"We're here to send a message to the world that we are not going to let the country be overwhelmed", Sessions said.
Crossing the USA border without authorization is already a misdemeanor on the first offense, and can be a felony for people who have been previously taken out of the U.S. "We will continue to work with our partners in each U.S. Attorney's offices to aggressively pursue prosecutions of criminal illegal entry".
Attorney General Jeff Sessions became the latest Trump Administration official to visit the San Diego border area when he arrived Monday to discuss the administration's anti-immigration agenda. If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, we will prosecute you.
Currently, border patrol agents usually try to keep families united by sending all their members to the same detention center, but with the new policy "most parents will be prosecuted and children sent to a separate refugee facility", the official said. "The second situation when we separate is when we prosecute".
Sessions' so-called "zero tolerance policy" raises the possibility that immigration authorities could separate parents from their children whenever a family is apprehended attempting to cross the border.
Viviani pushes for second consecutive win as Dennis remains in lead
Cyclist ride during the last stage at the Giro d'Italia, near the Makhtesh Ramon Crater in Southern Israel on May 6, 2018. Racing at the Grand Tour will resume with a 198km stage from Catania to Caltagirone on Tuesday (May 8).
Sessions also spoke about tougher immigration enforcement, with his visit coming a week after the caravan, with fewer than 200 migrants, arrived at the US border in Tijuana following a roughly monthlong trek through Mexico.
Sessions' visit follows a March visit by President Donald Trump to Otay Mesa to survey border wall prototypes.
"I have no doubt that many of those crossing our border illegally are leaving hard situations", Sessions said.
"It's obvious that we can not take everyone who wants to come here without also hurting the interests of the citizens we are sworn to serve and protect".
The trip marked the fourth time a high-ranking Trump Administration official has visited the California-Mexico border region in recent months.