Border subcommittee discusses border control measures to prevent terrorism

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee met on Tuesday to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's ability to prevent terrorists from entering the United States.

The House Homeland Security Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee met on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in order to examine what progress has been made in the 11 years since and what measures are being currently implemented to prevent terrorists from carrying out attacks in the future.

Officials from the both DHS and the U.S. Department of State gave testimony at the hearings, including Charles Edwards, the acting inspector general of DHS.

Representative Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said that in the 2011 attacks, terrorists were capable of penetrating U.S. security barriers, including visa regimes, by exploiting the porous nature of the outer ring of border security.

"Curtailing the ability of terrorists to travel to the U.S. can be one of the most effective counterterrorist tools because denying terrorists the freedom to travel essentially eliminates their ability to plan or exercise, or to carry out attacks on our homeland," Miller said.

Miller said the U.S. government has been effective at pushing its borders outward by conducting background checks overseas, and called the overall progress of restructuring border controls since 2001 a series of unbelievable, positive strides forward.