Sessions Visits San Diego, Says Border Crossers Will Face Prosecution

Sessions Visits San Diego, Says Border Crossers Will Face Prosecution

Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed Monday the Department of Justice wants to prosecute "100 percent" of people who illegally cross the southwest US border.

Sessions acknowledged that if an immigrant is accompanied by a child "that child will be separated from you as required by law". Flores v. Reno, a 1985 class action lawsuit, dictated that children and minors must be kept in the "least restrictive setting" available, which typically meant they would be released from custody along with their mother.

Shortly after Trump took office, pledging a hard line against illegal immigration, border arrests fell. Together, they would wait for months, or sometimes years, for their day in court to plead their case for asylum before an immigration judge, due to an extensive asylum backlog.

By prosecuting adults attempting to cross the border and then treating their children as unaccompanied minors, families would be separated as children are placed in shelters or with family while their cases for asylum are reviewed.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to speak at 3 p.m., Central Time, Monday in San Diego near the U.S. border with Mexico.

Last week, Sessions announced that the Justice Department was sending 35 assistant US attorneys to the southwestern border to to "prosecute illegal entries into our country", while 18 immigration judges would focus "full time" on clearing a backlog of asylum claims.

"These trends are clear; these trends must end", Sessions said, adding that "11 million people are here already illegally". "People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions became the latest Trump Administration official to visit the San Diego border area when he arrived Monday to discuss the administration's anti-immigration agenda.

"When respect for the rule of law diminishes, so too does our ability to protect our great nation, its borders and its citizens", Sessions said in a statement. "This is the Trump era".

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