Earlier this week Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed prosecutors across the country to make immigration cases a higher priority. He further told them to look for ways to bring felony charges against illegal immigrants including against those who have crossed the border multiple times. His three-page memo outlined the ways that the Department of Justice can expand its role in immigration enforcement.
Session suggested that prosecutors could charge individuals with crimes such as aggravated identity theft, harboring illegal aliens or even jail parents who cross the border with their children. For Sessions, these measures will help deter future illegal border crossings and beef up enforcement. While serving as a senator, Session was opposed to immigration reform and has made it clear during his time as attorney general that immigration enforcement is a huge priority. The memo also suggests that Customs and Border patrol will no longer catch and release undocumented immigrants who are apprehended while crossing the border.
He announced the changes while in Nogales, Arizona while touring 70 miles of the U.S-Mexico border. Sessions drew upon images of dangerous drug cartels and criminals crossing over the border to bring lawlessness to the United States. He said that this would come to an end in the future. That “this is a new era. This is the Trump era.”
Critics were quick to respond to Session’s announcement; including prosecutors who argue that this is not the best use of their resources. This is another scare tactic that the current administration is using to drum up fear. It incorrectly links illegal immigrants to the criminal system when there is overwhelming amount of statistics that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native born Americans.
Our experienced immigration attorney, Lesley Ellefson-Porras, has assisted countless immigrants with family reunification; citizenship, fiancé visas and unlawful presence waivers. She is available to meet with you in her office in Alexandria, Virginia. Since immigration is a federal matter, Ms. Ellefson-Porras can serve clients from anywhere in the United States. Most of her clients reside in Virginia, Maryland, and the of Columbia. Contact her today at 703-596-0235.