Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland said he hasn’t “thought about” whether illegal entry into the United States should remain a crime during his confirmation hearing on Monday.
Garland, a federal appeals court judge, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for seven hours on Monday and was questioned about how the Justice Department would enforce immigration laws if he was confirmed.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri asked Garland if he believed “illegal entry at America’s border should remain a crime.”
“I haven’t thought about that question. Uh, uh, I just haven’t thought about that question,” Garland responded.
“I think the president has made clear that we are a country of, with borders and 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.”