Wednesday, July 07, 2010

US Immigration/Customs (ICE) and Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement (FDLE) are using new fingerprinting method to identify legal and illegal criminal aliens and to remove them from the United States.  A “criminal alien” is defined as an alien convicted of a crime.  Fingerprints are used that are taken when these criminals entered prison and when they entered the US.  This enables local law enforcement partners to know as much as possible about the people in their custody by quickly and accurate identification.

The new SECURE COMMUNITIES program now checks fingerprints against both FBI criminal history records and a biometrics-based ID system maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.  The purpose of the program is to modernized identifying and removing the most dangerous criminal aliens from the US.  The Program has been activated statewide in Florida and is now being used in 392 jurisdictions in 23 states. It should be available nationwide by 2013. 

ICE is notified thru the fingerprinting process and places a priority on removing aliens convicted of the most serious Level 1 offenses first, for committing violent crimes such as major drug offenses, murder, rape and kidnapping.  The use of biometric technology has greatly improved the ID method.  Using this program, criminal aliens are not released back into our communities when they complete their sentences.

Since October 2008, 22,200 criminal aliens convicted of Level 1 crimes as described above have been removed from the United States, 1800 of them from Florida, and more than 22,200 criminal aliens convicted of Level 2 and 3 crimes have been removed, including burglary and serious property crimes which are the highest amount of crimes committed by aliens. 

Congress provided the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with funding in FY 2008 to “improve and modernize efforts to identify aliens convicted of a crime, sentenced to imprisonment, and who may be deportable, and remove them from the United States once they are judged deportable.”

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