Saturday, July 20, 2024

Fingerprint Initiative Causes Alarm

According to an article by the Associated Press, the federal government is expanding a fingerprint program used to identify illegal immigrants upon arrest.

The program has not received as much attention as Arizona’s SB 1070 law but it potentially could have a bigger impact.

The cities of San Francisco and Washington DC are not supporting the fingerprint plan, but Colorado is contemplating the program entitled, Secure Communities.  Under Secure Communities, the fingerprints of everyone who is arrested for any crime are run against FBI criminal history records and Department of Homeland Security immigration records to determine who is in the country legally.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been expanding the initiative.

So far, 467 jurisdictions in 26 states have joined the initiative and ICE has said it has plans to have it in every jail nationwide by 2013.

Sunita Patel, an attorney who filed a lawsuit in New York against the federal government on behalf of a of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, is worried about the program and said that more people could get deported from this than Arizona’s new law.

Patel says, “It has the potential to revolutionize immigration enforcement”.

Ohio Butler County Sherriff Rick Jones praises the program, which was implemented in his jurisdiction earlier this month.  He says, “It’s really heaven-sent for us.”

He added, “I don’t want them in my community. I’ve got enough homegrown criminals here.”

ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said that Secure Communities is a method for law enforcement to identify illegal immigrants after their arrest at no additional cost.

Associated Press