Attorney General Jeff Sessions said immigration has made policing “tougher and more dangerous than it ought to be” in remarks to a joint conference of the Montana Association of Chiefs of Police and the Montana Police Protective Association in Bozeman, Mont.
Sessions also addressed a recent DOJ and DHS report that found one in five detainees in Bureau of Prisons custody were foreign-born, and 93 percent of confirmed aliens were known or suspected illegal aliens.
“Officers like you had to arrest them,” Sessions said. “Officers like you had to go into dangerous situations to take these people off of our streets — people who never should have been here in the first place. You shouldn’t have to do that. And to add insult to injury, you’re paying taxes to incarcerate these people.”
Sessions continued with numbers on the role of the drug trade in immigrant crime, with drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl crossing the Southern border and killing “tens of thousands of Americans each year.”
Sessions said in 2016 more than 7,500 Americans lost their lives to methamphetamine overdoses and over 20,000 succumbed to fentanyl.
“Any rational person that takes a look at this situation sees the need to secure the border and end the lawlessness,” Sessions said.
He “powerful, influential politicians” are pushing an “open borders movement” with shirts and messages, adding that people must pause and think about the issue seriously.
Sessions said President Trump’s policies are not extreme compared to the groups like Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or people without borders, a migrant outreach group that organizes the annual caravan of Central American immigrants through Mexico to the U.S. border.
“Can America welcome all who want to come here?” Sessions continued. “One poll says 150 million people worldwide want to come here. No nation can sustain such a surge. Europe is in political turmoil over excess immigration. Open borders is an extreme, reckless and dangerous idea. It can never be a sane policy for America.”
He listed immigration bills that were blocked, including an amendment from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), to cut funding for sanctuary cities, and the Secure and Succeed Act, which echoes the “pillars” that the White House said it wanted to see in an immigration bill.
Sessions cited Acting ICE Director Tom Homan’s statistic that nine out of 10 illegal immigrants ICE arrests have criminal records.
He said it’s no surprise that people want to come to the U.S. but insisted that migrants follow the rules.
“And so this department, under President Trump’s leadership along with the Department of Homeland Security, is enforcing the law resolutely,” Sessions said. “We will finally secure this border so that we can give the American people safety and peace of mind.”
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