17:11, April 06 223 0 abajournal.com

2018-04-06 17:11:09
Sessions announces ‘zero-tolerance policy’ in response to jump in illegal border crossings

Sessions is directing U.S. attorney’s offices along the southwest border to prosecute all violations of the illegal entry law, to the extent practicable, according to a press release. The Washington Times, the Hill, the Associated Press and Fox News have stories.

The press release says Sessions was acting after a Department of Homeland Security report found that illegal border crossing increased 203 percent from March 2017 to March 2018.

“A crisis has erupted at our southwest border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border,” Sessions said in the press release.

Sessions directed southwest border prosecutors in a memo that they should request additional resources if they are needed to implement the policy.

According to the Times, illegal entry is a misdemeanor, but authorities have often processed the cases through the civil immigration system for quick deportations. The statute carries a possible penalty of up to six months in jail for a first offense.

In an effort to speed up immigration cases, Sessions announced a week ago that immigration judges will be evaluated based on the number of completed cases in a year.