Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Screenshot)
(CNSNews.com) – In a speech on efforts to combat violent crime, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that President Donald Trump ordered the Justice Department to “give a high priority to prosecutions that have a nexus” to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The day I was sworn in as attorney general, the president sent me three executive orders that have guided me every day. The first: to back the blue and enhance the safety of our law enforcement officers. Second: to reduce crime in America—not to preside over ever-increasing crime levels. And third: to dismantle transnational criminal organizations like the cartels,” he said.
“And even before I was sworn in, President Trump issued an order to the Department of Justice to give a high priority to prosecutions that have a nexus to our southern border,” Sessions said speaking at the U.S. attorney’s office in Houston, Texas.
The attorney general told law enforcement officials that “over the last 40 years, unchecked illegal immigration has made the work of police officers all across America tougher and more dangerous than it ought to be.”
“According to one estimate, Houston has the third-most illegal aliens of any metro area in America. Half a million illegal aliens are in the Houston area. This is a big group and many of them have committed additional crimes here. Whatever we think about immigration—whether you want more or less—all of us should agree on these two goals: to end illegal immigration and to end illegal immigration crime,” he said.
“We cannot accept the fact that gangs like MS-13 and the Latin Kings, many of whose members are in the country illegally, are terrorizing American communities from Los Angeles to Boston. Many MS-13 leaders are directing crime and murders from jails in El Salvador,” Sessions said.
The attorney general also called for the abolishment of sanctuary cities, saying, “if we want to reduce violent crime in this country, then we have to get serious about illegal immigration, and if we’re going to get serious about illegal immigration, then we cannot tolerate sanctuary cities.”
“Jurisdictions that knowingly, willfully, and purposefully release criminal aliens back into their communities are sacrificing the lives and safety of American citizens in the pursuit of an extreme open borders policy,” he said.
“If a jurisdiction objects to and obstructs the lawful deportation of someone who enters illegally and then commits another crime—then who will they deport? Nobody. This isn’t just a bad policy. It is a direct challenge to the laws of the United States. It places the lives of our fine law enforcement officers and residents at risk,” Sessions said.
“Those enacting the sanctuary policies feign outrage when they lose federal funds as a direct result of deliberate actions designed to nullify plain federal law. They want to have it both ways: they want federal money, but they want to undermine federal law. Some have even decided to take us to court, but we are fighting this resolutely—and we’ve received a lot of support from the people of Texas,” he said.
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