Speaker Ryan and his congressional delegation arrived in McAllen, Texas, on a record hot February day—98 degrees—with a busy schedule ahead of them. They came to listen and to learn from the experts who know best about border security. Now, in eight photos, here is what the speaker saw and did during his tour of the Rio Grande Valley.
1. Arrival - Speaker Ryan meets with men and women charged with keeping the border secure. Here, Chief Ronald Vitiello of the U.S. Border Patrol welcomes him to McAllen Station.
2. Aerial Observation - Chairman Michael McCaul of the House Homeland Security Committee and Speaker Ryan tour the Rio Grande Valley in a Black Hawk helicopter for a bird's eye view of the topographical and logistical challenges with keeping the border secure.
3. Horse Patrol - Because of the terrain in South Texas, sometimes the best technology to get around is simply a horse. The Rio Grande Valley Horse Patrol has almost 40 horses that are adopted from the wild and trained for the field, and as the speaker attested after his own ride on one, "Those mustangs are great movers."
4. River Tour - Speaker Ryan tours the Rio Grande in a U.S. Border Patrol boat. The Rio Grande Valley Sector is responsible for operations along 316 river miles and leads the nation in deterred illegal entries, apprehensions, and narctocs seizures. Photo by NBC News
5. Security Briefing - Chief Manuel Padilla of the Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol briefs the congressional delegation on both the challenges and the success stories of securing the border in South Texas. In total, the RGV sector has more than 3,000 agents, covers more than 300 miles of territory, and has constructed 54 miles of fencing.
6. McAllen Station - The McAllen Station is responsible for protecting and defending the homeland for a 53-mile stretch along the Rio Grande. Here, Chief Padilla explains the processing system for illegal immigrants who are apprehended by the RGV Border Patrol.
7. Local Leaders - Speaker Ryan meets with local leaders to listen and learn more about the challenges they face in their communities along the border. Several city and county elected officials were in attendance, as well as Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville and Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.
8. Speaker Selfie - A Border Patrol agent takes a quick selfie with the speaker.
Following his tour of the Rio Grande Valley, Speaker Ryan praised the work of all the law enforcement working to protect our borders and reaffirmed Congress' commitment to supporting them in that effort.
BONUS VIDEO - Speaker Ryan takes a Border Patrol mustang for a ride.