Jeff Sessions Announces a New Crackdown on Immigrants and "Filth"

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to law enforcement officers in Richmond Va. Sessions favors decades-old drug and crime-fighting strategies even as some people involved in criminal justice during that time

The new enforcement priorities, Attorney General Sessions said, will end the "Catch & Release Practices" of the Obama Administration and expand the Justice Department's role under the Trump Administration's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, Sessions said.

Josh Breisblatt, a policy analyst at the American Immigration Council, said the attorney general's prosecution directive effectively makes illegal entry prosecutions a national priority, beyond the border states where the majority of cases are brought.

"The lawlessness, the abdication of duty to enforce our laws, and the catch and release policies of the past are over", he said earlier Tuesday.

"... It is here on this very sliver of land-on this border-that we take our stand". He also revealed that undocumented immigrants will face felony charges if caught crossing the border illegally 2X's, and that each USA attorney's office will add a border security coordinator in their district.

Mr Session's plan is reinforced by the Justice Department's latest budget proposal, which would direct hundreds of millions of dollars to hiring new Border Patrol agents, federal prosecutors, and deputy US Marshals, while cutting the department's overall budget by more than $1 billion. As part of the broader plan to reduce back logs in the immigration courts and to speed up the deportation process, the attorney general said the DOJ will hire 50 more immigration judges this year, and 75 next year.

"The battle is far from over".

In a statement Sessions said, "As we speak, I am issuing a document to all federal prosecutors that mandates the prioritization of such enforcement".

"I'm an admirer of Steve Bannon and the Trump family, and they've been supportive of what we're doing", he said.

In January, President Donald Trump expanded the definition of which immigrants can be considered "criminal" to include anyone who has committed "a chargeable criminal offense", which could include sneaking across the border. They made up more than half of all federal prosecutions in fiscal year 2016, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

"We are going to shut down and jail those who have been profiting from this lawlessness", Sessions added.

"All of these steps from detention to more judges to prosecuting those who have previously been deported will drive down the number of illegals in the country and lead to even bigger drops in those trying to sneak across the border", Hans von Spakovsky of the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation told The Daily Beast. He urged prosecutors to focus on immigration crimes like illegal border crossing, and the smuggling or harbouring of immigrants. Also targeted for felony prosecutions: anyone who knowingly enters into a sham marriage to evade immigration laws.

Between September 2015 through September 2016, 52 percent of all federal prosecutions in the US were for immigration violations. The immigration-related arrests are for criminal offenses, such as entering the country illegally or helping others do that, and are different from immigrant apprehensions and deportations.

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