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OBP004652

ISSUE / BRIEFING TOPIC:


 Del Rio Sector has identified the need for just under 2 miles of pedestrian
fencing between the Cities of Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras. The
footprint of the proposed fencing addresses the nation’s security needs
but is also designed in a way to maximize aesthetics and minimize any
negative impact on the residents’ ability to access and use city parks and
public areas.

 There is a vocal opposition to fencing in Eagle Pass. This opposition is


led by the Mayor of Eagle Pass, Chad Foster. Misinformation is being
reported to the media and congress about fence location and outreach
efforts.

DESIRED OUTCOME:
 Short Term Objective - To correct the record by continuing to meet with
local officials and the public. To provide the most up to date, honest
information we can. Even though we are not in agreement with the official
City position on fencing, we have committed to maintaining an open and
honest dialogue.

 Mid Term Objective – To maintain a professional, positive relationship with


City Officials and the community even though there may be differences of
opinion on the need for fence.

 Long Term Objective – To complete the necessary land acquisition


process and construct the security fence.

BACKGROUND:
 Beginning August 2004, Del Rio Sector began to work on a Tactical
Infrastructure Project that included security fencing. City Officials
including the City Manager, City Planner and Parks and Recreation’s
Director were consulted and favored the idea.

 In January 2006 the City of Eagle Pass passed a resolution opposing the
construction of security fencing along the Rio Grande.

 June 2006, The City Council was formally requested to approve the
infrastructure project as a whole. It was not approved.

 In October 2006, the project was reintroduced and it was again defeated.
Mayor Foster voiced support for the project as a whole however he was
concerned about how fencing would be received in Piedras Negras.

Drafted by: (b) (6)


Date: 2/21/08
OBP004653

 In January 2007, the fencing segment was removed and the infrastructure
project which included brush clearing and lighting was re-introduced. It
was approved.

 In June 2007, Del Rio Sector requested the fencing be reintroduced into
the project. The request was denied.

 June 2007 to present, Ranch Liaison meetings, Rotary meetings,


individual discussions with City Council members and Mayor Foster have
all been conducted.

 June 2007 to present, Mayor Foster in his role as the Eagle Pass Mayor
and head of the Border Mayor’s Coalition has begun a campaign against
fencing. He has appeared on such programs as the O’Reilly Factor and
been interviewed and quoted many times in the newspaper. Often he
provides information that is not factual. He has also testified before
Congress.

 In January 2008, The U.S. Attorney’s Office initiated condemnation


proceeding against the City of Eagle Pass.

CHALLENGES / CONCERNS:
 Mayor Foster is rarely challenged on his views by the media, and has
been able to shape public opinion.

 CBP Public Affairs has been slow to offer specifics. They have often
responded stating that no final decision has been made yet. This has not
been well received locally and has led some to suspect deceit.

 We are uncertain as to the best method to forward information. We have


received requests from OBP, CBP PAO, SBI and the State and Local
Coordinator. We recently updated (b) (6) on a quick turn-around
basis as he preparing to testify before Congress and were advised that
some of the information we provide he had not previously seen.

 All the landowners who owned land that impacted by the proposed fencing
have signed ROEs, with the exception of the City of Eagle Pass. The City
property however operationally is the most important section of the
project. If for whatever reason we are not able to accomplish construction
of fencing on that location, it would be difficult to justify construction on
other parts of the project.

Drafted by: (b) (6)


Date: 2/21/08
OBP004654

OPTIONS:
 We have been able to mitigate some of the disinformation through
individual presentations with business leaders and public officials. We
intend to continue this approach as feedback indicates this has been
successful.

 We need to step up our public affairs outreach campaign, perhaps


considering official releases in major newspapers with as much specificity
as we are able.

 If possible we would like to single point of contact where we can send the
latest news clippings and updates. We don’t mind copying several people;
we’re just not sure who the primary POC is.

 Chief Hill cognizant of the history and issues surrounding this issues and
is able to speak on this as necessary.

RECOMMENDATION:
 We recommend the slow steady approach. Our message is consistent
and support of our project is increasing. We have an operational
requirement for fencing in this area and must remain steadfast and see
the project through completion even as it requires court action. We also
need to be able to more assuredly counter misinformation in the media on
a national level.

Drafted by: (b) (6)


Date: 2/21/08