After a short stop in San Antonio on Friday morning, Vice President Mike Pence visited the Texas-Mexico border as part of his two-day tour in the Lone Star State.
The vice president met with border law enforcement and was briefed on the need for resources to fight drug and human smuggling.
Pence, accompanied by his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, and Senator Ted Cruz, landed in McAllen at 3 p.m. where they were received by local officials and members of the public.
The VP was transported by motorcade to the Hidalgo International Port of Entry where he learned about the processing of immigrants entering the country.
It was at a round table discussion with local and federal law enforcement officials after a walk through the facility that Pence was briefed on the progress and needs of the busiest sector of the southern border.
“It is important to note Customs and Border Protection actually apprehends more than 1,100 people crossing the border illegally every day,” Pence said.
According to Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol Chief Manuel Padilla, the area is leading the nation in drug seizures and undocumented immigrant arrests, including MS-13 gang members.
“It’s a safe area,” Chief Padilla said. “However, the border needs a lot of work still, and some of that work is what we call the personnel, technology, and infrastructure, and some of that is the wall system.”
Chief Padilla hopes that the vice president can better understand conditions on the ground and the challenges of patrolling a porous border.
Border officials say that the current version of the border wall is incomplete based on their actual needs. Pence believes that President Trump’s approach to border security is the best offer.
After spending three hours at the Texas-Mexico border, Pence departed to Dallas.
The vice president said that he would take what he learned from the border to Washington to help push for better border security legislation and immigration reform.