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OBP006323

ISSUE / BRIEFING TOPIC:

Addressing newspaper article claiming biases relevant to fence selection locations in RGV

DESIRED OUTCOME:

Show that current fence selection locations are based on operational need

Explain why certain locations are not feasible locations for fence footprint

BACKGROUND:

Texas Observer newspaper article (2/19/08) implied that CBP/USBP had purposely stopped the fence footprint short of locations where affluent people or people who were politically connected had a vested interest such as golf courses and an industrial park

RGV Field Commanders (PAICs) analyzed historic data and current trends in terms of cross-border activities

o

Intel

reports

o

Enforce

statistics

o

Field

knowledge

Geographic layout was taken into account (open fields vs. congested urban development)

o

Article claimed that an industrial park in the Mission, Texas area was also spared the fence (east of fence footprint)

o

Industrial park has wide open agricultural fields south of their location, making cross-border activity vulnerable to apprehension

o

Project O-5: Proposed POE in general area as well as established housing community (west of industrial park)

o

Article claimed that River Bend Resort enjoys no fence going through its property, while the fence footprint falls on both their sides

o

Project O-17: Proposed RR POE in general area (west of River Bend Resort)

o

Project O-17: Housing community (River Bend Resort) east of the proposed fence location on the south side of the levee (floodplain)—did not want to cut them off

o

Project O-19: UTB golf course on south side of levee (floodplain)— cannot build in the floodplain

Access to routes of egress once in the U.S. were considered

CHALLENGES / CONCERNS:

Newspaper article claimed that the affluent and the politically connected were spared being included in the fence footprint

Well detailed and written article tends to lead the average reader to believe that such claims are true

Drafted by:

Date: February 22, 2008

(b) (6)

OBP006324

OPTIONS:

Continue to proceed as currently positioned

o Pros—Stay

o Cons—Public may lose confidence in organization by appearing to

consistent

be callused

Respond directly to article comments

o

Pros—quash inaccurate statements

o

Cons-- Organizations appears to be heavily influenced by press

RECOMMENDATION:

Based on the information briefed, it is recommended that CBP, in conjunction with SBInet, continue to update the public through periodic responses to inquiries.

Drafted by:

Date: February 22, 2008

(b) (6)