Sessions visited the Arizona-Mexico border Tuesday, saying illegal immigrants should realize, "This is a new era". As Sessions said - in what seems common sense to most Americans - "consistent and vigorous enforcement ... will disrupt" these organizations and "deter unlawful conduct".
Sessions was speaking first of transnational gangs like MS-13 and global cartels.
The Wall Street Journal reported that, in his effort to conflate and misrepresent the actual criminal threat undocumented immigrants pose, Sessions issued a memo to prosecutors instructing them to make immigration-related offenses "higher priorities", which includes non-violent offenses like helping immigrants cross the border or harboring them.
This is the first tour of the U.S. -Mexico border Sessions is making as the nation's top law enforcement officer.
Sessions directed federal prosecutors in a memo Tuesday to give priority to prosecuting those who smuggle more than three people into the country. He continued, "It is here that criminal aliens and the coyotes and the document-forgers seek to overthrow our system of lawful immigration".
Sessions added that in his new initiative each USA attorney would be required to designate a point person on border security prosecutions by April 18. He also said that the civil rights of the people - who are charged with criminal offences at the border - will be protected. The new memo calls for an increase in penalties for illegal re-entry to the US and directs officials to charge undocumented immigrants with higher-penalty crimes.
Over the next two years, the Department of Justice plans to add 125 new immigration judges to deal with the backup of cases in the country's immigration courts.
"The barrier, the wall, will have a great and positive impact and will continue our ability to follow through on a commitment to end the lawlessness", Sessions said. The illegal entry and reentry is nothing new at all.
Sessions had called for immigration courts to speed up prosecutions and for the Justice Department to hire 75 more immigration judges, along with 60 more border enforcement prosecutors.
"If someone dares to assault one of our folks in the line of duty, they will do federal time for it", Sessions said.
The tone of his comments at times echoed the explicit rhetoric President Trump himself used when discussing illegal immigration and cartels during the campaign. "So today, I have implemented a new, streamlined hiring plan".
John Sandweg, the former acting director and acting general counsel of Immigration and Customs Enforcement from 2013 to 2014, says the administration may be biting off more than it can chew.