As a “caravan of migrants” makes its way to our Southern border, President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are working in tandem to tighten border security. The migrants are marching toward our southern border with the intent of entering the U. S. by seeking asylum, crossing illegally, or by exploiting the ongoing “catch and release” policy.

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reported a 203% increase in illegal border crossings from March 2017 to March 2018 and a 37% increase from February 2018 to March 2018.

In response, President Trump has issued a memo ordering an end (at long last) to “catch and release,” and AG Sessions has announced a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal entry to the U. S.

Trump’s memo instructs agencies to “expeditiously end” the practice known as “catch and release.”

The Hill reports:

President Trump signed a memorandum on Friday ordering agencies to “expeditiously end” the practice known as “catch and release” that allows immigrants caught in the U.S. without proper documents to be released from detention while their cases play out in court.

The memo signed by Trump orders the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with other agencies, to submit a report to the president within 45 days “detailing all measures that their respective departments have pursued or are pursuing to expeditiously end ‘catch and release’ practices.”

The report instructs departments to share information on any contracts to construct or operate detention facilities along the border as well as steps taken to assign asylum officers at detention facilities, among other measures.

As part of the order, Trump is requesting “a detailed list of all existing facilities, including military facilities, that could be used, modified, or repurposed to detain aliens for violations of immigration law at or near the borders of the United States.”

Trump has also directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to identify any other resources or steps “that may be needed to expeditiously end ‘catch and release’ practices.”

For his part, Sessions has notified all U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the Southwest Border of a new “zero-tolerance policy.”

The new policy warns potential illegal entrants that “the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice” will be brought to bear against them.

The Kansas City Star reports:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered a “zero tolerance” policy aimed at people entering the United States illegally for the first time on the Mexican border.

Sessions told federal prosecutors in border districts to put more emphasis on charging people with illegal entry, which has historically been treated as a misdemeanor offense for those with few or no previous encounters with border authorities. Smugglers and frequent offenders are usually charged with more serious crimes.

His one-page order lacks specifics on how the policy will be carried out but signals that major change is in the works. He tells prosecutors to ask for additional resources if needed to prosecute cases.

According to the Hill, this zero-tolerance policy is a response to “a report from the Department of Homeland Security that showed a 203 percent increase in illegal border crossings from March 2017 to March 2018 and a 37 percent increase from February 2018 to March 2018 — the largest month-to-month increase since 2011.”

From Sessions:

“The situation at our Southwest Border is unacceptable. Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest—that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. As a result, a crisis has erupted at our Southwest Border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration’s commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law, I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice. To the Department’s prosecutors, I urge you: promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens. You play a critical part in fulfilling these goals, and I thank you for your continued efforts in seeing to it that our laws—and as a result, our nation—are respected.”

Here is the full text of the memo:


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