K today from (?). "Of particular concern" are the unaccompanied minors in custody - the facilities were not made for that. Must get funding.
19) They need the law to be changed for a more long term solution.
20) Randy Howe Executive Director OFO Operations is speaking now.
21) Been asking for help for some time. Conditions not better at the ports of entry. (CBP - at the ports of entry; USBP - between the ports of entry).

"Every statistic is higher" - "long wait times" "more detainees in custody"
22) Variables the same - "unprecedented numbers seeking asylum and arriving without proper documentation."

"Spikes can both fuel and conceal human trafficking."

More people being trafficked than live in the state of CA. 75% female, 25% children.
23) "CBP officers play a crucial role" stopping human trafficking.

"Because our officers are the first people travelers encounter when they enter the US, they are trained to identify the signs of human trafficking."
24) Example 2017 - woman at Dulles Airport "identified herself as victim of human trafficking - traffickers were sending her to USA to earn money more quickly. Woman and her child taken to shelter."
25) 2013 "Blue Lightning" initiative - awareness in airline industry - DHS launched.
26) "We do everything we can but we can't do it alone" to stop human trafficking.
27) Gregory Nevano ICE -- Assistant Director for Investigative Programs. Homeland Security Investigations. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

28) Human smuggling is "provision of service for fee" - it is not the same as human trafficking.

Human trafficking = "crime involving exploitation of someone for labor or commercial sex act" 

Often human smuggling leads to human trafficking - may start as voluntary.
29) "Desperate migrants" pay
30) Note: The numbers in this testimony are critical but the speakers are talking very fast, so I'm not catching them.
31) Beginning April 2019, HSI deployed 400 personnel to deal with "fraudulent family unit" issue. (Many identified)

May 2019 - HSI initiated "rapid DNA" program in Texas to test after consent - some families fraudulent - 1/2 identified prior - when alien admitted not family.
32) Example 51 year old Honduran admitted he purchased an infant male to cross.
33) Children may be being recycled by adult migrants to defraud US re asylum claims. Checking into reports.
34) Criminals looking to exploit the law.
Hearing is still on, but I've got to go.

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.