Week Ahead: Committee Schedule for May 20-May 24

May 17, 2013 Issues: Counterterrorism, Border Security

Washington, D.C. – The House Homeland Security Committee has announced the following hearings for next week.

TUESDAY, May 21 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

Visa Security and Overstays: How Secure is America?

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include:

  • Mr. John Wagner, Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Mr. James Dinkins, Executive Associate Director, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Ms. Rebecca Gambler, Director of the Homeland Security and Justice, Government Accountability Office

Subcommittee Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI) on the hearing: “Our nation is in the midst of a debate on how to best reform our broken immigration system.  At the same time we look to make changes to our immigration process, we must also strengthen our border security efforts, and a key part of those efforts must be serious reforms to our visa process.  As many as 40% of all illegal aliens who come into the country do not cross the desert in Arizona, they come in through the front door and overstay their visa.  This is not a new challenge.  We have known for some time that our visa process is vulnerable to exploitation by terrorists and others who seek to do us harm.  At least four of the 9/11 hijackers overstayed their visa, as well as the individual arrested in the aftermath of Boston Marathon bombing who was able to return to the United States despite being out of status highlights the risk to the nation.

“Solving the challenge of tracking down and removing those who overstay their visa is critical to our national security.  On May 21st, my hearing will look into the recent case where a student visa holder connected with the Boston case was allowed to enter the country, despite the fact that he was not attending school.  Our Subcommittee will examine the Department of Homeland Security’s visa security system, our ability to prevent those who wish harm against our nation from getting a visa, and perhaps most importantly, what we are doing to track down overstays and the Department’s plans to implement a robust exit system that allows us to know who has left the country.”

WEDNESDAY, May 22 at 10:00 a.m.

Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence

Assessing the Threat to the Homeland from al Qaeda Operations in Iran and Syria

311 Cannon House Office Building

Invited Witnesses Include

  • Dr. Seth G. Jones, Ph.D., Associate Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center
  • Mr. Robin Simcox, Research Fellow, The Henry Jackson Society
  • Mr. Thomas Jocelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
  • Mr. Barak Barfi, Research Fellow, New America Foundation

Subcommittee Chairman Peter T. King (R-NY) on the hearing: “Al Qaeda members in Iran communicated with individuals in the U.S. and Canada planning an attack on a passenger train in upstate New York. Meanwhile, al Qaeda members in Syria are drawing hundreds of Islamist foreign fighters to their cause.  The Subcommittee hearing will examine the relationship between al Qaeda and Iran, the likelihood of Syria becoming an al Qaeda safe haven, and the threat to the homeland posed by foreign fighters trained in Syria.”

*The live video of the hearings will be available here.

 

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