Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in a statement yesterday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will send 35 assisting attorneys and 18 immigration judges to the Southern border to prosecute the recent influx of foreign nationals attempting to enter the U.S. Sessions said that the department will be sending judges that don't have existing caseloads to work on asylum claims full-time.
"We are announcing today that we are adding 35 assisting United States attorneys to the border to prosecute illegal entries into our country. We are also announcing that we're moving 16 or 18, actually, immigration judges to the border. These are supervisory judges that don't have existing caseloads and will be able to function full time on moving these cases. It will be about a 50% increase in the number of immigration judges who will be handling asylum cases," Sessions said.
"The American people made very clear their desire to secure our borders and prioritize the public safety and national security of our homeland ... By deploying these additional resources to the Southwest border, the Justice Department and the Trump Administration take yet another step in protecting our nation, its borders, and its citizens. It must be clear that there is no right to demand entry without justification."
Sessions emphasized the importance of upholding "integrity" and "legality" in the immigration system and added that foreign nationals should "wait their turn" to enter the U.S. "the lawful way." He made reference to the recent caravan of asylum-seekers from countries like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and firmly stated that people will not "caravan" or "stampede" their way into the U.S.
"We are not going to let this country be overwhelmed. People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border. We need legality and integrity in this system. People should wait their turn and ask to apply lawfully before they enter our country. We are sending a message worldwide: Don't come illegally make your claim to enter America in the lawful way and wait your turn.
"We treat people extremely well, particularly children. And they're treated with every courtesy. We fly them back home after they've entered. If you don't want to have to go through this problem, don't come unlawfully. It's not my problem, it's not the United States Border Patrol's problem when people force their way into the country unlawfully.
"This is something we're trying to communicate. The numbers have been increasing again getting into the summer. And we want the world to know, particularly our friends to the South, we want them to know that we have a generous legal system ... we admit 1.1 million people lawfully every year and those people should all wait their turn."
Sessions' statement comes after Pres. Trump pointed to the caravan in a tweet Monday and made a remark on "how weak & ineffective U.S. immigration laws are" emboldening the illegal aliens who are "openly defying our border."
For more on this story, see Politico.
Updated: Thu, May 17th 2018 @ 12:00pm EDT