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From: (b) (6)

To: Self, Jeffrey D; (b) (6)
Subject: Fw: "Miscellaneous" hearing set in border land fight
Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:31:24 AM

Info on files for Brownsville...going well.

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From: (b) (6)
To: (b) (6) (b) (6) (b) (6) (b) (6)
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(b) (6)
Sent: Tue Jan 22 06:20:12 2008
Subject: FW: 'Miscellaneous' hearing set in border land fight

Good morning.

DOJ has notified us that the judge assigned to the condemnation cases filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division, has set a hearing at the Court in Brownsville for
Friday, January 25th at 1:30 pm on the government’s motion for delivery of possession.

The judge intends to hold one hearing for all of the cases filed to determine whether to grant
immediate possession. DOJ has requested that (b) (6) (the Deputy PM for SBI Tactical
Infrastructure), because he signed the Declarations, and possibly someone else be present at the
hearing to provide support and to serve as witnesses, if necessary.

The AUSA expects the hearing on possession to be well attended by landowners, advocacy groups, and
the local press. This may be an opportunity to address the public misconceptions.

The Judge will officially schedule (docket) the hearing on the court's calendar and notice of the
scheduling will be sent to the known owners by court officials or the AUSA. In addition, the
Government - through USACE - will be contacting the owners.

Below is the first article we have found on the upcoming hearing.

(b) (6)

Secure Border Initiative

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

(b) (6)

For more information about the Secure Border Initiative, visit
<> or contact us at <mailto:SBI> .

‘Miscellaneous’ hearing set in border land fight

BY EMMA PEREZ-TREVIÑO/The Brownsville Herald <>
January 21, 2008 - 11:12PM
Liza Longoria/The Brownsville Herald
Adalberto Mendoza over looks property owned by his mother Elia F. Mendoza at Los Ranchitos
Subdivision on Monday.
A “miscellaneous” hearing for 12 local property owners being sued by the government for access to
their land is scheduled for Friday in federal court.

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking immediate access to public and private lands that
edge the U.S.-Mexico border here in order to begin surveying for a planned border fence. The
government’s lawsuit threatens temporary possession of the land in order to gain entry without
requiring the owners’ permission or a court hearing.

The U.S. District Clerk’s Office entered notice Monday that the 12 condemnation cases filed Thursday
and Friday will be discussed at 1:30 p.m. Friday before U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen at the
federal courthouse on East Harrison Street.

The suit comes after DHS tried to secure permission from property owners resisting the border fence
efforts. Though the government is not yet seeking to purchase the land, they will pay a small fee for its
temporary use, if they secure court orders.

Property owners are denouncing the legal maneuver they see as government strong-arming.

Elia F. Mendoza did not respond to the government’s request to access her property, a tract of land off
of Military Highway. The lawsuit means they are no longer seeking her permission.

“Why are they asking me then?” Mendoza said Monday from Las Vegas, Nev., where she lives.

“I should be able to dispose of my property,” she said. “I’m supposed to be in a free country. This is not
Cuba or other dictatorship.”

Mendoza’s plot of land measures about 100 feet by 960 feet and sits about 15 miles outside Brownsville
in an area known as Los Ranchitos Subdivision. DHS is seeking possession of a little more than ¾ of an

She bought the property in the early 1990s for more than $30,000 and asserted Monday that, “If they
want it, they should pay for it.”

The $100 that DHS has deposited for the proposed temporary use of the land for six months is an,
“insult,” Mendoza said.

“They should pay well,” she said, indicating that there if there are millions of dollars to build a fence,
there also should be ample funds to pay a fair amount for the properties.

If the government decides it will condemn the land to move forward with construction, they would pay a
price established through court proceedings for the 159.29 acres in question.

Property owners named in the federal lawsuit.

Elia F. Mendoza, of Valle Hermoso, Mexico, Brownsville, and Las Vegas, Nev.
Betty L. Morgan, Harlingen
Brownsville Public Utilities Board
Betty Yoder Mikkelsen and Gretchen Yoder, Minnesota
Guadalupe Rojas, Los Indios
Alvaro Hernandez, Matamoros
Ivonne Guadalupe Paredes Martinez, Brownsville
Consuelo Soto, Brownsville
Miguel A. Ortiz and Jose Antonio Ortiz, Brownsville
Jones & Jones Properties Inc., (as an agent of Maria P. Ayala), Garland

R.C. Smith Trust of Garland

Daniel Yturria and Richard Butler, Yturria Land & Cattle Co., Brownsville