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115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {      115-909

======================================================================



 
    BIOMETRIC IDENTIFICATION TRANSNATIONAL MIGRATION ALERT PROGRAM 
                       AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2018

                                _______
                                

August 28, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. McCaul, from the Committee on Homeland Security, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 6439]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 6439) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
to establish in the Department of Homeland Security the 
Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee on Homeland Security...................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     5
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     6
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     6
Preemption Clarification.........................................     6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     6
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     6
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     6
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     7
Dissenting Views.................................................    10

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 6439, the ``Biometric Identification Transnational 
Migration Alert Program Authorization Act of 2018'' authorizes 
the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert 
Program (BITMAP) within the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS). This bill seeks to codify a U.S. Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) led 
program that was established in 2011 under then-President 
Barack Obama.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    BITMAP was established to equip international partner-
country law enforcement officers to collect and share biometric 
and biographic data on special interest individuals and to 
identify potential threat actors transiting through 
participating countries. BITMAP further provides infrastructure 
and capability for host governments to collect biometric data 
on individuals they encounter transiting through illicit 
pathways. The information collected under the auspices of 
BITMAP is shared with U.S. law enforcement and Intelligence 
Community members; DHS in turn provides information back to the 
host countries concerning the individuals whom they enrolled. 
Through this process, ICE is able to track U.S. bound illegal 
migration patterns, take joint action with partner countries, 
and deter human smuggling through South and Central America. 
Comparisons of biometric data through BITMAP serve to identify 
criminal persons, wanted subjects (including international 
fugitives), and known or suspected terrorists. BITMAP is 
currently deployed to 14 countries, with near-term plans to 
expand to additional countries.
    Transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) have actively 
competed for control of various illicit pathways. These 
pathways are used as a conduit for the illegal movement of 
people and goods into the United States. In particular, the 
illegal smuggling and trafficking of people via these pathways 
and the deliberate evasion of U.S. immigration laws has become 
a significant national security threat. In order to mitigate 
this threat, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland 
Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) established the Biometric 
Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP). 
BITMAP is an HSI-led initiative that fills biometric databases 
with data collected from special interest aliens, violent 
criminals, fugitives, and known or suspected terrorists 
encountered within illicit pathways. This data helps HSI form 
strategic pictures of the trends, networks, and individuals 
connected with these pathways and is a key tool for the broader 
DHS mission of pushing the border out. Former ICE Acting 
Director Homan testified before the Border and Maritime 
Security Subcommittee in May 2018, ``As far as BITMAP, we are 
working with our attache offices overseas, in Central America, 
in South America, on identifying those that are en route to the 
United States. There are many known terrorists that these other 
countries will enroll into BITMAP, take some prints, it feeds 
into our system, along with the DOD and it gives us a shot of 
who's coming, who is on their way. Panama has been very 
successful. Panama has a great program down there. People that 
were known terrorists had been turned around in Panama and sent 
back before reaching our shores.'' This illustrates the 
critical role of this national security program in protecting 
the homeland.
    As the largest investigative component at DHS, ICE-HSI 
protects U.S. borders by conducting multi-faceted, 
international law enforcement operations, by partnering with 
foreign and domestic counterparts to combat criminal 
organizations and prevent terrorist activities. ICE-HSI 
International Operations has a network of over 400 personnel, 
including over 180 special agents deployed to 67 attache 
offices in 50 countries, who conduct investigations against 
TCOs, terrorist, and other criminal organizations that threaten 
our national security. ICE-HSI leverages its international 
footprint and partnerships to disrupt and dismantle TCOs that 
seek to exploit America's legitimate trade, travel and 
financial systems, and enforces U.S. customs and immigration 
laws at and beyond our Nation's borders to prevent threats from 
entering the United States. A key program that supports these 
efforts is BITMAP.

                                Hearings

    The Committee did not hold any legislative hearings on H.R. 
6439 in the 115th Congress. However, this legislation was 
informed by a Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee hearing 
on May 22, 2018 entitled ``Stopping the Daily Border Caravan: 
Time to Build a Policy Wall.'' The Subcommittee received 
testimony from the Honorable Ronald Vitiello, Acting Deputy 
Commission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the 
Department of Homeland Security; the Honorable Thomas Homan, 
Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at 
the Department of Homeland Security; and the Honorable Lee 
Francis Cissna, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
Services at the Department of Homeland Security.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on July 24, 2018, to consider H.R. 6439, 
and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with a 
favorable recommendation, without amendment, by a recorded vote 
of 20 yeas and 7 nays (Roll Call Vote No. 39).

