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ICE expands its jail print program all along border

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The Northerner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 01:00 AM
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ICE expands its jail print program all along border
Immigration history checked during booking

Immigration officials announced on Tuesday that all 24 counties along the Southwest border are now part of a federal program designed to run fingerprint-based immigration history checks on suspects booked into local jails.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement program, dubbed Secure Communities, debuted in Harris County's jails in October 2008. Since then, the program has expanded to 544 jurisdictions and is scheduled to be used across the country by 2013.

Since its launch, the program has helped remove more than 34,600 illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, including more than 9,800 classified as "aggravated felons," ICE officials said.

"The Secure Communities initiative reflects ICE's ongoing commitment to smart, tough enforcement strategies that help ensure the apprehension of dangerous criminal aliens," said John Morton, ICE's assistant secretary. "Expediting removals decreases the amount of time these individuals spend in ICE custody saving taxpayers money and strengthening public safety."

Though less controversial than ICE's other jail enforcement program, called 287 (g), which trains jailers to act as immigration agents, Secure Communities has prompted concerns by immigrant advocates about deporting people accused of minor crimes and possible racial profiling.

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