Jeff Sessions wants to close ‘blatant loopholes’ in immigration law
PHOENIX — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the administration can take multiple measures to reduce illegal immigration, even without getting approval for President Donald Trump’s border wall.
“There are a number of blatant loopholes and problems that we have in the immigration law that could just be tightened up real easily,” Sessions told KTAR FM 92.3’s Arizona Morning News.
“In some ways I feel that we’ve got one hand tied behind our back.”
Sessions was in Arizona on Monday morning to speak at the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies conference in Scottsdale.
He had a news conference scheduled in the afternoon in San Diego, where he was to be joined by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan.
“The president is on fire about this,” Sessions continued. “He’s made his position to his whole governmental team quite clear, and he made it clear to Congress.”
In addition to closing legal loopholes, Sessions said the administration was increasing the number of judges and prosecutors at the border. He also called for more funding for detention centers and courtroom spaces.
At the Scottsdale event, Sessions got more specific, saying he sent 18 immigration judges, a 50 percent increase, and 35 prosecutors to the border.
Sessions said some entering the country were taking advantage of a system that allows them a trial if they say they have credible fear of returning home.
“We’ve had situations in which a person comes to the United States and says they are victim of domestic violence; therefore they are entitled to enter the United States,” he said. “Well that’s obviously false, but some judges have gone along with that.
“If you’re a victim of domestic violence in the United States, are you entitled to demand entry in England or Canada? Of course not.”
Sessions noted that the number of migrants arrested at the Mexican border tripled this past April compared to the same month in 2017.
“We’re going to fight every day,” he said, “and we’re going to start bringing down these numbers, which right now are surging again after a great year last year when the president first took office.”