Justice Dept. to end 'catch and release' immigration policy

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Sessions said he has also put in place a new hiring program so judges will get placed faster than the 18 to 24 months it typically takes.

Sessions was speaking first of transnational gangs like MS-13 and global cartels.

To start, Sessions wants district attorneys to step up prosecutions of immigration-related crimes, including trafficking people across the border and re-entering the USA after being removed.

Speaking in Arizona, Sessions added, "It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth".

In his memo, Sessions added that USA attorneys should make the prosecution of assault on a federal law enforcement officer a "top priority".

Sessions met with law enforcement, members of the military and border agents in Arizona and discussed the new tougher approach to immigration prosecutions under President Donald Trump. They said they live on the border and do not want to see it militarized.

Every U.S. attorney's office in the country ― even far from the border ― will now be required to have a person devoted to coordinating enforcement on immigration, Sessions announced. The new memo calls for an increase in penalties for illegal re-entry to the USA and directs officials to charge undocumented immigrants with higher-penalty crimes. When possible in these cases, attorneys must pursue charges for document fraud and aggravated identity theft, with a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for the latter.

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Although studies show that immigrants are likely to commit significantly fewer violent crimes than citizens, you'd never know it from the way Sessions pushed law and order rhetoric at his address to border patrol agents.

Jeff Sessions, an immigration hard-liner, delivered a chilling speech at the US-Mexico border. This is, indeed, a "new era". Half of federal arrests in 2014 were for immigration-related offenses, according to a Pew Research analysis released this week, based on the most recent federal statistics.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in his first trip to the U.S. -Mexico border, detailed the changes as an attempt to "establish lawfulness in our immigration system". Felony prosecutions should also be considered if there is one prior illegal entry conviction and there are aggravating circumstances such as gang membership or a felony criminal history.

To streamline the backlogs in immigration courts, Sessions said 50 immigration judges would be added this year with 75 more in 2018.

Police in such cities have argued that targeting illegal migrants is an improper use of law enforcement resources.

The former Alabama senator has said he will quicken deportations of immigrants in the country illegally who were convicted of federal crimes.

- Assault or or resistance of law enforcement officers engaged in immigration duties.