BOZEMAN - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Bozeman at the tail end of a three-day police conference.
He spoke for 20 minutes largely on illegal immigration and the dangers it presents for law enforcement. But he also made an announcement about new funding for school safety.
Sessions announced the first grants under the STOP School Violence Act will include $50 million to train teachers and students and develop an anonymous reporting system for threats of school violence. Sessions said an additional $25 million will also be coming in the near future.
The high-level visit is a first for this annual conference and Sessions received a warm welcome from law enforcement attending the event.
Sessions started his speech by saying he’s here to back those in blue and announced new grant funding from President Trump for safer schools. He then moved onto the country’s drug epidemic, but it wasn’t long after that he began talking about the dangers posed by illegal immigrants.
Sessions says 93% f confirmed aliens in custody were known or suspected illegal aliens according to bureau of prisons. “Officers like you had to make those arrests and propel that never have been in the country in the first place and you shouldn’t have to be doing that..”
Over 16 Montana policies agencies attended the speech, including Bozeman Chief of Police Steve Crawford who said that while immigration isn't a focal issue for his department they work closely with their federal partners and appreciate all help enforcing laws on the books.
Outside the event, protestors held signs in opposition to Sessions' stance on immigration. Some signs read “Montanans round up cattle not immigrants” and “America is the mother to all immigrants.”
The reaction to Sessions visit may have mixed but it was nonetheless an event worthy of note that the highest ranking official within the US Department of Justice visited Bozeman.
This was Sessions second visit to the Treasure State. He visited Billings and spoke to police with a focus on drugs back in Billings.