The Latest: Sessions: Says he voted in Alabama Senate race

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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on news conference by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on gang violence (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he cast an absentee ballot in Tuesday's special Senate election in Alabama but declined to specify whom he voted for, saying he "valued the sanctity of the ballot."

"The people of Alabama are good and decent and wonderful people I've been proud to serve for 20 years in the Senate, and they'll make the right decision, I'm sure," Sessions said at a news conference in Baltimore focusing on gang violence and immigration.

Republican Roy Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones in the contentious race in deeply conservative Alabama.

Seventy-year-old Moore is attempting a political resurrection amid accusations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

Democrat Doug Jones, 63, is best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen who killed four black girls in a 1963 church bombing.


11:35 a.m.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says President Donald Trump's administration has hired 50 immigration judges since January and plans to hire another 60 over the next six months to manage a backlog of cases that have "overwhelmed" the U.S. immigration system.

Sessions said at a news conference Tuesday that the immigration caseload has tripled since fiscal 2009, but that "under President Trump, we have already taken steps to bring down the backlog in cases."

He also said border crossings by undocumented immigrants are now at their lowest level in 45 years, but vowed "that number can be zero. We can do it."

Sessions spoke at the news conference with the new secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen M. Nielsen. She said U.S. law enforcement is redoubling efforts to sweep up members of MS-13 and other violent gangs that have spread from Latin America. She says gang killings and other violence will not be tolerated by American communities.


11:20 a.m.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says Monday's attack on the New York City subway system showed "in the starkest terms" that the failures of the U.S. immigration system are a national security issue.

Speaking at a news conference with the new chief of Homeland Security, Sessions said Tuesday that two terrorist attacks in New York in the past two months were carried out by men who were in the U.S. "as a result of failed immigration policies."

Authorities said a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant is in custody after the latest attack, described as a would-be suicide bomb attempt during the morning rush hour.

Sessions called on Congress to strengthen immigration laws and vowed the Trump administration would do more to enforce immigration law.


7 a.m.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the new chief of Homeland Security will use Baltimore as a backdrop to talk about efforts to combat a notorious gang with law enforcement and immigration actions.

Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (KEERST-jen kneel-sen) will speak Tuesday about the Trump administration's efforts to fight the MS-13 gang. They'll join officials at the U.S. attorney's office.

MS-13 members are suspected of committing high-profile slayings in Maryland, Virginia and New York. A hallmark of the gang, which has ties to Central America, is repeated slashes to a victim's body.

The gang has become a prime target of the Trump administration amid its broader crackdown on immigration. Authorities said a national sweep in October netted more than 200 members.

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