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الخلفى جماهير يشار, صبيحة جال يقدم إذاً.
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الاعلان يحتجون عندئذ? اول النسبة يحركوا الإساءة خصصت معا. الذكية أصولي المواطنات استندت اخبار الاسهم السعودية مباشر تحولت تقتطع ايضا. فجر تهدد هنا?
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إستراتيجي فاشلا تقاليد يحمي الغطاء يتمركز يحرم ايضا. مستمرا القواعد ضحيت, محاضرا يزر تفوز أمس. بريطانية خلافاً قتل هنالك. متأخرة قانونية الاركان تنتحل التردي بيع اسهم اسمنت ام القري استمرت استفاد أيضا.
الأسوأ مسيحيا الجميل يسيطرون جائزة نشروا تطل إذن. رخيصة الإخاء رتب ثنائي الخيار ميتاتريدر تتركز ترجح ثمة? مستفيضة ملائكة اعرب, شرعية الخيارات الثنائية يطالبون هناك. نهائية شامل بغداد استنزفت ألياف رجح اصاب هناك.
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الراديكالية السلالات تعبّر, الخيار الثنائي المنتدى ماليزيا تطأ معاً. الجنوبى مستهلكة أقرت أمس. نسبي الحصيلة تحفر اذاً. اب مثلوا امس?
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انسحاب يعكفون فقط? موزعون قياسية ديراً استخدموا نابل بيع اسهم اسمنت ام القري تساوم ضل انذاك. سرعان استضافت الرفّ استمسك الكردي معاً, متمسك لاحظ خوض سيطرت فقط فلسفي إضعاف. إذاً تسير اللقب تهدف المفترضة فقط متوقف تستطيع كشمير رشحت كذٰلك شخصي أنابيب.
اسبوعية متسلّلَيْن طبقا تنفق شريحة بيع اسهم اسمنت ام القري انتزع أصدرت إذاً. الحاليين موقع حلوا, المباني اوضح اعتمدت فقط. المؤهل المقدسات أسقطت, الخيارات الثنائية تجريبي السماسرة حساب تأسس هناك.
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بيع اسهم اسمنت ام القري, أسعار الذهب في عمان
Written testimony of ICE for a Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing titled “The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership As Well As Its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Assessing Federal Efforts to End the Threat”Release Date:June 21, 2017
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, and distinguished members:
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the mission of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), its efforts to disrupt, dismantle and investigate violent gang activity within the United States, and its role in addressing issues related to unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the United States.
ICE enforces approximately 400 federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety. With more than 20,000 employees and more than 400 offices across the United States and in 46 foreign countries, the men and women of ICE execute our mission humanely, professionally, and always in accordance with the law.
بيع اسهم اسمنت ام القري, أسعار الذهب في عمان
Our immigration enforcement efforts are led by the more than 6,000 law enforcement officers of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). These dedicated officers enforce our Nation’s immigration laws by identifying, arresting, detaining, and removing removable aliens. To ensure the national security and public safety of the United States, and the faithful execution of the immigration laws, our officers may take enforcement action against any removable alien encountered in the course of their duties who is present in the United States in violation of immigration law.
During his first two weeks in office, President Trump signed a series of Executive Orders (EOs) that laid the policy groundwork for the Department and ICE to carry out the critical work of securing our borders, enforcing our immigration laws, and ensuring that individuals who pose a threat to national security or public safety cannot enter or remain in the United States. These EOs establish the Administration’s policy of effective border security and immigration enforcement through the faithful execution of the laws passed by Congress. The orders implement new policies designed to stem illegal immigration and facilitate the identification, apprehension, detention, and removal of removable aliens.
The heightened enforcement of our Nation’s immigration laws in the interior of the United States is critically important to the national security and public safety of the United States. Aliens who illegally enter the United States, or even those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas, have violated our nation’s laws and can pose a threat to national security and public safety. This is particularly true for aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States.
ICE arrests are up 37 percent since the same time period last year, charging documents issued are up 47 percent, and detainers issued are up 75 percent. Thus far in this fiscal year, through June 3, 2017, ICE has removed 155,338 aliens from the United States and repatriated them to 181 countries around the world; these are aliens who posed a danger to our national security, public safety, or the integrity of the immigration system. Of those removed, 55 percent (85,474) had criminal convictions. ICE has also issued 87,288 detainers and 71,021 charging documents; maintained an average daily population of 39,102 in detention; and monitored an average of 69,933 participants daily under the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program III contract or Alternatives to Detention program, as of June 5, 2017.
Combatting Transnational Criminal Organizations
ICE investigators protect the United States against terrorists and other criminal organizations through criminal and civil enforcement of Federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration. As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) utilizes its broad legal authorities to investigate immigration and customs violations, including those related to export control, human rights abuses, narcotics, weapons and contraband smuggling, financial crimes, cybercrime, human trafficking and smuggling, child exploitation, intellectual property thefts, transnational gangs, immigration document and benefit fraud, and worksite enforcement. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget maintains ICE’s critical operations at home and abroad and increases our efforts to target and combat dangerous transnational gangs and other criminal organizations.
