Sessions urges zero-tolerance on illegal crossing cases

Citing a more than 200 percent increase in illegal border crossings, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is urging a zero-tolerance policy with illegal entry and re-entry cases.

Sessions, who just last April announced a renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement, had asked prosecutors to prioritize the prosecution of “certain criminal immigration cases,” in an April 2017 memo.

Now, Sessions, citing the Department of Homeland Security report about spiking illegal border crossings in March, is urging prosecutors working along the U.S.-Mexico border to have a “zero-tolerance policy” with regard to these cases, the release states.

The DHS report shows a 203 percent increase in illegal crossings from last March through this March. Another report shows a 37 percent increase of the same infraction from February to March.

The policy Sessions is pushing for is directed at each U.S. Attorney’s Office along the southwest border, to include the southern districts of California and Texas, in addition to the districts of Arizona and New Mexico as well as the western district of Texas. The southern district of Texas includes federal offices in McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Houston.

“The situation at our southwest border is unacceptable,” Sessions stated in a news release. “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.

“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.”

In his last remark he addressed federal prosecutors directly, thanking them for their continued efforts in upholding the law.

“To the department’s prosecutors, I urge you: promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders and its citizens,” Sessions stated in the release.