WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, convened a hearing with Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to examine what resources and authorities the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to fulfill its mission of supporting safe and secure cross-border travel and protecting national security. At the hearing, Peters raised a number of challenges DHS is working to address, including the need for a comprehensive approach to cyber-attacks, tackling the threat posed by domestic terrorism, and safeguarding Americans from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Peters asked Mayorkas to provide increased transparency on pandemic related restrictions at the Northern Border and the Administration’s plans to work toward safely and securely reopening the border with Canada. Travel restrictions at the Northern Border continue to present significant challenges to Michigan’s binational and cross-border communities.
“I am pleased to see that your proposed budget focuses on tackling some of the most serious challenges and threats facing our nation. Challenges that have only been compounded by a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 600,000 Americans and left serious economic destruction in its wake. And, it’s clear these threats to the American people will only grow and continue to evolve. This is especially true as we continue seeing a scourge of ransomware attacks against everything from K-12 schools, federal networks, small businesses, a major oil pipeline, even meat processing plants,” said Peters during his opening statement.
Peters continued: “I hope to also continue working together to ensure secure and efficient lawful trade and travel at our nation’s ports of entry, so that border states like Michigan can remain hubs for international commerce.”
To watch video of Senator Peters’ questions on cybersecurity and Northern Border travel, click here.
To watch video of Senator Peters’ opening remarks, click here. For text of Peters’ opening remarks as prepared, click here.
As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters continues to lead efforts to bolster national security, including strengthening cybersecurity, and fight to ensure Michigan remains a key hub for international commerce.
Peters is leading the charge to strengthen cybersecurity defenses by passing legislation through the Senate to increase our government’s ability to quickly respond to cyber-attacks and protect our nation’s public water infrastructure technology systems. He also recently announced he is conducting an investigation into the role cryptocurrencies continue to play in incentivizing cybercriminals to commit ransomware attacks.
Peters has fought to strengthen border security and ensure secure and efficient trade and travel at Michigan’s ports of entry. Peters previously sent a letter urging President Biden to provide clear information to Michiganders and Americans on continuing travel restrictions at the Northern Border. He also recently met with the Canadian Ambassador to the United States to discuss safely expanding travel at the Northern Border.