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CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence: O4 - O10 Analysis Final (Redacted)

CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence: O4 - O10 Analysis Final (Redacted)

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CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; Number of Pages: 7; 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: Oct 17, 2008;
CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; Number of Pages: 7; 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: Oct 17, 2008;

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Rio Grande Valley Sector (O-4 thru O-10) Hidalgo Levee Flood Control Project Deployment Analysis Location: Hidalgo, Texas

– 20.27 miles of urban/rural area • For the purpose of this analysis, projects O-4 through 0-10 were analyzed as one fence segment as the Hidalgo Levee Flood Control Project. This project was developed in consultation with Hidalgo County representatives. Abram to Penitas, Texas (0-4) – 4.35 Miles of Incorporated Rural Area Granjeno, Texas (0-5) – 1.73 Miles of Incorporated Rural Area Hidalgo, Texas (0-6) – 3.86 Miles of Urban Area Donna, Texas (0-7) - 0.90 Miles of Rural Area Donna, Texas (0-8) – 3.24 Miles of Rural Area Progreso, Texas (0-9) – 3.86 Miles of Rural Area Progreso, Texas (0-10) – 2.33 Miles of Rural Area Key Issues/Constraints: • Moderate to highly populated urban/rural areas o Population of Granjeno, Texas: 311 o Population of Penitas, Texas area: 1185 o Population of Abram/Perezvile, Texas: 5,444 o Population of Weslaco, Texas: 32,000 o Population of Mercedes, Texas: 18,000 o Population of Donna, Texas: 17,000 o Population of Alamo, Texas: 16,000 o Population of San Juan, Texas: 32,000 o Population of Pharr, Texas: 61,000 o Population of Diaz-Ordaz, Tamaulipas, México: 15,028 o Population of Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico: 83,000 o Population of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico: Approximately 526,888 o Population of Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas, Mexico: 13,000 o Total population of Hidalgo County is approximately 700,000, with most residents living within several miles of the border. Routes of ingress into border cities from southern Mexico and routes of egress to the interior of the U.S. are well established and heavily used. o Numerous highways in Mexico span from the southern border of Guatemala to the U.S./Mexico border, providing a direct route for potential entrants. o The City of Reynosa provides significant infrastructure, including an airport, large bus station, and numerous highways and paved streets which are often utilized to facilitate illegal cross-border activity.

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A variety of terrain features are present in the vicinity, including vast open farm lands (which produce mainly sugar cane and a small variety of gains, cotton, and vegetables). The area also has numerous tracts of federally protected densely vegetated Wildlife Refuge lands, which are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). • Routes of ingress nearest some neighborhoods run though this dense vegetated area, providing ample concealment to the criminal element. • During the daytime, illegal entrants can mix in with the general population in areas near neighborhoods and small communities. • Within minutes, illegal entrants can easily blend into the residential areas located just a few hundred feet from the border. This limited tolerance to depth of intrusion creates enforcement vulnerability and necessitates the installation of persistent impedance in these areas. The areas south of the proposed fence are primarily farmland, dense brush and vegetation, while the areas north of the proposed fence have a number of small subdivisions. Due to the ability of illegal entrants to blend in with the local community and quick access to routes of egress, this particular area is conducive to smuggling operations. Law enforcement efforts are hindered in this area due to the heavy brush, which provides cover and concealment for prospective illegal entrants from the river to the levee. This delayed effect gives agents a significant disadvantage by decreasing time to respond resulting in a lower level of effectiveness. Nature of the Threat: • Daily activity within the 20.27 mile segment equates to an average of approximately 59 arrests per shift. o (b) (7)(E)

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o This proposed fence alignment would provide the necessary persistent impedance between the communities of Abram, Penitas, Granjeno, Hidalgo and Progresso, Texas and the Rio Grande River and occupies parts of Rio Grande Valley Sector. • Despite the fact that agents are able to detect entries, the number of entrants and their ability to assimilate into the general population has a diminishing impact on enforcement posture. Major factors creating this situation include established residences, commercial property, and transportation infrastructure. Assimilation into populated areas is also aided by existing dense vegetation and terrain features throughout the immediate river area. These factors force agents to be deployed in more public areas. • (b) (7)(E)

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o The areas affected by this project experience a significant amount of narcotics and human smuggling due to the dense vegetation and the concealment that it provides as well as the proximity to community and transportation infrastructure. FY07, the areas affected by this project produced 149 narcotics loads yielding a total of 61,103 pounds of marijuana and 768 pounds of cocaine. • FY08 YTD narcotics seizures in the same areas totaled separate narcotics seizure events yielding 52,256 pounds of marijuana and 792 pounds of cocaine. Alternatives Analysis: • Baseline – (b) (7)(E)
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o The current Border Zone Security Status within the proposed 20.27 mile stretch of fencing ranges from “Initial Control Capabilities Established” to “Effective Control”. o The zones associated with this fence segment are classified as having 6 miles of “Effective Control” and 14.27 miles of “Initial Control Capabilities Established”. Sensors – Sensors in these rural/urban areas provide early detection capabilities of illegal entrants. (b) (7)(E)

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o Most areas near the proposed levee flood barrier alignment are just seconds sometimes minutes away (generally 1 to 30 minutes) from the Rio Grande River, requiring an immediate response to confront activity prior to assimilation into the surrounding environment. o (b) (7)(E)

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Cameras – Cameras could provide the initial visual detection of persons entering the United States along the immediate border and areas free of cover to the north. o Currently there are no cameras in close proximity in these areas that can temporarily detect illegal entrants crossing into the U.S. (b) (7)(E)

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o Without supporting infrastructure available to impede intrusions, persons will be in the U.S. and out of the cameras field of view within a few seconds. (b) (7)(E)

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Mobile Surveillance Systems (Radar) - Mobile surveillance systems, also known as “Ground Radar” can be useful for detecting illegal intrusions in vast open areas. o (b) (7)(E)

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o However, radar as a standalone feature will not provide the persistence of impedance that the pedestrian fence would provide and is therefore not a viable alternative. Border Patrol Agents – Border Patrol Agents are capable of detecting entries, identifying and classifying the threat, and responding to intrusions. As a show of force, Border Patrol Agents would have a deterring effect for potential illegal entrants. o (b) (7)(E)

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o The annual cost of implementing this alternative solution is about $428,400,000. o The cost of such a deployment over a three year period is estimated at approximately $1,285,200.00 and far exceeds the one time expense for fence construction. o The “front line” that the agents would essentially be creating in each individual project, could potentially be compromised when an entrant or a group of entrants make an entry and the “line” collapses to respond with the threat. Levee Flood Control (Pedestrian Fence) – The installation of a Levee Flood Control will not only aid in bringing the levees up to FEMA standards but will ultimately deter or significantly impede prospective illegal entrants by providing a persistent impediment.

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o The locations of the levee flood control barrier have been strategically placed in areas where illegal entrants currently take as little as a few seconds to reach urban areas on the U.S. side and take advantage of the opportunity to blend in with the legitimate human and vehicle traffic or other areas with established routes of quick egress. o A physical barrier such as a levee flood control barrier (incorporated with pedestrian fence) would increase the probability of apprehension on anyone wanting to cross over. Potential entrants would face a concrete flood control barrier (ranging from 12 to 15 feet high) along with thick metal bollards spaced only four inches apart with a total incorporated height of 18 feet, presents a formidable physical barrier. o Ideally, the physical barrier would provide the needed persistent impedance creating a deterrence or delay effect that agents on the ground need. The effectiveness of the fence would be complimented with the appropriate mixture of personnel, technology, and tactical infrastructure. o The estimated cost of construction of this segment is $85,640,750 over a three year period including maintenance expenses. It is the most cost effective means of enhancing border security and is the first step in achieving effective control of this area. Vehicle Fence – The U.S./Mexico border in Texas has the Rio Grande River to serve as a natural, vehicular barrier between both countries. Vehicle fence, as a result, is not a requirement for this section of the border. The vehicle fence is primarily designed for areas where “drive-throughs” occur on a regular basis. Vehicle fence, as a result, is not a requirement for this section of the border. o Even under drought conditions, the Rio Grande River is deep enough to prevent most vehicles from driving through. The current bollard design provides effective vehicle deterrence as well as pedestrian deterrence. o Should this area have required this type of physical barrier, the initial and three year cost for the 20.27 mile segment of vehicle fence would be $57,972,200. The initial cost and three year cost of the 20.27 mile segment of pedestrian fence would be $85,640,750. Boats Forward Deployed – Border Patrol marine operations are capable of detecting entries, identifying and classifying the threat, and responding to intrusions, but can be overwhelmed by the number of illegal entrants (via water) as they begin their entry attempt. o Water levels in the Rio Grande River in this area tend to vary and are not always consistent, thus not allowing boats to be utilized daily. o Hydrilla, an invasive, non-native weed that grows on the bottom and on the surface of the Rio Grande River. The weed grows from the river bottom to the surface forming sprawling dense mats that prevents the navigation of marine vessels. o The Rio Grande River covers approximately 43.5 linear miles south of the proposed levee flood control barrier alignment.

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(b) (7)(E)

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Over a three year period, the overall costs of implementing boats as an alternative to a pedestrian fence equates to $500,544,000 (boat + agents to man the boats) • Best Technology Combination – An analysis of technology components was conducted to determine what complement of technology would be the most costeffective. Although cameras and mobile radar provide the most effective methods for enhanced detection, they do not address response or persistence of impedance requirements nor the personnel requirements for the area. Key Evaluation Factors: (b) (7)(E)

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The fiscal cost of such a deployment is close to $428,400,000 per year in salaries alone and 1,285,200,000. for a 3 year period. The community relations cost of such a deployment is a perception by the local residents and businesses that the U.S. Border Patrol will become an “occupation army”, standing shoulder to shoulder along the border, pursuing illegal activity up streets, through backyards, and into businesses. The operational cost of the total number of agents deployed to gain and maintain control of the area precludes any significant deployment of agents to address shifts in smuggling activity to the rural flanks of these areas of operation. The terrain features (river) will make it difficult for illegal entrants to use aids like ladders to overcome the physical structure (fence). Those who are fit enough to overcome the fence or get assistance by accomplices on the south side of the fence will find they are unable to easily escape back into Mexico once on the U.S. side of the border. The installation of the technology, as a stand alone alternative, would not provide the required level of deterrence or enhance agent time-distance response.

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Recommended Solution: • Deploy the levee flood control barrier, working with Hidalgo County, to meet FEMA levee certifications and also to significantly slow those who are fit enough to negotiate the fence. Deploy a sensor system on the fence to alert agents when a person or persons are attempting to climb, or tamper with the fence. Deploy cameras providing overlapping view sheds of the fence to provide enhance surveillance and compliment detection capabilities. Deploy visual deterrence systems (lights that may be activated by camera operators) for nighttime deterrence, and audio systems (speakers that allow operators to “talk” to potential illegal entrants to let them know they have been detected and will face arrest if they continue into the U.S. Deploy agents in a mobile capacity, patrolling the fence and responding when the technology systems detect an illegal entry.

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Projected Results: • Those who attempt to negotiate the levee wall will require equipment or assistance from others, thereby increase the level of difficultly and frustration of the criminal element. Routinely patrolling both sides of this fence will add to its effectiveness. Significantly fewer agents will be required to maintain control in the immediate area. Agents will be available to expand operations to the rural flanks to address the shift in smuggling patterns. Create the potential to re-allocate several million dollars in yearly salaries for a one-time cost of technology and tactical infrastructure deployment. The Sector Chief anticipates that upon implementation of this infrastructure and redeployment of personnel resources, the border security status will increase from “Initial Control Capabilities Established” to “Effective control”. The redeployment of personnel resources will lead to an increased level of “Effective Control” of other areas as well.

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