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Rep. Biggs says administration sending help for immigration courts

In this Dec. 15, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump, left, sits with Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs said the Trump administration wasn’t ignoring a federal judge’s contention that the courts in the state already were working at capacity and couldn’t handle more immigration cases.

After U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week the intention to refer anyone caught crossing the border illegally for prosecution, U.S. District Judge Raner Collins said the state’s courts already were struggling to keep up with the caseload.

Biggs told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Tuesday that he discussed Collins’ comments with Sessions.

On one hand, Biggs said, there wasn’t much sympathy about the workload.

“They said, ‘They’re judges, for Pete’s sake, they have to get this stuff done,'” the Republican said.

However, Sessions isn’t ignoring the issue.

“On the other hand, he said that the administration was going to bring in administrative hearing officers who can handle probably 90 percent of the cases without getting them into the federal district court,” Biggs said.

“That’s the administration’s immediate response, and that’s what they’re trying to do.”

On May 7, Sessions issued a blunt warning.

“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

In response, Collins said it wasn’t that simple.

“We don’t have the staff,” he said. “We don’t have the personnel. We don’t have the room to be able to do anything more than we’re doing right now with regards to these type of cases.”

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