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u.s.

Department of Homeland Security


Washington, DC 20229

u.s. Customs and


Border Protection

February 25, 2009

William C. Holmes
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
1400 Eye Street NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20005

Re: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Department ofHomeland


Security, No. 1:08-cv-0 1046.

Dear Mr. Holmes:

This is the fifth in a series of responses to the second part of your Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, dated March 17,
2008. You are seeking any and all records concerning Ray L. Hunt, and/or Hunt
Consolidated, Inc., or any properties known to be owned by Ray L. Hunt or Hunt
Consolidated, and any and all records, regardless of format, concerning deliberations,
standards, and criteria encompassing the decision-making process surrounding where SBI
fencing should be constructed along the U.S. border with Mexico.

On October 17, 2008, November 17,2008, December 17,2008, and January 16,
2009, we produced 1000 pages of records responsive to the second part of your request,
in which you seek any and all records concerning deliberations, standards, and criteria
encompassing the decision-making process surrounding where SBI fencing should be
constructed along the U.S. border with Mexico.

The instant response is the first production of email records responsive to the
second part of your request. The response consists of 1000 pages of emails identified by
CBP's Office ofInformation and Technology pursuant to a search for the emails of
twenty-five CBP employees involved in the border fence placement decision, and further
narrowed by keyword search terms. The instant response consists only of emails of
employees within the Office of Border Patrol. Of these emails, I determined that certain
documents are to be either partially withheld or withheld in their entirety pursuant to Title
5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(2), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (b)(7)(E). Records are withheld under FOIA
Exemption (b)(2) because they relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices
ofthe agency. Records are partially withheld under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5) because they
represent the agency's deliberative process, the release of which would discourage the
expression of candid opinions and inhibit the free and frank exchange of information
among agency personnel. Additionally, FOIA Exemption (b)(6) exempts from disclosure
personnel or medical files and similar files the release of which would cause a clearly
unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Finally, records are partially withheld under
FOIA Exemption (b)(7)(E), which protects records compiled for law enforcement
purposes, the release of which would disclose techniques or procedures for law
enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law
enforcement investigations or prosecutions, if such disclosure could reasonably be
expected to risk circumvention of the law.

Although I am aware that your request is the subject of ongoing litigation and that
appeals are not ordinarily acted on in such situations, I am required by statute and
regulation to inform you of your right to file an administrative appeal. If you are not
satisfied with my action on your request, you may administratively appeal from this
partial denial by writing to the FOIA Appeals Officer, Regulations and Rulings, Office of
International Trade, u.s. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW,
Mint Annex, Washington, D.C. 20229, within sixty (60) days after the date of this
determination letter. The appeal must be in writing and signed; contain your name and
address; date of the initial request; date and control number of the letter denying your
request; description of the records or information withheld; and reason(s) you believe that
the records or information should be disclosed. Your appeal letter and mailing envelope
should be marked "FOIA Appeal." Copies of the FOIA and DRS regulations are
available at www.dhs.gov/foia.

If you need to contact our office again about this matter, please refer to 1:08-cv-
01046. This office can be reached at (202) 344-2050.

Stephen S. Martin
Deputy Division Chief
Operations, Planning and Analyses
Office of Border Patrol
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Enclosure: Responsive Documents Compact Disc