Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently directed federal prosecutors to charge suspects with “the most serious, readily provable offense” — a move former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said may lead to a much-needed “tent city” near the border.
“We need to look at different ways to make prison space now because we shouldn’t worry about that when cracking down on criminals,” Arpaio told Fox Business, explaining that setting up tents at the United States’ southern border to house illegal immigrants was one way to do so.
The former sheriff created an outdoor jail called “Tent City” in Arizona in 1993, and, although Arpaio insisted that the method worked, the jail was being shut down by the county’s new sheriff this year.
“The majority of people that we’ve arrested have been illegal immigrants bringing drugs across the border,” Arpaio added. “And, they just keep coming over, bringing more drugs.”
He said he believed Sessions’ crackdown would make illegal immigrants “more reluctant” to cross the border.
In the memo to 94 federal prosecutors, the attorney general said the policy affirmed the “responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency.”
“This policy fully utilizes the tools Congress has given us,” Sessions explained, according to CNN. “By definition, the most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.”
Sessions’ directive was a direct reversal of more lenient policies under the Obama Administration, in which Attorney General Eric Holder asked prosecutors to avoid charging nonviolent drug offenders with crimes that carried mandatory minimum sentences.
While Holder and former President Barack Obama championed the lenient polices as necessary to help thin out overcrowded prisons across the U.S., Arpaio argued that, instead, they helped create the drug epidemic currently threatening our communities. We have already seen the devastating effects of that drug epidemic, and it’s obvious that the former administration’s policies weren’t do anything to negate it.
Thankfully, President Trump’s administration has taken the dire situation seriously.
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