Using Fingerprints to Track Immigration
Posted on May 7, 2010
A recently implemented immigration program in Oakland subjects anyone booked at local jails to a fingerprint check to determine if they are in the country illegally. The deportation scheme is part of a $1.4 billion federal program that is supposed to be running in every jail in the country within a few years.
The program, called “Secure Communities,” was introduced on April 20 in Alameda County and is already under fire from civil rights advocates, who claim it will likely lead to racial profiling and the deportation of undocumented immigrants who pose no safety risk. —JCL
If you are arrested in Oakland, prepare to have your immigration history checked.
Alameda County recently became the fourth Bay Area county to participate in a federal immigration enforcement program that mandates fingerprint checks on everyone booked at local jails to determine whether they are subject to deportation. The program, which was locally introduced on April 20 and is slowly expanding across the country, has been criticized by civil rights advocates who say its implementation could lead to racial profiling and the deportation of immigrants who do not pose a public safety threat.
The program is called Secure Communities and is administered by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, commonly known as ICE. Under the program, ICE will receive alerts whenever the system reveals that someone booked in a local jail is subject to deportation. “Our hopes are to quickly identify criminal aliens who come into the system,” said Craig Meyer, Assistant Field Office Director for Detention and Removal Operations at ICE’s San Francisco office. “We want to make the Bay Area community safer and that is the goal with this.”
U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement
The expanding program aims to crosscheck fingerprints of those booked into jails against a database of more than 110 million immigration records.