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The teaching of science-based, age-appropriate sexual health education would be expanded to more school districts and grade levels, under legislation passed today by the Senate.
“Some people hear the words ‘sex education’ and mistake the focus of the curriculum, which is health and safety, and is age-appropriate for each grade level,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the vice chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. “This is about making sure younger children know what kind of touching is inappropriate, whether by peers or predators. It’s about helping older students recognize and resist abusive or coercive behavior. It’s about teaching all children to respect diversity and not to bully others.”
Among other things, Wilson’s Senate Bill 5395 would:
“Students need a safe place to ask questions, to fully understand consent, and to have the information they need to make safe decisions,” Wilson said. “There are children who will be targeted for molestation in the coming year, there are young women who may face sexual coercion or assault. They need access to information and lessons that will enable them to make decisions to ensure their health and safety.”
The Senate passed SB 5395 during the 2019 legislative session, but the House failed to act on it. Outside parties have tried to stir opposition to the bill by circulating misleading and often false depictions of the sexual health curriculum.
Wilson said the curriculum does not promote sex or direct teachers to instruct students on how to have sex, one of a number of claims that have been incorrectly alleged. To the contrary, the curriculum focuses on health and safety, emphasizes the importance of consent, and is proven to reduce unintended pregnancy and STIs.
The bill has earned the support of King County prosecutors who wrote in a recent op-ed in the Seattle Times that the curriculum would help prevent sexual abuse and violence by teaching healthier behaviors.
“The overwhelming majority of Americans, including parents and young people themselves, believe students should have access to age-appropriate comprehensive sexual health education,” Wilson said. “Information is power. It’s time we do a better job of sharing it.”
ABORTION Annual anti-abortion march held in Olympia (KIRO TV) AGRICULTURE & WATER Apple industry looking to create specialty plate to help Washington Apple Education Foundation (Washington Ag Network/KONA Radio) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Boeing doesn’t expect 737 MAX clearance to fly again until mid-year (The Seattle Times) After long delay, Boeing 777X first flight expected... Read more »
(WASHINGTON) Today, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf issued the following statement regarding the migrant caravan at the Guatemala-Mexico border.
“I commend the Government of Mexico for upholding their commitment to increased security and law enforcement at their southern border. The efforts by the Mexican National Guard and other officials have thus far been effective at maintaining the integrity of their border, despite outbreaks of violence and lawlessness by people who are attempting to illegally enter Mexico on their way to the United States. DHS is monitoring the caravan closely, we have dozens of personnel on the ground in Central America assisting local immigration and security officials, which have already led to hundreds of individuals being stopped, apprehended and sent back to their home countries.
“Being part of large group, like a caravan, provides no special treatment or benefits to those who participate. Unfortunately, there have been acts of reported violence by some involved in this caravan. The Department is prioritizing the safety and security of our officers and the American people. Should any members of the caravan reach the U.S-Mexico border, they will be processed accordingly and quickly removed, returned or repatriated.”Keywords: Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Border Security, Mexico
A groundbreaking former state lawmaker has chronicled her experiences in the Legislature in a biographical oral history that will be celebrated at a book-signing reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma.
All proceeds from sales of Rosa Franklin — A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice will go into an account that funds Capitol preservation, the state library and archives, and the legislative oral history program.
“When Sen. Sam Hunt called me several months ago and said ‘the legislative oral history committee has voted for you to tell your story,’ I thought maybe he was kidding,” former Sen. Rosa Franklin (D-Tacoma) said Monday while being honored on the Senate floor. “It is indeed a deep honor to be back. It’s overwhelming, really.”
Franklin was the first black woman elected to the Senate and represented the 29th Legislative District in Tacoma for 20 years, but her long legislative career is only one aspect of her storied path.
Before Franklin won election to the Legislature, her 42-year career in health care brought her from South Carolina to Washington state and included stops in Brooklyn, Colorado, Germany, and the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, among other venues.
An inductee in the Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame, Franklin holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Puget Sound and earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington State Democratic Party.
“Rosa Franklin’s lifelong commitment to social justice is an inspiration in a time when many have lost faith in government,” wrote Tamiko Nimura, the book’s author.