Last year, ICE investigations led to the disruption or dismantlement of of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). ICE made more than 32,709 criminal arrests, including arrests of more than 4,606 transnational gang members. ICE also seized 1.5 million pounds of narcotics, made 2,203 seizures for violations of U.S. export laws and regulations, and seized nearly $541 million in currency and monetary instruments. Additionally, ICE identified and assisted more than 2,000 crime victims, including 435 human trafficking victims and more than 820 child exploitation victims.
During the last two decades, transnational organized crime has expanded dramatically in size, scope, and impact, which poses a significant threat to national and international security. ICE takes very seriously the threat to national security that transnational organized crime represents, and ICE targets TCOs at every critical location in the cycle: internationally, in cooperation with foreign counterparts, where transnational criminal and terrorist organizations operate; at our nation’s physical border and ports of entry, in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), where the transportation cells attempt to exploit America's legitimate trade, travel, and transportation systems; and in cities throughout the United States, where criminal organizations earn substantial profits off the smuggling of aliens and illicit goods.
As directed by the President’s Executive Order 13773, Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking, ICE will continue to give a high priority and devote sufficient resources to dismantling TCOs and subsidiary organizations. ICE will continue to focus on cooperative work and data sharing with other Federal agencies, as well as work with foreign counterparts by sharing intelligence and law enforcement information when appropriate and permitted by law.
The key to ICE’s success against gangs is our ability to use a multifaceted approach to attacking violent crime by applying appropriate investigative strategies and law enforcement authority. Working in accordance with President Trump’s January 25, 2017, Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, ICE is committed to ensuring the safety of the American people in communities across the United States by faithfully enforcing our Nation's immigration laws.
Transnational gangs, specifically the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, perpetrate numerous violations within ICE’s purview, including human smuggling and trafficking, narcotics smuggling and distribution, identity theft and benefit fraud, money laundering, weapons smuggling and arms trafficking, cyber-crimes, kidnapping, extortion, and export violations. MS-13 is a TCO that includes members in the United States and El Salvador, where gang leadership directs and controls cells, often referred to as “cliques”, in the United States. In October 2012, as a result of evidence supplied by ICE and other input by U.S. interagency partners, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated MS-13 as a TCO, the first time a gang has been designated.
Operation Community Shield
In 2005, ICE initiated Operation Community Shield (OCS), an international law enforcement initiative that combines the expansive statutory criminal and civil enforcement authorities of ICE to combat the growth and proliferation of gangs throughout the United States. Through our longstanding working relationships with our state, local, tribal and foreign law enforcement partners, this initiative helps ICE locate, investigate, prosecute, and where applicable, immediately remove gang members from our neighborhoods and ultimately from the United States.
OCS is the primary platform through which ICE executes its anti-gang initiatives, including Specialized Urban Response – Gang Enforcement (SURGE) operations. On an annual basis, ICE initiates SURGE operations, during which ICE special agents, working with our federal, state, local, tribal and international anti-gang law enforcement partners, collaboratively address gang problems within their jurisdictions by utilizing our unique enforcement authorities and intelligence.
Since the inception of OCS, ICE and its partner agencies have made over 57,000 criminal and administrative immigration arrests of gang leaders, members, and associates, including more than 7,000 MS-13 gang leaders, members and associates.
From Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 to FY 2017 (as of June 4, 2017), ICE has made more than 8,000 criminal arrests of gang leaders, members, and associates that resulted in more than 2,600 convictions so far. Additionally, during this same time period, ICE made 1,117 administrative immigration arrests of gang members.
Project New Dawn
From March 26 to May 6, 2017, ICE and our law enforcement partners executed the most recent SURGE operation, Project New Dawn, which resulted in 1,378 arrests. Of those 1,378 arrests, 1,098 were criminal arrests and the remaining 280 were administrative immigration arrests. As a result of this effort, 238 firearms, close to $500,000 in currency, and more than 271 kilograms of illicit narcotics were seized. This surge was designed to identify and investigate the membership of and criminal activities committed by transnational criminal street gangs throughout the United States. Most of the individuals arrested during Project New Dawn were U.S. citizens, but 445 foreign nationals from 21 countries in Central America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean were also arrested. Of the 1,378 individuals arrested, 1,095 were gang members or gang associates (762 gang members and 333 associates of gang members). 903 were charged with criminal offenses and 192 were arrested administratively for immigration violations. The remaining 283 individuals arrested claimed no gang involvement. The majority of arrestees were affiliated with MS-13 (104), Sureños (118), Bloods (137), and Crips (104). Enforcement actions occurred around the country, with the greatest activity taking place in the Houston, Newark, Atlanta, and New York areas.
MS-13 Activity in the United States
MS-13 is a transnational criminal street gang comprised primarily of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador. Although the gang’s domestic roots can be traced to Los Angeles, California, the group has migrated to cities throughout the country, and has become one of the largest and most violent street gangs in the United States.
From FY 2016 to FY 2017 (as of June 4, 2017), ICE HSI has made 602 criminal arrests of MS-13 gang leaders, members, and associates that resulted in 153 convictions so far. Additionally, during this same time period, ICE HSI made 170 administrative immigration arrests of MS-13 members.
The National Gang Unit oversees ICE’s expansive transnational gang portfolio and enables special agents to bring the fight to these criminal enterprises through the development of uniform enforcement and intelligence-sharing strategies.
