Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructs prosecutors to focus on immigration crimes with changes to Justice Department protocol. Federal prosecutors can now prosecute on a set of new offenses. First of all, illegal re-entry in the United States will be considered a felony.
Therefore aliens that illegally re-enter the country after prior removal will be deferred for felony prosecution. In addition, prosecutors will try to charge criminal immigrants with document fraud and aggravated identity theft. The latter carries a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.
“If someone dares to assault one of our folks in the line of duty, they will do federal time for it,” Sessions said.
They will also crack down on people and organizations that transport and harbor undocumented aliens. Anyone profiting from smuggling gang members across the border will be jailed.
“We will execute a strategy that once again secures the border; apprehends and prosecutes those criminal aliens that threaten our public safety; takes the fight to gangs like MS-13 and Los Zetas, and makes dismantlement and destruction of the cartels a top priority.”
Judges on the Border
According to the new memorandum, prosecutors will seek deportation orders against defendants in immigration-related cases. A Border Security Coordinator will oversee the investigation and prosecution of immigrant cases. To speed up cases next to the border, 25 immigration judges have been sent to adjudicate cases at Homeland Security Department detention centers on the border. DOJ will hire 125 additional judges over the next two years to reduce the massive backlog that exists today. 50 will be hired this year and 75 will be hired next year.
Under Sessions, immigration becomes the main area of action for the action for the Department of Justice in tightly a coordinated effort with Homeland Security.