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                                                      Calendar No. 548
115th Congress     }                        {                 Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                        {                 115-308
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                      
             DHS OVERSEAS PERSONNEL ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 2017

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                               H.R. 4567

    TO REQUIRE A DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OVERSEAS PERSONNEL 
                ENHANCEMENT PLAN, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
                
                
                
                
                

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]






                 July 30, 2018.--Ordered to be printed
                                   ______

                       U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

79-010                       WASHINGTON : 2018




              
                 
                 
                 
                 
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
JOHN HOEVEN, North Dakota            KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
STEVE DAINES, Montana                DOUG JONES, Alabama

                  Christopher R. Hixon, Staff Director
                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Chief Counsel
          Michelle D. Woods, Senior Professional Staff Member
               Margaret E. Daum, Minority Staff Director
       Charles A. Moskowitz, Minority Senior Legislative Counsel
                 Subhasri Ramanathan, Minority Counsel
                 Michelle M. Benecke, Minority Advisor
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk






                                                      Calendar No. 548
115th Congress     }                        {                 Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                        {                 115-308

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



 
             DHS OVERSEAS PERSONNEL ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

                 July 30, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4567]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H.R. 4567) to require 
a Department of Homeland Security overseas personnel 
enhancement plan, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................4
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................5
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................5
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................6
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported.............6

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 4567, the DHS Overseas Personnel Enhancement Act of 
2017, requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS or the 
Department) to provide Congress with a briefing within 90 days 
of submitting its comprehensive multi-year strategy on DHS's 
overseas personnel deployments, and every 180 days thereafter. 
Among other things, DHS is required to brief Congress on any 
barriers impeding information sharing and collaboration across 
DHS components and stakeholder entities to advance its 
counterterrorism mission. Within 90 days of the first overseas 
personnel briefing, the Act requires the Department to submit 
to Congress a plan to improve the effectiveness of personnel 
located at foreign locations.

