NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' trip to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona (all times local):
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced a get-tough approach to immigration prosecutions during a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sessions outlined a series of changes that he said mark the start of a new era to rid American cities and the border of what he described as "filth" brought on by drug cartels.
Sessions has been expanding the Justice Department's role in the anti-immigration agenda of the Trump administration. But his Tuesday speech during his first visit to the border offered the most comprehensive look yet at his plans for federal prosecutions of those in the country illegally.
Sessions urged federal prosecutors to intensify their focus on immigration crimes such as illegal crossings or smuggling others into the U.S. Such prosecutions are already happening, however. Half of federal arrests in 2014 were for immigration-related offenses, according to a Pew Research analysis released this week.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday will take a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border during a visit to Arizona.
Sessions will tour what is mostly rough terrain along the international border in Nogales, Arizona, about roughly 70 miles south of Tucson.
Sessions has made immigration enforcement a key Justice Department priority, saying he will speed up deportations of immigrants in the country illegally who were convicted of federal crimes.
He's defended federal immigration authorities who make arrests at courthouses, a practice advocates and the California Supreme Court Chief justice say impedes on people's access to justice.
Sessions is visiting the once-busiest area for illegal border crossings and drug smuggling in the country. But over the past few years, traffic has shifted to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
The Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol, which comprises most of Arizona, saw about 65,000 arrests last fiscal year, roughly half the amount it saw in 2012.