Securing the Border: Assessing the Impact of Transnational Crime, Hearing Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, March 24, 2015   [open pdf - 874KB]

This testimony compilation is from the March 24, 2015 hearing "Securing the Border: Assessing the Impact of Transnational Crime," held before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. From the statement of Barry R. McCaffrey: "The Department of Homeland Security and several of its subordinate agencies (e.g. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP)) are primarily responsible for protecting our borders and preventing the entrance of unauthorized individuals, terrorists, contraband, narcotics, and weapons of mass destruction into the United States. DHS and our border security agencies are ably supported by the Department of State's visa issuance activities, the Department of Treasury's anti-money laundering and terrorist financing programs, several Department of Justice agencies (e.g. DEA and FBI) that focus on transnational crime and drug trafficking, and multiple agencies in other departments that provide essential intelligence and other critical support. Collectively, these federal agencies have to address a multiplicity of threats, including: cyber-attacks and crime; drug trafficking; human trafficking; identity theft; illegal immigration; intellectual property theft; manipulation of securities and commodities markets; money laundering; penetration of financial systems; sophisticated frauds; and terrorism (and its financing). Transnational criminal organizations are engaged in all of these activities. Border security is an enormous challenge given the volume of activity at our borders. On any given day last year 678,000 individuals and 300,000 privately owned vehicles crossed our land borders from Canada or Mexico, almost 300,000 individuals landed at one of our international airports, while 50,000 entered through our sea ports, and some 70,000 truck, rail, and sea containers entered our land and sea ports of entry. As the cyber-attacks by Iran and North Korea against two U.S. corporations last year underscored, even if we were able to secure our physical borders, we would still be vulnerable to attacks from abroad." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: John P. Torres, Elizabeth Kempshall, Benny Martinez, and Bryan E. Costigan.

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