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In The News

April 19, 2020

Create Coronavirus Commission now to review pandemic response

by Reps. Bennie G. Thompson, Adam Schiff, and Stephanie Murphy

The fight against coronavirus is unlike any our nation has waged in modern history. But this is not the first time we have been tested in such a sudden and devastating fashion - and Congress should draw lessons from our past experience. On Dec. 7, 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, killing over 2,000 Americans, crippling the Navy's Pacific Fleet and drawing us into World War II. On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners, murdering nearly … Continue Reading

March 18, 2020

False Claims, Families In Danger: This Isn't A First For The Trump Administration

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson & Rep. Zoe Lofgren

The Trump Administration has made false and contradictory claims in an effort to obscure its failure to plan for and manage a crisis, putting children and families at great risk. You might think we are talking about its response to the coronavirus pandemic. However, we are referring to the Administration's so-called "zero tolerance policy," which resulted in the separation of thousands of children from their parents at the US-Mexico border. A new government watchdog report out today suggests … Continue Reading

February 28, 2020

Commitments to diversity in national security must go beyond Black History Month

by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson

Black History Month is a typical time for the country - including our national security establishment - to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans with remarkable legacies in their respective fields. We rightfully celebrate the achievements of African-American national security leaders, including former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and others. Honoring the contributions of these trailblazers is critical as our nation looks … Continue Reading

November 07, 2019

Trump still owes us answers on Mississippi ICE raids, lack of business prosecutions

by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson

It has been three months since the massive Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Mississippi, and the Trump administration has yet to answer key questions on its planning, timing, and scope. By all accounts, the Aug. 7 raids were an excessive show of force that upended communities across Mississippi and took parents away from their children. ICE has only targeted workers - rather than employers - for prosecution. Worse yet, these raids focused on the same community - Latinos - that … Continue Reading

September 17, 2019

We need the full picture on domestic terrorism

by Chairman Thompson

Imagine that you have been given a jigsaw puzzle to solve without the reference picture on the box and without all the necessary pieces. Clearly this is an absurd-and impossible-task. But when it comes to understanding the full picture of domestic terrorism, Congress and the American people are trapped in this futile exercise. In March, we learned-from unpublished FBI data leaked to the press-that there were more arrests tied to domestic terrorism than to international terrorism in 2017 and … Continue Reading

July 23, 2019

Social media companies are failing to stop the spread of terrorism online

by Rep. Max Rose

The Christchurch terrorist exploited the extraordinary power of social media to broadcast his message of violence and hate across the world. As he brutally murdered 51 people and wounded 49 more in two mosques in New Zealand, his livestream on Facebook ran uninterrupted-and before it was ultimately pulled down from Facebook, it was quickly posted and shared millions of times across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. This is the new age of terrorism, defined by the rise of … Continue Reading

July 07, 2019

No More Excuses from Administration on Border Facility Conditions

by Chairman Thompson

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General issued its latest alert on severe overcrowding, prolonged detention, and unlawful conditions in Border Patrol facilities, this time in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Of the 8,000 people in Border Patrol custody in the area, 2,669 were children. Dozens of unaccompanied children under the age of seven had languished in custody for two weeks or more. At the majority of the facilities, the children had no access to showers, … Continue Reading

July 26, 2018

Family reunification deadline puts spotlight on crisis the administration created at the border

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

One thing that all Americans seem to agree is on is that our nation's immigration system has been broken for decades and is in dire need of reform. While politicians have been fighting over this for years, the blame for the ongoing humanitarian crisis at our southern border and in children's shelters across America belongs to one person only: President Donald J. Trump. While images of children taken from their families no longer fill the front pages of newspapers, very little has changed on … Continue Reading

March 02, 2018

TRUMP SLUMP: His racially charged, xenophobic words hurt our economy. Will that make him stop?

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member, House Committee on Homeland Security

We're losing billions of dollars and thousands of jobs over inflammatory Trump language that's caused many foreign students and tourists to avoid us. President Trump's incendiary, xenophobic rhetoric - often masquerading as homeland security policy - corresponds directly with recent declines in U.S. favorability abroad and overall global confidence in U.S. leadership. Over the past year, there has been a stark decline in the number of international visitors to the U.S. and international … Continue Reading

February 14, 2018

The Russians — and the Midterms — Are Coming

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA)

In November 2016, 139 million Americans cast their votes in the wake of a massive Russian cyber-enabled operation to influence the outcome of the presidential election. The Kremlin spread disinformation through hundreds of thousands of social media posts. Russian agents hacked U.S. political organizations and selectively exposed sensitive information. Russia targeted voting systems in at least 21 states, seeking to infiltrate the networks of voting equipment vendors, political parties and … Continue Reading

