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From: To: Subject: Date:

(b) (6) (b) (6)

Self, Jeffrey D RE: McAllen or bust? Monday, October 08, 2007 3:18:52 PM

(b) , (6) Is there any way to find out if S1 will be at the memorial on Wednesday or in McAllen? (b) (6) -----------------------------------------(b) (6) Assistant Chief Office of Border Patrol Desk: (b) (6) (b) (6) Outlook/cc mail: (b) (6) -----Original Message----From: (b) (6) <DHS Detail> (b) (6) Sent: Monday, October 08, 2007 11:14 AM To: Self, Jeffrey D; (b) (6)
Subject: Fw: McAllen or bust? Importance: High This must be what got it started...

(b) (6) Assistant Chief CBP Liaison to DHS (b) (6) (b) (6) cell (b) (6)

----- Original Message ----From: CBPTASKING <(b) (6) To: (b) (6) Cc: (b) (6) Sent: Mon Oct 08 11:05:17 2007 Subject: Fw: McAllen or bust? OBP,

>

Please see the below email trail and respond details on the levee/grant issue as discussed in the article. What are the facts and what can we do about anything right now? Thank you, (b) (6) Sent on behalf of CBPtasking Office of the Commissioner

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (b) (6) (b) (6) ----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: CBPTASKING Sent: Mon Oct 08 11:00:42 2007 Subject: Fw: McAllen or bust? Let's get OBP on this right away... ----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: (b) (6) Sent: Mon Oct 08 08:41:38 2007 Subject: Fw: McAllen or bust?

(b) (6) Could you help me with the questions posed below? Basically, the team would like details on the levee/grant issue as discussed in the article pasted below. What are the facts and what can we do about anything right now?
Thanks, (b) (6) ----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: (b) (6)

Cc: (b) (6) Sent: Mon Oct 08 08:33:00 2007 Subject: Re: McAllen or bust? I agree w/ (b) We really need (b) (6) CBP, FEMA's input before we can (6) S1. Looping (b) and (b) put this to (b) in to start the review (6) process w/(6) components this morning. (6)

(b) : we need (b) to go w/ (b) . Has anyone spoke to (b) (6) (6) (6) (6) ----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) > To: (b) (6)
Cc: (b) (6) Sent: Mon Oct 08 08:28:18 2007 Subject: Re: McAllen or bust? Further thoughts:

?

-I really don't know the levee / grant issue, so someone really needs to take a look and see what the story is on our side before we recommend the trip -I think the last time he was on the TX border was in Feb when he went

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to Laredo (b) , please correct me if I'm wrong), so perhaps this would be a good(6) for him to head back down to another effected are just time before "state of the border" speech Hopeful, I help.

(b) (b) (6)

----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: (b) (6) Cc: (b) (6) Sent: Mon Oct 08 08:14:39 2007 Subject: Re: McAllen or bust? If the Secretary is willing to come down, I'm sure they're willing to make the schedule what it needs to be. So, what if it looked like: 0700 0900 0930 1045 1100 1215 1300 1700 wheels up arrive begin ground tour end ground tour roundtable (closed press) press wheels up arrive

Is that what y'all need? Honestly, I think they'll do whatever works for the Secretary's schedule. They'll just need to know as soon as we do so they can re-orient all of their players. Recent relevant AP article below as well in case hepful for others. -------------------Fixing levees could solve border-fence dispute, officials say BY SUZANNE GAMBOA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Beefing up neglected levees on the Rio Grande could help resolve a dispute over the planned U.S.-Mexico border fence, South Texas officials said Wednesday.

Restored levees could give agencies a better perch for monitoring illegal crossings and protect U.S. residents from floods caused by

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breaches of the levees, the officials say.

"Instead of having the federal government spend millions on the wall, why don't they restore the levee system?" Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos asked in a phone interview.

Cascos and others have raised the issue with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who plans to be in McAllen next week.

Cascos said he wants Cornyn and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, to ask for a moratorium on construction of the fence in South Texas.

That would give the International Boundary and Water Commission, a U.S-Mexico agency that regulates the Rio Grande, time to study the effect of levee improvements on flood protection and border security.

"He makes a very good case that the levee system along the Rio Grande River ... that we have to look at that as perhaps the way to deal with border security in a way that might reduce or eliminate the need for fencing in some areas," Cornyn said.

Cornyn said building up the levee system would probably cost about $200 million. Estimates for building a 700-mile fence on parts of the border range from $3 billion to as much as $30 billion.

Cornyn and Hutchison voted for the border fence legislation signed by President Bush last year, but both have said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff should seek local input on where it's built.