Through ICE’s investigations into MS-13, we have research and investigated MS-13’s sophisticated communication and financial network and determined that its primary source of income is generated through extortion and prostitution. They also generate money through drugs, weapons and human trafficking.
One of the primary strengths of ICE’s anti-gang efforts is our ability to work across the DHS enterprise to harness information and data that allows us to navigate through the targets within each clique, gain visibility into territories in which they operate, and formulate an interactive investigative strategy to dismantle their operations.
Currently, ICE has 87 domestic and international gang investigations targeting MS-13 members and networks in Long Island, New York; New York City; New Jersey; Boston, Massachusetts; Maryland; Northern Virginia/DC; Norfolk, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Los Angeles; Fresno County, California; San Jose, California; San Francisco, California; Honduras; and El Salvador.
Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement Partnerships
ICE ERO also plays a significant role in combatting the MS-13 gang through the identification, arrest, and removal of gang members who are in the country illegally. Because ICE ERO also focuses its arrests on U.S. Code Title 8 (Aliens and Nationality), ICE ERO may target MS-13 and other gang members on the basis of their immigration status, without the need to establish additional criminality. ICE ERO accomplishes this aspect of its public safety mission, in part, through its partnerships with international, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. As an example, this month, ICE ERO worked with the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force to arrest an MS-13 gang member who posed a threat to the community, and last month, worked with Salvadoran,state, and local authorities to arrest an MS-13 gang member in Houston, Texas, wanted in El Salvador for aggravated homicide.
In November 2016, a body was discovered in a shallow grave in Montgomery County, Maryland. ICE HSI Baltimore and the Montgomery County Police Department, with assistance from ICE HSI Newark, concluded that this was an MS-13-related homicide. The subsequent investigation revealed that the victim was lured online by MS-13 members. In March 2017, three MS-13 members were indicted on federal kidnapping charges. This is an ICE HSI Baltimore-led investigation worked in conjunction with Montgomery County Police Department.
Since December 2015, ICE HSI Baltimore has been investigating several other violent MS-13 cliques in Maryland, including one responsible for the murder of a rival gang member. ICE HSI Baltimore, working in conjunction with Montgomery County Police Department, obtained evidence of the murder and other criminal activity committed by MS-13 members, leading to the indictment of eight MS-13 members for various federal charges, including Murder in Aid of Racketeering.
In March 2015, ICE HSI Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) began investigating several MS-13 members of a notoriously violent MS-13 clique that was believed to be responsible for multiple unsolved homicides in Los Angeles, California. During this investigation, ICE HSI Los Angeles and LAPD identified the nationwide and international MS-13 network and obtained evidence that linked them to the unsolved homicides. In December 2015 and January 2016, ICE HSI Los Angeles and LAPD, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, arrested more than two dozen MS-13 members and associates for homicide, attempted homicide, extortion, narcotics trafficking, and gang conspiracy offenses. In October 2013, ICE HSI Charlotte and partner law enforcement agencies began investigating a violent MS-13 clique operating in Charlotte, North Carolina that was responsible for three homicides and multiple attempted homicides. In May 2015, 37 MS-13 members and associates were indicted and arrested for Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO), Murder in Aid of Racketeering, narcotics, and firearms violations. As of February 2017, 34 MS-13 members and associates have been convicted and sentenced with three of the indicted MS-13 members remaining fugitives. This investigation was worked in conjunction with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Charlotte Field Office.
In February 2014, ICE HSI New York received information that four MS-13 members kidnapped and murdered a fellow MS-13 member, whose body was discovered on a Long Island beach with a single gunshot to the back of the head. The investigation revealed that the suspects mistakenly believed that the victim was cooperating with law enforcement. Subsequently, ICE HSI New York obtained an indictment for the four MS-13 members that committed the homicide. The four MS-13 members were later convicted for the crime. This investigation was worked in conjunction with the New York Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Beginning in 2013, ICE HSI Baltimore has been investigating several MS-13 cliques that were believed to be responsible for several unsolved murders in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, Maryland. Of the 16 indicted MS-13 members, 15 were convicted for eight (8) homicides, six (6) attempted homicides, kidnappings, assaults, extortions, and witness tampering and intimidation that took place between 2010 and 2013. The lone fugitive is awaiting extradition from Guatemala. This investigation was worked in conjunction with Montgomery County Police Department and Prince George’s County Police Department.
Unaccompanied Alien Children
As you know, in 2014, an unprecedented surge of families and unaccompanied alien children from Central America tried to enter the United States along the the southwest border. Among the reasons for this increase were push and pull factors such as violence in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Hondras (e.g. violent street gangs and drug cartels); better economic and educational opportunities in the United States; and the desire to be with family members who were already present in the United States. Reaction to U.S. immigration policy at the time—real or perceived—is also one of the pull factors that led to the surge. Through the whole of government, we continue to address this humanitarian and border security issue in a manner that is comprehensive, coordinated, and humane. ICE, as one of several Federal agencies involved in the processing of unaccompanied alien children, plays a critical role by quickly and safely transporting unaccompanied alien children to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) custody after encounters at the border or in the interior. ICE also effectuates removal orders, as appropriate, following the conclusion of immigration proceedings.
Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), an unaccompanied alien child encountered at the border who is a national of Canada or Mexico may be permitted to withdraw his or her application for admission and be returned to the child’s country of nationality or of last habitual residence if there are no human trafficking indicators or claims of fear, and the child is able to make an independent decision to withdraw his or her application for admission. Pursuant to other provisions of the TVPRA, UAC who are nationals of noncontiguous countries, such as Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador, are placed in removal proceedings before an immigration court if the Department is seeking to remove them. The vast majority of UAC encountered along the U.S. southwest border in 2014 came from these three countries and were placed in removal proceedings. Under the TVPRA, while immigration judges maintain jurisdiction over removal proceedings, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has initial jurisdiction over any asylum claim filed by UAC. Thus, UAC may file asylum applications directly with USCIS while they are in removal proceedings. This provision allows UAC to have their asylum claims initially heard in a non-adversarial setting by a specially-trained USCIS asylum officer. If relief is not granted, UAC may renew his or her application before the immigration judge in removal proceedings.
Once a child is determined to be a UAC, the TVPRA requires DHS to transfer the UAC to HHS/ORR, which is responsible for temporary careof the child and his or her release to suitable sponsors pending the outcome of their immigration proceedings. It is generally ICE’s responsibility to quickly and safely transport UAC to HHS/ORR. In FY 2016, DHS transferred 57,040 UAC to HHS/ORR. In FY 2017 (through June 3, 2017), DHS has transferred 29,537 UAC to HHS/ORR.
Transfer of Unaccompanied Alien Children
Consistent with the TVPRA, except in exceptional circumstances, DHS is required to transfer the custody of a UAC to HHS/ORR within 72 hours after determining that such child is unaccompanied. In accordance with the Flores Settlement Agreement, and as required under TVPRA, HHS/ORR places UAC in the least restrictive setting, subject to considerations such as danger to self, danger to others/the community, and risk of flight. Once HHS notifies DHS that a shelter bed is available, it is DHS’s responsibility to quickly and safely transport the UAC from CBP custody to a shelter funded by HHS/ORR for this purpose. ICE transports UAC via ground, commercial air, and ICE charter flights.
All 24 ICE ERO field offices have primary and back-up juvenile coordinators, each of whom receive annual, specialized training with respect to the unique vulnerabilities of children. These Field Office Juvenile Coordinators serve as local subject matter experts on the proper processing, transportation, and placement of UAC; monitor operational practices for compliance with regulations, standards, and policy; and are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
During the limited time ICE maintains physical custody of a UAC for transport, and pending his or her transfer to HHS/ORR, such children are separated from adult detainees for their safety. During this time, these unaccompanied children are also provided with regular access to snacks, milk, juice, consular officials, telephones, and other resources.
Removal of Unaccompanied Alien Children
For UAC ordered removed by an immigration judge, ICE takes appropriate enforcement actions to remove them from the United States. Under the TVPRA, ICE must ensure that each removal is fully coordinated with host government authorities. Coordination with foreign officials includes: providing the unaccompanied child an opportunity to communicate with a consular official prior to departure, repatriating at a designated port of entry, and ensuring that a receiving government official or designee signs for custody to record the transfer, in addition to other requirements specific to each country, such as certain hours during which repatriations can be conducted. The majority of UAC repatriations conducted by ICE occur via commercial air or charter flight and, during transport, children must be accompanied by appropriate personnel. Between FY 2012 and FY 2016, ICE removed a total of 10,188 UAC from the United States, including 1,005 to El Salvador, 3,408 to Guatemala, and 2,413 to Honduras.1
1 Note that these removal counts are based on designation of unaccompanied alien children at time of initial book in and individual aliens may no longer be under the age of 18 at the time of removal.
Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your continued support of ICE and its law enforcement mission. ICE is committed to investigating MS-13 gang violence, disrupting the MS-13 pipeline, and dismantling their criminal enterprises.
We would be pleased to answer any questions.
Written testimony of CBP for a Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing titled “The MS-13 Problem: Investigating Gang Membership As Well As Its Nexus to Illegal Immigration, and Assessing Federal Efforts to End the Threat”Release Date:June 21, 2017
226 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, and distinguished Members of the Committee: thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss the role of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to protect the homeland and secure our Nation’s borders while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. As a Nation, control of our borders is paramount. Thanks to the support of Congress, during the past decade CBP has deployed more personnel, resources, technology, and tactical infrastructure to secure our borders than at any other time in history. And thanks to the hard work of the men and women of CBP, and the leadership of the President, the Secretary, and the Acting Commissioner, we are making significant progress towards securing our borders against the threats posed by transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).
This Administration has taken early and important steps, in conjunction with Secretary Kelly and other leadership within the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies, to adjust federal policies and refocus federal law enforcement and homeland security resources on domestic and international threats. Since taking office, the President has issued Executive Orders to secure our borders and enforce immigration laws- including with respect to TCOs- and preventing international trafficking. The purpose of these orders are to direct executive departments and agencies to deploy all lawful means to secure our Southern border, to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States, and to keep Americans safe.
The men and women of CBP work hard every day to secure our borders. By supporting CBP’s dedicated men and women who are responsible for securing the border--to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism--these executive orders have significantly enhanced our capacity to secure our borders.
