Sessions Orders Zero Tolerance Policy For Border Crossers

Published: Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 5:00am
Updated: Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 5:05am
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a zero-tolerance policy Friday, aimed at first-time offenders entering the United States illegally from Mexico. Sessions wants federal prosecutors in border districts, like Arizona, to emphasize charging people with illegal entry.

Illegal entry has historically been treated as a misdemeanor for those with few or no previous encounters with border authorities. Smugglers and frequent offenders are usually charged with more serious crimes.

Sessions’ one-page order lacks specifics on how the policy will be carried out, but signals that major change is in the works. He said prosecutors should ask for additional resources if needed to prosecute cases.

The move comes at the end of a week of unusually intense attention to border security that included President Donald Trump's order for thousands of National Guard members to head to the border.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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