Rep. Roybal-Allard Statement at Hearing on ICE and CBP Budget Request
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), the Ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following opening statement at today’s subcommittee hearing on the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The hearing’s witnesses were Kevin K. McAleenan, CBP Commissioner; Matthew T. Albence, ICE Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations; and Derek N. Benner, Acting ICE Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations.
Welcome, Commissioner McAleenan, Associate Director Albence, and Associate Director Benner.
I’ll make my opening statement brief this morning so that we maximize time for questions.
Commissioner McAleenan, congratulations on your recent confirmation. We have spoken about the significant challenges you and CBP face, and I want to reaffirm my commitment to helping you address those challenges.
As you know, I disagree with the approach of the current administration in some areas, but there is no disagreement on the need to continue building on the significant progress made over the last decade in border security, both between the ports of entry and at the ports. And there is a broad consensus on continuing to invest in improvements at the ports that will better facilitate the flow of commerce.
Mr. Albence and Mr. Benner, I regret that Director Homan was unable to join us this morning, but am glad to have you both here to answer our questions. Director Homan and I have had frank, respectful discussions about our disagreements on ICE policies and priorities. And while we won’t resolve those disagreements this morning, I appreciate his willingness to maintain open lines of communication.
A high priority for me is ensuring that individuals in the custody of your agencies are treated fairly and humanely, and according to appropriate standards. No matter the policy disagreements we have, I hope we can work constructively together in that area.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to our discussion this morning.