              II. BACKGROUND AND THE NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Protecting the homeland against threats posed by 
international terrorist groups and transnational criminal 
organizations requires efficient and effective management of 
the nation's homeland security resources. Because many threats 
to the homeland originate overseas, DHS works closely with 
international partners and deploys personnel and resources to 
foreign locations to interdict potential security threats at 
the earliest possible point.\1\ Overseas personnel are often 
responsible for sharing information with foreign and domestic 
partners, and establishing partnerships with foreign allies to 
prevent the spread of terrorist and other criminal activity to 
the homeland.\2\ As of December 2017, the Department had an 
estimated 2,000 personnel deployed to over 70 countries.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\The Office of International Engagement, Dep't of Homeland Sec. 
(July 24, 2018), https://www.dhs.gov/office-international-affairs; 
International Engagement, Dep't of Homeland Sec., https://www.dhs.gov/
topic/international-engagement; U.S. Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-
17-216, Border Security: CBP Aims to Prevent High-Risk Travelers from 
Boarding U.S.-Bound Flights but Needs to Evaluate Program Performance, 
1, (Jan. 2017), available at https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-216.
    \2\Fact Sheet: DHS's International Footprint, supra note 1; 
International Engagement, supra note 1.
    \3\Ron Nixon, Homeland Security Goes Abroad. Not Everyone is 
Grateful., N.Y. Times (Dec. 26, 2017), available at https://
www.nytimes.com/2017/12/26/world/americas/homeland-security-customs-
border-patrol.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Department's global reach advances its counterterrorism 
mission by preventing nefarious actors from entering the 
country.\4\ While stationed overseas, DHS personnel engage in a 
range of programs and activities in fulfillment of its 
counterterrorism, trade and travel missions.\5\ Specifically, 
DHS components, including the Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 
Transportation Security Administration, and Customs and 
Immigration Services, deploy personnel abroad to engage in 
interdiction and criminal investigation activities.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Fact Sheet: DHS's International Footprint, supra note 1.
    \5\Id.; U.S. Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-13-681, Combating 
Terrorism: DHS Should Take Action to Better Ensure Resources Abroad 
Align with Priorities 6-7, (Sept. 2013), available at https://
www.gao.gov/assets/660/658132.pdf; GAO-17-216, supra note 1 at 1.
    \6\Fact Sheet: DHS's International Footprint, supra note 1; GAO-13-
681, Combating Terrorism: DHS Should Take Action to Better Ensure 
Resources Abroad Align with Priorities, supra note 5; GAO-17-216, supra 
note 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DHS's overseas activities have led to the denial of the 
entry of known or suspected terrorists, seizure of drugs, 
interdiction of narcotics, and disruption of human smuggling 
rings.\7\ Among DHS components, CBP deploys the largest number 
of personnel, approximately 1,000, to overseas locations for 
the purposes of screening and vetting passengers at airports, 
conducting inspections of U.S.-bound cargo shipments, and 
training foreign customs officials at international airports to 
institute screening procedures consistent with those used by 
U.S. customs officials.\8\ Through its Immigration Advisory 
Program, CBP identifies ``high-risk'' travelers prior to 
boarding U.S.-bound flights.\9\ In Fiscal Year 2015, the 
program prevented ``8,100 known or suspected terrorists, or 
individuals with connections to known or suspected terrorists'' 
from boarding U.S.-bound flights.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\GAO-13-681, supra note 5 at 13-14; GAO-17-216, supra note 1 at 
1.
    \8\Ron Nixon, supra note 3; GAO-13-681, supra note 1, at 11-13; 
GAO-17-216, supra note 5 at 21-22.
    \9\GAO-17-216, supra note 1 at 2,6.
    \10\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For its part, ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) 
division deploys nearly 300 investigators to 50 countries.\11\ 
HSI advances the Department's mission overseas by coordinating 
with foreign counterparts on investigations, interdicting 
transnational criminal organizations seeking to smuggle drugs, 
traffic humans and wildlife, and building international 
outreach and training partnerships.\12\ HSI's International 
Operations Division is responsible for executing a number of 
activities and programs.\13\ For instance, within its 
Transnational Criminal Investigative Units, HSI investigators 
work on teams with foreign law enforcement officials.\14\ The 
Visa Security Program (VSP) deploys HSI special agents to U.S. 
embassies determined to be high-risk to advise Department of 
State consular officers.\15\ Through the VSP, HSI investigators 
advance DHS's counterterrorism mission by screening visa 
applications and making recommendations to consular officers 
regarding visa refusal and revocations.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\International Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement, https://www.ice.gov/international-operations#wcm-survey-
target-id; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Dep't of Homeland 
Sec., Budget Overview (Feb. 27, 2018), available at https://
www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/
U.S.%20Immigration%20and%20Customs%20Enforcement.pdf.
    \12\International Operations, supra note 11.
    \13\Id.
    \14\Id.
    \15\Id.
    \16\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While DHS's overseas functions are critical to achieving 
its counterterrorism mission and protecting the homeland, 
questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the 