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    The Committee on Homeland Security considered H.R. 6439 on 
July 24, 2018, and took the following votes:

                     Committee on Homeland Security


                            Roll Call No. 39


                               H.R. 6439

    On adopting adopted H.R. 6439 without amendment, by a 
recorded vote of 20 yeas and 7 nays (Roll Call Vote No. 39). 
The vote was as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Representative                  Yea        Nay           Representative           Yea        Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. McCaul, Chair.......................         X   ........  Mr. Thompson of              .........         X
                                                                Mississippi, Ranking
                                                                Member.
Mr. Smith of Texas......................  .........  ........  Ms. Jackson Lee............  .........         X
Mr. King of New York....................  .........  ........  Mr. Langevin...............         X   .........
Mr. Rogers of Alabama...................         X   ........  Mr. Richmond...............  .........         X
Mr. Barletta............................         X   ........  Mr. Keating................         X   .........
Mr. Perry...............................         X   ........  Mr. Payne..................  .........  .........
Mr. Katko...............................         X   ........  Mr. Vela...................  .........         X
Mr. Hurd................................         X   ........  Mrs. Watson Coleman........  .........         X
Ms. McSally.............................         X   ........  Miss Rice of New York......         X   .........
Mr. Ratcliffe...........................         X   ........  Mr. Correa.................         X   .........
Mr. Donovan.............................         X   ........  Mrs. Demings...............  .........         X
Mr. Gallagher...........................         X   ........  Ms. Barragan...............  .........         X
Mr. Higgins of Louisiana................         X   ........
Mr. Garrett.............................         X   ........
Mr. Fitzpatrick.........................         X   ........
Mr. Estes...............................         X   ........
Mr. Bacon...............................         X   ........
Mrs. Lesko..............................         X   ........
                                                                                           ---------------------
                                                               Vote Total.................        20          7
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
6439, the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration 
Alert Program Authorization Act of 2018, would result in no new 
or increased budget authority, entitlement authority, or tax 
expenditures or revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, August 6, 2018.
Hon. Michael McCaul,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for Department of Homeland 
Security legislation ordered reported by the Committee on 
Homeland Security on July 24, 2018.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

Department of Homeland Security Legislation

    On July 24, the House Committee on Homeland Security 
ordered two bills to be reported. The bills are:
           H.R. 6198, the Countering Weapons of Mass 
        Destruction Act of 2018; and
           H.R. 6439, the Biometric Identification 
        Transnational Migration Alert Program Authorization Act 
        of 2018.
    Both bills would mostly codify programs that currently 
exist at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBO 
estimates that enacting the bills would not significantly 
affect spending by DHS.
    Enacting the bills would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting the bills would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    Neither bill contains intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 6439 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    The goal of this legislation is to authorize the Biometric 
Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) 
within the Department of Homeland Security.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 6439 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    In compliance with rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of the rule 
XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                        Preemption Clarification

    In compliance with section 423 of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, requiring the report of any Committee on a bill or 
joint resolution to include a statement on the extent to which 
the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State, 
local, or Tribal law, the Committee finds that H.R. 6439 does 
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 6439 would require no 
directed rule makings.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert 
Program Authorization Act of 2018''.

