Jeff Sessions urges DHS to increase prosecutions at US borders

Posted April 13, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Fox News' "Hannity" Tuesday night that the Trump administration is trying to send a strong message to anyone thinking of trying to enter America illegally.

Sessions said the administration will bring more felony prosecutions against immigrants entering the country illegally.

He said, "when we talk about MS-13 and the cartels, what do we mean?"

In a Tuesday speech at a Nogales, Arizona border port of entry, Sessions served notice that the Justice Department is cracking down on illegal immigration, and this time the gloves are off, with real felony charges looming instead of a slap on the wrist if they promise not to do it again.

Although studies show that immigrants are likely to commit significantly fewer violent crimes than citizens, you'd never know it from the way Sessions pushed law and order rhetoric at his address to border patrol agents.

To streamline the backlogs in immigration courts, Sessions said 50 immigration judges would be added this year with 75 more in 2018.

In a rare example of Republicans and Democrats singing from the same hymn book, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed on Tuesday that the war on drugs needs to be stepped up at the U.S. -Mexico border.

The Tuscon Sector, which covers most of Arizona, once was considered one of the most congested areas in illegal border crossings and drug smuggling.

"Starting today, federal prosecutors are now required to consider for prosecution all of the following offenses, often not prosecuted in the past", Sessions said.

Between September 2015 through September 2016, 52 percent of all federal prosecutions in the USA were for immigration violations.

Sessions said the Justice Department would be hiring another 125 immigration judges over 2016-2017 to handle an expected surge in cases arising from the crackdown.

Session's directive also included requiring federal prosecutors to take action against those who harbor or transport an undocumented immigrant.

The Trump administration has threatened to cut off U.S. Justice Department grants to so-called sanctuary cities that fail to assist federal immigration authorities.

Sessions also said each USA attorney's office will have a border security coordinator for their district. Assuming a false identity or "aggravated identity fraud" will carry a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.

"So our crowd is saying, the geniuses out there, 'Well, we've had this long decrease in crime and now you want to lock more people up, '" he said.

Most states have followed the federal lead, some facing budget crises, Sessions said.

In his remarks, the Attorney General announced that he has issued a memo to United States Attorneys that mandates the prioritization of criminal immigration enforcement.

And, Vox writer Matthew Yglesias tweeted that Sessions was talking about Latin-American immigrants.

As a senator, Sessions pushed for hard-line immigration policies and opposed efforts for comprehensive immigration reform unless the U.S. -Mexico border was secured.