programs and the activities supported by the deployment and use 
of personnel stationed abroad.\17\ According to a 2017 report 
by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), although 
CBP's pre-departure programs have resulted in the 
identification and interdiction of high-risk travelers, ``CBP 
has not fully evaluated the overall effectiveness of these 
programs using performance measures and baselines.''\18\ DHS 
concurred with GAO's recommendation to develop and implement 
performance measures, including the establishment of 
performance baselines, as a means of assessing the 
effectiveness of its programs.\19\ DHS has created a working 
group comprised of individuals from each of its pre-departure 
programs to address this recommendation.\20\ However, the 
recommendation has not been fully addressed.\21\ Absent 
appropriate measures, CBP and relevant stakeholders cannot 
assess whether pre-departure programs are achieving their 
intended goals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\GAO-17-216, Border Security: CBP Aims to Prevent High-Risk 
Travelers from Boarding U.S.-Bound Flights but Needs to Evaluate 
Program Performance 24, 35-36, supra note 1.
    \18\Id.
    \19\Id.
    \20\Id.
    \21\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the Explanatory Statement accompanying the Homeland 
Security Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018, the Senate 
Committee on Appropriations encouraged HSI to prioritize its 
efforts to collaborate with CBP on investigations supporting 
trade enforcement activities.\22\ In doing so, HSI will be 
better positioned to assess the cost and benefits of expanding 
its overseas investigative activities.\23\ The Senate Committee 
on Appropriations acknowledged the importance of impeding the 
flow of individuals posing a threat and illicit contraband, but 
encouraged HSI to continue reviewing the cost and benefit of 
overseas agents, noting that ``the annual cost of an overseas 
agent can be four times the cost of an agent deployed 
domestically.''\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\S. Comm. on Appropriations, Explanatory Statement for the 
Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, 2018 (Nov. 21, 2017), available 
at https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/FY2018-Homeland-
Security-Explanatory-Statement.pdf.
    \23\Id.
    \24\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oversight of DHS's international counterterrorism programs 
has raised questions about the need for additional overseas 
personnel.\25\ Specially, during a September 2017 hearing 
before the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee 
on Transportation and Protective Security, Mr. Anthony Reardon, 
National President of the National Treasury Employees Union, 
expressed concerns with the Department's proposal to increase 
the number of CBP personnel stationed abroad in support of the 
Department's efforts to expand its Preclearance Program citing 
``critical staffing shortages at the nation's ports of 
entry.''\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\Raising the Standard: DHS's Efforts to Improve Aviation 
Security around the Globe, Hearing before the Subcomm. on Transp. & 
Protective Sec. of the H. Comm. on Homeland Sec. (Sept. 26, 2017), 
available at https://docs.house.gov/meetings/HM/HM07/20170926/106421/
HMTG-115-HM07-Transcript-20170926.pdf; Securing Air Cargo: Industry 
Perspectives, Hearing before the Subcomm. on Transp. & Protective Sec. 
of the H. Comm. on Homeland Sec. (July 25, 2017), available at https://
homeland.house.gov/hearing/securing-air-cargo-industry-perspectives/; 
The Future of the Transportation Security Administration, Hearing 
before the Subcomm. on Transp. & Protective Sec. of the H. Comm. on 
Homeland Sec. (Feb. 2, 2017), available at https://homeland.house.gov/
hearing/future-transportation-security-administration/; Examining TSA's 
Global Efforts to Protect the Homeland from Aviation Threats and 
Enhance Security at Last Point of Departure Airports, Hearing before 
the Subcomm. on Transp. & Protective Sec. of the H. Comm. on Homeland 
Sec. (Dec. 8, 2015), available at https://www.tsa.gov/news/testimony/
2015/12/08/testimony-hearing-%E2%80%9Cexamining-tsas-global-efforts-
protect-homeland.
    \26\Raising the Standard: DHS's Efforts to Improve Aviation 
Security around the Globe, Hearing before the Subcomm. on Transp. & 
Protective Sec. of the H. Comm. on Homeland Sec., supra note 25, at 30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DHS should deploy its personnel and resources in a manner 
that is consistent with the nation's homeland security 
priorities. In January 2017, the President issued a series of 
Executive Orders aimed at stemming the flow of illegal entrants 
along the U.S. border with Mexico.\27\ Under these Executive 
Orders, CBP and ICE, DHS components with large international 
footprints, are to execute hiring plans that would 
significantly increase the number of Border Patrol and ICE 
agents.\28\ As the Department develops its staffing models and 
budget requests for its international programs, consideration 
should be given to whether proposed staffing increases advance 
current homeland security priorities and provide intended 
security benefits.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\Exec. Order No. 13,767, 82 Fed. Reg. 8793 (Jan. 2017); Exec. 
Order No. 13,768, 82 Fed. Reg. 8799 (Jan. 2017).
    \28\Exec. Order No. 13,767, supra note 27; Exec. Order No. 13,768, 
supra note 27.
    \29\Exec. Order No. 13,767, supra note 27; Exec. Order No. 13,768, 
supra note 27.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This Act provides transparency into the use and 
effectiveness of overseas personnel. Specifically, the briefing 
and plan required by this Act will enable Congress to hold the 
Department accountable for ensuring that the costs associated 
with overseas personnel do not outweigh the derived security 
benefits.