U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, secured a House provision in the Homeland Security spending bill that would require officials to seek local input before getting money for the fence. Bush has threatened to veto the bill.

Hutchison is also trying to secure a provision requiring Homeland Security to consider local concerns, but her measure isn't tied to funding.

Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas said he has been raising the issue of the deteriorating levees with U.S. officials for months.

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Voters passed a $100 million bond issue last year that includes $40 million for restoring levees in the county.

"It's very frustrating that they have money for the wall and fence but don't have it for the levees," Salinas said.

The earthen levees would rise up to 18 feet or so in Hidalgo County, giving Border Patrol agents a better perch from which to monitor illegal border crossings.

"If the levee system is built up, [agents] would have a cleaner line of sight," Salinas said.

Hutchison helped get about $2.44 million for levee repair on the U.S.-Mexico border last year.

She got another $10 million in this year's foreign operations spending bill passed by the Senate. The House wants to provide $15 million.

The money goes to the International Boundary and Water Commission.

Officials with the commission have said a border fence could exacerbate flooding and skew the location of the border.

A 1970 treaty with Mexico prohibits construction of anything that could deflect or obstruct water flow or harm the other side.

Sally Spener, the commission's spokeswoman, said the agency is working with Homeland Security to design a fence to serve both agencies' missions. It would also be designed so as not to obstruct or deflect the flow of the Rio Grande, as required by the treaty.

She also said the agency has begun restoring levees.

But Salinas said restoration is happening because Hidalgo voters spent

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local tax money.

"If the [commission] is trying to work with Homeland Security to design a fence or structure, we need to know because we are paying the bill," Salinas said.

Improvements on the U.S. side would require the same on the Mexican side to prevent floodwaters from deluging Mexico.

----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: (b) (6) Sent: Sun Oct 07 23:19:18 2007 Subject: Re: McAllen or bust? Yes...yes...this whole Columbus Day thing throws me off.

----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: (b) (6) Sent: Sun Oct 07 23:10:33 2007 Subject: Re: McAllen or bust? Just to clarify we would possibly RON on Tues....not Mon :) ----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: (b) (6) Sent: Sun Oct 07 23:07:04 2007 Subject: Re: McAllen or bust? I definitely think we can make it work, I think we manage to make everything work...we are just that good! Seriously, we just need a start time down there and we can work around that. We may need to go down Monday night and RON. To make it back for a 6pm event in DC, we need to leave TX by 1pm to be safe. It is a 3 hour flight with a 1 hour time change. We have a CG if we really need one, although they would rather not fly. ----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: (b) (6)

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(b) (6) Sent: Sun Oct 07 22:52:10 2007 Subject: Re: McAllen or bust?
Looping in (b) (6) .. -

I think we need a rough trip outline first to send to other offices (FEMA\(b) (6) ) for recommendation first - then address it with (b) (6) then S1. I think we need this as close to first thing tomorrow to get proper recommendation\approval....and then send advance out...etc

(b) - what are your thoughts from a logistical stand point? Could we (6) him back for his official dinner at 600? get
----- Original Message ----From: (b) (6) To: (b) (6) Sent: Sun Oct 07 22:45:03 2007 Subject: McAllen or bust? I'm sorry to bug y'all on a three day weekend... Senator Cornyn's original plan was to do about an hour ground tour, and then an hour roundtable about levees and fence, and then press. But, I know he would change to whatever necessary, if the Secretary was coming down. The question is then, is it worth the Secretary's time to recommend he do it, right? As I've dug more, seems like more folks would need to weigh in here. In addition to the usual OLA/IGA/CBP fence issue, there is a water levees / FEMA grants issue at play which I know nothing about. Also, as you're the gurus, the simple logistics are tight on timing here. (b) I know you were checking on flights. How did that go? (6) I've got the currently invited participants for the Cornyn organized events below. What else do you need from me?

(b) (b) (6)
-----------------The CBP-lead ground tour participants included: -Senator Cornyn, spouse, and staff -Judge Carlos Cascos, Cameron Co -Judge J.D. Salinas, Hidlago Co -Judge Eloy Vera, Star Co -Hidalgo Co levy director -Dumphrey Garza -International and Boundary Water Commission Commissioner Carlos Marin, P.E. The roundtable included all of the above plus: -CBP -FEMA -Army Corps -Mayor Pat Ahumada, City of Brownsville

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-Mayor Richard Cortez, City of McAllen -Mayor Leopoldo "Polo" Palacios, City of Pharr -Mayor John David Franz, City of Hidalgo - Representatives from the offices of Senator Hutchison and Congs. Ortiz, Cuellar and Hinojosa

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