Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Justice Department has sent a memo to U.S. attorneys mandating "the prioritization of criminal immigration enforcement." The proposal is intended to "help prevent and deter illegal immigration," Sessions said in a press release.
Sessions unveiled the mandate in a speech Tuesday before border patrol agents in Nogales, Arizona, calling for an increase the number of cases brought against undocumented immigrants. "It is here ... where we first take our stand," Sessions said. Prepared remarks sent to reporters ahead of the speech suggest Sessions initially planned to say "take our stand against this filth," referring to undocumented immigrants who "rape and kill innocent citizens."
CNN noted the effort could "substantially increase the number and seriousness of charges brought against undocumented immigrants." "This is a new era," Sessions said. "This is the Trump era."