U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were in El Paso, Texas, today visiting the border with Mexico.
The two men observed border operations and held meetings with officials and staffers from the Justice Department and DHS. The two also discussed priorities with members of the FBI, the DEA, and the U.S. Marshals service. Sessions saying, “As I learned firsthand last week in Nogales, it is here on this sliver of land where we establish a beachhead against the cartels, against the transnational street gangs like MS-13, and the human traffickers. This is ground zero, this is the front lines, and this is where we’re making our stand.”
Both Sessions and Kelly emphasized that anyone coming to the U.S. illegally will be deported, and they say illegal border crossings are already down. Sessions saying, “For those who still seek to violate our laws and enter the country illegally, let me be very clear: Don’t come. Please don’t come. When you are caught you will be detained, adjudicated and deported. Do not come unlawfully. Wait your time. For those who’ve committed crimes and gang affiliated or previously attempted to enter unlawfully, you will be prosecuted, imprisoned and then deported.”
He also said the proposed border wall is necessary, but it must be combined with technology saying, “It’s absolutely essential that we build a wall… but that wall has to be combined with technology — no doubt about it. Most importantly, most importantly, to the security of our southern border are the men and women of CBP, ICE, and all the rest of the DHS professionals — not to mention those individuals that serve our country in the Department of Homeland Security. So, yes… we need to continue on this initiative to reinforce the SW border with barrier.”
Kelly especially warned traffickers who smuggle children into the U.S. saying, “In accordance with the Executive Orders signed earlier this year, and the law, we have ended the dangerous ‘catch and release’ program. We have significantly increased detainees for deportation, we have arrested more criminal aliens. We will continue to expand our approach to deterring illegal immigration. Everything’s on the table in that regard. That includes our approach of prosecuting anyone who pays traffickers to smuggle people into the country. Especially those who smuggle in children.”