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Homeland Security Chief to Visit Texas Border

Johnson is scheduled to make a similar visit in Arizona

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014  |  Updated 1:03 PM CDT
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Homeland Security Chief to Visit Texas Border

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Former Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee during his confirmation hearing to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. If confirmed by the Senate, Johnson would replace Secretary Janet Napolitano who left DHS in September.

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U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is to tour the Texas-Mexico border and receive a briefing on border security operations in South Texas.

Johnson's Tuesday visit would follow the Border Patrol's release Friday of the final 2013 immigrant arrest numbers, which showed a 16 percent increase. The Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector, which encompasses the southernmost tip of Texas, has become the busiest segment of the Southwest border for illegal immigration.

The increase has largely been driven by Central American immigrants entering the United States illegally in South Texas.

The budget bill signed by President Barack Obama on Friday includes funding for 2,000 additional customs officers at the nation's ports of entry.

Johnson is scheduled to make a similar visit to Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday.

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