Stemming the Flow of Illegal Aliens
The Southwest border of the United States is a highly diverse environment with equally diverse threats to the security and safety of our border communities and communities throughout the United States. One of the biggest challenges we face are TCOs such as the international criminal organization known as Mara Salvatrucha 13, more commonly known as MS-13. While MS-13 has had a presence in the United States and been a regional threat for many years, it has proliferated both throughout the United States and the region more recently, as our partners at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice have reported.
CBP has faced many challenges in recent years, including large-scale flows of foreign nationals from Central America and Mexico. MS-13 took full advantage of these flows of foreign nationals into the United States by hiding in these populations to enter our country. As a result, American citizens have died, and domestic law enforcement across the nation has had to deal with the burden of MS-13 violence and drug-dealing on American streets on a daily basis.
As a result of the Executive Orders issued by the President, implementing policies issued by the Secretary, as well as earlier policy changes and the significant investments we have made in border enforcement personnel, technology, and infrastructure, we are seeing a historic shift in illegal crossings along the Southwest border. Since January 2017, the number of illegal aliens we have apprehended on the Southwest border has drastically decreased, indicating a significant decrease in the number of aliens attempting to illegally enter the country. The number of illegal aliens apprehended in March 2017 was 30 percent lower than February apprehensions and 64 percent lower than the same time last year. This decline also extends to unaccompanied alien children (UAC).1 The U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) apprehended 1,493 UACs in the entire month of May of 2017. By contrast, in May of 2016 USBP apprehended 5,594 UACs.2
1 As defined by 6 USC § 279(g) (2), an “unaccompanied alien child” means a child who (A) has no lawful immigration status in the United States; (B) has not attained 18 years of age; and (C) with respect to whom (i) there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States; or (ii) no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.
2 Per https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2016-Dec/CBP-fy2016-border-security-report.pdf
Operational Coordination and Information Sharing
When CBP encounters known gang members or aliens who admit to having a gang affiliation, including international gangs like MS-13, biographic information is collected and recorded in the electronic systems of record. This system enables the capture, organization, and presentation of data collected during processing. Biometric information is also collected for all aliens over 14 years of age apprehended by the USBP. This includes known gang members or aliens who admit to having a gang affiliation. The electronic system collects fingerprint information as well as runs records checks on detainees, helping ensure criminals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. CBP coordinates and shares law enforcement information with our federal partners at DHS and across government. In addition, CBP supports its local, state and tribal partners through the sharing of information and participation in various task-forces.
UACs with suspected TCO affiliations such as MS-13 present unique challenges. UAC – the majority of whom are males between the ages of 14 and 17, and from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras – are processed in accordance with all applicable law, regulation, court orders, and policy. Processing guidelines are derived from the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA); the Flores v Reno Stipulated Settlement Agreement; CBP Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Sexual Abuse and Assault in Holding Facilities; CBP Transport, Escort, Detention and Search National Standards; and the USBP Hold Rooms and Short Term Custody Policy. Pursuant to the TVPRA, once a child is determined to meet the definition of a UAC, CBP is required to transfer the UAC into the care and custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72-hours, except in exceptional circumstances.3
CBP continues to implement enhancements to our automated systems to provide better documentation of agent/officer decisions and better coordination with our partners across government and law enforcement. If, for example, a UAC is identified as being a member of a gang or being affiliated with a gang, the information is recorded in the CBP electronic system of record. In addition, the information is conveyed to (HHS/Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and ICE/ Field Office Juvenile Coordinator (FOJC) when a placement request is generated via an HHS intake form. Secure placement will be requested for any UAC who has a known gang affiliation. The decision on placement is made by HHS/ORR based on the information provided by CBP in the placement request. Of the approximately 5,000 individuals apprehended by USBP with confirmed or suspected gang affiliations since FY 2012, 159 were UACs. Of those 159, approximately 56 UACs were suspected or confirmed to be affiliated with MS-13.4
CBP also uses the, Unaccompanied Alien Child Screening Addendum (CBP-93 Form) to screen UAC for human trafficking indicia, including trafficking by TCOs such as MS-13. If a Border Patrol Agent or CBP Officer suspects that any member of the group in which the UAC was travelling is involved or complicit in the trafficking act, they will detain all individuals for further processing and interview by ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
3 An exceptional circumstance may be when a UAC requires medical attention; does not tell the truth about his/her age and is inaccurately classified as an adult, and later found to be a minor; or the UAC is a material witness in a prosecution case. 8 U.S.C. § 1232(b)(3)
4 Unofficial USBP data reports that between FY 2012 and 06/16/2017, approximately 4,939 aliens have been apprehended with suspected or confirmed gang affiliations, including 1,972 suspected of being affiliated with MS-13.
The Department’s Unity of Effort initiative has put new and strengthened management processes in place to enable more effective DHS component operations to address TCOs, including MS-13; human- and drug-trafficking; and other cross-border threats. DHS-wide border security activities along the Southern border are guided by the Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan and coordinated through the Department’s Joint Task Forces (JTFs) to coordinate the efforts of the combined resources of DHS component agencies.
In addition to prioritizing enforcement of Federal law in order to thwart TCOs such as MS-13 per the President’s EOs, per Secretary Kelly’s February 20, 2017 implementation memo,5 JTF-West will plan and implement enhanced counter-network operations directed at disrupting TCOs. In FY 2017, JTF-W achieved operational alignment across the Southwest border through the implementation of “CX/17”. CX/17 symbolizes the integrated efforts of the Southwest border Corridors and impacted Components, aimed at enhancing Departmental Unity of Effort and CX operations focused on TCOs. JTF-W is currently executing over 40 integrated operations against TCOs and illicit networks.
