NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY/AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Norfolk Friday to talk national security and immigration.
Sessions delivered remarks on the Trump Administration’s priorities in those two areas.
Gallery: AG Jeff Sessions speaks in Norfolk
Immigration in particular is a topic that’s divided Republicans and Democrats in recent weeks. The White House on Thursday outlined President Donald Trump’s demands for an immigration plan.
The Associated Press reports Trump is proposing a plan that provides a path to citizenship for 1.8 million of the so-called “Dreamer” immigrants. It also calls for $25 billion in border security.
But Sessions didn’t mention the Dreamers in his 20 minute speech at the Slover Library Friday afternoon.
Instead he talked about crime as the main reason for the need for immigration reform.
“Today we face a number of serious threats from the vicious gang MS 13, to the worst drug epidemic in history, to radical Islamic terrorism,” Sessions told a crowd of local law enforcement and Department of Justice personnel.
He wants to make the case for immigration reform and the building of a wall at the southern border. According to sessions, a significant portion of American crime is the result of the illegal immigration.
Sessions also wants to switch to a merit-based system of immigration, based on education, skills, and time lived in this country.
“That means welcoming the best and the brightest but banning and deporting gang members, identity fraudsters, drunk drivers, and child abusers, and making them inadmissible in this country.”
A small crowd of demonstrators gathered outside of Slover Library ahead of Sessions’ speech. The crowd chanted, “No hate, not fear. Immigrants are welcome here,” as they held pro-immigration signs.