This morning in Nogales, Arizona, a town on the Border of Mexico, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke about new, tougher directions for immigration enforcement. His comments were more like a battle cry than talking about laws and diplomacy. When describing the immigration situation—from nonviolent immigrants to gangs and cartels—Sessions declared “It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth.”
Sessions painted a picture of anarchy because of immigration, saying that gangs and cartels“turn cities and suburbs into war zones, that rape and kill innocent citizens and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders.” However, the crime rate on the border has been dropping over the last five years, and despite that were was one year of increased crime, that had nothing to do with cartels and gangs. In fact, El Paso, Texas, is one of the safest places in the nation.
Sessions ignored those reports, and described the new immigration tactics: “The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over.”
Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund, fired back: “Attorney General Sessions is grandstanding at the border in an attempt to look tough and scare immigrants. It’s yet another example of the Trump Administration treating all immigrants as threats and as criminals.”
Grandstanding is a good description. Sessions had a message for immigrants: “be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era.”