Press Release


Homeland Security Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on U.S.-Caribbean Border Security Threats

Media Contact: (202) 226-8417

Washington, D.C. – The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, chaired by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), will hold a hearing entitled “U.S.-Caribbean Border: Open Road for Drug Traffickers and Terrorists” tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building.

In addition to smuggling across the land borders, drug cartels exploit Caribbean trafficking routes established in the 1980s.  Tomorrow’s hearing will examine the impact increased Caribbean trafficking has had on the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In addition, Members will have the opportunity to consider the broader concerns this emerging threat creates for homeland security, including potential cooperation between drug cartels operating in the region and international terrorist organizations.

McCaul said:  “The Caribbean region is an unlocked back door into the U.S. mainland.  Drugs are flowing, terrorists are establishing ties with drug cartels and the United States does not have a strategy to deal with this growing threat to our nation that emanates from this region.  We welcome the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Honorable Luis Fortuño's appearance before our Subcommittee to discuss the threat and what the U.S. Government is doing to help our fellow American citizens.  The purpose of our hearing is to examine the Caribbean maritime drug routes, the high level of drug-related violence in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the connection between drug cartels and terrorists.  Most importantly, the Subcommittee would like to know what the Federal agencies are doing to counter these growing threats to our third border.”

What:                Subcommittee Hearing on U.S.-Caribbean Border: Open Road for Drug Traffickers and Terrorists

When:                 9:00 a.m., Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where:                311 Cannon House Office Building

                           **Live video feed available HERE.    

Opening statements, witness testimony, and the live video feed will be available online HERE

Witness List:

Panel I

The Honorable Luis Fortuño
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Panel II

Rear Admiral William Lee
Deputy for Operations, Policy, and Capabilities
United States Coast Guard
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ms. Janice Ayala
Assistant Director for Operations
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Kevin McAleenan
Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations
Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Michael Kostelnik
Assistant Commissioner, Office of CBP Air and Marine
Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security