U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry into this county. The announcement came in a directive to all of the U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the southwestern border with Mexico.
“To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration’s commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law, I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice,” Sessions said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “The situation at our Southwest Border is unacceptable. Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest—that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. As a result, a crisis has erupted at our Southwest Border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border.”
The announcement by the attorney general falls nearly one year after he announced his department’s commitment to enforcing the criminal provisions relating to immigration law. “While dramatic progress has been made in recent months, much remains to be done,” Sessions said in his 2017 announcement. “It is critical that our work focus on criminal cases that will further reduce illegality.”
The initial announcement focused on increasing enforcement of cartel-related human smuggling, prosecution of illegal aliens who had been previously deported for aggravated felonies, and increasing the prosecution of illegal aliens who assault Border Patrol agents.
Friday’s announcement expands the prosecutorial effort to include taking criminal action against those crossing the border illegally for the first time.
Sessions’ announcement came just days after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced a dramatic spike in illegal border crossings. The arrests of illegal immigrants crossing the border in March jumped 203 percent over the previous year. The illegal crossings by minors and families jumped to levels last seen in the record-setting 2013, 2014 Obama years.
Attorney General Sessions directed federal prosecutors to priortize the prosecution of all immigration violations referred to the DOJ by the Department of Homeland Security under section 1325(a) “to the extent practicable.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.