Senator Carper Highlights Critical Issues in Protecting and Securing the Homeland

Today, at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) hearing “Resources and Authorities Requested to Protect and Secure the Homeland,” U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del), a senior member of the Committee, highlighted critical issues affecting our nation and how the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request will address some of the challenges. During the hearing, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified to how the President’s budget request will ensure DHS has the resources to execute its mission and protect and secure our homeland.

At the start of his remarks during the hearing, Senator Carper thanked Secretary Mayorkas for his commitment to service and underscored his deep knowledge of DHS.

“When I talk about integrity, I often say if you have it, nothing else matters, and if you don’t have it, nothing else matters. And Secretary Mayorkas has it. He is a principled and thoughtful individual, with an incomparable work ethic, who understands the complexities of DHS and the threats that our country faces.”

Senator Carper continued by emphasizing the importance of addressing root causes of migration at the U.S. border.

“We focus a lot on the symptoms of the problem at our border, and it’s important that we do. But it’s also critically important that we address the root causes of why people are arriving at our Southern border. This past February, as you know, Mr. Secretary, I led along with Senator Hassan, a bipartisan, bicameral congressional delegation to Mexico, to Guatemala, and to Honduras. One of the main takeaways from our CODEL was the importance of strengthening rule of law and addressing corruption issues. And until we address both of these ‘push’ factors, we won’t see as much return on our investment in the region, and people will continue to arrive at our border 10, 20, 30, years from now.”

Senator Carper then highlighted the need to increase funding for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to process the increase of asylum caseloads, reduce processing times for immigration applications, and improve refugee processing.

“On a personal note, this issue is something that I hear about a lot from my constituents… who have been facing delays on processing times with routine applications, and urgent and humanitarian applications relating to Afghanistan and Ukraine.”

A full video of Senator Carper’s remarks at today’s hearing can be found here.