Secretary of Homeland Security visits San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Secretary of Homeland Security visits San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — A day before the President tours the border, a top member of his cabinet was in San Diego on Monday.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen spent the morning at the U.S. Coast Guard base.

It was Nielsen's first visit to San Diego as Homeland Security Secretary. Not only did she speak to members of the Coast Guard, but she also went out on the water with them to see how they track down and stop illegal activity.

News 8 followed behind Nielsen as she got a first-hand look at the Coast Guard's maritime security response team - one of just two specialized units in the United States.

Known as MSRT they respond to cases involving drug smuggling and illegal immigration, which may be the main reason behind the secretary's last-minute visit.

It coincides with President Trump's planned tour of the border wall prototypes on Tuesday.

Prior to being on the water, Nielsen was on board a helicopter taking a look at the prototypes herself.

Following her aerial tour, Nielsen addressed hundreds of coast guard members saying her first priority as Homeland Security Secretary is border security.

"True border security involves a wall system, which of course includes the physical infrastructure, but also mission-ready agents, patrol roads, sensor technology and support resources," Nielsen said.

Nielsen told the crowd she's also focused on encountering terrorism, preparing for natural disasters and combating cyber threats.

"A cyber-attack could in fact, today, have catastrophic effects on public health, safety, national security and our democracy," Nielsen said.

She reiterated the importance of working together - that includes reaching across the aisle when it comes to immigration reform.

"That's why we're committed to working with Congress on both sides of the aisle," said Nielsen. "This should not be a political issue to find legislative solutions to existing laws that are incompatible with public safety."

The secretary spent the rest of her day meeting citizen immigration services. Tuesday, she will be with President Trump as he tours the border wall prototypes.

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