SCRANTON, Pa. -- United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Scranton Friday to discuss law enforcement and immigration.
Attorney General Sessions spoke to of police officers and police cadets at Lackawanna College around 11:30 a.m.
Sessions spoke on two topics at Lackawanna College: First he wants to restore the rule of law for the immigration system, and second he wants to further protect police officers in the line of duty.
Sessions spoke before a packed room inside Lackawanna College in Scranton. In front of local, state, and federal officers, the attorney general reinforced his opposition to illegal immigration.
"The steps that we are taking that will be a benefit to our law enforcement officers, we are going to restore the rule of law in our immigration system," Sessions said.
The attorney general has been a vocal opponent of illegal immigration and he discussed the shocking number of illegals in the nation and right here in Pennsylvania.
"There's an estimated 11 million in the country today. That's the size of the state of Georgia. Pennsylvania alone has more than 180,000 illegal aliens," said Attorney General Sessions. "And the problem is growing. From 2009 to 2014, 50,000 aliens moved to Pennsylvania."
Sessions said that ICE agents are being criticized for simply doing their jobs. Sessions pointed to illegal immigration as a problem that creates even more problems for police officers in the field.
"The Department of Homeland Security released a report that more than one in five federal prisoners is foreign-born."
A group gathered outside protesting the attorney general's stance on illegal immigration.
The sisters of IHM along with other protestors gathered across the street from Lackawanna College as Attorney General Sessions spoke.
"We are very concerned as women religious, as citizens of the United States, of what is going on at our border. We believe in the dignity of life," said Sister Donna Corba, IHM.
Other protestors stood on the corners surrounding the college with signs reading "Scranton was built by immigrants."
The Sisters of IHM say immigrant children being torn from their parents by our government tears at their hearts.
"As human beings, that is just a natural reaction and it is unfair that these women and children are seeking asylum," Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM said.
Inside Lackawanna College, Sessions told the cadets training to be police officers that immigrants must follow laws in place before entering America.
"We are a great nation. We are the greatest in the history of the world and it is no surprise that people want to come here. We have the most generous laws in the world but these laws must be carried out," Sessions said.
But the Sisters of IHM disagree.
"As citizens of our country, that this is absolutely wrong and we are here to let our voices be heard."
The sisters hope those in office can figure out a new way to help families entering America without separating them.