Washington, DC - Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued the following statement on border security:
“Earlier this week, media outlets reported that a so-called ‘migrant caravan’ was making its way through Mexico with the intent of illegally crossing the southern border of the United States. The President was clear that this caravan needed to be stopped before it arrived at our southern border, and his efforts now appear to be successful. But let me be clear as well: we will not accept the lawlessness of these types of efforts and those who choose to violate our laws, and those who conspire to assist others to violate our laws, will face criminal prosecution.
“When I visited Nogales, Arizona, in April 2017, I announced my direction to federal prosecutors to prioritize the prosecution of all illegal entry, illegal reentry, and alien smuggling offenses. We have surged hundreds of immigration judges to our border over the last year. We hired new judges at the fastest pace ever. We added performance metrics to ensure that these cases aren’t languishing in the courts while illegal aliens spend years living in our country without consequences. We will have a more efficient and effective immigration court system that supplies due process. As such, aliens who enter our country illegally should be aware that the government will use any and all lawful tools, including expedited removal and prompt immigration proceedings, to ensure that our immigration courts will not be burdened with cases that lack merit under the law.
“But this will not be enough if Congress does not act to pass clear, fair, and effective legislation that ends the illegality and creates a system that serves the national interest is crucial at this time. It is essential for Congress to act.
“The Department of Justice fully supports the efforts of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security announced today to secure our border. I will soon be announcing additional Department of Justice initiatives to restore legality to the southern border.”