With a title like Deputy Assistant Secretary for Screening Coordination, Office of Policy of the United States Department of Homeland Security, one would think that person would be the most qualified to answer basic questions about the tracking of terrorists in the country. However, that couldn't be further from the truth.
On Thursday, the young woman who holds that title, Kelli Burriesci, sat in front of the congressional oversight committee asking questions about terrorism and the visa waiver program, and she couldn't answer even one of their questions.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chair of the joint committee, offered this blistering rebuke after zero accountability was offered by an official of the DHS:
Ms. Burriesci, I've asked you the number of American's who've traveled to Syria, you don't know. The number of Americans who may have traveled and returned, you don't know. The number of Syrian refugees who've entered the country in the last year, you don't know. The number of visa waiver program overstays, you don't know. The number of visa waiver overstays who may have been to Syria before they came here, you don't know. And the number of American citizens on the no-fly list and you don't know. And yet you are the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Screening Coordination, Office of Policy, Department of Homeland Security in front of the oversight committee and you can't give us one single number to some, I think, pretty basic questions?
Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) spoke with Burriesci and asked her to simply give a ballpark figure of how many are on the terror watch list, something she couldn't, or maybe wouldn't, do. As he pressed for a number between one and a million, the secretary (from the Department of HOMELAND SECURITY), refused to answer, saying she didn't want to speculate. Even self-proclaimed ID expert and former counsel on the 9/11 Commission Janice Kephart could only offer information "a few years old:"
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) was concerned that visa overstay numbers have been promised to Congress since 2013 and yet, no one has come forward with the information. He did congratulate Ms. Burriesci for giving a "great answer to a question [he] didn't ask." So she's got that going for her. Otherwise, she couldn't even produce numbers from memos she has seen:
And there's much more footage uploaded to the YouTube channel of the Oversight and Reform committee, including Trey Gowdy getting nowhere with Burriesci on the constitutional aspects of due process. At around 6:17, she's so flummoxed by Gowdy's questions about the female San Bernardino terrorist that she stumbles on the K1 visa program saying, "KY" instead, and thus losing her train of thought. That's an understatement:
Here are the rest for even more confidence in the US government to thoroughly vet immigrants: