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Vice President, Ducey Challenge Congress On Border

Vice President Mike Pence met with Gov. Doug Ducey and federal immigration officials along Arizona’s border with Mexico on Thursday.

Flanked by a group of olive-uniformed Border Patrol agents and with the border fence topped in concertina wire as the backdrop, Pence called on Congress to harden immigration rules against asylum seekers.

"What we’ve got to do, we’ve gotta continue to build a wall. We’ve gotta continue to give these men and women the resources they need to do their job. But Congress has got to act," Pence said.

Pence said the Trump administration is not considering separating migrant families again. But he urged Congress to change the Flores Agreement, a 22-year-old court settlement that established the rules under which immigrant children could be held. And he called for faster deportation proceedings to Central American countries.

The governor agreed with Pence. "I’m proud of so much that’s happening in Arizona. I’m not proud of this dangerous poison that’s coming across our southern border, so I join you and the president in calling on Congress to quit playing games and close these loopholes and to act," Ducey said.

Trump administration officials have been delivering much the same message along the border region. Pence’s tour of the border was the first since the Homeland Security secretary resigned her position Sunday.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.