Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Statement at Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request Hearing for the Department of Homeland Security
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security:
This morning, we welcome the Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who is here to discuss the Department’s operations and its fiscal year 2023 budget request. Mr. Secretary, we look forward to a productive discussion this morning.
The Department has a difficult set of missions, ranging from Cybersecurity and the safety of air travel to terrorism preparedness and the protection of our coastal and inland waterways. However, none of those missions is more challenging or fraught than immigration enforcement. I suspect that much of our conversation in this hearing will focus on that topic.
Immigration enforcement is complicated and controversial, with policy choices on which members of the subcommittee will strongly disagree. However, I hope there is no disagreement about how challenging your task is, under any set of policy assumptions.
There are no easy answers because there are competing legal and moral imperatives that are difficult to balance, and we are not and cannot be in full control of all of the factors driving migration.
We have seen migration surges during Republican and Democratic administrations and Congresses, with no long-term correlation to policy trends.
Mr. Secretary, as we hold you accountable this morning for what happens at the border, I am cognizant that Congress is accountable for failing to give the Department a realistic legal framework for managing the border – one that ensures the rule of law while also ensuring due process and providing better opportunities for legal migration and asylum claims.
Comprehensive immigration reform would not solve all of our problems at the border, but without reform we are knowingly accepting a status quo that has become increasingly untenable.
Mr. Secretary, despite our policy differences on immigration or any other matter, I want you to know that this Subcommittee does appreciate what you and the more than 240,000 men and women who work for you do every day to help keep the country safe.
I will now turn to the distinguished gentleman from Tennessee, Ranking Member Fleischmann, for his opening remarks.