October 20, 2017

One Month Since Maria Hit Puerto Rico, President Trump Must Commit To Long Term Recovery

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security

Since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico one month ago, President Trump has made a number of bizarre statements, typically via Twitter, about the federal government's obligations to relief efforts, the status of relief efforts, and the Americans living in Puerto Rico. Although the statements were often incorrect and at times profoundly offensive, I tried to concentrate on the disaster relief mission, and hoped that he too would take on this mission with a greater sense of obligation - rather … Continue Reading

July 10, 2017

Vacancies in federal cybersecurity directorate leave the U.S. more vulnerable

by Ranking Member Thompson

Regarding the June 28 news article "Ukraine fares worst as cyberattack sweeps Europe with ransom demands": It should be noted that there are numerous vacancies in the Department of Homeland Security and its National Protection and Programs Directorate, which is charged with protecting U.S. cyber-infrastructure. President Trump was quick to install most Cabinet heads. Hundreds of other positions, including deputies who ensure the government is running, have not been filled. NPPD has no … Continue Reading

June 20, 2017

Trump’s budget decimates our local first responders

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

After the Manchester bombing last month, local police officers, firefighters and paramedics were first at the scene. After the mass shooting inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, the first to respond were local first responders. The same was true after San Bernardino in 2015 and after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Time and time again, we are reminded that local first responders are our first line of defense in response to acts of terrorism. Terrorist activity always … Continue Reading

February 27, 2017

Independent Commission Must Investigate President Trump’s Potential Russian Ties

by By Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

The endurance of our nation's security, sovereignty, and democracy is not a partisan issue. This is a top concern for all Americans and should be a top priority for the leaders that we send to Washington, whether Democrat or Republican. As elected officials, my colleagues and I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We, therefore, have a responsibility to do our due diligence in investigating Russian interference, and … Continue Reading

September 22, 2016

Homeland security means keeping assault weapons off our streets

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson

In just the past four months, incidents in Orlando, Dallas, Minnesota, New York and New Jersey have brought into sharp focus the complex, diverse, and confounding nature of the "lone wolf" threat. Those who are inspired to carry out such attacks do not neatly fit a single profile or espouse a single hateful or violent extremist ideology. We saw this scenario in the Orlando attack where the perpetrator espoused several conflicting ideologies and seemingly was not a part of a terrorist … Continue Reading

August 13, 2016

Keeping the Vote Cybersafe

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security

To the Editor: In "U.S. Seeking Ways to Keep Hackers Out of Ballot Box" (news article, Aug. 4), Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says the Obama administration is discussing giving extra protections to the nation's electoral system. This change may be necessary and should be considered immediately. The diverse nature of the cyberthreat, and the recent revelation that outside actors, possibly nation-states, have an increased interest in influencing our elections, make it imperative that … Continue Reading

July 19, 2016

American Red Cross Clueless About Racial Diversity

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

When I saw the American Red Cross' "Be Cool, Follow the Rules" swimming pool safety poster in the news last month, I knew the drawing was developed by minds with no understanding of the sordid history of African Americans and public swimming facilities. I knew the poster - just as sinister as it was simple - was created and approved by people that did not comprehend the impact of characterizing children of color as troublemakers. I knew the poster was created and approved by an organization … Continue Reading

June 30, 2016

Anti-government militias pose a significant threat

by Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ)

As we saw during the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014 and earlier this year at a wildlife refuge in Oregon, violent extremism is not limited to war-torn countries thousands of miles away from the United States. Armed militias have expanded in size and sophistication and now present a threat to public safety and national security. These homegrown militias threaten our public lands, the American people who want to enjoy them, and the public servants who manage them. Although much of the news … Continue Reading

March 11, 2016

Secret Service agents deserve their day in court

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security

The March 8 Fed Page article "Black Secret Service agent seeks hearing on bias suit" brought to light a situation that demands prompt resolution. It is shameful that for 16 years, brave men and women of the Secret Service have been denied their day in court. I learned of this matter more than a decade ago and have raised it with successive leaders of the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Secret Service. Throughout the litigation, the Secret Service has been … Continue Reading

August 28, 2015

Miss. rebounding after Katrina but more work to be done

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

(WASHINGTON) - Please see Congressman Bennie G. Thompson's op-ed in today's Jackson, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger: Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall here in Mississippi and our lives changed overnight. At its peak, the storm surge reached 28 feet along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, completely destroying Waveland, Pass Christian, and Bay St. Louis and devastating our neighbors in Alabama and Louisiana. When storm finally dissipated, it claimed the lives of over 1,800 Gulf Coast … Continue Reading

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