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Homeland Security Sec. John Kelly promised agency employees during his inaugural visit to the southern border on Wednesday that he will regularly travel down there to take inventory of U.S. border security efforts.

“I’ll be down a lot,” Kelly told an estimated 30 senior officials from various DHS agencies at the Wednesday morning meeting at the Texas Department of Public Safety headquarters in Weslaco, Texas, located nine miles north of Mexico.

Kelly, who succeeded former DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson, said the agency should not be focused on public opinion or lawmakers’ views of the border enhancements President Trump ordered last week.

“A lot of people, speaking of Washington, have a lot of opinions about this border. The only opinion, in my view, that counts right now are from the people that work this border, the Texas public safety, DHS, that’s why I’m here,” Kelly told the roomful of officials.

“There’s a lot of people to talk to about the wall and a lot of other types of aspects about the border. I’m down here to find out. I suspect I have a pretty good idea, but there’s nothing like talking to the men and women who get dirty every day doing the nation’s work.”

The retired Marine Corps general served in the United States Southern Command for three years and said his experiences working south of the U.S. border kept him in close contact with Johnson on what the agency was facing.

“I’m very, very aware of everything from drug trafficking flow to the people flow,” Kelly said.

“Jeh Johnson, my predecessor, and I, long, long before I thought I would get another job, he and I were in constant contact about the border and really collaborative between SouthComm and DHS. Oftentimes, I tell people I talked to Jeh at least weekly, on a regular basis, and never had a conversation with DOD about my job. That’s how close we worked with DHS.”

Kelly’s strategy as DHS chief will likely be much different than Johnson’s as Trump and Obama have expressed different priorities for how to manage national security and immigration policy.

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Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, also made a statement to Kelly and the DHS officials in attendance, joking first that after nearly two weeks on the job, “he hasn’t left yet.”

“We have some folks from the Rio Grande Valley with us today. And I know an issue they are concerned about: that is we want to achieve safety and security, but we also want to promote economic development. Mexico is our largest trading partner. We need to, I think, ensure we are able to continue that very effective trade. At the same time, we have so many Texans being so concerned with our border being completely overrun with more than a thousand people a day crossing the border,” Abbott said.

“These are people who aren’t just coming across from Mexico, these are people who are coming across from the entire world, and we are thankful to you, to your commitment, to the president and his commitment and your entire team for working collaboratively with us on achieving common goals to make sure that we regain the sovereignty and control of our border and keep our people safe.”

Kelly was shown a Powerpoint presentation titled “Operation Secure Texas,” before being taken by a Vietnam-era UH-1 Huey helicopter for an aerial tour of the Rio Grande Valley region of the border. Then the governor and Kelly received a safety briefing by DHS agent Pete Barrientes, before Kelly and other aides board the helicopter and strapped in.

Kelly will be in Houston on Sunday for the SuperBowl game, which is heavily policed by local and federal law enforcement.

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