Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

AG Vows to Confront Cartels, Gangs on US-Mexico Border Visit

A long-time proponent of building a wall along the border, Attorney General Sessions has ramped up deportation efforts and threatened pro-immigrant cities and counties with enforcement actions and the loss of federal funds.

Sessions also asked for more prosecutions of crimes like document theft and identity fraud.

Trump has also received resignations from all the USA attorneys across the country, meaning he will now be able to hand pick the prosecutors who will implement Sessions' memo at the border.

Sessions also responded to reports that GOP lawmakers were dropping funds for Trump's proposed border wall from a spending bill being prepared for later this month.

Prosecutors will put a top priority on going after people who assault, resist or impede federal immigration officers, Sessions added.

Greg Chen, Director of Government Relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, criticized the new policy for what he said amounted to targeting migrants who pose no threat to US citizens.

They must also consider felony prosecution for individuals with two or more prior misdemeanor convictions for improper entry, or one or more prior misdemeanor convictions if there are certain circumstances, such as prior removals, felonies or gang affiliation, according to the memo.

In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity the former Alabama senator reiterated that the US/Mexico border was not open for anyone to walk through and violators will be prosecuted and deported. They said it could have an impact on those further inland, which haven't historically focused on immigration violations.

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"It's again clear that the Department of Justice is now being guided by bigotry and intolerance, seeking all means to harm our communities and showing no regard for our families", said Javier H. Valdes, co-executive director of Make the Road New York.

Sessions met with law enforcement, members of the military and border agents in Nogales, Ariz., urging their confidence in the administration as they push to implement policies boosting agents working to secure the southern border.

A small group of demonstrators holding signs and chanting in protest of Sessions and US immigration policy stood outside the Border Patrol compound during and after his remarks.

He added that Trump's approach was already seeing results, citing a 40 percent fall in illegal immigrant crossings from January to February.

States near the border, and others in Appalachia and the North East have seen a rapid increase in overdose deaths from fentanyl in the past couple years, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention-the leading US national public health institute.

"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.

Nowhere in those prepared remarks does Sessions call immigrants or anyone else "filth".

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers check a vehicle entering the United States from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, U.S. on October 14, 2016.

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