The U.S. government is increasing security along part of the U.S.-Mexican border, in a bid to cut down on illegal immigration.

A new Homeland Security Department initiative will bring more agents, aircraft and technology to watch 420 kilometers of borderlands in the state of Arizona.

Those measures will be announced Wednesday, two days before a private group known as the Minuteman Project starts its own month-long Arizona border patrol.

Illegal immigration has become a more pressing issue in the United States as the number of people trying to enter through Mexico increases and officials warn that al-Qaida operatives may be among them.

Last year, the U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 500,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona alone. A Border Patrol spokesman, Andy Adame, predicts that number will rise once the new measures are implemented.