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CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence: 8/27/2010 - OBP005310-OBP005315 FW_ This Will Be a Source of Discussion

CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence: 8/27/2010 - OBP005310-OBP005315 FW_ This Will Be a Source of Discussion

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Published by CREW
CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; FOIA Request: CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; Holder of Document: CREW; Producing Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Date Received: 8/27/2010;
CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; FOIA Request: CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; Holder of Document: CREW; Producing Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Date Received: 8/27/2010;

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Published by: CREW on Sep 02, 2010
Copyright:Public Domain

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04/06/2012

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From:To:Cc:Subject:
FW: This will be a source of discussion
Date:
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 4:02:31 PM
Importance:
High
This is what I got from Univision, looks pretty broad, let me know one way or the other and I will take itfrom there. Assistant ChiefDHS/CBP/Office of Border PatrolOffice of Public Affairsoffice 
From:
 
Sent:
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 3:58 PM
To:
 
Subject:
This will be a source of discussion
 
Other topics of of discussion will include:
 
- the articles below - possible sources of discussion- The report that is due out on the 1st on the border (if he can talk about it)- Border Patrol in general - is the current strategy working, has there been improvement, whatnew techniques are being used, are there more or less people crossing illegally, national security.
GAO blames local community forsetbacks on border fence
By Jackie Leatherman/The MonitorOctober 26, 2007 - 10:59PMThe federal government has hit a few snags in its efforts to secure the nation’s borders — and one ofthem stems in part from the Rio Grande Valley.The U.S. Government Accountability Office — Congress’ watchdog agency — recently testified thatmeeting U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s goal of having 370 miles of pedestrian fence and 200miles of vehicle barriers in place along the U.S. border with Mexico by the end of next year may be“challenging and more costly than planned.”The GAO blames the setbacks directly on resistance from communities that fear the fencing will havean adverse affect on “cross-border commerce and community unity,” and obstacles acquiring rights-of-way to land, testified Richard Stana, the GAO’s director of homeland security and justice issues.These impacts directly affect 130 of the total 370 miles of staggered pedestrian fencing along theborder from San Diego to Brownsville, according to the GAO report.“The mayors of Brownsville, Laredo and El Paso have said they do not welcome (CBP) surveyors who
OBP005310
 
(b) (6)(b) (6)(b) (6)(b) (6)(b) (6)(b) (6)(b) (6)(b) (6)
 
have come to examine property,” Stana said.He could not identify the exact routes for the 130 miles of fence Friday.The GAO investigated progress made by SBInet — the CBP program charged with overseeing thetechnology, infrastructure and manpower plans for tightening the border under the Secure BorderInitiative.The U.S. Department of Homeland Security finalized the initiative in November 2005.The first testimony on its implementation was presented to congressional committees this week.Local officials have spoken out against the plans, citing socioeconomic and environmental concerns.Hidalgo County leaders have asked the federal government to examine design, construction andfunding methods for needed levee repairs and the border fence simultaneously.Ideally, they would like federal funding for the aggressive fencing project to speed the repairs to theflood control system, and to not interfere with the levee project’s construction or design.Later this year, the federal government may deem portions of the 270-mile levee system asunacceptable to control extreme flooding, which would increase the number of residents and businessowners required to have flood insurance.CBP officials from the agency’s Valley sector, which encompasses much of South Texas, have statedthat they are studying the placement and design of roughly 153 miles of fencing — largely in theValley.The GAO testimony identified three types of fencing that has been tested and is expected to be thestandard design for future infrastructure.Border officials in the Valley and in Washington, D.C., did not return requests for comment Friday.According to Stana’s report, fence construction costs are expected to average more than $4 million permile.The report also states that establishing new border surveillance technology in Arizona’s Tucson sectoris more than four months behind schedule, delaying the timeline to install equipment elsewhere.It’s also unclear exactly how much manpower will be needed to classify the borders as “controlled,”according to the report.U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, represents a portion of the Valley and sits on the committee thatrequested the GAO testimony. He could not be reached for comment, however.The U.S. Border Patrol plans to announce today a "zero tolerance" operation to prosecute, jail anddeport all illegal immigrants caught in the bustling Laredo area, marking a significant tightening ofimmigration enforcement along a key U.S. border corridor.This stepped-up effort is an expansion of the Border Patrol's "Operation Streamline" project in the DelRio and Yuma, Ariz., sectors, which sharply reduced illegal entries. That is being expanded to thesprawling Laredo sector beginning Wednesday, officials confirmed.Extending the operation to a large, populous sector such as Laredo — the nation's largest inland portand a growing commercial center — signals a major expansion of a strategy officials plan to implementalong the entire Southwest border.
OBP005311
 
It is a key facet of a Bush administration crackdown not only on the border — where National Guardtroops now work with Border Patrol agents — but in the interior, where immigration agents have raidedwork sites and are targeting fraudulent work documents."This program is sending the message we're not letting illegal border-crossers have a free ride,"Border Patrol assistant chief Ramon Rivera said. "We're hoping it goes nationwide."Reactions to the project range from strong support to serious doubts about clogging already overloadedfederal courts. More arrests mean more prosecutions, more court dates."The idea of doing in Laredo what they do in Del Rio is really terrifying for us," said Marjorie Meyers,who heads the Federal Public Defenders office in Houston, which oversees the Laredo area. "There isno way we can handle it."Rivera said after the operation began in the Del Rio sector, apprehensions dropped by 46 percent fromOctober 2006 to August, compared with the 2005-06 fiscal year. Agency intelligence indicated thathuman traffickers have shifted operations downriver to Laredo, he said.The "zero tolerance" effort ends voluntary return in Laredo, a historic shift in enforcement. For decades,illegal immigrants from Mexico detained on the border were allowed to return home — if they did nothave criminal records — without being prosecuted, often the same day they were apprehended.And last year, Border Patrol ended "catch-and-release," the practice of freeing non-Mexican illegalimmigrants after giving them a notice to appear before an immigration judge. Most immigrants neverkept their court dates, officials acknowledged.
Dockets will fill up
The Laredo sector takes in 171 miles of Rio Grande frontage, extending to the Oklahoma border andincluding San Antonio and Dallas.Details of the operation's coverage within the sector would be released today, officials said.U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, supports the operation but acknowledged it could add to strainedborder dockets."At the beginning, you'll see a spike in cases in the court but after awhile it will go down because it willbe a deterrent," Cuellar said. "There's a criminal (smuggling) network out there ... and they'll get themessage pretty quickly that if they come they're going to serve time."Cuellar said he has sponsored legislation to add three federal judges to South Texas, and hopes onewill be assigned to Laredo.Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, a retired FBI official, said the government has a duty to enforce the lawbut he's not certain it will work.Salinas instead favors an expanded guest worker program for immigrants."The underlying solution to illegal immigration is solid, comprehensive reform legislation now — thelonger we wait, the worse it gets," he said.Mexican officials, who have been invited to attend today's announcement at sector headquarters inLaredo, said they would wait to comment."'It's very important for us," said Javier Abud, the Mexican consul in Laredo. "It's a very sensitiveoperation for our Mexican nationals."
OBP005312

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