Sessions: Immigration judges must be efficient with backlog

Sessions: Immigration judges must be efficient with backlog
Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlines Trump administration policies as he speaks to new immigration judges, in Falls Church, Va., Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. Immigration judges work for the Justice Department and are not part of the Judicial branch of government. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions has told a group of new immigration judges they have an obligation to decide cases efficiently in a system besieged by ballooning dockets and lengthy backlogs.

The largest class of new immigration judges in U.S. history gathered Monday in Falls Church, Virginia. The 44 new judges will be placed at courts around the nation.

Sessions cautioned the jurists will face challenges because “we have a lot to do right now.”

He says the system for seeking asylum in the U.S. has been “abused for years.”

Sessions told the judges they should respect the rights of immigrants but “reject unjustified and sometimes blatantly fake claims.”

Sessions says the government’s “zero tolerance” policy to prosecute people illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border will deter others from doing the same.