May 2 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Justice will send dozens of prosecutors and judges to the U.S.-Mexico border to prosecute immigrants illegally entering the United States, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday.
Sessions said 35 assistant U.S. attorneys will be sent to five districts along the border to handle improper entry, illegal reentry, and alien smuggling cases and 18 judges will hear immigration cases in person and through video conferencing.
A total of 15 attorneys will be dispatched to Texas, eight to California, six to Arizona and six to New Mexico.
“The American people made very clear their desire to secure our borders and prioritize the public safety and national security of our homeland,” Sessions said. “Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is essential to our republic. By deploying these additional resources to the Southwest border, the Justice Department and the Trump Administration take yet another step in protecting our nation, its borders, and its citizens. It must be clear that there is no right to demand entry without justification.”
On Monday night, eight of the 200 Central American migrants who traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum were allowed through the gate to apply.
Sessions also ordered the Justice Department to file criminal charges against 11 people in the caravan who he said were arrested after they crossed the border unlawfully.
While the attorneys and judges weren’t sent to the border specifically to try cases relating to the group of migrants, Sessions made a reference to the so-called caravan while announcing the measure.
“We are not going to let this country be overwhelmed,” he said. “People are not going caravan or otherwise stampede our border. We need legality and integrity in the system. People should wait their turn, ask to apply lawfully before they enter our country. So we’re sending a message worldwide.”