DHS: No Numbers on Syrians Resettled in US, Visa Overstays, Americans Traveling to Syria

Kelli Ann Burriesci, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security arrived on Capitol Hill to testify in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Visa Waiver Program, and had no statistics on 1) “how many Syrian refugees entered the US in the last year,” or 2) “how many Americans have traveled to Syria in the last year,” and there’s more. Keep in mind, Burriesci is not a newbie. She’s been in the same position since 2007. Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said his questions were to provide this information to the “American people.” He asked specific questions. She had She answered, “Sir I didn’t bring any of my refugee numbers with me.” And then she polished it off with:

Kelli Ann Burriesci

Kelli Ann Burriesci

Burriesci: Sir I didn’t bring any of my . . .the refugee numbers with me. I was prepared to talk about Visa Waiver . . . Kelli Ann Burriesci

Jordan: So you don’t know how many people have traveled and returned?

Burriesci: I don’t have that number on me.

Jordan: Ms. Burriesci, when I look at the witness list, you’ve got the longest title. “Deputy Assistant Secretary Screening Office of Policy Department of Homeland Security.” You’ve got the longest title and it says Screening Coordination. What screening are you coordinating? Is that just intra-agency or is that inter-agency?

Burriesci: It’s both.

Jordan: It’s both? It’s all of that? And the two biggest issues right now ––

Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan

we have these terrible tragedies, multiple terrorist attacks and we’re talking about the refugee issue and the Visa Waiver Program, and you can’t give us any numbers on either program?

Burriesci: I came prepared to talk about the Visa Waiver Program.

Jordan: I just asked you how many Visa Waiver Program overstays are there, and you said you don’t know.

Burriesci: Sir, I don’t have the number . . .

Burriesci tried to move to information about the 38 reciprocal countries who can come to the U.S. without a passport for ninety days. Jordan cut her off:

Jordan: I’m saying, someone from Great Britain comes to the United States on a Visa Waiver Program and they’re now in overstay. Do we know if that person, who is here today –– maybe they’re not even in overstay, do we know if that person has been to Syria before they came to the United States? Do we know that?

Burriesci attempted to answer about having intelligence involved, but Jordan pursued:

Jordan: I wasn’t asking that. Do we know that? Do you know the number.

Burriesci doesn’t know the number.

Jordan: We have people in that category I just described, come from a visa waiver program country, may have travelled –– they’re here today and may have been in Syria, Iraq or somewhere before they came here. Do we know that?

Burresci: If a citizen of a VWP country has traveled to one of those countries, there’s a nexus to the United States or if a VWP partner shared that information with us, yes, we know that information, and we will vet against it. We will also use our algorythm . . .

Jordan: Could they be here right now? That’s my question.

Burriesci: I don’t have that answer sir.

Jordan: Uh, alright, well, how about . . . can you tell me anything about the No Fly List? How does a person get put on the criteria for that? Can you tell me anything about that?

Burriesci: The No Fly List is a subset of the overall terrorist screening database. The Inter-Agency works together. The terror database is owned and operated by the Terror Screening Center, as I said earlier. Their criteria to get on that . . .

Jordan: How many American citizens are on the No Fly List right now?

Burriesci: I know there are American citizens on the list. It’s an extremely small number, but I don’t have my numbers with me, but again, that’s something I can easily get back to you with.

Jordan goes over the long list of things Burriesci does not know, and recalls her official title. Bottom-line, I’d say he’s astounded and disgusted. Just guessing.

These hearings give us a good look into the complete ineptness of government, but in the end, it’s a waste of time. There are ways to handle these attempts to stall, misdirect, and mislead. If Congress doesn’t have the power to make it clear the information they expect to hear, and to do something about it when the information isn’t forthcoming, then it’s a waste of everyone’s time and a waste of taxpayer money.

Full video here.

Find the 38 country designated Visa Waiver Program countries here.


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  • cryandhowl

    Good morning Maggie!
    Did you see the video clip of Trey Gowdy grilling this young lady? (I think she’s the same person) Epic!

  • al

    Al Wolf Stann I think there was something else on the meeting agenda that day. Nobody carries every single file to a meeting, that isn’t on the agenda, their briefcase would weigh 2000 pounds. It was just political grandstanding and the question was off topic. They were there to discuss Visa Waiver Program, which is coming to america without a visa, like on vacation. and syria is not even on the countries allowable for that program. If he’d be halfway on topic and asked how many syrians were here on that program, the one they were discussing, she would have replied “Zero”
    seriously, in her shoes, i’d be like ‘why don’t you google it and get back to us, along with why that pertains to the topic”

    BTW the answer is 1,869, courtesy of google.

    • Al, seriously, yes, the discussion was the Visa Waiver Program. What questions do you think would be discussed in light of Tashfeen Malik? In this environment, fresh with the San Bernardino attack, she should have, and I’m sure did, know the exact answers to the questions, and you can bet her aides were sitting behind her with additional information. Then there are the thumb drives that can be encrypted, and inserted in a laptop in a hearing. No excuses. Whether Google is correct or not, she is paid to know, and to know the extenuating details. The details were not intended to be revealed. There was intention of answering questions that day. It’s how Democrats do everything.

  • Daniel Valenzuela

    Kelli B. is the criminal . making all that money and
    she doesnt even know Shiitake mushrooms. How many people does it take to realize that problem ? And shes isnt doing her job. Does she help them ? Oh noooooooo.
    BTW. Al is stupid. Maybe an ipad would work for that kelli criminal bitchuressci . forget paper files.

    • Daniel Valenzuela, paper files are never used unless someone is making a point –– as in ObamaCare when the files were carted all over the capital. I think this woman was doing what she was told to do. That’s the problem. The question I want every candidate asked is: Will you replace every bureaucrat in every department and clean house all the way to the basement? That should be a campaign promise.