Franklin’s legislative achievements ran the gamut from establishing the state’s housing and anti-discrimination policy in her freshman year, to eliminating redundant requirements for nursing credentials, to enabling voters to approve public financing of election campaigns. She served as Democratic Whip, as Majority Whip, and twice as President Pro Tempore.
AGRICULTURE & WATER Moses Lake Irrigation and Rehabilitation District looks at options for lake water (Columbia Basin Herald) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR What the plastic bag ban would mean for Seattle, the pulp and paper industry (The Seattle Times) How Boeing’s responsibility in a deadly crash ‘got buried’ (The Seattle Times) Lawmaker proposes 32 hour... Read more »
Several gun-related bills are being heard in committee today. If you wish to address these bills, you may attend today’s hearings or contact the chair and members of the committee to voice your opinions. Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, argues these bills infringe on citizens’ ability to protect themselves and their loved ones. “We see this scheme playing... Read more »
Early learners would get the assistance and support they need to avoid falling behind their peers in kindergarten and throughout life, under legislation heard today by the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.
“Not everyone is ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, and those who aren’t often fall behind early and stay behind,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the committee’s vice chair. “This is a pattern that can hinder them through grade school and high school, into their careers and even into retirement. They lag academically, they fare worse in getting jobs and promotions and saving for retirement, and even their health may suffer.”
Among other things, Wilson’s Senate Bill 6253 would:
“Under our current system, many children go overlooked and struggle in the critical early learning years,” Wilson said. “By making sure those who need assistance early on enter kindergarten ready to learn, and by redirecting our services to better match actual student needs, our students will be more successful in school and throughout life.”
Studies show that every dollar invested to address these early learning needs saves $7 in long-term educational and social costs by ensuring that early learners are ready to learn when it matters most.
“The critical early needs can mean the difference between someone who thrives through school into adulthood and throughout their life, and someone who struggles and requires assistance in multiple areas,” Wilson said. “Of all the money we can spend on education, investing in early learning can make the biggest difference and bring the largest return.”
Other components of the bill would increase access to parent education and support programs and phase in subsidy rate increases for licensed childcare providers to 75 percent of the market rate by 2023.
ABORTION ‘We are all here because life is sacred’: Anti-abortion activists fill downtown Spokane streets during Walk for Life (The Spokesman-Review) AGRICULTURE & WATER Many Washington dairies are struggling after years of trade wars and low milk prices (The Seattle Times) Good year expected for cherry growers, wineries (Washington Ag Network/KONA Radio) Trade deals leave... Read more »
Week 2 in the Senate will begin with a ceremony honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It’s also a busy week in Senate committees with hearings on gun safety, including a possible ban on high capacity magazines, worker safety, sports betting, early learning and changes to marijuana laws.
MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY 2020
SENATE FLOOR: Monday, Jan. 20, Noon
The Senate will observe Martin Luther King Day with a resolution, floor speeches and an invocation delivered by Rev. Troy Lynn Carr of Grace United Methodist Church in Seattle.
LAW & JUSTICE: Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m., SHR 4
The Law & Justice Committee will hold a public hearing on gun safety bills including Sen. Patty Kuderer’s bill to ban high capacity magazines (SB 6077) and a bill requiring firearm safety training in order to obtain a concealed pistol license (SB 6294).
LABOR & COMMERCE: Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m., SHR 1
The committee will hold public hearings on bills to help make Washington’s workforce more safe. Legislation includes SB 6171 concerning the safe disassembly of tower cranes, SB 6473 addressing asbestos-containing building materials and SB 6349 which ensures all union workers can access Washington’s new Paid Family Medical Leave program.
EXPANDING EARLY LEARNING
EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION: Monday, Jan. 20, 1:30 p.m., SHR 1
Kindergartners who aren’t ready to learn fall behind their peers and fall farther and farther behind as they proceed through school, through careers, and through life. On Monday, there will be a public hearing on SB 6253, Sen. Claire Wilson’s bill to expand early learning in our state and make sure kids get the support they need to start school strong.
SPORTS GAMBLING IN WASHINGTON?
LABOR & COMMERCE: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 8 a.m., SHR 1
A work session will be held on the components to create a legal sports gambling system in Washington.
HOUSE/SENATE LEADERSHIP MEDIA AVAILABILITY
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m., House Majority Caucus Room
Democratic leaders from the House and Senate await your questions about the 2020 Legislative Session.
