Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday the Department of Justice will prosecute all cases involving illegal border crossings between the United States and Mexico, noting there is now a "zero tolerance policy" in place.
Sessions spoke at the border near San Diego and underscored the Trump administration's desire to crack down on illegal immigration — including when parents try to illegally bring their children over the border.
"People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border," Sessions said. "We need legality and integrity in our immigration system. That's why the Department of Homeland Security is now referring 100 percent of illegal southwest border crossings to the Department of Justice for prosecution.
"I have put in place a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry on our southwest border. If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It's that simple."
Sessions added if adults try to smuggle a child with them across the border, the child might be separated from his or her parents.
"If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you," Sessions said. "That child may be separated from you, as required by law."
Sessions referenced an increase in border crossings the past three months as reason to ramp up security efforts.
"These trends are clear, these trends must end," he said.
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