The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Readout of the President’s Homeland Security Council Meeting

This afternoon, the President and Vice President met in the Situation Room with the President’s Homeland Security Council to discuss the urgent humanitarian situation at the border as well as the comprehensive response that the Administration has implemented at the President’s direction. Today’s meeting took place as preliminary data show that average daily apprehensions of unaccompanied children by the Customs and Border Patrol have dropped by about half from June to July. This important decline was noted, and the Council committed to continuing aggressive efforts on both sides of the border to deter illegal migration—including by sustaining cooperation with Central American leaders—and to providing appropriate care for those apprehended at the border. Participants also discussed combating the root causes of migration and the need to secure the additional resources sought in the President’s supplemental appropriations request.

Attendees at this afternoon’s meeting included:

  • The Vice President
  • Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense
  • James Cole, Deputy Attorney General
  • Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Denis McDonough, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff
  • John Podesta, Counselor to the President
  • Kristie Canegallo, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President
  • Amb. Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations
  • Brian Deese, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget
  • Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement
  • Susan Rice, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Neil Eggleston, Assistant to the President and Counsel to the President
  • Stephanie O’Sullivan, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
  • Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of Domestic Policy
  • Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
  • Katie Fallon, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs
  • Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development
  • General Martin Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Secretary of State
  • Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Dan Tangherlini, Administrator of the General Services
  • Jeffrey Prescott, Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President
  • Rand Beers, Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security
  • Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of the Customs Border Protection
  • Thomas Winkowski, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement

About the Homeland Security Council:
The Homeland Security Council was created by Executive Order in 2001 and codified in statute by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Similar to the National Security Council, which is also a statutory body, the Homeland Security Council serves to coordinate across the government on homeland security issues. In 2009, the Homeland Security Council and National Security Council were integrated under one staff, but both continue to exist by statute. Meetings of either are convened as needed. 

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