WASHINGTON OFFICE OF VIOLENCE PREVENTION
LAW & JUSTICE: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m., SHR 4
The committee will consider SB 6288, sponsored by Sen. Manka Dhingra, which would create the Washington Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. This agency would provide statewide leadership, coordination and technical assistance to promote effective state and local efforts to reduce gun violence.
EXPANDING, RESTORING VOTING RIGHTS
STATE GOVERNMENT, TRIBAL RELATIONS & ELECTIONS: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 8 a.m., SHR 2
A bill to expand registration opportunities for young voters (SB 6313) and one to restore voting rights for people who have completed their prison sentences (SB 6228) will receive public hearings.
FLAVORED VAPOR PRODUCT BAN
HEALTH & LONG TERM CARE: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 1:30 p.m., SHR 4
Senate Bill 6254, which will ban the sale of flavored vapor products in Washington state, will receive a public hearing.
WASHINGTON’S MARIJUANA INDUSTRY
LABOR & COMMERCE: Thursday, Jan. 23, 8 a.m., SHR 1
AGRICULTURE & WATER Local congresswoman’s bill that secures additional grant funding for farmers signed into law (iFiberOne TV) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Microsoft makes big push to tackle climate change, vowing to be ‘carbon negative’ by 2030 (The Seattle Times) When it comes to carbon, Microsoft president says ‘neutrality is not enough’ (Puget Sound Business... Read more »
AGRICULTURE & WATER Labor shortage and fall weather stack up to leave apples rotting in Washington orchards (NW News Network) Schoesler: Ag community needs to be active during 2020 session (Washington Ag Network/KONA Radio) Local treefruit exports could receive a boost with signed trade agreement (Yakima Herald) Weekend snowfall helps Yakima Basin, but water supply... Read more »
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today is proposing a rule that would implement President Trump’s Executive Order No. 13831 (May 3, 2018) to remove regulatory burdens on religious organizations and ensure that religious and non-religious organizations are treated equally in DHS-supported programs. The proposed rule would ensure that DHS-supported social service programs are implemented in a manner consistent with the Constitution and other applicable federal law.
Specifically, the proposed rule provides instructions on religious liberty protections to the organizations that participate in DHS supported social service programs, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Citizenship and Integration Program Grant, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program, FEMA Crisis Counseling, and FEMA Disaster Case Management.
"On behalf of DHS, I would like to thank the president for his leadership in helping to reverse the previous administration’s requirements discriminating against religious organizations by saddling them with unique regulatory burdens," said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf. "Our proposed rule recognizes that religious organizations are valuable partners in the federal government’s efforts to support the public with needed social services, and that they deserve every chance to compete equally on a level playing field for federal funding and not discriminated against simply because of their religious affiliation."
Under current regulations that govern DHS-supported programs, religious providers of social services—but not other providers of social services—must make referrals under certain circumstances and must post notices regarding this referral procedure. These regulatory burdens had been required by then-President Obama’s Executive Order No. 13559 (Nov. 17, 2010). Consistent with President Trump’s Executive Order No. 13831 (May 3, 2018), today’s proposed rule would eliminate them from DHS regulations. As the Department’s proposed rule observes, these burdens were not required by any applicable law, and because they were imposed only on religious social service providers, they are in tension with recent Supreme Court precedent regarding nondiscrimination against religious organizations.
The proposed rule also would foreclose other unequal treatment of religious organizations by ensuring that they are not required to provide assurances or notices that are not required of secular organizations. By compelling religious organizations, but not secular organizations, to post special notices and make referrals, the alternative-provider requirements unequally placed burdens on religious organizations and cast unwarranted suspicion on them.
In addition, the proposed rule would clarify that religious organizations may apply for awards on the same basis as any other organization and that when DHS selects award recipients, DHS would not discriminate based on an organization’s religious affiliation. The proposed rule also clarifies that religious organizations participating in DHS-supported programs retain their independence from the government and may continue to carry out their missions consistent with religious freedom protections in the First Amendment.
The proposed rule incorporates the Attorney General’s 2017 Memorandum for All Executive Departments and Agencies, Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty. That memorandum was issued pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Order No. 13798 (May 4, 2017), and it guides all federal administrative agencies and executive departments in complying with federal law.Keywords: Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Executive Order
AGRICULTURE & WATER Despite winter storm, snowfall at the pass is still below average (Daily Record) 2019 hay production dropped in Washington, up in Oregon, Idaho (Washington Ag Network/KONA Radio) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Boeing’s horrible year: It lost orders, while Airbus delivered twice as many jets (The Seattle Times) Boeing supplier Cascade Gasket doubles... Read more »
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is publishing its first Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation.
“After years of work and close coordination within the Administration, I’m pleased to announce that the Department of Homeland Security has developed a first-of-its-kind strategy to leverage all our authorities and resources in this fight,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf. “Let me be clear: this strategy isn’t just about leveraging resources, it’s about ending human trafficking. DHS’s Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation is our formal recognition of this issue as a Departmental priority. This strategy is a framework to communicate the Department’s priorities, ensure resources are allocated, and to monitor progress, so that we can save more lives and bring criminals to justice.”
The Strategy articulates the Department’s priorities over the next five years to combat the growing threat of human trafficking, the importation of goods produced with forced labor, and child sexual exploitation by focusing on:
Developing this strategy involved assessing the Department’s initiatives and aims to harmonize efforts and leverage the Department’s authorities and resources in a comprehensive and cohesive manner to more effectively combat human trafficking, the importation of goods produced with forced labor, and child sexual exploitation.
Our understanding of the threat from these horrible crimes has improved, but sadly it is also proving to be greater than previously known. In 2018, the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline was contacted 41,088 times and reported 10,949 cases of human trafficking, a number that has grown each year. In 2018, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline received over 18.4 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation and abuse, an all-time high that grows exponentially each year. Combatting these threats demands a coordinated, comprehensive approach.
The strategy can be found here.
In 180 days, the Department will publish an implementation plan that includes specific deliverables, timelines, and metrics for key results.Keywords: Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Combatting Human Trafficking, Strategy
On Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf will release DHS’s first Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation. Acting Secretary Wolf will deliver the keynote remarks at the “Strengthening the U.S. Response to Human Trafficking” event.
Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Time: Keynote Remarks – 12:00 p.m.
Location: 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002
RSVP: RSVP online or call (202) 675-1752
Terms and conditions of attendance are posted at heritage.org/Events/terms.cfm
This event may be viewed live at heritage.org
News media inquiries, call (202) 675-1761Keywords: Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Human Trafficking
BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Boeing’s new CEO takes reins with company’s culture and strategy in doubt (The Seattle Times) New Boeing CEO message to staff: ‘Safety, quality and integrity above all else.’ (Puget Sound Business Journal) Boeing thwarted Lion Air ‘idiots’ who wanted 737 Max training (Bloomberg News/The Everett Herald) Colombian airline defers remaining jets... Read more »
“Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Pete Gaynor to be Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As Acting Administrator of FEMA throughout 2019 and into 2020, Gaynor led the agency’s recovery efforts for many devastating disasters, including the California wildfires, tornado outbreaks, severe storms, flooding in the Midwest, and the Puerto Rico earthquakes. And as Deputy Administrator for the 2018 hurricane season, Pete guided FEMA through some tremendous challenges to provide much needed assistance to disaster survivors across the country. Pete’s experience as both a state and local emergency manager, combined with more than two decades of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, have made him an invaluable leader of the agency. I look forward to continuing to work with him to support the men and women of FEMA as they carry out their incredible work.”Keywords: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Leadership
OLYMPIA – A bipartisan group of Washington state senators and representatives today unveiled a pair of bills strengthening consumer access and control over personal data and regulating the use of facial recognition technology.
Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) — sponsor of one of the bills, the Washington Privacy Act — told reporters gathered at a press conference that the lawmakers had reached “95 percent agreement in principle on the core elements of the bills.”
He was joined by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center), Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) and Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard).
Carlyle’s SB 6281 gives Washington residents the right to know who is using their personal data and why, the right to correct inaccurate data, the right to delete certain data, and the right to opt out of the processing of data in key areas.
The bill also requires steps companies must take to disclose data management policies in order to increase transparency and establishes limits on the commercial use of facial recognition technology.
A brief overview of the bill is available here.
Nguyen’s SB 6280 limits the ways government and law enforcement can use facial recognition technology.
A brief overview of the bill is available here.
Washington residents overwhelmingly favor efforts to defend data privacy. In a Crosscut Elway poll released last week, 84 percent of respondents said consumer protections for personal online data should be strengthened.
Implement $30 car tabs Facts: Nearly 53% of voters supported I-976 in November 2019. Lawsuits are seeking to overturn I-976. Solutions: House Bill 2227 would limit state and local taxes, fees and other charges relating to vehicles, and establish $30 car tabs. House Bill 2021 would make Sound Transit’s motor vehicle excise tax be based... Read more »
AGRICULTURE & WATER WPC: Farmers do pay taxes (Washington Ag Network/KONA Radio) OPINION: Americans should broaden perspective and moderate expectations on modernized Columbia River Treaty (Graeme Lee Rowlands, published researcher and contractor, on issues related to the Columbia River Treaty/The Wenatchee World) OPINION: Grounded in reality: the real dirt on soil (Pete Haug, retired U.S.... Read more »
The Everblue State is back for the 2020 Legislative Session with a special episode with Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig.
Billig gives us an update on what Senate Democrats are working on this year, and the issues he hopes the Legislature will tackle in the coming decade. He also takes a retrospective look at his favorite bills in the last 10 years.
As an added bonus, he answers our question about which Senate Democrat he would draft for a minor league baseball team.
Make sure to listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
OLYMPIA — The 2020 session is underway and Senate Democrats are excited to get back to work. We’ll kickoff the short 60-day session with a jam-packed Week 1 with public hearings on data privacy, prescription drug prices, affordable housing, the environment and many other policies important to people across the state.
Monday, Jan. 13 @ noon
The 2020 Session gets underway with opening ceremonies including Sens. Liz Lovelett and Derek Stanford taking their oath of office.
DATA PRIVACY/FACIAL RECOGNITION PRESS CONFERENCE
Monday, Jan. 13 @ 2 p.m., JAC ABC
Join Sens. Nguyen, Das, Carlyle and others as they announce details of legislation to protect Washingtonians’ online privacy.
STATE OF THE STATE
Tuesday, Jan. 14 @ noon
Gov. Inslee will address a joint session of the legislature during his annual state of the state address.
ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY
Wednesday, Jan. 15 @ 8 a.m., SHR 1
A public hearing is scheduled for bills that will address online privacy and facial recognition technology.
Wednesday, Jan. 15 @ 2:30 p.m., SHR 1
Transportation Secretary Roger Millar will speak with the committee about the state of transportation in Washington.
LABOR & COMMERCE
Thursday, Jan. 16 @ 8 a.m., SHR 1
ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY
Thursday, Jan. 16 @ 10 a.m., SHR 1
The committee will consider policies sponsored by Sens. Rebecca Saldana and Mona Das that will set earlier limits on greenhouse gas emissions and establish clean fuel standards.
HUMAN SERVICES, REENTRY & REHABILITATION
Thursday, Jan. 16 @ 1:30 p.m., SHR 4
The committee will consider Sen. Clare Wilson’s bill, SB 6112, which will outlaw the practice of solitary confinement at juvenile detention centers.
HEALTH & LONG-TERM CARE
Friday, Jan. 17 @ 8 a.m., SHR 4
Addressing the high costs of prescription drugs, including insulin, will be the focus of this public hearing. The committee will consider SB 6087, 6088, 6110, 6111 and 6113 all sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser.
When Democrats took over the Senate in 2018, we got to work putting people first.
And we did it all on time.
Now the 2020 Legislative Session is here, and we’re ready to get back to work on progressive policies and bettering the lives of Washingtonians.
YUMA, Ariz. – Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf was joined by United States Senator Martha McSally, Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls, U.S. Border Patrol Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Porvaznik, and Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot to announce the Federal government has completed construction on the first 100 miles of new border wall system along the southwest border.
“As of today, we have completed the first 100 miles of new border wall system on the southwest border. New wall has been constructed in every border state from California to Texas. This is a milestone for our entire country, and this would not have been possible without the President’s steadfast determination and leadership,” said Acting Secretary Wolf. “The new border wall system is an undeniable impediment to human smugglers, drug traffickers, and other criminals who have exploited our lack of effective border infrastructure to smuggle drugs, people and illegal contraband into our country. The President listened to his operators on the front lines and is fulfilling his promise to secure the border.”
