Attorney General Jeff Sessions means business, and he isn’t mincing words.
There’s a new sheriff in town, his name is Donald Trump, and the era of “catch and release” is over.
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.
In fact, a memo Sessions released on Tuesday instructs federal attorneys to consider prosecuting those who harbor illegal immigrants, especially those who become violent, those who enter illegally multiple times, and those who get married in order to gain legal status. Additionally, illegals who steal documents and social security numbers could face charges for identity fraud and document theft “to the extent practicable.”
“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned,” Sessions said. “This is a new era. This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over.”
Sessions’ border speech described criminal gangs that “turn cities and suburbs into war zones,” “rape and kill innocent citizens” and profit in human smuggling.
“Depravity and violence are their calling cards, including brutal machete attacks and beheadings,” the attorney general said. “It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand.”
Also announced on Tuesday were streamlined procedures for hiring dozens of new immigration judges along with mandated detention of those arrested at the border. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost half of all 2014 federal arrests were for immigration crimes, the overwhelming majority of which occurred at the border.
As for enforcement, each federal district has been instructed to have a “border security coordinator” in place by April 18, whose task it will be to oversee the investigation and prosecution of immigration-related crimes.
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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