Skip to content

Senator Hassan Discusses Efforts to Strengthen Border Security at Hearing with DHS Secretary

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) raised ways to increase border security and prevent fentanyl trafficking at a Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

To watch Senator Hassan’s hearing questions, click here.

First, Senator Hassan highlighted the bipartisan border security package that Senate Republicans blocked consideration of earlier this year.

Senator Hassan then emphasized the ongoing need to improve border security. “The most important task for the government is keeping its citizens safe; that includes keeping our border secure,” said Senator Hassan. “DHS needs to do everything it can to address the crisis along the southern border, improve operational control, and track who and what is entering our country.”

Senator Hassan discussed what she has seen on her trips to the U.S.-Mexico border and asked Secretary Mayorkas what specific resources or authorities would help “improve DHS’s operational control of the border.” Secretary Mayorkas said that more personnel and more funds would help DHS strengthen border security, and he expressed support for the bipartisan border security provisions that Senator Hassan mentioned as part of the blocked Senate package.

“Fentanyl and other deadly synthetic opioids are causing devastating overdoses in the Granite State, and in communities all across our country,” said Senator Hassan. “Due to the strength of synthetic opioids, criminal organizations are able to smuggle fentanyl in smaller and smaller quantities, which makes it far harder to detect and interdict.”

Senator Hassan asked what resources DHS needs to strengthen its ability to identify fentanyl coming across the Southern border. Secretary Mayorkas said that DHS needs funding for non-intrusive inspection technology at ports of entry and reiterated the need for additional personnel. Senator Hassan also raised her efforts to push China to address the flow of precursor chemicals from China to cartels in Mexico. Senator Mayorkas highlighted the importance of collaboration with international partners for combating the fentanyl crisis.

Lastly, Senator Hassan highlighted the threats that ISIS-K and the Iranian regime pose to the United States and asked about what DHS is doing to assess and prepare for these threats.

Senator Hassan has led efforts to increase security at the Southern border. Earlier this month, the Homeland Security Committee voted to advance two of Senator Hassan’s bipartisan bills to reduce the flow of fentanyl, illicit firearms, and money across both directions of the Southern border. Last month, Senator Hassan’s bipartisan END FENTANYL Act, which will help Customs and Border Protection crack down on fentanyl trafficking at the border, was signed into law. Senator Hassan also worked with her colleagues to pass into law the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which has provided Customs and Border Protection with additional tools to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids.