In a press release Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered prosecutors to implement a "zero-tolerance policy" for immigrants who illegally cross the southwest border into the United States. He also directed prosecutors in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to prosecute “all Department of Homeland Security referrals." The release cited a “203 percent increase in illegal border crossings from March 2017 to March 2018” as the reason for the new policy. “[A] crisis has erupted at our Southwest Border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border,” Sessions said in the statement. “To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration’s commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law, I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice.” This comes as the White House and Department of Homeland Security announced National Guard troops would be deployed along the southern border to aid border control.