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Sessions and Kelly echo administration's push against unlawful immigration

Protestors marching in downtown El Paso as DHS Secretary visits (Credit: KFOX14?CBS4)

As the Trump administration continues to crack down on illegal immigration the U.S. attorney general and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security made their first joint appearance Thursday on the southern border.

Secretary John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions were in El Paso to take a look at border operations and meet with Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice personnel.

"It's been very helpful to me and a lot of details that I thought I knew and I didn't fully understand," Sessions said.

The attorney general met with members of multiple law enforcement agencies that help maintain border and national security, including the U.S. Marshals Service, the Border Patrol, immigration judges and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement lawyers.

"It is here on this sliver of land where we establish a beachhead against the cartels, against the transnational street gangs like MS-13 and human traffickers," Sessions said.

Protesters outside the news conference said it's misleading to only bring up gangs and cartels. They said there are also people who are innocent or vulnerable who enter the country illegally.

"One thing is a criminal and one thing is a person that is fleeing from violence, fleeing from situations that they cannot control," Angel Flores, a demonstrator, said. "Especially when they're just trying to get safety for their family."

Sessions has one simple message for people thinking of entering the country unlawfully.

"Don't come. Please don't come. When you are caught, you will be detained, adjudicated and deported. Do not come unlawfully. Wait your turn," Sessions said.

Kelly says that building a wall is a must.

"It's absolutely essential that we build that wall but that wall has to be combined with technology, no doubt about it," he said.

Sessions has been visiting other cities along the border. He was in Arizona last week and will be in California later this week.

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