Friday has been a busy day for the Trump administration and the Department of Justice. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ramped up calls on Friday to criminally prosecute immigrants who cross illegally into the United States, reaffirming statements made by President Trump during several speeches over the last week.
In addition to those statements, Trump signed a memorandum on Friday ordering the end of the policy known as “catch and release,” in which illegal immigrants are released from detention while awaiting a court hearing on their status.
The change in policy means that no illegal boarder crossers will be given a chance to go back home without being criminally prosecuted. Trump has also directed the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to produce a list of military facilities that could be used to detain illegal immigrants.
Some federal prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges have expressed concerns that charging border crossers en masse is a drain on court resources.
Supporters of Session’s approach have said that criminal penalties deter repeat crossers, while detractors have said the prosecutions can deny legitimate asylum seekers the ability to properly file claims.