The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, chaired by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), will hold a hearing entitled "U.S.-Caribbean Border: Open Road for Drug Traffickers and Terrorists" tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building.
In addition to smuggling across the land borders, drug cartels exploit Caribbean trafficking routes established in the 1980s. Tomorrow's hearing will examine the impact increased Caribbean trafficking has had on the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, Members will have the opportunity to consider the broader concerns this emerging threat creates for homeland security, including potential cooperation between drug cartels operating in the region and international terrorist organizations.
McCaul said: "The Caribbean region is an unlocked back door into the U.S. mainland. Drugs are flowing, terrorists are establishing ties with drug cartels and the United States does not have a strategy to deal with this growing threat to our nation that emanates from this region. We welcome the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Honorable Luis Fortuño's appearance before our Subcommittee to discuss the threat and what the U.S. Government is doing to help our fellow American citizens. The purpose of our hearing is to examine the Caribbean maritime drug routes, the high level of drug-related violence in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the connection between drug cartels and terrorists. Most importantly, the Subcommittee would like to know what the Federal agencies are doing to counter these growing threats to our third border."