Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is traveling to the Southwest border this week to "inspect border security operations," the department announced.
The secretary will visit San Diego, Calif., on Monday and El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday to meet with locals and discuss the "on-going efforts to secure the border while facilitating lawful travel and trade."
Her visit comes a week after President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of senators unveiled separate immigration reform proposals. The senators' proposal says border security must be beefed up in unspecified ways before any of the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants would be allowed to apply for permanent legal status.
This could be a sticking point with the Obama administration, which frequently highlights record high numbers of border patrol agents on the ground and low numbers of apprehended border crossers to argue that the border is secure.