Secure Communities Project Expands
ICE is rapidly expanding its Secure Communities Project, a strategy that enables the government to identify any immigrant booked into custody by local law enforcement. Before this, an arrestee’s fingerprints were checked during the booking process for criminal history information only against the FBI database. Now, fingerprint information is checked against both FBI and DHS records. If a print matches in DHS biometric system, ICE is notified. ICE then evaluates each case to determine the individual’s immigration status and determines whether enforcement action is appropriate. ICE uses Secure Communities in 22 states, and expects to make it available nationwide by 2013. It remains to be seen if the program will actually target high-risk serious offenders or merely sweep all those who are arrested.