Sessions to Tour Arizona-Mexico Border Tuesday

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' 11 April 2017 appearance in Arizona was the subject of confusion in reports about his description of drug cartels and illegal traffickers.

Sessions outlined a series of changes that he said mark a concerted effort to rid USA cities and the border of what he described as "filth" brought on by drug cartels. In Maryland, where a street gang called MS-13 operates, overdose deaths from the synthetic heroin-like drug increased 62% in the first nine months of 2016.

US Attorney Offices are being told to designate an Assistant United States Attorney as the Border Security Coordinator for the district and it will be their responsibility to coordinate criminal immigration enforcement responses for their office.

The President has made this a priority - and already we are seeing the results.

States near the border, and others in Appalachia and the North East have seen a rapid increase in overdose deaths from fentanyl in the past couple years, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention-the leading USA national public health institute.

"Starting today, federal prosecutors are now required to consider for prosecution all of the following offenses, often not prosecuted in the past", Sessions said.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump floated the possibility of nixing "birthright laws" that automatically grant citizenship to anyone born on us soil - a popular notion among immigration hardliners.

Sessions said he hopes to streamline hiring to get 50 judges in place this year and an additional 75 in place next year.

"With the president's executive order on border security, transnational criminal organizations and public safety as our guidepost, we will execute a strategy that once again secures our border", he said, speaking to Border Patrol officers and the news media.

Most states have followed the federal lead, some facing budget crises, Sessions said.

In a press conference on the USA border with Mexico, Sessions announced that the "Trump era" in immigration enforcement had begun.

Since he was confirmed, Sessions has widened the Justice Department's role in immigration prosecutions.

Prosecutors are now directed to charge criminal aliens with document fraud and aggravated identify theft which carries a two-year mandatory minimum federal sentence.

Sessions also issued a memo to federal prosecutors that would up charges against undocumented immigrants. "If prosecution is going to be used as a proxy for immigration detention, then that will be a very interesting new front in the immigration enforcement world".

Sessions' trip to the border Tuesday brings the focus back to immigration, even if the border wall remains more rhetoric than reality.

When delivering the speech, Sessions dropped that last bit about how Mexico is basically the origin of "filth".

For 20 years in the Senate, including a recent stint as chairman of the Judiciary Committee's immigration panel, Sessions was among the loudest voices opposing illegal immigration and programs for guest workers.

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