Homeland Security

Committee on Homeland Security

Mike Rogers

Chairman Thompson Statement on the Redacted Mueller Report Release and the State of Election Security

2019/04/18

(WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on redacted Mueller report: “The heavily redacted version of the Mueller report lays out in greater detail Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the involvement of Trump campaign officials.  I am disturbed that the report itself - even in its redacted form - is inconsistent with the Attorney General's summary of it.  To me, that only makes the case for providing Congress a complete, unredacted copy of the report stronger.  Congress has a responsibility to thoroughly examine the report's findings to ensure the integrity of future elections.  We will not tolerate foreign efforts to interfere in our elections again, and need to fully understand the scope of the activity that occurred during the 2016 election cycle.  In the meantime, I will continue efforts to ensure we are properly hardening our elections systems and that the Federal government is partnering effectively with State and local election officials." #  #  # Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978 Read More

Thompson, Warren Seek GAO Review of Federal Disaster Aid Programs' Impact on Inequality

2019/04/18

(WASHINGTON) Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting that the GAO conduct a review of federal disaster relief programs to determine the extent to which the structure and administration of those programs exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities in the United States and the extent to which they have a disparate impact on Native tribal nations. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States experienced an unusually large number of high-cost natural disasters in recent years. As climate change worsens, scientists predict that the number of extreme weather events taking place each year will increase. When natural disasters strike, U.S. citizens in affected communities rely on the federal government for emergency resources and disaster relief.  In their letter, Senator Warren and Chairman Thompson cited a growing body of evidence suggesting that natural disasters exacerbate existing racial and socioeconomic inequities in affected communities-and that the aid administered in the wake of those disasters amplifies these impacts. Among the research cited was a 2018 University of Pittsburgh-Rice University study, which revealed that natural disasters were associated with increased "wealth inequality, especially along the lines of race, education, and homeownership." The lawmakers also noted a National Public Radio analysis which found that disasters, and the federal aid that follows, disproportionately benefit wealthier and whiter communities. "U.S. citizens in need deserve equal access to and fair treatment from federal disaster resources," the lawmakers wrote."As the federal government continues to grapple with the rising incidence and cost of extreme weather events and natural disasters, it is critical that lawmakers understand the socioeconomic impacts of current federal disaster policy." In addition, Senator Warren and Chairman Thompson noted that the 573 federally recognized tribal governments in the United States are largely shut out of federal funding intended to help communities meet minimum standards of emergency preparedness developed by FEMA, the National Fire Administration, and other authorities. The lawmakers requested that the GAO examine the following issues: What key federal funding streams and programs are available to help individuals recover from natural disasters; What type of data these agencies and programs collect on the impact of these programs on various racial and socioeconomic groups, and their impacts on tribal nations; What research is available on the long-term recovery impact of those programs for different racial and socioeconomic groups, and on tribal and non-tribal communities; and What legislative, regulatory, and other policy changes the federal government should consider to ensure that all communities benefit equally from federal disaster relief programs. Full Letter Text ### Media Contact: Adam Comis (Thompson): 202-225-9978 Ashley Woolheater (Warren): 202-224-2292 Read More

Thompson, Cummings, Nadler Demand Documents on Trump Administration Plan to Treat Immigrant Families and Children as Pawns in Political Game

