Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico

Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico
© Getty Images

Vice President Pence was in Texas on Friday where he toured the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley alongside Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump's acting ICE chief to leave post Trump's fight with city leaders escalates Neo-Nazi pleads guilty to 'swatting' Black church, Cabinet official, journalists MORE.

During his trip, Pence held a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement on the challenges of enforcing border security and visited the Hidalgo Port of Entry, a major crossing between the U.S. and Mexico.

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Pence tweeted Friday that securing the United States' southern border was a matter of "vital national security."

"Heading to Texas to survey our nation’s border with @DHSgov @SecNielsen and to be briefed on potential security threats by U.S. Customs & Border Protection. It’s a matter of vital national security that we secure our border," Pence wrote.

Pence's trip to the border comes amid bipartisan discussions in Washington about an immigration deal, which Republicans and Democrats are hoping to reach before March 5.

That's the deadline that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE gave lawmakers to protect young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children currently covered under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump announced last year that he would end.

Earlier this week, a centrist immigration proposal spearheaded by GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsUnemployment debate sparks GOP divisions Obama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  MORE (Maine), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war Graham leads Democratic challenger Harrison by 1 point in South Carolina: poll The Global Fragility Act provides the tools to address long-term impacts of COVID MORE (S.C.) failed in the Senate by a vote of 54-45, while a proposal based on the White House immigration framework failed by a vote of 39-60. Both proposals needed 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle.

The Trump administration has indicated it is unlikely to extend DACA protections if Congress does not reach a deal before March.