US to crack down on first time border offenders | News | DW
US President Donald Trump has vowed to end the “catch and release” system of leniency for first time border violators. The latest move comes after Trump deployed the National Guard to the Mexican border.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection K-9 unit checks vehicles crossing into the United States from Mexico
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered federal prosecutors take a more severe stance against first-time illegal border crossers.
First time offenders are normally deported back to Mexico shortly after being caught, but Sessions wants them to face harsher punishment.
Border arrests surged 37 percent from February to March this year, hitting 50,308. The figure is more than triple the same period last year, but is still below the periodic surges during former President Barack Obama’s second term and far lower than the 1990s and 2000s.
Sessions said “a crisis has erupted” on the border and called for a “zero-tolerance” policy.
He issued a more softly worded directive last year that addressed a larger number of border crimes.