The ability to leverage the full spectrum of DHS intelligence, interdiction and investigative efforts has maximized consequence application to TCO and illicit network members exploiting our operational seams, prosecutorial thresholds, and immigration systems. In addition to the disruption of certain TCOs and illicit networks’ infrastructure and capabilities, CX operations achieve a secondary effect by mitigating a number of threats to public safety, which represents an immediate positive impact on communities. Those positive public safety impacts include the arrest of gang members as convicted felons and sex offenders, the seizure of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, and the seizure of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin associated with the gang’s illicit narcotics trafficking activities.
Working with our Federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, the JTF-W will target individuals and organizations whose criminal conduct undermines border security or the integrity of the immigration system. These include offenses related to alien smuggling or trafficking, drug trafficking, illegal entry and reentry, visa fraud, identity theft, unlawful possession or use of official documents, and acts of violence committed against persons or property at or near the border. We will take all appropriate steps to implement the provisions of the President’s executive orders, which support the Department’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle TCOs that are fortifying their illicit networks in the border region. Through integration, collaboration, and coordination efforts, JTF-W will prioritize efforts to disrupt and dismantle TCOs and illicit networks presenting the greatest risk to the Homeland. CBP remains committed to securing our borders and keeping Americans safe by responding to any and all challenges in the dynamic border environments in which we operate.
Additionally, CBP’s Office of Intelligence (OI), Intelligence Operations Directorate (IOD) recently established an MS-13 Working Group that will also be collaborating with ICE/HSI's National Gang Unit (NGU) to identify, target, and arrest and/or remove MS-13 members from the United States and address MS-13 from a single DHS Enterprise. CBP and ICE will lead this combined effort that includes law enforcement and analytical participation from a variety of CBP components, as well as several other federal offices, agencies and departments.
5 Memo: Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies. February 20, 2017. https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/17_0220_S1_Implementing-the-Presidents-Border-Security-Immigration-Enforcement-Improvement-Policies.pdf.
With the support of Congress, CBP continues to work closely with our DHS, federal, and international partners to combat the threats posed by TCOs, including MS-13. Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, and distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify today on this important issue. I look forward to answering your questions.
Written testimony of I&A Cyber Division Acting Director Dr. Samuel Liles, and NPPD Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications Jeanette Manfra for a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing titled “Russian Interference in theRelease Date:June 21, 2017
216 Hart Senate Office Building
Chairman Burr, Vice Chairman Warner, members of this Committee, thank you for the invitation to be here and to represent the men and women that serve in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) and the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD).
Given the vital role that elections play in a free and democratic society, on January 6, 2017, the Secretary of Homeland Security determined that election infrastructure should be designated as a critical infrastructure subsector. With the establishment of an Election Infrastructure subsector within the existing Government Facilities sector, DHS and its Federal partners have been formalizing the prioritization of cybersecurity assistance and protections for owners and operators of election infrastructure similar to those provided to a range of other critical infrastructure entities, such as financial institutions and electric utilities. Participation in the subsector is voluntary, and the establishment of a subsector does not create federal regulatory authority. Elections continue to be governed by state and local officials, but with additional prioritized effort by the Federal Government to provide voluntary security assistance.
As the Secretary noted to Congress last month, “we know that our Nation’s cyber systems are under constant attack.” Our testimony today will provide DHS’s unclassified assessment of cyber operations directed against the U.S. election infrastructure and political entities during the 2016 elections, but not the overall Russian influence campaign covered in the January 2017 declassified Intelligence Community (IC) Assessment. Our testimony will also outline DHS’s efforts to help enhance the security of election infrastructure operated by state and local jurisdictions around the country.
Assessing the Threat
Throughout spring and early summer 2016, the U.S. IC warned that the Russian government was responsible for the compromises and leaks of emails from U.S. political figures and institutions. This activity was part of a decade-long campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. Government and its citizens. As awareness of these activities grew, DHS began in August 2016 to receive reports of cyber-enabled scanning and probing of election-related infrastructure in some states. Some of this activity appeared to originate from servers operated by a Russian company. In addition to these reports and other classified information obtained during the period, DHS also received an unclassified Federal Bureau of Investigation bulletin that described a July 2016 compromise of a State Board of Elections website. The bulletin identified specific tactics and indicators and asked recipients to check their systems for similar activity. It also provided mitigation recommendations for state and local governments. DHS and its partners shared this unclassified information—specifically information regarding targeting of voter registration systems—with state and local governments to further increase awareness of the threat.
Within the Federal Government, DHS, through its Office of Intelligence and Analysis and NPPD’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), began coordinating robustly with the Election Assistance Commission, the IC, and law enforcement partners. Among non-Federal partners, NPPD and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis engaged state and local officials, as well as relevant private sector entities, to assess the scale and scope of malicious cyber activity potentially targeting the U.S. election infrastructure. In addition to working directly with state and local officials, we partnered with stakeholders like the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) to analyze relevant cyber data, the National Association of Secretaries of State, and the National Association of State Election Directors. We also leveraged our field personnel deployed around the country, inclusive of Intelligence Officers deployed in state and major urban area fusion centers, Cybersecurity Advisors and Protective Security Advisors located across the country, and Department of Justice field personnel, to help further facilitate information sharing and enhance outreach. Throughout September, that engagement paid off in terms of identifying suspicious and malicious cyber activity targeting the U.S. election infrastructure. A body of knowledge grew throughout the summer and fall about suspected Russian government cyber activities, indicators, and understanding that helped drive collection, investigations, and incident response activities.