Sec. 2. Authorization of the Biometric Identification Transnational 
        Migration Alert Program Authorization Act

    This section establishes the Biometric Identification 
Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) in the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Committee believes 
that the establishment of this program will address and reduce 
threats to national security, increase border security, and 
stop terrorist threats before such threats reach the border of 
the United States. In carrying out BITMAP operations, this 
section requires the DHS Secretary, acting through the Director 
of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to 
coordinate--in consultation with the Secretary of State, 
appropriate representatives of foreign governments, and other 
appropriate Federal agencies--the facilitation of voluntary 
sharing of biometric and biographic information collected from 
foreign nationals for the purpose of identifying and screening 
such nationals to identify those nationals who may pose a 
threat to the national security of the United States. By 
requiring the Secretary to act through the ICE Director in 
carrying out BITMAP, the bill preserves the Secretary's 
authority and discretion as the head of the Department, while 
ensuring that BITMAP operations are executed by the proper law 
enforcement component.
    This section also requires the Secretary to provide 
capabilities, including training and equipment, to partner 
countries in order to collect biographic and biometric 
information to identify, prevent, detect, and interdict high 
risk individuals, as well as provide capabilities, including 
training and equipment, to partner countries to compare foreign 
data against appropriate U.S. national security, border 
security, terrorist, immigration, and counterterrorism 
databases maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
(FBI), the Department of Defense, DHS, and others. In addition, 
the section directs the Secretary to ensure that BITMAP 
operations include participation from relevant components of 
DHS, and request participation from other Federal agencies, as 
appropriate.
    Additionally, the section requires the Secretary, in 
consultation with the Secretary of State, to enter into 
agreements or arrangements with governments of foreign 
countries that outline operations in those countries. It also 
requires the Secretary to notify Congress at least 60 days 
before an agreement with a foreign government enters into 
force.
    Lastly, the bill requires the Secretary, 180 days after the 
date of enactment and for the subsequent five years, to submit 
a report to Congress on the effectiveness of BITMAP operations 
in enhancing national security, border security, and 
counterterrorism operations.
    The Committee believes that BITMAP is a valuable program 
that facilitates the voluntary sharing of critical information 
among Federal and international partners, which allows for the 
identification, detection, and interdiction of high risk 
individuals who may attempt to enter the United States 
utilizing illicit pathways. The Committee believes that ICE-
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), notwithstanding the 
Secretary's discretion to assign specific authorities or 
responsibilities to components within the Department, should 
execute operations of BITMAP. The Committee believes that ICE-
HSI is uniquely positioned to contribute to the success of 
BITMAP because its international workforce is the Department's 
largest investigative presence abroad, which gives it one of 
the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement. 
ICE-HSI has broad legal authority to enforce a diverse array of 
federal statutes and protect the homeland from numerous 
threats. It uses these authorities to investigate all types of 
cross-border criminal activity and to promote national 
security.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Homeland 
Security Act of 2002''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is 
as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
     * * * * * * *
Sec. 2. Definitions.

         TITLE IV--BORDER, MARITIME, AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

     * * * * * * *

              Subtitle D--Immigration Enforcement Functions

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 447. Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert 
          Program.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE IV--BORDER, MARITIME, AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle D--Immigration Enforcement Functions

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 447. BIOMETRIC IDENTIFICATION TRANSNATIONAL MIGRATION ALERT 
                    PROGRAM.

