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SILVESTRE REYES WASHINGTON OFFICE:

16TH DISTRICT,TEXAS 2433 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING


WASHINGTON, D C 2051 5
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES (202) 225-4831
FAX: (202) 225-2016
RANKING MEMBER
SUBCOMMI~EEON STRATEGICFORCES

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FAX: (915) 534--7426

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ON INTELLIGENCE

August 1,2006

The Honorable Michael Chertoff The Honorable Alberto Gonzales


Secretary Attorney General
U.S. Department of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20528 Washington, DC 20530

Dear Secretary Chertoff and Attorney General Gonzales,

With the federal courts in the Southwest border region in desperate need of additional
manpower and assistance, I want to congratulate you for your plans to dedicate 25 additional
Assistant United States Attorneys to the Southwest border to prosecute immigration-related
offenses and drug-trafficking organizations. The five federal law enforcement districts along the
border, and in particular the Western District of Texas, which includes my congressional district
of El Paso, have long been overworked and overburdened. These new prosecutors will provide
our courts with much-needed support and relief, and I applaud you for assigning these new
positions.

As a 26 ?4year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, I have a unique perspective on


the challenges facing law enforcement personnel in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Throughout
my tenure in Congress, I have worked to provide additional federal resources to increase the
number of federal attorneys in the border region, as well as address the security and law
enforcement needs of the border as a whole. We must continue an open dialogue on these
critical subjects, and I hope to continue working with you in a collaborative manner to assist the
hardworking men and women of the Southwest border. It is important that the federal
government provide all components necessary for law enforcement and the judiciary to prosecute
crime and serve justice in a timely manner.

As you know, an important element to meeting those needs is the enforcement of our
federal employer sanctions laws. Today, these programs are woefully underfunded and
understaffed; however, when I served as Sector Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol in Texas in the
1990s, employer sanctions successfully resulted in a significant decrease in illegal immigration.
The time is long-overdue to enforce these laws, and as the leaders of the U.S. Departments of
Justice and Homeland Security, I ask you to work together over the next 30 days to identifj and
assign 1,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators across the country to enforce
our employer sanctions laws. This act will remove the "pull factor" that brings law-abiding

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citizens to this country illegally to seek work, and will enable the U.S. Border Patrol to focus on
those few who cross our Southern border seeking to do us harm.

I also ask that you make a formal recommendation to Congress citing the number of U.S.
Marshals, judges, and personnel required by the Bureau of Prisons to address the growth that
these additional prosecutors and employer sanctions will facilitate. As law enforcement efforts
and incarcerations in the border region continue to grow, we must plan for the ever increasing
needs of federal judiciary personnel and the Bureau of Prisons. The Bureau of Prisons is already
facing severe budget shortfalls, and we cannot increase their mission without increasing their
funding.

Thank you for your continued efforts serving our country, and I look forward to working
with you in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 202-225-4831 with any questions

Member of Congress

cc: The Honorable George W. Bush


Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
Representative Peter T King (R-NY), Chairman, House Committee on Homeland Security
Representative F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary