dglobalnews.com Sessions to tour Arizona-Mexico border Tuesday
Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Sessions to tour Arizona-Mexico border Tuesday

"Attorney General Sessions is making it clear that he is going to use every resource at the disposal of the Department of Justice to deter illegal immigration, and so the main resource he has is prosecution", Fresco said.

But Sessions said: "It is here, on this sliver of land, on this border, where we first take our stand".

Sessions said the MS-13 and cartels had turned cities and suburbs into warzones, raped and killed innocent citizens, and smuggled poison and human beings across the border. His announcement on crime, at times focusing on MS-13 gang members, the Zetas drug cartel and what he described as beheadings by machete attack, apparently referring to a case involving a MS-13 gang member killing a teenager in Texas with a machete. He added, according to reports, "It is here on this very sliver of land-on this border-that we take our stand". "It's yet another example of the Trump administration treating all immigrants as threats and as criminals".

He announced the changes at a news conference following a morning tour of the border that included visiting a port of entry, where he exited an SUV in a white shirt and baseball cap before entering a restricted area.

Illegal entry into the United States can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. "They will not be released", Sessions said.

Trump's presidency already, he said, has reduced illegal border crossings substantially.

A policy memorandum issued by the Justice Department Tuesday asks prosecutors to pursue cases against people accused of trafficking or harboring undocumented immigrants, as well as those undocumented immigrants who have been caught crossing the border illegally multiple times. The attorney general laid out his plans for a crack-down on illegal immigration, telling agents that the Trump administration marks "a new era" in immigration reform. "And it is here that criminal aliens and the coyotes and the document-forgers seek to overthrow our system of lawful immigration", he said. But Sessions made the visit to highlight his focus on enforcing federal laws as dozens of USA cities try to shield illegal immigrants from stepped-up prosecution and deportation efforts.

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While the Department of Homeland Security drives apprehension, detention and deportation proceedings of undocumented immigrants, the Justice Department handles criminal prosecutions and the immigration courts, including appointing judges.

Sessions urged federal prosecutors to intensify their focus on immigration crimes such as illegal crossing or smuggling others into the USA, even though such prosecutions are already happening on a large scale.

"Why are we doing this?" the former USA senator said.

"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.

Civil rights advocates, however, characterized Sessions' directive as an attempt to intimidate immigrant communities.

On April 11, Sessions delivered a speech before the border in Nogales, Arizona.

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