by Mark Angelides
“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws and the catch and release practices of old are over,”
These are the words that have the whole world either cheering or crying. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions laid out his (near) comprehensive plan for dealing with the US illegal immigration problem, all ears were waiting for details of the “grand plan”. And here they are…
As of today, prosecutions will be encouraged and organized in these four key areas of immigration:
- The transportation or harboring of aliens. As you know too well, this is a booming business down here. No more. We are going to shut down and jail those who have been profiting off this lawlessness — people smuggling gang members across the border, helping convicted criminals re-enter this country and preying on those who don’t know how dangerous the journey can be.
- Further, where an alien has unlawfully entered the country, which is a misdemeanor, that alien will now be charged with a felony if they unlawfully enter or attempt enter a second time and certain aggravating circumstances are present.
- Also, aliens that illegally re-enter the country after prior removal will be referred for felony prosecution — and a priority will be given to such offenses, especially where indicators of gang affiliation, a risk to public safety or criminal history are present.
- Fourth: where possible, prosecutors are directed to charge criminal aliens with document fraud and aggravated identity theft — the latter carrying a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.
So far, the reactions have been much as expected. Supporters see this as a great first step, whilst detractors are saying it infringes “constitution, human rights, dignity of criminals blah, blah, blah (insert minority cause of your choice).
Sessions also made note of two other areas where efforts would be made. The first being the prosecution of those who assault border security staff in the line of duty: they’ll serve federal time.
And the second area will be much welcome in migrant communities across the nation. Sessions has stated that gang affiliations will be targeted specifically:
“When we talk about MS-13 and the cartels, what do we mean? We mean criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into warzones, that rape and kill innocent citizens and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders. Depravity and violence are their calling cards, including brutal machete attacks and beheadings,”
“With the President’s Executive Orders on Border Security, Transnational Criminal Organizations and Public Safety as our guideposts, we will execute a strategy that once again secures the border; apprehends and prosecutes those criminal aliens that threaten our public safety; takes the fight to gangs like MS-13 and Los Zetas; and makes dismantlement and destruction of the cartels a top priority.”