Attorney General Jeff Sessions visits U.S.-Mexico border

Posted at 1:24 PM, May 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 21:11:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited the U.S.-Mexico border Monday for a news conference. 

During the conference, Sessions announced that he would be referring all illegal border crossings to the Department of Justice. 

Sessions said he will be implementing a "zero tolerance" policy and that any people crossing the border illegally will be prosecuted. 

RELATED: President Trump visits border wall prototypes 

"The American people are right and just and decent to ask for this. They are right to want a safe and secure border and a government that knows who is here and who isn't," Sessions said. 

During the news conference, a protestor interrupting Sessions shouting, "Do you have a heart? Do you have a soul? Why?"

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan also spoke at the news conference. 

RELATED: Vice President Mike Pence visits US-Mexico border in Calexico  

The visit comes a week after a caravan of migrants from Central America arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sessions’ visit marks the third high-profile visit from the Trump administration in the last two months.

President Trump visited the border wall prototypes in March followed by a visit by Vice President Mike Pence in April.

The Democratic National Committee released the following statement before Sessions' visit:

“The Trump-Sessions immigration agenda is an affront to our values as a nation. This administration is set on tearing families apart, detaining immigrants without justification, leaving U.S.-born children without their parents, and stoking fear in immigrant communities, all while siphoning off taxpayer dollars to fund a divisive and ineffective wall. Attorney General Sessions continues to abuse his authority to expedite removals and deprive detained immigrants of legal counseling and due process, which further highlights this administration's hostility towards immigrant communities. Democrats know the importance of our country’s history as a nation of immigrants. We believe all people who come to the United States should be treated with dignity and respect, and we always seek to embrace — not to attack — immigrants.”

In April, President Trump signed a memo to send National Guard troops to the border ahead of the migrant caravan's arrival. 

President Bush deployed more than 6,000 troops to assist border agents in Operation Phalanx in 2006 and President Obama sent 1,200 troops to the border in a similar operation in 2010.

Watch Monday's full news conference in the player below: