HOUSTON — In a speech to law enforcement officials today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice would begin dispatching federal prosecutors to Texas to begin prosecuting as many cases of misdemeanor illegal entry “as humanly possible,” with a particular focus on migrants traveling with children. The explicit threat to formally separate migrant and asylum-seeking children from their parents represents a hard-line shift in U.S. immigration enforcement policy.
“By announcing this zero-tolerance policy and the addition of federal prosecutors along the Texas and southwest border, Jeff Sessions has reaffirmed his commitment to discredited criminal justice policies over common sense and, most importantly, over the best interests of children seeking refuge in this country,” said Andre Segura, legal director for the ACLU of Texas. “These polices are based on unfounded fear mongering about immigrants and threaten to unlawfully separate families and obstruct the ability of families to seek asylum.”
Read Jeff Sessions’s speech announcing the immigration enforcement policy change: https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-sessions-delivers-remarks-discussing-immigration-enforcement-actions