DHS Secretary Kelly: “Ending the Crisis: America’s Borders and the Path to Security” can neighbors. In Colombia, for example, we learned that key principles to defeating large cartels and insurgents are the same as defeating criminal networks: a strong, accountable government that protects its citizens, upholds the rule of law, and expands economic opportunity for all. It taught us that countering illicit trafficking and preventing terrorism often go hand-in- hand, and that U.S. interagency cooperation, coupled with a committed international partner, can help bring a country back from the brink. I believe these lessons can be applied across our many international partnerships, and in furtherance of our government’s many missions beyond our borders. Presently, we have a great opportunity in Central America to capitalize on the region’s growing political will to combat criminal networks and control hemispheric migration. Leaders in many of our partner nations recognize the magnitude of the tasks ahead and are prepared to address them, but they need our support. As we learned in Colombia, sustained engagement by the United States can make a real and lasting difference. Conclusion The security challenges facing DHS and our nation are considerable, particularly along the southern border. We have the laws in place to secure our borders. We also have outstanding men and women working at DHS, and in other federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, who are committed to the border security mission. Finally, we now have a clear mission objective and the will to complete that mission successfully. We must accelerate our collective efforts to enforce the laws on the books and support those sworn to uphold the law. You have my commitment to work tirelessly to ensure that the men and women of DHS are empowered do their jobs. I believe in America and the principles upon which our country and way of life are guaranteed, and I believe in respect, tolerance, and diversity of opinions. I have a profound respect for the rule of law and will always strive to preserve it. As I mentioned in my confirmation hearing, I have never had a problem speaking truth to power, and I firmly believe that those in power deserve full candor and my honest assessment and recommendations. As Secretary, I recognize the many challenges facing DHS and I will do everything within my ability to meet and overcome those chal- 22 lenges, while preserving our liberty, upholding our laws, and protecting our citizens. Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your continued support of DHS. I am confident that we will continue to build upon the momentum generated as a result of our previous operational achievements around the world. I remain committed to working with this Committee to forge a strong and productive relationship going forward to secure our borders and help prevent and combat threats to our nation. I would be pleased to answer any questions.
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