Sessions, a long-time proponent of tougher immigration enforcement, told U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the Port of Nogales, Arizona, that more illegal migrants should be prosecuted as criminals.
It is normally the role of the Secretary of Homeland Security to meet border agents. But Sessions made the visit to highlight his focus on enforcing federal laws as dozens of U.S. cities try to shield illegal immigrants from stepped-up prosecution and deportation efforts.
"Why are we doing this?" the former U.S. senator said. "Because it is what the duly enacted laws of the United States require."
Sessions said that each U.S. attorney would be required to designate a point person on border security prosecutions by April 18. The person in that position, known as a border security coordinator, would be directed to coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security, according to Sessions' memo.