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From: COLBURN, RONALD (

To: SELF, JEFFREY(b (b) (6) ; ADAMS, ROWDY (b (b) (6) A;


(b) (6)
Cc: (b) (6) VITIELLO, RONALD (
Subject: FW: letter sent to S1 from the Texas Border Coalition
Date: Wednesday, December 26, 2007 2:41:09 PM

FYI

_____________________________________________
From: BELLOCCHI, LUKE
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2007 2:14 PM
To: AGUILAR, DAVID V; COLBURN, RONALD S; 'GIDDENS, GREGORY'; ADAMS, ROWDY D; (b) (6)

Cc: (b) (6) PAGAN, DAVID G.; (b) (6)


Subject: letter sent to S1 from the Texas Border Coalition

Heads up - you may be interested in the letter sent to S1 from the Texas Border Coalition (Mayor
Eagle Pass, Chair)

December 19, 2007

The Honorable Michael Chertoff


Secretary
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As you know, the United States Congress and President George Bush will enact HR 2764, the
Consolidated Fiscal 2008 Appropriations Act, within hours.

When enacted, Section 564 of the law will require you to “consult with the Secretary of the Interior, the
Secretary of Agriculture, States, local governments, Indian tribes, and property owners in the United
States to minimize the impact on the environment, culture, commerce, and quality of life for the
communities and residents located near the sites at which such fencing is to be constructed.”

The law will further provide that no funds appropriated for U.S. Customs and Border Protection "Border
Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology" may be obligated unless this provision has been
complied with.

As you know, the Texas Border Coalition is made up of elected officials serving the people of the cities
and counties of the Texas-Mexico border. Our communities have forged a strong consensus on both the
need to secure our borders and the need to approach border security problems from a point of view of
practicality and effectiveness. As local leaders, we deal with border security in a real world, practical
environment every day, and our proximity to the problem provides us with insights that we have shared
with Administration and Congressional officials.

We have long contended that it would be counter-productive for Washington to dictate the design and
location of a 700-mile fence without consultation with state and local officials or consideration of viable
alternatives. Over the past several months, we have proposed alternatives to improve border security
without incurring the cost and headaches that a Washington-dictated solution would create over private
property rights and environmental concerns. We continue to work hard to develop ideas that will serve
the needs of our cities and counties and the national security interests of the United States.
We write you in order to offer our assistance in the immediate implementation of Section 564. We
recently wrote you asking for a meeting to discuss issues related to the border wall, and have not yet
received a reply. We urge you to not delay in replying to our proposal for immediate consultation.

We suggest a series of meetings to implement a real consultative process as required by Section 564.
We propose a scoping meeting in Washington the week of January 21 and a series of meetings in each
of the counties affected by the proposed walls in the Rio Grande Valley, Del Rio and Marfa Sectors,
beginning the first week of February. While we can hardly speak for the State of Texas, we suggest that
we conclude the consultation in a series of meeting with affected elected officials and permitting
agencies located in Austin in April.

In order to assure that the consultation is authentic, we believe that your department should
immediately withdraw the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for possible fence construction
proposed for the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas published on the
department’s behalf on November 16, 2007. As you know, that document categorically rejects all
suggested alternatives to the department’s proposed route and construction of the border wall in the
Rio Grande Valley sector. To leave that document pending (or worse, to continue its completion) during
the consultative process would predetermine the outcome, which should be unacceptable to all parties
involved.

I look forward to your response to our offer to begin the process of implementing Section 564
immediately.

Sincerely,

Chad Foster
Chairman of the Texas Border Coalition and
Mayor of the City Eagle Pass, Texas

Luke Peter Bellocchi

Assistant Commissioner, Congressional Affairs

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)