Homeland Security Secretary, Governor in RGV for Border Tour
WESLACO – U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly joined Governor Greg Abbott on a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border. The two are in the Rio Grande Valley to meet with the men and women who are on the front lines of border security.
The border tour follows President Donald Trump’s signing of several executive actions aimed at stepping up border security. Those orders include a jump start for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and new clear definitions on how immigration laws are to be enforced.
The secretary and governor joined the RGV Sector Border Patrol Chief Manuel Padilla in a huey to take a tour of the region. Before the tour, Abbott introduced Kelly to a room full of law enforcement. Border Patrol, DPS, Texas Game Wardens and ICE officials were present.
DPS Director Steve McCraw introduced himself to the secretary as well. Abbott told the room the secretary was present to get input from the men and women who work along the border about how to secure it.
“But we also want to promote economic development. As you know, Mexico is our largest trade partner. We need to ensure that we are able to continue that very effective trade, but at the same time we have so many Texans who are concerned about our border being completely overrun with more than a 1,000 people a day crossing the border. And these are people who aren’t just coming across from Mexico, these are people who are coming across from the entire world,” Abbott said.
Secretary Kelly is a retired Marine Corps General. He served as commander of the U.S. Southern Command, responsible for defense in South and Central America. Because of that experience, he said, he’s familiar with the drug trafficking and human smuggling that affects the border in the Valley.
He told Abbott that he came to the area to get facts about what happens on the border.
“A lot of people, particularly in Washington, that have opinions about this border… The only opinions in my view that count right now are the people that work this border, whether the Texas Public Safety or DHS. That’s why I’m here. I’ll be here a lot,” Kelly said.
Governor Abbott headed back to Austin after his tour of the border. Secretary Kelly met with lawmakers, stakeholders and law enforcement in McAllen. He is returning to Washington D.C. to report the information he gathered.
Check back with CHANNEL 5 NEWS for more updates.