America’s new top prosecutor, Jeff Sessions, has said the US must bring an end to illegal immigration, as he was sworn in at the White House.
The US attorney general said: “We need to end this lawlessness that threatens the public safety, pulls down the wages of working Americans.”
President Donald Trump said the former Alabama senator would be “a great protector of the people”.
The Senate confirmed him in the post on Wednesday by a vote of 52 to 47.
Mr Sessions was appointed after a series of divisive congressional hearings over his record on civil rights.
“We need a lawful system of immigration,” Mr Sessions said after he was sworn in.
“One that services the interest of the people of the United States. That’s not wrong, that’s not immoral, that’s not indecent.”
Mr Sessions also pledged to address the country’s crime problem, which he called a “dangerous and permanent trend that places the health and safety of the American people at risk”.
At 70, Mr Sessions is the same age as Mr Trump and was one of the earliest supporters of the president.
He will now take charge of the justice department and its 113,000 employees, including 93 US attorneys.