AP, May 13, 2009
Law enforcement agencies in three Southern California counties will soon be able to check the immigration status of arrestees when their fingerprints are taken during booking.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday the so-called “Secure Communities” program is scheduled to begin this month in Los Angeles, San Diego and Ventura counties.
David Venturella, ICE’s executive director of the program, says the agencies will have access to federal criminal and immigration records after they take a suspect’s fingerprints.
He says illegal immigrants who haven’t had contact with the immigration system may not be flagged, but the goal is to deport the ones convicted of serious crimes.
The program is already used in 48 counties across the country.