  (a) Establishment.--There is established in the Department a 
program to be known as the Biometric Identification 
Transnational Migration Alert Program (referred to in this 
section as ``BITMAP'') to address and reduce national security, 
border security, and terrorist threats before such threats 
reach the international border of the United States.
  (b) Duties.--In carrying out BITMAP operations, the 
Secretary, acting through the Director of U.S. Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement, shall--
          (1) coordinate, in consultation with the Secretary of 
        State, appropriate representatives of foreign 
        governments, and the heads of other Federal agencies, 
        as appropriate, to facilitate the voluntary sharing of 
        biometric and biographic information collected from 
        foreign nationals for the purpose of identifying and 
        screening such nationals to identify those nationals 
        who may pose a terrorist threat or a threat to national 
        security or border security;
          (2) provide capabilities, including training and 
        equipment, to partner countries to voluntarily collect 
        biometric and biographic identification data from 
        individuals to identify, prevent, detect, and interdict 
        high risk individuals identified as national security, 
        border security, or terrorist threats who may attempt 
        to enter the United States utilizing illicit pathways;
          (3) provide capabilities, including training and 
        equipment, to partner countries to compare foreign data 
        against appropriate United States national security, 
        border security, terrorist, immigration, and counter-
        terrorism data, including--
                  (A) the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 
                Terrorist Screening Database, or successor 
                database;
                  (B) the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 
                Next Generation Identification database, or 
                successor database;
                  (C) the Department of Defense Automated 
                Biometric Identification System (commonly known 
                as ``ABIS''), or successor database;
                  (D) the Department's Automated Biometric 
                Identification System (commonly known as 
                ``IDENT''), or successor database; and
                  (E) any other database, notice, or means that 
                the Secretary, in consultation with the heads 
                of other Federal departments and agencies 
                responsible for such databases, notices, or 
                means, designates; and
          (4) ensure biometric and biographic identification 
        data collected pursuant to BITMAP are incorporated into 
        appropriate United States Government databases, in 
        compliance with the policies and procedures established 
        by the Privacy Officer appointed under section 222.
  (c) Collaboration.--The Secretary shall ensure that BITMAP 
operations include participation from relevant components of 
the Department, and request participation from other Federal 
agencies, as appropriate.
  (d) Agreements.--Before carrying out BITMAP operations in a 
foreign country that, as of the date of the enactment of this 
section, was not a partner country described in this section, 
the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of State, 
shall enter into agreement or arrangement with the government 
of such country that outlines such operations in such country, 
including related departmental operations. Such country shall 
be a partner country described in this section pursuant to and 
for purposes of such agreement or arrangement.
  (e) Notification to Congress.--Not later than 60 days before 
an agreement with the government of a foreign country to carry 
out BITMAP operations in such foreign country enters into 
force, the Secretary shall provide the Committee on Homeland 
Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate with a 
copy of the agreement to establish such operations, which shall 
include--
          (1) the identification of the foreign country with 
        which the Secretary intends to enter into such an 
        agreement;
          (2) the location at which such operations will be 
        conducted; and
          (3) the terms and conditions for Department personnel 
        operating at such location.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) programs to push 
border security out beyond our air, land, and maritime 
boundaries make our nation more secure. Two mature examples of 
effective and tailored programs are U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection's (CBP) Preclearance program, where CBP officers 
inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights, and 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Visa Security 
program, where ICE special agents are deployed to overseas 
consulates to assist in visa vetting. To date, information 
provided to Congress regarding the Biometric Identification 
Transnational Migration Alert Program, or BITMAP program, which 
ICE has been piloting overseas since 2010, is insufficient to 
assess whether it, too, is effective and tailored. As such, I 
opposed H.R. 6439, the ``Biometric Identification Transnational 
Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) Authorization Act of 2018,'' a 
bill to permanently authorizing this unproven program.
    Prior to Committee consideration of H.R. 6439, on June 1, 
2018, I wrote to Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan and requested 
basic information to help the Committee assess this pilot 
program that DHS officials have said anecdotally is effective. 
I received a written response on July 12, 2018 that did not 
fully address the questions I raised to help identify whether 
there is evidence to support permanently authorizing BITMAP. 
Given that DHS only began capturing significant amounts of 
biometric data in 2016, it has not been able to furnish 
Congress with an evidence-based analysis that justifies the 
program as a counterterrorism tool. Basic questions about the 
program remain unanswered. How are international partners 
selected? After checks against databases, what does the U.S. 
government do with the vast majority of records it collects on 
migrants that are not found to have terrorist ties? What, if 
any, protections exist to guard against ICE collecting highly-
personal and sensitive information from migrants who are 
encountered nowhere near the U.S.-Mexico border and have no 
intention of coming anywhere close to it?
    At this time when mistrust of the Trump Administration 
regarding border and immigration policies is high, it is 
critical that Congress be provided answers to basic questions 
about BITMAP. H.R. 6439 should not be presented to the full 
House for consideration until such time as evidence has been 
presented to Congress to establish the efficacy of the program 
as a counterterrorism tool.
    For the record, Congress does not need to act on 
authorizing legislation for the BITMAP pilot to continue. Even 
if no further action is taken on H.R. 6439, there is nothing 
preventing DHS from continuing the BITMAP pilot and gathering 
more data to come back to a future Congress with a 
comprehensive account of the benefits of this program and its 
accomplishments. BITMAP may very well prove to be an effective 
counterterrorism program but the facts, as they currently 
stand, do not support permanently authorizing it.

                                   Bennie G. Thompson,
                                           Ranking Member.

                                  [all]