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In The News

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


July 08, 2015

South Carolina shooting must be labeled domestic terrorism

by Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

On June 17 a gunman shot and killed nine black Christians in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. "Mother Emanuel" as the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) has come to be affectionately known, was built by slaves and is the oldest AME congregation in the South. Given the stature of the church, along with the races of the victims and the perpetrator, very soon after the shooting, state, local, and federal officials and the media … Continue Reading


October 28, 2014

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month an opportunity to educate and protect

by Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Most Americans are constantly connected to cyberspace in one way or another. From surfing the worldwide web to storing electronic records, most Americans have a footprint in cyberspace. Simply stated-online systems are part of our daily lives. Today, criminal groups and hostile nations look to cyberspace to attack American interests here at home and around the world. America's banks, energy sector, and intellectual property are routinely … Continue Reading


August 11, 2014

Compassion Needed in Addressing Nation's Immigration Woes

by Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Filemon Vela (D-TX)

Each day, waves of children ranging from toddlers to teenagers flee terrible violence and economic desperation in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and arrive in this country in search of safe haven. They are being sent alone, unaccompanied by their families. This fiscal year alone, Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 50,000 unaccompanied children at our Southwest border, a sharp increase over previous fiscal years. The surge of unaccompanied minors is an acute humanitarian … Continue Reading


September 18, 2013

Terrorism Insurance Still Necessary to Foster Resilience

by Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

Last week, we commemorated the twelve year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. One of the tough lessons of that day was that our Nation was not as resilient as it could be. In the weeks and months that followed, as Americans began coming to terms with the resulting loss of life and destruction, our economy sputtered. The Dow experienced its worst one-day drop ever (600 points), our civil aviation system teetered on economic collapse, and over 125,000 American workers … Continue Reading


June 25, 2013

Intelligence, privacy and liberties

by Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

In the wake of the recent media disclosure of surveillance programs that have broad implications for the privacy rights of American citizens, there is a renewed interest in oversight of the intelligence community in general and the National Security Agency in particular. This has revived interest in the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board - a useful tool in our federal government created to openly debate these very issues. The PCLOB's mission is to ensure that concerns with respect to … Continue Reading


August 02, 2012

Recovery After Cyber-Attack More Costly Than Prevention

by Rep. Yvette Clarke

Never before in the history of our nation has there been such an exponential growth in technology and innovation within the span of a generation. The Internet and its offshoots are now the foundation and backbone for our work, communications, commerce and entertainment. The Internet is not impermeable. The proliferation of cyber-crime, as well as any prospect of excessive government surveillance, could weaken the public's confidence in the use of the Internet for commerce and in their … Continue Reading

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