Law enforcement personnel of the Sheriff’s Department of San Diego County in California have become the first to receive biometric-based immigration information on the prisoners they oversee, according to an Imperial Valley News article. The system, which is part of the Secure Communities program administered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), works by matching up fingerprint samples taken from prisoners with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) records to see if the prisoner has an immigration record.
The hope is that the Sheriff’s Department will be able to find some of their prisoners as removable criminal aliens where ICE will review their case and determine the appropriate action.
The addition of the biometrics aspect of the Secure Communities program is one new step to better and more efficiently identify criminal aliens in the San Diego prison system that has previously seen 6,500 prisoners transferred to the custody of the ICE between itself and the other 50 counties in the U.S. that take part in the program.
Further plans for the program include enhancing the ability to distribute biometric information from the DHS and FBI databases to local and state authorities. In the coming year, ICE plans to spend upwards of $1 billion in enhancing the Secure Communities program as well as other similar programs it oversees such as the Criminal Alien Program and the Fugitive Operations Program.
Read the full story here.