"For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: this is a new era, this is the Trump era", he said after a tour of the Mexican border in Arizona on Tuesday.
"Depravity and violence are their calling cards", Sessions said in his prepared remarks.
"When we talk about MS-13 and the cartels, what do we mean?" These presidential actions expanded the Homeland Security Department's enforcement priorities on the border, including the mandatory detention of all people crossing the border illegally.
It's safe to say that the way the Trump administration views our immigration laws is a radical departure from the way that previous presidents - Republican and Democrat - have seen the issue.
Sessions had already called for immigration courts to speed up prosecutions and for the Justice Department to hire 75 more immigration judges, along with 60 more border enforcement prosecutors.Meanwhile, the Trump administration is moving forward with plans to build a border wall that would require Congress to appropriate billions of dollars. From January to February of this year, illegal crossings dropped by 40 percent, which was unprecedented.
"I don't think that the rising crime that we've seen and violent crime in the a year ago or two is just a blip", said Sessions.
On Tuesday, Sessions also announced they are hiring more immigration judges to help reduce the backlogs in immigration courts.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, arrives for a tour of the U.S. -Mexico border with border officials, Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Nogales, Ariz.
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"With the president's executive order on border security, transnational criminal organizations and public safety as our guidepost, we will execute a strategy that once again secures our border", he said, speaking to Border Patrol officers and the news media. He went on to emphasize that federal prosecutors will now be mandated to enforce existing laws banning the transportation and harboring of undocumented immigrants and assault on federal law enforcement officers.
The same day, Mr Sessions released a memo outlining his border control plans.
Since he was confirmed, Sessions has widened the Justice Department's role in immigration prosecutions. He added that "it is here that criminal aliens and the coyotes and the document-forgers seek to overthrow our system of lawful immigration". People who are caught by agents, or those who surrender at the border, are subject to deportation unless they can establish grounds for asylum.
Sessions added that in his new initiative each US attorney would be required to designate a point person on border security prosecutions by April 18.
"We want to partner with the federal government as we can, but not to do immigration enforcement", Estrada said.
Advocates for stricter immigration enforcement praised Sessions' new directives as a potentially effective way to curb illegal immigration.