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Homeland security official visits Texas border

- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

MISSION, Texas (AP) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's second-in-command says border security remains a top priority for the administration of President Barack Obama.

Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (ah-lay-HAHN'-droh may-YOHR'-kahs) said Wednesday on a visit to the Anzalduas International Bridge in Mission that arrests of immigrants entering the country illegally are down 75 percent from their peak in 2000.

But Mayorkas was speaking in the Rio Grande Valley in southernmost Texas, the busiest illegal crossing point on the Southwest border. Arrests in the sector were up 58 percent last year, largely driven by Central American immigrants.

Department Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared at the same bridge Jan. 21.

Mayorkas visited Laredo on Tuesday to tout the nearly $62 million in the federal budget to expand and modernize two ports of entry there.

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