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Representative John Katko (R-NY) introduced H.R. 4567, the 
DHS Overseas Personnel Enhancement Act, on December 6, 2017. 
The Act passed the House unanimously on January 10, 2018, and 
was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered H.R. 4567 at a business meeting on 
June 13, 2018. The Committee reported the Act favorably by 
voice vote en bloc. Senators present for the vote were Johnson, 
Portman, Lankford, Enzi, McCaskill, Carper, Peters, Hassan, 
Harris, and Jones.

        IV. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE ACT, AS REPORTED

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of Act, the ``DHS 
Overseas Personnel Enhancement Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Overseas personnel briefing

    Subsection (a) requires the Secretary of the DHS to brief 
Congress regarding personnel stationed abroad. The first 
briefing is to occur 90 days after the submission of the 
strategy required under section 1910 of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, P.L. 114-328. 
Subsequent briefings are to be provided to the aforementioned 
Committees every 180 days.
    Subsection (b) specifies the content requirements for the 
briefing in subsection (a). The briefing is to include 
information on the types of overseas positions, including how 
the geographical and regional locations and position-specific 
training provided to overseas personnel support the 
Department's counterterrorism mission. The briefing is also to 
include information on the challenges impeding the sharing of 
counterterrorism information between DHS personnel at foreign 
locations and DHS personnel within the United States. The 
subsection also requires the Department to provide a status 
update on the implementation of the strategy in subsection (a) 
and the enhancement plan discussed under section 3.

Section 3. Overseas personnel enhancement plan

    Subsection (a) requires the Secretary, within 90 days of 
the first briefing required in section 2, to submit to Congress 
an effectiveness enhancement plan for DHS overseas personnel.
    Subsection (b) outlines the contents required to be 
included within the plan. The plan is to include proposals to 
improve foreign partner capacity development; the use of threat 
information to redeploy personnel; enhance coordination with 
partners, including DHS entities within the U.S. and foreign 
partners; and practices for preventing counter-espionage 
activities.

Section 4. Termination

    This section sunsets the briefing required under section 2 
of this Act 4 years after the submission of the strategy 
required in Public Law Number 114-328.

                   V. EVALUATION OF REGULATORY IMPACT

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this Act and determined 
that the Act will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the Act contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 22, 2018.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4567, the DHS 
Overseas Personnel Enhancement Act of 2017.
    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.

H.R. 4567--DHS Overseas Personnel Enhancement Act of 2017

    H.R. 4567 would require the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) to devise a plan to improve the effectiveness of DHS 
personnel who are stationed at foreign locations. The act also 
would require DHS--about twice a year over the next four 
years--to provide briefings to the Congress on department 
personnel with primary duties outside the United States. Using 
information from DHS, CBO estimates that implementing those 
provisions would cost less than $500,000 annually; such 
spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds.
    Enacting H.R. 4567 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4567 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 4567 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On January 18, 2018, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 4567 as passed by the House of Representatives on January 
10, 2018. CBO estimates of the budgetary effects of the two 
versions of the legislation are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE ACT, AS REPORTED

    Because this legislation would not repeal or amend any 
provision of current law, it would not make changes in existing 
law within the meaning of clauses (a) and (b) of paragraph 12 
of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate.

                                  [all]