As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing commitment to effective border security, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced that the Secure Communities program has been deployed to all 25 U.S. counties along the Southwest border.
Secure Communities allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails—part of the Department’s focus on identifying and removing convicted criminal aliens who pose a public safety threat to American communities.
“Over the past year and a half, this administration has pursued a new border security strategy through unprecedented investments in personnel, technology and infrastructure and historic partnerships with Mexico and state and local law enforcement,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Secure Communities gives ICE the ability to work with our state and local law enforcement partners to identify criminal aliens who are already in their custody, expediting their removal and keeping our communities safer.”
The Secure Communities technology, made possible through collaboration between DHS, the Department of Justice, and state and local law enforcement agencies, enables digital fingerprints collected during the booking process to be checked against FBI criminal history records and DHS immigration records. By identifying any immigration record matches in U.S. jails and prisons, ICE can quickly and responsibly begin removal proceedings—ultimately expediting the removal of criminal aliens from the United States without any additional cost or changes to the booking process.