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Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas makes long awaited first visit to Yuma Sector

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Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, center, meets with Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls, left, and Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Chris Clem at U.S. Border Patrol Sector Headquarters in Yuma on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022.

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security made his first visit to the Yuma Sector on Wednesday. The visit included a tour of the border and a meeting with local leaders.

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had a full day in Yuma. He and U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz met with Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Chris Clem and agents early in the morning, then received a land, water and air tour of part of the 126-mile-long sector. Mayorkas later met with agents at the Wellton station.

DHS did not respond to multiple requests to speak with Mayorkas. In a video posted on his Twitter account, Mayorkas said "I traveled on land, on the water, in the air with our courageous and dedicated U.S. Border Patrol agents today in the Yuma Sector. It was an astonishing and impressive visit."

"I learned a tremendous amount and we're going to get these agents out in the field where they belong, where they are using their talents, their training," Mayorkas continued. "They're applying everything they've learned for the benefit of the people of the counties they serve. That's what I need to do for them."

Mayorkas ended his day at a meeting with Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls and other area leaders. Nicholls said the visit signals a stronger federal response following his issuance of a local state of emergency last month.

“It's a signal that we're getting to the decision makers," Mayor Nicholls said. "We're getting the attention we need as a section of the border and that our issues our being presented directly, without any filter."

Mayorkas' visit comes as the Yuma Sector continues to see a large number of migrants coming to the border near Yuma and the border town of San Luis.

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