Ending illegal immigration to the United States is a top priority of the Trump administration. In late April, during a trip to the southwestern United States, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly spoke in San Diego, California, about why it is necessary to crack down on illegal immigration into the United States.
“In our system of government, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice enforce the laws passed by the United States Congress. That includes our immigration laws. These laws exist to keep our people safe and our nation sovereign,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kelly.
But it’s about more than just obeying the law. Two of the major reasons for the crack down on illegal immigration are the high risk of death or injury to the immigrants, and the criminal aspects associated with illegal entry into the United States.
For one, violent criminal gangs are using these routes to smuggle drugs and other contraband, as well members of their criminal organizations. These criminals then work to extend the influence of their organizations into new territories, where they frequently prey on their compatriots.
Human smuggling across the border is also a big concern. Known colloquially as coyotes, these smugglers demand exorbitant sums of money to guide people through dangerous territory and across the border. Not only is the route very dangerous, it is not uncommon for coyotes to assault, abuse, extort and even kill their charges.
“We’re not going to make it impossible for people to travel between our countries, but we’re going to end this illegality,” said Attorney General Sessions.“We’re not going to stop until we get it done. This is the closest we’ll ever get to getting it done. So we need to make sure we get to the finish line. It’s already been reduced as much as 70% this illegality, and we’re going to get it to zero and keep it there, and we’ll be proud of the new system that we have,” he said.
“We admit 1.1 million people each year lawfully into America, so we’re not ending immigration, we’re just ending illegal immigration.”