Emails, Doug Mosier, public affairs officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Jan. 17, 2018


Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:11 PM


I’ll give this a go. I actually began working as a USBP public affairs officer in 1986. I’ve been here in El Paso since that time. Current title is down below.


I was actually the public affairs officer under then-El Paso Sector Chief Silvestre Reyes during those early days when Operation Hold-the-Line (HTL) was launched in September, 1993.

I can tell you HTL revolutionized the way that border security was conducted in terms of federal law enforcement prevention efforts. Chief Reyes had tried a similar strategy on a smaller scale when he was a Border Patrol Chief in McAllen, Texas, and it worked well for that community.


So, as the Chief of El Paso Sector in 1993, he essentially positioned as many U.S. Border Patrol agents as he could spare (approximately 250 agents) along a primary 20-mile stretch of border separating El Paso/Juarez, over a three-week period. The result was astounding, since illegal apprehensions immediately dropped by approximately 80-percent overnight. Crime and loitering also fell by the wayside in the downtown district, which was later substantiated in several surveys and polls taken by the El Paso Times, and the then--El Paso Herald Post.  At first the border community was in shock, but that soon gave way to widespread support which manifested in improved living conditions for residents in El Paso, and in some areas of N.M. The strategy was kept and was successful enough that a similar USBP operation (Gatekeeper) was instituted in San Diego.


When primary pedestrian fencing (18-feet) was implemented in 2008, it provided effective infrastructure in much-needed areas of the border. It also improved USBP effectiveness by better directing illegal immigration into areas where Border Patrol had more resources to monitor traffic via technology, aircraft, combined with increased agent personnel. We said at that time, and still say today that those combined resources, our strong working relationship with law enforcement partners , and the support by residents in El Paso were essential to the success of El Paso border security efforts.  


Thanks for the opportunity to search through the catacombs of my mind !



Douglas T. Mosier

CBP Office of Public Affairs

El Paso, Texas

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:28 PM


Subject: RE: edited info


This helps a lot.


Would it be accurate to say the new fencing (completed in 2010, is that right?) contributed to reduced apprehensions and less local crime and less drug smuggling?


OR: Would it be more accurate to say that the completed fencing flat-out caused all those effects?



4:38 p.m.

My recollection was 2008. Perhaps 2010, but know that replacement insfrastructure in El Paso has occurred periodically through the years. Each time that fencing is provided, then local efforts are made more efficient.

Those resources I mentioned,  the combination of infrastructure, agents, technology and aircraft can all be attributed as ingredients to the formula of success. Does fencing help? Absolutely.


Douglas T. Mosier

CBP Office of Public Affairs

J-6 Section Chief/ JTF-W NM/W-TX Corridor

El Paso, Texas