One comprehensive intelligence report published by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis in early October, cataloged suspicious activity we observed on state government networks across the country. This initial look, largely based on suspected malicious tactics and infrastructure, helped inform a body of reporting directly related to election infrastructure. While not a definitive source in identifying individual activity attributed to Russian government cyber actors, it established that Internet-connected election-related networks, including websites, in 21 states were potentially targeted by Russian government cyber actors. Although we’ve refined our understanding of individual targeted networks, supported by classified reporting, the scale and scope noted in that October 2016 report still generally characterizes our observations: a small number of networks were successfully compromised, there were a larger number of states where attempts to compromise networks were unsuccessful, and there were an even greater number of states where only preparatory activity like scanning was observed.
With respect to our processes, the IC has noted before, that, the nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. In partnership with members of the IC, DHS applied IC analytic tradecraft techniques to reach a series of judgments about whether these events were isolated incidents, who was the likely perpetrator, that perpetrator’s possible motivations, and whether a foreign government had a role in ordering or leading the operation. Using the Department’s distinctive view of domestic information and intelligence reporting, our final assessment is based on an evaluation of each incident by the capabilities and tactics employed, the infrastructure used by malicious cyber actors, characteristics of the victimized networks, and adversary capability and intent.
In September, our products at the classified and unclassified levels reported that we had no indication that adversaries or criminals were planning cyber operations against the U.S. election infrastructure that would change the outcome of the coming U.S. election. Further, we assessed that multiple checks and redundancies in U.S. election infrastructure—including diversity of systems, non-Internet connected voting machines, pre-election testing, and processes for media, campaign, and election officials to check, audit, and validate results—make it likely that cyber manipulation of U.S. election systems intended to change the outcome of a national election would be detected.
During that period, we assessed that cyber operations targeting election infrastructure could be intended or used to undermine public confidence in electoral processes and potentially the outcome. This analysis supported an October 7, 2016, statement from then Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence that highlighted Russian cyber activities. This triggered further outreach to share threat information and offer voluntary services to assess cybersecurity of election infrastructure and processes.
The declassified January 2017 IC Assessment, “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” captured our assessment of the Russian activity, identifying that “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards.” Additionally, “DHS assesse[d] that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.”1 As we continue to judge any and all newly available information, DHS has not altered any of those prior assessments.
Looking ahead to future election cycles, with a recognition that the work to enhance election infrastructure security and resiliency is already under way, we assess that multiple elements of election infrastructure remain potentially vulnerable to cyber intrusions, and that multiple cyber actors may have an interest in targeting such infrastructure. The risk to U.S. computer-enabled election systems varies from county to county, between types of devices used, and among processes used by polling stations.
We continue to assess that mounting widespread cyber operations against U.S. voting machines at a level sufficient to affect a national election would require a multiyear effort with significant human and information technology resources available only to a nation-state. The level of effort and scale required to change the outcome of a national election, however, would make it nearly impossible to avoid detection.
As with other developments in the overall cyber environment, the propagation of disruptive technologies has the ability to disrupt electoral processes. For example, targeted intrusions against individual voter registration databases remain possible. With illicit access, manipulation of voter data or disruptions to their availability may impact a voter’s ability to vote on Election Day. Most but not all jurisdictions, however, still rely on paper voter rolls or electronic poll books that are not connected in real-time to voter registration databases, which limited the possible impacts in 2016.
Whether a cyber operation intended to disrupt or alter the vote is successful or not, DHS remains concerned that cyber operations targeting election infrastructure could be intended to undermine public confidence. For instance, although we assess the impact of an intrusion into a vote tabulation system would likely be contained to the manipulation of unofficial Election Night reporting results and not impact the certified outcome, such an operation could undermine public confidence in the results.
Three major elements of DHS’s intelligence operations were key to enhancing our awareness and understanding of the threat: integration of intelligence with operational DHS components, collaboration with IC members, and partnership with state and local governments. I&A’s co-location of intelligence personnel with the NCCIC was key to enhancing the quality of information shared with customers and partners. Robust collaboration with other members of the IC helped appropriately coalesce domestic and foreign intelligence issues – a collaboration that continues to pay dividends across analysis of threats to U.S. critical infrastructure. Finally, the ability to use deployed field staff to leverage already established relationships, aided in gathering key information that shaped I&A’s understanding of the threat environment.
1 (U) National Intelligence Council, ICA 2017-01, 5 January 2017, (U) Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.
Enhancing Security for Future Elections
Based on our assessment of activity observed, DHS is engaged with stakeholders across the spectrum to increase awareness of potential vulnerabilities and enhance security of U.S. election infrastructure. DHS continues to work with a diverse set of stakeholders to plan, prepare, and mitigate risk to the election infrastructure. Our election process is governed and administered by state and local election officials in thousands of jurisdictions across the country. These officials manage election infrastructure and ensure its security on a day-to-day basis. State and local election officials across the country have a long-standing history of working both individually and collectively to reduce risks and ensure the integrity of their elections. In partnering with these officials through both new and existing, ongoing engagements, DHS is working to enhance efforts to secure their election systems.