2019/04/15

(WASHINGTON) - Three House Committee Chairs sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the White House requesting documents regarding a Trump Administration proposal to release detained immigrants into congressional districts represented by Democrats for purely political reasons. This letter follows the President’s acknowledgement that the Administration is actively considering this proposal and his claim that he has the “absolute legal right” to release immigrants into sanctuary cities across the country. The letter was signed by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, and House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson.  “We are deeply troubled by multiple reports, recently confirmed by the President, that the Trump Administration is considering releasing detained immigrants into congressional districts represented by Democrats in a bizarre and unlawful attempt to score political points,” the Chairmen wrote. “Not only does the Administration lack the legal authority to transfer detainees in this manner, it is shocking that the President and senior Administration officials are even considering manipulating release decisions for purely political reasons.” The letter can be found here. and below: Chief of Staff Mulvaney and Acting Secretary McAleenan: We are deeply troubled by multiple reports, recently confirmed by the President, that the Trump Administration is considering releasing detained immigrants into congressional districts represented by Democrats in a bizarre and unlawful attempt to score political points.  According to these reports, senior White House officials contacted officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about transferring and eventually releasing detainees from facilities across the country into Democratic congressional districts.  This proposal was considered at least twice in the last six months, and the President confirmed on April 12, 2019, that the proposal is once again being given “strong considerations.” Among other things, we learned that the plan appears to have been specifically designed to target Democratic districts: “[t]he White House told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the plan … served to send a message to Democrats;” and that a person familiar with the plan suggested “that releasing the immigrants into the sanctuary cities would be a way of punishing Democrats for resisting budget requests for more money to detain undocumented immigrants.” We also learned “[t]he sanctuary city proposal ran contrary to ICE policy guidelines, as well as legal counsel” and that White House senior adviser Stephen Miller  “urged senior DHS officials to make the plan a reality” and “was angered that department lawyers refused to produce legal guidance that would make the plan viable.” These reports are alarming.  Not only does the Administration lack the legal authority to transfer detainees in this manner, it is shocking that the President and senior Administration officials are even considering manipulating release decisions for purely political reasons.  Given the gravity of this matter, we respectfully request that you provide, for the date range of November 1, 2018, through April 15, 2019, the following documents: Emails and other communications between White House officials and DHS officials, including officials of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), concerning the transfer or release, or potential transfer or release, of immigration detainees to or in specific locations or areas within the United States. Emails and other communications between DHS officials concerning the transfer or release, or potential transfer or release, of immigration detainees to or in specific locations or areas within the United States. Emails and other communications between DHS officials and ICE officials concerning the transfer or release, or potential transfer or release, of immigration detainees to or in specific locations or areas within the United States.    All DHS document, memorandum and other materials, including drafts thereof, discussing policy or legal justifications or implications for the transfer or release of immigration detainees to or in specific locations or areas within the United States.    Please provide these documents by no later than May 3, 2019.  The Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction under House Rule X over all immigration policy and non-border enforcement. The Committee on Oversight and Reform is the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House Rule X.  The Committee on Homeland Security has jurisdiction under House Rule X over homeland security policy and the organization, administration, and general management of the Department of Homeland Security.  An attachment to this letter provides additional instructions for responding to the Committees’ document request.  If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact Judiciary Committee staff at (202) 225-395, Oversight Committee staff at (202) 225-5051, or Committee on Homeland Security staff at (202) 226-2616. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  #  #  # Media contacts: (Judiciary) Shadawn Reddick-Smith 202-225-3951 (Judiciary) Daniel Schwarz 202-225-5635 (Oversight) Aryele Bradford 202-226-5181 (Homeland Security) Adam Comis 202-225-9978 Read More

Chairman Thompson: Trump Plan to Use DHS As Political Weapon Shows Administration’s Depraved Immigration Agenda Is Not About Security

2019/04/12

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on news the Trump Administration proposed releasing migrants into targeted cities as political payback: “The fact that this idea was even considered – not once but twice – serves as a reminder that the Trump Administration’s reckless immigration agenda is not about keeping the country safe, but about partisan politics and wantonly inflicting cruelty.  President Trump’s terrible border security and immigration ideas have all failed for the simple reason that they are terrible.  If the Administration wants to send a message to Democrats, let us send this message to the President: if your immigration policies are not fixing the problem but only cause chaos and focus on keeping people out, they will always fail. Playing politics with the country’s homeland security has been a mainstay of the Trump Administration since day one.  The American people want it to end.” #  #  # Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978 Read More

Rep. Max Rose Calls for Counterterrorism Budgets from Social Media Companies

2019/04/11

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Max Rose and fellow Democrats on the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, which he chairs, are requesting details on the investments that members of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism are making to prevent the exploitation of their platforms by terrorists and extremists. The request follows a March 27th briefing in which Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Microsoft were unable to answer questions about resource allocation dedicated to these efforts. “We’ve seen in graphic detail the extent that terrorist organizations and extremists have used social media to amplify their reach and message in recent years,” said Rose, Chair of the Homeland Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. “While social media companies tell us they’re taking this seriously, I want to see the numbers to back that up—and won’t stop until we get answers.” The Subcommittee, led by Rose, is seeking each company’s annual budget for counterterrorism related programs, the number of personnel working solely on those programs, and the number of staff who specialize in far-right extremism as well as foreign terrorist organizations and other forms of extremism. “As you all know, a budget is a statement of values,” wrote Rose and the Subcommittee Democrats. “We believe that the level of resources your companies allocate to containing and combating online terrorist content is a reflection of the seriousness with which you are approaching the issue. As such, we respectfully request information regarding the value you place on your counterterrorism programs.” Terrorist groups have used social media in sophisticated ways to spread their ideologies and recruit new members across the world. From the rise and spread of ISIS, to the recent attack in Christchurch, New Zealand which was livestreamed live on Facebook, serious questions remain as to how and what the companies are doing to combat the spread of terrorism and extremism. Full text of letter HERE. ### Media Contact: Jonas Edwards-Jenks – 202-225-3371 Read More

Chairman Thompson Statement on the Dismantling of DHS Leadership

2019/04/10

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on the current state of leadership at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after many senior leaders have been forced out.  According to news reports, more departures may be on the way. As of 2pm today, Secretary Nielsen has left the Department and the following positions at DHS have no permanent leader: Secretary Deputy Secretary Under Secretary for Management CBP Commissioner ICE Director Secret Service Director FEMA Administrator Inspector General “It is now apparent that President Trump will simply do anything to deflect the blame for his failing and depraved border security and immigration policies. These disastrous policies have helped create the humanitarian crisis at the border.  The President has no one to blame but himself and his anti-immigrant agenda. “Unable to understand he is constrained by the law and the courts, the President is now hell-bent on dismantling the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security to attempt to get his way. President has no business playing politics with our homeland security. DHS is a critical national security department charged with keeping the country safe and secure.  “This latest Trump temper tantrum has created a completely unnecessary and unacceptable security risk to the homeland.  It will undoubtedly inflict untold damage on the management of the Department and the morale of its 240,000 employees, whom require – and deserve – steady leadership to do their job. The Department needs proven, Senate-confirmed leaders in place that can work with Congress in good faith to help keep the country safe.” #  #  # Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978 Read More

Chairman Thompson Writes New Acting Homeland Security Secretary on Outstanding Document Request and Upcoming Hearing

2019/04/10

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan reminding him of Secretary Nielsen’s commitment to come before the Committee on May 1.  In the letter, Chairman Thompson also asked Acting Secretary McAleenan to produce documents still outstanding from a January 4, 2019 request related to the Department’s border activities, including its separation of families and border wall construction. Letter text: Dear Acting Secretary McAleenan: Your appointment as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security puts you at the head of a Department experiencing unprecedented vacancies due to the misguided actions of President Trump and others in his White House.  Today, the Department of Homeland Security’s more than 240,000 employees are looking for leadership in a time of uncertainty as they continue to work on behalf of the American people.  As Chairman, I intend to ensure the Committee on Homeland Security continues to fulfill its oversight obligations, which are more critical now than ever given recent developments at the Department and their effect on homeland security.  Before she resigned, Secretary Nielsen accepted an invitation to testify before the Committee on May 1, 2019.  I hope you will honor that commitment.  Furthermore, in January I requested Secretary Nielsen provide to the Committee documents related to the Department’s border activities, including separation of families at the border and construction of border wall.  I still have not received the complete document production.  I request that you provide the requested documents to the Committee without further delay.    Finally, I would note I remain concerned about the way President Trump circumvented the law dictating succession at the Department.  That said, I look forward to working with you in your new capacity and having you testify before the Committee on Homeland Security on May 1. Link to Letter #  #  # Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978 Read More

Assessing the Homeland Security Impacts of a Changing Climate

2019/04/09


Securing America's Transportation and Maritime Systems: A Review of the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Requests for the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard

2019/04/09


Chairman Thompson to Trump: Law Is Clear on DHS Order of Succession

2019/04/08

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to President Trump informing him that the law is clear on the Department of Homeland Security’s order of succession following the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen.  The Under Secretary for Management shall be the Acting Homeland Security Secretary. Dear President Trump: Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s short-lived tenure at the Department of Homeland Security was a disaster from the start.  Her departure on Wednesday will leave a vacancy that could not come at a worse time for the day-to-day management of the Department and the over 240,000 employees who need leadership to ensure America’s security. In announcing Secretary Nielsen’s departure, you tweeted that you plan to install the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection as the Acting Secretary.  However, the law of succession at the Department is clear — the Under Secretary for Management shall serve as the Acting Secretary if the Secretary and Deputy Secretary are unavailable.  Specifically, the law reads: Notwithstanding chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, the Under Secretary for Management shall serve as the Acting Secretary if by reason of absence, disability, or vacancy in office, neither the Secretary nor Deputy Secretary is available to exercise the duties of the Office of the Secretary. As such, the Under Secretary for Management, Claire M. Grady, who has served in that position since August 2017 and as the Acting Deputy Secretary or Senior Official Performing the Duties since April 2018, is statutorily required to serve as Acting Secretary.  I strongly urge you to follow the law in this matter and to nominate a suitable candidate for Secretary as expeditiously as possible. Bennie G. Thompson Chairman Link to letter #  #  # Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978 Read More

Contact Information

H2-176 Ford HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-226-8417
Fax 202-226-3399
homeland.house.gov


Membership

DonBacon

NEBRASKA's 2nd DISTRICT

BrianFitzpatrick

PENNSYLVANIA's 8th DISTRICT

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WISCONSIN's 8th DISTRICT

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TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

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NEW YORK's 24th DISTRICT

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TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

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