Homeland Security secretary to visit Ariz. border - FOX 35 News Orlando

Homeland Security secretary to visit Ariz. border

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File photo of Janet Napolitano File photo of Janet Napolitano
NOGALES, Ariz. -

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano heads to the Arizona-Mexico border on Tuesday.

The former Arizona governor will tour security operations in the Nogales area, but this is no run of the mill tour. A lot of people are watching this Arizona border tour with great interest.

Republicans in congress have said they can't move forward on immigration reform if the borders with Mexico aren't secure.

So are they? Depends on who you ask.

"That border is more secure than ever before," says Senator Steve Gallardo, D-District 20.

"If she comes back and says we have a secure border then this entire thing is a joke," says Rep. John Kavanagh, R-District 23.

Janet Napolitano is set to tour the border at Nogales with US Customs and Border officials Tuesday. A tour, State Representative Kavanagh says, is just politics.

"Clearly I think she's trying to sell the American public on the theory that the border is now secure, which is a critical part of President Obama's plan for legalization of roughly 11 million illegal aliens."

Democrat Senator Gallardo says Republicans are denying the Arizona border is secure for other reasons -- they don't want to move on immigration reform.

"Many members in congress want to use border security as an excuse from moving forward and doing their job and that is reforming the immigration process. We need immigration reform, we need it now," says Gallardo.

Representative Kavanagh says the border is more secure than it was several years ago, but he says it's not secure enough. He says he opposes the latest reform plan that he calls amnesty.

"I don't think you can let these people get in line in the country. If you jump the line in the movie theatre you don't get in line in the back row, you back outside behind those who waited lawfully."

The Arizona-Mexico border is becoming quite the political pawn as the debate on immigration reform continues.

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