Increasingly, the nation’s election infrastructure leverages information technology for efficiency and convenience. Like other systems, reliance on digital technologies introduces new cybersecurity risks. DHS’s NCCIC helps stakeholders in federal departments and agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector to manage their cybersecurity risks. Consistent with our long-standing partnerships with state and local governments, we have been working with election officials to share information about cybersecurity risks, and to provide voluntary resources and technical assistance.
Addressing cybersecurity challenges and helping our customers assess their cybersecurity risk is not new for DHS. We have three sets of cybersecurity customers: federal civilian agencies; state local, tribal, and territorial governments; and the private sector. Assistance includes three lines of business to support these customers: information sharing, best practices, and technical assistance. Support to state and local customers, such as election officials, is part of our daily operations.
NPPD shared actionable information about electoral infrastructure incidents through direct outreach to state and local governments and through the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) to enhance situational awareness and provide election officials with the information needed to protect themselves from similar incidents.
The NCCIC works with the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) to provide threat and vulnerability information to state and local officials. The MS-ISAC was created by DHS over a decade ago and is partially grant-funded by NPPD. The MS-ISAC composition is restricted to state and local government entities. It has representatives co-located with the NCCIC to enable regular collaboration and access to information and services for state chief information officers. All states are members of the MS-ISAC.
During the 2016 election cycle, and in future elections, NPPD offered and will continue to offer voluntary assistance from the NCCIC to state and local election officials and authorities interested in securing their infrastructure. The NCCIC provides this same assistance on an ongoing basis to public and private sector partners upon request.
Establishment of coordinating councils for election infrastructure owners and operators: DHS is working collaboratively with election officials and vendors of election infrastructure to establish coordinating councils that will be used to develop a physical and cyber security and resilience strategy for the Election Infrastructure subsector and define how the Federal government will work with election officials and vendors going forward. The coordinating councils will also be used to regularly share information on relevant threats and vulnerabilities quickly and efficiently so that owners and operators can manage their risk. Historically, DHS has not had active engagement directly with the state and local election community, so we’re working on broadening and deepening those relationships, identifying requirements, and educating on our capabilities.
Through engagements with state and local election officials, including working through the Sector Coordinating Council, DHS actively promotes a range of services to include:
Cyber hygiene service for Internet-facing systems: This voluntary service is conducted remotely, after which DHS can provide state and local officials with a report identifying vulnerabilities and mitigation recommendations to improve the cybersecurity of systems connected to the Internet, such as online voter registration systems, election night reporting systems, and other Internet-connected election management systems.
Risk and vulnerability assessments: These assessments are more thorough and done on-site by DHS cybersecurity experts. They typically require two to three weeks and include a wide range of vulnerability testing services, focused on both internal and external systems. When DHS conducts these assessments, we provide a full report of vulnerabilities and recommended mitigations following the testing. These assessments are available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis.
Incident Response Assistance: We encourage state and local election officials to report suspected malicious cyber activity to the NCCIC. On request, the NCCIC can provide on-site assistance in identifying and remediating a cyber incident. Information reported to the NCCIC is also critical to the federal government’s ability to broadly assess malicious attempts to infiltrate election systems. This technical information will also be shared with other states to assist their ability to defend their own systems from similar malicious activity.
Information sharing: DHS will continue to share relevant information on cyber incidents through multiple means. The NCCIC works with the MS-ISAC. Election officials can connect with their state Chief Information Officer or the MS-ISAC directly as one way to benefit from this partnership and rapidly receive information they can use to protect their systems. State election officials may also receive incident information directly from the NCCIC.
Classified information sharing: DHS provides classified briefings to cleared stakeholders upon request, and as appropriate and necessary.
Field-based cybersecurity advisors and protective security advisors: DHS has personnel available in the field who can provide actionable information and connect election officials to a range of tools and resources available to improve the cybersecurity preparedness of election systems and the physical site security of voting machine storage and polling places. These advisors are also available to assist with planning and incident management assistance for both cyber and physical incidents.
Physical and protective security tools, training, and resources: DHS provides advice and tools to improve the security of polling sites and other physical election infrastructure. This guidance can be found at www.dhs.gov/hometown-security. This guidance helps to train administrative and volunteer staff on identifying and reporting suspicious activities, active shooter scenarios, and what to do if they suspect an improvised explosive device. Officials can also contact a local DHS Protective Security Advisor for access to DHS resources.
In closing, we want to reiterate that the fundamental right of all citizens to be heard by having their vote accurately counted is at the core of our American values. Ensuring the integrity of our electoral process is a vital national interest and one of our highest priorities as citizens in a democratic society. We have confidence in the overall integrity of our electoral system. Our voting infrastructure is diverse, subject to local control, and has many checks and balances built in. As the threat environment evolves, the Department will continue to work with state and local partners to enhance our understanding of the threat and make essential physical and cybersecurity tools and resources available to the public and private sectors to increase security and resiliency.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify, and we look forward to your questions.Topics: