Watch–Merrick Garland: ‘I Don’t Know’ If DOJ Will Continue Prosecuting Illegal Immigration

Senate Judiciary Committee

President Joe Biden’s nominee for United States Attorney General, Merrick Garland, says he does not know if the Department of Justice (DOJ) will continue prosecuting illegal border crossings should the Senate confirm him.

During a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, Garland was asked by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) if Garland supported criminally prosecuting illegal entry to the U.S. and if prosecutions of illegal border crossers would continue under his watch.

On both questions, Garland said he was unsure. The exchange went as follows:

HAWLEY: Do you believe that illegal entry at America’s borders should remain a crime?

GARLAND: Well, I haven’t thought about that question. I just haven’t thought about that question. I think the president has made clear that we are a country with borders, with a concern about national security. I don’t know of a proposal to decriminalize but still make it unlawful to enter. I just don’t know the answer to that question. I haven’t thought about it.

HAWLEY: Will you continue to prosecute unlawful border crossings?

GARLAND: Well, again, this is a question of allocation of resources. We will … the Department will … prevent unlawful crossing. I don’t know … I have to admit, I just don’t know … what exactly the conditions are and how this is done. I think if … I don’t know what the current program even is with respect to this … so I assume that the answer would be yes but I don’t know what the issues surround it are.

In 2019, Biden repeatedly said that he did not support decriminalizing illegal immigration, while other Democrats proposed making illegal entry to the U.S. merely a civil penalty.

For years, the DOJ has charged thousands of illegal aliens with illegal entry. Between Fiscal Years 2016 and 2019, U.S. attorneys charged more than 83,400 illegal aliens with illegal entry. In that same time period, U.S. attorneys charged nearly 232,000 illegal aliens with misdemeanor improper entry and more than 14,550 with alien smuggling.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here. 


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