Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced the dedication of additional prosecutors to handle the prosecutions of improper entry, illegal reentry, and alien smuggling cases, and additional immigration judges to handle the adjudication of immigration court cases that result from the crisis at the Southwest border.
(U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is boosting legal resources at the border, sending additional attorneys and judges in the face of a caravan of migrants that has arrived in recent days. Courtesy of Times of Oman and YouTube. Posted on May 3, 2018)
Thirty-five new Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) positions have been allocated to U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the Southwest border.
The breakdown of those positions is as follows:
Southern District of Texas: Eight (8)
Southern District of California: Eight (8)
Western District of Texas: Seven (7)
District of Arizona: Six (6), and
District of New Mexico: Six (6)
“The American people made very clear their desire to secure our borders and prioritize the public safety and national security of our homeland,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is essential to our republic. By deploying these additional resources to the Southwest border, the Justice Department and the Trump Administration take yet another step in protecting our nation, its borders, and its citizens.”
“It must be clear that there is no right to demand entry without justification.”
Due to a recent increase in the number of apprehensions at the Southwest border, the new AUSA positions announced will assist in the prosecutions of the following offenses pursuant to the Justice Department’s “Zero-Tolerance Policy” announced by Attorney General Sessions on April 6, 2018 and its prior April 11, 2017 directive to AUSAs to prioritize charging immigration offenses.
Illegal reentry (8 U.S.C. § 1326)
Alien smuggling (8 U.S.C. § 1324), and
Improper entry (8 U.S.C. § 1325)
(Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced the Justice Department would send judges and attorneys to the southern border to deal with the so-called caravan of Central American immigrants that are seeking asylum in the United States. The attorney general announced a 50 percent increase in additional judges. Courtesy of C-SPAN and YouTube. Posted on May 2, 2018)
In addition to the new AUSA positions, Attorney General Sessions and Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Director James McHenry announced the utilization of 18 current supervisory immigration judges to adjudicate cases in immigration courts near the southwest border.
The supervisory immigration judges will hear cases in-person and use video teleconferencing (VTC) to handle cases at immigration courts and represent a roughly 50 percent increase in the current number of immigration judges:
“The Justice Department, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has made significant reforms and progress in tackling the overwhelming backlog in the immigration court system,” said EOIR Director James McHenry.
“We must not let attempts to undermine our lawful immigration system deter that progress, and the men and women at EOIR are proud to play a small role in the Attorney General’s response to the crisis at our Southwest border.”
Between March and September 2017, EOIR mobilized over one hundred immigration judges to Department of Homeland Security detention facilities across the country, including along the Southwest border.
In October, EOIR projected that the mobilized immigration judges—hearing both in-person and VTC cases—completed approximately 2,700 more cases than expected if the immigration judges had not been detailed.