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.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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