Wednesday, August 11, 2010

All U.S. counties on Mexican border now share inmate fingerprints with feds

Homeland Security Newswire
August, 11, 2010

All 25 U.S. counties along the Mexican border are now enrolled in the Secure Communities project; federal immigration officials now have access to the prints of every inmate booked into jail in these counties; Secure Communities makes the notification automatic; Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which plans to implement the program nationwide by 2013, says the program has identified more than 262,900 illegal immigrants in jails and prisons who have been charged with or convicted of criminal offenses, including more than 39,000 charged with or convicted of violent offenses or major drug crimes; ICE expects to remove 400,000 illegal immigrants this year; of the 200,000 illegal immigrants deported in the first ten months of fiscal year 2010, 142,000 illegal immigrants were with criminal records and about 50,000 were noncriminals; immigrant advocates say that some counties use Secure Communities to deport noncriminals: the national average of noncriminals flagged by Secure Communities is about 28 percent, but in Travis County, Texas, 82 percent of those removed through Secure Communities were noncriminals

Sharing of fingerprints in the Secure Communities program has led to hundreds of thousands of deportations // Source:

U.S. Immigration officials now have access to the fingerprints of every inmate booked into jail in all twenty-five U.S. counties along the Mexican border, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday, saying the program was a way of identifying and deporting “criminal aliens.”

Napolitano’s announcement came as immigrant rights activists criticized the fingerprinting program, known as Secure Communities, after obtaining documents showing that more than a quarter of those deported under its auspices had no criminal records (“Fingerprint sharing through Secure Communities led to deportation of 47,000,” 10 August 2010 HSNW).

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