CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence: 6/29/10 - TRLA Tells Border Landowners Not to Be Intimidated by DHS Threats Redacted) 2

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CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; FOIA Request: CREW: U.S. Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Regarding Border Fence; Holder of Document: CREW; Producing Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Date Received: 6/29/10;
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  From: PAGAN, DAVID To:Subject: TRLA tells border landowners not to be intimidated by DHS threats Date: Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:19:28 AM TRLA tells border landowners not to be intimidated by DHS threats9 January 2008Steve TaylorBROWNSVILLE, January 9, 2008 - Texas RioGrande Legal Aid has told borderlandowners not to be intimidated by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’slatest threats of legal action. “Chertoff is mischaracterizing this process the way that he has mischaracterized theprocess all along,” said TRLA attorney Emily Rickers. “It’s not that people are being uncooperative it’s that it’s the government’s obligationto prove to a judge that they need access to that land. If people do not want tocooperate they do not have to. They should not be intimidated by his rhetoric.” ***Peter Schey, executive director of The Center for Human Rights and ConstitutionalLaw, warned Chertoff in a letter Monday that Tamez will take court action underdomestic and international laws to protect her land rights.Officials are considering building the fence north of a levee that crosses theproperty, which she fears would make much of her land inaccessible. She was toldshe could get access to the land south of the fencing through a gate that would bemanned and be located 3 miles from her property. Here we are, American citizens, and have to go through a checkpoint to go throughour own property, Tamez said. If they come in and do all that they are going to,they'll leave me with nothing. Even though it may be small, I stand to lose more. *** Schey said Chertoff should have to start over with his border fence plans because of that law and first hold serious consultation with possibly affected landowners andothers who may be affected. By then Chertoff won't have his job anymore and we will have a new administrationand the new administration will take a look at the need for this wall, Schey said.TRLA has been meeting with Valley landowners to explain their legal rights. TRLA attorney Rebecca Webber said not all border landowners have been sent letters bythe federal government threatening legal action.Webber said a group of residents in Granjeno, a small community south of Mission,have so far been left alone. Many Granjeno residents can trace their land titles back to Spanish land grants. (b) (6)(    “Perhaps some landowners have not been served letters because the governmentknows the landowners are extremely well-organized and they do not want a fight,” Webber said. “Our advice to all landowners is do not be intimidated. People have rights and weare ready to assist them.” 
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