The Justice Department will add 20 federal prosecutors to handle immigration-related offenses and five others who will target drug trafficking in states along the border with Mexico, reports the Associated Press. “We’ve heard the cries of our U.S. Attorneys, who tell us they need additional resources,” Gonzales said in Albuquerque. Gonzales challenged Congress to keep the money coming, saying comprehensive immigration reform will require more judges, marshals, and bed space to secure the border.
The Department of Homeland Security will identify lawyers who will be designated as special assistant U.S. attorneys, responsible for prosecuting immigration offenses. Gonzales said that over the past six years, the Justice Department has boosted the number of federal prosecutors along the Mexican border by 29 percent, to 561. During the same span, immigration prosecutions have increased about 40 percent, and about 30 percent of all new criminal cases involve immigration crimes. That makes immigration the largest category of cases addressed by federal prosecutors. In a separate talk to the National District Attorneys Association in New Mexico, Gonzales said that protecting children from sexual predators is his top priority.”There is no crime I’m more dedicated to preventing,” he said.