Politics

U.S. Attorney General: Borderland is 'ground zero, front line where we will make our stand'

AG Sessions and DHS Chief Kelly in El...

EL PASO, Texas - Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly held a news conference in El Paso to discuss illegal immigration and violent street gangs.

Sessions referred to the US-Mexico border as "Ground Zero, the front line and this is where we are making our stand."

Sessions further stated "We cannot allow and will not allow drug cartels and street gangs to dominate a single block or street corner in this country. I want to be very clear: we have your back law enforcement officers."

Sessions and Kelly observed operations at the border and met with Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security personnel. 

Sessions praised the efforts of the Trump Administration and Homeland Security to curb illegal immigration and deal with the huge backlog of immigration cases pending in court. "We will attack this backlog and see these cases are adjudicated promptly," Sessions said.

At his Senate confirmation hearing in January, Sec. Kelly mentioned he had recently visited El Paso "off active duty," on business with the Department of Defense. He said he spoke with five agents at the border around 600-feet away from the fence. 

"We saw half a dozen or so people jump over the fence," said Sec. Kelly. "I'm standing there just expecting the officers to jump in their cars put their lights on and dash down there." He said what he witnessed surprised him, and there was low morale among Border Patrol officers. 

Kelly said Thursday immigration laws exist to keep our country safe and he will work diligently to arrest and deport "criminal aliens."
 
Kelly said prosecution will extend to family members who "pay to have children smuggled into the country."
 
The current immigration process in the courts is "a slow, highly manipulated process," Kelly said.
 
The goal is to increase the number of judges and streamline the court process and "return those here illegally back to their home countries," Kelly said.

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