Sessions to Tour Arizona-Mexico Border Tuesday

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to law enforcement officers in Richmond Va. Sessions favors decades-old drug and crime-fighting strategies even as some people involved in criminal justice during that time

In a press conference on the US border with Mexico, Sessions announced that the "Trump era" in immigration enforcement had begun.

In a three-page memo, Sessions told US attorneys to prioritize immigration prosecutions by appointing a border security coordinator who can oversee investigations, keep statistics and provide legal advice and training to prosecutors.

The new enforcement priorities, Attorney General Sessions said, will end the "Catch & Release Practices" of the Obama Administration and expand the Justice Department's role under the Trump Administration's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, Sessions said.

"I took an oath to protect this country from all enemies", he explained.

Sessions told Customs and Border agents in Arizona the changes were a part of the Trump Administration's commitment to curbing illegal immigration.

"We mean criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into warzones, that rape and kill innocent citizens and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders", the speech says. We are going to shut down and jail those who are profiting off this lawlessness - people who smuggle gang members and convicted criminals across the border, and who prey on those who don't know how unsafe the journey can be. "This is the Trump era".

Data from federal arrests, however, show an increasing emphasis on punishing those who break immigration laws well before the Trump election, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center published April 10.

Sessions said the administration will bring more felony prosecutions against immigrants entering the country illegally. He urged prosecutors to focus on immigration crimes like illegal border crossing, and the smuggling or harbouring of immigrants.

Sessions: "We will secure this border and combat this attack on our national security & sovereignty".

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a Senate committee last week that border apprehensions of undocumented immigrants were down 71 percent in March from December 2016, the last full month before President Donald Trump took office.

He pointed out that illegal crossings at the U.S.

Sessions' memo to federal prosecutors (PDF) said each U.S. Attorney's office should designate a "border security coordinator" to oversee the prosecutions. Every adult apprehended at the border will be detained.

Trump tweeted his support of the new directive shortly after Sessions' speech in Arizona.

Sessions stated that in accordance with keeping the numbers illegal immigrants coming into the U.S down, the department will be adding 50 immigration judges this year alone and another 75 in 2018.



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