Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on Tuesday during his tour of the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, made a major announcement regarding a “new era” in the enforcement of immigration laws in America.
“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned–This is a new era. This is the Trump era,” Sessions said to a group of immigration officials in Nogales, about 70 miles south of Tucson.
“This is no accident,” Sessions said. “This is what happens when you have a President who understands the threat, who is not afraid to publicly identify the threat and stand up to it, and who makes clear to law enforcement that the leadership of their country finally has their back.”
Sessions, who has made immigration enforcement a primary object for the Department of Justice, says he they will add 125 new immigration judges over the next two years to speed up the buildup of cases in the nation’s immigration courts. Some 50 additional judges will be added to 14 strategic areas along the Mexican border to combat the backlogs this year. He emphasized that much of the crimes they are targeting will include those brought on by drug cartels.
“We are going to shut down and jail those who have been profiting off this lawlessness.”
“As we speak, I am issuing a document to all federal prosecutors that mandates the prioritization of such enforcement.”
• The transportation or harboring of aliens will be targeted. “We are going to shut down and jail those who have been profiting off this lawlessness.”
• Anyone who unlawfully enters the country will now be charged with a felony. Currently, it is a misdemeanor.
• Aliens that illegally re-enter the country after prior removal will be referred for felony prosecution.
• All 94 U.S. Attorneys Offices have been directed to prioritize prosecution of anyone who assaults a federal law enforcement. “If someone dares to assault one of our folks in the line of duty, they will do federal time for it.”
The Justice Department will now expedite immigrant deportations of individuals convicted of federal crimes. Every adult apprehended at the border will be detained. Sessions instructed U.S. attorneys in the 94 offices of the DOJ to consider prosecution charges for illegal aliens attempting to re-enter the country be charged with with felonies. This would be include those entering into a fraudulent marriage, document fraud and identify theft. Each U.S. attorney’s office will have a designated person devoted to coordinating immigration enforcement.
Earlier the Attorney General fortified his stand for federal immigration authorities who make arrests at courthouses and taking aim at the California Supreme Court chief justice who claims the practice interferes with people’s access to justice and deters immigrants from reporting crimes and going to court.
The Tucson Sector reached almost 65,000 arrests last fiscal year during the Obama presidency. These arrests were roughly half of the 2012 arrests reported by Border Patrol data. Marijuana seizures have also dropped by about 28 percent from 1 million pounds in 2012 to 728,000 last year. Because of the emphasis in this area, much of the smuggling and crime has moved to Texas.