Justice Department Announces Additional Judges, Attorneys to Handle Border Crisis
By RJ Hauman | May 4, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions – who announced federal charges for members of the infamous open borders caravan earlier this week – is sending additional resources to the southwest border to handle the ongoing crisis. The decision comes on the heels of the revelation that illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border surged 230 percent in April compared to last year.
In total, 35 new Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) positions have been allocated to U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the Southwest border. The new AUSAs will assist in the prosecutions of illegal reentry (8 U.S.C. § 1326), alien smuggling (8 U.S.C. § 1324), and improper entry (8 U.S.C. § 1325) 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.
“The American people made very clear their desire to secure our borders and prioritize the public safety and national security of our homeland,” Sessions said in a statement. “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.”
In addition to the new AUSA positions, 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.