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Dec 21, 2013 12:50 PM by Associated Press

US congressman invites new DHS leader to Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona Congressman Ron Barber is extending an invitation to the new secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to tour an area of the international border that's plagued by drug smuggling and illegal crossings.

Barber, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent his offer Friday in a letter to Jeh Johnson, who was confirmed as secretary earlier this week.

Barber says the area of the border he represents is porous and continues to have one of the highest rates of apprehension for people who are entering the country illegally. He says touring the area will give Johnson a firsthand look at the conditions.

According to figures released this week by the Obama administration, the Border Patrol made more than 409,000 arrests during the budget year that ended in September.

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