Secretary Johnson addresses ABA
Johnson spent the bulk of his address discussing border security and counterterrorism efforts.
The secretary addressed the ongoing migration of children, particularly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, across the U.S. border.
"This is a challenge to our border security, and, especially because of kids, it clearly has an humanitarian dimension," Johnson said. "But, in the final analysis we know that our borders are not open to illegal migration, and our message to people in Central America is if you come here illegally, we will send you back, consistent with our laws and our values."
Johnson detailed DHS efforts to address the issue, including increased border security and the addition of flights to repatriate people to their home countries.
In discussing counterterrorism, Johnson said that it would remain the cornerstone of the DHS mission. The secretary said that DHS is concerned about the threat of independent actors not associated with established groups.
"Within DHS we have programs to engage in outreach to communities who themselves are able to reach young men who may otherwise turn to violence," Johnson said. "I personally participate in these outreach programs."