Wolf continued: “The decision out of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is a huge victory. It upholds the rule of law and our ability to use military construction funds to address the ongoing crisis at the border.”
"Arizonans live every day with the challenges and opportunities that come with being a border state,” said Senator Martha McSally. “Yuma has been an example of how a border wall system makes a difference—along with dedicated agents, intelligence driven operations, roads, and technology. These additional barriers and a new port of entry will improve security and the economy for our community, state, and country."
“The wall is a critical component in border security measures for Yuma’s border region for the safety of our community, for proficient border crossing operations, and for economic stability,” said Mayor Doug Nicholls. “An efficiently-operated, safe southern border region is pivotal to the economy as a whole, inclusive of Yuma’s $3 billion agriculture industry. We experienced a dramatic reduction in incursions when the 2006 wall was constructed, which decreased illegal crossings by 95%. Fourteen years later with changes in immigration patterns, we need to keep safety and efficiency a mainstay.”
The portion of the wall completed in the Yuma Sector is part of a high-tech system that combines a physical barrier with technology and real-time surveillance. In Fiscal Year 2019, Yuma Sector was the third busiest sector in the nation with almost 70,000 apprehensions between ports of entry. Nearly 25% of its 105 miles of land border now has new border wall. This new wall construction is combined with all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related enforcement technology to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection continue to secure our southern border.
“The commemoration of the 100th border wall mile is monumental for Yuma Sector,” said Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik. “Our agents do a tremendous job on the front lines enforcing law and order on the border with all available resources. Now, they are equipped with a 30-foot wall which impedes and denies attempts to enter our country illegally, assault our agents, or smuggle dangerous narcotics and contraband into the United States."
“In Arizona, border security isn’t a talking point or faraway concern; it’s an issue our residents live with every day,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “We know that barriers make a difference and aid our law enforcement along the border. We’re grateful to have an administration that has prioritized border security and listened to the needs of states.”Keywords: Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Border Security, Border Technology, Border Wall
WASHINGTON – On Saturday, January 11, The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Blue Campaign will host #WearBlueDay, its largest one-day awareness initiative of the year. #WearBlueDay encourages the public to wear blue – the international color of human trafficking awareness – and post photos of themselves, or with friends, family, or colleagues, on social media with #WearBlueDay to raise awareness of this heinous crime.
Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery and every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked around the world, including right here in the U.S. DHS is committed to fighting this human rights abuse through its many Components but also through public awareness and education.
To achieve this goal, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will soon release its first strategy to combat human trafficking, the importation of goods produced with forced labor, and child sexual exploitation. This document will articulate the Department’s priorities over the next five years to more effectively and efficiently combat the growing threat of these illicit activities to our Homeland.
Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf pictured with staff representing the DHS Blue Campaign and the Office of Public Engagement.
The Blue Campaign contributes to the Federal mission of combatting human trafficking by providing public awareness materials, at no cost, to increase recognition and reporting of human trafficking. It also collaborates with law enforcement and the private sector to train frontline employees on how to respond to suspected human trafficking. For more information on #WearBlueDay and Blue Campaign, visit www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign.
To report suspected human trafficking, contact the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line: 1-866-347-2423. For victim assistance, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).Keywords: Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Blue Campaign, Public Engagement
WASHINGTON – On Thursday, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf will travel to Yuma, Arizona, to participate in a roundtable discussion with federal and local officials about the ongoing immigration and border issues in the state. The Acting Secretary will also receive an operational briefing on the Yuma sector, conduct a site visit to a border wall construction site, and host a press conference.Keywords: Border Security, Border Wall
WASHINGTON – Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf completed a series of bilateral meetings with the Government of Honduras in Tegucigalpa to discuss ongoing efforts to fully implement key agreements geared toward stemming the flow of illegal immigration, combating transnational criminal organizations in the region, and promoting a prosperous Honduras.
In 2019, the U.S. and Honduras strengthened our relationship through the signing of the Asylum Cooperation Agreement (ACA), Border Security Arrangement (BSA), Biometrics Data Sharing Program (BDSP) Arrangement, and Temporary Agricultural and Non-agricultural Workers Program agreement.
During his visit, the Acting Secretary recognized the strong bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Honduras, especially as it pertains to migration and border security.
“When the United States began to experience a border and humanitarian crisis, Honduras was a leader in convening its neighbors to find a solution. Our partnership with Honduras is deeply rooted in the vision we share for a secure and prosperous Honduras,” said Acting DHS Secretary Wolf. “We remain focused on implementing the migration agreements our two countries have reached in order to continue our important progress. A secure and prosperous Honduras, with ample economic opportunities for its citizens, is a goal we all share. I look forward to continuing our work together to achieve it.”
The Acting Secretary attended a roundtable discussion with several key Honduran leaders from the private sector to hear about issues of importance and communicate the benefits of these bilateral initiatives when fully implemented. The Acting Secretary noted that once these security agreements are fully implemented, the next step is to work with the private sector and international communities to foster economic growth and prosperity in Honduras.
The U.S. continues to work with partner governments to develop a safer and more prosperous region so that Central Americans can feel confident in creating futures in their home countries, rather than putting their lives in the hands of smugglers and criminal organizations to make the dangerous journey to and across the U.S. border.
The recent initiatives undertaken have been effective, as December 2019 marked the seventh consecutive month of declines in enforcement actions at the U.S. Southwest border, with less than 41,000 aliens encountered, representing a 72 percent decrease since the height of the border crisis in May of last year.Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Border Security, Honduras
WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf visited the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to meet with leadership to discuss current situations the agencies are monitoring. Following these discussions, Acting Secretary Wolf departed for Honduras where he is participating in bilateral meetings on regional security and migration.
At CISA, Acting Secretary Wolf met with Director Christopher Krebs and CISA senior leadership for a discussion on the current cyber threat landscape and CISA’s ongoing election security efforts.
Although there are currently no specific, credible threats against our homeland, DHS encourages all Americans to be vigilant and has issued a Bulletin describing the current threat landscape with Iran. DHS continues to monitor the situation and works with our partners to ensure the safety of the American people.
Iran has a history of leveraging asymmetric tactics to pursue national interests beyond its conventional capabilities, and its use of offensive cyber operations is an extension of that doctrine. CISA is urging all organizations to assess their cyber readiness and take steps to protect their networks and assets, including adopting a state of heightened awareness, increasing organizational vigilance, confirming reporting processes, and exercising incident response plans. On Monday, CISA released the latest CISA Insights on steps all organizations can take to protect mitigate potential threats.
In addition, the Acting Secretary discussed the growing threat of ransomware and CISA’s outreach and support to governments and businesses. CISA has targeted state and local governments and small businesses with recommendations, tools and assistance to protect their networks against ransomware and other threats. This included developing Cyber Essentials, a guide for leaders of small businesses as well as leaders of small and local government agencies to develop an actionable understanding of where to start implementing organizational cybersecurity practices.
Finally, today’s discussion concluded with a discussion of election security and resilience. The entirety of the U.S. government is focused on protecting the 2020 elections from foreign interference. As part of this effort, CISA is working with all 50 states and more than 2,300 local jurisdictions, sharing the latest threat information, providing cybersecurity services and expertise, and developing and exercising incident response plans.
At FEMA, Acting Secretary Wolf met with FEMA senior leadership for a discussion on the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico and the agency’s response.
Last night, President Trump approved Puerto Rico’s request for an emergency declaration allowing direct federal assistance for emergency measures to protect lives, property and public health after the recent series of earthquakes. This assistance is for all 78 municipalities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
FEMA has been in constant communication with Governor Vázquez and Commonwealth officials and is working with local government representatives to determine the extent of impacts on individuals and public facilities, and the types of federal assistance that may be needed. FEMA personnel is on the island and its National Response Coordination Center and FEMA Region II’s Regional Response Coordination Center are both conducting 24-hour operations. FEMA has also deployed an Urban Search and Rescue Team, Incident Management Team, and additional communications personnel through its Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) capabilities.
DHS and FEMA continue to support the government of Puerto Rico with their complex and ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria and to ensure everyone is better prepared for disasters that could impact the island, at all levels.
Acting Secretary Wolf is in Honduras to meet with the President of Honduras and senior government officials to discuss regional security and migration. The central message of the visit will be centered around the fact that security and prosperity go hand-in-hand. The delegations will discuss the implementation of the four agreements signed in September, curbing mass migration from the region, and other relevant topics. Honduras has been a strong partner to the United States in confronting the illegal migration.Keywords: Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)